US 3407971 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
G. J. OEHLER BULK CONTAINER Oct. 29, 1968 Filed Aug. 15, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. gerord J. Oehler ATTORNEYS Oct. 29, 1968 G. J. OEHLER BULK CONTAINER s Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 15. 1966 f INVENTOR, Gerard J. 'Oehler' V B p 1 III/II ATIQBINEYS G. J. OEHLER BULK CONTAINER Oct. 29, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Aug. 15. 1966 INVENTOR. Gerard J. OehIer' ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,407,971 BULK CONTAINER Gerard J. Oehler, Williamsville, N.Y., assignor t0 Oehlers Welding and Fabrication Corp., Buffalo, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Aug. 15, 1966, Ser. No. 572,455 6 Claims. (Cl. 222185) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A bulk container for powdered or liquid material, but especially adapted for shipping titanium dioxide so that it will not agglomerate in transit, and having the features of bottom discharge and vertical stacking of similar containers one upon another.
This invention relates to a container for shipping or storing bulk material.
Bulk containers broadly are old but those of the prior art were deficient in one or more respects which are overcome by the present invention.
A primary object of the present invention is to provide a bulk container which will have a maximum cubic capacity for the bulk material but yet which is constructed so that removal of such material, particularly if powdered or pulverulent, will be assured.
The problem of removal of powdered or pulverulent material is particularly acute when the shipment of titanium dioxide is considered. This material when in transit tends to agglomerate in marble-sized balls which are unacceptable commercially, necessitating repulverizing the material if to be used.
Accordingly, another important object of the present invention is to provide a container for shipping titanium dioxide in bulk so that it will not agglomerate in transit. As well, the container of the presentinvention is suitable for confining other dry powdered or pulverulent bulk material. Further, the bulk container of the present invention is adapted to confine liquid materials.
Another object of the present invention is to provide such a bulk container for dry materials which has an improved selectively operable outlet means for removing the bulk material, such means being simple in construction and easy to operate.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a bulk container having a construction such that similar containers can be readily stacked one upon another and in the process of stacking them the upper container will be automatically centered on the lower container.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the ensuing description of embodiments thereof illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a top plan View of a bulk container embodying one form of the present invention and showing portions of such container broken away to reveal hidden structure, this container being especially adapted to confine dry powdered titanium dioxide. 1
FIG. 2 is a bottom elevational view of the container shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a vertical central transverse sectional view thereof taken on line 33 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a similar vertical transverse sectional view thereof but taken along a perpendicular plane, being taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a horizontal sectional view thereof, on an enlarged scale, taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 4 and showing details of the slide gate assembly at the bottom of the 'ice container, certain portions of the assembly illustrated in FIG. 5 being broken away to reveal hidden structure.
FIG. 6 is a vertical longitudinal sectional view of the slide gate assembly taken on line 66 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a vertical transverse sectional view thereof taken on line 77 of FIG. 5, the slide gate being illustrated in this figure in a clamped closed condition.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary enlarged view of the left portion of the structure shown in FIG. 7 and illustrating more clearly the clamped closed condition of the slide gate.
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 but showing the slide gate in a condition released for sliding movement to open it.
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view taken on line 10-10 of FIG. 4 and showing the details of mounting an inflatable bag at one corner of the container.
FIG. 11 is a top plan view of another form of bulk container constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention, the container here illustrated being adapted for the confinement of liquid bulk material.
FIG. 12 is a bottom elevational view of the container shown in FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 is an end elevational view of the container shown in FIG. 11, this view being taken from the bottom of FIG. 11, with portions being broken away to reveal hidden structure.
FIG. 14 is a side elevational view of the container shown in FIG. 11, this view being taken from the left of FIG. 11, and also having portions broken away.
FIG. 15 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view thereof taken on line 15-15 of FIG. 14.
FIG. 16 is an exploded perspective view of the foot element of an imaginary upper container arranged above a lug element on an imaginary lower container of similar construction to depict the cooperation between such elements when the containers are stacked.
