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Publication numberUS3701496 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 31, 1972
Filing dateFeb 16, 1971
Priority dateFeb 16, 1971
Publication numberUS 3701496 A, US 3701496A, US-A-3701496, US3701496 A, US3701496A
InventorsEkama Pieter J
Original AssigneeDiebold Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pneumatic tube system y-tube diverter construction
US 3701496 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent I Elrama [54] PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM Y-TUBE DIVERTER CONSTRUCTION [72] Inventor: Pieter J. Ekama, Malvem, Ohio [73] Assignee: Diebold, Incorporated, Canton,

Ohio 7 v [22] Filed: Feb. 16, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 115,181

[52] 0.8. CI. ..243/29, 243/38, 137/612- [51] Int. Cl ..B65g 51/24 [58] Field of Search ..243/l, 5, 29-31, 243/38; 137/611, 612

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,334,947 8/1967 Orsi ..243/29 X 623,969 5/1899 Batcheller ..243/5 3,281,093 10/1966 Barber ..243/29 2,7l0,728 6/1955 Halpern ..243/30 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 743,889 11/1943 Germany .l.243/3o 151 1 3,701,496 [451 Oct. 31, 1972 455,681 10/1936 GreatBritain ..243/30 64,126 10/1955 France ..243/29 Primary Examiner-Even C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-Merle F. Mafiei Attorney-Frease & Bishop [5 7] ABSTRACT ternately diverts the air flow between the main leg and a selected branch leg, which, in cooperation with the guide members, enables'a carrier to travel in either direction through the main diverter leg and a selected branch leg.

14 Claims, 31 Drawing Figures 43 INVENTOR E PIETER J. EKAMA 3'1 ATTORNEYS PATENTEDucrsu 1912 I 3.701.496 a.


I I IIIIIIIIHIMM nnn'nn! Inn mun I" I III II n u n n I] n IIIIIIIIIHIMIIIIII u'n INVENTOR F |G.28 PIETER J. EKAMA ATTORNEYS PATENTEU OCT 3 1 i972 SHEET 8 0F 8 ISBu INVENTOR PIETER J. EKAMA ATTORNEYS PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM Y-TUBE DIVERTER CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION I either of two branch legs of the Y-sectionand the main leg, regardless of the direction of carrier travel. The Y- tube'diverter may be installed in a variety of positions to' cooperate with the particular direction in which the connected pneumatic tubes extend, and may be controlled by a variety of electrical controlsystems.

2. Description of the Prior Art I Various types of structures and mechanisms are used in pneumatic tube systems for diverting a moving carrier from 'a' main line into branch lines at a Y-section.

Deflector structures are used at many terminal stations fordeflecting the carrier into the proper terminal. Such deflectors consist of curved lever arms or flap-like vmembers which project into the Y-section or are hingedly mounted therein. These curved or flap-like members deflect the carrierwhen the carrier strikes such member and the carrier follows the members curvature while the air pressure continues in the main line and is unaffected by the deflector.

Such a deflector must be located adjacent a terminal since upon entering the branch line the carrier loses much of the propelling air pressure. Likewise, these deflectors can only be used in a pneumatic system in which the carrier travels in one direction through the system.

Various Y-diverter constructions also are used in pneumatic tube systems. A diverter is similar to a deflector except that a diverter had the added feature of diverting the air flow as well as the carrier. The leg of the Y-section not traversed by the carrier moving through the diverter is sealed off. The carrier therefore is propelled through the Y-section into the branch leg bythe system airpressure without substantial impact with the diverting member'in changing the direction of carrier travel.

These known diverters generally include a flap-like member pivotally attached at the apex of the Y-tube section which is completely enclosed within the tube sections. The flap-like member is provided with surfaces to match the curvature of the main and branch le s.

Such known diverters have several disadvantages. Maintenance of the diverting member is extremely difficult due to its location within the Y-tube section. Also an enlarged area must be provided within the Y-tube section to enable the diverting member to pivot properly within the tube portions. This prevents the carrier from maintaining a proper seal with the tube walls when passing through the Y-tube diverter section, resulting in a loss of carrier speed, excess noise, and increased propelling costs.

Modern pneumatic tube systems normally only have a single tube used for both sending and receiving carriers. This greatly reduces the material cost and space required for the installation of the system. A reversible blower is connected to the tube system and provides either a vacuum or positive pressure for moving thecarrier.- Known Y-tube diverters are incapable of satisfactory operation when connected in a single tube system, since such diverters only permit passage of a carrier in one direction through the Y-section.

