Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3088776 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 7, 1963
Filing dateJan 30, 1961
Priority dateJan 30, 1961
Also published asDE1255037B
Publication numberUS 3088776 A, US 3088776A, US-A-3088776, US3088776 A, US3088776A
InventorsEdmund R Aller
Original AssigneeGen Am Transport
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Railway hopper cars
US 3088776 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 7, 1963 E. R. ALLER RAILWAY HOPPER CARS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan 5O 1961 INVENTOR Edmund H A/ll BY j w,

M A/f'y;

May 7, 1963 E. R. ALLER RAILWAY HOPPER CARS Filed Jan. 50, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 M .QPN

INVENTOR. Edmund H ,4//er y 7, 1963 E. R. ALLER 3,088,776

RAILWAY HOPPER CARS Filed Jan. :50, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 i i 58 I z:\ I a a; d II a a l a, R I I I 3 I:

b k) R 8 Ln. INVENTOR- Edmund H Al/er 3,988,776 Patented May 7, 1963 ice 3,088,776 RAILWAY HOPPER CARS Edmund R. Aller, Gary, Ind., assignor to General American Transportation Corporation, Chicago, IlL, a corporation of New York Filed Jan. 30, 1961, Ser. No. 85,912 19 Claims. (Cl. 30252) The present invention relates to apparatus for storing granular material, and more particularly to railway hopper cars for storing and transporting such granular material.

It is a general object of the invention to provide in apparatus for storing finely divided or granular material, such for example, as flour, malt, plastic resin beads, or the like, an improved and simplified pneumatic unloading system so that a plurality of individual storage hoppers incorporated in the apparatus may be simultaneously unloaded through a plurality of bottom discharge outlets respectively provided therein, without interference with each other, and without overloading of the unloading system.

Another object of the invention is to provide in a railway hopper car including a body provided with structure defining a plurality of storage hoppers therein, an improved arrangement of a plurality of outlet nozzles respectively carried by the plurality of storage hoppers, and a single conduit system commonly connected to the plurality of outlet nozzles and terminating in a pair of fixtures respectively disposed at the opposite sides of the body, wherein each of the outlet nozzles incorporates automatic valve mechanism that is normally biased into its open position so long as there is granular material to be unloaded in the associated one of the storage hoppers and that is actuated into its closed position in response to suction in the associated conduit system after all of the granular material in the associated one of the storage hoppers has been unloaded therefrom, and wherein each one of the fixtures mentioned may be selectively connected to a suction conduit for the unloading purpose, so that the granular material stored in each of the storage hoppers may be unloaded from the one fixture, and wherein the other of the fixtures mentioned may be selectively controlled to supply conveying air into the conduit system for the unloading purpose.

A further object of the invention is to provide a railway hopper car of the character described, wherein each of the outlet nozzles includes a casing provided with a bottom discharge opening therein and an associated bottom cover removably carried by the associated casing so that the granular material may be unloaded by gravity from the associated one of the storage hoppers through the casing of the outlet nozzle thereof when the bottom cover is removed from covering relation with respect to the bottom discharge opening therein.

A further object of the invention is to provide in apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet, an improved nozzle outlet comprising a casing carried by the storage hopper and disposed below the bottom outlet and communicating therewith, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of the casing for unloading the granular material from the storage hopper through the casing, the intermediate section of the tube being disposed within the casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof, a valve element arranged in the bottom of the casing below the valve port and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of the tube is in communication with the lower portion of the casing when the valve element occupies its open position with respect to the valve port and the interior of the tube is cut-01f from communication with the lower portion of the casing when the valve element occupies its closed position with respect to the valve port, and actuating means for selectively Operating the valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to the valve port, wherein the valve element is biased into its open position with respect to the valve port so long as there is granular material in the storage hopper, and wherein the valve element is operated by the actuating means into its closed position with respect to the valve port in response to suction in the tube after all of the granular material in the storage hopper has been unloaded therefrom through the casing into the tube.

A still further object of the invention is to provide in apparatus of the character described, an improved outlet nozzle, wherein the actuating means for selectively operating the valve between its open and closed positions with respect to the associated valve port essentially comprises a diaphragm disposed in the bottom of the casing below the valve element and directly secured thereto, wherein the upper surface of the diaphragm and the valve element are subject to the pressure in the lower portion of the casing and the lower surface of the diaphragm is subject to atmospheric pressure, and wherein the valve element and the upper surface of the diaphragm are also subject to the weight of granular material in the casing so long as there is granular material in the storage hopper, whereby the diaphragm and the valve element are moved together from a normal lower position into an actuated upper position in response to suction in the lower portion of the casing after all of the granular material in the storage hopper has been unloaded therefrom through the casing into the tube, and wherein the normal lower position of the valve element constitutes an open position thereof with respect to the associated valve port and the actuated upper position of the valve element constitutes a closed position thereof with respect to the associated valve port.

A still further object of the invention is to provide in a railway hopper car, an improved and simplified pneumatic system for unloading granular material contained in the plurality of storage hoppers defined in the body of the car, utilizing a single fixture selectively connectible to an associated suction conduit, wherein each of the plurality of storage hoppers is normally connected to the single fixture mentioned for the purpose of efiecting the unloading of the granular material stored therein, and wherein each of the plurality of storage hoppers is automatically disconnected from the single fixture mentioned in response to the unloading therefrom of the granular material stored therein.

Further features of the invention pertain to the arrangement of the elements of the railway hopper car, whereby the above-outlined and additional operating features thereof are attained.

The invention, both as to its organization and the method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following specification, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side ele-vational view, partly broken away, of a railway hopper car embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view, partly broken away, of the railway hopper car shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view, partly broken away, of the railway hopper car, taken in the direction of the arrows along the offset line 33 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary plan view of a one of the outlet nozzles incorporated in the railway hopper car, as shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, inclusive;

FIG. 5 is a greatly enlarged longitudinal sectional view of the outlet nozzle, taken in the direction of the arrows along the line 5-5 in FIG. 4; and

FIG. '6 is a greatly enlarged lateral sectional view of the outlet nozzle, taken in the direction of the arrows along the line 6--6 in FIG. 4.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 to 3, inclusive, of the drawings, the railway hopper car 10 there illustrated and embodying the features of the present invention, is especially adapted for storage and transportation of finely divided or granular materials, such for example, (as rflour, malt, plastic resin beads, or the like; and the car 10 comprises a rigid underframe, including a longitudinally extending center sill 11; which underfrarne is supported adjacent to the opposite ends thereof by a pair of trucks 12 carrying track wheels 13' cooperating with an associated railway track, indicated at 14.

The underframe carries a body 20, including a pair of longitudinally extending and laterally spaced-apart side walls 21 and 22, a pair of laterally extending and longitudinally spaced-apart end walls 23, and a roof 24. Arranged within the body '28 are a pair of laterally extending and longitudinally spaced-apart end dividing walls 25 and 26 and a pair of laterally extending and longitudinally spaced-apart intermediate dividing walls 27 and 28, three longitudinally extending and longitudinally spaced-apart dividing bridges 3 1, 32 and 33, and bottom wall structure cooperating to define therein six individual storage hoppers 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 and 46. In the arrangement, the three storage hoppers 41, 42 and 43 are disposed in longitudinal spaced-apart relation on the side of the car 10 adjacent to the side wall 2-1, while the three storage hoppers 44, 45 and 46 are disposed in longitudinal spaced-apart relation on the side of the car 10 adjacent to the side wall 22. The two storage hoppers 41 and 44 are commonly defined by the side walls 21 and 22 and by the dividing walls 25 and 27 and are separated laterally from each other at the lower portions thereof by the longitudinally extending dividing bridge 31 disposed substantially centrally therebetween; the two storage hoppers 42 and 45 are commonly defined by the side Walls 21 and 22 and by the dividing walls 27 and 28 and are separated laterally from each other at the lower portions thereof by the longitudinally extending dividing bridge 32 disposed substantially centrally therebetween; and the two storage hoppers 43 and 46 are commonly defined by the side walls 21 and 22 and by the dividing walls 26 and 28 and are separated laterally from each other at the lower portions thereof by the longitudinally extending dividing bridge 33 disposed substantially centrally therebetween.

