US 3692094 A
An apparatus for receiving a flexible starter bar used in continuous-casting of metals and storing the bar between casting operations. The apparatus includes upper and lower ramps, the latter being pivotally supported, whereby it can be lowered to divert the starter bar. As the bar moves up the lower ramp, the tail is directed from the lower ramp back onto the upper ramp. Thus the bar is doubled on itself for compactness. The parts can be shifted transversely of the casting line to make them accessible for maintenance.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Wagner  APPARATUS FOR RECEIVING AND STORING A FLEXIBLE STARTER BAR  Inventor: George J. Wagner, North Fayette Tps., Allegheny County, Pa.
 Assignee: United States Steel Corporation  Filed: Dec. 30, 1970  Appl. No.: 102,587
 11.8. CI. ..164/274  Int. Cl. ..B22d 11/08  Field of Search 164/82, 282, 283, 274
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,351,124 11/1967 Hess ..164/274 3,344,844 10/1967 Reinfeld ..164/282 X 3,426,835 2/1969 Michelson ..164/274 [151 3,692,094 51 Sept. 19,1972
3,433,287 3/1969 Greenberger ..164/274 3,495,651 2/1970 Rokop ..l64/282X Primary Examiner-J. Spencer Overholser Assistant Examiner-John S. Brown Attorney-Walter P. Wood [5 7] ABSTRACT An apparatus for receiving a flexible starter bar used in continuous-casting of metals and storing the bar between casting operations. The apparatus includes upper and lower ramps, the latter being pivotally supported, whereby it can be lowered to divert the starter bar. As the bar moves up the lower ramp, the tail is directed from the lower ramp back onto the upper ramp. Thus the bar is doubled on itself for compactness. The parts can be shifted transversely of the casting line to make them accessible for maintenance.
6 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures kwnvrm -I J II II PATENTEDSEf 19 m2 INVENTOR. GEORGE J WAGNER 8 Afforney APPARATUS FOR RECEIVING AND STORING A FLEXIBLE STARTER BAR This invention relates to an improved apparatus for receiving and storing a flexible starter bar used in continuous-casting of metals.
In the continuous-casting art, a starter bar or dummy bar is an elongated member, the head of which is inserted in an open-ended water-cooled mold before liquid metal is poured into the mold to begin casting operation. The starter bar descends from the bottom of the mold followed by a partially solidified casting. The leading end of the casting attaches itself to the head of the starter bar. Usually the casting machine includes a mechanism for separating the head from the remainder of the starter bar after the head has traveled a predetermined distance from the mold. The head stays with the casting and later is croppedtherefrom and scrapped. The bar is supplied witha new head and stored until needed for the next cast.
Somewhere below the mold the casting usually travels through a curved roll rack which changes its direction of travel from vertical or inclined to horizontal. It is known to employ a flexible starter bar which also travels through the curved rack ahead of the casting. The head may be separated from the bar afterthe head is traveling horizontally. It is known also to divert the bar up a ramp which overlies the casting. The bar can be stored on the ramp until it is needed to begin another cast. Reference can be made to Hess Pat. No. 3,351,124 or Greenberger Pat. No. 3,433,287 for showings of typical previous arrangements in which such ramps are used.
An object of my invention is to provide an improved ramp-type receiving and storing apparatus for a flexible starter bar, which apparatus is more compact and stores the bar in a more convenient location than previous apparatus.
A further object is to provide an improved ramp-type apparatus capable of handling a starter bar in a casting machine in which the casting is confined. within a horizontal roll rack after traveling through the usual curved roll rack.
A more specific object is to provide an improved apparatus of the foregoing type in which the flexible bar is doubled over and which can move the bar transversely away from the casting line for convenience in installing a new head and any other maintenance.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a partly diagrammatic side elevational view of a portion of a continuous-casting machine equipped with my apparatus for receiving and storing the starter bar; and
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 1, but with the receiving and storing apparatus shifted out of the casting line.
FIG. 1 shows a portion of a continuous-casting machine which includes a horizontal roll rack made up of series of upper and lower rolls nd .12. A casting C travels through the horizontal roll rack from left to right and discharges onto a roller conveyor 13 for further processing. Normally the casting travels through a curved roll rack (not shown) before it reaches the horizontal roll rack. The latter functions as a straightener for the casting, which acquires a curved set as it travels through the curved rack. The machine also includes a flexible starter bar 14 which can be of tion, also as known in the art.