FIGS. 1-10 The bulk container shown in FIGS. 1-10 is intended primarily for the containment of powdered and pulverulent materials, particularly titanium dioxide. The container is shown as including an upper elongated rectangular section represented generally by the numeral 20 and a likewise elongated lower hopper section represented generally by the numeral 21 in order to provide an unstable environment tending to prevent undesirable arching of the pulverulent material above the bottom of the container. Upper section 20 comprises longer opposite or opposing side plates or walls 22, 23 and shorter opposite or opposing and or side plates or walls 24, 25, each of these plates being rectangular in outline and arranged in a vertical plane and adjacent plates are connected together along their vertical meeting edges in any suitable manner as by being welded. Upper section 20 is also shown as including a top wall 26 which covers the entire rectangular horizontal cross sectional areas of the container as viewed in plan and this top wall is connected along its outer edges to the upper edges of the side and end walls 22-25 in any suitable manner as by being welded thereto.
A filling opening 28 of circular shape in plan is shown as arranged centrally in top wall 26. This opening is closed by a removable cover 29 of any suitable construction.
An important feature of the present invention is the construction of the lower hopper section 21. In general, this section 21 may be described as having an inverted outwardly curved pyramidal shape including four outwardly curved walls which, as compared to fiat walls, tend to eliminate arching of the powdered material as it is being withdrawn from the discharge opening at the bottom of the container. More specifically, hopper section 21 includes an outwardly curved longer side wall 30 which along its upper edge is coterminous with and an extension of the lower edge of corresponding upper side wall 22; a similar but oppositely arranged or opposing outwardly curved longer side wall 31 is similarly associated with respect to upper side wall 23; an outwardly curved shorter end or side wall 32 has its upper edge coterminous with and forming an extension of the lower edge of the corresponding upper end wall 24; and a similar but oppositely arranged or opposing outwardly curved shorter end or side wall 33 is similarly associated with the opposite upper side wall 25. The curved walls 30-33 are suitably joined together along their meeting edges as by being welded together. If curved walls 30-33 are formed from plates separate from upperside walls 22-25, they are suitably joined along their corresponding meeting edges as by being welded together.
Another important feature of the present invention is that each of the curved walls 30-33 is partially cylindrical as viewed from the edge and generated about a center having a radius of curvature such that the chordal distance between the opposite ends of the curved wall is at an angle a to the horizontal falling in the range from 55 to 65 degrees when the container is in an upright position as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. Such a chordal line is indicated at C in FIG. 3 and at C in FIG. 4. This angle a is critical in that if it is greater too much volume of the container is sacrificed for the floor area occupied by the container, and if the angle is smaller the powdered or pulverulent material will not freely and completely discharge through an outlet opening provided in the bottom of the hopper section.
The curved walls 30 and 31 are shown severally in FIG. 3 as generated about a center A with a radius B, center A being located above the lower edge of upper section and away from its corresponding curved wall 30 or 31 more than half the distance between the opposing side walls 22 and 23 of the upper section. Likewise, the other curved walls 32 and 33 are shown severally in FIG. 4 as generated about a center D with a radius E, center D being located above the lower edge of upper section 20 and away from its corresponding curved wall 32 or 33 more than half the distance between the opposing side walls 24 and of the upper section.
More specifically, in the preferred embodiment shown, the radii of curvature of curved walls -33 are substantially equal; the centers D for radii E are located inside the container between shorter upper side walls 24, 25 and above the lower edge of upper section 20, and the centers for radii A are located outside the container beyond longer upper side walls 22, 23 and above the lower edge of upper section 20, but slightly below centers D. This construction produces an angle a in FIG. 3 of about 59 and an angle a in FIG. 4 of about 56, resulting in not only optimum container volume for occupied floor area, but also free and complete discharge of the powdered or pulverulent material through the outlet opening.
Before describing this outlet and the slide gate assembly associated therewith, the means for supporting the container in an upright condition will be first described.
At each corner a leg 34 is provided. 'Each such leg comprises two vertically arranged corner plates 35 and 36 which have their upper edges suitably connected to the lower part of the upper container section as by being welded thereto. These corner plates are shown as meeting and being joined together along their intersecting vertical edges and as having downwardly tapering remote edges. Their lower ends have suitably connected thereto a foot member 38 which is in the form of an L-shaped angle, as best shown in FIG. 16, including a vertical flange 39 and a horizontal flange 40. The lower surfaces of the four feet 38 are coplanar and arranged below the selectively operable outlet means represented generally by the numeral 41 at the bottom of hopper section 21. The foot members 38 are connected to their respective legs in any suitable manner as by welding the upstanding flanges 39 to the inner surfaces of the corner plates 35 and 36. The
4 lower flange or base of the edge of the feet 38 has a cutout indicated at 42 leaving a crotch for a purpose later to be described.
