US 3142333 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 28, 1934 H. KUMMERMAN ETAL 3,142,333
COILING SHUTTER Filed Dec. 13, 1961 'IIIIIIIIIIIIIl/I United States Patent 3,142,333 COILING SHUTTER Henri Kummerman and Georges Jules Marie Proust, Paris,
France, assignors to International MacGregor Organization (I.M.G.O.), Saint-Charles, Monte Carlo, Monaco,
a corporation of Monaco Filed Dec. 13, 1961, Ser. No. 158,992 Claims priority, application France Dec. 19, 1960 8 Claims. (Cl. 160-272) The present invention relates to a movable closure device for opening and closing an aperture in a wall of stationary and travelling enclosed spaces such as buildings, ship holds and rolling vehicles, and more particularly a sliding-roof type device for hatch-like top openings in ship-decks and in rolling stock such as wagons, trucks, and trailers. The device pertains to the kind comprising a flexible corrugated sheet forming a coilable shutter, curtain or screen for covering and uncovering said aperture, and a reversibly rotatable cylindrical drum arranged adjacent one end of said aperture to roll up in turns and to allow unwinding of said shutter.
In hitherto known devices of the type referred to, the rolling up operation is performed by positively rotating the drum alone to provide the motive power for this uncovering motion. The unwinding or covering operation, however, requires that the sheet be drawn off along the aperture from its outer free end by ropes or similar means, which involve the provision of a reversing system incorporating a dog clutch or a mechanical coupling between the rope and the drum control mechanisms. Such ancillary systems make the device complicated and increase its Weight.
It is an object of the invention to provide a very simple and reliable device which is devoid of all such additional systems and wherein positive rolling up and unwinding of the corrugated shutter are both effected solely and directly by means of the winding drum, which is adapted to form a positive driving means for the corrugated sheet in both directions of motion thereof. To this end, the drum has its peripheral surface provided with flutes or corrugations substantially matching those of said'sheet and uniformly distributed around said drum whereas the device further comprises substantially cylindrical freely rotatable or idler roller means, arranged with their axis substantially parallel to that of said drum and adpated to forcibly engage by portions thereof the hollows and bulges forming the corrugations of the outer turn of said sheet and located near the generating line of said drum where said sheet is unwound or leaves said drum, movable supporting means for pivotally mounting said roller means, resilient pressure exerting means fitted to said supporting means to continuously apply said roller means on the outer turn of said sheet with a pressure suflicient to force the corrugations of said sheet through local elastic deformation thereof to conform in forced meshing relationship to the corrugations of said drum or of the wound turns of said sheet, the diameter of said drum corresponding to a whole number of said corrugations in order to ensure correct superimposition and forced interfitting engagement of the corrugations of successive turns of sheet, reversible actuating means operatively connected to said drum to cause same to rotate in either direction, and guiding means to guide the uncoiled portion of said sheet during the movements thereof.
According to another feature of this invention, the peripheral surface of said roller means is formed with rigid corrugations which are conjugate of and adapted to mesh with that of said drum and sheet.
According to a further feature of this invention, the corrugations of said drum are either formed integral with the peripheral surface proper of said drum or are conlice stituted by the first complete turn of said corrugated sheet wound onto said drum and secured thereto by its inner end to permanently remain on said drum.
According to an alternative embodiment of the invention, said roller means are formed with a smooth peripheral surface of substantially round cross-section and are made of resiliently yieldable material-having a thickness adapted to tightly conform through forced elastic deformation thereof to the corrugations of said sheet.
In view of the present invention, the corrugated sheet may be dispensed of the conventional flat edge-strips usually welded or riveted to the bottom generating lines of the corrugations as is generally the case with vertical metal shutters to prevent the latter from becoming elongated by its own weight. This is unnecessary in the case of sliding roofs fitted with shutter devices of the present invention, since the shutter is supported and travels horizontally, hence a simpler and more economical manufacture thereof.
Further characteristics of the invention will become apparent from the description which follows with reference to the accompanying drawings, given by way of example and not of limitation, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a schematic side elevation of an embodiment of the device according to the invention wherein the drum surface is formed with rigid corrugations integral therewith.
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary plan view of the device in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary sectional view, on a larger scale, through the line III--III in FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 is a partial side view showingan alternative embodiment with resiliently yieldable roller means.
