Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3661310 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 9, 1972
Filing dateAug 14, 1970
Priority dateAug 14, 1970
Also published asCA948003A1
Publication numberUS 3661310 A, US 3661310A, US-A-3661310, US3661310 A, US3661310A
InventorsGross Maurice J
Original AssigneeChemetron Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rail feeding device
US 3661310 A
Abstract
A device for feeding a railway rail with a substantially I-shaped cross section along a substantially horizontal path through a station in which a work operation may be performed on the rail. Two pair of vertically spaced, power driven rollers, the upper of each pair being vertically movable, press the rail between themselves and are power rotated to push the rail along the path. A flexible drive powers all the rollers and accommodates the vertical movement of the upper rollers. So that the rollers can engage the uneven surfaces of the rail in tight frictional engagement therewith, each roller comprises a plurality of discs positioned face-to-face and movable individually to adjust to the surface of the rail. The discs are mounted between power rotated end plates by three pins spaced angularly about the rotational axis of the end plates. To allow individual radial movement of the discs, a sleeve of resiliently deformable material is telescoped over each pin. As each roller is pressed against the rail, each disc presses against the sleeves to deform the latter as that disc comes into contact with the rail to allow the other discs to move relative to the rail until they make contact.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Gross [151 3,661,310 [451 May 9,1972

[52] US. Cl. ..226/l08, 226/199, 226/177 [51] Int. Cl ..B65h 17/20 [58] Field of Search ..226/l91,192,193,194,177,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,540,588 6/1925 Alexander ..29/ 124 X 3,170,576 2/1965 Frank 3,310,210 3/1967 Reib ..226/183 X Primary Examiner-Allen N. Knowles Attorney-Wolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann ABSTRACT A device for feeding a railway rail with a substantially l-shaped cross section along a substantially horizontal path through a station in which a work operation may be performed on the rail. Two pair of vertically spaced, power driven rollers, the upper of each pair being vertically movable, press the rail between themselves and are power rotated to push the rail along the path. A flexible drive powers all the rollers and accommodates the vertical movement of the upper rollers. So that the rollers can engage the uneven surfaces of the rail in tight frictional engagement therewith, each roller comprises a plurality of discs positioned face-to-face and movable individually to adjust to the surface of the rail. The discs are mounted between power rotated end plates by three pins spaced angularly about the rotational axis of the end plates. To allow individual radial movement of the discs, a sleeve of resiliently deformable material is telescoped over each pin. As each roller is pressed against the rail, each disc presses against the sleeves to deform the latter as that disc comes into contact with the rail to allow the other discs to move relative to the rail until they make contact.

7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATEMTEmm 9 m2 3.661310 SHEET 3 [IF 3 Wrap/V07.

RAIL FEEDING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a device for feeding rails through a station in which an operation is performed on the rails, the

rails being substantially I-shaped in cross section and each comprising a lower base and an upper ball interconnected by an upright web. To feed a rail along a substantially horizontal path, vertically spaced hard metal rollers are journaled on the frame of the device with at least one of the rollers being power driven and one being mounted for vertical movement. The rail is pressed between the rollers by movement of the movable roller, and the driven roller is rotated to propel the rail along the path. The upper and lower surfaces of the rails may be uneven, and the amount of the torque of the driven roller that is transmitted to the rail as thrust to push the rail along the path is related to the area of tight frictional engagement that is established between the contacting surfaces of the roller and the rail.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The primary object of the present invention is to provide in a rail feeding device of the above character a new and improved hard metal roller which can readily adjust and conform to an uneven surface of a rail across the full width of the rail to insure greater frictional engagement between the roller and the rail than has been possible with previous hard metal rollers used for similar purposes.

It is a more detailed object to accomplish the above by providing a roller which comprises a plurality of discs positioned face-to-face and mounted for individual floating toward and away from the rail in order to adjust to the uneven surface of the rail and establish a substantially slip-free frictional engagement between the roller and the rail across the entire surface of the rail.

It is a further object to mount the discs in a novel manner on an axle for driven rotation with the axle while still being free to float radially relative to the axle. More particularly, resiliently deformable sleeves are provided which mount the discs on the axle for radial floating while transmitting the rotational force of the axle to the discs.

