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Publication numberUS3159284 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 1, 1964
Filing dateJan 22, 1962
Priority dateJan 22, 1962
Publication numberUS 3159284 A, US 3159284A, US-A-3159284, US3159284 A, US3159284A
InventorsHolm Donald R
Original AssigneeMiner Inc W H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Convertible buffer and draft gear
US 3159284 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 1, 1964 D. R. HOLM CONVERTIBLE BUFFER AND DRAFT GEAR 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 22, 1962 INVENTOR.

- Donald/f! #0607 BY g AM Matt) Dec. 1, 1964 D. R. HOLM 3,159,284

CONVERTIBLE BUFFER AND DRAFT GEAR Filed Jan. 22, 1962 s Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Donald A? floZm Dec. 1, 1964 D. R. HOLM CONVERTIBLE BUFFER AND DRAFT GEAR 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Jan. 22, 1962 VII II-Ill United States Patent 3,159,284 CONVERTEELE BUFFER AND DRAFT GEAR Donald R. Hahn, Markham, 111., assignor to W. H. Miner, 1nd, Qhicago, Ill., a corporation of Delaware Filed Jan. 22, 1962, Ser. No. 167,516 6 Claims. (Cl. 213-42) The present invention relates to a railway car buffer which may be readily converted to use as a draft gear for a railway car coupler.

Many railway cars, particularly such as are not equipped with the automatic coupler which is standard in the United States, have shock absorbers or buifers at the ends thereof for cushioning engagement with corresponding bufiers on adjacent cars, to facilitate manual coupling and uncoupling operations. Two buffers are normally provided on each end of the car, one at each side of the coupler, to prevent damaging impact of one car against another as the result of the relatively close spacing of the cars due to the shortness of manual couplers as compared to automatic couplers, particularly during passage of a train of such cars around a curve. The possibility of conversion of such cars to automatic coupling is always present, and currently is receiving perhaps more serious consideration and has a greater likelihood of ultimate accomplishment than ever before. One diiiiculty involved in changing over to automatic coupling is the economic loss resutling from discarding present equipment including the buffers and manual couplings Without any appreciable salvage, in addition to the expense of the new automatic coupling equipment. The present invention provides a buffer which is convertible to a draft gear for use with automatic couplers, requiring discarding of only certain parts of the buffer structure and thus minimizing the loss involved, as well as reducing the expense of the automatic coupling equipment by eliminating the need for purchasing draft gears for use therewith.

Convertible buffers require more elaborate, and hence more expensive, construction than conventional buffers. In order for convertible buffers to be competitive with conventional buffers, it is necessary that their cost be held as low as possible, so that the advantages flowing from the convertibility of the buffer are not outweighed by the additional cost. In other words, the advantages of convertibility of the buffer must not cost too much, if customers are to accept convertible buffers in appreciable volume. The present invention provides a simple, effective, and compact buffer structure employing a minimum of parts required to be discarded. Furthermore, such parts to be discarded are relatively cheap, consisting principally of simple, inexpensively produced elements. Thus, the greater portion of the investment in a convertible buffer according to the present invention is salvaged or retained upon conversion of the buffer for use as a draft gear.

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a railway car or like buffer which is readily and inexpensively convertible for use as a draft gear for automatic couplers.

Another object is the provision of a simple, uncomplicated convertible buffer construction utilizing a coupler draft gear in combination with a minimum of additional parts cooperating therewith to provide a buffer including means for mounting thereof on a railway car or the like, such additional parts representing a minor portion of the cost of the device.

Another object is the provision of a railway or like buffer convertible to use as a coupler draft gear, employing in combination with a draft gear simple and relatively inexpensive parts cooperable therewith to define a buffer 3,159,284 Patented Dec. 1, 1964 "ice and mounting means therefor, and discardable upon conversion of the buffer to a draft gear.

