US 3698545 A
A shipping cover for railroad air brake control valves is provided for protecting the operating mechanisms of the valve during shipment and storage. Several embodiments of shipping covers specifically designed for an "AB" type valve service portion are made of high strength plastic and characterized by a unique cambered or wave-like contact face that provides complete sealing. The shipping covers can withstand high impact such as due to accidental dropping and the resilience of the covers helps to protect the valve structure against such impacts.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Unite States Patent MacDonnell 5] Oct. 17, 1972  SHIPPING COVER FOR AB TYPE 3,554,369 1/1971 Paschke ..206/47 R CONTROL VALVE 3,590,988 7/1971 Hollar ..206/45.34
 Inventor: Robert W. MacDonnell, Crete, Ill.
 Assignee: Unity Railway Supply Co., Inc.,
 Filed: May 21, 1971  Appl. No.: 145,777
 U.S. Cl. ..206/46 H, 150/52 R  Int. Cl. ....B 65d 81/02, B65d 85/02, B65d 85/30  Field of Search ..206/46 H, 46 M, 46 R, 47 R,
206/4534, 65 R, 56 DF; 150/52 R  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,080,964 3/1963 Robinson et al. ....206/46 H 3,436,045 4/1969 Anspaugh ..206/46 M Primary ExaminerWilliam T. Dixson, Jr. Attorney-E. Manning Giles, J. Patrick Cagney, Michael A. Kondzella and Richard A. Zachar  ABSTRACT I A shipping cover for railroad air brake control valves is provided for protecting the operating mechanisms of the valve during shipment and storage. Several embodiments of shipping covers specifically designed for an AB type valve service portion are made of high strength plastic and characterized by a unique cambered or wave-like contact face that provides complete sealing. The shipping covers can withstand high impact such as due to accidental dropping and the resilience of the covers helps to protect the valve structure against such impacts.
1 1 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures P'ATENiEDum 11 I972 SHEET 1 BF 2 FIG.5
' INVENTOR OEEPTIM MMCZKMMEZL ATTORNEY 8,698,545 SHEEI 2 UF 2 PATENTEDBBI 17 I972 \m i w w m l M B 9 u 2 w i W w w N m v INVENTOR ROBERT M MACDONNELL BY ATTOR EY I SHIPPING COVER FOR AB TYPE CONTROL VALVE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a shipping cover for an AB type control valve. AB control valves are standard components of railroad air brake systems and generally consist of three sections, namely, a pipe bracket, a service portion and an emergency portion. Pipe connections are permanently made to the pipe bracket, which is bolted to a railroad car underframing. The service and emergency portions contain the operating mechanisms of the control valve and are removably connected to the pipe bracket.
In the normal maintenance operations for railroad cars, it is required to remove the operating portions of an AB type control valve and to replace the same with new or reconditioned portions of the same type. Generally, all cleaning and conditioning of these valves is performed in a central service yard. After being removed from a railroad car, the dirty valve operating portions are shipped back to such a service yard. After the valve portions are cleaned and reconditioned at the service yard, they are shipped out to repair tracks for storage until needed again. During shipment and storage these parts, which are filled with oil, are exposed to rough handling, inclement weather and dust and dirt, all of which tends to damage the internal working mechanisms of the valve portions.
To secure protection for the service and emergency valve portions during shipment and storage, special shipping covers are provided to be fixed over the exposed interface of such a valve portion. A custom design shipping cover is attached to the service portion immediately after cleaning and is not removed until the service portion is ready to be connected again to a pipe bracket. The cover is also used for protecting the removed service portion. It is conventional to form such a protective cover out of steel or a similar metal. Metallic covers are not economic because the covers are frequently lost or misplaced. The rigidity of a metal cover fails to protect against the shock effect on the internal parts of the service portion if it is accidentally dropped or exposed to any other jarring force.
The prior art shipping covers serve an additional purpose. They are generally hat-shaped so as to be used as shipping containers for reusable cleaning strainers. Cleaning strainers are generally cylindrical in shape and are mounted within the pipe bracket section of an AB type control valve. A clean strainer is applied every time the air brakes are replaced and cleaned. Since clean valve service portions must also be installed when the brakes are being cleaned, it is convenient to have a clean strainer accompany each clean Service portion. The conventional metal shipping covers do not effectively protect such strainers because they do not give any shock protection. If a covered valve portion is accidentally dropped, a metal cover cannot absorb any part of the shock from the blow.
SUMMARY-OF THE INVENTION the ingress of dirt during shipment and storage. In addition, the inherent resilience of plastic provides a measure of cushioning for protecting both the strainer and the internal parts of the valve from breakage if the covered valve portion should be dropped or otherwise jarred.