The invention also resides in the provision of a novel flexible drive capable of driving both rollers while accommodating vertical adjustment of the movable roller.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a rail feeding device embodying the novel features of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross section taken substantially along the line 2 2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary cross section taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary cross section taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross section taken substantially along the line 55 ofFlG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary elevational view of a mounting for the movable roller of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration, the invention is embodied in a rail feeder 10 (FIG. 1) for feeding railroad rails 11 (one shown in FIG. I) one at a time along a generally horizontal path. As shown in FIG. 3, the exemplary rail is of substantially l-shaped cross section and is formed with an upper ball 12 and a lower base 13 which are interconnected by an upright web 14, the web merging gradually with and rounding smoothly intothe ball and the base. The rail is fed along the horizontal path through a station 15 (FIG. 1) in which an operation is performed on the rail. The arrangement shown is particularly well suited for feeding the rail past a rail scraping device (not shown) located in the station to remove gunk from used rail. Also, it is becoming common to weld short sections of rail together to form continuous lengths of rail which may extend for V4 mile, and a welding unit (not shown) might be positioned in the station to weld together the rails'fed into the station.

Herein, the rail feeder 10 comprises a frame 16 on which pairs of vertically spaced rollers 17 and 18 are rotatably mounted. Each pair of rollers is mounted to press against the upper and lower surfaces 19 and 20 (FIG. 3) of the rail 11, and one of the rollers in each pair is rotatably driven to push the rail along the path. As shown in FIG. 1, one pair of rollers is positioned on each side of the station 15. The frame is divided into two sections 21 (FIG. 1) which are positioned on opposite sides of the station and which are substantially mirror images of one another. The sections are connected by a top frame member 22 and a lower frame member 23. As best shown in FIG. 2, each section comprises two spaced apart, vertically disposed plates 25 which are joined together by a number of pins 26 and held in spaced relation by sleeves 27 telescoped over the central portions of the pins. Horizontal plates 28 at the bottoms of the vertical plates are joined to the vertical plates by triangular-shaped flanges 29 to provide a stable base for each section.

As shown in FIG. 3, the rollers 17 and 18 are suspended between the vertical plates 25 to turn about axes which extend perpendicular to the plates, and the rail 11 moves along its horizontal path between the vertical plates and generally parallel with the plates. The bottom surface 20 of the base 13 rides on the lower roller 18 of each pair, and the upper roller 17 of each pair presses against the top surface 19 of the ball 12. In this instance, the upper roller of each pair is mounted for vertical movement so that it can be forced downwardly onto the rail to press the latter between the upper and lower rollers. Frictional engagement thus is established between the rollers and the rail so that the torque of the driven rollers is transferred to the rail as thrust to push the rail along the path. To mount the upper rollers for vertical movement, each is carried intermediate the ends of a swinging member 30 (FIG. 6) whose outer end portion is pivoted at 31 to the plates 25 and whose inner end portion is pivotally connected to the rod 32 of a hydraulic actuator 33. The head end of the actuator is pivotally connected to the top frame member 22 and, when pressure fluid is introduced into the head end of the actuator cylinder 35, the rod is forced downwardly to swing the member 30 downwardly about the pivot 31 thus pressing the upper roller against the rail. In this instance, the swinging member 30 is formed by two parallel arms 36 (FIG. 2) which are parallel with the vertical plates 25 and which are connected together by cross plates 37 and 38 (FIG. 6) positioned between the opposite end portions of the arms. The rod of the actuator is connected to the cross plate 37, the latter being generally horizontal. To help guide the swinging member and to define the limits of its vertical travel, a guide rod 40 is pivotally connected at its lower end portion to the cross plate 37, and a threaded upper end portion of the guide rod extends through an opening in the top frame member 22. Spaced apart nuts 41 threaded on the guide rod and positioned on opposite sides of the top frame member determine the extent of vertical travel of the guide rod and thus the swinging member.

Upon being moved along the horizontal path through the rail feeder 10, the rail 11 is guided at longitudinally spaced intervals to keep it centered between the vertical plates 25. As shown in FIG. 2, the rail is centered by guide wheels 43 which are pivotally mounted on the vertical plates to turn about vertical axes and which engage the sides of the web 14 of the rail.

The upper andlower surfaces 19 and 20 of the rail 11 are not completely flat and horizontal from edge-to-edge. In fact, the upper surface of the ball 12 is even formed with a slight crown. The unevenness in these surfaces are detrimental because the amount of torque from the driven rollers that can be transmitted to the rail as thrust depends in large on the degree of frictional engagement of the driven rollers with the rail. The frictional engagement, in turn, depends upon establishing a large surface-to-surface contact area between the rollers and the rail. A large amount of thrust is needed to push the rail along the path due to the great weight of the rail when sections of rail are being welded together or due to the drag created when gunk is being scraped from the rail.

