US 2856867 A
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Oct. 21, 1958 H. H. DAsEY FREIGHT AIR cusHIoNING sYs'ma 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 6, 1957 Us i H. H. DASEY FREIGHT AIR CUSHIONING SYSTEM Oct. 21, 1958 4 sheets-sheet 2Y Filed March 6, 1957 Salif INVENTOR, HmHAsmf,
Oct'. 21, 1958 H. H. DAsEY 2,856,867
FREIGHT AIR CUSHIONING SYSTEM Filed March e, 1957 4 sheets-sheet s 1N VENTOR.
3' Hmluzmm HIS ATTRE'K Oct. 21, 1958 H. H. DAsEY 2,856,867
FREIGHT AIR cusHIQNING SYSTEM Filed uamn 6. 1957 l 4 sheets-sheet 4 United States This invention relates to a cargo cushioning system for freight cars and other conveyances, for protecting the cargo against damage as a consequence of sudden starting and stopping movements of the car. More specilically, it relates to a system for suspending and longitudinally guiding a plurality of air-filled bags or mattresses so that they may be easily and quickly inserted between cargo on freight trains and the like.
. Heretofore, no satisfactory means have been devised for effectively packing or cushioning cargo in a freight car so as to insure against damage. inasmuch as freight cars are located in yards for longer periods than spent in transit for loading purposes, and are moved from one place to another in the yard with violent jarring, it becomes increasingly necessary to provide adequate cushioning of the cargo or load to prevent damage thereto, Resort has been made to crating of articles, and packaging in cartons with large amounts of cushioning or packing material in an effort to minimize such damage. This has` become a very expensive proposition. In spite of excessive crating and packing, there has been considerable damage to cargo in freight cars as a consequence of sudden starting and stopping movements in freight yards. The amount represented by damaged goods has been enormous in the past and has created a very serious problem in railroad transportation. The use of felt pads and the like, for interposition between packages or crates, has not been entirely satisfactory since they do not provide enough cushioning, also they are easily lost.
An object of my invention is to provide a system for cushioning and protecting cargo in a freight car, or the like, which is devoid of the above named disadvantages.
A more specific object of my invention is to provide a cushioning system involving a plurality of pneumatic bags which are arranged and suspended in a manner so that they may be readily moved from place to place to positions between pieces of cargo and yet remains part of the car.
Another object of my invention is to provide air bags or mattresses as a means for cushioning the load or cargo in a freight car or similar conveyance and which can utilize the air pressure of a train system in such a way that the cargo is very effectively cushioned and protected against the damaging effects of severe jolts, and which results in complete safeguarding of cargo, even of a fragile nature, and eliminates the necessity of excessive packing and crating of cargo.
Another object is to provide an air system for supplying air under pressure in the air bags or mattresses for cushioning the cargo and which system is automatic in operation so as to prevent abnormal air pressures and which assures that in the event of leakage or puncturing of a bag, there will be means for automatically shutting olf the leaky bag from the remainder of the system.
A further object of the invention is to provide means for effectively protecting the cargo in a freight train fromtheft.
Other objects and advantages of my inventionwill beatet come more apparent from a study of the following description taken with the accompany drawings wherein;
Figure 1 is a longitudinal, cross-section view in elevation of an empty freight car equipped with a cargo cushioning system embodying the principles of my invention.
Figure 2 is a view similar to Fig. l except that it shows the air mattresses in the operative position between pieces of cargo for effectively cushioning the cargo against shock and for protecting it against theft.
Figure 3 is a transverse, cross-sectional View taken along line III--III of Fig. 2.
Fig. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line IV-IV of Fig. 3.
Fig. 5 is an enlarged plan View of one of theend partiitons or screens shown in Fig. 2.
Fig. 6I is a cross-sectional view taken along line 'VL-VI of Fig. 7 and showing a modied type of air bag, and
Fig. 7 is a fragmentary, elevational View showing the top portion of the air bag of Fig. 6.
Referring more particularly to Fig. l of the drawing, numeral l denotes a freight car having wheels 2 which are adapted to roll on tracks 3 in a well known manner.
Mounted underneath the roof of the freight car and extending longitudinally thereof are a pair of rails 4 and 5 as shown more clearly in Fig. 3, which rails are mounted on any suitable supports 4a and 5a attached to the inner roof surface of the freight car. On the bottom horizontal flanges of rails 4 and 5 are supported, forrolling movement thereon, a pair of hangers or carriages 6 and 7, having mounted thereon hooks 8 and 9, respectively. Hooks 8 and 9 are adapted to detachably support eyes lll and 11 which are rigidly fastened to a clamp or support 12 for detachably supporting an air bag or mattress 13. Any suitable and Well known clamp or detachable connecting means may be used. For example, the bag 13 may be slidably attached from the ends of support 12 by sliding on inwardly extending flanges thereof.
