US 3577932 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventors Frank C. Pulcrano;
Dallas W. Rollins, St. Charles, Mo.  Appl. No. 810,197  Filed Mar. 25, 1969  Patented May 11, 1971  Assignee ACF Industries, Inc.
New York, N.Y.
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 880,750 3/1908 Otis 105/311 Primary ExaminerArthur L. La Point Assistant Examiner-Howard Beltran Att0mey-Eugene N. Riddle ABSTRACT: A lower generally pan-shaped cover for fitting around the entire bottom discharge structure of a railway hopper car, such as a discharge structure having a gravity gate and a combination rack-and-pinion drive for the gravity gate. The cover seals the entire bottom outlet structure against the entrance of foreign matter including the drive means. Means mount the cover for movement between a covering position with respect to the bottom outlet and a position removed from beneath the bottom discharge outlet to permit the discharge of lading. The cover is formed of fiber glass and resin binder to insulate the bottom discharge structure for minimizing heat losses from an insulated car. The capstans for rotating the pinion shaft are mounted for folding to an inoperative position in order for the cover to cover the drive means while remaining within clearance limits and without being of an unduly long length.
PATENTEUHAYI 1 m: 3; 577', 932
sum 2 OF 7 PATENTED MAN 1 my SHEET 4 OF 7 PATENTED MAY] 1 WI SHEET 5 [IF 7 EXTERIOR COVER ENCLOSING HOPPER GATE AND ACTUATING MECHANISM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION outlet. Also, in the event-such a hopper car has been insulated by a layer of polyurethane foam material or thelike, heat losses have occurred at the bottom discharge outlets sinceportions of the discharge outlet have been-necessarily exposed and not covered by the insulating foam material.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The present cover is generally pan-shaped and covers the entire bottom discharge structure including the rack-andpinion drive means. Then, the drive means are protected from foreign matter when the cover is closed.- The cover is fonned of a heat insulating material, such as a fiber glassmaterial with a suitable'resin binder, and insulates the entire discharge structure. When the hopper car is covered with a layer of insulating foam material, the foam material covers portions of the bottom discharge areanot coveredby the lower cover. In order to maintain the length of the cover within acceptable limits, the capstans-of the pinion shaft are mounted for movement between an inward retracted position and an outward operable position. The capstans are moved to inwardretracted position when the cover is moved to a covered position with respect to the bottom.
The. invention accordingly comprises the constructions hereinafter described, the scope of theinvention being. indicated in the following claims.
In the accompanying drawings, inwhich one of variouspossible embodiments of the invention is illustrated,
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a coveredhopper railway car having bottom outlet structures'comprisingthe present invention thereon;
FIG. 2 is a transverse section taken generally alongline 2'-2 of FIG. 1 and indicating a layer of a-polyurethane insulating foam material on the exterior of the railway car to provide insulation;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged end elevation of one of the bottom outlet structures shown in FIG. 1 and illustrating alower cover in covering position beneath the bottom-outlet structure;
FIG. 4-is an end elevation, certain parts broken away, showing the cover removed from beneath the discharge outletto permit a discharge of ladingwhen the gravity gate is opened;
FIG. 5 is a top plan of the bottom outlet structure removed.
from the railway car shown in FIG. 1 and showing the cover in a closed position covering the gate structure;
FIG. 6is a section taken generally along line 6-6 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a section taken generally along line 7-7 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged longitudinal section of the pinion shaft and capstan thereon; and,
FIG. 9 is a plan of the pinion shaft and capstan' shown in FIG. 8 illustrating the capstan being folded to a retracted position.to permit the lower cover to easily cover the drive means for the gate.
Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the drawings of this invention.
Referring now to the drawings for a better understanding of the invention, a covered hopper railway car is indicated generally 10 and includes a plurality of hoppers 12. An end' stub sill structure generally indicated 14 is provided adjacent each end of .the railway car.
