US 3604362 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  MONORAIL INSTALLATION 8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 104/166, 104/89, 104/93  Int. Cl B611) 13/12  Field of Search 104/89, 93,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,118,393 1/1964 Ohlin 104/166 3,164,104 1/1965 Hunt 104/166 3,356,040 12/ 1 967 Fonden 104/ 1 30 Primary Examiner-Arthur L. La Point Assistant ExaminerD. W. Keen Attorneys-Sylvester J. Liddy, John 1 Hart, Joe E. Daniels and Charles E. Baxley ABSTRACT: In the monorail installation disclosed herein the vehicle suspended from the rail is driven by a swivel roller provided on an overhead truck and means comprising a controlled surface moving in a closed path and affording a lower generatrix parallel to the direction of the travel of the vehicle on the rail and against which bears the upper generatrix of the swivel roller. The controlled surface has imparted to it a continuous movement in a direction transverse with respect to the direction of the rail, and the center of gravity of the vehicle and the swivel roller are located laterally on opposite sides of the rail so that the swivel roller will automatically bear against the controlled surface with a given pressure.
PATENT ED SEPI 41% 3,604,362
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P/E/Qff GO/R A ND ATTORNEY MONORAIL INSTALLATION The present invention has as its object the provision of an improved installation for suspended vehicles of the monorail type.
In accordance with the invention the suspended vehicle is driven by a swivel roller which rests via its upper generatrix on a lower generatrix of a controlled elongated drive surface that extends as a whole parallel to the direction of the travel rail of the vehicle and is imparted a continuous movement through a closed path in a direction transverse with respect to the direction of the rail. The controlled surface may be formed of the surface of a cylinder, or of the surface of an endless belt, or of the surface or surface portions of any other suitable means known to the art. The driven swivel roller is caused to exert automatically a certain bearing pressure on the controlled driving surface by shifting the driven roller and the center of gravity of the vehicle laterally to opposite sides of the travel rail. This pressure of the driven roller on the controlled driving surface may be increased by causing the roller to exert thereon a self-clamping force produced by imparting to such controlled surface a direction of displacement such that the speed at the point of contact with the roller is directed in the direction of the travel rail of the vehicle. This selfclamping force will be greater the more the plane of the driven roller is inclined with respect to a plane normal to the travel rail, which increased inclinations correspond to the highest speeds of the vehicle. This bearing pressure of the driven roller on the controlled surface may be increased further by utilization of the bearing reaction of an elastic or nonelastic part of the truck of the vehicle on a fixed ramp.
For a better understanding of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which show by way of example, several types of installations in which the invention may be practiced and in which:
FIG. 1 is a partial schematic view in vertical cross section of a transportation installation of the monorail type constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing how the invention may be embodied in a switching arrangement in a monorail system.
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 of another switching arrangement, the vehicle being shown in normal travel on the main circuit; and
FIG. 4 is a similar view of the arrangement shown in FIG. 3, but showing the vehicle in switching position.
In the drawings, the reference numeral 1 indicates generally the vehicle which is suspended from a truck 2 provided with a roller 3 which rolls on a rail 4 forming the main circuit of travel of the vehicle. The vehicle is impelled along the rail 4 by a driven swivel roller 6 carried by the truck 2 and the upper generatrix of which engages the lower generatrix of a controlled driving surface 5. In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. I of the drawings, the controlled surface is formed by the surface of a cylinder generally designated 7. The cylinder 7 is rotatably mounted on a beam 8 extending parallelly to the rail 4 and supported by the framework generally designated 9 that supports the rail 4. The cylinder 7 which may be of any given length and which may constitute one of a series of such cylinders, is driven continuously at a given controlled speed such as to provide the surface 5 thereof with a controlled certain continuous movement or peripheral speed in a direction transverse with respect to the direction of the rail 4. This rotational movement of the cylinder 7 may be accomplished in any suitable manner, as by a motor 10 mounted on the framework 9 and connected by suitable gearing 11 and 12 to a gear 13 secured to one end of the cylinder 7, as is shown in FIG. I of the drawings.