FIGURE 5 is a partial side view showing an alternative embodiment wherein the corrugations on the drum surface are formed by the first turn of the corrugated sheet.
Referring now to the embodiment illustrated in FIG- URE 1 which shows a horizontal sliding-roof device in corrugated sheet-metal, 1 designates the corrugated sheet forming the roof proper and which is capable of being wound into one or more successive turns on a drum 2 providing reversible positive drive. This drum, the axis of which ishorizontal, is arranged at one side of the space or enclosure 3 to be covered and is supported, for example, between two fixed flanges or similar members 4. The peripheral surface of the drum 2 is grooved or fluted to a profile matching that of the undulations in the corrugated sheet 1. One end of said sheet 1 is joined to the surface of drum 2 by any convenient means, the opposite end remaining free. 7
In the course of the winding-in operation, undulations on the, corrugated sheet reaching the winding drum 2 successively engage into the corresponding undulations or corrugations on the turn previously wound onto the drum, or into the flutings on the drum itself. Such engagement is brought about by means of freely rotating pressure rollers or similar devices 5 the axes of which are parallel to that of drum 2. These rollers 5 are conveniently mounted on a common shaft 6 placed parallel to and above the axis of drum 2, substantially in proximity to the generating line corresponding to entry into contact of the corrugated sheet 1 withthe winding surface of the drum. Said rollers are furthermore preferably integral with one another angularly, for example by being keyed to the same freely-rotating shaft 6, thereby ensuring their synchronous rotation.
The peripheral surface of the rollers 5 may be fluted to a profile matching that of the sheet corrugations to enable it to engage with the latter.
Alternatively, as shown on FIGURE 4, said rollers are circular and consist of a suitable elastic material adapted to undergo a temporary deformation so as to accommodate the corrugations of said sheet simply as a consequence of the pressure exerted by said rollers on said sheet. To this end, the diameter of the rollers 5a. utilized in the device is calculated as a function of the dimensions of said corrugations and the rollers themselves consist of, or are lined through a substantial portion of their radius with a resilient material 17 having adequate mechanical properties, notably in regarding its flow characteristics, so that with this arrangement the pressure exerted by the roller will cause this material to penetrate and fill relatively deeply the registering troughs of the corrugated sheet; as a result, the pressure exerted by the rollers on the corrugated sheet is distributed in a particularly uniform manner on the sheet surface so that the contact area surface is increased and the sheet caused to accommodate very closely the outer configuration of the preceding lower or inner turn, or the corrugated or splined drum surface, whereby, notably, the maximum value of local stress in the sheet material can be reduced considerably by distributing same in a more uniform manner.
In a preferred embodiment, the roller-carrying shaft 6 is pivotable about a fixed axis 7 defined, say, by two fixed points aligned parallel to the drum axis. To this end, the shaft 6 is supported by its ends in two parallel arms 8 the other extremities of which are pivoted respectively on said two points defining said pivoting axis 7.
Elastic pressure-exerting means are provided to apply the rollers 5 onto the corrugated sheet 1 as the latter comes into contact with the drum 2, in order to press it against the winding surface thereof. In the example under consideration, said elastic means consist of tension, torsion or other suitable springs 9 which are anchored to one end to a fixed point and at the other to the pivoting arms 8 in order to urge the latter downwardly, so that the rollers 5 which are thereby applied against the sheet 1 may simultaneously ensure bending of the sheet as it is Wound in and elongation of the corrugations to permit maintenance of a constant angular pitch, such elongation being achieved by the oblique reaction to the pressure exerted by the rollers 5 against the side of the corrugation about to be wound onto the drum.
In the case of mobile enclosures such as wagons, trucks or trailers, which are liable to be subjected to vibration, provision may be made for an adjustable stop 10 to limit the upward travel of the pressure rollers 5, so that under no circumstances may they move entirely clear of the corrugations which it is their function to retain. The stop 10 can preferably be adjusted by means of a screw or some similar means, and said stop engages with one of said arms 8 in order to limit the pivoting motion thereof counter to the springs 9.
This being so, the corrugated sheet wound onto the drum tends to form one piece, by reason of the mutual engagement between the corrugations and their maintenance in position by the rollers 5; thus when the drum is rotated in one direction or the other, the sheet is positively wound in or unwound in response to the rolling pressure of said rollers combined with the rotation of the drum. The unwinding operation can be pursued right down to the very last corrugation in engagement with the corresponding matching fluting on the surface of the drum. The diameter of the drum 2 must be equal to a whole number of corrugations in order to ensure proper superimposition of successive turns of the sheet I wound onto the drum.