Railway car I0'is particularly adapted'for ventilating the ladingwhile'in transit; to maintain a generally constant temperature therein. For this reason, a layerof insulation 15;
preferably a polyurethane foam material which may be sprayed on the exterior of the car, is shown particularly in FIG. 2. Other types of insulating material, such as an interior foam material having an external fiber glass layer, would work in a satisfactory manner. Air-conditioning apparatus generally indicated 16 may be mounted adjacent an end of the car to provide air for the interior of the car and to provide a continuousrecirculation of the air for aerating the interior of the car. Hollow side sills 18 may comprise air conduits for supplying air to the interior of the car. Curved hopper side sheets 19 extend'between side sill l8 and a roof 21. Hopper side slope sheets 20 and transverse slope sheets 22 funhel downwardly to the bottom discharge opening defined by a mounting flange 24 which extends about the circumference of the bottom discharge opening.
Mounted beneath the bottom discharge-opening of each hopper I2 is a bottom'outlet structure generally indicated 25 and comprising the present invention. Outlet structure 25 includes end slope sheets 26 connected to side slope sheets 28'to form an upper housing. Upper flanges 30 extend laterally out= ward from end outlet slope sheets 26 and upper flanges 32 extend outwardly from side outlet slope sheets 28. Flanges 30 and 32 are secured, such as by a'suitable bolt and nut combination orby welding, to superjacent flange 24.
A lower housing generally indicated at34 includesconnected frame members 36 and 38. Mounted within a slot 40 extending between an end slope sheet 28' and a lower frame member 36 is a gravity gate 42 as shown in FIG. 4. Gate 42 rides along ledges 44 on frame members 38 and ledges 45 on the upper surface of frame members 36 to support gate 42 from movement between open'and closed positions. Secured to the undersideof gate 42 are racks 46; Engaging racks 46 are pinions 48 mounted on a pinion shaft 50. As shown particularly in FIG. 8 for supporting shaft 50 for rotation, a sleeve 52 is secured to'extension 54 and adjacent frame member 30 adjacent each endof shaft 50. Mounted on each end of shaft 50 is a capstan generally indicated 56 as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. Capstan 56 has a pin 58-received within aslot 60 in shaft 50 and is foldable -to the position of FIG. 9 by movement of capstan 56 to the dotted line position of FIG. 8JCapstan56 may be engaged by ahandspike or the like for rotation of shaft 50L Forming an important part of this invention is a lower'cover generally indicated 62, Lower cover 62 is generally panshaped having a bottom 64, integral ends 66, and sides 68. An inwardly extending flange extends about the entire upper surface of lower cover 62. Cover 62 has an outer body preferably formed of a molded material, such as fiber glass and-a suitable resin binder, and an inner layer 69 of an'insulating material, such asa polyurethane foam. A- rubber gasket 71 is secured in endless fashion about the entire circumference'of' bottom discharge outlet 25 and cover 62 isadapted to fit tightly against gasket 71 to seal cover 62thereat.
Cover 62 is suspended for swinging movement between a closed position surrounding the gate 42 and the drive means therefor includingcapstans 56 and pinion shaft 50. In this position, capstans 56 are folded to the position of FIG. 9 in order to accommodate lower cover 62 within limited space requirements. Cover 62 may be opened to the open position removed from beneath gate 42 to permit a gravity discharge of lading from the hopper I2 upon openingof gate 42. To support cover 62 for swinging movement, a stub shaft 72 is mounted on a mounting plate 74 secured to the upper surface of flange 30 on opposed ends of outlet structure 25. A' capstan 76 is secured to the end of each stub shaft 72 and isadapted to be engaged by-a suitable handspike or the like for rotating.
arm 88 pivotally connected at 90 toalocking link 92L The lower end of locking link- 92 is pivoted at'80 about the pivot of link 79 and the upper end of arm 92 is pivoted at 90to'arm 88;:
As shown in FIG. 3, with cover 62 in a closed position, pivot 90 is past a dead center position with respect to pivots 72 and 80 indicated by line L and the weight of cover 62 urges shaft 72 in a counterclockwise position thereby likewise urging cover 62 toward a closed position.
As shown in FIG. 4 when cover 62 is moved to a full open position, pivot 90 is moved past a dead center position indicated by line Ll with respect to pivots 72 and 80 thereby urging shaft 72 in a clockwise direction. Thus, weight of cover 62 holds cover 62 in such position until shaft 72 is rotated past dead center position, at which time the weight of the cover than causes cover 62 to swing downwardly to a position beneath gravity gate 42.