In accordance with the present invention, the rollers 17 and 18 are made of a hard metal and are constructed in such a manner as to adjust and conform to the uneven surfaces 19 and 20 of the rail 11 to establish better frictional engagement between the rollers and the rail. For this purpose, each roller comprises a plurality of discs 45 (FIG. 3) positioned face-toface and mounted for independent sliding movement relative to one another in generally vertical planes. With this arrangement, each disc can engage a small portion of the surface of the rail and slide relative to the other discs so that the discs may seek and assume positions which, in effect, conform to the uneven surface of the rail thereby to provide a greater area of frictional engagement between the uneven surface and the roller than has been possible with previous metal rollers. As a result, a greater amount of torque can be converted to thrust to feed the rail more effectively.

To push the rail 11 along the path, the lower surface 20 of the base 13 of the rail is seated on the peripheral edges of the discs 45 forming each lower roller 18 (see FIG. 3), and each upper roller 17 is pressed downwardly so that the upper surface 19 of the ball 12 engages the peripheral edges of the discs forming the upper roller. As the upper rollers are pressed against the upper rail surface, the discs in both the upper and lower rollers shift vertically to adjust to the uneven surfaces so that each roller engages the adjacent rail surface along substantially the entire width of the surface. Thus, when the driven rollers are rotated, sufficient frictional engagement is established between the driven rollers and the surface so that the driven rollers will not slip even when there is a large load or drag on the rail.

More specifically, the discs 45 of each roller 17, 18 are preferably made of steel and are mounted on and connected to a central axle 46 (FIG. 3). The axles of the lower rollers 18 are carried by the vertical plates 25, and the axles of theupper rollers 17 are carried by the arms 36 of the swinging members 30. To journal each axle for rotation, a bearing 47 is mounted in a plate 48 which is connected to the outside ofeach vertical plate or arm, as the case may be, and the axle projects through and beyond the bearings. Vertical movement of the arms and the axles of the upper rollers is accommodated by enlarged openings 50 in the vertical plates.

The discs 45 are mounted on the central portion of the axle 46 for individual, radial floating relative to the axle and yet, at the same time, are connected to the axle to be rotated therewith. So that each disc can move radially relative to the axle, the axle is telescoped through an axially extending hole 53 in each disc, the hole being substantially larger in diameter than the axle. The discs are connected to the axle by means of two end plates 54 which are telescoped on the axle at opposite ends of the discs to form a sandwich with the discs in the middle, and the end plates are keyed to the axle for rotation therewith. To connect the end plates to the discs, pins 56 extend through the discs and the end plates and are spaced radially from and angularly about the axle. Herein, three pins are used. Each pin is formed with an enlarged diameter central portion and necked down end portions, and the shoulders 57 formed by the change in diameters engage the end plates to keep the end plates spaced apart so that the discs will not be jammed together. Nuts 58 are threaded onto the end portions of the pins to hold the end plates on the pins. Sleeves 60 of resiliently deformable material are telescoped over the enlarged diameter portions ofthe pins. The sleeves may be made of polyurethane tubing with a D-70 Shore Hardness. With this arrangement, each disc is free to move radially by deforming the sleeve.

Prior to actuation of the actuators 33, the rollers 17 and 18 contact the uneven upper and lower surfaces 19 and 20 of the rail 11 only in a few places across the width of the rail. As the upper rollers 17 are forced downwardly, the discs 45 in contact with the surfaces are forced to move vertically thus deforming the sleeves 60. Such movement allows the other discs to come into contact with the surfaces until all the discs contact the surfaces across the full width of the surfaces. With the discs contacting the surfaces of the rail, the rail is pushed along the path by the driven axles 46 turning the end plates 54 which act through the pins 56 and sleeves 60 to rotate the discs. As the rollers rotate, the discs constantly shift to remain in intimate contact with the surfaces of the rail thereby to maintain a comparatively slip-free drive to the rail.

Preferably, all of the rollers 17 and 18 are power driven. As a result, a greater amount of thrust can be exerted on the rail 11 because the tight frictional engagement of each roller with the rail allows each roller to be utilized for transmitting thrust. In this instance, one roller 18 (the lower left in FIG. 1) is driven directly from a motor 62, and the remaining rollers are driven from the one roller. The one roller is connected to the motor by two chains 63 (FIG. 2) which are trained around and tensioned between two sprockets 64 on the motor and two sprockets 65 (FIG. 3) on the axle 46 of the one roller. Two chains are used to insure continuous power in the event that one chain should break or jump off the sprockets.