The speed of advance of the vehicle 1 is regulated by changing the orientation of the driven roller 6 with relation to the surface 5. The orientation of the roller 6 is effected by an auxiliary roller 17 mounted on an arm 18 provided on the bearing support 16 for the roller 6 so that such arm is in effect rigidly connected with the driven roller 6. The bearing support 16 is rotatably mounted on the truck 2 by means of a vertical pivot pin or shaft 15 rotatably carried by a bearing support 14 provided on the truck 2. The roller 17 engages a stationary ramp 19 provided on the framework 9 and having a profile designed to impose on the drive roller 6 the orientation which produces the desired speed of the vehicle.
The place of attachment of the vehicle 1 to the truck 2 is suitably determined so that the center of gravity of the assembly, as indicated by the arrow designated 20 in FIG. I of the drawings, is to the right of rail 4. This arrangement produces a tilting torque of the vehicle around the rail 4 which has the effect of maintaining a certain bearing pressure of the driven roller 6 on the driving surface 5. In certain portions of the run or path of travel of the vehicle 1, and particularly in the ascending portions of such run, it is within the contemplation of the invention to additionally provide a stationary ramp 21 with which an auxiliary roller 22 carried by the truck 2 will come into contact. The bearing reaction of the roller 22 will have the effect of increasing the adherence of the driven roller 6 to the cylinder 7. By suitably designing the ramp 21 which may be carried by the framework 9, this additional increase of pressure of the roller 6 on the cylinder may be controlled and of any given amount.
When the system includes a clearance or relief track on which the vehicle can be switched, on may, in order to retain control of the movement of the vehicle in the switching zone, utilize the surface of an endless belt as the controlled surface so that as the switching operation takes place, the driven roller will move over a plane driving surface disposed transversely with respect to the track. Such an arrangement for permitting the switching of the vehicle I from the main rail 4 onto a clearance track 25 is shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings. In this figure, as well as in the remaining figures, parts similar to those shown in FIG. I of the drawings have been given the same reference numerals.
The endless belt 7' providing the controlled driven surface 5 moving transversely with respect to the rail 4 for retaining control of the movement of the vehicle in the switching zone may be of any suitable construction and driven continuously at a given speed in any suitable manner. As shown the endless belt 7 may be borne by rollers 26 and driven by a drive cylinder 27 suitably connected by gearing to an electric motor mounted on the framework 9 in the manner of the motor 10 in FIG. 1. In the switching zone, a roller 28 provided on the truck 2 comes into contact with the switch rail 25 which at first has an ascending profile so as to raise the vehicle to free the roller 3 from the main rail 4. The bearing support 16 for the driven roller 6 is provided with a pivot pin 15 that can move vertically in the bearing support 14' and it is urged upwardly by a spring 30 as the vehicle is so raised, to assure that the roller 6 will maintain its bearing pressure on the belt 7'.
In the switching zone there is also provided an additional bearing ramp 31 which is engaged by an auxiliary roller 32 provided on the truck 2. The profile in plan view of the ramp 31 follows that of the switch rail 25 and by having the roller 32 rest laterally thereagainst the vertical position of the truck 2 is maintained as it travels through the switching zone on the switch rail 25. This bearing of the roller 32 on the ramp 31 further assures a suitable bearing pressure of the drive roller 6 on the belt 7.
As previously indicated, FIGS. 3 and 4 show another switching arrangement. In the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4, the place of attachment 36 of the suspended vehicle 1' to the truck 2 is shifted horizontally with respect to the travel rail 4 so that the center of gravity of the vehicle is shifted to the right with respect to the rail 4. This arrangement automatically produces a tilting moment of the vehicle 1' about the rail 4 which has the effect of maintaining a certain bearing pressure of the drive roller 6 on the controlled surface. As in the case of the embodiment of FIG. 2, the controlled surface in the switching zone is the surface 5' provided by a belt 7'. In the normal travel of the vehicle on the main line rail 4, an increase in the adherence of the drive roller 6 to the controlled surface is assured by means of a roller 37 resting on a ramp 38 provided on the framework 9. The roller 37 elastically transmits an ascending thrust to the truck 2 through a lever 39 which is pivotally mounted intermediate its length on a pin 40 fixedly secured to the truck 2. The other end of lever 39 is provided with a horizontally disposed arm 41 which presses against the lower end of a vertically disposed spring 42. The upper end of spring 42 is rigidly connected to the truck 2'.
