US 2983376 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 9, 1961 A. J. TROYER 2,983,376
SIZING ROLL CONSTRUCTION Filed July 18, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I8 I48 I I6 l4A IN VEN TOR.
,/ ABNER J. TROY R A BY y ATTORNEYS y 1961 A. J. TROYER 2,983,376
SIZING ROLL CONSTRUCTION Filed July 18, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 3
INVENTOR. ABNER J. TROYER ATTORNEYS United States Pate SIZING ROLL CONSTRUCTION Abner J. Troyer, RD. 1, Smithville, Ohio Filed July 18, 1958, Ser. No. 749,384
7 Claims. (CL 209-106) The invention relates generally to grading or sizing machines for potatoes, vegetables and the like, and more particularly to the construction of the grooved sizing rollers which are mounted in rows in mating relation to form sizing openings between the rows. This invention is in the nature of an improvement over my prior Patent No. 2,588,309, issued March 4, 1952.
In said patent it was pointed out that sizing rollers prior thereto had been provided with a multiplicity of resilient rubber spurs to aid in gripping the potatoes without injuring them, but that the ever present dirt and foreign matter built up between the spurs so as to destroy the resiliency of the spurs and making the sizing openings between rollers irregular and inaccurate, and extremely difficult to clean.
The improved sizing roller disclosed and claimed in said patent has smooth annular sizing grooves to prevent dirt build-up, and annular recesses under the bases of the grooves forming resilient concentric ribs therein to yieldably convey and size the potatoes. This patented sizing roller construction has per-formed satisfactorily when the potatoes are fairly dry, but when the potatoes are wet, for example, because of an immediately preceding washing operation, they become very slippery and tend to stay in one place between sizing rollers instead of being carried over to the next row.
The purpose of the present invention is to provide an improved sizing roller construction which will retain the advantages of the smooth resilient roller of said Patent No. 2,588,309, and yet provide for proper handling and grading of potatoes no matter how wet and slippery they may be.
Another object is to providean improved sizing roller construction which involves a simple and economical change over present constructions, and which is interchangeable with present rollers on-conventional grading machines.
A further object is to provide an improved sizing roller construction which is substantially smooth, resilient and self-cleaning.
These and other objects are accomplished by the improved sizing roller construction of the present invention, a preferred embodiment of which is shownby way of example in the accompanying drawings and described in detail in the following specification.
In the drawings.
Fig. 1 is a fragmentary plan view of a potato grading machine of the type shown in my prior Patent No. 2,5 88,- 309, and embodying the improved sizing roller construction of thepresent invention.
Fig.2. is an enlarged fragmentaryplan view. showing two adjacent rows of the rollers.
Fig. 3 is a sectional view as on line 33 of Fig. 2.
- Fig. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view as on line 4-4 of Fig. 3.
Fig. 5 is a view similar to Fig. 3 looking toward the opposite side of one of the rollers, as on line 5-5 of Fig. 4.
The potato grading machine shown in Fig. 1 preferably includes a grading table indicated as a whole at 10, and the potatoes to be graded are dumped onto the table from a sorting table11 having a roller conveyor 12 there on. An inclined plate 13 may be provided for guiding the potatoes onto the grading table.
The grooved rubber sizing rollers 14A and 14B are mounted on parallel transverse shafts 15 journaled in a suitable manner in the side rails 16 of the table 10, the rollers 14A'providing a section A for grading potatoes of one size,'and the rollers 14B forming a section B for grading potatoes of another size. The usual scrubbing and cleaning rolls 17 are provided on each side of the sections A and B. These rolls preferably have resilient rubber spurs or ribs 18 arranged thereon in spiral form to apply a scrubbing or brushing action to the potatoes passing thereover.