The shipping cover constructed according to the present invention also greatly lowers the cost of this item. The railroad industry has aneed for such a low cost cover to replace the metal covers previously used because great numbers of these covers are lost and must be replaced.
The use of plastic for the cover encounters problems of sealing and strength. In accordance with the present invention, a shipping cover is provided which gives proper sealing and high impact strength while offering a resilience that cushions the unit against shock forces.
Three shipping cover embodiments are disclosed herein for use with the service portion of the AB valve. In the first embodiment, intended for use with reuseable strainers, the cover is generally hat-shaped and includes a high crown portion capable of acting as a receptacle for the reuseable strainer. In the second embodiment, intended for use with disposable replacement strainers that are handled separately, the crown portion is shallow but of sufficient height to act as a primary impact absorbing structure in the event of accidental dropping. In the third embodiment, the cover is of greater overall thickness but does not include any central crown portion.
Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and claims and are illustrated in the accompanying drawings which show structure embodying preferred features of the present invention and the principles thereof, and what is now considered to be the best mode in which to apply these principles.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings forming a part of the specification, and in which like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a high crown embodiment of theshipping cover applied to the service portion of an AB-type control valve;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view showing the shipping cover of FIG. 1 and an interface gasket, with portions broken away and sectioned, to facilitate disclosure;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the cover;
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the cover;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken approximately as indicated on the line 5-5 of FIG. 1 to show the positive stop arrangement for limiting compression of the gasket between the shipping cover and the service portion interface;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary radial section of the cover interface surface and is taken on the line 6- 6 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view showing a low crown embodiment of the shipping cover, with portions broken away and sectioned to facilitate disclosure;
FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the cover of FIG. 7; and
FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of a crownless cover embodiment. 7
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The shipping cover embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 6 is intended for use with reuseable strainers which are customarily shipped with the valve and cover as a complete package. The embodiments of FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 are intended for use with disposable replacement strainers that are handled separately of the valve units.
Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, the service portion of an AB control valve is designated generally at 10 and is shown with its interface 10F protected by a shipping cover 11 constructed in accordance with the present invention. In the prior art, the shipping cover was made of steel, with three bolts being utilized for securing it in clamping relation upon the interface gasket 12 of the service portion 10. Accordingly, in the present arrangement the shipping cover is provided with a similarly spaced set of three bolts 11A, 11B and 11C, for mounting it to the service portion in the same fashion. The same interface gasket 12 is used between the service portion 10 and the shipping cover 1 1. The gasket 12 has ports cooperating with the valve arrangement and, in addition, has holes for alignment with the bolt holes 10H (see FIG. 5) provided in the service portion for receiving the mounting bolts 11A, 11B and 11C for the shipping cover. The conventional gasket 12 includes an inner peripheral flange 12F which is accommodated by the present shipping cover without creating compression or rippling.
The shipping cover 11 as shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 comprises a unitary hat-shaped structure that includes a hollow central crown portion 13 having an open end and a brim portion 14 bordering and surrounding the open end of the crown portion. The crown 13 defines a tapered cylindrical socket 13P for receiving and storing a reuseable replacement strainer 15 such as is customarily installed in the pipe bracket each time a service portion is reapplied to the car. The crown portion 13 has a uniform wall thickness, with its exterior being tapered at substantially the same angle as the interior wall of the pocket 13?. The taper allows the strainer 15 to be guided by the closed end of the pocket while affording sufficient clearance at the open end for receiving the gasket flange 12F.
In the disclosed embodiment, the shipping cover 11 is formed of a moldable plastic material such as a polycarbonate of the type marketed by General Electric Company under the trademark Lexane. This plastic provides lightweight, easy formability, high impact, shock and compressive strength, and a degree of resiliency capable of cushioning the service portion against shocks in the event of accidental dropping.
The properties of Lexane at temperatures as low as 60 F. are comparable to the properties of most substitutes at room temperature. The properties of Lexane are good up to 225 C. The ability to retain its properties over such a wide range of temperature makes Lexane particularly suitable for the railroad field where the covers must withstand the heat of the desert and the cold of Canada. Other plastics exhibiting similar strength properties may also be used.
It should also be noted that the interior pocket 13P is sized to provide limited clearance for the strainer 15 while maintaining the strainer axially oriented. The minimum clearance allows the cover, in the event of accidental dropping, to flex or bow inwardly for developing its cushioning action, without, however, damaging the strainer.
If the shipping cover 11 were of the same basic shape and contour as the prior art steel shipping covers, the flexibility due to the characteristics of the plastic would tend to cause a bowing or wave-like contour on the contact face 14F of the brim due to the stress concentrations at the bolt regions. In accordance with the present invention, unique structural features are employed to solve the sealing problem. The enlarged radial sectional view of the contact face 14F in FIG. 6 shows that it is comprised of a flat annular inner surface region 14F-I and a wave-like annular outer surface region 14F-O. For the circular profile of the shipping cover 11, the annular contact face is of true circular shape. For ovate profiles, such as used for an emergency portion cover, the annular contact face would be ovate to match the valve face.
