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Publication numberUS3374528 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 26, 1968
Filing dateApr 1, 1965
Priority dateApr 1, 1965
Publication numberUS 3374528 A, US 3374528A, US-A-3374528, US3374528 A, US3374528A
InventorsBoliker David J, Bowcutt Alvin A, Bronius Polikaitis
Original AssigneeUnion Tank Car Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hopper car fabrication
US 3374528 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 26, 1968 A. A. BOWCUTT ETAL 3,374,528

HOPPER CAR FABRICATION 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 1, 1965 [men Zn? flzw/v i flak 011 291 /0 Jaw M'ew &

3/90/1003 fiau/m/f/s March 1968 A. A. BOWCUTT ETAL 3,374,523

HOPFER CAR FABRICATION Filed April 1, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 March 26, 1968 A. A. BOWCUTT ETAL HOPPER CAR FABRI CATION 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April 1, 1965 March 26, 1968 A. A. BOWCUTT ETAL 3,374,528

HOPPER CAR FABR ICAT ION 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed April 1, 1965 United States Patent 3,374,528 HOPPER CAR FABRICATION Alvin A. Bowcutt, Park Forest, 11]., David J. Boliker,

Gary, Ind., and Bronius Polikaitis, Chicago, 111., assignors to Union Tank Car Company, Chicago, 111., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Apr. 1, 1965, Ser. No. 444,737 4 Claims. (Cl. 29471.1)

This invention relates to railroad cars and, in particular, to a method for manufacturing railroad hopper cars and tank cars of substantially elliptical or circular crosssectional configuration.

It has been conventional practice in the manufacture of railroad hopper cars of generally elliptical cross-sectional configuration to apply each curved or arcuate side to the hopper car in the following manner. A number of separate side sections for each side are sheared or cut to exact size and then placed in the main fabricating jig where they are laboriously welded to a number of vertical curved hacking bars positioned to cover the vertical joint between adjacent side sections which are then lap-welded together. In some cases, the welding of the adjacent side sections together is accomplished on the ground or floor and the resultant cumbersome multi-piece side is then positioned in the jig and pulled against the car bottom and end portions by means of horizontal internal tension cables.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to eliminate these cumbersome and costly methods of applying the car sides. In accordance with the present invention, the bottom edges of a pair of long, typically 40 feet long, one piece, thin-walled side sheets are secured to the bottom portion of the hopper car on each side with the ends of each side sheet extending beyond the end bulkheads of the hopper car. The main portion of each side sheet rests on the curved forming arms of a forming unit. The arms of the two forming units are simultaneously moved upwardly and inwardly, fitting the side sheets against the curved side edges of the intermediate and end bulkheads and overlapping the roof portion of the hopper car. The side sheet is then secured in place. This efiicient, inexpensive method of installing the sides of the hopper car obviates the laborious lap-welding of a number of separate sections as well as the need for the joint backing bars. The overlapping nature of the one piece side sheets in the present invention eliminates the need for exact sizes which is characteristic of the separate side sheets in the conventional practice described above. No shop preparation whatever is required to be performed on the long side sheets when used in conventional stock lengths.

It has also been conventional practice in manufacturing hopper cars to'mount the semi-completed hopper car in expensive head-and-tail-stock positioners which rotate the hopper car to enable final welding in downhand position. However, these expensive positioners are heavy and bulky, requiring substantial floor space and involved production planning for the hopper car production line. For example, if it becomes necessary to move the hopper car from its station to another station for certain welding operations, or to another hopper car to pass through the station, the hopper car at the station in question must be laboriously detached from the head-and-tail-stock positioners and then re-attached.