The shafts of rolls 17 and shafts 15 may be suitably driven at the same speed and in the same direction by means of a driving chain engaging sprockets of one size (not shown) mounted on the shafts 17 and 15, as described in Patent No. 2,588,309. Inclined discharge chutes 22 and 24 extend laterally outward from under the table sections A and B, respectively, for discharging potatoes dropping through the sizing rollers 14A and 148. Each of the chutes may have the usual bag holders 25 at their outer endsand adjustable deflectors 26 for deflecting the potatoes into one or the other of bags on the bag holders. The potatoes which are too large to pass through the sizing rollers 14B are carried over the last cleaning rolls 17 and discharged into a chute 27 having bag holders 25 at its outer end.
The sizing rollers 14A and 14B are preferably made of soft molded rubber or the like material which is resilie-nt, and have annular grooves on opposite sides each forming substantially a quarter circle in cross section, so that when the rollers on the shafts '15 are axially abutted the abutting rollers form annular grooves of substantially semicircular cross section. The shafts 15 are spaced apart so that the rollers of adjacent rows form substantially circular sizing openings through which potatoes up to the size of the openings may drop. The spacing of the shafts 15 may be varied slightly and the rollers may be spaced apart somewhat on the shafts, in order to vary the sizes of potatoes being graded, as desired. The rollers 14A may be of one size and spacing to pass one standard size of potatoes, and the rollers 14B may be of a size and spacing to pass a larger standard size of potatoes. Except for size, the rollers 14A and 14B are identical in construction, so that only rollers 14A need be described in detail.
Preferably, as shown in Fig. 4, each of the rollers 14A has a body of rubber molded around a bushing 30, and the rubber body has smooth annular grooves 32 on opposite sides forming a central rim portion 33 which may be beveled in opposite directions as shown. The grooves 32 each form in cross section substantially a quadrant of-a circle, so that the grooves may be termed annular quadrantal grooves. Each side of the rubber body is provided with a flat transverse surface 34 for abutting a like surface'of the adjoining roller,-and on one side a radial slot 35 is formed in the abutmentsurface for receiving aheadless set screw 31: securing the bushing 30 to" the shaft '15. I
Under the inner edge portion of each groove32 an annular groove 37 is formed in the body concentric with the axis of the roller and extending inwardly of the abutment surface 34. Preferably the grooves are V-shaped in cross section and form a thin flexible annular rib 38 at the base of each groove 32. The ribs 38 terminate short of the adjacent surface 34 so that the ribs of abutting rollers are spaced slightly apart to allow them to flex freely when a potato passes through the sizing opening formed by four quadrantal grooves 32.
Thus each substantially circular groove formed by two pairs of abutting rollers in two adjacent rows has two flexible ribs diametrically opposite to each other to allow a potato of proper size to pass-through the openings without crushing or otherwise injuring the potato. The smooth annular grooves 32 do not offer any obstructions to promote build-up of dirt and foreign matter, and are easily cleaned, although the flexing action of the ribs 38 tends to keep the grooves clean by breaking off and removing caked dirt. However, if the potatoes being graded have just been washed or are wet and slippery for any reason, the potatoes which are larger than the sizing openings formed by the grooves 32 in rollers 14A or 14B tend to ride in the grooves and stay in one place rather than to be conveyed along the table by the rotating rollers.
, In order to overcome this difficulty the rollers 14A and 14B have projecting knobs or lugs 40 formed at widely spaced intervals in the outer peripheries of the grooves 32 on one side of the rollers. As shown in Figs. 3 and 4 each roller has two diametrically opposite lugs 40 formed in the groove 32 on one side of the roller. However, one or more lugs can be used as desired, as long as the lugs are spaced apart sufiiciently to prevent build-up of dirt and foreign matter in the grooves. When a slippery potato lodges in the grooves 32, a lug 40 on one of the rotating rollers in contact with the potato will catch it and roll or convey it over to the next row of rollers, and this action is repeated until the potato drops through a sizing opening or rolls off the discharge end of the table.
