US 3438149 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 15, 1969 A. J. ILG
REFRIGERATED HOUSING Filed March 6, 1967 93 Illrlrl) 114) A 4 -6 m N 5 G T6 4/ 6 2 .ll NL S A F WI Y 1 N F. H H1 V N 0 MW N E W 2/ S T... 0O 2... 0 T N( 4 R A 4 6 M v 5 7 2 o m 8 a ll 5 G k 2 .l 3 T 1? 1 u M L H kw A 00 w 7/ 0 H 8/ F Jam 2 L 2 H 4% M 9% 0 f f An 0 A 1 M: 5
United States Patent 3,438,149 REFRIGERATED HOUSING Ambrose John Ilg, Whittier, Calif., assignor to David P. Roush, Palo Alto, Calif. Filed Mar. 6, 1967, Ser. No. 620,834 Int. Cl. F2511 23/02; B60p 3/20 US. Cl. 49-176 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to improvements in refrigerated enclosures and, more particularly, to a housing having a partition for varying the size of a refrigerated compartment therein.
The present invention is directed to a partition for a housing having a compartment which is adapted to be refrigerated. The partition includes a panel which is swingable from a stored position extending along the underside of the top of the housing to an operative position suspended vertically. Top and bottom seals on the panel move into engagement With the top and bottom of the housing as the panel moves into its operative position. On each of its sides, the panel has a hinged seal which can move into engagement with the adjacent side of the housing after the panel moves into its operative position. A good, tight seal can be obtained since the hinge is free to swing uninterruptedly through a relatively large arc and a spring biases each hinged seal toward its retracted position to facilitate the movement of the hinged seal away from the adjacent side wall.
The partition is sufficiently lightweight in construction so that one man can readily raise or lower it as well as shift it into different longitudinal positions. Also, a bolt with a rod-like handle is provided to releasably secure the partition in its stored position. The handle allows the partition to be used with housings having high ceilings.
In the past, shiftable partitions have been used in refrigerated trailers so as to divide the same into compartments. This is important when the goods to be refrigerated are to occupy only a relatively small space. Thus, part of the trailer can be cooled while another part is left open to the atmosphere or uncooled to thereby minimize refrigeration costs.
To achieve the efficiency of cooling one compartment while leaving another compartment at ambient temperatures, peripheral seals are provided on a partition for engaging adjacent wall surfaces. Also, to facilitate storing the partition when it is not to be used, it is swingably mounted for movement from its vertical position through a generally horizontal position adjacent to and extending along the underside of the top wall of the trailer.
While the aforesaid prior structures have been satisfactory, they also have certain disadvantages. One disadvantage is that the upper extremity of the partition is not properly supported to minimize the effort required to shift the partition, such as for changing the size of the compartment to be cooled. Also, the partitions are not protected against sagging or bending stresses. Moreover, the peripheral seals of the partitions are not constructed to effectively isolate the two compartments on opposed sides of the partition over long periods of time. A further disadvantage is that conventional partitions are generally not adapted for trailers having high ceilings. The partition of the present invention overcomes these problems inasmuch as it is properly supported regardless of the position in which it is disposed, its peripheral seal has a long operating life, and it can be used with trailers having high ceilings.
To properly support the partition, the present invention is provided with a shaft which extends across the entire width of the panel adjacent to and spaced from the top edge of the panel itself. Thus, the panel is not allowed to sag at the center and can be made relatively lightweight in construction without danger of bending stresses being established between the side edges thereof. Moreover, the weight of the panel can be more uniformly distributed when the same is in the vertical position as well as in its stored position. As a result, the panel can pivot easily and can be readily shifted longitudinally of the housing of which it forms a part.
The peripheral seal of the invention provides a significant improvement over the prior structures in that the side seals of this invention are hinged at the side edges of the panel rather than being spaced from the side edges. This permits the side seals to be pivoted through a relatively large are without interruption so as to be readily engageable with adjacent side walls even after the side seals have been used for a relatively long period of time. Return springs on the side seals facilitate the return of the same to their retracted positions and minimize the tendency for the side seals to become wedged against the adjacent side walls.
