US 3614125 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Alex H. Sinclair Southiield;
Robert J. Otto, Grosse Pointe Woods, both of Mich.
Mar. 31, 197 0 Oct. 19, 1971 The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army  Inventors  App]. No.  Filed  Patented  Assignee  UNITIZED HIGH-MOBILITY SUSPENSION AND DRIVE SYSTEM FOR TRACK VEHICLES 6 Claims, 9 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 280/124, 180/92  Int. Cl B60g 3/12  Field of Search 280/124,
 Reierences Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,374,005 3/1968 Donlon 180/92 3,459,439 8/1969 Sinclair 180/92 Primary ExaminerPhilip Goodman Att0rneys-Harry M. Saragovitz, Edward J. Kelly, Herbert Berl and Maxwell V. Wallace ABSTRACT: A hydraulically actuated, independent roadann suspension system wherein hydraulic fluid is supplied to any individual roadarm actuator by a hydraulic pump and reservoir contained within the roadarm. This provides vehicles, such as military tanks, with a suspension system that keeps to a minimum the requirement for interior body space for suspension components and eliminates the need for hydraulic fluid conduits within the hull.
minnow 19 Ian 3,614,125
SHEET 5 BF 5 FIG.9
INVENTORS T0 ow /2 A151 h. S/A/CZA/A o/v/rs ROEZ'RTJ 0770 MLM ATTORNEYS UNITIZED HIGH-MOBILITY SUSPENSION AND DRIVE SYSTEM FOR TRACK VEHICLES The invention described herein may be manufactured, used and licensed by or for the US. Government for governmental purposes without payment to us of any royalty thereon.
This invention relates to a hydraulically actuated, independent roadarm suspension system and more particularly to a new and improved system wherein hydraulic fluid is supplied to an individual roadarm actuator by a hydraulic pump and reservoir contained within each roadarm.
The principal object of the invention is to provide a new and improved unitized high mobility suspension and drive system for track vehicles comprising a hydraulically actuated, independent roadarm suspension system wherein hydraulic fluid is supplied to any individual roadarm actuator by a hydraulic pump and reservoir contained within each roadarm.
Another object of the invention is to provide a roadarm suspension system that keeps to a minimum the requirement for valuable interior body space for suspension components and eliminates the need for hydraulic fluid conduits within the vehicle hull.
A still further object is to provide a self-contained, hydropneumatic actuated roadann support system.
The above and other objects of the invention will appear from the following more detailed description, and from the drawings, wherein:
FIG. I, is a perspective view of a tank, partly broken away, to show the independent roadarm suspension and the electrical and mechanical means for controlling the position and locking of each individual roadarm;
FIG. 2, is a perspective view of the roadarm, partially broken away to prevent details of the height control valve, actuator cylinder and storage accumulator;
FIG. 3, is a cross section through the roadarms center of rotation taken on a plane located on the cranks axis, along the center of rotation, looking toward the roadarm proper and the roadwheel;
FIG. 4, is a top view of the roadarm in the full-up position;
FIG. 5, is a side view of the roadarm in the full-up position with a partial cutaway to present the general arrangement of the major components;
FIG. 6, is a cross section of the height control valve taken through the valve assembly perpendicular to the valve s axis;
FIG. 7, is a side view of the roadarm in the full-down position with a partial cutaway to present the general arrangement of the major components;
FIG. 8, is a cross section taken on a plane through the roadarm, perpendicular to its longitudinal axis, taken along the roadwheel axis, then jogging downward somewhat below the actuator cylinder. The view is toward the center of rotation of the roadarm; and
FIG. 9 is a semischematic representation of the roadarms hydraulic-mechanical system.
The instant embodiment of the invention comprises a selfcontained hydropneumatic actuated roadarm system. The roadarm case connecting the roadwheel to the chassis is pivoted around a trunnion fixed on the outside of the chassis. Angular rotation of the roadarm around the trunnion is resisted by a piston held offset by the trunnion to compress fluid in a cylinder located in the roadarm and movable upon the piston. The angular position of the roadarm on the trunnion is changed by adding or removing fluid in the cylinder. To raise the silhouette of the vehicle, high-pressure fluid is added to the cylinder causing the roadarm to rotate down about the trunnion. Spring is provided in the roadarm rotational movements about the trunnion by allowing the hydraulic fluid in the cylinder to flow through a damping device in and out of the cylinder against a pneumatic spring. These features are disclosed in our US. Pat. No. 3,459,439 issued Aug. 5, 1969.
It has now been discovered that the addition of a wheel driven hydraulic pump and high-pressure accumulator inside of the roadarm will provide the fluid pressure to actuate the roadarm, thus making available the cargo space formerly occupied by the hydraulic pumps and accumulators as well as eliminating the conduits from such pumps to the roadarm to reduce fire hazard. The roadwheel axle is utilized to drive the pump located within the roadarm. As is disclosed in our above-mentioned patent, a rotatable spool valve located within the roadarm at its center of rotation is set to a chosen position by the vehicle operator and the valve connects the elevation cylinder to either the sump or to the high-pressure accumulator until the roadarm rotates to a position that neutralizes the spool valve.
Referring now to the drawings, in FIG. I is shown the overall relationship of the parts of the invention as applied to a military tank. The left and right side suspensions are supported and driven in the same manner, therefore a description of one side will suffice.
A suitable endless track 10 is trained about a suitably powered drive sprocket l2 and under six roadwheels 14, then around an idler tensioning wheel 16, on over the top of roadwheels 14 back to the drive sprocket 12.
Track 10 supports roadwheels 14, each having an axle I7, the same having secured thereon and joumaled in one end of a roadarm 18. A suitable control box 22 is provided within the vehicle for use by an operator to adjust the position of a roadarm setting valve 24, FIG. 2, by a suitable mechanical connection 26, FIG. 9, and to move an electric current by suitable wire 28 to energize a lockup valve 58 located within roadarm 18.
FIGS. I and 3 show hull 20, to which is secured, as by bolts 32, a trunnion flange 34, FIG. 2, supporting a trunnion, not shown, about which the roadarm 18 rotates. A roadarm casing housing 36, FIG. 7, contains and houses all of the hydraulic systems to operate the roadarm and only the control valve 26 and wire 28, FIG. 9, need to be passed through the hull 20 to send control information from control box 22 to the hydraulic system.
In FIG. 3 is shown a trunnion flange 34, which is secured to hull 20. Roadarm 18 rotates about an axis 39, FIG. 2, normal to the figure on suitable trunnion and bearing means located within the roadarm coaxial with the axis of rotation; said trun nion and bearing means not being essential to the instant invention and need not be more fully described other than stating that a suitable means is disclosed in our issued US. Pat. No. 3,459,439, Aug. 5, 1969.
An eccentric 40, FIGS. 2 and 3, attached relative to flange 34 and is secured to a piston rod 41 by means of a piston 42.
The cutaway section, FIGS. 4 and 5 of roadarm 18 show a roadarm case 36 having secured therein an elevation cylinder 44, a spring cylinder 45 and an accumulator cylinder 46. A piston 48, connected to piston rod 41 by a ball joint 49, slides in cylinder 44 and defines a chamber 50 which contains hydraulic fluid. Elevation cylinder 44 is partially surrounded by passageways 47, which in turn provide areas for high-pressure fluid to push the sides of cylinder 44 inwardly when it is desirable to grip piston 48 and hold it fast. Cylinder 45 is provided with a free piston 51 defining a chamber 52 containing hydraulic fluid and a closed chamber 53, containing a suitable gas, such as nitrogen, to provide a pneumatic spring. Chambers 50 and 52 are provided with a connecting passageway, not shown, to allow hydraulic fluid to flow between them; also a suitable restriction, not shown, may be placed in the connecting passageway to provide for desired flow rates. Cylinder 46 is provided with a free piston 54 defining a chamber 56 for hydraulic fluid and a closed chamber 57 for suitable gas such as nitrogen, to act as a pneumatic spring.
FIGS. 3, 4, 7 and 8 show a roadarm case 36 having mounted therein a pump 38, a lockup valve 58 and an axle 59. Pump 38, is a variable displacement, constant pressure forward and reverse type and is provided with a drive shaft 60 joumaled at both ends in bearings 61, and is secured to case 43 by means of legs 62. Axle 59 is attached to roadwheel l4 and is journaled in bearings 63, 64, secured to roadarm housing 36 by bearing housings 65, 66 (FIG. 8). Axle 59, FIG. 7, has a spur gear 67 attached thereto and pump drive shaft 60 has a spur gear 68 secured thereon meshing with gear 67.