Accordingly, it is another primary object of the present invention to eliminate the need for the expensive and bulky head-and-tail-stock positioners by mounting an inexpensive ring member on an extending length of the bottom support portion at each end of the hopper car with the axis of the ring member coincident with the axis of inertia of the hopper car. The hopper car with the ring members attached is then placed on two sets of inexpensive rollers with the rings resting on the rollers so that final welding of the side sheets and other portions of the car can be readily accomplished in downhand position. If the hopper car mustbe removed from the rollers for other operations, it is merely picked up, rings and all, and carried away by a crane. I

These and other features and objects of the present invention will be better understood by reference to the following detailed description and to the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals refer to like parts.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is an isometric view illustrating the hopper car in a preliminary stage of assembly without the roof portion attached.

FIGURE 2 is another isometric view of the hopper car in a preliminary stage of assembly with the roof portion attached.

FIGURE 3 is still another isometric view of the semicompleted hopper car with the side sheets attached in accordance with the present invention.

FIGURE 4 is a partial side elevational view illustrating the bottom support portion, the end and intermediate bulkheads assembled on the main fabricating jig and the forming unit for the side sheets.

FIGURE 5 is an end elevational view and partially phantom view illustrating primarily the bottom support portion of the hopper car mounted on the main fabricating jig and the manner in which the side sheets are applied to the hopper car.

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG- URE 5.

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of one of the adjustable forming devices of the side sheet forming unit.

FIGURE 8 is an end elevational view of the semicompleted hopper car prior to attachment of the ring members.

FIGURE 9 is an end elevational view of the hopper car with the ring members attached and emplaced on rollers.

FIGURE 10 is a partial side elevational view of the arrangement shown in FIGURE 9.

Refer-ring now particularly to FIGURES 1, 4, 5, and 6, the bottom support portion 21 is assembled on the fabrieating jig 22 in the following manner. At each end of the jig 22, the shear plate 23, sill 24, and bolster 25 assembly is assembled on the end support members 26 of the jig 22 and is positioned by a pin 27. The bolster 25 is secured to the support member 26 by a pair of bolts 26a. The hopper bottom frames 28 are positioned on stools 29 provided on the jig 22 as illustrated in FIGURE 4. A welded reinforcing angle 31 and bottom sheet 32 assembly running the entire length of the hopper car is loaded onto the jig and supported by suitable gussets (not shown). The gage arms 33 which are pivotally mounted on side sheet support stanchions 34 are pivoted into horizontal position to accurately position the reinforcing angle 31 and bottom sheet 32 assembly on each side of the hopper car, as best illustrated in FIGURE 6.

An end bulkhead 35 is mounted on the shear plate 23 and sill 24 and above the bolster 25 at each end of the hopper car. Each end bulkhead 35 is held upright in part by front support wedges 36 and braces 37 which are affixed to the shear plate 23. Inner support wedges 38, partially shown in FIGURE 4, extend from the rear of the end bulkhead 35 and are secured to the shear plate 23 and the sill 24 by welding. To complete the end bulk 35 installation at each end of the hopper car, a slope sheet 39 is welded to the inner wedge supports 38 to extend downwardly over the inner end of the sill 24 to the hopper bottom frame 28 to which it is welded.

The intermediate bulkheads 41, each of which includes a pair of slope sheets 42,.are loaded into the bottom sup- P t portion 21 and welded in place with the bottom edges of the slope sheets 42 welded to the hopper bottom frames 28, as illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 4.

1 A pre-fa'bricated roof assembly 44 is placed across the top of the end bulkheads 35 and intermediate bulkheads 41 as illustrated in FIGURE 2, and welded to the tops ofthese bulkheads.

The two thin-walled steel side sheets 45 are now picked up with a crane and loaded on the hopper car on each side. As previously mentioned, these one piece side sheets 45 are very long, typically 40 feet long, and are only 5 of an inch in thickness. They are initially supported and confined at their lower portions against the lower edges of the bulkheads, as illustrated in FIGURES 4 and 6, by the brackets 46 mounted on the stanchions 34 which are spaced at intervals along each side of the hopper car and the fabricating jig. The bottom edges of the side sheets 45 are welded to the top edges of the bottom sheets 32 and to the angles 31, as best'illustrated in FIGURE 6.