A practical method consists in using a smooth-surfaced drum 2a and in connecting the first turn 18 of the sheet, via one end 19 for example, to the drum itself, such connecting being accomplished by welding 20 or some other convenient method as shown by FIGURE 5. This first turn remains on the drum permanently and provides the fluted peripheral surface required to engage and entrain the subsequent turns. Such an arrangement enables the cost of the device to be substantially reduced.
The choice of winding diameter for the drum 2 depends essentially upon the material from which the sheet 1 is made, upon its thickness, and upon the corrugation shape and number of turns wound onto the drum, to ensure that the strain or the fatigue due to the bending and pulling forces does not exceed the elastic limit of the material. By reason of the combined stresses involved, the winding diameter must manifestly exceed the minimum winding diameter, which is that obtained when bending alone is involved, such as for example the diameter obtained with a corrugated sheet equipped with flat edgestrips in which successive turns are wound on without mutual fitting together of the corrugations; indeed, when such is the case, each successive turn increases the winding diameter by twice the corrugation amplitude, which in turn leads to an outer diameter, when the sheet is fully wound on, greater than the winding diameter obtained with the method according to the present invention, which thus enables the overall dimensions of the device to be reduced.
When covering or uncovering the enclosure 3, the horizontal unwound part of the corrugated sheet 1 travels horizontally along longitudinal slideways 11, on which it rests. Clearly, it is desirable for the coefiicient of friction between the corrugated sheet 1 and the slideways 11 to be as low as possible. To this end, and in accordance with a preferred embodiment, of the invention, said slideways 11 consist of extruded sections or of mouldings in some self-lubricating synthetic material such as the castor oil base plastic fibre material known as Rilsan which offers the added advantage of being absolutely rustproof. The combination of the fluted drum 2 with the pressure rollers 5 keyed to a freely rotating common shaft 6 ensures that the sheet 1 travels absolutely evenly along the longitudinal slideways 11 and obviates the need for lateral guiding devices.
The mechanical characteristics of the corrugated sheetmetal 1 must obviously be such that the strain or fatigue of tension or compression, which it sustains as it travels along said slideways and which may sometimes be added to extra loads such as the snowload in particular, does not exceed the elastic limit of the material, a condition which is amply met with the form of corrugation commonly employed. It may be noted that the strain due to the travel motion is in no case added to the fatigue sustained by the metal as the result of being rolled up, since it occurs only over the free unwound part of the sheet. During the uncovering operation, the sliding resistance comes in deduction of the tractive force needed to produce elongation of the corrugations through the medium of the pressure rollers 5, Whereas during the covering operation this resistance is added on; however, at the same time as this sliding resistance increases as the covering operation proceeds, the degree of elongation of the corrugations and hence the corresponding tractive force diminishes.
Taking into account the relative values of the two forces, entirely satisfactory operation will be ensured by determining the pressure exerted by the rollers as being that corresponding to the tractive force required to produce maximum elongation or the ultimate turn wound on.
In order to prevent the sheet 1 from crippling in its slideways 11 during the covering or uncovering operation, upper marginal guiding means are provided in the form of extruded sections 12, for example, which are turned over the sides of the sheet 1 and allow it to move in free translation only, with adequate clearance.
When the sliding-roof according to the invention is fitted to stationary or moving enclosures, notably to rolling stock, it must evidently ensure perfect tightness. Sealing means suitable for use to this and are wellknown per se and are in particular described in the US. patent application Serial No. 29,767, filed on May 17, 1960, and now abandoned. They consequently fall outside the scope of the present invention.
The winding drum 2 may be hand-operated or powerdriven in any known manner. Such driving means will preferably operate directly and rotate the winding drum 2 in both directions. Said means may consist, for instance, of a crank 13 fitted directly to the drum shaft. In some cases, a chain or similar drive 14 between the drum 2 and the crank 13 may be required to bring the driving means within reach of the operator. The efficiency of such a system is virtually 100%, while the absence of large demultiplication ratios, which are usually necessary in other roll-up roofs, enables very short uncovering and covering times to be obtained.