Thus, a need exists for a Y-tube diverter construction for use in a single tube pneumatic system which may be maintained easily, which is quiet in operation, and which permits a carrier to travel and be propelled in either direction through the Y-tube diverter section. No known prior Y-tube diverter construction provides an answer to these problems or provides the indicated operating features.

SUMMARY THE INVENTION Objectives of the invention include providing a pneumatic tube system Y-tube diverter construction which can be placed at various locations in a single tube pneu- 'matic system; providing a Y-tube diverter which permits a carrier to travel in both directions'in the main diverter tube leg and in both directions in the branch legs; providing a Y-tube diverter which is relatively noiseless during I passage of a carrier therethrough; providing a Y-tubediverter which enables a carrier to maintain a sufficientseal-with the tube walls at all times; providing a Y-tube diverter which can be maintained or serviced easily and in which the various com ponents are accessible for maintenance; providing a Y- tube diverter which can be connected in various positions extending in required directions in a pneumatic tube system; providing a Y-tube diverter which can be controlled by various electrical control systems; providing a Y-tube diverter which may be easily modified and used as a deflector, and which will deflect a carrier traveling in either direction through the Y- section; and providing a Y-tube diverter of simple construction which achieves the stated objects in a simple, effective and inexpensive manner, and which solves problems and satisfies needs existing in the art.

. These and other objectives and advantages may be obtained by the pneumatic system Y-tube diverter construction,-the general nature of whichmay be stated as including a substantially airtight housing having first and second end walls; a Y-tube section located within said housing and having a main leg and two branch legs, said main leg communicating with an opening formed in said first end wall and said branch legs communicating with a pair of openings formed in said second end wall; a pair of diametrically opposed longitudinal slots formed in the main tube leg, each of which extends continuously from the main leg along one of said branch legs; guide means including a pair of guide members each pivotally mounted within the housing, each guide member being generally aligned for movement through one of said tube slots; means slidably mounted within the housing for selectively sealing each of the branch legs; means connected to said guide means for selectively projecting said guide members through their respective tube slots, whereby said guide means form connecting guide portions selectively .between the branch legs and the main leg; control 3 generallytriangular in shapeand having two ends, a vertex,and a base extending between saidends, said base. having a shape complementary to the shape of the opposite branch leg; said slide means being movable between extended and retracted positions and having a plate formed with. an opening which aligns with one of said branch legs when said slide means is in extended position; said plate being formed with a generally diagonal slot; and said control means having a member engaged in said diagonal slot for moving said plate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Preferred embodiments of the invention illustrative of the best mode in which applicant has contemplated applying the principles are set forth in the following description and shownv in the drawings, and are the appended claims.

I FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic viewof a pneumatic tube system in which one type of improved Y-tube diverter may be used; g

FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the Y-tube diverter with portions broken away and in section;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary end elevation looking in the direction of the arrows 3-3, FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 4-4, FIG. '2; I

FIG. 5 is an end elevation looking in the direction of the arrows 5-5, FIG. 2; v

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line'6-6, FIG. 5;

I FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken on the line 7-7, FIG. 6; x

' FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG..7, but with the slide gate shown in fully extended position;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view with portions broken away taken on they line 9-9, FIG. 6;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 10-10, FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view with portions broken away takenon the line 11-11, FIG. 9;

FlG. 12. is an enlargedfragmentary sectional view taken on the line 12-12, FIG. 9;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 13- 13, FIG. 2;

FIG. 14 is a diagrammatic view of the Y-diverter showing a carrier being diverted between one Y-branch leg and the main leg of a pneumatic tube Y-section;

FIG. 15 is a diagrammatic view similar to FIG. 14 showing a carrier, being diverted between the other Y- branch leg and the main leg of a pneumatic tube Y-section;

FIG. 16 is a diagrammatic view of the Y-tube section in section;

FIG. 17 is a diagrammatic elevational view looking in the direction of the arrows 17-17, FIG. 6;

FIG. 18 is a view similar to FIG. 17, but with the control cam rotated 180 and the slide plate in extended position;

FIG. 19 is a sectional view similar to FIGS. 2 and 14 of a modified construction;

FIG. 20 is a view similar to FIG. 19 with the guides in alternate position;