It is important that the lugs 40 in adjacent rows of rollers be staggered as indicated in Figs. 3 and 4, because since the rollers are all rotating in the same direction if the lugs were aligned as the lugs in adjacent rows passed each other they would be urging the potato in opposite directions, resulting in injury to the potato or jamming of the rolls. As is apparent from Fig. 3, if the rollers are all rotating counterclockwise and a slippery potato tends to ride between two rollers of adjacent rows, a lug 40 on the left roller will catch the potato and carry it over to the roller in the next adjacent row to the left. In order to facilitate staggering of the lugs on adjacent rows of rollers, the lugs in each row are preferably aligned with each other. I
Accordingly, the improved roller construction retains the advantages of a smooth groove having the flexible rib at the base, and yet prevents wet and slippery potatoes from riding in place between the rollers without advancing over the grading table. Moreover, the improved roller is interchangeable with prior rollers of the type disclosed in my Patent No. 2,588,309.
Variousmodifications and changes in details of construction are comprehended within the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a potato grading machine, a plurality of parallel unidirectionally rotatably driven rows of axially abutting resilient rollers having smooth annular grooves for supporting potatoes and forming substantially circular sizing openings between adjacent rows, each roller having at least one lug at its outer periphery extending into the annular groove thereon to contact a potato supported in said groove andconvey it to the next adjacent row of rollers, and the lugs on adjacent rows of rollers being staggered.
2. In a potato grading machine, a plurality of parallel unidirectionally rotatably driven rows of axially abutting resilient rollers having smooth annular grooves for sup porting potatoes and forming substantially circular sizing openings between adjacent rows, each groove being formed by two abutting rollers, each roller having at least one lug at its outer periphery extending into the groove on one side of the roller to contact a potato supported in said groove and convey it to the next adjacent row of rollers, and the lugs on adjacent rowsrof rollers being staggered.
3. In a potato grading machine, a plurality of parallel unidirectionally rotatably driven rows of axially abutting resilient rollers having smooth annular grooves for supporting potatoes and forming substantially circular sizing openings between adjacent rows, each groove being formed by two abutting rollers, the abutting edge portions of said rollers having flexible annular ribs forming the base of said groove, each roller having at least one lug at its outer periphery extending into the groove formed on one side of the roller to contact a potato sup-' ported in said groove and convey it to the next adjacent row of rollers, and the lugs on adjacent rows of rollers being staggered.
4. In a potato grading machine having a plurality of parallel unidirectionally rotatably driven rows of axially abutting resilient rollers each having smooth annular quadrantal grooves on opposite sides, whereby abutting rollers form semi-circular grooves for supporting potatoes, at least one lu'g on each roller at its outer periphery extending axially into the quadrantal groove on one side of the roller to contact a potato supported in said groove and convey it to the next adjacent row of rollers.
5. In a potato grading machine having a plurality of parallel unidirectionally rotatably driven rows of axially abutting resilient rollers each having smooth annular quadrantal grooves on opposite sides, whereby abutting rollers formsemi-circular grooves for supporting potatoes, the inner periphery of each quadrantal groove cornprising a flexible concentric rib, and at least one lug on each roller at its outer periphery extending axially into the quadrantal groove on one side of the roller to contact a potato supported in said groove and convey it to the next adjacent row of rollers.
6. A resilient sizing roller for a potato grading machine having smooth annular quadrantal grooves on opposite sides, flat parallel abutment surfaces at the'bases of the grooves, annular recesses in said abutment surfaces adjacent said bases, and at least one lug on the outer periphery of said roller projecting into the groove on one side thereof to contact a potato supported in said groove.
7. A resilientsizing roller for a potato grading machine having smooth annular quadrantal grooves on opposite sides,'flat parallel abutment surfaces at the bases of the grooves extending transversely of the roller, and a lug at the outer periphery of said roller projecting substantially axially thereof into the groove on one side thereof to contact a potato supported in said groove.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS