US 3623627 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States atent  lnventor Alan S. Bolton Orange. Mass.  Appl. No. 852,205  Filed Aug. 22, 1969  Patented Nov. 30, 1971  Assignee Rodney Hunt Company Orange, Mass.
 DOOR CONSTRUCTION FOR A PRESSURE VESSEL 8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 220/41, 49/221, 220/47  Int. Cl .1 865d 43/20  Field of Search 220/41.47; 49/221  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,895,169 1/1933 Mosel 220/41 X 3,050,211 8/1962 Hutterer r. 220/41 3,058,331 10/1962 Madonng 220/41 X 3,165,226 1/1965 Files. 220/41 3.352.446 11/1967 Anderson 220/41 3,386,206 6/1968 Loveless. a 49/221 Primary L'.raniinerGeorge E. Lowrance Aimrne \-Chittick, Pfund. Birch, Samuels & Gauthier ABSTRACT: Means for closing and sealing an opening in the wall of a pressure vessel, including a door member carried on tracks attached to the inside of the vessel wall The door is movable along the tracks between an open position allowing access through the opening into the interior of the vessel, and a closed position blocking the opening. The opening is sur rounded by a seal assembly which includes a grooved member on the inside surface of the vessel wall. When in the closed position, the door member is urged against the grooved member by cam members on the tracks. A flexible seal contained by the grooved member is thereafter urged into contact with the adjacent surfaces of the closed door to provide a pressuretight seal between the door member and the vessel wall.
DOOR CONSTRUCTION FOR A PRESSURE VESSEL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to door constructions for pressure vessels, and more particularly to an improved means for movably mounting the door member as well as for providing an improved seal between the vessel wall and the door member when the latter is in the closed position.
One object of the present invention is to minimize the space needed to accommodate opening and closing of the door member. This is accomplished by mounting the door member on tracks on the inside of the vessel wall so as to permit movement of the door along the tracks from an open position allowing access through the opening into the interior of the vessel, and a closed position blocking the opening. When in the open position, the major portion of the door underlies the vessel wall, and movement of the door between the open and closed positions takes place in a plane or surface generally parallel to that of the vessel wall. This is to be contrasted to more conventional door constructions where a hinged door member is opened outwardly when gaining access into the interior of the vessel. Such constructions are frequently objectionable because they prevent close positioning of the vessel to other equipment.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved means for opening and closing the door member. To this end, one or more double-acting cylinder assemblies are located on the exterior surface of the vessel wall adjacent each opening. Each cylinder assembly is pivotally connected to both the door member and the vessel wall, thus providing a convenient and efficient means for moving the door member along its supporting tracks between the open and closed positions.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved means for rapidly and efiiciently creating a pressuretight seal between the vessel wall and the closed door member. This is accomplished by surrounding the opening with a seal assembly which includes a grooved member mounted on the interior surface of the vessel wall. As the door member is moved along its supporting tracks to the closed position, cam members on the tracks urge the door member laterally into contact with the grooved member. The sea] assembly further includes a flexible seal seated in the grooved member. Pressure means are employed to urge the flexible seal into sealing engagement with the adjacent surfaces of the closed door member. This arrangement permits rapid opening and closing of the door member without necessitating a compromise in the effectiveness of the seal when the door member is in the closed position. The resulting seal is further enhanced by virtue of the door member being pushed outwardly against the grooved member when the vessel is pressurized.
A still further object of the present invention is the provision of a novel latch means for ensuring that the door member remains in the open position while operating personnel are working around and through the opening in the vessel wall.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds with the aid of the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. I is a view in side elevation of a pressure vessel having doors embodying the concepts of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged side view of one of the doors shown in FIG. I with portions of the vessel wall broken away to better illustrate the means for movably mounting the door member;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIGS. 4 and 5 are enlarged sectional views taken along lines 4-4 and 5-5 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 3 showing the door assembly moved to the open position; and,
FIGS. 7 and 8 are elevational and plan views respectively of the latch means employed to hold the door assembly in the open position.
Referring initially to FIG. 1, there is shown a pressure vessel generally indicated at 10. The vessel includes a generally cylindrical wall 12, the ends of which are closed by dished heads 14. The structural details of vessel 10 and its intended use and general mode of operation are not pertinent to a description and understanding of the present invention, except to note that the vessel is pressurized during its operation, and that the vessel wall 12 has one or more openings 16 (see FIG. 6) closed by door assemblies generally indicated at 18, which door assemblies comprise the essence of the present invention.