FIG. 21 is a section on line 21-21, FIG. 19;

FIG. 22 is a section on line 22-22, FIG. 19;

particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in 4 FIG. 23 is a section on line 23-23, FIG. 19; FIG. 24 is a section on line 24-24, FIG. 20; FIG. 25 is a sectionon line 25-25, FIG. 19; FIG. 26 is a section on line 26-26, FIG. 25; FIG. 27 is a section on line 27-27, FIG. 22; FIG. 28 is a fragmentary view of the slide valve for the diverter of FIG. 19;

FIG. 29 is a view similar to FIG. modifiedconstruction;

FIG. 30 is a section on line 30-30, FIG. 29; and FIG. 31- is a sectionon line 31-31, FIG. 29.

Similar numerals refer to similar parts throughout the drawings.


First Embodiment cludes a central station indicatedat 1 connected with substations 2'and 3 through theimproved Y-tube diverter 4. A single'main' pneumatic tube 5 is con nected to station 1 and communicates with branch tubes 6 and 7 which are connected to stations 2 and 3, respectively at diverter 4.

Diverter 4 (FIG. 2) includes a substantially airtight housing 8 having side walls 9 and 10, end walls 11 and 12, and top and bottom walls 13 and 14. Bottomwall 14 and a portion of top wall.13 preferably are attached to housing 8 by means of screws 15 in order that such walls or a portion thereof can be removed easily for maintenance of the diverter components assembled within housing 8.

A Y-tube section 16 having amain leg 17 and two branch legs 18 and His mounted within housing 8. Main leg 17 extends through an opening 20 formed in end wall 11 and is secured therein by welds 21 (FIG. 3). Twoshort tube sections 22 and 23 are secured by welds 24 within openings 25 and 26 formed in end wall 12 (FIG. 5), and are aligned with branch legs 18 and 19, respectively. I

Flanges 27 may be provided at the outer ends of main leg 17 and tube sections 22 and 23 for connection to main tube 5 and branch tubes 6 and 7, respectively. A pair of diametrically opposed slots 28 and 29 are formed in main leg l7,and extend continuously along main leg 17 and into branch legs 18 and 19, respectively. Av pair of guide members 30 and 31 are aligned longitudinally with slots 2 8-and 29, respectively, and alternately are projected through their respective slots to positions for deflecting a carrier into or out of the opposite branch leg.

Guides 30 and 31 are pivotally mounted within housing 8 on bolts 32 which are secured to side wall 9 by nuts 33. Guides 30 and 31 are generally triangular in shape having rounded ends 34 and 35, and 36 and 37, respectively, and are joined together by base edges 38 and 39.

Edges 38 and 39 have surface contours generally similar to the merging contours of the opposite branch legs 19 and 18. The guide members provide continuously smooth tube inner surfaces when projecting through their respective slots along which a carrier is guided without abrupt deflection or substantial impact.

Thus,.edge 38 is concavely curved to match the curvature of the merging edge of branch tube 19, and edge 19 of another- 39 is straight to match the shape of straight branch leg Bushings 40 (FIG. 4) preferably are mounted within holes 41 and 42 formed in ends 34 and 36 of guides 30 and 31 through which bolts32 extend. Aspace'r 43 is mounted on each bolt 32 so that-guides 30 and 31 are properly spaced from side wall 9 and are aligned with slots 28 and 29. 1

An inner end wall 44 is mounted within housing 8 parallel to and spaced from end wall 12 forming a slide chamber 45 therebetween (FIGS. 6, 7, 8 and 9). Wall 44 is formed with openings 46 and 47 aligned'with end wall openings 25 and' 26. Branch legs 18 and 19, respectively,-are inserted and secured as by welds 48 within wall openings 46 and 47.

. A rectangular plate 50 is, slidably mounted within chamber 45 for selectively sealing branch tubes 6 and 7-.- Plate 50 is formed with a circular opening 51 and'a generally diagonal slot 52. adjacent one end thereof. A pair of slide blocks 53 is attached to plate 50 by bolts 54 and extend through a pair of slots 49 formed in inner 'wall 44 and into housing 8. When plate 50 is in the retracted position shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 9 the end of plate 50 extends just below (FIG. 7)- wall tube openings 25 and 46 effectively blocking the flow of air in either direction through tube 7. and diverting the entire flow of air through tube 6. Plate 50 is moved upward in chamber 45 (by means described later) to an extended position as shown in FIG. 8 to block the flow of air through tube 6 and divert it through tube 7. When in the extended position of FIG. .8 opening 51 aligns with openings 26 and 47 enabling passage of a carrier and the flow of air between tube 7 and tube 5.