The fastener for releasably retaining the panel in its stored position includes a bolt having a rod secured thereto and extending laterally therefrom. The bolt is rotatably mounted on the panel and can move laterally thereof by an operator manipulating the handle. Thus, through the use of the bolt and handle combination, the panel can be readily moved into and out of its stored position even though the housing in which the partition is disposed has a relatively high ceiling.
All of the foregoing advantages of the present invention are attainable even though the partition is constructed so as to be handled by a single individual. Thus, labor costs in operating the housing having the partition are kept to a minimum.
An important object of the invention is, therefore, to provide an improved refrigerated housing having a swingable partition mounted for longitudinal movement Within the housing and provided with a support shaft secured thereto adjacent to its upper edge, with the support shaft extending across the entire width of the partition, so that the latter is effectively supported at all times regardless of the position of the partition.
Another important object of the invention is to provide improved hinged side seals for the partition of the type described wherein the side seals may swing through a relatively large arc so as to be substantially unimpeded and thereby to provide a positive seal over extended periods of use while at the same time, the side seals have a relatively long operating life inasmuch as they are biased toward their retracted positions to thereby minimize the tendency for the side seals to become wedged against adjacent side walls.
A further object of this invention is to provide a partition of the aforesaid character having a fastener which permits the partition to be moved to and from its stored position extending along the underside of the top of the housing even though the top is a relatively large distance away from the floor of the housing.
Other objects of the present invention will become ap- 3 parent as the following specification progresses, reference being had to the accompanying drawing.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a vertical section through a mobile refrigerated housing showing the partition in its operative disposition;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of a side seal on the partition; and
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the top strip of the partition.
To illustrate the teachings of this invention, a refrigerated trailer has been selected, but it will become apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention can be utilized with refrigerated railroad cars and other refrigerated vehicles as well.
Mobile enclosure 10 comprises a housing 12 mounted for movement on wheels 14. Housing 12 defines a refrigerated trailer which is pulled forwardly by a tractor 16, with the forward end of the housing being supported by the rear wheel 18 of the tractor.
Housing 12 includes a top wall 20, a bottom wall 22, a pair of opposed side walls 24 and 26, and a front end wall 28. Walls 24, 26 and 28 span the distance between top and bottom walls and 22. A refrigeration unit mounted on the front face of wall 28 is adapted to refrigate the interior of housing 12. The rear end of housing 12 may be left open if desired since, as will be made clear, no closure is required at this end because of the presence of the partition hereinafter described for dividing the housing into two parts.
A partition 32 is coupled to housing 12 within the latterfor dividing the same into a front compartment 33 and a rear compartment 35. Partition 32 may be of any suitable construction but preferably is provided with thermal insulating properties. To this end, it includes a generally rectangular panel 34 formed from a core 36 of thermal insulating material and a pair of facing sheets 38 on opposed sides of core 36. Panel 34 has a top edge 40, a bottom edge (not shown) and a pair of opposed side edges 44 and 46. These edges are spaced inwardly from the top wall 20, bottom wall 22 and side walls 24 and 26, respectively. A shaft 48 is rotatably mounted in a number of bearings members 50 secured to the rear face 52 of panel 34 adjacent to top edge 48 (FIG. 4). The shaft extends completely across the width of panel 34 so as to adequately support the same at all times, especially against bending and against any tendency to sag at the center. The ends of shaft 48 project laterally from side edges 44 and 46 and are coupled to bars 54, each having a pair of rollers 56 mounted at the opposed ends thereof. The rollers are received in channel-shaped track members 58 secured to the inner surfaces of side walls 24 and 26 (FIG. 2). Thus, shaft 48 and thereby panel 34 may be shifted longitudinally of housing 12 in opposed directions. Also, shaft 48 allows panel 34 to be rotated from the operative position shown in dashed lines in FIG. 1, with panel 34 substantially parallel with an in proximity to the underside of top wall 28. Shaft 48 defines the horizontal axis of swinging movement of panel 34 and the latter is sufiiciently lightweight so that only a single individual is required to swing the latter between the stored position and its operative position as well as to move the partition longitudinally of the housing.
