US 2619843 A
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Dec. 2, 1952 c. w. KAMPFER UNIVERSAL LINK Filed March 18, 1950 Charles W fiam ofer Patented Dec. 2, 1952 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE UNIVERSAL LlNK Charles W. Kampfer, St. Paul, Minn. Application March 18, 1950, Serial No. 150,367
My invention relates to an improvement in universal link wherein it is desired to provide a conventional chain so constructed that it may turn in any desired direction.
In the use of conveyors designed for conveying milk bottles and the like, it is desirable that the links of the chain be so constructed as to permit the chain to change direction from time to time. The chain usually is of the endless type and is actuated by sprockets over which the chain extends. It is desirable that the chain not only be able to extend around these sprockets, but it is also desirable that the chain may be flexible in other directions. The present invention relates to an improveduniversal link of this type. In my previous Patent No. 1,893,141, issued January 3, 1933, I disclosed a link of somewhat similar form to that of the present invention. The links included U-shaped bodies which were slotted horizontally and vertically in such a manner that the horizontal slots extended into the links from one end thereof and the vertical slots extended into the links from the opposite end thereof. The links were connected by connecting pivots having a vertical pivot at one end and a horizontal pivot at its other end. The present invention shows an improved manner of constructing these universal links and an improved manner in manufacturing the connecting pivots so that the links may be more easily detached when desired.
A feature of the present invention lies in the provision of a conventional chain composed of universal links having platform pieces connected to one side of each link. from a support for the bottles or other articles conveyed by the chain.
A feature of the present invention lies in the provision of a conveyor chain having platform pieces secured to the upper surface of each link, the platform pieces interfitting to provide a substantially continuous support.
A further feature of the present invention lies in the provision of a conveyor chain connected by connecting pivot members having right angularly arranged pivots, one of which is removable.
An added feature of the invention lies in the specific manner in which the links are designed so as to be removable without the use of tools.
These and other objects and novel features of my invention will be more clearly and fully set forth inthe following specification and claims.
In the drawings forming a part of my specification:
These platform pieces Figure 1 is a plan view of a section of chain showing the construction thereof.
Figure 2 is a side elevation view of a series of links forming the conveyor chain.
Figure 3 is a vertical section centrally and longitudinally through a pair'of connected conveyor chain links.
Figure 4 is a diagrammatic view of the blank of which one of the links is partially formed.
Figure 5 is an elevation view of a portion of one of the connecting pivot members for connecting adjacent links.
Figure 6 is a top plan view of the device trated in Figure 5. v
Figure 7 is a plan view of a pivot used in conjunction with the pivot members illustrated in Figures 5 and 6.
Figure 8 is an elevation view of the pivot member shown in Figure 7.
Figure 9 is an end view of the pivot shown in Figures 7 and 8.
The conveyor chain illustrated in the drawings illusis composed of a series of links A, each of which is identical in form. Each link is preferably formed of an elongated strip 10 of stainless steel or other suitable material. Each strip I0 is preferably formed as illustrated in Figure 4 of the drawings and includes an elongated slot H midway between the ends thereof and a relatively shorter slot I2 near each end of the strip. The slots I! and I2 are aligned. One edge of the strip Ill projects above the level of the remainder of the strip as indicated at [3 so as to form a support for the platform piece which will be later described in detail.
The strip Iii illustrated in Figure 4 of the drawings is bent into U-shaped form, the bend being located at the center part of the link so that entire bent end of the link is slotted by the slot H. The two slots l2 are parallel and in opposed relationship, the ends of the strip being parallel on either side of the center bend.
A platform piece [4 is brazed, welded, or otherwise secured to the upper surface of the bent strip Ill to form a support for articles being conveyed. As indicated in Figure 1 each platform strip IA is rounded at one end as indicated at E5 and is notched at its other end along a similar curve as indicated at I6 so as to accommodate the rounded forward end of the next adjacent link. The platform pieces l4 are spaced slightly apart to permit the conveyor chain to bend slightly in an upward direction and to provide clearance between adjacent links. It will be noted, however, that the rounded forward end I5 of one link extends beyond portions of the notched opposite end I6 of the next adjacent link so that portions of the two platform pieces overlap.
