US 3321592 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 23, 1967 N. K. MILLER 3,321,592
SAFETY CLOSURE EDGE Filed July 2l, 1966 wlll;
SM1/ l f a wl NORMAN K. MIL LER www Fm@ 2f] /fa/ /50/ 29C/ if Y United States Patent O 3,321,592 SAFETY CLSURE EDGE Norman K. Miller, Havertown, Pa., assignor to Miller Brothers, Upper Darby, Pa., a partnership Filed July 21, 1966, Ser. No. 566,880 3 Claims. (Cl. Zilli-61.43)
This invention relates generally to safety devices, and is especially concerned with safety devices for sensing the presence of persons in dangerous locations to actuate an alarm signal, stop control, or the like.
While the device of the present invention has been primarily developed for use with elevator doors, and will be principally illustrated and described hereinafter with respect thereto, it is appreciated that the essence of the instant invention is capable of many varied applications, some of which are illustrated and described hereinafter, and all of which are intended to be comprehended by the appended claims.
As is well known in the field of safety engineering, and specifically to those concerned with the safe operation of elevator doors, the sensing of persons in the path of door movement requires sensing of engagement from many different directions, approximately throughout an arc of 180 degrees. Prior attempts at such sensing have not proved entirely satisfactory, being readily subject to malfunctioning, and relatively complex and expensive.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a safety sensing device, as a safety edge for a power-operated door, and in other applications, wherein sensing is achieved throughout a wire arc of at least 180 degrees in an entirely reliable and highly eliicient manner.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a safety sensing device having the advantageous characteristics mentioned in the preceding paragraph, which is extremely simple in construction, durable throughout a long useful life, and which can be economically manufactured, installed and maintained.
Other objects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification and referring to the accompanying drawings, which form a material part of this disclosure.
The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangements of parts, which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter described, and of which the scope will be indicated by the appended claims.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view showing elevator doors employing safety-edge devices constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken generally along the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1, greatly enlarged for clarity of detail;
FIGURE 3 is a partial vertical sectional View taken generally along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2, but illustrating the mode of operation of the instant device;
FIGURE 4 is a diagrammatic representation of a safetyedge device in another application, as protecting persons from the nip or bite of rollers;
FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIGURE 2, but illustrating a slightly modified embodiment of the instant invention;
FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG- URES 2 and 5, but illustrating a further embodiment of the instant invention; and
FIGURE 7 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIGURE 2, but illustrating a further modification of the present invention.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, and specifically to FIGURES l-3 thereof, a pair of elevator doors are shown in FIGURE 1 at 10, which may be mounted in conventional manner for sliding movement toward each other to the illustrated closed position and away from each other to an open position. The elevator doors lll each carry on their adjacent, closing edges a safety-edge device 12 of the present invention. The safety-edge devices 12 each extend along the edge or edge face 13 of a respective door lil, as between the lower and upper edges of the door. As each of the safety devices 12 may be substantially identical, a detailed description of one will sutlice.
Each safety device 12 includes an inner member 15, which may be advantageously fabricated of resiliently yieldable material, such as an integral sheet of plastic foam. The foam sheet of inner member 15 may be molded upon itself along a longitudinal centerline to define a pair of facing side portions 16, which may be in engagement with each other. The longitudinal edges 17 of the side portions 16 are proximate to the edge face 13 of the door 10, and the inner member 15 projects transversely from the door-edge face to the folded or bight portion 18 of the inner member. In covering relation with the inner member 15 is an inner conductor 19 of exible sheet material, such as aluminum foil, or other suitably liexible conductive sheet material. The inner conductor 19 substantially envelopes the inner member 15, and may be adhesively or otherwise secured to the outer surfaces of the inner-conductor side portions 16, as well as the outer surface of inner-conductor bight portion 18. Thus, the inner conductor 19, which is advantageous- 1y of a single integral sheet of ilexible conductive material, substantially completely covers the inner member, extending on opposite sides thereof toward and terminating proximate to the edge face 13 of the door 10'.
In covering relation with the inner conductor 19 and inner member 15 is an intermediate member Ztl, which is preferably fabricated of resiliently yieldable sheet material, such as an integral sheet of plastic form. The intermediate member 20 may advantageously be of the opencell type of foam for containing a maximum of air, to insure rapid restoration after compression, for reasons which will become more fully apparent hereinafter. Of course, the inner member 15 may also be of an open-cell foam material, as well as the outer member to be described below. It is understood that the terminology plastic includes rubber and other suitable materials.
The intermediate member 20 is preferably of an integral sheet formation substantially completely covering the outer surface of inner conductor 19, extending on opposite sides thereof toward and terminating proximate to the door edge 13. However, the intermediate member 20 may be of an open formation, having formed therein a plurality of thru openings or holes 21. Thus, while the intermediate member 20 is in facing engagement with the outer surface of inner conductor 19, a plurality o-f spaced portions of the inner conductor are exposed outwardly thru the openings or holes 21 of the intermediate member.