Each of the storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive, is provided with individual bottom wall structure having the general configuration of an inverted frusto pyramid and terminating in a bottom discharge outlet, each carrying a surrounding substantially rectangular collar. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the downwardly tapered bottom wall structure of the individual storage hopper 41 terminates in the individual bottom discharge outlet 51 that is provided with the individual surrounding substantially rectangular collar 61, and the downwardly tapered bottom wall structure of the individual storage hopper 46 terminates in the individual bottom discharge outlet 56 that is provided with the individual surrounding substantially rectangular collar 66. In the arrangement, the bottom discharge outlets 51, etc., of the individual storage hoppers 41, etc., are disposed in a substantially horizontal common lower plane that is located well below the center sill 11 of the underframe of the car 10, as shown in FIG. 3; which lower plane is positioned appropriately above the associated railway track 14, as established by the wheels 13 of the trucks 12, for the usual road bed clearance purpose, as indicated in FIG, 1, On the other hand, the dividing bridges 31, 32

and 33 positioned at the tops of the bottom structures of the six individual storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive, are positioned above the center sill 11, as clearly shown in FIG. 3. Accordingly, the three individual storage hoppers 41, 42 and 43- disposed on the side of the car '10 adjacent to the side wall 21 are respectively provided with three downwardly tapered bottom wall structures that are arranged between the center sill 11 and the adjacent side wall 21 of the car 10, while the three individual storage hoppers, 44, 45 and 46 disposed on the side of the car "10 adjacent to the side wall 22 are respectively provided with three downwardly tapered bottom wall structures that are arranged between the center sill 11 and the adjacent side wall 22 of the car 10.

The roof 24 carries a plurality of longitudinally spacedapart filling hatches 67 on opposite sides thereof that respectively communicate with the individual ones of the storage hopper pairs 41, 44, 42, 45 and 43, 46; and each of the filling hatches 67 is provided with an individually associated removable hatch cover 68 normally arranged in sealing relation therewith.

Further, the body 28 of the car 10 is provided with six outlet nozzles 71 to 76, inclusive, respectively carried by the six collars 61 to 66, inclusive, and respectively communicating with the six bottom discharge outlets 51 to 56, inclusive, respectively provided in the six storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive. The six outlet nozzles 71 to 76, inclusive, are of identical construction and arrangement; whereby only the outlet nozzle 71 has been shown in detail in FIGS. 4 to 6, inclusive.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 to 6, inclusive, the outlet nozzle 71 comprises a hollow casing 81 terminating in an open top 82 that is surrounded by an outwardly directed substantially rectangular collar 83 that is adapted to be removably secured in place below the substantially rectangular collar 61 carried by the bottom wall structure of the storage hopper 41 disposed in surrounding relation with respect to the bottom discharge outlet 51 thereinto. More particularly, the collar 83 is arranged immediately below the collar 6-1 with a sealing gasket 84 therebetween and is secured in place by a plurality of bolts 85 projecting through aligned openings respectively formed in the collars 61 and 83 and. in the gasket 84 and respectively carrying cooperating nuts 86. Also, the casing 81 terminates in a bottom discharge opening 87 disposed directly below the top opening 8 2; which bottom discharge opening 87 is normally closed by an associated removable bottom cover 88. The cover 88 is normally retained in place by a pair of threaded studs 89 respectively carrying a pair of cooperating nuts 90. The inner ends of the studs 39 are respectively received in a cooperating pair of threaded openings provided in the bottom of the casing 81 and the intermediate portions of the studs 89 respectively project through cooperating openings provided in the bottom cover 88, and the outer ends of the threaded studs 89 respectively receive the nuts 90.

Further, the outlet nozzle 71 comprises a suction tube 91 extending longitudinally therethrough and formed integrally with the casing 8 1; and preferably the casing 81 and the suction tube 91 comprise an integral metal casting formed of a suitable aluminum alloy. The suction tube 91 is disposed below the rectangular collar 83 carried by the top of the casing 81 and the opposite ends 92 thereof extend well outwardly beyond the collar 83. Both of the ends 92 are open, and one of them is adapted to serve as an air inlet opening into the suction tube 91, and the other of them is adapted to serve as an air outlet opening from the suction tube 91. The intermediate section of the suction tube 91 is disposed [within the casing 81 and carries at the bottom thereof a communicating downwardly directed hood 93 terminating at the bottom thereof in a valve port 94 positioned directly above the bottom discharge opening 87 into the casing 81.

Also, a valve element 35 is arranged below and in cooperating relation with the valve port 94; which valve element 95 comprises a substantially rectangular metal plate-like element that is directly secured to the upper surface of a cooperating flexible diaphragm 96 that is arranged between the bottom of the casing 91 and the bottom cover 88 in its normal covering position with respect to the bottom discharge opening 87. More particularly the diaphragm 96 may be formed of a suitable sheet of rubber, or the like, and is arranged in covering rela tion with respect to the bottom discharge opening 87, the marginal portion of the diaphragm 96 being clamped in place by the bottom cover 88 upon the bottom of the casing 81 in surrounding relation with the bottom discharge opening 87. Also, the diaphragm 96 cooperates with the bottom cover 88 to define a vent chamber 97 therebetween that communicates with the atmosphere through a cooperating vent opening 98 formed in the central portion of the bottom cover 88.

-In view of the foregoing, it will be understood that the interior of the storage hopper 41 is in communication through the bottom discharge outlet 51 with the interior of the casing 81 of the outlet nozzle 71. In turn, the interior of the suction tube 91 communicates with the interior of the hood 93; and the interior of the hood 93 selectively communicates with the interior of the casing 81 through the valve port 94 depending upon the position of the valve element 95. More particularly, the valve element 95 occupies a normal lower open position with respect to the valve port 94 when the diaphragm 96 occupies its normal lower position, as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6. On the other hand, the valve element 95 occupies an operated upper closed position with respect to the valve port 94, as indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 5, when the diaphragm 96 occupies its actuated upper position, also as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6. When the valve element 95 occupies its open position with respect to the valve port 95, the bottom of the hood 93 is in open communication with the lower portion of the casing 81; and when the valve element 95 occupies its closed position with respect to the valve port 94, the communication between the bottom of the hood 93 and the interior of the casing 81 is cut-off or closed. Also, it will be understood that when the storage hopper 41 contains granular material, the same falls through the bottom discharge outlet 51 into the casing 81 and accumulates upon the upper surfaces of the valve element 95 and the diaphragm 96; whereby the valve element 95 and the diaphragm 96 are subject to the weight of granular material in the casing 81 so long as there is granular material in the storage hopper 41, thereby to bias and to maintain the valve element 95 in its open position with respect to the valve port 94. As explained more fully hereinfater, the granular material from the storage hopper 41 is unloaded via the casing 81 of the outlet nozzle 71 through the suction tube 91, the granular material proceeding from the casing 81 through the valve port 94, with the valve element 95 in its open position, and thence through the hood 93 into the suction tube 9 1. Of course, it will be understood that in this unloading operation, suction is maintained in one end 92 of the suction tube 91 and conveying air is supplied at the other end 92 of the suction tube 91. After all of the granular material has been unloaded from the storage hopper 41 and from the casing 81 of the associated outlet nozzle 71, continued suction in the suction tube 91 causes an inrush of air through the valve port 94 into the hood 93 from within the casing 81 so that the upper sides of the valve element 95 and the diaphragm 96 are subjected to a relatively low pressure that is produced by a phenomenon which is referred to as the Bernoulli effect; and concurrently, the lower side of the diaphragm 96 is subjected to atmospheric pressure in the vent chamber 97 by virtue of the communication of the vent chamber 97 with the atmosphere through the vent opening 98 provided in the bottom cover 88. Accordingly, the dififerential pressure exerted upon the diaphragm 96 causes the same to move from its normal lower position into its actuated upper position, so that the valve element is moved from its lower open position with respect to the valve port 94 into its upper closed position with respect to the valve port 94. Accordingly, it will be understood that in response to suction in the suction tube 91 and the consequent suction in the lower portion of the casing 81 after all of the granular material in the storage hopper 41 has been unloaded therefrom, the valve element 95 is automatically operated by the diaphragm 96 from its open position into its closed position with respect to the valve port 94, whereby the communication between the interior of the suction tube 91 and the interior of the casing 81 is cut-off or closed.