To hold panel 34 in its stored position, a sliding bolt 60 is mounted in a sleeve 61 on the front face of the panel as shown in FIG. 3 for lateral movement relative thereto. The bolt is disposed to move above the upper, concave surface 62 of a retaining member 64 secured to side wall 24 (FIG. 1). Member 64 has a recess (not shown) which receives a disc-like projection 66 on the end of bolt 60.
When the projection is in this recess, the bolt cannot move away from member 64. To release the panel, it is necessary to elevate the bolt slightly above surface 62 to permit clearance of the projection from surface 62, and the bolt is then shifted away from member 64.
A handle or rod 70, connected to the bolt, extends outwardly therefrom and is used by the operator to shift the bolt in opposed directions. The rod is also used to elevate the panel slightly to permit the bolt to be moved away from retaining member 64. Rod 7 0 allows partition 32 to be used with housings having relatively high ceilings. When the panel is in its operative position, rod 70 is vertically disposed along the front face of the panel as shown in FIG. 1. A clip 72 is used releasably therewith the rod in this position.
Sealing structures are provided along the top, bottom and side edges of panel 34 to effectively seal compartment 33 so that it can be refrigerated. The top and bottom sealing structures have essentially the same construction and, as shown in FIG. 6, each has an H-shaped end member 71 exending along the corresponding edge for connecting the seal to the panel. A strip 73 of asbestos or the like prevents metal-to-metal contact and thereby minimizes heat transfer through the panel. The seal for top edge 40 includes a sealing strip 74 of insulating material which projects outwardly from member 71 and is moveable into engagement with the underside of top wall 20 when panel 34 is moved into its vertical position. Strip 74 preferably has a pair of end portions (not shown) which extend for a short distance along panel side edges 44 and 46 and which engage respective side walls 24 and 26 for sealing the upper parts of the corresponding spaces.
Similarly, a sealing strip is secured by an H-shaped coupling member to the bottom edge of panel 34. Like the top strip, the bottom strip moves into engagement with the bottom wall 22 of the housing as the panel swings into its vertical position.
A pair of side sealing strips 82 and 84 are provided for side edges 44 and 46, respectively. Hinges 86 and 88 are used to connect strips 82 and 84 to one face of the panel, the hinge axis of each being substantially aligned with the outer face of C-shaped end member 89 extending along the corresponding side edge (FIG. 5). A strip 91 of asbestos is provided for the same purpose as asbestos strip 73. Levers having handles 92 are pivotally mounted on this panel face to which hinges 86 and 88 are coupled and swing into engagement with the hinges to lock them in place with the strips in sealing engagement with the adjacent side walls of the housing. Strips 82 and 84 extend upwardly from the end extremities of strip 78 and terminate adjacent to the above-mentioned end portions of strip 74. Thus, the space surrounding the periphery of panel 34 will be substantially sealed when the panel is in its operative position and when sealing strips 82 and 84 engage side walls 24 and 26, respectively. Compartment 33 is, therefore, isolated from compartment 35.
There is no structure in the path of swinging movement of each hinge so that it can swing through a relatively large arc and thereby assure that the corresponding sealing strip will be positively urged against the adjacent side wall. This also allows the sealing strip to be partially compressed, as shown in FIG. 3, to enhance its sealing capabilities. A return spring 93 is provided for each of the strips 82 and 84, respectively. Springs 93 facilitate the return of these strips to their retracted positions.
The insulating material formed in strips 74, 78, 82 and 84 can be of any suitable material. However, it has been found that polyvinyl chloride foam material can be bonded by an epoxy to the adjacent structure, i.e., strips 74 and 78 can be secured by an epoxy to plates 76 and 80, respectively, and strips 82 and 84 can be secured by an epoxy to hinges 86 and 88.