In order to enable the container to be readily lifted and moved, the legs 34 are shown as supporting inverted cross channels 43, 43 and 44, 44, the pair of channels 43 extending between the pairs of opposite corner plates 36 and passing over the other pair of channels 44 which extend between the pairs of opposite corner plates 35. These corner plates are suitably cut out with rectangularly shaped openings through which the end portions of the channels 33 and 34 extend. Preferably the open end portion of each U-shaped channel 43 is closed on its fourth and lower side by a plate 45. A similar plate 46 is similarly arranged with respect to each of the channels 44. The rectangular open ends of these channel assemblies are adapted to receive the arms or tines of a fork lift truck (not shown), whereby when received in either the pair of channels 43 or 44 the container can be lifted and transported to another location by the truck.
Another important feature of the present invention is the construction of the slide gate assembly 41 which is best shown in FIGS. 5-9 and will now be described. The lower edges of the curved walls 30-33 do not meet but are spaced so as to provide a rectangular opening as viewed in plan and as indicated at 48 in FIGS. 5 and 6, these lower edges being represented in FIGS. 6 and 7 by the numerals 30, 31, 32' and 33, respectively. A throat structure depends from these lower edges and is provided by the vertical flanges of two longitudinal upper angle members 49 and 50 and of two transverse upper angle members 51 and 52. These flanges are designated 5.3-56 for the respective angles 49-52. The upper edges of these flanges are suitably connected to the lower edges of the curved Walls as by being welded thereto as shown at 58 in FIGS. 8 and 9, for example. Extending laterally outwardly from the lower edges of vertical flanges 53-55 are horizontal flanges 59-62, respectively. The lower surfaces of horizontal flanges or plates 59-62 are coplanar.
Arranged below the upper angle members 49-52 are corresponding but inverted lower angle members 63-66. These lower angle members 63-66 have horizontal flanges or plates 68-71, respectively, and also downturned or vertically extending flanges 72-75, respectively. These vertical flanges 72-75 define a rectangular area slightly larger than that defined by the upstanding flanges 53-56.
Opposing longitudinal horizontal plates 59 and 68 on one side, and the similar opposing longitudinal horizontal plates 60 and 69, are vertically spaced apart to provide ways indicated at 76 and 78 severally adapted to receive the marginal longitudinal edge portions of a slide gate plate 79. At one end this slide gate 79 has a handle 77 secured thereto for moving the gate longitudinally along the ways 76 and 78.
The floor of each way supports another plate, designated 80 in the case of plate 68 and 81 in the case of plate 69, having at its inner end which is adjacent the longitudinal lower vertical flange 72 or 73 an upturned lip 82 to provide a rail. The two rails so provided are adapted to support and permit the sliding therealong of slide gate 79. Interposed between plates 59 and 80 is a spacer bar 83 and on the other side a similar spacer bar 84 is interposed between plates 60 and 81. The assembly of plates and spacers are clamped together by a series of longitudinally spaced nut and bolt assemblies indicated typically at 85 which extend through registered holes provided in these members.
Slide gate 79 is vertically movable in its ways 76 and 78 between an upper position shown in FIG. 8 and a lower position illustrated in FIG. 9. To lift the slide gate 79 from its lower to its upper position, a series of jack screws 86 are provided at intervals along each of the ways 76 and 78. As shown, the threaded shanks of these jack screws 86 extend through threaded holes provided in the lower wall members of the corresponding way.
Periinetral yieldable sealing means are provided about the interior of the throat of the slide gate assembly. As shown, such means include two longitudinal strips 88 and 89 and two transverse strips 90 and 91. These may be made of any suitable elastomeric material such as rubber. Arranged inwardly of these strips is a rectangular funnel-shaped member 92 having an outwardly flaring upper rim portion 93 and a rectangular vertical side wall 94. Screws, such as the one designated 95 in FIGS. 8 and 9, secure the 'funnel member 92 and the sealing strips 88-91 to the outer throat wall of the assembly. The lower edge of the continuous rectangularly-shaped,sealing member constituted by strips 88-91 constantly engages the upper surface of slide gate 79 whether in its upper position shown in FIG. 8 or its lower position shown in FIG. 9. In this connection, the lower edge of the funnel-shaped member 92 is substantially coplanar with the lower surfaces of upper horizontal plates 5962.