The air mattress i3 is made of any exible and impervious material, such as neoprene, rubber, etc. and is preferably made of cellular construction including a plurality of vertical cells 13a in order to maintain substantially parallel surfaces and thus prevent ballooning. This is because cargo in freight cars usually is in the form of many stacked rectangular boxes which provide ilat surfaces against which the bag may be placed. When the bags 13 are filled with air under pressure they are adapted to be air cushions between pieces of cargo, as: shown more clearly in Fig. 2, so as to cushion the cargo against shock in the event of sudden stoppage or starting of the train or car.
The air mattresses or bags 13 are supplied with air under pressure by means of an air inlet pipe 15, as shown in Fig. 3, which pipe extends immediately underneath the roof and extends along the longitudinal center of the car. A safety shut-oif valve 16 is provided for each bag so that in the event the particular bag leaks or is ruptured by the cargo, the valve 16 will automatically shut-off further supply of air to that particular bag until it is repaired. A shut-olf valve of any Well known type may be used for this purpose, such as the one described in `Shindel Patent No. 1,915,553.
After the air flows through the shut-off valve 16it passes through a quick detchable coupling 19 of any Well known type and through a flexible hose connection 20 to a particular bag 13. Hose 20 is suiciently longto allow the air bag or mattress 13 to be connected to the nearest valve 16 after the bag has been inserted in place between cargo units.
Air under pressure is supplied by the train `system through a exible hose or tube 21 and flows through pipe 22 into an auxiliary storage tank 23 and thence flows through a pipe 24 which leads through a regulator valve 25 to pipe 15. Regulator valve 25 is adapted to control the pressure so that it will not exceed a predetermined amount. An enclosure (not shown) may be provided about valve 25 to prevent unauthorized access or tamperlng.
, Also suspended by tracks 4 and 5 for longitudinal movement are a pair of wire screens 28 which are supported on frames 29 as shown in Fig. 5. Each frame is supported by means of eyes 30 on hooks mounted on hangers 31, similar in construction to hangers 6 and 7, which roll on rails 4 and 5. Screens 28 provide end partitions and are especially suitable in the case of partial loads of perhaps a fourth or less of a car. Screens 28 when positioned as shown in Fig. 2 also provide end barriers or partitions to prevent theft even though the freight car door is open.
The bottom ends of screens 28 are suitably anchored by any suitable means such as pins 32 which are adapted to be inserted in holes 35 in the bottom ends and released by springs 33. Pins 32 are adapted to be engaged by means of latches 34 after rotation `of the pin so as to provide a radially projecting latch portion for engagement with the latch. Of course other suitable latching, or anchoring means may be provided for rigidly fastening the bottom of frames 28 to the oor of the car.
If desired, the bottom ends of the air mattress may be provided with a clamp similar to 12 and which may be slidably mounted on rails (not shown) on the bottom of the car, or they may be selectively fastened by bolts or the like directly onto the floor at desired points along the length of the car.
In some instances it may be desirable to have ballooning of the air mattresses to ll in irregular spaces, therefore non cellular bags, such as shown in Figs. 6 and 7, may be used.
In operation, all the collapsed bags 13 are moved to one side of the empty car, and the other side is then loaded. After stacking of pieces of cargo a bag is slid against them and additional cargo is stacked against the bag. Finally the end partitions 28 are fastened in place. Thereafter, by opening a suitable air supply valve, all the bags are expanded by means of air under pressure until they assume the positions shown in Fig. 2 in which they securely anchor the cargo pieces and cushion them against shock and possible damage.
The amount of expansion of the bags 13 may be controlled by adjusting the regulator valve 25 to select the desired air pressure to be maintained in the bags.
Even when the car is disconnected from the train so that hose 21 is no longer connected to the train air supply system, the auxiliary air storage tank 23 will continue to suply air under pressure to pipe 15. Of course, a suitable valve (not shown) is provided in pipe 22 which is closed when hose 21 is disconnected. Controlled expansion of the bags 28 and their positioning effectively restrains the cargo from movement and provides highly cushioned barriers to prevent damage to the cargo even when it is violently jarred.
While bags 13 are shown as extending transversely of the freight car, at least some of them may be positioned longitudinally by unhooking one of the supporting hooks and attaching it to a hanger which is slidable on the same supporting rail. And by providing additional eyes, the bags may be mounted even diagonally for insertion in diagonal spaces that might exist between cargo or equipment of odd shape.
While my invention has been described in connection with a freight train, it is equally applicable to a moving van, cargo plane or other conveyances wherein cargo or equipment is to be protected against damage from shock or sudden movement.