When cover 62 is in closed position, the entire lower housing 34 is covered as well as drive shaft 50, pinions 48, and capstans 56 which comprise the drive means for gravity gate 42. Thus, foreign matter and the like is not deposited on the drive means for gate 42 when cover 62 is closed. Since cover 62 has an inner layer 69 of an insulating material, bottom discharge structure 25 is efi'ectively insulated to minimize any heat losses resulting when the remainder of the car is provided with exterior insulating material, such as a polyurethane foam material.
In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results obtained.
We claim: 4
1 In a railway hopper car having hopper sheets sloping downwardly to a bottom opening, a housing extending around the bottom opening and including a plurality of connected sides, a gate supported by said housing and mounted thereon for sliding movement between open and closed positions for the discharge of lading, drive means for said gate including a drive shaft having pinions thereon operatively connected to said gate for opening and closing said gate, a capstan adjacent each end of said drive shaft adapted to be engaged manually for rotation of said drive shaft, a bottom generally pan-shaped cover beneath the gate and fitting in a closed position against said housing about said gate and said drive means including said capstans thereby to seal said gate and drive means against the entrance of foreign matter and the like when said cover is closed, and means mounting the cover for movement between said closed position and a position removed from beneath the gate to permit the discharge of lading upon opening of the gate.
2. ln a railway hopper car having hopper sheets sloping downwardly to a bottom opening, a housing extending around the bottom opening and including a plurality of connected sides, a closure carried by said housing and mounted thereon for movement between open and closed positions for the discharge of lading, manually operable means to move said closure between open and closed positions, a pan-shaped cover for fitting about said closure and manually operable means, said manually operable means to move said closure including a drive shaft having a capstan on each end thereof,
said capstans being mounted for movement between retracted positions and extended positions whereby said cover fits about said drive means when the capstans are moved to the retracted positions, cover sealing means secured to said housing and extending generally about the circumference of the closure in outwardly spaced relation thereto, and linkage means supporting said cover for movement between a position beneath the closure and fitting tightly against said cover sealing means and about said drive shaft and associated capstans, and a position removed from beneath the bottom closure to permit the discharge of lading when the bottom closure is opened.
3. ln a railway hopper car as set forth in claim 2, said hopper car having an exterior layer of polyurethane foam material thereon extending to a position adjacent said sealing means, said cover being formed of a heat insulating material to insulate said bottom outlet structure when in closed position about the closure.
4. In a railway hopper car having hopper sheets sloping downwardly to a bottom opening, a housing extending around the bottom opening and mclu ing a plurality of connected sides, a gate supported by said housing and mounted thereon for sliding movement between open and closed positions for the discharge of lading, drive means for said gate including a drive shaft having pinions thereon operatively connected to said gate for opening and closing said gate, a capstan on each end of said pinion drive shaft adapted to be engaged manually for rotation of said drive shaft, means mounting said capstans between inward retracted positions and extended positions, sealing means secured to said housing and extending generally about the gate in an outwardly spaced relation thereto, a bottom pan-shaped cover beneath the gate and fitting in a closed position against said sealing means about said gate and drive means including said capstans when said capstans are moved to inward retracted position thereby to seal said gate and drive means against the entrance of foreign matter and the like when said cover is closed, and means mounting the cover for movement between said closed position and a position removed from beneath the gate to permit the discharge of lading upon opening of the gate.
5. In a railway hopper car as set forth in claim 4, said means mounting the cover for movement comprising a parallelogram linkage mounting the cover for swinging movement in a generally vertical plane and means to releasably secure the linkage in an overcenter position at the open and closed positions of the cover.
6. In a hopper car as set forth in claim 4, said capstans being mounted on said drive shaft for pivotal movement and being folded inwardly when moved to retracted position for closing of the cover.
7. In a railway hopper car as set forth in claim 4, said hopper car having an exterior layer of polyurethane foam material thereon extending to a position adjacent said sealing means, and said cover having a fiber glass body and an inner layer of polyurethane foam material secured to the body.