Since the sheet 1 is connected to its winding-drum through the medium of the pressure rollers 5, locking of the roof in the covering (unrolled) position requires no more than locking of the drum 2 (or of the crank 13 rigidly connected to it) in the position corresponding to the limit of closing travel. In the case of rolling stock, steps may be taken to ensure that the crank 13 always comes to rest in the uppermost position, to enable it to be locked or retained therein by any suitable means such as a coil spring 15 having one end anchored to the front end of the vehicle and the other connected to a hook 16, for example, hinged onto some fixed point and hooked onto the crank 13. A resilient type of locking system is thereby achieved which continuously and resiliently urges the roof into the fully-closed position.
Operation of this device is simple and reliable. All that is required is to first free the crank 13 from its locked position and then to turn it in the direction required to open or close the roof.
It is to be clearly understood that the invention is by no means restricted to the specific embodiment described with reference to the accompanying drawings given by way of example only and not of limitation.
What we claim is:
1. A movable closure device for opening and closing an aperture in a wall of stationary and travelling enclosed spaces such as buildings, ship holds and rolling vehicles, comprising a flexible corrugated sheet forming a coilable shutter for covering and uncovering said aperture, a reversibly rotatable driving cylindrical drum arranged near one end of said aperture to wind up in turns and to uncoil said shutter, said drum having its peripheral surface provided with corrugations substantially matching that of said sheet and uniformly distributed therearound, substantially cylindrical freely rotatable roller means, the axis of which is substantially parallel to that of said drum, said roller means being adapted to forcibly engage by portions thereof the hollows and bulges forming the corrugations of the outer turn of said sheet close to that generating line of said drum at which said sheet leaves said drum, movable supporting means for pivotally mounting said roller means, resilient pressure exerting means fitted to said supporting means to continuously apply said roller means on the outer turn of said sheet with a pressure sufl'lcient to force the corrugations of said sheet through local elastic deformation thereof to conform in forced meshing relationship to the corrugations of said drum and of the wound turns of said sheet, the diameter of said drum corresponding to a whole number of said corrugations in order to ensure correct super-imposition and forced interfitting engagement of the corrugations of successive turns of sheet, reversible actuating means operatively connected to said drum to cause same to rotate in either direction, and guiding means to guide the uncoiled portion of said sheet during the movements thereof.
2. A device according to claim 1 wherein the peripheral surface of said roller means is provided with rigid corrugations which are conjugate of and adapted to mesh with that of said drum and sheet.
3. A device according to claim 1 wherein said roller means have a smooth peripheral surface of substantially circular cross-section and are made of elastic material of a thickness adapted to tightly conform through forced yieldable deformation thereof to the corrugations of said sheet.
4. A device according to claim 1 wherein said corrugated peripheral surface of said drum is formed by the first complete turn of said corrugated sheet wound onto said drum and secured thereto by its inner end to permanently remain on said drum.
5. A device according to claim 1 wherein said supporting means comprise at least one shaft carrying said roller means and substantially parallel to the axis of said drum, two parallel arms supporting said shaft endwise and pivotally mounted on two fixed points aligned parallel to said drum axis for swinging movement of said shaft and spring means provided on said supporting means to urge said roller means into engagement with the outer wound up turn of said sheet.
6. A device according to claim 5 comprising adjustable stop means to limit the travel of said roller means away from said sheet whereby said roller means are prevented from moving entirely clear of the hollows and bulges with which they are in pressure contact.
7. A device according to claim 1 comprising drum locking means to hold said drum against movement in the unwound closing position of said sheet, said drum locking means including catch means provided with a resilient drawback to lock said sheet in its fully closed position while continuously exerting a resilient force on said sheet to urge it into said closed position.
8. A device according to claim 1 for closing a roof aperture in open-top enclosed spaces, comprising substantially horizontal slideways forming said guiding means and provided along two opposite edges of said aperture to bear and guide the uncoiled portion of said flexible sheet and marginal upper guiding means above said slideways to overlie with adequate clearance the side edges of said uncoiled portion of said sheet for preventing same from crumpling on said slideways.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 896,929 McCloud Aug. 25, 1908 1,052,049 Gasse Feb. 4, 1913 2,188,509 Kavanaugh et al. Jan. 30, 1940 2,328,263 Stefano Aug. 31, 1943 2,350,288 Michelman May 30, 1944 2,660,380 Blackman et al Nov. 24, 1953