Referring to FIGS. 2 and 4-6, it will be seen that the longitudinal members defining ways 76 and 78 extend beyond superposed cross angle members 51 and 65 so that when the gate is pulled to its fully opened position it will be adequately supported.
When the slide gate 79 is closed and not intended to be opened, it is normally lifted into clamping engagement with upper plates 59-62 by turning jack screws 86 as illustrated in FIG. 8. However, when it is desired to open the slide gate, these jack screws 86 are backed off or lowered so as to lower the slide gate onto the rails formed by upturned lips 82. The area of contact now between these rails and the slide gate is very limited and the gate can be readily slid back and forth along these rails by clasping handle 77. It is preferred to lower jack screws 86 sufficiently so that their upper ends are completely out of contact with slide gate 79, as depicted in FIG. 9.
Another important feature of the present invention which has particular pertinency when a pulverulent material such as titanium dioxide is confined within the container, is the provision of pneumatic means for immobilizing the pulverulent material within the container. It is my contention that the reason why titanium dioxide tends to agglomerate or ballup when shipped and subjected to the vibrations inevitable therewith is due to allowing the titanium dioxide to move within the container. I prevent this by providing at each corner of the container essentially within the upper section thereof a vertically elongated inflatable bag which is represented by the numeral 96. Each of these. bags 96 is made of an elastic material such as rubber or the like and enclosed so as to confine air under pressure.
As best shown in FIG. 10, the upper end of each bag 96 is provided with an externally threaded valve stem 98 extending through a hole 99 provided in top wall 26 and secured in position by a nut 100 screwed onto the valve stem and bearing against the upper surface of top wall 26. This valve stem 98 is adapted to house a conventional filling valve indicated at 101 of the type employed in the valve stems of vehicle tires sold under such trademarks as Bridgeport, Dill or Schrader.
In using the bags 96, before filling the container through opening 28 with a pulverulent material such as titanium dioxide these bags are deflated or collapsed. The container is then filled with the bulk material until all apparent air voids are eliminated, following which cover 29 is mounted to close opening 28. Thereafter each of bags 96 is inflated by connecting its valve stem 98 to a source of compressed air. As the bags are inflated they enlarge in volume and exert a pressure generally horizontally inwardly upon the confined bulk material as represented by the arrows typically indicated at 102. The lower ends of these bags which may extend slightly into the lower hopper section 21 exert an inwardly and downwardly directed pressure on bulk material as represented typically by arrows 103. While the bags 96 may be inflated with any suitable pressure, I have used a pressure of ten pounds per square inch gauge.
I have been successful in shipping titanium dioxide in a container having the construction shown in FIGS. 1-10 and at its destination have been able to open the slide gate assembly 41 and fully remove the titanium dioxide still in a pulverulent condition and without having been balled up, contrary to the experience of others when attempting to ship this product in other bulk containers.
Referring to FIG. 4, as pulverulent material is withdrawn through the outlet provided by opening slide gate 79, the portions of the bags 96 above the level represented at L in FIG. 4 of pulverulent material appear to bulge inwardly to overlap the bulk material, as indicated at 104 in this figure. This inward bulging of the upper portion over the lower portion seems to exert an inward and downward force represented typically by the arrows 105 upon the bulk material, urging the same to move toward the slide gate assembly 41. Therefore the inflatable bags 96 not only immobilize the pulverulent material in transit which in the case of titanium dioxide is prevented from balling up, but also facilitate the removal of this material through the discharge opening in the bottom of the hopper by exerting a downward force upon the material thereby tending to extrude it through the outlet opening.
FIGS. 11-16 The form of container shown in FIGS. 11-16 is intended principally for the containment of liquid bulb material. It has a generally similar construction to that shown in FIGS. 1-10 and hence similar reference indicia have been applied to indicate like parts. The exception is the omission of the slide gate assembly 41 and the substitution therefor of an outlet conduit or pipe extending laterally outwardly from one of the outwardly curved side walls of the lower hopper section. This conduit or pipe 110 is shown as having a selectively operable valve 111 of any suitable construction. By keeping this valve closed the liquid material can be confined within the container and by opening this valve the desired amount thereof can be withdrawn.