The outer surface region 14F-O has a smoothly curving cambered or undulating profile to present a wavelike shape similar to that of a wave washer. The wavelike shape is characterized by crests 14C that extend radially (see phantom lines 14C in FIG. 4) from the circular junction line 141 of the annular surface regions l4F-I, l4F-O to the outer edge of the brim portion. The crest regions of the cambered profile are located intermediately of the bolts 11A, 11B, 11C, and slant from an amplitude of zero at the junction 14.] to a peak amplitude of 0.025 inches as shown at A in FIG. 6. The existence of the camber is also apparent in FIG. 2 where the crest regions 14C intermediate the bolts are shown in contact with the interface gasket 12 and the valley regions 14V adjacent the bolts are shown slightly spaced from the interface gasket 12 which is shown in a flat planar configuration to facilitate disclosure. The crest regions 14C serve to establish initial contact and compression with the gasket at locations remote from the bolts. In the final assembly, therefore, as the bolts are torqued down, the gasket 12 is initially compressed remotely of the bolt holes. As the strain increases on the bolts, the brim portion 14 tends to distort in a fashion tending to concentrate the gasket compression towards the bolt regions. This bending action of the brim is compensated by the cambered profile on the contact fact 14F. I
As best shown in FIG. 5, the shipping cover 1 1 is provided with an integral annular shoulder portion 16 surrounding each bolt. The shoulder portions include a right circular section 16R projecting from the contact face of the brim surface and terminating in a tapered conical section 161 that has an outer diameter greater than the diameter of the bolt hole 10H in the service portion and an inner diameter less than the diameter of the bolt hole.
Therefore, as each bolt is torqued down the gasket is locally stretched to ride onto the annular shoulder portion 16 sufficiently to allow the tapered conical section l6T to project through the corresponding hole in the gasket and present an annular bevel face acting as a positive stop for engagement with the corner region 10C of the bolt hole 10H in the service portion. The diameter relationship between the tapered section 16T and the bolt hole corner 10C allows the tapered section to serve as a fixed seat or gauge that regulates the amount of compression that can be applied. to the gasket 12 at the bolt hole regions.
Even in the absence of such a compression limiting arrangement, the cambered surface profile would tend to avoid any sealing problem if the bolts 1 1A, 11B, 11C are torqued into place gradually by rotating from one to another, but if the installer torques the first bolt all the way home and thereafter torques each of the others all the way home, the warpage on the gasket might prevent proper sealing. The provision of the positive stop engagement between the bolt hole comers C and the annular sections 10T precludes such intense pressure concentrations and thereby avoids warpage.
In the presently preferred embodiment disclosed herein, the attaching bolts 11A, 11B and 11C are shown molded in situ in the brim portion 14, the brim having integral upstanding circular cap portions 17 each surrounding and intimately engaging and interlocking each corresponding bolt head llI-I. It should be noted that the bolts could be inserted separately of the cover but it is advantageous to mold the bolts in situ to be permanently captive in the cover.
It may be noted that the bolt 11C is slightly offset from 120 symmetry with respect to the remaining bolts in order to mate with the predetermined location of the bolt holes in the service portion. In addition, the bolt llA has a shorter threaded section than the remaining bolts. In the case of the prior art steel covers, bolts of different lengths were used. The illustrated arrangement could be modified to provide such an arrangement but it is preferred to utilize bolts of the same length but with different threading as illustrated herein for reducing costs. In view of the differences in the bolts, it is advantageous that the bolts be molded in situ to simplify application of the shipping covers to the service portions in the field.
In addition to the sealing features described above, the shipping cover 11 is provided with a set of four concentric upstanding webs 14W on the external face of the brim portion serving to reinforce the cap sections 17 that surround the bolt heads and also serving to stiffen the brim against excessive deflection, while conserving the amount of material required. Finally, the shipping cover is provided with a set of three triangularly-shaped integral wings or vanes 13W that tie the exterior face of the crown portion 13 to the exterior face of the brim portion 14, the wings 13W being located at the crest regions 14C of the cambered surface of the brim portion. The wings 13W strengthen the unit in the case of impacts due to accidental dropping.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, corresponding reference numbers in the 100 series are used to designate corresponding parts. The shipping cover 111 is again shown to be hat-shaped and comprises a crown portion 1 13 and a brim portion 1 14.
The crown portion 113 is shallow, since it is not required to store a strainer, but it projects beyond the cap portions 117 normally to act as the primary impact resisting structure for the cover. In the shallow crown embodiment, there is no need for reinforcement wings between the crown and brim portions.