Still another object of the invention is the provision of a railway car or like bulfer convertible to use as a draft gear for automatic couplers and employing a draft gear therein, in which the draft gear is constructed to allow for removal and insertion and shifting of parts thereof to adapt the device to use either as a buffer or as a draft gear.

Other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description thereof, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the convertible buffer of the invention in assembled condition;

FIGURE 2 is a composite view of the convertible buifenone longitudinal half being shown in plan and the other half in horizontal section;

FIGURE 3 is another composite view of the bufier, one longitudinal half being shown in side elevation and the other in vertical central section;

FIGURE 4 is another composite View, with the lower half thereof shown in end elevation looking from. the lefthand end of FIGURE 3, and the upper half in cross section substantially in the plane indicated by the line 44l in FIGURE 3, certain parts being partially broken away for greater clearness in description;

FIGURES is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially as indicated by the line 5-5 in FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is a central vertical sectional View through the buffer in fully closed or solid condition;

FIGURE 7 is a horizontal half section of the draft gear provided upon conversion from the buffer construction, with a coupler yoke indicated in phantom; and

FIGURE 8 is half of a central vertical section through the draft gear of FIGURE 7, with the yoke indicated in phantom.

Referring first to FIGURES 1 to 4 of the drawings, the convertible buffer of my invention is illustrated as provided generally by three parts. One of these parts is a mounting member for the buffer, generally designated 1i}, and comprising a mounting base 11 suitably adapted for securernent to the end of a railway car or the like, as by the provision of bolt holes therein, and a tubular bracket 12 secured, preferably integrally, to the base 11 in spaced relation therto by a pair of connectingportions 13 defining narrowed central continuations of two opposed walls of the bracket 12. The bracket 12, as best evident from FIGURE 4, is of substantially rectangular cross section, but modified by the provision of narrow, generally flat corner portions 14 extending diagonally between the adjacent walls of the bracket. A buffer cap, generally designated 15, comprises another part of the device, the cap defining the end of the buffer opposite the base 11. The cap is formed of a circular cap plate 16 from one face of which extends a sleeve 17 telescoping in the bracket 12. The sleeve is closed at one end by the plate 16, which projects radially outwardly thereof, and has a cross section generally corresponding to that of the bracket, but with rounded corner portions between adjacent walls instead of the flat diagonal corners of the bracket. At its open end, the sleeve is provided with lugs 18 projecting radially outwardly of the rounded corner positions, as best shown in FIG- URES 4 and 5, to assist in limiting outward telescoping movement ofthe sleeve in the bracket and prevent sep aration thereof, as hereinafter more fully explained.

The third principal part of the device is a draft gear structure, generally designated 19, in large part similar to known draft gear arrangements. It includes a cylinder or housing 20 of a length greater than the sleeve 17 and 3 of a shape and dimensions for slidable reception of one end thereof in the sleeve, the other end extending adjacent the mounting base 11. At this other end of the housing 20, it is provided with an extension 21 having a bore providing a tapering frictional surface 22 on which are engaged a plurality of friction shoes 23 formed and arranged to project outwardly of the extension 21 and receive thereamong a wedge 24, one end of which bears on the mounting base 11. The end of the housing 20 within the cap sleeve 17, which is the rear end of the draft gear when employed with a coupler but in the disclosed convertible buffer devicecis at the front end of the buffer, is open, as clearly shown in FIGURES 2 and 3.