The remaining rollers 17 and 18 are driven from the primary driven roller 18 by a single chain 66 (FIG. 1) which is trained around sprockets 66a mounted on and keyed to the axles 46 of the four rollers and around two idler sprockets 67 and 68 positioned above the rollers. The use of a single chain is a simple and advantageous arrangement for driving the two upper rollers 17 which are mounted for vertical movement. With the chain trained around the rollers as shown in FIG. 1, the upper rollers can be moved downwardly to apply pressure to the rail 11, and still the chain will drivingly engage the sprockets for those rollers. Tension is kept on the chain when the upper rollers are moved, and the tension may be varied by adjustment of the right hand idler sprocket 68 which is mounted on the vertical plates 25 for selective position adjustment.

As shown in FIG. 5, the idler sprocket 68 is mounted on the outer end portion of an axle 69 journaled in an end portion of a mounting plate 70 which is welded at its other end portion to an arm 71 telescoped over a threaded rod 72 and confined between two nuts 73 on the rod. The rod is connected at one end to the side edge of a plate 75 which is formed with a large central hole 76 (FIG. 1) and which is telescoped over the axle 69. To mount the plate 75 to the vertical plate 25, two mounting members 77 are fixed to the vertical plate, and the plate 75 is welded at its upper and lower end portions to the mounting members. Thus, the position of the axle can be changed by turning the nuts 73 and thus shifting the arm 71 along the rod to move the mounting plate.

In this instance, a chain 79 and sprockets 80 (FIG. 2) are fixed to the axles 46 and 69 on the opposite side of the frame 16 from the first chain 66 to provide a duplicate or back-up drive to all the rollers 17 and 18 from the axle of the primary driven roller 18. This arrangement provides uniform power transmission to the rollers and insures continuous power transmission if one chain should break or jump off its sprockets.

It will be observed from the foregoing that the formation of each roller 17, 18 from a plurality of discs 45 positioned faceto-face and mounted for independent radial floating is a particularly advantageous arrangement. With this arrangement, each individual disc can shift to engage a small segment of the uneven rail surface 19 or 20 so that the roller engages the surface for substantially the full width of the surface with a tight frictional engagement. Thus the roller will not slip to any substantial degree when torque is applied to it, and substantially all of the torque will be transmitted to the rail 11 as thrust. Additionally, the use of a single chain 66 to rotate not only the fixed rollers 18 but also the upper, vertically movable, rollers 17 is an extremely simple and effective drive arrangement.

Further, the discs are made of steel so that they are better able to withstand wear and heat, the rails being heated by the welding unit.

I claim as my invention:

1. A device for feeding rails having upper and lower surfaces along a substantially horizontal path and comprising in combination, a frame, a pair of vertically spaced rollers mounted on said frame to rotate about axes extending transversely of the path, mechanism for raising and lowering one of said rollers to press the rail between the rollers, and drive means for rotating one of said rollers to push the rail along the path, said driven roller comprising a pair of opposed, axially spaced, end plates rotatably journaled on said frame, a plurality of circular discs positioned face-to-face between said end plates, and means connecting said discs to said end plates for independent radial movement relative to one another and the end plates, said mounting means comprising a plurality of pins connected to said end plates and extending axially through said discs, said pins being spaced radially from the rotational axis of said discs and being spaced angularly from one another about such axis, and a sleeve telescoped over each pin and extending through said discs, said sleeves being made of a material which deforms resiliently under pressure to mount said discs for independent radial floating whereby the driven roller engages and conforms to substantially the full width of the adjacent surface of the rail to provide greater frictional engagement between the roller and the surface for transmitting substantially all of the torque of said roller to the rail as thrust to push the rail.

2. The device of claim 1 further including an idler wheel associated with said rollers, all of said rollers being driven rollers, and drive means including a chain forming a closed loop and connecting all of. said rollers and said wheel to transmit power to all of said rollers.

3. The device of claim 1 further including a second pair of vertically spaced rollers substantially identical to said first pair and positioned along said path from the first pair on opposite sides of said rail, an idler wheel associated with each pair of rollers, all of said rollers being driven rollers, and said drive means including a chain forming a closed loop and connecting all of said rollers and said wheels to transmit power to all of said rollers.

4. The device of claim I in which said end plates are journaled on said frame by an axle, said axle extending through said end plates and being rigidly connected thereto, said discs having holes extending along the rotational axis of the discs, said axle extending through said holes and having a diameter considerably smaller than said holes thereby to leave said discs free to move radially without engaging said axle.