Also, it will be understood that the granular material in the storage hopper 41 may be directly unloaded by gravity through the bottom discharge opening 87 in the casing 81 by the removal of the bottom cover 88 from its normal closed position with respect to the bottom discharge outlet 87. More particularly, the bottom cover 88 may be removed from covering relation With respect to the bottom discharge opening 87 by removal of one of the nuts 90 from the associated one of the threaded studs 89 and by loosening of the other of the nuts 90 with respect to the associated other threaded stud 89, the bottom 88 being rotated about the retaining one of the threaded studs 89 from its covering position with respect to the bottom discharge opening 87. Of course, this gravity unloading of the storage hopper 41 through the casing 81 of the outlet nozzle 71, with the bottom cover 88 in its open position, is altogether independent of the pneumatic unloading thereof utilizing the suction tube 91 in the manner previously explained. At this point, it is noted that the crest of the intermediate portion of the suction tube 91 extending longitudinally through the easing 81 of the outlet nozzle 71 is provided with a general pyramidal configuration in lateral section, as indicated at 91a, so as to facilitate the downward slide of the granular material from the storage hopper 41 through the casing 81 and regardless of whether pneumatic unloading or gravity unloading of the granular material through the outlet nozzle 71 is employed.

Again referring to FIGS. 1 and 3 of the drawings, it is pointed out that the tapered bottom structures of the storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive, are reinforced by foot structures 101 and 102 respectively carried by the lower ends of the dividing walls 27 and 28; which foot structures are supported directly upon the upper surface of the center sill 11. Also, the tapered bottom structures of the storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive, are reinforced by a plurality of substantially triangular gusset plates 103 that are secured to the adjacent sides of the center sill 1 1, as best shown in FIG. 3.

Further, the body 20 carries a first laterally extending tubular fixture disposed adjacent to the side wall 21 and a second laterally extending tubular fixture disposed adjacent to the side wall 22. The tubular fixture 110 is located below the tapered bottom structure of the storage hopper 42 adjacent to the dividing wall 27, and the tubular fixture 120 is located below the tapered bottom structure of the storage hopper 45 adjacent to the dividing wall 28; whereby the two tubular fixtures 110 and 128 are located in an upper substantially horizontal common plane disposed well above the lower plane of the bottom discharge outlets 51 to 56, inclusive, of the storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive, as best shown in FIG. 3. The outer end of the tubular fixture 1 10 provides an air outlet opening 111 communicating therewith and terminates in a box 112 arranged in the side wall 21; which box 112 carries a closure member in the form of a hinged cover 113 selectively cooperating with the air outlet opening 111 and readily accessible from the exterior of the car 10 adjacent to the side Wall 21. Similarly, the outer end of the tubular fixture 120 provides an air outlet opening 121 communicating therewith and terminates in a box 122 arranged in the side wall 22; which box 122 carries a closure member in the form of a hinged cover 123 selectively cooperating with the air outlet opening 121 and readily accessible from the exterior of the car 10 adjacent the side wall 22.

The inner end of the tubular fixture 110 provides an air inlet opening 114 communicating therewith, and cooperates with an associated air inlet member 115 that is selectively operative into open and closed positionswith respect thereto; which air inlet member 115 is carried by a laterally extending and rotatably mounted control rod 116 projecting through the side wall 22 and terminating in a cooperating manually operable handle 117 disposed exteriorly of the side wall 22 and readily operable from the outside of the car 10. Similarly, the inner end of the tubular fixture 120 provides an air inlet opening :124 communicating therewith, and coopera-tes with an associated air inlet member 125 that is selectively operative into open and closed positions with respect thereto; which air inlet member 125 is carried by a laterally extending and rotatably mounted control rod 126 projecting through the side wall 21 and terminating in a cooperating manually operable handle 127 disposed exteriorly of the side wall 21 and readily operable from the outside of the car 10.

As best shown in FIGS. '1 and 2, the central portion of the tubular fixture 110 is provided with a pair of communicating tubular arms 118 and 119 extending downwardly and inwardly therefrom and respectively directed toward the opposite end walls 23 of the body 20; and similarly, the central portions of the tubular fixture 120 is provided with a pair of communicating tubular arms 128 and 129 extending downwardly and inwardly therefrom and respectively directed toward the opposite end walls 23 of the body 20.

Finally, the body 20 carries a conduit system including two branches extending in parallel relation with each other between the tubular fixtures 11% and 120 a first of these branches connecting in series relation the outlet nozzles 71, 74 and 75, and a second of these branches connecting in series relation the outlet nozzles 72, 73 and 76. More particularly, the first branch mentioned includes a first section of tubing 131 extending between the arm 118 of the tubular fixture 1'10 and one end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 73, a second section of tubing 132 extending between the other end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 71 and one end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 74, a third section of tubing 133 extending between the other end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 74 and one end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 75, and a fourth section of tubing 134 extending between the other end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 75 and the arm 129 of the tubular fixture 120. The second branch mentioned includes a first section of tubing 141 extending between the arm 128 of the tubular fixture 120 and one end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 76, a second section of tubing 142 extending between the other end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 7 6 and one end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 73, a third section of tubing 143 extending between the other end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 73 and one end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle 72, and a fourth section of tubing 144 extending between the other end of the suction tube of the outlet nozzle '72 and the arm 119 of the tubular fixture 110.

In a constructional example of the railway car 10, the two tubular fixtures 110 and 120 may be located somewhat in excess of 4 ft. above the rails of the railway track 14 as established by the trucks 12. Also, the two tubular fixtures 110 and 120 are identical; and the main barrel of the tubular fixture 110 may have an inside diameter of 5", and each of the arms 118 and 119 thereof may have: an inside diameter of 4. The sections of tubing 131, 132, 133', 134, 141, 142, 143 and 144' may be formed of fabric reinforced rubber hose of suitable lengths for the connecting purposes; and the inside diameter of each of the sections of the tubing 131, etc., may be somewhat in excess of 4", so that the outer ends thereof may be readily slipped over the outer ends of the arms 118', etc., and the outer ends of the suction tubes incorporated in the outlet nozzle 71, etc., and suitably secured in place in any suitable manner, not shown. Likewise, each of the suction tubes incorporated in each of the outlet nozzles 71, etc., may have an inside diameter of 4" corresponding to the inside diameter of each of the arms 118, etc. Moreover, the various sections of tubing 131, etc., may be appropriately braced with respect to the structural elements of the underfrarne of the car 16 in any suitable manner to prevent undesirable sagging thereof or interference with the normal operative elements of the railway car 10. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 3, the two sections of tubing 132 and 142 may be suitably connected to the center sill 11 employing the U-bolts 152 and 153, respectively, and so as to prevent undue and undesirable sagging of these two sections of tubing 132 and 142.

The other structural dimensions of the elements of each of the outlet nozzles 71, etc., are proportionately related to the diameter of the suction tube 91 thereof, as illustrated (substantially to a related scale) in FIGS. 4 to 6', inclusive, the internal diameter of the suction tube 91 being 4", as previously noted.