amazes A rear wall 25, in this case shown'ascof two-piece construction of the type disclosed in Patent No. 2,953,260, issued September 20, 1960, is provided which is adapted to close this open end of the housing. One part of the wall 25 is an interiorly rabbeted or shouldered generally rectangular annulus 26, and the other part is a periph- V erally flanged filler block 27 which may be seated on the annulus 26 with the flange thereof engaging the shoulder of the annulus so that the block cannot be moved rearwardly past the annulus, the annulus being arranged so thatits shoulder is disposed behind the flange, as clearly shown in the drawings. At its top and bottom edges, the annulus 26 is formed with outwardly projecting lugs 28. The upper and lower walls of the housing 20 are provided with inwardly directed beads or flanges 23 at the open rear end, and with similar beads or flanges 3t spaced inwardly or forwardly from the open housing end by a predetermined distance. The rear wall is alternatively disposable with the lugs 28 in engagement with the housing flanges 29 or 36 to be held at either position against movement out of or toward the open end of the housing. The rear wall 25is shown in FIGURES 2, 3 and 6 in the position it occupies when the lugs 28 are'engaged with the flanges 30 of the housing 20, and in FIGURES 7 and 8 in the position it occupies when the lugs 28 of the annular part 26 abut against the flanges 29 to maintain the 'rear Wall at the open end of the housing. The rear wall V comprising a plurality of rubber pads 32 of known mnstruction, preferably under a certain degree of initial compression. In the use of the draft gear as part of the convertible buffer, with the rear wall 25 disposed inwardly of the open end of the housing 20, fewer rubber pads 32, in this case four, are employed than when the rearwall 25 is disposed at the open end of the housing .20, as shown in FIGURES 7 and '8, to place'the draft gear in condition for use in a known manner with a coupler. In the present case, a shim 33 is employed between the follower 31 and the adjacent pad 32 to obtain the desired fit and compression of the pads in the space between the wall 25 and the follower 31. The buffer is also provided with resilient means between the rear wall 25 and the cap plate 16 of the cap 15, in this case .a pair of rubber pads 34 similar to the pads 32, but of lower capacity, or softer. The pads 34, like the pads '32, are preferably under a certain degree of initial compression when disposed between the cap 15 and wall 25, with the bufier device extended substantially to its greatest extent by reason of the force of the pads 32 and 34 urging the cap in one direction and the .draft gear 19 but not the housing 20, in the opposite direction. In other words, the cap 15 is normally maintained in position projecting out of the bracket 12 to its maximum extent under the urging of the pads 34. The cap is held against movement out of the bracket, and its maximum projection therefrom is determined, by engagement of the lugs 18 at the open end of the sleeve 17 with keys 35 which extend diagonally be-' tween adjacent walls of the bracket 12. These'walls are formed with apertures 36 receiving the ends of the keys 35, the keys extending generally parallel to the diagonal corner portions 14 of the bracket 12, as best shown in FIGURE 4. The keys 35 are secured in place extending between adjacent apertures 36 by means of relatively light welds, after the sleeve 17 has been telescoped sufiiciently far into the bracket 12 to dispose the lugs 18 inwardly beyond the apertures 36.

In use, the convertible buifer is mounted on a railway car by means of the base 11 and any suitable fastening means therefor, such as bolts as already indicated, so that the cap 15 is in position to engage with a correspondingly located buffer on an adjacent car to cushion the cars 7 housing 20 are considerably stronger than the pads 34, the

initial inward or compressing movement of the cap 15 does not affect any compression of the draft gear pads 32,

unless the stiffness or resistance of the resilient means 34 under compression is built up at least to the same level as that of the resilient means 32. Preferably, however, the spacing between the cap plate 16' and the open end of the housing 20 is such that the cap plate comes into engagement with the housing before the pads 34 reach the stiffness of the pads 32. If the forces acting on the bufier exceed the value required to have the cap plate 16 go solid, or bear directly on the end of the housing 20, the forces are resisted by the draft gear structure. The housing 20 is then urged toward the mounting base 11,

against which the wedge 24 is engaged, so that there is 25, which is urged in the same direction as the housing,

20 by reason of the interengagement of the flanges 30 with the lugs 28. The high cushioning or energy-absorb ing capacity of the draft gear structure, combining the friction shoes 23 and the resilient means 32, thus comes into play only when impact forces exceeding the lower capacity of the resilient means 34 are imposed upon the buffer device. The buffer thus provides a progressively increasing resistance to shocks or impacts, to prevent damage to lading, of a: maximum value suflicient to prevent uncushioned transmission to the car and lading of impact forces Within the reasonably expectable or normal range. The limit of the shock-absorbing capacity of the buffer is reached when the cap plate 16 is solid against the open end of the housing 20, and the extension 21 of the housing is engaged against the mounting base 11, as