It will also be noted from Figure 1 of the drawings that the rounded forward end of each platform piece I4 has as its center of curvature, the center of the bent end of the link strip I0. When the individual links bend laterally about a vertical pivot, the center of pivotal motion coincides with the center of curvature of the bent or folded end of the link strip I0. The platform plates I4 are curved along a similar center so as to remain in proper relationship regardless of the angularity therebetween.
The connecting elements connecting the vari ous links are best illustrated in detail in Figures 5 through 9 of the drawings. Each connecting member includes a vertical pivot I! which is rounded along its inner surface as indicated at I9 on a radius of curvature slightly less than the radius of curvature of the bent strip I0. Thus the rounded vertical surface I9 bearsv against the inner surface of the rounded end of the link strip I0 in folded condition of' this strip. 'When one of the links A pivots relative to the other link along a vertical axis, the rounded surface I9 of the connecting member slides over the rounded inner surface of the bent end'of the link.
The vertical pivot I1 is connected along a lon- U gitudinally extending connecting portion 20 to a ring or bearing 2|. This ring or bearing 2I is provided with an elongated aperture 22 therethrough. The aperture 22 is somewhat oval in shape and its vertical dimension is greater than its longitudinal dimension.
A transverse pivot 23 which is used in conjunction with the connecting member 24 just described, is best shown in Figures 7 through 9 of the drawings. This pivot 23 includes a center portion 25 and opposite end portions 25. The end portions 26. are cylindrical in form and serve as pivots about which the links may pivot. The central portion 25 is Well in cross section to fit the slot 22 in the connecting member end 2|. As illustrated in Figures 8 and 9 of the drawings, the Oval or elongated shape of the center portion 25 provides shoulders 27 ateither end of the center portion 25 for a purpose which will now be described.
It will be noted that the slot 22 of the connecting member is elongated in a vertical direction. The slots I2 of the link strips II] are of a height slightly greater than the diameter of the cylindrical ends 28 of the pivot 23. In other words, the pivot ends 23 fit snugly in the slots I2 without excessive play. The slots I2 are not of sufficient height, however, to accommodate the oval center portion 25 of the pivot. Thus when the pivots 23 are in place, the shoulders 21 on either end of the center portion 25 abut against the inner surfaces of the link sides above and below the slots I 2 and are held in place thereby.
Obviously the center portions 25 of the links 23 need not be oval in cross section. These portions of the link do not pivot relative to the ring shaped member 2 I; in which they are engaged so that the center portions 25 could be rectangular in cross section or some other such shape as long as the structure provided shoulders, such as 21 above and below the cylindrical pivot end portions 25 so asto prevent or limit longitudinal sliding of the pivots when engaged.
In assembling the links of the conveyor chain, the connecting members 24 are turned. at right angles to their normal position illustrated in Figures 2 and 3 of the drawings so that the oval center portion 25 Of the pivot extends longitudinally of the slot I2. The connecting portion 24 illustrated in Figures 5 and 6 of the drawings is held between the spaced ends of the link strip II) so that the oval aperture 22 is in registry with the slots I2. While in this position the pivots 23 may be inserted through the slots I2 and through the aperture 22. The center portion 25 being enclosed within the aperture 22'. When the connecting member 24 is swung into longitudinal position as shown in Figures 2 and 3, the center portion 25 of the pivot is pivoted out of registry with the slots I2 so that the shoulders 21 abut against the link strips upon axial movement of the pivot 23 relative to the links.