In use, panel 34 will ordinarily be in a stored position and will be released from retaining member 64 by manipulating rod 70. This causes the bolt to be moved away from surface 62 and thereby to permit the panel to swing downwardly. The side sealing strips '82 and 84 will ordinarily be retracted, i.e., extend along rear face 52 of panel 34, as shown in dashed lines in FIG. 3. After the panel has been swung downwardly, it can be moved longitudinally of the housing to provide compartment 33 with the desired size. Preferably, this movement is done while the panel is at least slightly inclined so that strips 74 and 78 will not contact the top and bottom walls of the housing.
When the desired longitudinal position is reached, panel 34 is allowed to hang vertically and strips 82 and 84 are swung into their operative positions as shown in full lines in FIG. 3. Levers 90 are then manipulated to force the strips into tight, sealing engagement with the side walls 24 and 26. Compartment 33 is then effectively sealed and can be refrigerated by actuating refrigeration unit 30.
To open the compartment, levers 90 are swung in the opposite direction and springs 93 facilitate the return of strips 82 and 84 to their retracted positions. It may be necessary to manually initiate the movement of these strips away from adjacent side walls because of the tightness of the seal formed by the strips. Nonetheless, the springs assist in this step and positively retract the strips after the seal has been broken. When this occurs, a workman can grasp handle 94 and lift the panel until rod 70 can be reached. Using the rod, the panel is further elevated to its stored position. Then, the bolt is shifted laterally to a position overlying surface 62. The panel is then lowered slightly whereupon it will be supported by the engagement of bolt 60 on surface 62. The lower end of rod 70 can be secured by a clip 96 to side Wall 24 when panel 34 is elevated.
While one embodiment has been shown and described, it will be apparent that other adaptations and modifications can be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. For example, while the partition is specifically applicable and advantageous for sealing otf refrigerated compartments, it is also useful in situations where one or more of the compartments are not refrigerated such as in an unrefrigerated trailer, in refrigerated and unrefrigerated railroad cars, and the like.
What is claimed is:
1. In an enclosure having a top wall, a bottom wall and a pair of opposed side walls spanning the distance between the top and the bottom walls, the combination with said walls of a partition for dividing the enclosure into two parts, said partition comprising: a panel having a top edge, a bottom edge and a pair of opposed side edges spanning the distance between said top and bottom edges, said panel being mounted for swinging movement about a horizontal axis from a stored position with the panel in proximity to and extending along the lower surface of said top wall to an operative position with the top, bottom and side edges of the panel in proximity to and intermediate the ends of the top, bottom and side walls, respectively; top and bottom sealing strips secured to said top and said bottom edge, respectively, and movable into engagement with respective top and bottom walls when said panel moves into said operative position; a pair of side sealing strips; a pair of hinges swingably mounted on said panel at respective side edges thereof, said side sealing strips being secured to respective hinges for movement from retracted positions extending along one face of the panel into operative positions engaging adjacent respective side walls; means releasably holding the side sealing strips in their operative positions; and means coupled with one of said side walls for releasably retaining said panel in said stored positron.
2. In an enclosure as set forth in claim 1, wherein is provided a shaft secured to said panel adjacent to and spaced from said top edge thereof, said shaft extending across the width of said panel and projecting outwardly from the side edges thereof for rotatably mounting the panel on said side walls.
3. In an enclosure as set forth in claim 2, wherein said retaining means includes a bolt shiftably and rotatably mounted on said panel adjacent to the bottom edge thereof on the side opposite said shaft and a retaining member secured to said one side wall and provided with an upper bearing surface, said bolt being aligned with said member when said panel is in said stored position and being slidably movable into a position overlying said upper surface of the member, and an elongate handle secured to and extending outwardly from said bolt to facilitate the movement thereof, said handle rotating said bolt so that said handle can lie flat against said panel in operative position and extend away from said panel in stowed position.