A second housing 55 is mounted on the outside of housing 8 on end wall 12. Control and operating means An operating rod 72 is pivotally connected on pivot bolt 73 to housing side wall 9 (FIGS. 2 and 13). Nut 74 72-with respect to member 64.

for guides 30 and 31, and slide plate are mounted in a housing 55. The control and operating means preferably include a motor 56 connected to a gear box 57. A shaft 58 is connected to and extends through gear box 57 with one endconnected to a cam 59 and the opposite end connected to a crank arm 60. Cam 59 operatively engages a limit switch 61 for controlling the operation of slide plate50. A pin 62 is connected to the other end of crank and is provided with a cylindrical knob 63 which is located within slot 52 of plate 50 for slidably moving plate 50 within chamber 45 as crank arm 60 is rotated by motor 56.

A rigid connecting member 64 extends between and is pivotally connected at 64a to guides 30 and 31 (FIG. 2 and 13). Pivot bolts 65 extend through enlarged openings 66 and 67 formed in member 64 and through holes 68 and 69 formed at the vertex areas of guides 30 and 31, respectively. Washers 70 may surround bolts 65 adjacent guides 30 and 31, and beneath member 64. Nuts 71 clamp bolts 65 to member 64 and properly position member 64 between end wall 10 and Y-tube section 16.

Enlarged openings 66 and 67 permit adjustments of the location of members 30 and 31 with respect tothe Y-tube legs 17, 18 and 19 to be made before member 64 is clamped by nuts 71. Thus, guides 30 and31 during movement pivoton bolts 65 with respect to member 64 but bolts 65 do not slide in openings 66 and 67 except for adjustment;

The other end 72a of rod 72 is'operatively connected to a shaft on slide plate 50. Shaft 80 is connected to and extends between the spaced slide blocks 53 (FIGS. 9 and 11) at the lower corners of plate 50. Rod end 72a has a slot 77 through which a bushing 81 on shaft 80 extends, and bushing 81 is maintained in proper position on shaft 80 between washers 82 and spacers 83 and 84 and blocks 53.

When plate 50 is in retracted position (FIGS. 7 and 14) rod 72 holds member 64 in an up position (FIGS. 2 and 14) in which'guide 30 is removed from within slot 28 and guide 31 is projected through slot 29. Guide edges 9 provides a straight, smooth surface extending between main leg 17 and straight branch leg 18 and blocking branch legl9. Thus guide 31 guides a carrier 83 (FIG. 14) traveling in either direction between stations 1 and 2 along tubes 5 and 6 through diverter 4. Plate 50 in retracted position also blocks air flow through branch tube 7.

' Since there is no air flow through branch leg 19 due to the sealing of tube 7 by plate 50 all of the air flow is along tubes 5 and 6. The air flow through diverter4 in either direction moves carrier 83 easily and rapidly through diverter 4, and guide edge 39 of guide 31 provides the contact with carrier seal rings 84 to direct the carrier from one to the other of tube 5 or 6.

Ridges 88a and 89a (FIGS. 2, 13 and 16) formed in Y-section 16 at the intersection of merging branch legs 18 and 19,'in conjunction with guides 30 and 31 provide sufficient contact around the circumference of carrier sealing rings 84 to conduct a carrier 83 through diverter 4. Thus, carrier 83 upon moving through diverter 4 is in continuouscontact withtube walls and a guide member, eliminating wobble of the carrier which may cause loss of power and noisy operation.

, The switching of diverter 4 for passage of a carrier 83 between stations 1' and 3 along tubes '5 and 7 is achieved through various usual control systems which energize motor 56. When energized, motor 56 rotates shaft 58 at desired speed through gear box 57. Shaft 58 rotates crank arm 60 in the direction of arrow A, FIG. 7 and as arm 60 moves, knob 63 engaged in slot 52 causes plate 50 to slide in the direction of arrow B to extended position shown in FIGS. 8 and 15.

Meanwhile slide blocks 53 on plate 50 also move in the direction of arrow B, and through shaft 80, connected with lever rod 72, pivots rod 72 about pivot bolt 73, thereby moving member 64 from the position of FIG. 14 to that of FIG. l5,'disengagin g guide 31 from within slot 29 and to the position shown in FIG. 15.