Along each side of the hopper car and the jig22 is a side sheet forming unit 46 consisting of four forming arms 47 having forward edges compatible with the curvature of the bulkhead edges. Each arm 47 is pivotally mounted at its lower end on a supporting stanchion 48 and pivotally secured at its upper end to a pneumatic cylinder 49. The opposite end of each of the pneumatic cylinders 49 is pivotally secured to the top of a tall stanchion 51. Each of the forming arms 47 is provided on one side with a number. of adjustable contact members 52 spaced at intervals along the forward edge of the forming arm, as illustrated in FIGURE 5. The forming arms 47 are located such that the adjustable contact members 52 are substantially in alignment with the respective bulkheads 35 and 41.

The tops of the forming arms 47 in each forming unit 46 are joined by a channel member 53 extending the length of the forming unit 46 and provided with an upstanding fiange 53a having a purpose which will be described further on. The lower portions of the forming arms 47 in each forming unit 46 are joined by a channel 54 also extending the length of the forming unit 46. Finally, a workmens catwalk 55 extends the length of each of the forming units 46 at approximatelythe centers of the forming arms 47.

h The eight pneumatic cylinders 49 are connected to a common air pressure source (not shown) which is now actuated to energize the cylinders 49 to move both side sheets 45 simultaneously upwardly and inwardly to be fitted against the curved edges of the bulkheads 35 and 41 and .the slope sheets 39 and 42, as illustrated by the phantom view in FIGURE 5. The cylinders 49 typically have a 52 inchstroke and require about 30 seconds to extend to their entire length under 110 p.s.i, pressure. Since the forcev of each cylinder 49 at this pressure level is approximately 5000 pounds, the stanchions 51 are securely anchored in concrete, as illustrated in FIGURE 5. .To assure that the side sheets 45 are tightly fitted to the curvature of the bulkheads and hopper slope sheets after the cylinders have extended to their maximum length, the contact members 52 are forced forwardly by turning the adjustment screw 56 and then tightening the retaining screws 57 which extend through a central longitudinal slot 58 in each of the contact members 52 as shown in FIGURE 7. v In addition, the supporting angles 58 which are provided tostrengthen and support the forming arms 47, are permanently positioned in approximate alignment with corresponding hopper slope sheets 39 or 42 so as to help force the side sheets 45 against the edges of these slope sheets. If necessary, wedges can be driven between the angles 58 and the side sheets 45 to force the side sheets against the hopper slope sheets.

The side sheets 45 are'now tack welded to thebulkheads and hopper slope sheets and to the lower edge portions of the roof assembly 44 which the top edge portions of the side sheets 45 overlap. Toclose any gaps between the lower edge portions of the roof assembly 44 and the top edges of the side sheets 45, one flange end of an angle iron (not shown) is temporarily tack welded to the roof assembly immediately above the top edge of the side sheet 45 with the other flange of the angle iron depending downwardly in overlapping relationship with the top edge of the side sheet 45. A wedge is then driven in between the depending flange of the angle iron and the top edge portion of the side sheet 45, thereby forcing the top edge of the side sheet 45 against the bottom edge portion of the roof assembly 44 where it is tack welded inplace.

A stiffening angle 59 is now preferably welded to the exterior of each of the side sheets 45, as best ilustrated in FIGURES 3 and 8. At this point in the manufacture, the hopper car appears substantially as shown in FIG-j URE 3.