Thus it will be seen that the links may be connected or disconnected when arranged at right angles to one another. The vertical pivot I1 is first engaged in the rounded end of the link strip II! by turning the connecting member at right. angles so that the axis of. the pivot I'I extends longitudinally of the. slot II. The pivot. end I1. of the connecting member is. inserted through one side of the slot I'I until. the pivot I]. is within the link betweenthe parallel sides thereof. The connecting member is next turne'dat right angles. so as to engage'in the roundedend of the link strip as illustrated. After the. pivot end ll. of each connecting member has been. connected, to its link, the end 21 is placed'inregistry Withthe slots I2 and the pivot 23 inserted in the manner previously described.
In accordance with the patent statutes, I have described the principles of construction and operatiori of. my universal link construction, and while I have endeavoredto set forth the best embodiment thereof, I desire to have it understood that obvious changes may. be made within. the scope of the following claims without departing from the spirit of my invention.
1. A conveyor chain including a series of connected links, each link including a' strip of u shaped form, a slot extending into said strip intermediate the edges thereof, said slot extending through the rounded end of the U toward the other free ends thereof, a connecting member including a pivot engaging. the rounded end of the link on opposite sides'of the slot, a connecting, portion extending through the slot, and a bearing on said connectingportion. having, an aperture of elongatedsectiona secondjpivot having a center portion removably supported by .saidbearing and arranged on an axis at right'angles to the axis of the first named pivot, said. second pivot being provided with shoulders at either end thereof engageable against the sides of the link.
2. A conveyor chain including. a series of links including a U-shaped body having a rounded end and parallel sides, a slot extendingthrough said rounded end and said parallel sides and extending toward the oppositeend of the body, a connecting memberengaged in ther'oun ded end of the link body, the connecting member including a pivot engageable against the rounded end of the bodyon opposite sides of the slot, a connecting portion extending through the slot, and a bearing supported by said connected portion, said bearing supporting a secondpivot arranged .on an axis at right angles to the axis of .the first named pivot, said second pivot having a center portion projecting beyond the cross sectional dimensions of the ends thereof to form shoulders between the center portion and the end portions of the second pivot, said shoulders being engageable against the parallel portions of the U-shaped link body of the next adjacent link.
3. The structure described in claim 2 in which the center portion of the second pivot is of oval cross section and the ends of the pivot are of cylindrical cross section.
4. The structure described in claim 2 in which the center portion of the second pivot is generally oval in cross section.
5. A universal link for a conveyor chain including a U-shaped body having a rounded end and parallel side arms, a slot extending into said link, said slot extending through the rounded end and into the parallel side arms, a pair of slots through said side arms in aligned relation near the free ends thereof, a connecting member including a pivot engaging the rounded end of the link body on opposite sides of said first named slot, 2. connecting portion extending through said first named slot, and a bearing portion supported by said connecting portion, a second pivot including a center portion and opposite end portions, the center portion extending beyond the dimensions of the end portions to form shoulders between the center portion and the end portions, the center portion being removably supported by said bearing portion and said end portions being designed for engagement in the pair of oppositely aligned slots of a second link.
6. A connecting block for a universal link provided with spaced side walls having transversely aligned slots therein, the block comprising oppositely directed trunnions, a perpendicularly extending shank, a bearing ring connected to the shank, said ring having an oval aperture whose axis is perpendicular to the axis of said trunnions and said shank, and a pivot pin including a central portion having dimensions complemental with said oval aperture and receivable thereby and oppositely directed trunnions carried by said central portion, said last named trunnions and the minor dimension of said central portion being of a size sufficiently small to be received by the slots of said link and the major dimension of said central portion being of a size too great to be received by said slots.
CHARLES W. KAMIPFER.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,058,038 Colley Apr. 8, 1913 1,893,141 Kampfer Jan. 3, 1933 2,010,124 Worrall Aug. 6, 1935 2,066,723 Eggleston et al Jan. 5, 1937 2,118,348 Hoeffleur May 24, 1938 2,365,866 D alrymple Dec. 26, 1944 2,490,682 Freeman Dec. 6, 1949