1 shown in FIGURE 6. In this condition, the buffer device has gone solid, and it will be evident that any excess of an impact force over the value required to bring about this solid condition of the buffer will act unrestrainedly on the car and its lading. Such high forces, however, are beyond the normal range for which provision can reasonably be made. It will be obvious that the buffer of my invention will protect a car and lading against damage due to impacts within the capacity of the buffer.

In automatic coupling, as already indicated, shocks transmitted by the coupler either in draft or in buif are absorbed or cushioned by suitable draft gear, and accordingly separate buffers are not required on the car. With the convertible buffer of this invention, the buffer may be changed to provide a draft gear upon conversion of the car to automatic coupling. T o accomplish this, the bufier is removed from the car, and the keys 35 are driven out, their securing welds being broken, so that the cap 15 and mounting member may be separated. The mounting member 10 and cap 15, together with the soft or lowcapacity resilient means 34, are discarded. The rear wall 25 of the draft gear housing 20 is temporarily removed by thrusting the filler block 27 inwardly of the housing against the resistance of the resilient means 32, to allow sufiicient space for tilting or canting of the annular part 26 to release it from the flanges 30 and allow it to be moved rearwardly and withdrawn from the housing through the open end, the filler ,block 27 then being released gradually and also withdrawn from the housing. The capacity of the resilient means 32 is then increased to the desired level. In the present instance, this is accomplished by inserting additional rubber pads 32 in the housing, preferably identical to the pads 32 already present in the housing. Two such additional pads are shown as employed, so that a total of six pads 32 are used in the draft gear, as shown in FIGURES 7 and 8. The shim 33 is removed and discarded, the six pads 32 occupying the space between the rear wall 25 and the follower 31 under predetermined initial compression. The rear wall 25 is then returned to the housing 20, with the lugs 23 of the annular part 26 engaging with the flanges 29 at the rear aperture of the housing, to provide an abutment for the resilient means in the housing. The draft gear is then inserted in the opening of a conventional coupling yoke Y shown in phantom in FIGURES 7 and 8, in which is also disposed a front follower F, also shown in phantom, engaging with the wedge 24- of the draft gear, and engageable by the end of the shank of the coupler operably connected to the yoke Y in known manner.

In draft, the yoke Y is drawn forwardly so that the rear end thereof engages the open end of the draft gear housing 2.0 to urge the same forwardly in the direction of the wedge 24, which thus is moved relatively inwardly of the housing by reason of its engagement with the follower F, and acts upon the friction shoes 23 to spread them outwardly against the tapered friction surface 22 of the housing extension 21 and also to urge them longitudinally inwardly of the housing against the follower 31 and the resistance of the rubber pads 32 or other resilient means in the housing abutting at the rear end against the rear wall 25, held in its predetermined position at the housing aperture against the pressure of the resilient pads 32 by engagement of the lugs 28 with the flanges 29 of the housing. In buff, the coupler shank urges the front follower F longitudinally inwardly relative to the draft gear housing, or rearwardly of the yoke Y, and thus through the wedge 24 effecting increased frictional resistance to such movement by the shoes 23 by reason of their engagement with the surface 22, and also by reason of the resistance of the spring means 32 acting between the rear wall 25 and the follower 31 engaged by the shoes.

It will be apparent that while, as heretofore explained, the convertible buffer may be used in pairs at each end of a car, only one buffer according to the present invention may be provided on each end of a railway car or the like, and a buffer of any other desired construction may be employed as the second buffer at each car end. Since such other buffer may be of cheaper construction than the buffer as disclosed herein, this second buffer may be discarded with relatively slight economic'loss upon conversion of the car to automatic coupling, and the buffer according to the invention employed to provide the draft gear for the automatic coupler. If both buffers at each end of the car be of the construction disclosed herein, one of the buffers may be employed to provide the draft gear for the automatic coupler as already explained, and

the other may be removed and stored to serve as a replacement or a source of replacement parts.