Referring now to FIGURE 8, a jacket pad assembly 61 is welded to each bolster 25 and the angle 31 to provide means for supporting the hopper car when it is removed fromthe jig 22. With the hopper car sufliciently tack welded to be removed from the jig 22, it is so removed by a crane and placed with its jacking pad assemblies 61 resting respectively on four pedestals 62, as illustrated in FIGURE 8. A ring member 63 strengthened by a number of struts or braces 64 is slipped on toeach end of the hopper car over the shear plate. 23 and sill 24 by a crane. Ball bearings 65 allowthe ring member 63 to slide more easily onto the shear plate 23. Horizontal bolts 66 are then tightened against the angles 31 and vertical bolts 67 are tightened against the shear plate 23, as illustrated in FIGURE 9. In this manner, the ring members 63 are firmly secured to the hopper car with their axes coincident with the axis of rotational inertia of the elliptical or tear-drop shaped hopper car to prevent an unstabilizing imbalance of forces from-occurring while the hopper car is rotated on the ring members 63. With the ring members 63 inplace, the hopper car is lifted oil of the pedestals 66 and placed with the ring member 66 at each end of the car resting on a pair of rollers 68, as illustrated in FIGURES 9 and 10. One of the rollers in each pair is preferably power driven by conventional means to facilitate rotation of the hopper car. The hopper car is now selectively rotated to facilitate final welding in the down hand position after which the hopper car is ready for mounting on railroad wheel assemblies and for other final production steps.

While a specific form of the present invention has been shown and described, it is to be understood that this is merely by way of illustration and is in no manner to be construed as a limitation. It is contemplated that certain modifications may be made within the scope of the claims without departing from the spiritof the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In the manufacture of hopper cars, the method comprising the steps of: mounting a bottom support assembly on a fabricating jig; attaching end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies in place on said bottom support assembly; attaching a roof assembly atop of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies; affixing the bottom edge portions of a pair of elongate one piece metal sheets to the respective sides of said bottom support assembly with the main portions of said sheets supported respectively on a plurality of forming arms having forward edge portions compatible with the curved side edges of said end and intermediate'bulkhead assemblies; simul-I' taneously moving said forming arms to force: said side sheets against said side edges of said endand intermediate bulkhead assemblies so as to fit said side sheets to the curvature of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies; affixing said side sheets in place against said end' and intermediate bulkhead assemblies to semi-complete said hopper car; mounting a pair of ring members on each end of said bottom support assembly with the axes of said rings coincident with the axis of rotational inertia of said semi-completed hopper car; emplacing each of said ring members on a pair of rollers such that said semi-completed hopper car can be rotated about its axis of inertia; and selectively rotating said semi-completed hopper car for the accomplishment of further production work thereon.

2. In the manufacture of hopper cars, the method comprising the steps of: mounting a bottom support assembly on a fabricating jig; attaching end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies in place on said bottom support assembly; attaching a prefabricated roof assembly atop of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies; aflixing the bottom edge portions of a pair of elongate, one piece, thin metal side sheets to said respective sides of said bottom support assembly such that said side sheets extend longitudinally slightly beyond the side edges of said end bulkhead assemblies and such that said side sheets are supported in part on a pair of elongate forming units having a plurality of pivotal forming arms with forward edges curved compatibly in relation to the side edges of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies; simultaneously moving said forming arms to force said side sheets against said side edges of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies so as to fit said side sheets to the curvature of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies and such that the top edge portion of each of said side sheets overlaps a lower edge portion of said roof assembly; tack welding said side sheets in place against said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies and said lower edge portions of said roof assembly to semi-complete said hopper car; mounting a pair of ring members on each end of said bottom support assembly with the axes of said ring members coincident with the axis of rotational inertia of said semi-completed hopper car; emplacing each of said ring members on a pair of rollers such that said semi-completed hopper car be rotated about its axis of inertia; and selectively rotating said semi-completed hopper car for the accomplishment of further production work thereon.