Turning now to the remainder of the drawings, it will be seen that in the embodiment of the invention herein disclosed, each door assembly I8 includes a pair of parallel track members 20a and 20b attached to the interior surface of wall member I2 adjacent each opening 16 by means of intermediate inwardly extending brackets 22. The track members are spaced inwardly from and parallel to the vessel wall 12. A door member 24 is located between the track members and the vessel wall. The door member is provided with laterally extending wheels 26, each of which is provided with a cylindrical track-engaging surface 28 and an adjacent shoulder 30.
As can best be seen by a comparison of FIGS. 3 and 6, the door member 24 is movable under the influence of an operat ing means generally indicated at 32 between a closed position blocking the opening 16 in the vessel wall (FIG. 3) and an open position generally underlying a section of the vessel wall adjacent one edge of the opening (FIG. 6). While in the open position, and when moving from the open to the closed position, the door member 24 is carried on the track members 22a and 22b by virtue of the cylindrical track-engaging surfaces 28 on the wheels 26 contacting and resting on the track members.
As herein illustrated, the operating means 32 comprises at least one double-acting cylinder assembly made up of a cylinder 34 and extensible piston rod 36. The cylinder 34 is pivotally attached as at 38 to a bracket member 40 which is in turn attached as by welding to the exterior surface of the vessel wall 12. The piston rod 36 is similarly attached by means of a bifurcated head 42, transverse pin member 44 and a second upstanding bracket 46 to the door member 24. Extension and/or retraction of the piston rod 36 thus causes the door member 24 to be moved along its supporting track members 220 and 22b between the closed and open positions previously described.
Each opening 16 in the vessel wall 12 is surrounded by a seal assembly which includes a seal-holding member 48 attached to the inside surface of the vessel wall adjacent the edge of the opening. As is best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, the seal-holding member 48 is provided with a generally U-shaped cross section defining a continuous groove 50 within which is positioned a flexible seal 52. A space is provided between the flexible seal 52 and the base of groove 50, and this space is connected via a hole 54 in the vessel wall 12 and a flexible conduit 56 to a remote source of pressurized fluid, such as, for example an air pump (not shown).
Each of the track members 22a and 22b is provided on opposite sides with cam members 58. As shown in FIG. 4, each cam member includes an inclined surface 60 disposed angularly with relation to the wheel-engaging surface of the track member to which the particular cam member is attached. The inclined surfaces are arranged to be engaged by the shoulders 30 on the wheels 26 when the door member arrives at the closed position blocking opening 16. The shoulders 30 in effect roll up the inclined surfaces 60, thus lifting the track-engaging surfaces 28 off of the tracks with the result that the door member 24 is urged laterally away from its supporting tracks into contact with the seal holder 48 as at 62. As shown in FIG. 5, each of the cam members 58 is attached to its respective track member by means of screws 59 extending through slots 61 in the cam members. This arrangement allows the cam members to be selectively positioned so as to ensure that the door member is urged against the grooved seal holder 48 when the door is in the closed position.
With the door member thus located in the closed position, a pressurized medium is introduced into groove 50 to push the flexible seal 52 into contact with the adjacent surfaces of the door member, thus creating a pressuretight seal between the door member and the vessel wall 12.
With reference to FIGS. 7 and 8, it will be seen that the present invention further includes a latch means generally indicated at 64 for ensuring that the door member 24 remains in the open position when operating personnel are working in and around opening 16. The latch means is comprised of a pair of holding members 66 pivotally mounted between spaced members 68a and 68b extending forwardly from a collar 70 on cylinder 34. The holding members aremovable between downwardly disposed operative positions shown by the solid lines in FIG. 7 and raised inoperative positions shown by the solid lines in FIG. 7 and raised inoperative positions indicated at 660. When in the downwardly disposed operative positions, the holding members are positioned in the path P along which the transverse pin 44 travels when the door member 24 is moved from the closed to the open position by retracting piston rod 36. Accordingly, as the door arrives at the open position, and by virtue of the fact that the holding members 66 are provided with inwardly inclined front edges 72, the holding members ride over pin 44 until such time as the pin is seated within the notches 74 formed in the lower edge of the holding members. This causes the door member to be positively locked to the cylinder 34 which is in turn pivotally connected to the bracket 40 on the vessel wall. When the door member 24 is to be moved to the closed position, the holding members 66 must first be manually raised to their inoperative positions 66a. As the piston rod 36 is extended to advance the door to the closed position, a transverse adjusting member 76 on the piston rod contacts the holding members and pushes them back downwardly to their operative positions ready to cooperatively engage the transverse pin 44 when the door member is again opened.