Considering now the pneumatic unloading of the granular material from each of the storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive, it is noted that this unloading may be effected from either side of the car 10, utilizing the appropriate one of the tubular fixtures or 120. Assuming that the unloading mentioned is to take place from the side of the car 10 adjacent to the side wall 21, the tubular fixture 110 is employed; whereby the closure member 113 carried by the box 112 is operated into its open position with respect to the outlet opening 111 provided in the outer end of the tubular fixture 110; and, of course, the suction conduit, not shown, is connected to the outlet end of the tubular fixture 110 that is adapted detachably to receive the same. Also, the handle 127 disposed on the side of the car adjacent to the side Wall 21 is manipulated so as to operate the air inlet member 125 into its open position with respect to the inlet opening 124 provided at the inner end of the tubular fixture 120, so as to accommodate the admission of conveying air into the tubular fixture 120. Also, ordinarily the air inlet member 115 is operated from the side of the car adjacent to the side wall 21 slightly into an open position with respect to the air inlet opening 114 provided into the tubular member 110 so as to accommodate the admission of at least a small amount of bleeder air through the air inlet opening 114 into the tubular fixture 110. When the suction machine, not shown, is operated to produce suction in the suction conduit, not shown, that is connected to the tubular fixture 110, a suction condition is effected in the tubular fixture 110 and consequently in the two arms 1'18 and 119 thereof. The suction condition in the arm 118 effects the flow of conveying air from the tubular fixture 12th through the first mentioned branch of the conduit system into the tubular fixture 110 via the suction tubes of the three outlet nozzles 75, 74 and 71 in series relation. Likewise, the suction condition in the arm 119 effects the flow of conveying air from the tubular fixture 121} through the second mentioned branch of the conduit system from the tubular fixture 110 via the suction tubes of the three outlet nozzles 7 6, 73 and 72 in series relation. The conveying air is supplied into the tubular fixture via the air inlet opening 124 with the air inlet member 125 in its open position. Also, ordinarily, a small amount of bleeder air is directly supplied into the tubular fixture 110 through the air inlet opening 114 with the air inlet member 115 in its slightly open position. The suction in the first branch of the conduit system elfects unloading of the storage hoppers 41, 44 and 45 through the respec tive bottom discharge outlets '1, 54 and 55 and through the respective outlet nozzles 71, 74 and 75, since the valve element in each of the outlet nozzles 71, etc., occupies its open position at this time, as previously explained. The suction in the second branch of the conduit system effects unloading of the three storage hoppers 42, 43 and 46 through the respective bottom discharge outlets 52, 53 and 56 and through the respective outlet nozzles 72, 73 and 76, since the valve element in each of the outlet nozzles 72, etc., occupies its open position at this time, as previously explained. Accordingly, the six storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive, are simultaneously unloaded through the two branches of the conduit system into the tubular fixture 110 and thus into the connected suction conduit.

When any one of the storage hoppers 41, etc. is completely unloaded, the valve element in the associated outlet nozzle 71, etc., is operated into its closed position with respect to the valve port in the associated suction tube, thereby to cut-off the communication between the empty storage hopper 41, etc., and the associated branch of the conduit system, so that the granular material in the other two of the three storage hoppers 72, etc., connected thereunder may be further unloaded.

When all three of the storage hoppers connected to one branch of the conduit system are unloaded, and prior to the unloading of all of the other three of the storage hoppers connected to the other branch of the conduit system, it may be necessary to close the air inlet member 1 15 with respect to the air inlet opening 114 into the as sociated tubular fixture 110, so as to cut-down upon the amount of bleeder air supplied thereto by virtue of the open condition of the branch of the conduit system to which there are connected the three closed storage hoppers. Specifically, when the three storage hoppers 41, 44 and 45 connected to the first branch of the conduit system have been unloaded, prior to the unloading of each of the three storage hoppers 42, 43 and 46 connected to the second branch of the conduit system, it is desirable to close the air inlet member 115 with respect to the air inlet opening 114 into the tubular fixture 1 10 by virtue of the fact that there is already a bleeder air passage through the first branch of the conduit system between the tubular fixtures 120 and 110.

After all six of the storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive, have been unloaded from the tubular fixture 110, the suction conduit is disconnected therefrom, and the associated closure member 113 is returned back into its closed position with respect to the air outlet opening '111 into the tubular fixture 110. Also at this time, the handle 127 is manipulated so as to return the air inlet member 125 into its closed position with respect to the air inlet opening 124 into the tubular fixture 120. Of course, when the suction condition in the conduit system is thus relieved, all of the valve elements incorporated in the outlet nozzles 71 to 76, inclusive, are returned back into their normal open positions, in the manner previously explained.

As noted above, all six of the storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive, may be unloaded in a substantially identical manner from the other side of the car 10 adjacent to the side wall 22 by the utilization of the tubular fixture 120 as the suction fixture and by the utilization of the fixture 110 as the conveying air inlet fixture. In this case, the handle 1'17 disposed adjacent to the side Wall 22 is manipulated so as to operate the air inlet member 115 into its open position with respect to the air inlet opening 114 into the tubular fixture 11!]; whereby in this case, the conveying air is supplied through the tubular fixture 110 and thence through the two branches of the conveying systern in the opposite directions thereof and into the tubular fixture 120 that is in this case connected to the suction conduit. The unloading of the six storage hoppers 41 to 46, inclusive, proceeds in this case in the same manner as that described above.

Again referring to FIGS. 4 to 6, inclusive, it is pointed out that each of the outlet nozzles '71, etc., is self-regulating with respect to the rate of supply of the granular material from the associated storage hopper 41, etc., into the conveying system and is non-overloading with respect to the supply of the granular material into the conveying system. These actions may be readily understood in conjunction wth the mode of operation of the outlet nozzle 71, assuming that the granular material is being unloaded via the tubular fixture from the three storage hoppers 41, 44 and 45. In this case, the flow of the granular material through the suction tube 91 is from the left-hand end 92 thereof toward the righthand end 92 thereof, as shown in FIG. 5. In this case, in the event substantial granular material is being supplied to the conveying system from the preceding storage hoppers 54 and 55, there will be substantial movement of the granular material from the left-hand end 92 of the suction tube 91 toward the right-hand end 9-2 of the suction tube 91, with the result that there will be substantial movement of the granular material through the suction tube 91 over the top of the hood 93, whereby the suction effected through the hood 93 into the lower portion of the casing 81 of the outlet nozzle 71 is correspondingly reduced. This reduction in the suction in the hood 93 correspondingly reduces the rate at which granular material is added into the conveying system from the storage hopper 41 through the casing 81 of the outlet nozzle 71. Accordingly, the arrangement renders the outlet nozzle 71 self-regulating with respect to the rate of supply of granular material from the storage hopper 41 via the outlet nozzle 71 into the conveying system. This same regulation takes place in each of the outlet nozzles 71 to 76, inclusive, thereby preventing overloading of both of the branches of the conduit system, and consequently of the suction conduit connected to the tubular fixture 110 in the present case.

In View of the foregoing, it is apparent that there has been provided in apparatus for storing granular material, an outlet nozzle of improved construction and arrangement incorporating an automatically operated valve for selectively controlling the communication between the casing thereof and the suction tube thereof in response to respective loaded and unloaded conditions of the connected storage hopper. Also, there has been provided in a railway hopper car, an improved and simplified combination gravity unloading and pneumatic unloading system, wherein each of the plurality of storage hoppers incorporated therein may be individually unloaded on a gravity basis, and wherein each of the plurality of stor age hoppers incorporated therein may be simultaneously unloaded on a pneumatic basis. In the system, when the pneumatic unloading arrangement is employed, all of the storage hoppers may be simultaneously unloaded from either side of the railway car, utilizing the corresponding one of two tubular fixtures respectively disposed on the opposite sides of the car body.