Meanwhile cam 59 on motor shaft 58 provided with high surface and a low surface 86, apart, rotates through 180 from retracted position (FIGS. 14 and 17) to extended position (FIGS. 15 and 18), and de-energizes switch 61 through contact of roller arm 87 of switch 61 on cam 59.

projecting guide 30 through slot 28' Upon completion of 180 movement of crank arm 60 and cam 59, motor 56 is tie-energized by switch 61, and plate 50 is located in fully' extended position (FIGS. 8

and 15). In this position plate-50 blocks the air flow through tube 6 and through plate opening-.51 diverts it through tube 7 in either direction between stations 1 and 3 and through diverter 4. Edge. 38 of guide 30 provides the contact with carrier seal rings 84 to direct the carrier 83 between tubes'7-and 5 within diverter 4. Since edge 38 has the same curvature as that of the diverter between leg 17 and 19 there is no abrupt bend or any void area within, Y-tube 16 to impede carrier'83 I and cause noise. Likewise, since the air flow is entirely through tubes 5 and 7 ,the guide 30 merely guides carrier 83 throughthe Y-tube and does not abruptly changeits direction of travel as is done by prior pneumatic tube deflectors. I Y Y The elimination of deflectors or valve elements movable from one position to another wholly within the -Y-tube' section, and the" complementary contour matching of the guides 30 and 31 and portions of the Y- tube section to form connecting portions between the main Ieg' andbranch legs, establish conditions which permit the carrier to travel in either direction'through diverter 4. i

The operation of the mechanism to switch guides 30 and 31 and plate 50 from the position of FIGS. and

. 18 back to the position of FIGS. 14 and17 is similarto that described for switching from FIGS. l4 and '17 to FIGS. '15 and 18. Motor 56 rotates shaft 58'again in a clockwise direction (arrow C, FIGS. 8 and 18.) moving knob 63 along slot 52 and displacing plate 50 in the direction of arrow D from extended to retracted position. Rod 72 pivots on pivot bolt 73 and moves member 64 upward removing guide 30 from slot 28 and Y-tube section 16 and projecting guide-31 through slot 29 into Y-tube sectionl6.

Diverter 4 thus may be placed at in a pneumatic tube system and will accept carrier movement ineither direction throughany of itsle gs or branches, since the operation of the guide member-is not controlled by or dependent upon movement of the carrier. Likewise, the velocity of the carrier after passage through diverter 4 is not affected, since the same air flow, pressure or vacuum actsupon the carrier before and after moving through diverter 4. Any number of diverters may be used in a single pneumatic tube system since only those tubesections through which a carrier is directed to travel between selected stations are open for carrier movement air flow. Thus, the air pressure or vacuum required for system operation is not substantially affected by the number of branch legs and stations present in a multiple station system.

Diverter 4 may be connected in a pneumatic tube system in any position without affecting the operation of guides 30 and'3l or plate 50. That is, housing 8 may be located with side walls 9 and 10 extending horizontally or vertically or with end walls 11 and 12 located at the. top or bottom or at either end of the installed assembly. The positive connection between these components and their power operation enables such flexibility of installation. Thus, diverter 4 may be turned to any position from that shown in FIG..'2 and connected with tubes 5 6 and 7 regardless of their direction or position in a particular installation.

any-desired location a1. Such a modified form The positive interconnection between guides 30 and 31, and slide plate insures the correct positioning of these members-with respect to each other for proper operation. Likewise, the enlarged openings 66 and 67 in member.64 permit field adjustments to be made of the position of guides 30 and 31 to insure smoothness of operation. I

Side walls 9 and 10 may be made of transparent plexiglass or plastic material to enable the internal mechanism to be observed during operation" to facilitate proper maintenance. Likewise, housing Y- tube section 16, guides 30 and 31, and the various connecting and operating members maybe molded of plastic, and assembled to provide an inexpensive and readily assembled mechanism. If housing 8 is molded of plastic, the top and bottom walls 13 and 14 should be removable to permit access into housing 8 for adjustment and maintenance. Also, the separation of the drive means in second housing separate from an outside main housing 8, from the interior'of housing 8 and its contained components permit ease of servicing of the drive means. Furthermore, the improved construction combines a single drive or power pack for operation of both guides 30 and 31 and valve plate 50.