The other end of lever 39 is additionally provided with a vertically disposed arm 43 which at its upper end has an inclined cam edge on which rests the lower cam-shaped end of a lever 44. The upper end of lever 44 carries a roller 45 which rides on the main rail 4 in the normal travel of the vehicle 1' to maintain the roller 3 which has only a single flange 35, laterally on such rail. When the vehicle 1 arrives in a switching zone and the switch roller 28' on its truck 2' comes into contact with the switch rail 25', the roller 45 is raised from the rail 4 as is shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings, to permit the roller 3' to free itself laterally from the rail 4. This is accomplished by a roller 46 mounted on the truck 2' coming into contact with a ramp 47 in FIG. 4 provided on the framework 9 in the switching zone. The roller 46 is rotatably mounted on a depending vertical axis carried by a lever 48 pivotally connected at one end to a bracket extending from the lower end of the truck 2' and pivotally connected at its other end to the lower end of a vertical link 49 which is connected at its upper end to the arm 41 of lever 39. Thus, when roller 46 engages the ramp 47, lever 48 is pivoted upwardly to raise link 49 and arm 41, and consequently arm 43 of lever 39 to pivot lever 44 upwardly to raise the roller 45. The ramp 47 in plan view has a profile which follows that of the rail 25 and is designed to coact with the roller 46 to maintain the truck 2' in vertical position so as to produce a suitable bearing pressure by the driving roller on the belt 7'. The roller 28 which rolls on the switch rail 25 and which supports the vehicle 1 when the latter is freed from the main line rail 4 is placed in the direction of the bearing reaction of the vehicle.
What is claimed is:
l. A monorail installation comprising a travel rail, a suspended vehicle having an overhead truck provided with a first travel roller movable upon said rail and supporting said vehicle and truck thereon, means for impelling said vehicle along said rail including a second roller mounted on said truck, means supporting said second roller for rotational movement about a substantially horizontal axis and for swiveling movement about a vertical axis, means comprising a controlled surface affording a lower generatrix parallel to the direction of the travel of the vehicle on said rail and against which bears the upper generatrix of said second swivel roller,
and means for imparting to said controlled surface a continuous movement in a direction transverse to the direction of said rail, the center of gravity of said vehicle and said swivel roller being located laterally on opposite sides of said rail to provide automatically a certain bearing pressure of said swivel roller on said controlled surface.
2. A monorail installation as defined in claim 1, in which said surface moving means imparts to such controlled surface a given direction of displacement such that the speed at the point of contact of such surface with the roller is directed in the direction of said travel rail and such that there is obtained a self-clamping force of the roller on the controlled surface.
3. A monorail installation as defined in claim 1, including a stationary ramp having in plan view a profile approximating that of said travel rail, and means carried by said truck bearing on said ramp to increase the pressure of said swivel roller on said controlled surface.
4. A monorail installation as defined in claim 1, in which said truck has an extension projecting transversely therefrom to the side of said rail opposite that on which said swivel roller is located, said vehicle being attached to said extension on such opposite side of the rail to shift the center of gravity thereof to such opposite side.
5. A monorail Installation as defined in claim 1, in which the controlled surface is formed by the surface of a cylinder.
6. A monorail installation as defined in claim 1, including a zone thereof a switch rail to which the vehicle may be switched from said travel rail, and a switch roller carried by said truck and movable upon said switch rail, said controlled surface in such switching zone being formed by an endless belt providing a plane controlled surface with which said swivel roller may continue in contact as the vehicle is transferred from said travel rail to said switch rail.
7. A monorail installation as defined in claim 6, including a stationary ramp associated with said switch rail and having in plan view a profile approximating that of said switch rail, and means carried by said truck bearing on said ramp to maintain the position of the truck so that said swivel roller can continue to bear on said controlled surface after said first travel roller has been freed from said travel rail, and means for maintaining said swivel roller in bearing contact with said controlled surface during the transference of the vehicle from said travel rail to said switch rail.
8. A monorail as defined in claim 6, in which said travel roller has a single flange located between said travel rail and said truck, a movable auxiliary roller normally engaging said travel rail in cooperative relation with said travel roller to maintain the vehicle connected to said travel rail, and means operative to disengage said auxiliary roller from said travel rail, thereby enabling said single flanged travel roller to free itself laterally from said travel rail in said switching zone.