5. The device of claim 1 in which said discs are made of hard metal.

6. A device for feeding a rail having upper and lower surfaces along a substantially horizontal path and comprising in combination a frame, a pair of vertically spaced rollers, said rollers being mounted on said frame to rotate about axes extending transversely of the path, the upper roller being mounted for movement toward and away from the lower roller, means for forcing said upper roller downwardly to press the rail between said rollers, and drive means for rotating one of said rollers to push the rail along the path, said one roller comprising two spaced end plates rigidly connected together and mounted to turn about one of said axes, a plurality of hard metal discs positioned face-to-face and sandwiched between said end plates, and means mounting said discs between said end plates for individual movement radially of said one axis whereby said discs can conform to and tightly frictionally engage one of the surfaces of the rail so that substantially all the driving torque applied to said one roller is transmitted to the rail as thrust.

7. A device for feeding rails having upper and lower surfaces along a substantially horizontal path and comprising in combination, a frame, two pairs of vertically spaced rollers, said rollers being mounted on sad frame to rotate about axes extending transversely of the path, mechanism for moving the upper-roller of each pair toward the lower roller to press the rail between the rollers, and drive means connected to all of said rollers for rotating the latter thereby to push the rail along the path, each said roller comprising an axle rotatably mounted on said frame and operably connected to said drive means, two opposed, spaced apart end plates telescoped on and rigidly connected to said axle for rotation therewith, a plurality of discs positioned face-to-face and each having an axially extending hole therethrough of larger diameter than said axle, said disc being loosely telescoped over said axle and positioned between said end plates, mounting means mounting said discs on said axle for independent floating relative to one another radially of said axle, said mounting means comprising at least three pins connected to and extending between said end plates and extending through said discs, said pins being spaced radially from and angularly about said axle, and a sleeve telescoped over and extending through said discs, said sleeve being made of a material which deforms resiliently under pressure to mount said discs for independent radial floating whereby the driven roller engages and conforms to substantially the full width of the adjacent surface of the rail to provide greater frictional engagement between the roller and the surface for transmitting substantially all of the torque of said roller to the rail as thrust to push the rail.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1540588 *Dec 15, 1923Jun 2, 1925Alexander Horace GSectional roll
US3170576 *Aug 24, 1962Feb 23, 1965Pennsalt Chemicals CorpRotary seal
US3310210 *Mar 7, 1966Mar 21, 1967John C ReibPulling device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4119256 *Mar 16, 1977Oct 10, 1978Schloemann-Siemag AktiengesellschaftStrip pinch roll apparatus
US4285502 *May 31, 1978Aug 25, 1981Lub Dirk J CDevice for keeping constant the tensile stress in a cable
US5072872 *Feb 15, 1990Dec 17, 1991A2C Groupe Pratic-AdemvaDevice for transporting materials in strip, sheet, or filament form
US5961022 *Jun 7, 1996Oct 5, 1999Sms Schloemann-Siemag AktiengesellschaftStrip pinch apparatus
US7350467Aug 22, 2005Apr 1, 2008Loram Maintenance Of Way, Inc.Long rail pick-up and delivery system
US7895950Mar 24, 2008Mar 1, 2011Loram Maintenance Of Way, Inc.Long rail pick-up and delivery system
EP0383704A1 *Feb 14, 1990Aug 22, 1990A2C Groupe Pratic-AdemvaDriving device for web, sheet or threadmaterial
WO2013088022A1 *Dec 3, 2012Jun 20, 2013EtfRail-pushing car
Classifications
U.S. Classification226/108, 226/177
International ClassificationB23Q7/05
Cooperative ClassificationB23Q7/055
European ClassificationB23Q7/05B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 3, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: CHEMETRON RAILWAY PRODUCTS, INC., 177 HINTZ RD., W
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:RAILWAY ACQUISITION CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004827/0258
Effective date: 19880217
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RAILWAY ACQUISITION CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004827/0258
Owner name: CHEMETRON RAILWAY PRODUCTS, INC., A CORP. OF DE,
Jul 10, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: HARRIS TRUST AND SAVING BANK, 111 WEST MONROE STRE
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CHEMETRON-RAILWAY PRODUCTS, INC., A DE. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004736/0334
Effective date: 19870518
Jul 10, 1987AS06Security interest
Owner name: CHEMETRON-RAILWAY PRODUCTS, INC., A DE. CORP.
Effective date: 19870518
Owner name: HARRIS TRUST AND SAVING BANK, 111 WEST MONROE STRE