The manner in which the device operates is as follows:
As shown best in FIG. 9 a schematic view of the hydraulic system as contained completely within roadarm housing 36- rotating axle 59 drives pump 38 to provide constant pressure variable volume fluid on demand to conduit 31 which is provided with pressure relief valve 71. The fluid passes from conduit 31 through check valve 72 to conduit 74 thereby charging accumulator cylinder 46, and then flows, via conduits 76, to an elevation control valve 78 and lockup valve 58. When the operator wishes to raise the vehicle, he adjusts valve 78 to allow fluid to flow through conduit 80 to chamber 50 causing cylinder 44 to move on piston 48 and rotate roadarm 36 down about axis 39 to a desired position where the rotation is stopped either by the operator adjusting valve 78 to block flow from line 76 to line 80, or by suitable follower device 82.
To lower the vehicle the operator adjusts valve 78 to connect line 80 to sump 84 whereby the weight of the vehicle forces fluid from chamber 50 to the sump 84 until such flow is blocked either manually or automatically in the same manner as when the vehicle is raised. Spring action is provided in the roadarm rotation by providing conduit 69 to permit flow back and forth between chambers 50 and 52 and cylinder 45, and such flow may be dampened by restriction 73.
When the operator desires to make the roadann incapable of rotation to provide a rigid suspension system, he actuates lockup valve 58 to allow fluid to flow from conduit 76 into conduit 86 and chamber 47 thereby causing cylinder 44 to seize upon piston 48. At all other times the lockup valve communicates line 86 to sump 84 and cylinder 44 slides freely over piston 48.
There has been disclosed herein a new and unique vehicle suspension and elevation system using an independent roadarm for each roadwheel, the same being actuated by a hydraulic system completely contained in the roadarm. The roadarm also includes a hydraulic pump driven by the roadwheel motion and an accumulator to store, under pressure, the hydraulic fluid received from the pump.
We wish to be understood that we do not desire to be limited to the exact details of construction shown and described, for obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art.
1. A vehicle suspension roadarm for joining-a vehicle chassis to and supporting it on a roadwheel, comprising,
a housed roadarm to yieldably connect said vehicle chassis to said roadwheel,
hydraulic means within said roadarm housing,
a hydraulic reservoir secured within said roadarm to store hydraulic fluid for said hydraulic means,
locking means within said roadarm,
a hydraulic pump secured within said roadarm and connected to said hydraulic means and said hydraulic reser- V",
means for driving said hydraulic pump,
an accumulator secured within said roadarm and connected to said hydraulic means and said hydraulic pump for transferring hydraulic fluid to said hydraulic means, and
a second accumulator secured within said roadarm and connected to said hydraulic means and said hydraulic pump for transferring hydraulic fluid to said hydraulic means when said hydraulic pump is not functioning;
said locking means being provided to restrict roadarm movement.
2. A vehicle suspension as set forth in claim 1, wherein,
said means for driving said hydraulic pump includes means rotated by said roadwheel and connected thereto so as to drive said pump whenever said roadwheel is rotating.
3. A vehicle suspension as set forth in claim 2, wherein,
said hydraulic pump has an accumulator secured within said roadarm and connected to said hydraulic means and said hydraulic pump for transferring hydraulic fluid to said hydraulic means; and a second accumulator secured within said roadarm and connected to said hydraulic means and said hydraulic pump for providing hydraulic fluid to said hydraulic means when said hydraulic pump is not functioning.
4. A vehicle suspension as set forth in claim 1, wherein,
there is provided a manually operated valve means to control removal or addition of hydraulic fluid from said hydraulic fluid from said hydraulic means, thereby respectively allowing lowering or raising of the vehicle chassis with relation to the ground;
a feedback means attached to said manually operated valve means to discontinue removal or addition of hydraulic fluid to and from said hydraulic means when said manually set vehicle chassis position is obtained, said feedback means also functioning to maintain said set vehicle chassis position without further manual input by the vehicles operator.
5. A vehicle suspension as set forth in claim I, wherein,
said second accumulator secured within said roadarm and connected to said hydraulic means and said hydraulic pump for transferring hydraulic fluid to said hydraulic means when said hydraulic pump is not functioning;
said second accumulator storing hydraulic fluid under pressure in excess of the demands of said stored hydraulic fluid to said hydraulic means upon demand whenever said pump is not operating.
6. A vehicle suspension as set forth in claim 1, wherein,
there is built integrally with said roadarm a hydraulic suspension lockout means for rigidly joining the roadarm to the chassis thereby fixing the chassis relationship to the ground, and
valve means contained within said roadarm housing and connected to said hydraulic pump and said hydraulic suspension lockout means for controlling said hydraulic suspension lockout means.