The apparatus of my invention includes a fixed frame 20 which straddles the conveyor 13 and carries transverse rails 21. A carriage 22 is supported on these rails for movement transversely of conveyor 13. The carriage includes a rigid rectangular frame 23 and upper and lower ramps 24 and 25. The upper ramp is fixed to the top of frame 23 and slopes upwardly toward the horizontal roll rack 10,12. The lower ramp is pivoted to the underside of frame 23 at the end remote from the horizontal roll rack, as indicated at 26. Frame 23 carries a first motor-driven winch 27 around which a cable 28 is wound. The cable is connected to the lower ramp 25 near its free end for raising and lowering this ramp.
The free end of the lower ramp 25 has a seat 29 adapted to fit over one of the rollers of conveyor 13 when the ramp is lowered. If necessary, I mount the first two rollers of conveyor 13 on a separate table 30. A fluid' pressure cylinder 31 supports table 30 for vertical movement. Thus, if necessary, I can lower table 30 to afford clearance between the second roller and the bottom of the lower ramp.
The two ramps 24 and 25 have idler conveyor rollers 35 spacedalong their lengths. I journal an idler sheave 36 to the frame 23 above the pivot 26. A line tangent to the upper faces of rollers 35 on the upper ramp 24 is tangent to the upper face of sheave 36. Similarly a line tangent to the upper faces of the rollers on the lower ramp 25 is spaced below a parallel tangent to the lower face of the sheave to allow the starter bar 14 to pass between the rollers and sheave, as clearly shown in FIG. 1. I mount asemicircular guide 37 on frame 23 partially surrounding sheave 36, but spaced therefrom an appropriate distance to permit the starter bar 14 to pass therebetween. Frame 23 carries a second motordriven winch 38 at the opposite end from sheave 36. A cable 39 is wound around winch 38 and connected to the tail end of the starter bar 14.
Before a casting operation commences, the starter bar 14 is positioned with. its headlS inserted in the mold and its tail end extending toward the horizontal roll rack 10,12. The lower ramp 25 is lowered so that its seat 29 engages one of the rollers of conveyor 13, as shown in full lines in FIG. 1. If necessary, the table 30 is lowered to permit such engagement. As the casting operation proceeds, the tail end of the starter bar arrives at the lower end of ramp25 and is diverted up this ramp. All the while I operate the second winch 38 to take up cable 39. The cable and starter bar travel around sheave 36, whereby the .tail end of the starter bar moves up the upper ramp 24. When the head 15 reaches the disconnect device 16, the latter operates to separate the head from the remainder of the bar, as already explained. At this stage the starter bar is doubled over the sheave 36 and occupies most of the length of both ramps, while the cable 39 is mostly taken up on winch 38. I operate winch 27 to raise the lower ramp to the position shown in dot-dash lines in FIG. 1, Finally I pull carriage 22 transversely along rails 21 to one side of the casting line, as FIG. 2 shows. In this position the starter bar is stored compactly and fully out of the way of the line, where it is easily accessible for installing a new head and any other maintenance.
From the foregoing description it is seen that my invention affords a simple compact apparatus for receiving and storing a flexible starter bar. By virtue of doubling the bar on itself, I achieve maximum compactness. By virtue of moving the stored bar transversely of the casting line, I facilitate maintenance. The bar also is conveniently located for reinsertion in the line to begin the next cast.
1. In a continuous-casting machine, which includes a roll rack, roller conveyor means extending from said roll rack, a flexible starter bar adapted to travel through said roll rack, a separable head on said starter bar adapted to be attached to the leading end of a casting, and means for separating said head from the remainder of said bar when said head reaches a predetermined position, the combination therewith of apparatus for receiving and storing said bar, said apparatus comprising a frame, upper and lower ramps carried by said frame, said lower ramp being pivoted to said frame for movement between a lowered position in which its free end is adjacent said rack to divert said bar onto the ramp and a raised position for storing said bar, means on said frame connected with said lower ramp for raising and lowering it, a sheave journaled on said frame adjacent the pivot of said lower ramp, and a guide carried by said frame partially surrounding said sheave and being spaced therefrom, said sheave and said guide cooperating for directing a potion of said bar from said lower ramp onto said upper ramp and doubling the bar on itself for storage.
2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 further comprising a track on which said frame is mounted for movement transversely of said rack.
3. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 in which said ramps have idler rollers spaced along their length for carrying said bar, a line tangent to the rollers on said upper ramp being tangent to said sheave, a line tangent to the rollers on said lower ramp being spaced below a parallel tangent to said sheave to allow said starter bar to pass between the rollers and sheave.
4. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 in which said lower ramp has a seat at its free end engageable with one of the rollers of said conveyor means.
5. An apparatus as defined in claim 4 further comprising a table on which certain of the rollers of said conveyor means are journaled, and means for lowering and raising said table to provide clearance for said lower ramp.
6. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 further comprising a motor-driven winch on said frame, and a cable wound on said winch and connected to said starter bar for pulling said bar along said ramps.