While there has been described what is at present considered to be the preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be understood that various modifications may be made therein, and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In apparatus for storing granular material, structure defining a plurality of storage hoppers respectively provided with a plurality of bottom discharge outlets, a plurality of outlet nozzles respectively carried by said storage hoppers, each of said outlet nozzles including a casing disposed below the bottom outlet in the associated one of said storage hoppers and communicating therewith, each of said outlet nozzles also including a suction tube extending through the lower portion of the associated casing for unloading the granular material from the associated one of said storage hoppers, the intermediate section of each of said tubes being disposed within the associated casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof and communicating with the lower portion of the associated casing, each of said outlet nozzles further including a valve element arranged in the lower portion of the associated casing and disposed below the valve port in the associated tube and cooperating therewtih, whereby the interior of each of said tubes is in communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its open position with respect to the associated valve port and the interior of each of said tubes is cut-oti from communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its closed position with respect to the associated valve port, each of said suction nozzles further including actuating means for selectively operating the associated valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to the associated valve port, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its open position with respect to the associated valve port in response to the presence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its closed position with respect to the associated valve port jointly in response to suction in the associated tube and to the absence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, a first fixture providing an air inlet opening communicating therewith, an air inlet member operatively associated with said air inlet opening, means for selectively operating said air inlet member between open and closed positions with respect to said air inlet opening, a second fixture providing an air outlet opening communicating therewith, a closure member removably carried by said second fixture and selectively cooperating with said air outlet opening, and a conduit system extending between said first and second fixtures and commonly connected to said tubes, said second fixture being adapted to be connected to a suction conduit communicating with said air outlet opening when said closure member is removed from said second fixture, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said first fixture with said air inlet member in its open position and thence through said conduit system into said second fixture and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said second fixture with the result that the granular material in said plurality of storage hoppers is unloaded therefrom into said respective casings and proceeds therefrom through said respective valve ports with said respective valve elements in their open positions and into said respective tubes and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said conduit system into the suction conduit connected to said second fixture.

2. The apparatus set forth in claim 1, wherein a plurality of said tubes are connected in series relation with each other in said conduit system.

3 The apparatus set forth in claim 1, wherein a plurality of said tubes are connected in parallel relation with each other in said conduit system.

4. In apparatus for storing granular material, structure defining a plurality of storage hoppers respectively provided with a plurality of bottom discharge outlets, a plurality of outlet nozzles respectively carried by said storage hoppers, each of said outlet nozzles including a casing disposed below the bottom outlet in the associated one of said storage hoppers and communicating therewith, each of said outlet nozzles also including a suction tube extending through the lower portion of the associated casing for unloading the granular material from the associated one of said storage hoppers, the intermediate section of each of said tubes being disposed within the associated casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof and communicating with the lower portion of the associated casing, each of said outlet nozzles further including a valve element arranged in the lower portion of the associated casing and disposed below the valve port in the associated tube and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of each of said tubes is in communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its open position with respect to the associated valve port and the interior of each of said tubes is cut-off from communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its closed position with respect to the associated valve port, each of said suction nozzles further including actuating means for selectively operating the associated valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to the associated valve port, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its open position with respect to the associated valve port in response to the presence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its closed position with respect to the associated valve port jointly in response to suction in the associated tube and to the absence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, a first fixture providing an air inlet opening communicating therewith, an air inlet member oper-atively associated with said air inlet opening, means for selectively operating said air inlet member between open and closed positions with respect to said air inlet opening, a second fixture providing an air outlet opening communicating therewith, a closure member removably carried by said second fixture and selectively cooperating with said air outlet opening, and a conduit system including two branches extending in parallel relation with each other between said first and second fixtures, one of said branches connecting in series relation with each other a first plurality of said tubes and the other of said branches connecting in series relation with each other a second plurality of said tubes, said second fixture being adapted to be connected to a suction conduit communicating with said air outlet opening when said closure member is removed from said second fixture, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said first fixture with said air inlet member in its open position and thence through said conduit system into said second fixture and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said second fixture with the result that the granular material in said plurality of storage hoppers is unloaded therefrom into said respective casings and proceeds therefrom through said respective valve ports with said respective valve elements in their open positions and into said respective tubes and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said conduit system into the suction conduit connected to said second fixture.

5. In apparatus for storing granular material, structure defining a plurality of storage hoppers respectively provided with a plurality of bottom discharge outlets, a plurality of outlet nozzles respectively carried by said storage hoppers, each of said outlet nozzles including a casing disposed below the bottom outlet in the associated one of said storage hoppers and communicating therewith, each of said outlet nozzles also including a suction tube extending through the lower portion of the associated casing for unloading the granular material from the associated one of said storage hoppers, the intermediate section of each of said tubes being disposed within the associated casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof and communicating with .the lower portion of the associated casing, each of said outlet nozzles further including a valve element arranged in the lower portion of the associated casing and disposed below the valve port in the associated tube and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of each of said tubes is in communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its open position with respect to the associated valve port and the interior of each of said tubes is cut-01f from communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its closed position with respect to the associated valve port, each of said suction nozzles further including actuating means for selectively operating the associated valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to the associated valve port, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its open position with respect to the associated valve port in response to the presence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its closed position with respect to the associated valve port jointly in response to suction in the associated tube and to the absence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, a first fixture providing both a first air inlet opening and a first air outlet opening communicating therewith, a first air inlet member operatively associated with said first air inlet opening, first means for selectively operating said first air inlet member between open and closed positions with respect to said first air inlet opening, a first closure member removably carried by said first fixture and selectively cooperating with said first air outlet opening, a second fixture providing both a second air inlet opening and a second air outlet opening communicating therewith, a second air inlet member operatively associated with said second air inlet opening, second means for selectively operating said second air inlet member between open and closed positions with respect to said second air inlet opening, a second closure member removably carried by said second fixture and selectively cooperating with said second air outlet opening, and a conduit system extending between said first and second fixtures and commonly connected to said tubes, either one of said fixtures being adapted to be connected to a suction conduit communicating with the associated air outlet opening when the associated closure member is removed from said one fixture, whereby conveying air may be supplied through the air inlet opening into the other of said fixtures with the associated air inlet member in its open position and thence through said conduit system into said one fixture and then through the associated air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said one fixture with the result that the granular material in said plurality of said storage hoppers is unloaded therefrom into said respective casings and proceeds therefrom through said respective valve ports with said respective valve elements in their open positions and into said respective tubes and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said conduit system into the suction conduit connected to said one fixture.

6. In a railway car for transporting granular material, a body, structure defining a plurality of storage hoppers in said body and respectively provided with a plurality of bottom discharge outlets, a plurality of outlet nozzles respectively carried by said storage hoppers, each of said outlet nozzles including a casing disposed below the bottom outlet in the associated one of said storage hoppers and communicating therewith, each of said outlet nozzles also including a suction tube extending through the lower portion of the associated casing for unloading the granular material from the associated one of said storage hoppers, the intermediate section of each of said tubes being disposed within the associated casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof and communicating with the lower portion of the associated casing, each of said outlet nozzles further including a valve element arranged in the lower portion of the associated casing and disposed below the valve port in the associated tube and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of each of said tubes is in communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its open position with respect to the associated valve port and the interior of each of said tubes is cut-ofi from communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its closed position with respect to the associated valve port, each of said suction nozzles further including actuating means for selectively operating the associated valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to the associated valve port, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its open position with respect to the associated valve port in response to the presence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, each of said valve element-s being operated by the associated actuating means into its closed position with respect to the associated valve port jointly in response to suction in the associated tube and to the absence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, a first fixture located on one side of said body and providing both a first air inlet opening and a first air outlet opening communicating therewith, a firs-t air inlet member operatively associated with said first air inlet opening, first means located at the other side of said body for selectively operating said first air inlet member between open and closed positions with respect to said first air inlet opening, a first closure member removably carried by said first fixture and selectively cooperating with said first air outlet opening, a second fixture located on the other side of said body and providing both a second air inlet opening and a second air outlet opening communicating therewith, a second air inlet member operatively associated with said second air inlet opening, second means located at said one side of said body for selectively operating said second air inlet member between open and closed positions with respect to said second air inlet opening, a second closure member removably carried by said second fixture and selectively cooperating with said second air outlet opening, and a conduit system extending between said first and second fixtures and commonly connected to said tubes, either one of said fixtures being adapted to be connected to a suction conduit communicating with the associated air outlet opening when the associated closure member is removed from said one fixture, whereby conveying air may be supplied through the air inlet opening into the other of said fixtures with the associated air inlet member in its open position and thence through said conduit system into said one fixture and then through the associated air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said one fixture with the result that the granular material in said plurality of said storage hoppers is unloaded therefrom into said respective casings and proceeds therefrom through said respective valve ports with said respective valve elements in their open positions and into said respective tubes and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said conduit system into the suction conduit connected to said one fixture.