It will be apparent that the present invention provides a buffer of very high capacity and great effectiveness, which is adapted for ready and facile conversion to use as a draft gear without either loss or addition of expensive parts. The mounting member 10 and the cap 15 are of simple construction and relatively cheap, and therefore may be discarded without any great monetary loss. The only other parts which need be removed from the buffer in effecting the conversion are the rubber pads 34 or equivalent resilient means, which are only two in number in the illustrative embodiment, and the shim 33, which is the cheapest part of all, and furthermore may possibly be reused in other structures. Similarly, the only items which need to be added are additional pads 32 or equivalent resilient means, which again are only two in number in the illustrative case, and thus do not add too great an amount to the cost of the device. Furthermore, the draft gear would be a necessary expense in any case of employment of an automatic coupler and practically the entire draft gear, except for the additional rubber pads 32, is already present in the buffer and thus is available without extra cost except for the additional pads. Similarly, the parts which are discarded have already been used, and thus only the portion of the value thereof representing the remaining expected life of such partsis actually lost.

It will be understood that the invention is not limited to the particular embodiment thereof disclosed herein, since many modifications of and changes in the disclosed structure may be made in accordance with the inventive concept without departing from the scope thereof. It is therefore not intended that the invention be limited otherwise than as required by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A cushioning device for railway cars or the like and adapted for selective use as a buffer or a draft gear, comprising a mounting base, a tubular bracket supported on said base in spaced relation thereto, a butter cap including a sleeve telescopically received in the end of said bracket remote from the base, a tubular draft gear housing telescopically engaged within said sleeve having an open end adjacent the cap and a frictional'bore projection adjacent the base, first abutment means at the open end, second abutment means spaced inwardly of the housing from said first abutment means, wall means adapted to close said open housing end selectively engageable with said first or second abutment means for positioning thereby against movement in the direction of the open end, a plurality of friction shoes in engagement with said frictional bore of said projection, a wedge member engaged between the base and the outer portions of said shoes, a follower engaged with the inner ends of the shoes, a plurality of cushioning pads disposed in said draft gear housing between said follower and the wall means, said housing upon positioning of the wall means by the first abutment means being adapted to receive a predetermined number of said cushioning pads between said follower and the wall means and upon positioning of the wall means by the second abutment means being adapted to receive a predetermined lesser number of said cushioning pads between the wall means and follower, resilient means having less cushioning capacity than said lesser number of pads disposed between the cap and wall means upon positioning of the wall means by said second abutment means, and means limiting relative outward telescoping movement of the bracket and sleeve.

2. A cushioning device for railway cars or the like and adapted for selective use as a buffer or a draft gear, comprising a pair of members disposed in lapped longitudinally movable relation, a draft gear housing disposed between said members having an open end adjacent one of the members, wall means adapted to close said open housing end selectively disposable in a first position adjacent the open end and a second position intermediate the h si ends o r n n in e the o aid p i ons against movement in the direction of the open housing e d a p u a ity feush o ng Pads d sp sed in said draft gear housing between the other end of; the housing and the. wall means, said housing with the 1 wall means in said first position being adap ed to receive a p d e m ed numbe of said onshion ng pads be ween sa d o h end and th wall. m ans and np nld sp t on of the wall m an n said secon position being adap d o receive a p ed rrnined lesser -im n of i ons onins Pads tw en the. t e housing end and th wall m an an resilient means .of les cus ioning eanae y h n d le ser number of Pa di pos twee sa We mean and a d j c e her with the wail mean i sa se n p t on.

