US 3188052 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 8, 1965 R. LONGWORTH 3,188,052
LOWERING APPARATUS Filed Jan. 7, 1963 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 7 B m 5 M Wm;
June 8, 1965 R, LONGWORTH LOWERING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 7, 1963 FIG. 2-
June 8, 1965 Filed Jan. '7, 1963 R. LONGWORTH LOWERING APPARATUS Amman/00114 INVENTOR;
3 Sheets-Sheet 3 United States Patent 04/ 6 3 Claims. (Cl. 254-157) The present invention concerns lowering apparatus especially for use in assisting the escape of personnel from ships.
One object of the invention is to provide an escape apparatus which may be stored somewhat above dock level so as to be immediately available for lowering personnel from the deck down to water level, i.e. into a launched lifeboat.
According to the present invention a lowering apparatus comprises a drum having a rope wound thereon and provided with spring mechanism whereby the rope may be unwound against spring action on application of tension thereto, in combination with a pulley engaged by the rope and connected through a free wheel clutch to a centrifugal brake.
The pulley, free wheel clutch and centrifugal brake are preferably mounted co-axially with the drum for independent rotation relative thereto. v The rope is appropriately guided to the pulley such as by a suitably positioned guide roller or fairlead.
In operation the rope has at its free end one or more supporting devices, eg, a stirrup in which a persons foot may be engaged, a quick release safety belt or harness adapted to be connected around the body of a person to be lowered and a hand support or strap. Thus alternative and/ or additional supporting devices are available.
The equipment is preferably mounted within a casing adapted to be opened to release a length of rope and the supporting devices down to the region of deck level front some distance thereabove. This casing may for example be provided with one or more doors adapted to be opened on pulling a lanyard.
The invention will be described further, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view from below showing the apparatusin use;
FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the apparatus prior to being used, i.e. in a storage condition, with the front of its casing removed for the cake of clarity;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal fragmentary section;
FIG. 4 is a section taken on the line IVIV of FIG.
FIG. 5 is a section taken on the line VV of FIG. 3.
thereto. The rope R is appropriately guided by way of a suitably positioned fairlead F (FIG. 2) and rollers 11, 12 (FIG. 4) between the drum D and pulley P.
At its free end the rope R has supporting devices (FIG. 1), namely a stirrup 14 in which the foot of a person L being lowered may be engaged, a quick release safety belt 15 connected round the body of the person L and a hand support 15 for the person L.
The equipment is mounted within a casing 17 adapted to release a length 18 (FIG. 2) of the rope R down to the region of deck level from some distance thereabove.
The pulley P is attached to the housing 19 (FIG. 3) of the free wheel clutch C which has an inner disc 20 (FIG. 4) adapted to be wedged by balls 21 to the housing 19, when the pulley and housing rotate in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 4. The inner disc 20 is fixed to the crownwheel 22 (FIG. 3) of an epicyclic gear G having a planet carrier 23 adapted to be held stationary and a sunwheel 24 integrally formed with or attached to a rotary carrier 25 (FIG. 5) from which the rotating components 7 of the centrifugal brake B are supported. These com ponents comprise two shoes 26 guided for parallel move-. ment towards and away from one another on the carrier 25,. two springs 27 urging the brake shoes together, and two weights 28 each connected to the shoes by limbs 29 and 30. A fixed brake drum 31 presents an internal cylindrical surface against which linings on the brake shoes can act to apply braking action when the carrier 25 and associated parts are rotated by the pulley P via the free wheel clutch C and gear G.
The spring mechanism S comprises two stainless steel springs 32 (FIG. 2) having their inner ends respectively fixed to pins 33 and their outer ends attached to a boss 34 fixed to the drum D.
In use when it is desired to lower the person L from deck level into a launched lifeboat the person is attached to or holds on to the supporting devices and steps over the side of the ship thereby applying tension due to his own weight to the rope R which then unwinds from the drum D at a speed which is controlled by the pulley P, in turn controlled by the centrifugal brake B so as to effect a speed of lowering which is safe and comfortable. During lowering the free wheel clutch C is in the driving condition, i.e. the pulley drives the centrifugal brake B through the clutch.
When the person has attained the required lower level, e.g. has arrived in the lifeboat, his weight is released from the supporting devices of the rope which is then allowed to return in an upward direction under the action of the springs 32 thereby causing the drum D to wind up the rope R, in this case the rope rotating freely with the pulley P at a speed determined by the strength of the spring and frictional action, without the centrifugal brake B being driven.-
1. In a lifting and lowering apparatus, a rotatably mounted drum, a rope having one end attached to the drum and another end free of the drum and being wound at least partially on said drum, spring means for urging the drum to rotate in the direction causing winding of the rope thereon, load supporting means at the free end of the rope, a pulley engaged by the rope between its free end and the drum, a centrifugal brake, and a free wheel clutch mounted on said brake and said clutch including springloaded balls for interconnecting said pulley and said brake whereby the rope is subjected to brake action on unwinding from the drum to effect controlled lowering of a load carried by said load supporting means and is adaptedto return freely for rewinding on the drum by said spring means on removal of said load.
2. In a lifting and lowering apparatus, a rotatably mounted drum, a rope having one end attached to the drum and another end free of the drum and being wound at least partially on said drum, spring means for urging the drum to rotate in the direction causing winding of the rope thereon, load supporting means at the free end of the rope, rope guiding means, a pulley coaxially mounted relative to the drum and engaged by the rope between its free end and the rope guiding means, a centrifugal brake coaxially mounted relative to the drum, and a free wheel clutch including a plate and housing coaxially mounted relative to the drum and said clutch including spring-loaded balls adapted to be wedged between said plate and housing for providing a drive connection between the pulley and the brake to control the speed of descent of a load carried by the load supporting means.
3. Lifting and lowering equipment comprising in combination a casing, a rotary drum mounted Within the casing, a rope having one end attached to the drum and its other end free of the drum, a spring mechanism urging the drum in the rotary direction to wind the rope thereon, a fairlead guiding the rope between its free end and the drum, a pulley coaxially mounted relative to the drum so as to be rotatable independently of the drum and being engaged by the rope between the fairlead and the free end of the rope, a load supporting device including a stirrup, a quick release safety belt and a hand support attached to the free end of the rope, a centrifugal brake c0- axially mounted relative to the pulley so as to be rotatable independently of the pulley, and a free-wheel clutch coaxially mounted relative to the pulley adapted in the direction of rotation of the pulley caused by unwinding of rope from the drum to connect the centrifugal brake to the pulley and thereby to control the speed of descent of a load attached to said load supporting device.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 624,432 5/99 Buddenbohn et al 254157 787,394 4/05 Peters 254l57 1,037,333 9/12 Scheuer 254-157 1,308,480 7/19 Caouette 254157 FOREIGN PATENTS 612,084 11/48 Great Britain.
SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.