The form of bulk container illustrated in FIGS. ll-l6 is shown as provided with an additional feature which might also be applied to the bulk container shown in FIGS. l10. This feature will now be described. On the top of the container adjacent each corner thereof is suitably secured as by welding a base plate 112 from which an upstanding lug 113 extends upwardly and inwardly, generally diagonally of the rectangular container shape. This lug is suitably secured to base plate 112 as by being welded thereto. The laterally outermost edge 114 of each of the lugs 113 at its junction with base plate 112 is generally in lines with the crook or inside corner of the crotch or cutout 42 of the corresponding foot 38 of the container. This arrangement is provided so that when one container as described is stacked on another container of similar construction the four inwardly sloping lugs 113 will engage the crotches 42 of the feet on the higher container and tend to center the latter as it is lowered on the lower container so that ultimately the crooks of these feet will be positioned adjacent the outer lower edges 114 of these lugs and the lower surfaces of the foot members 38 will rest upon the upper surfaces of the base plates 112.
Each lug 113 is shown as provided adjacent its outer end with an opening or hole 115 adapted to receive a cable, hook or similar element (not shown) of a lifting crane, whereby the container having such lugs can be lifted from above.
From the foregoing it will be seen that the embodiments illustrated and described achieve the various objects stated. Inasmuch as other changes and modifications may occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the present invention, the same is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A bulk container, comprising an upper rectangular section, and a lower hopper section in general having an ineverted outwardly curved pyramidal shape and including an outwardly curved partially cylindrical wall on each of its four sides, said walls being joined together along their meeting edges and to said upper section, the radius of curvature of each of said walls being such that a chord extending between its opposite ends inclines to the horizontal at an angle falling in the range of from 55 to 65 degrees when the container is in an upright position, and the center for said radius being located no lower than the lower edge of said upper section and also located away from its curved wall more than half the distance between the opposing side walls of said upper section to one of which side walls is joined such curved wall.
2. A bulk container according to claim 1 wherein said upper section is of elongated rectangular shape to provide two longer and two shorter opposing upper rectangular side walls, and said lower section is likewise elongated to provide two longer and two shorter partially cylindrical lower side walls severally extending downwardly from said longer and shorter upper side walls respectively.
3. A bulk container according to claim 2 wherein the centers for said radii of said shorter lower side walls are located inside the container above the lower edge of said upper section and between said two shorter upper side walls, and the centers for said radii of said longer lower side walls are located outside the container above the lower edge of said upper section and beyond said two longer upper side walls.
4. A bulk container according to claim 3 wherein the radii of curvature of said lower side walls are substantially equal, the chord extending between the opposite ends of each of said longer lower side walls inclines to the horizontal at an angle slightly greater than that of the chord extending between the opposite ends of each of said shorter lower side walls, and the centers for said radii of said longer lower side walls are located slightly below the centers for said radii of said shorter lower side walls.
5. A bulk container, comprising an upper rectangular section, a lower hopper section in general having an inverted outwardly curved pyramidal shape and including an outwardly curved partially cylindrical wall on each of general having an inverted outwardly curved pyramidal.
shape and including an outwardly curved partially cylindrical wall on each of its four sides, said walls being joined together along their meeting edges and to said upper section, and an elongated inflatable bag in each corner of said upper section and pendant from said top wall and is inflated from the exterior thereof, such bags when inflated being adapted to pressurize the bulk material confined within said container, especially when filled.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,655,533 1/1928 Campagna 222- X 1,740,384 12/ 1929 Wright 222-185 2,209,430 7/1940 Turhsin 222-181 X 2,614,733 10/1952 Anderson 222-561 X 2,648,477 8/ 1953, Harrington 222-238 X 2,920,796. l/l960 Field 222-185 2,948,437 8/1960 Nielsen 222-185 X 3,066,831 12/1962 Thompson 222-185 3,185,516 5/1965 Johansson 222-181 X 3,235,137 2/1966 Bonduris 222-386.5 X 3,255,927 6/1966 Rupert et al 222-143 2,457,841 1/ 1949 Smith et al 220-97 X 2,952,382 9/1960 Rehrig 220-97 X 3,071,297 1/ 1963 Lee 222-462 3,115,281 12/1963 Somme 222-185 X 3,318,473 5/1967 Jones et a1. 220-97 X FOREIGN PATENTS 3/ 1922 Germany.
SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.