'3- v A eonve ble bu te bs a t ally a efined in claim 2; in wh h a shim i di pos d i the draft sea housing with sa d lesser numbe of en hioni p s. ,4. cushioning device for railway cars or the like, mpri i g a'nai of m mbers disposed i pp longiy mo a le r la ion, a dra gear ou sposed en. sa d membe ha ing an op n e dja e one o t membe s, fir t ahntin nt'meahs t th pen e of said ho sing, seoond abutmen me n spa e d y of sa hou ng m sa d firs abutm nt mean W l means. adap ed t clos s id op n ho n nd s l t v y a b e with s d fi st o ee nd abutment means for posit g there y agains m ement in th direction of the open end, firs r s l ent me d pos d n sa d draft gear h g etw en the ot r end of said housing n sa d l m ns, n se ond n means of l s c s io ng c pacity han a d first resilie t m ans di posed etween s i a lniea s'and sa d adja ent memb r wit a diwall m an positione by said second abu ment mea A shionins 'deviee or ai way ea o h like, comprising a pair of relatively movable members each ha n a tu u ar portion and isposed with he't ula p ti ns in el se ped rela ion, a d aft gear ho sing dis- Po in said u u ar Po ions ha ing n open en adja en e of s d mo ab e member and an ope ing at the ther nd, e ergyni. sipating means ext ndin o h sa d pen n in engag men wi h the other movable member, firs bu ment m an a the open end o a ous ng, see n's abutm nt means spac d inwardly o sa d ho si from said first abutment means, Wall means adapted to close said open housing end aelectively engageable with said first or second abutment means for positioning there by against movement in the direction of the open end, first cushioning means disposed in said draft gear housing between said energy-dissipating means and said wall means, and second cushioning means having less cushioning capacity then said first cushioning means disposed be w en ai ll mea a d s d ne ov b e m mber with said wall means positioned by said second abutment means, V 6. A cushioning device for railway cars or the like, comp is a un ing as a tubula b ack ppo e on sa d base i pac d relati t ret a u t cap eluding a sleeve telescopically received in the end of said bracket remote from said base, a tubular draft gear housins tele cop a ly r an d h n a d sl e h in a pe e d adja en id can an a f c a bore pr j tio adjac nt aid base, first a m means a t e end o s hou in e ond tm nt mee ssp ed "we rd y o a h u g f om a d i st ab tmen me n wall mean adapted to lo e sa d p ho s n e d ele tively engageable Withsaid first or second abutment means for positioning thereby against movement in the direction of the. p n en a p u l y o iet shoe n ag ment with said frictional bore of said projection, a wedge member engaged between said base and the outer portions o aid sh a wer en d with th in e d of sa hoes a plu li y f ion p s d spose i sa d draft gear housing between said follower and said wall means, and resilient means having less cushioning capacity than said cushioning pads disposed between said cap and said wall means upon positioning of said wall means by "said second abutment means.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Dan elson .---re--.--ee---.-- Ge 8 .1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2426262 *Aug 25, 1944Aug 26, 1947Miner Inc W HRailroad draft gear friction shock absorbing mechanism
US2521834 *Dec 26, 1946Sep 12, 1950Miner Inc W HFriction shock absorbing mechanism
US2571220 *Dec 19, 1945Oct 16, 1951Miner Inc W HFriction shock absorbing mechanisms
US2808945 *Nov 5, 1953Oct 8, 1957Miner Inc W HShock absorbing mechanisms
*US9451569 Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6520360 *Oct 19, 2001Feb 18, 2003Miner Enterprises, IncHousing for draft gear
US7552830 *Nov 7, 2006Jun 30, 2009Voith Turbo Scharfenberg Gmbh & Co. KgCentral buffer coupling for rail-mounted vehicles
Classifications
U.S. Classification213/22, 213/220
International ClassificationB61G11/08, B61G11/00, B61G9/04, B61G9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB61G11/08, B61G9/04
European ClassificationB61G9/04, B61G11/08