' Second Embodiment x The diverter construction illustrated in FIGS. 1 18 and described above may be termed one in which the branch: leg. Such construction sometimes is called a straight-legged diverter. Also, the construction illus trated in FIGS. 1 18 has been described as including metal frame members forthe housing and tubes with plexiglass members for one or more of the housing walls. In some installations it may be desired touse a symmetrical Y-diverter, that is one having symmetrically curved. Y-branch legs, rather than one straight branch leg and one curved branch leg. Also, the major portion of the diverter. unit, including housing walls and tube sections, may be formed of molded plastic materiof construction is illustrated in FIGS. 19-28. r

A symmetrical Y-tube diverter is indicated generally at 88. Diverter 88 may include a number of members v molded from plastic material, such as'glass reinforced plastic, including an outer housing member 89, matching right and left inner tube leg forming members 90 and 91, an end wall member 92, an end wall insert 93, a housing access closure wall 94, and a slide cover member 95.

Outer housing member 89 is open'at its right-hand end (FIG. 19), and is generally rectangular in crosssection looking in the direction of FIG. 22. The left-hand end wall of housing 89 (FIG. 19) comprises a warped surface wall 96 having an opening 97 for coupling with a branch pneumatic tube 6a and another opening 98 for coupling with a branch pneumatic tube 7a. Wall 96 below opening 98 is formed with a shoulder 99 and then curves downwardly to the right terminating in a bottom wall 100. The portion of bottom wall 100 extending between its open end 10.1 and shoulder 99 has Spaced ribs 102 (FIGS. 22 and 25) projecting. outwardly and downwardly therefrom. Slide cover may be secured to ribs 102 by screws 103.

Thus, a slide channel 104 is formed between cover 95 and housing wall extending from the open end 101 to shoulder 99. Shoulder 99 is formed with a slot 105 similar in cross section to channel 104. The end wall insert 93 has a warpedsurface similar in contour to that of wall 96 and also has openings therein matching the openings 97 and 98. Member 93 is mounted on ments communicating with the interior of the diverter legs 107, 108 and 109.

Matching members 90 and 91may be connected together by bolts 116 which'clamp abutted'flange portions 111, 112 and 113 together. Assembled members 90 and 91 have end wall inserts 93 assembled thereto and this assembly is slipped inside of outer housing member 89. v

After members 90 and 91 have been assembled within housing member 89 the right-hand end of the assembly may be closed by end wall 92 and closure wall 94 (FIG. 21). Members 92 and 94 preferably have outer flanges 1 17 which telescope withinthe end flange 1 18 of member 89' and the flanges 117 and 118 may be connected together, and sealed if necessary by an adhesive, by screws 119. Y 1

A connector tube 120 is inserted in the assembly (FIG. 19) communicatingwith the main leg 107.of the Y-diverter and also with the main tube of the pneumatic tube system, such as member of FIG. 1. Tube 120 may be coupled inany suitable manner'with the system tube. V v

A flexible slide plate or valve member 121 (FIG. 28) is slidably mounted in the slide'channel 104 and slot '105. Slide valve 121 is illustrated in retracted position in FIG. 19 wherein theend portion 122 closes the lower branch leg 109 of the diverter assembly. FIG. -shows the slide valve 121 in extended position wherein an opening 123 in member 121-registers with the branch leg 109, and the end portion 122 of member 121 closes branch leg 108 of the diverter assembly.

Slide valve 121 of FIG. 28 functions and operates in the same manner as slide valve member50 of the con-' struction shown in FIGS. 1 18. However, slide valve 121 is flexible so that it can travel through the warped channel 104 and close the branch legs 108 and 109 of the diverter in positions approximately at right angles to the axes of the branch leg openings.

The diverter 88 is equipped with guide members 124 and 125 which are coupled together by a connector bar 126. Bar 126 is pivotally connected by pin 127 with each guide member 124 and 125 intermediate the ends of the latter. Guide members 124 and 12 5.are pivotally mounted at 128 and 129 to diverter tube forming mem bers 90 and 91. Guide members 124 and 125 thus are movably mounted within the slot compartments formed by recesses 114 in the molded walls of members 90 and 91 (FIGS. 19,20 and 22), so that one orthe otherof members 124 and 125 may be projected into and out of the Y-diverter leg portions 107, 108 and 109. I

A mounting member .130 extends between bottom wall of housing 89 and the recess wall portions 114 and flanges (FIGS. 22 and-25), and may be connected thereto by screws 131. Drive motor 132 and gear reduction unit 133 are mounted on member 130. A drive shaft 134 extends from gear reduction unit'l33 and is fixed to one end of lever 135. The other end of lever 135 is pivotally connected by shaft 136 with one end of adjustable link 137, the other end of which is pivotally connected at 138 with the pin 127 extending from guide member 125. Link 137 (FIG. 27) has an .outer section 137a slidably connected to the yoke 1371), the adjusted link being clamped by setscrew 139.