While I have shown the bags as being suspended from the roof of the car, they may be suspended and longitudi- Cil nally guided by rails extending along the sides of the car and, in some instances perhaps even on the oor.
Of course, some of the bags may be of half length or of any fractional part of the normal length for use on special cargo having long base structures. In some instances, ordinary pads of cloth, foam rubber or the like may be suspended from some of the hooks for insertion in narrow air spaces between the cargo pieces.
Thus it will be seen that I have provided an efficient system for facilitating loading of cargo in freight cars or other conveyances in a manner to prevent damage despite sudden starts or stops of the freight car, particularly when moved from place to place; furthermore I have provided a novel means for suspending and sliding air lled mattresses to facilitate handling thereof and placement between cargo pieces to be protected, also which are not readily lost or stolen; also I have provided a. cargo cushioning system involving the use of air-mattresses which automatically regulates the air pressure in the mattresses to provide a predetermined degree of cushioning, and which includes safety devices to prevent loss of air in the case of puncture of any particular bag; furthermore I have provided air-filled bags which will cornpensate for irregular surfaces of cargo pieces and which will completely fill the spaces therebetween so as to assure prevention of damage by sudden starting and stopping; furthermore l have provided a system for providing cushioned packing of even partial loads, including means for effectively tying cargo together and closing off the end thereof by permanent partitions to prevent theft.
While I have illustrated and described several specific embodiments of my invention, it will be understood that these are by way of illustration only, and that various changes and modifications may be made within the contemplation of my invention and within the scope of the following claims.
1. A freight carrying conveyance comprising essentially a closed elongated compartment including a oor and a roof, track means secured to and extending longitudinally of said compartment underneath and adjacent to said roof, means on said track slidably supporting a plurality of pneumatic bags, said pneumatic bags extending transversely of said compartment throughout a substantial portion of the transverse cross-section thereof in suspended relation to said track, an air supply system on said conveyance including an air storage tank and an air supply pipe connected thereto and extending longitudinally of said conveyance, a plurality of exible detachable connections between said air supply pipe and said pneumatic bags for supplying air under pressure from said pipe to said bags to effect expansion thereof and including safety cut-off valves for automatically and selectively cutting off air communications of any bag with said pipe upon attainment of a predetermined, abnormally low pressure as caused by leakage of air from the bag, said system further including a pressure regulating main control means which, after simultaneously inating a plurality of said pneumatic bags when inserted in place, will maintain the air in said pipe vat a predetermined pressure, whereby the bags may be easily handled and consecutively slid from an end of the vehicle for sandwiching between pieces of freight, and whereby introducing air under pressure simultaneously to said plurality of bags after loading of the freight has been completed will insure maximum loading within the compartment space and complete shoring of the load.
2. A freight carrying vehicle as recited in claim l including partitions slidably suspended from said rail, and means on said floor for anchoring the bottom ends of said partitions to selective portions of the -oor of the compartment along the length thereof.
3. The method of loading a freight carrying compartment comprising the steps of loading a cargo unit, placing a deated bag thereagainst, placing another cargo unit against said bag, and continuing this process, thereby successively inserting a plurality of pneumatic bags in deated condition between pieces of cargo braced be tween end bracing means, and thereafter supplying air under pressure from a common source to said plurality of pneumatic bags simultaneously to inflate said bags so as to lock the cargo in place and insure maximum loading within the compartment.
4. The method of loading the freight carrying compartl ment of a conveyance wherein a plurality of not fully inilated pneumatic bags are suspended for sliding movement longitudinally of the compartment, comprising the steps of sliding said bags to one portion of the compartment and thereafter loading a cargo unit, sliding a not fully inflated bag thereagainst, placing another cargo unit against said bag and continuing this process, thereby sliding said bags successively into alternating positions with pieces of cargo braced by end bracing means in said compartment, and upon completion of the loading, applying air under pressure from a common source to said plurality of bags simultaneously to fully inflate said bags, so as to insure complete shoring of the cargo and maximum loading in the compartment space.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,085,285 Monesmith Jan. 27, 1914 1,457,496 Butler June 5, 1923 1,613,057 Ryerson Jan. 4, 1927 1,675,957 Reeves July 3, 1928 2,144,410 Luddington Jan. 17, 1939 2,227,807 Dixon Ian. 7, 1941 2,449,591 Couse Sept. 21, 1948 2,674,206 Scott Apr. 6, 1954 2,764,950 Finnell Oct. 2, 1956 2,774,503 Moore Dec. 18, 1956 2,819,810 Dewitt Ian. 14, 1958 OTHER REFERENCES Publication-Railway Age, July 29, 1957, page 32.