7. In a railway car for transporting granular material, a body, structure defining a plurality of storage hoppers in said body and respectively provided with a plurality of bottom discharge outlets, a plurality of outlet nozzles respectively carried by said storage hoppers, each of said outlet nozzles including a casing disposed below the bottom outlet in the associated one of said storage hoppers and communicating therewith, each of said outlet nozzles also including a suction tube extending through the lower portion of the associated casing for unloading the granular material from the associated one of said storage hoppers, the intermediate section of each of said tubes being disposed within the associated casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof and communicating with the lower portion of the associated casing, each of said outlet nozzles further including a valve element arranged in the lower portion of the associated casing and disposed below the valve port in the associated tube and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of each of said tubes is in communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its open position with respect to the associated valve port and the interior of each of said tubes is cut-off from communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its closed position with respect to the associated valve port, each of said suction nozzles further including actuating means for selectively operating the associated valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to the associated valve port, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its open position with respect to the associated valve port in response to the presence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its closed position with respect to the associated valve port jointly in response to suction in the associated tube and to the absence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, a first fixture located on one side of said body and providing both a first air inlet opening and a first air outlet opening communicating therewith, a first air inlet member operatively associated with said first air inlet opening, first means located at the other side of said body for selectively operating said first air inlet member between open and closed positions with respect to said first air inlet opening, a first closure mem: ber removably carried by said first fixture and selectively cooperating with said first air outlet opening, a second fixture located on the other side of said body and providing both a second air inlet opening and a second air outlet opening communicating therewith, a second air inlet member operatively associated with said second air inlet opening, second means located at said one side of said body for selectively operating said second air inlet member between open and closed positions with respect to said second air inlet opening, a second closure member removably carried by said second fixture and selectively cooperating with said second air outlet opening, and a conduit system including two bracches extending in parallel relation with each other between said first and second fixtures, one of said branches connecting in series relation with each other a first plurality of said tubes and the other of said branches connecting in series relation with each other a second plurality of said tubes, either one of said fixtures being adapted to be connected to a suction conduit communicating with the associated air outlet opening when the associated closure member is removed from said one fixture, whereby conveying air may be supplied through the air inlet opening into the other of said fixtures with the associated air inlet member in its open position and thence through said conduit system into said one fixture and then through the associated air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said one fixture with the result that the granular material in said plurality of said storage hoppers is unloaded therefrom into said respective casings and proceeds therefrom through said respective valve ports with said respective valve elements in their open positions and into said respective tubes and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said conduit system into the suction conduit connected to said one fixture.

8. In a railway car for transporting granular material, .a body, structure defining a plurality of storage hoppers in said body, each one of said storage hoppers being provided with a downwardly tapered bottom wall terhoppers, the intermediate section of each of said tubes being disposed within the associated casing and having a valve port provided in, the bottom thereof and communicating with the lower portion of the associated casing, each of said outlet nozzles further including a valve element arranged in the lower portion of the associated casing and disposed below the valve port in the associated tube and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of each of said tubes is in communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its open position with respect to the associated valve port and the interior of each of said tubes is cut-off from communication with the lower portion of the associated casing when the associated valve element occupies its closed position'with respect to the associated valve port, each of said suction nozzles further including actuating means for selectively operating the associated valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to the associated valve port, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its open position with respect to the associated valve port in response to the presence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hopper-s, each of said valve elements being operated by the associated actuating means into its closed position with respect to the associated valve port jointly in response to suction in the associated tube and to the absence of granular material in the associated one of said storage hoppers, a first fixture located on one side of said body and providing both a first air inlet opening and a first air outlet opening communicating therewith, a first air inlet member operatively associated with said first air inlet opening, first means located at the other side of said body for selectively operating said first air in} let member between open and closed positions with respect to said first air inlet opening, a first closure'member removably carried by said first fixture and selectively cooperating with said first air outlet opening, a second fixture located on the other side of said body and providing both a second air inlet opening and a second air outlet opening communicating therewith, a second air inlet member operatively associated with said second air inlet opening, second means located at said one side of said body for selectively operating said second air inlet member between open and closed positions with respect to said second air inlet opening, a second closure member removably carried by said second fixture and selectively cooperating with said second air outlet opening, said first fixture being located between and exteriorly of the downwardly tapered bottom walls of an adjacent pair of said storage hoppers located on said one side of said body, said second fixture being located between and exteriorly of the downwardly tapered bottom walls of an adjacent pair of said storage hoppers located on said other side of said body, said first and second fixtures being disposed in a substantially horizontal upper plane positioned well above said first plane in orderthat said first and second air inlet openings are positioned well above a railway track supporting said railway car, and a conduit system extending between said first and second fixtures and commonly connected to said tubes, either one of said fixtures being adapted to be connected to a suction conduit communicating with the associated air outlet opening when the associated closure member is removed from said one fixture, whereby conveying air may be supplied through the air inlet opening into the other of said fixtures with the associated air inlet member in its open position and thence through said conduit system into said one fixture and then through the associated air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said one fixture with the result that the granular material in said plurality of said storage hoppers is unloaded therefrom into said respective casings and proceeds therefrom through said respective valve ports with said respective valve elements in their open positions and into 17 said respective tubes and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said conduit system into the suction conduit connected to said one fixture.

9. In apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet; an outlet nozzle comprising a casing carried by said storage hopper and disposed below said bottom outlet and communicating therewith, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of said casing for unloading the granular material from said storage hopper through said casing, one end of said tube providing an air inlet opening thereinto and the other end of said tube providing an air outlet opening therefrom, the intermediate section of said tube being disposed within said casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof, a valve element arranged in the lower portion of said casing below said valve port and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of said tube is in communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its open position with respect to said valve port and the interior of said tube is cut-off from communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its closed position with respect to said valve port, actuating means for selectively operating said valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to said valve port, said actuating means being responsive to the presence of granular material in said casing to actuate said valve element into its open position and being responsive jointly to the absence of granular material in said casing and to suction therein to actuate said valve element into its closed position, and a fixture communicating with said other end of said tube and adapted to be connected to a suction conduit, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said tube and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said fixture with the result that the granular material in said storage hopper is unloaded therefrom into said casing and proceeds therefrom through said valve port with said valve element in its open position and into said tube and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said tube into the suction conduit connected to said fixture.

10. The apparatus for storing granular material set forth in claim 9, wherein said casing and said tube comprise an integral metal casing.

11. In apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet; an outlet nozzle comprising a casing carried by said storage hopper and disposed below said bottom outlet and communicating therewith, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of said casing for unloading the granular material from said storage hopper through said casing, one end of said tube providing an air inlet opening thereinto and the other end of said tube providing an air outlet opening there from, the intermediate section of said tube being disposed within said casing and carrying at the bottom thereof a communicating downwardly directed hood terminating in a valve port positioned above the bottom wall of said casing, a valve element arranged in the lower portion of said casing below said valve port and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of said tube is in communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its open position with respect to said valve port and the interior of said tube is cut-off fromcommunication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its closed position with respect to said valve port, actuating means for selectively operating said valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to said valve port, said actuating means being responsive to the presence of granular material in said casing to actuate said valve element into its open position and being responsive jointly to the absence of granular material in said casing and to suction therein to actuate said valve element into its closed position, and a fixture communicating with said other end of said tube and adapted to be connected to a suction conduit, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said tube and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said fixture with the result that the granular material in said storage hopper is unloaded therefrom into said casing and proceeds therefrom through said valve port with said valve element in its open position and through said hood and into said tube and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said tube into the suction conduit connected to said fixture.