4. In an enclosure having a top wall, a bottom wall, and a pair of opposed side walls spanning the distance be tween the top and bottom Walls, the combination with said walls of a partition for dividing the enclosure into two parts, said partition comprising: a panel having a top edge, a bottom edge and a pair of opposed side edges spanning the distance between the top and bottom edges; a peripheral seal on each edge of the panel, respectively, the seals on said side edges being hingedly mounted on said panel, the seals on said top and bottom edges being fixedly secured to the panel; a shaft; means mounting the shaft on said panel adjacent to and spaced from said top edge thereof with said shaft extending across the entire width of the panel and projecting outwardly from said side edges thereof; means pivotally mounting the ends of the shaft on respective side walls whereby the panel may be pivoted from a vertical position to a horizontal position; means coupled with the panel and one of said walls for releasably retaining the same in said horizontal position; means coupling said mounting means to said side walls for movement longitudinally thereof to thereby permit said panel to be shifted along said side walls; and means releasably holding said seals on said side edges in engagement with respective side walls when said panel is in said operative position.
5. In an enclosure as set forth in claim 4, wherein said retaining means includes a bolt shiftably and rotatably mounted on said panel adjacent to said bottom edge thereof on the side opposite said shaft, said bolt being movable laterally of one side edge and having a rod extending laterally therefrom, one of said side walls having an upper supporting surface, said bolt being slidably movable into overlying relationship to said upper surface when said panel is in said horizontal position, and an elongate handle secured and extending outwardly from said bolt to facilitate movement thereof, said handle rotating said bolt so that said handle can lie flat against said panel in operative position and extend away from said panel in stowed position.
6. A mobile refrigerated vehicle comprising: a housing having an enclosed chamber defined by a top wall, a bottom wall, a pair of opposed side walls, a front end wall and a rear end Wall, one of the walls having means permitting access to said chamber; a panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, and a pair of opposed side edges; a shaft mounted on one face of said panel adjacent to and spaced from said top edge thereof for rotation relative threeto, said shaft extending across the width of the panel and the ends of the shaft projecting laterally from the side edges of the panel; a pair of tracks secured to respective side walls substantially .parallel with and in proximity to the lower surface of said top wall; roller means journalled on the ends of said shaft for shiftably mounting said shaft on respective tracks, whereby the panel may be shifted longitudinally of said tracks and is swingably mounted for movement from an operative position suspended from the shaft to a stored position extending substantially parallel with and in proximity to the lower surface of the top wall; a bolt shiftably mounted on one face of the panel adjacent to said lower edge thereof and movable outwardly of one of said side edges; a bearing member secured to one of said side walls adjacent to said top wall and provided with an upper bearing surface, said bolt being movable to a location above and resting on said bearing surface When said panel is in said stored position, whereby the panel is releasably retained in said stored position; an elongated rod coupled with said bolt and extending laterally therefrom for shifting the bolt toward and away from the hearing member, said bolt being rotatable relative to said panel to permit the rod to move from an operative position extending transversely of the panel to a stored position extending along said one face of the panel; means releasably retaining the handle in said stored position thereof; a pair of first strips of sealing material, one of said first strips being secured to said top edge of the panel and the other first strip being secured to the bottom edge thereof, said first strips being movable into engagement with said top wall and said bottom Wall, respectively, when said panel is moved into said operative position; a pair of second strips of sealing material, there being a second strip for each side edge of the panel, respectively; means coupled with each second strip for hingedly securing the same to said panel at the corresponding side edge for swinging movement into and out of engagement with References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,725,827 12/1955 Wehby 105376 2,752,864 7/1956 McDougal et al. 280-179 X 3,057,284 10/1962 Learmont l05376 X 3,164,395 1/1965 Burch et al 280-179 FOREIGN PATENTS 560,255 7/1958 Canada.
DENNIS L. TAYLOR, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 62329; 105-376