3. In the manufacture of hopper cars, the method comprising the steps of: mounting a bottom support assembly on a fabricating jig; attaching end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies in place on said bottom support assembly; attaching a pre-fabricated roof assembly atop of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies; afiixing the bottom edge portions of a pair of elongate, one piece, thin metal side sheets to said respective sides of said bottom support assembly such that said side sheets extend longitudinally slightly beyond the side edges of said end bulkhead assemblies and such that the main portions of said side sheets are supported on a pair of elongate forming units having a plurality of pivotal forming arms with forward edges curved compatibly in relation to said side edges of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies and provided with a plurality of adjustable contact members spaced along said forward edges and substantially aligned with corresponding edge portions of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies; simultaneously moving said forming arms upwardly and inwardly to force said side sheets against said side edges of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies so as to fit the curvature of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies and such that the top edge portion of each of said side sheets overlaps a lower edge portion of said roof assembly; selectively adjusting said contact members to further force said side sheets to fit the curvature of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies; tack welding said side sheets in place against said end and intermediate bulk head assemblies and said lower edge portions of said roof assembly to semi-complete said hopper car; mountin g a pair of ring members on each of said bottom support assembly with the axis of said ring members coincident with the axis of rotational inertia of said semi-completed hopper car; emplacing each of said ring members on a pair of rollers such that said semi-completed hopper car can be rotated about its axis of inertia; and selectively rotating said semi-completed hopper for the accomplishment of further production work thereon.

4. In the manufacture of hopper cars, the method comprising the steps of: mounting a bottom support assembly on a fabricating jig; attaching end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies in place on said bottom support assembly; attaching a roof assembly atop of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies; afiixing the bottom edge portions of a pair of elongate one piece metal sheets to the respective sides of said bottom support assembly with the main portions of said sheets supported respectively on a plurality of forming arms having forward edge portions compatible with the curved side edges of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies; simultaneously moving said forming arms to force said side sheets against said side edges of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies 50 as to fit said side sheets to the curvature of said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies; and aflixing said side sheets in place against said end and intermediate bulkhead assemblies to semi-complete said hopper car.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,740,033 12/ 1929 Pinckney 228-48 X 2,277,631 3/ 1942 Bullock.

2,671,957 3/1954 Sheifer et a1. 29-430 2,679,278 5/1954 Clark 29-477 X 2,730,798 1/ 1956 Larsen 29-475 3,087,631 4/1963 Kocher 214-1 3,187,425 6/ 1965 Black et a1. 29-475 X 3,080,843 3/1963 Abbott et a1. 29-240 CHARLIE T. MOON, Primary Examiner.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,374,528 March 26, 1968 Alvin A. Bowcutt et a1.

It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 4, line 22, "jacket" should read jacking line 43, "pedestals 66" should read pedestals 62 line 44, "member 66" should read member 63 Signed and sealed this 23rd day of September 1969.

(SEAL) Attest:

a WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.

Commissioner of Patents Edward M. Fletcher, Jr. Attesting Officer

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3470829 *Jul 24, 1967Oct 7, 1969Pullman IncReinforced hopper car construction
US3703153 *Dec 14, 1970Nov 21, 1972Mitsui Shipbuilding EngMethod for buildi
US3718803 *Jun 9, 1971Feb 27, 1973Acf Ind IncApparatus and method for fabricating a container
US3888103 *Jan 25, 1971Jun 10, 1975Renshaw RobinForming apparatus
US4403387 *May 11, 1981Sep 13, 1983Hahn & ClayMethod of making frame for the construction of hemispherical multi-layered shell
US4538798 *May 2, 1983Sep 3, 1985Hahn & ClayFrame for constructing a hemispherical multi-layered shell
US4664307 *Sep 20, 1985May 12, 1987General American Transportation CorporationSpirally welded tank cars
US5209166 *Jun 17, 1991May 11, 1993Trinity Industries, Inc.Aerodynamic self cleaning hopper car
US6875942 *Jan 9, 2004Apr 5, 2005American Railcar Industries, Inc.Methods and systems for fabricating spiral welded cylinders
US7624488 *Dec 7, 2004Dec 1, 2009The Boeing CompanyOne-piece barrel assembly cart
Classifications
U.S. Classification228/173.6, 228/15.1, 29/281.1, 228/184, 228/48, 414/10, 105/360, 72/296
International ClassificationB61D7/00
Cooperative ClassificationB61D7/00
European ClassificationB61D7/00