12. In apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet; an outlet nozzle comprising a casing carried by said storage hopper and disposed below said bottom outlet and communicating therewith, said casing having a bottom discharge opening therein, a bottom cover removably carried by said casing and selectively cooperating with said bottom discharge opening, whereby the granular material may be unloaded from said storage hopper through said casing when said bottom cover is removed from covering relation with said bottom discharge opening, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of said casing for unloading the granular material from said storage hopper through said casing when said bottom cover is in covering relation with said bottom discharge opening, one end of said tube providing an air inlet opening thereinto and the other end of said tube providing an air outlet opening therefrom, the intermediate section of said tube being disposed within said casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof, a valve element arranged in the lower portion of said casing below said valve port and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of said tube is in communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its open position with respect to said valve port and the interior of said tube is cut-ofi from communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its closed position with respect to said valve port, actuating means for selectively operating said valve element be tween its open and closed positions with respect to said valve port, said actuating means being responsive to the presence of granular material in said casing to actuate said valve element into its open position and being responsive jointly to the absence of granular material in said casing and to suction therein to actuate said valve element into its closed position, and a fixture communicating with said other end of said tube and adapted to be connected to a suction conduit, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said tube and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said fixture with the result that the granular material in said storage hopper is unloaded therefrom into said casing and proceeds therefrom through said valve port with said valve element in its open position and into said tube and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said tube into the suction oo-nduit connected to said fixture.

13. In apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet; an outlet nozzle comprising a casing'carried by said storage hopper and disposed below said bottom outlet and communicating therewith, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of said casing for unloading the granular material from said storage hopper through said casing, one end of said tube providing an air inlet opening there-into and the other end of said tube providing an air outlet opening therefrom, the intermediate section of said tube being disposed within said casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof, a valve element arranged in the lower portion of said casing below said valve port and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of said tube is in communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its open position with respect to said valve port and the interior of said tube is cut-off from communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its closed position with respect to said valve port, a diaphragm arranged in the lower portion of said casing and cooperating therewith to define a vent chamber therebelow that is in communication with the atmosphere, whereby the upper side of said diaphragm is subject to the pressure in the lower portion of said casing and the lower side of said diaphragm is subject to the pressure in said vent chamber, the upper side of said diaphragm also being subject to the weight of granular material in said casing so long as there is granular material in said storage hopper, whereby said diaphragm is moved from a normal lower position into an actuated upper position in response to suction in the lower portion of said casing after all of the granular material in said storage hopper has been unloaded therefrom through said casing into said tube, means responsive to movement of said diaphragm into its normal pos-ition for operating said valve element into its open position with respect to said valve port and responsive to movement of said diaphragm into its actuated position for operating said valve element into its closed position with respect to said valve port, and a fixture communicating with said other end of said tube and adapted to be connected to a suction conduit, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said tube and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said fixture with the result that the granular material in said storage hopper is unloaded therefrom into said casing and proceeds therefrom through said valve port with said valve element in its open position and into said tube and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said tube into the suction conduit connected to said fixture.

14. In apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet; an outlet nozzle comprising a casing carried by said storage hopper and disposed below said bottom outlet and communicating therewith, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of said casing for unloading the granular material from said storage hopper through said casing, one end of said tube providing an air inlet opening thereinto and the other end of said tube providing an air outlet opening therefrom, the intermediate section of said tube being disposed with in said casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof, a valve element arranged in the lower portion of said casing below said valve port and cooperat-- ing therewith, whereby the interior of said tube is in communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its open position with respect to said valve port and the interior of said tube is cut-01f from communication with. the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its closed position with respect to said valve port, a diaphragm arranged in the bottomfof said casing below said valve element and secured thereto. said diaphragm cooperating with the bottom wall of said casing to define a vent chamber therebelow that is in communication with the atmosphere. whereby said valve element and the upper side of said diaphragm are subject to the pressure in the lower portion of said casing and the lower side of said diaphragm is subject to the pressure in said vent chamber, said valve element and the upper side of said diaphragm also being subject to the weight of granular material in said casing so long as there is granular material in said storage hopper, whereby said valve element and said diaphragm are moved together from a normal lower position into an actuated upper position in response to suction in the lower portion of said casing after all of the granular material in said storage hopper has been unloaded therefrom through said easing into said tube, said valve element in its normal lower position occupying its open position with respect to said valve port and said valve element in its actuated upper position occupying its closed position with respect to said valve port, and a fixture communicating with said other end of said tube and adapted to be connected to a suction conduit, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said tube and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said fixture with the result that the granular material in said storage hopper is unloaded therefrom into said casing and proceeds therefrom through said valve port with said valve element in its open position and into said tube and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said tube into the suction conduit connected to said fixture.

15 In apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet; an outlet nozzle compris ing a casing carried by said storage hopper and disposed below said bottom outlet and communicating therewith, said casing having a bottom opening therein, a bottom cover carried by said casing in covering relation with said bottom opening, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of said casing for unloading the granular material from said storage hopper through said casing, one end of said tube providing an air inlet opening thereinto and the other end of said tube providing an air outlet opening therefrom, the intermediate section of said tube being disposed within said casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof, a valve element arranged in the lower portion of said casing below said valve port and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of said tube is in communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its open position with respect to said valve port and the interior of said tube is cut-ofi from communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its closed position with respect to said valve port, a diaphragm arranged in the bottom of said casing in covering relation with said bottom opening and adjacent to the upper side of said bottom cover, said bottom cover having a vent opening therein communicating between the atmos phere and a vent chamber defined between the lower side of said diaphragm and the adjacent upper side of said bottom cover, said valve element being directly secured to the upper side of said diaphragm and movable there with, whereby said valve element and the upper side of said diaphragm are subject to the pressure in the lower portion of said casing and the lower side of said dia-' phragm is subject to the pressure in said vent chamber, said valve element and the upper side of said diaphragm also being subject to the weight of granular material in said casing so long as there is granular material in said storage hopper, whereby said diaphragm and said valve element are moved together from a normal lower position into an actuated upper position in response to suction in the lower portion of said casing after all of the granular material in said storage hopper has been unloaded therefrom through said casing into said tube, said valve ele ment in its normal lower position occupying its open position with respect to said valve port and said valve element in its actuated upper position occupying its closed position with respect to said valve port, and a fixture communicating with said other end of said tube and adapted to be connected to a suction conduit, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said tube and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said fixture with the result that the granular material in said storage hopper is unloaded therefrom into said casing and proceeds therefrom through said valve port with said valve element in its open position and into said tube and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said tube into the suction conduit connected to said fixture.

16. In apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet; an outlet nozzle comprising a casing carried by said storage hopper and disposed below said bottom outlet and communicating therewith, said casing having a bottom discharge opening therein, a bottom cover removably carried by said casing and selectively cooperating with said bottom discharge opening, whereby the granular material may be unloaded from said storage hopper through said casing when said bottom cover is removed from covering relation with said bottom discharge opening, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of said casing for unloading the granular material from said storage hopper through said casing when said bottom cover is in covering relation with said bottom discharge opening, one end of said tube providing an air inlet opening thereinto and the other end of said tube providing an air outlet opening therefrom, the intermediate section of said tube being disposed within said casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof, a valve element arranged in the lower portion of said casing below said valve port and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of said tube is in communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its open position with respect to said valve port and the interior of said tube is cut-off from communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its closed position with respect to said valve port, a diaphragm arranged in the bottom of said casing in covering relation with said bottom discharge opening and adjacent to the upper side of said bottom cover when it is in covering relation with said bottom discharge opening, said bottom cover having a vent opening therein communicating between the atmosphere and a vent chamber defined between the lower side of said diaphragm and the adjacent upper side of said bottom cover, whereby the upper side of said diaphragm is subject to the pressure in the lower portion of said casing and the lower side of said diaphragm is subject to the pressure in said vent chamber, the upper side of said diaphragm also being subject to the weight of granular material in said casing so long as there is granular material in said storage hopper, whereby said diaphragm is moved from a normal lower position into an actuated upper position in response to suction in the lower portion of said casing after all of the granular material in said storage hopper has been unloaded therefrom through said easing into said tube, means responsive to movement of said diaphragm into its normal position for operating said valve element into its open position with respect to said valve port and responsive to movement of said diaphragm into its actuated position for operating said valve element into its closed position with respect to said valve port, and a fixture communicating with said other end of said tube and adapted to be connected to a suction conduit, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said tube and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said fixture with the result that the granular material in said storage hopper is unloaded therefrom into said casing and proceeds therefrom through said valve port with said valve element in its open position and into said tube and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said tube into the suction conduit connected to said fixture.