The left-hand end (FIG. 22)'of shaft 136 is fixed to one end of a lever arm 140, the other end of which is pivotally connected at 141 to a rack member 142. The teeth of rack member 142 engage rack gear 143 (FIG. 26) which meshes with pinion 144- mounted on shaft 145 and driving sprocket 146. The teeth of sprocket 146 engage in spaced drive slots or tracks 147 formed in flexible slide member 121 for moving slide member 121 through slide channel 104.

Shaft 145' is preferably journalled in a hub 148 carried by mounting member 130- and has a second sprocket 149 mounted on its other end whose teeth are engaged with another series of spaced drive slots or tracks 147 also formed in the slide valve 121 (FIG. 25).

The diverter 88'thus has a single drive means, comprising the motor 132, reduction gear unit 133 and elements driven thereby which moves the guide bars 124 and 125, and, cooperatively at the same time and in a coordinated manner, moves the slide valve 121 as the motor is actuated by its control switches in the same manner as described above in connection with the diverter 4 of'FIGS. 1 18.

Third Embodiment The improved diverter construction is illustrated in FIGS. 1- 28in connection with two diverter units 4 and 88 whichare connected with round pneumatic system tubes adapted to receive and transport round carriers. v 3 I Some pneumatic tube systems, however, involve the use of large-carrier units having one or more rectangular doors and'having a generally oval shape in cross section such as shown anddescribed in US Pat. No. 3,237,884. Such carriers move through pneumatic tubes which are oval in cross section. The diverter construction of either form of the invention described above can be modified to provide a Y-diverter which has main and branch legs that are oval-shaped in cross section, as illustrated in FIGS. 29, 30 and 31 at 151.

Proper guidance of the carrier through the oval Y tube diverter 151 is best accomplished by providing spaced guide members 152a and 152b pivotally mounted at one side of the Y-section and guide members 153a and 15% pivotally mounted at the other side of the diverter unit and movable into and out of the diverter through slots 154 and 155 respectively.

The movement of the guide members 152a, 152b, 153a and 153b may be coordinated by connector bars 156 which are pivotally connected with an operating lever mechanism 157 moved by drive means connected with shaft 158.The drive means may be connected to a motor and motor drive unit similar to the drive means illustrated in connection with the diverters 4 or 88.

IN GENERAL Accordingly, the improved diverter construction provides for diverted carrier movement to whom either of two branch legs and a main legof a Y-tube section regardlessof the direction of carrier travel in a quiet and effective manner; enables a single tube pneumatic tube system to have numerous branch lines and terminal stations without substantially affecting the'air flow requirements for operation of the system; enables a carrier to be diverted between a branch leg and a main leg at a Y-section smoothly and easily propelled by airflow in a pneumatic system; enables the diverter to be placed at various locations within a pneumatic tube system and mounted at any angle or position for connection with the pneumatic system tubes; and provides such a construction which is effective, safe, inexpensive, and efficient in assembly, operation and use, and which achieves all the enumerated objectives,- provides for eliminating difficulties encountered with prior devices, and solves problems and obtains new results in the art. In the foregoing descriptiom'certain terms have been used for brevit'y, clearness and understanding; but no unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirements of the-prior art, because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.

Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention is by way of example, and the scope of the invention is not limited to the exact details of theconstruction shown or described.