Substantially completely covering and in facing engagement with the outer surface of intermediate member 20 is a substantially continuous and integral sheet of ilexible conductive material, such as aluminum foil, defining an outer conductor 25. As the outer conductor 25 conformably overlies the intermediate member 20, with portions of the outer conductor bridging the openings 21, these bridging portions are in spaced confronting relation with the previously described outwardly exposed portions of inner conductor 19. The outer conductor 25 may extend on opposite sides of the intermediate member 20 toward and terminate proximate to the door edge 13.
An outer member 26, also preferably formed of an integral sheet of resiliently yieldable foam material is l0- cated in substantially completely, conformably covering relation with the outer surface of outer conductor 25.
If desired, the outer member 26 may be adhesively or otherwise secured in facing engagement with the outer conductor 25, and the outer member extends on opposite sides of the outer conductor toward and terminates proximate to the door-edge face 13. A casing 27, say of liquid-impervious flexible sheet material, may completely encase the above-described structural assemblage of inner member 15, inner conductor 19, intermediate member 20, outer conductor 2S, and outer member 26. The encased assemblage defines a safety edge 12, and may be adhesively or otherwise xedly secured to the door-edge face 13. A pair of conductors or wires 28 and 29 may be respectively connected to inner and outer conductors 19 and 25, and pass in sealed relation through the casing 27 for electrical connection to suitable operating means 30, such as an alarm or control, say to stop or reverse door movement.
Referring now to FIGURE 4, there is diagrammatically illustrated a safety-edge device generally designated 12a, and mounted on a support 10a adjacent to the nip or bite of a pair of tangential rollers 35 and 36. The rollers 35 and 36 may be assumed to rotate in the direction of arrows 37 and 38, so that the safety edge or device 12a is located on the input side of the nip. Thus is shown, for purposes of illustration, another application of the safety-edge construction of the instant invention. That is, upon movement of a foreign object, say an operators hand, toward the nip of rollers 35 and 36 into engagement with the safety device 12a, the device is depressed or distorted to move the inner and outer contacts into electrical engagement with each other for energizing an alarm or control. Such depression is illustrated in FIGURE 3, as by a force indicated by arrow 39 squeezing the outer member 26 inward to distort the outer conductor 25 through an opening 21 of the intermediate member 20, and into engagement with the inner conductor 19. This, of course, closes a circuit through the safety operating means 30.
In FIGURE is shown a `further embodiment of safety edge or device in accordance with the instant invention, there generally designated 12b and adapted to sense engagement throughout an arc of substantially 360 degrees. The safety device 12b may include a central elongate, rodlike support member or core b, having an inner member 15b, say fabricated of an integral sheet of resiliently yieldable foam and covering the support so as to extend longitudinally therealong and project transversely therefrom. The inner resiliently yieldable member 15b may substantially completely surround the central support 10b, and is provided on its outer face with an inner conductor 19h, say of exible conductive sheet material such as aluminum foil, substantially completely enveloping and covering the inner member 15b. The conductor sheet 19h may be adhesively or otherwise secured to the inner member 15b. An intermediate member 2Gb, also advantageously fabricated of resiliently yieldable sheet material, such as foam plastic or rubber, substantially completely covers and encompasses the inner conductor 19b. The intermediate member 20h is formed throughout with a plurality of spaced, thru openings 2lb exposing therethrough outwardly facing surface portions of the inner yconductor 19h.
An outer conductor of suitably flexible conductive sheet material is designated h and substantially completely ycovers and envelopes the intermediate member 2Gb, overlying the holes 2lb, so that the overlying portions of outer conductor 25b are in spaced confronting relation with the exposed portions of inner conductor 19h. An outer mem ber 26b, which may also be fabricated of resiliently yieldable sheet material, substantially completely covers the outer conductor 2512, and an outer casing 27b of flexible impermeable material conformably encases the outer member 2Gb. Electrical ,conductors or wires 28h and 9b are IeSPSiCVely Connected to inner and outer conl ductors 19h and 25b, and extend therefrom in sealed relation through and outwardly beyond the casing 27b for connection to suitable operating means.
Obviously, the functional relationship of elements in the safety device 12b is similar to that described in connection with the safety device 12, so that engagement of the outer casing 27b, at any point thereabout, effects depression of the outer member 26h to cause electrical contact and closure of an electrical circuit between the contact sheets ZSb and 1917.