In light of the foregoing, the advantages of the present invention will now be more apparent to those skilled in the art. Among those advantages is the relative ease with which the door member may be closed and sealed. More particularly, this is accomplished by first raising the holding members 66 to their inoperative positions to free the door for downward movement. Thereafter, the operating means 32 is actuated to extend the piston rod 36. This causes the door member to travel along its supporting tracks 20a and 20b towards the closed position. When the door member arrives in approximate registration with opening 16, the cam members 58 on the tracks are contacted by the shoulders 30 on the door wheels 26, thereby resulting in the door being laterally displaced away from the supporting tracks and into contact with the grooved seal holder 48. With the door member thus positioned, a suitable pressurized medium, such as for example air, is introduced between the flexible seal 52 and the base of groove 50 to urge the seal into sealing engagement with the door member, thus ensuring a pressuretight seal between the door and the wall of the vessel. This is accomplished without the need to resort to time-consuming tightening of retaining bolts or other conventional closure means.
Another advantage of the present construction lies in the manner in which the door member 24 is supported for movement between the open and closed positions. More particularly, it will be seen that when in the open position, the door member is located substantially entirely adjacent to the vessel wall with only a small portion of the door protruding into the opening M. A minimum of space exterior of the vessel is occupied by the operating means 32, thereby permitting a plurality of vessels to be closely positioned in side-by-side relationship without interfering with the opening and closing of the door members.
Another advantage of the present invention lies in the incorporation of the safety latch mechanism 64 which obviates the possibility of operating personnel being injured by the ac cidental lowering of a door member to the operative position.
It is my intention to cover all changes and modifications of the invention herein chosen for purposes of disclosure which do not depart of the spirit and scope of the claims appended hereto.
1. For use with a pressure vessel having an opening in the vessel wall which provides access into the interior of the vessel, means for closing said opening comprising: track means including a pair of spaced parallel track members located in the interior of the vessel adjacent to opposite sides of the opening, said track means further including cam members attached to said track members, said cam members having operating surfaces spaced laterally from and sloping relative to said track members; seal means on the interior surface of the vessel wall surrounding said opening; a door assembly carried by said track means for movement between an open position allowing access into the vessel through said opening, and a closed position blocking said opening, said door assembly including wheel members arranged to roll along said track members, said wheel members having laterally extending circular shoulders arranged to contact and roll along said operating surfaces, the positioning of said cam members being such that the contact between said operating surfaces and said shoulders will cause the door assembly to be pushed laterally away from said track members into engagement with said seal means when the door assembly is moved to the closed position; and operating means on the exterior of the vessel for moving said door assembly between said open and closed positions.
2. The apparatus as claimed in claim I wherein said cam members are adjustably attached to said track members for selective positioning along the length thereof.
3. The apparatus as claimed in claim I wherein said operating means is comprised of at least one double-acting cylinder assembly made up of a cylinder containing a reciprocating piston with a piston rod extending therefrom, said assembly being pivotally attached to both said door assembly and the exterior surface of the vessel wall.
4. The apparatus as claimed in claim 3 further characterized by latch means for locking said piston rod relative to said cylinder when said door assembly is moved to the open position.
5. The apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said piston rod is pivotally connected to said door assembly by means including a pin member extending in a direction transverse to the longitudinal axis of said cylinder assembly, and wherein said latch means includes holding members pivotally mounted on said cylinder for movement between raised inoperative positions above the path travelled by said transverse pin member, and lowered operative positions across the said path, whereby when the door assembly is moved to the open position, said transverse pin member is engaged and held by said holding members until such time as the holding members are manually raised to their inoperative positions.
6. The apparatus as claimed in claim 5 further characterized by means on said piston rod for contacting and depressing said holding members from their inoperative positions to their operative positions when said piston rod is extended to move said door assembly to the closed position.
7. Means for closing an opening in the wall of a pressure vessel comprising: track means in the interior of the vessel adjacent to the opening in the vessel wall; a door assembly carried by said track means; operating means on the exterior of the vessel for moving said door assembly along said track means between an open position allowing access into the interior of the vessel through said opening and a closed position blocking said opening, said operating means including at least one double-acting cylinder assembly made up of a cylinder containing a reciprocating piston with a piston rod extending axially therefrom, said cylinder being pivotally mounted on the exterior surface of the vessel wall and said piston rod being pivotally attached to said door assembly by means including a pin member extending in a direction transverse to the longitudinal axis of said cylinder assembly; and latch means for locking said piston rod relative to said cylinder when the door 6 respective positions.
8. The apparatus as claimed in claim 7 further characterized by means on said piston rod for contacting and depressing said holding members from their inoperative positions to their operative positions when said piston rod is extended to move said door assembly to the closed position.
i t t (22 3? UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION November 30, 1971 Patent No. 3 ,623 627 Dated Inventofls) Alan S. Bolton It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Col. 6., line 1, the word "respective" should be -inoperative-.
Signed and sealed this 5th day of September 1972.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Commissionerof Patents Attesting Officer