17. In apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet; an outlet nozzle comprising a casing carried by said storage hopper and disposed below said bottom outlet and communicating therewith, said casing having a bottom discharge opening therein, a bottom cover removably carried by said casing and selectively cooperating with said bottom discharge opening, whereby the granular material may be unloaded from said storage hopper through said casing when said bottom cover is removed from covering relation with said bottom discharge opening, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of said casing for unloading the granular material from said storage hopper through said casing when said bottom cover is in covering relation with said bottom discharge opening, one end of said tube providing an air inlet opening thereinto and the other end of said tube providing an air outlet opening therefrom, the intermediate section of said tube being disposed within said casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof, a valve element arranged in the lower portion of said casing below said valve port and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of said tube is in communication with the lower portion ofsaid casing when said valve element occupies its open position with respect to said valve port and the interior of said tube is cut-off from communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its closed position with respect to said valve port, a diaphragm arranged in the bottom of said casing in covering relation with said bottom discharge opening and adjacent to the upper side of said bottom cover when it is in covering relation with said bottom discharge opening, the marginal edge of said diaphragm being clamped in place upon the lower portion of said casing by said bottom cover when it is in covering relation with said bottom discharge opening, said bottom cover having a vent opening therein communicating between the atmosphere and a vent chamber defined between the lower side of said diaphragm and the adjacent upper side of said bottom cover, whereby the upper side of said diaphragm is subject to the pressure in the lower portion of said casing and the lower side of said diaphragm is subject to the pressure in said vent chamber, the upper side of said diaphragm also being subject to the weight of granular material in said casing so long as there is granular material in said storage hopper, whereby said diaphragm is moved from a normal lower position into an actuated upper position in response to suction in the lower portion of said casing after all of the granular material in said storage hopper has been unloaded therefrom through said easing into said tube, means responsive to movement of said diaphragm into its normal position for operating said valve element into its open position with respect to said valve port and responsive to movement of said diaphragm into its actuated position for operating said valve element into its closed position with respect to said valve port, and a fixture communicating with said other end of said tube and adapted to be connected to a suction conduit, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said tube and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said fixture with the result that the granular material in said storage hopper is unloaded therefrom into said casing and proceeds therefrom through said valve port with said valve element in its open position and into said tube and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said tube into the suction conduit connected to said fixture.

18. In apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet; an outlet nozzle comprising a casing carried by said storage hopper and disposed below said bottom outlet and communicating therewith, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of said casing for unloading the granular material from said storage hopper through said casing, one end of said tube providing an air inlet opening thereinto and the other end of said tube providing an air outlet opening therefrom, the intermediate section of said tube being disposed within said casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof, a valve element arranged in the lower portion of said casing below said valve port and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of said tube is in communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its open position with respect to said valve port and the interior of said tube is cut-off from communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its closed position with respect to said valve port, means including a diaphragm arranged in the lower portion of said casing for selectively operating said valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to said valve port, said diaphragm being subject to the suction pressure in the lower portion of said casing and also subject to the weight of granular material in said casing so long as there is granular material in said storage hopper to be unloaded therefrom, said diaphragm being biased into a normal lower portion to operate said valve element into its open position, said diaphragm being moved into an upper position in response to suction in the lower portion of said casing after all of the granular material in said storage hopper has been unloaded therefrom through said easing into said tube to operate said valve element into its closed position, and a fixture communicating with said other end of said tube and adapted to be connected to a suction conduit, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said tube and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said fixture with the result that the granular material in said storage hopper is unloaded therefrom into said casing and proceeds therefrom through said valve port with said valve element in its open position and into said tube and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said tube into the suction conduit connected to said fixture.

19. In apparatus for storing granular material including structure defining a storage hopper provided with a bottom discharge outlet; an outlet nozzle comprising a casing carried by said storage hopper and disposed below said bottom outlet and communicating therewith, said casing having a bottom opening therein, a bottom cover carried by said casing in covering relation with said bottom opening, a suction tube extending through the lower portion of said casing for unloading the granular material from said storage hopper through said casing, one end of said tube providing an air inlet opening thereinto and the other end of said tube providing an air outlet opening therefrom, the intermediate section of said tube being disposed within said casing and having a valve port provided in the bottom thereof, a valve element arranged in the lower portion of said casing below said valve port and cooperating therewith, whereby the interior of said tube is in communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its open position with respect to said valve port and the interior of said tube is cut-off from communication with the lower portion of said casing when said valve element occupies its closed position with respect to said valve port, means including a diaphragm arranged in the lower portion of said casing in covering relation with said bottom opening and adjacent to the upper side of said bottom cover for selectively operating said valve element between its open and closed positions with respect to said valve port, said diaphragm being subject to the suction pressure in the lower portion of said casing and also subject to the weight of granular material in said casing so long as there is granular material in said storage hopper to be unloaded therefrom, said diaphragm being biased into a normal lower position to operate said valve-element into its open position, said diaphragm being moved into an upper position in response to suction in the lower portion of said casing after all of the granular material in said storage hopper has been unloaded therefrom through said casing into said tube to operate said valve element into its closed position, and a fixture communicating with said other end of said tube and adapted to be connected to a suction conduit, whereby conveying air may be supplied through said air inlet opening into said tube and then through said air outlet opening into the suction conduit connected to said fixture with the result that the granular material in said storage hopper is unloaded therefrom into said casing and proceeds therefromthrough said valve port with said valve element in its open'position and into said tube and is thus conveyed with the conveying air in said tube into the suction conduit connected to said fixture.

References Cited in thefile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1901791 *Oct 17, 1930Mar 14, 1933Clarke Chapman LtdMeans for removing dust such as from plant fired by pulverulent fuel
US2303810 *Nov 30, 1940Dec 1, 1942Jo Zach MillerApparatus for depositing materials
US2858165 *Apr 10, 1957Oct 28, 1958Lauhoff Grain CompanyConveyor
US2919158 *Nov 19, 1956Dec 29, 1959Gen Am TransportHoppers for finely divided materials
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3189388 *Sep 11, 1961Jun 15, 1965Pullman IncHopper car and hopper unloading devices therefor
US3199925 *Jan 2, 1964Aug 10, 1965Pullman IncPneumatic or gravity discharge hopper arrangement
US3220778 *Oct 17, 1963Nov 30, 1965Gen Am TransportRailway hopper cars
US3258173 *Mar 2, 1964Jun 28, 1966North American Car CorpHopper discharge apparatus
US3365241 *May 6, 1965Jan 23, 1968Union Carbide CorpShipping vessel
US3414332 *Apr 12, 1967Dec 3, 1968Union Carbide CorpShipping vessel
US3425748 *Jun 28, 1967Feb 4, 1969Midland Ross CorpPneumatic lading discharge device
US3724909 *Dec 13, 1971Apr 3, 1973Pullman Transport Leasing CoDischarge arrangement for railway hopper cars
US4455110 *Feb 22, 1982Jun 19, 1984Acf Industries, IncorporatedHigh volume railway hopper car
US5433559 *Jan 22, 1993Jul 18, 1995Trinity Industries, Inc.Pressurized hopper car
US6237505Apr 19, 1999May 29, 2001Trn Business TrustLarge capacity car body for pressure discharge railway hopper cars
US6273647Apr 19, 1999Aug 14, 2001Trn Business TrustPressure discharge railway hopper car
US6393997Mar 17, 2000May 28, 2002Trn Business TrustAerator pad assembly for railway hopper cars
Classifications
U.S. Classification406/119, 406/128, 406/145
International ClassificationB61D7/02, B61D7/28, B65G53/46, B65G53/24, B61D5/00, B65D88/74, B65D88/54
Cooperative ClassificationB65D88/548, B61D5/002, B61D7/02, B61D5/004, B65G53/24, B65G53/4675, B61D7/28
European ClassificationB65G53/24, B61D5/00B2, B61D5/00B, B65D88/54D, B61D7/02, B65G53/46D, B61D7/28