The brim portion 1 14 is substantially similar in that it includes a set of four concentric upstanding webs 114W, integral cap portions 117 and a cambered contact face 114F. The contact face has a flat annular inner surface region 114F-I and a wave-like annular outer surface region ll4F-O having an undulating profile like that of the surface 14F-O as previously described.
While the sealing against the gasket is made more reliable when the brim includes integral annular shoulder portions surrounding each bolt as detailed for the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 6, the provision of such shoulders is specifically excluded in the embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8 to emphasize that sealing can be achieved without such shoulders. In the event that the maintenance personnel omit the gasket when applying a shipping cover, the presence of the shoulders tends to preclude any degree of sealing whereas the omission of the shoulders allows the unique contact face to establish a measure of sealing even in the absence of the gasket.
Another embodiment is shown in FIG. 9 wherein the cover 211 is crownless but overall is of greater thickness than the cover embodiment shown in FIG. 7. The greater thickness increases the impact strength and resilience of the cover to provide adequate protection. The central portion 213 is shallower than the cap portions 217 and slightly thicker than the brim portion 214. The brim portion again includes a set of four concentric upstanding webs 214W which lie in substantially the same plane as the brim.
The brim 214 has a contact face 214F substantially similar to the contact faces 14F and IMF of the previ ous embodiments to ensure sealing in the same fashion. Finally, the FIG. 9 embodiment omits the bolt surrounding shoulders for the same reasons given in connection with the embodiments of FIGS. 7 and 8.
The disclosed shipping covers are specifically designed to match the contact face of the service portion of the AB valve and, as such, are of circular outline. A flattened structure somewhat similar to the embodiment of FIG. 9 is the type best adapted for application as a cover to the emergency portion of the AB control valve. An irregular ovate profile having a contact face of corresponding shape is required to mate with the emergency portion.
Thus, while preferred constructional features of the invention are embodied in the structure illustrated herein, it is to be understood that changes and variations may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A shipping cover for an AB type railroad air brake valve portion having a ported interface that includes aset of mounting holes, said cover being mountable in sealing relation upon a ported interface gasket on said valve portion and comprising a unitary mating cover structure characterized by a marginal brim portion having means for mounting attaching bolts in matching relation to said mounting holes, said cover structure being of high-impact moldable plastic material and said brim portion having a cambered contact face characterized by radially extending crest regions located intermediately of each pair of bolts for establishing initial compression of the gasket remotely of the bolts to compensate for the bending action of the bolts on the brim portion.
2. A shipping cover as defined in claim 1 wherein said brim portion has a corresponding annular shoulder portion surrounding each bolt to project through the gasket and serve as a positive stop against the service portion to limit compression of the gasket by the bolts.
3. A shipping cover as defined in claim 1 wherein said brim portion has a plurality of integral concentric webs on its outer face to increase its resistance to deflection.
4. A shipping cover as defined in claim 1 wherein said cover has integral upstanding cap portions each intimately engaging and interlocking with a head portion of each corresponding bolt to hold the same permanently captive.
5. A shipping cover as defined in claim 4 wherein said brim portion has a plurality of integral concentric webs on its outer face and merging with said cap portions.
6. A shipping cover as defined in claim 1 wherein said cover structure includes a hollow central crown portion having an open end bordered and surrounded by said brim portion.
7. A shipping cover as defined in claim 6 wherein said crown portion has a tapered configuration providing a tapered pocket for receiving a strainer in axial alignment and characterized by a closed end for limited clearance relative to the strainer and an open end for sufficient clearance relative to the strainer to receive an inner peripheral edge of the gasket.
8. A shipping cover as defined in claim 6 wherein said cover has a set of triangularly-shaped integr'al wings tying the exterior of the crown portion to the brim portion at the crest regions thereof.
9. A shipping cover for an AB type railroad air brake service portion having a ported interface that includes a set of mounting holes, said cover being mountable in sealing relation upon a ported interface gasket on said service portion and comprising a unitary hat-shaped structure including a hollow central crown portion bordering and surrounding the open end of the crown portion, said crown portion having a pocket for storing a reuseable replacement strainer and said brim portion having means for mounting attaching bolts in matching relation to said mounting holes, said cover being characterized in that the hat-shaped structure is of high-impact moldable plastic material and said brim portion has integral upstanding cap portions each intimately engaging and interlocking with a head portion of each corresponding bolt to hold the same permanently captive.
10. A shipping cover as defined in claim 9 wherein said brim portion has a plurality of integral concentric webs on its outer face and merging with said cap portions. 5
11. A shipping cover as defined in claim 9 wherein said cover has a set of triangularly-shaped integral wings tying the exterior of the crown portion to the brim portion at substantially spaced locations about the crown portions.