A further embodiment of the present invention is shown' in FIGURE 6, wherein a safety edge or device 12C is adapted for mounting on a relatively stiff support sheet 10c. The support sheet 10c may include a longitudinal edge 40 along one side margin 41, about which the safety device 12C is provided for sensitivity throughout substantially 360 degrees. More specifically, an inner member 15C of resiliently yieldable sheet material is folded about the edge margin 41, with the folded portion 18C along the edge 40 of support 10c, and the side portions 16C of the inner member on opposite sides of the support. An inner conductor 19C, of flexible conductive sheet material is arranged in conformably, substantially completely covering relation with the inner member 15C, while an intermediate member 20c of resiliently yieldable sheet material substantially completely covers the inner conductor 19C. The intermediate member 20c may advantageously be fabricated with a plurality of thru holes or perforations 21C, and an outer conductor 25C of flexible conductor sheet material is conformably engaged in substantially completely covering relation with the intermediate member. An outer member 26C of resiliently yieldable sheet material substantially completely covers the outer conductor 25C, and a casing 27C of exible impervious sheet material substantially completely encases the outer member 26C. Electrical conductors 28e` and 29C may be respectively connected to the inner conductor 19C and outer conductor 25C, and extend therefrom in sealed relation through and outwardly beyond the casing 27e for connection to suitable operating means.
As will be apparent, operation of the safety edge or device 12e is essentially similar to that of the previously described safety devices, and may be sensitive to engagement throughout substantially 360 degrees.
A further embodiment of safety device or edge 12d is shown in FIGURE 7, as mounted on t-he edge face .13d of a door or other support 10d. The edge face 13d is further provided with a longitudinally extending land or rib 43 spaced between the opposite sides of the support 10d.
The safety device 12d includes an inner member 15d of resiliently yieldable sheet ymaterial extending longitudinally along and projecting transversely from the edge face 13d, being folded about the rib 453 to define a longitudinally extending fold or bight portion 18d and a pair of side portions 16d extending on opposite sides of the rib 43 to the edge face 13d. Substantially completely covering the inner member 15d is an inner conductor 19a', of flexible conductive sheet material covering the outer surface of inner member 15d and extending on opposite sides thereof toward the edge face 13d. An intermediate member 20d of resiliently yieldable sheet material, such as plastic or rubber foam, is arranged in substantially completely covering relation with the inner conductor 19d, extending on opposite sides thereof toward the support-edge face 13d and formed therein with a plurality of thru holes or openings 21d.
An outer conductor 25d of flexible conductive sheet material substantially completely covers the intermediate member 20d, extending on opposite sides thereof toward the support-edge face 13d, and is substantially completely covered by an outer member 26d of resiliently yieldable sheet material, such as plastic or rubber foam.
Encasing the outer member 26d is a cover or casing 27d of flexible, impervious sheet material, which may be sealed to the support d to effectively maintain the safety device 12d in position on the support. A pair of electrical conductors or wires 28d and 29d may be respectively connected to the inner and outer conductors 19d and 25d, and extend therefrom for connection to suitable operating means. It will be appreciated that the safety edge or device 12d is similar in operation to the hereinbefore described safety devices, and may be folded or Ibent about the ri-b or land 43 to assume a wide variety of configurations, as desired.
It will now be understood that the safety device or edge of the present invention includes the inner, intermediate and outer members of resiliently yieldable sheets, such as of foam plastic or rubber, in sandwiching relation with respect to the inner and outer conductors. Further, the multiply, sandwich structure of inner, intermediate and outer members, and inner and outer conductors, is arcuately bent or transversely curved as a unit to present differently directed engagement-sensing areas, up to substantially 360 degrees.
From the foregoing, it is seen that the present invention provides a safety device or edge which fully accomplishes its intended objects and is `well adapted to meet practical conditions of manufacture, installation, maintenance and use.
Although the present invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity of understanding, it is understood that certain changes and modifications may be made Within the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A safety device comprising an elongate support, an elongate inner member of resilient yieldable material extending longitudinally along and projecting transversely from sai-d support, an inner conductor of flexible sheet material extending on opposite sides of said inner member to substantially envelope the latter, an intermediate member of resiliently yieldable material in substantially completely covering relation with said inner conductor, said intermediate member being formed with a plurality of spaced thru openings exposing inner-conductor portions outwardly therethrough, an outer conductor of flexible sheet material substantially completely covering said intermediate member and having portions overlying said openings in spaced confronting relation with said exposed inner-conductor portions, an outer member of resiliently yieldable material in substantially completely covering relation with said outer conductor, and a casing of flexible sheet material substantially completely covering said outer member, whereby engagement with said casing from different directions flexes the casing and compresses said members to effect contact of said conductors through said openings.
2. A safety device according to claim 1, said inner member extending along and about said support.
3. A safety device according to claim 1, said inner, intermediate and outer members being fabricated of foam sheets in sandwiching relation with said inner and outer conductors, and said sheets and conductors being arcuately bent to present differently directed engagement-sensing areas.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1966 Miller 200-86 BERNARD A. GILHEANY, Primary Examiner. J. I. BAKER, Assistant Examiner.