, between the branch legs forms'ridge means; and in i Having now described thefeatures, discoveries and principles of the invention, the manner in which the improved Y-tube diverter isconstructed, assembled and operated, the characteristics of the new construction, and the advantageous, new and useful results obtained; the-new anduseful structures, devices, elements, arrangements, parts, and combinations are set forth in the appended claims.


l. Y-tube diverter construction for a pneumatic tube system having main and branch tubes including, a substantially airtight housing having first and second end wall means; Y-tube'means mounted within the housing; the Y-tube means having a main leg and two branch legs; said branch legs intersecting each other and merging with the main leg, and ridge means formed at the location of branch leg intersection; means extending through the first endwall means connecting said main leg with a pneumatic tube system main tube; opening means formed in the second end wall means providing communication between said branch legs and pneumatic tube system branch tubes; longitudinal slot means formed in said main leg on diametrically opmain leg extending continuously from the main leg into one of said branch legs, and the slot means on the other side-jof the main leg extending continuously from the main leg into the other of said branch legs; guide means including guide members at opposite sides of said main leg each pivotally mounted at one end within the beds ing and 'exteriorly of said Y.-tube means and movable through said slot means into and out of said Y-tube means; said guide members each being formed with a carrier engaging surface'matching the shape of the merging contour:of the opposite wall of the .Y-,tube means main .and branch 'legs; valve means movable between extended and retracted positions for selectively sealing one or the other of said branch legs against air flow through such leg and the system branch tube communicating therewith; bar means interconnecting the guide members for alternate movement of one or the other through said slot means into saidY-tube means; said ridge means and guide member-carrier engaging surfaces providing substantially continuous en-' 'gagement with wallportions of a carrier .moving through the diverter to direct a carrier during movement, in. either direction through the Y-tube means between the main leg and one or the other of the branch. legs; and drive-means operatively connected to said valve means and guide means for cooperatively moving said valve and guide means. j 2. Diverter construction as defined in claim 1 in whichthe ridge means and guide means have smooth surfaces providing substantially continuous engagement with wall portions of a carrier-moving through the diverter. I 1

3. Diverter'construction as defined in claim 1 in which the main and branch legs are tubular; in which the tubular branch legs merge with the main branch leg and intersect with each other; in which the intersection which the guide means, ridge means and tubular Y- tube means legs provide a sufficient seal with a carrier passing therethrough to maintain at all times pneumatic tube propulsion of the carrier.

4. Diverter construction as defined in claim 1 in which the pivotal mounting of the guide members maintains the guide members in alignment with the slot meansfor movement therethrough.

5. Diverter construction as defined. in claim 1 in which the opposite guide members are adjustably connected together for coordinated movement alternately one or the other into said'Y-tube means. 6. Diverter construction as defined in claim 1 in which the valve means includes a slidable member, and in which the slidable member in each of extended and retracted positions maintains one branch leg of the Y- tube means open and the other closed.

- 7. Diverter construction as defined in claim 1 in 1 which channel means is formed in the housing; in which posite sides thereof; the slot means on one side of the the valve means includes a slide member movable in said channelv means; in which said channel means intersects both branch legs of the Y-tube means; and in which the slide member has an imperforate wall portion blocking one branch leg in extended position and the other branch leg in retracted position of the valve means.

8. Diverter construction as defined in claim 7 in which the slide member has an opening adjacent its in-' perforate wall portion which is aligned with one of the branch legs when the other branch leg is blocked by the imperforate slide portion.

'9. Diverter construction as defined in claim 7 in which the slide memberis formed with drive opening means; and in which the drive means includes projection means engaged in said drive-opening means for moving the slide member between extended and retracted positions.

10. Diverterconstruction as defined in claim 16 in which the drive opening means in said slide member comprises a diagonal slot formed in the slide member.

11. Diverter construction as defined in claim 1 in which the drive means includes motor and gear reduction means operatively connected with said valve and guide means outside the Y-tube means.

12. Diverter construction as defined in claim I in which supplemental housing means is provided conriected to and communicating with the housing; and in which the drive means includes motor and gear reduction unit means mounted in having connection with the within the housing.

13. Diverter construction as defined in claim 1 in which the drive means includes a drive motor, in which switch means is operatively connected with the drive motor, and in which the switch means controls operation of the drive motor.

l4. Diverter construction as defined in claim 1 in which the Y-tube means has one straight and one curved branch leg; and in which one guide member has a straight guiding edge and the other guide member has a curved guiding edge corresponding in contour with the contour of the opposite merging main and branch legs.

valve and guide means the supplemental housing

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3774863 *Jun 12, 1972Nov 27, 1973Diebold IncPneumatic tube system y-tube diverter construction
US3868071 *Jan 30, 1973Feb 25, 1975Weaver Peter BrinkerhoffLine selector for pneumatic systems
US4774891 *Jul 18, 1986Oct 4, 1988Coester Oskar H WSystem for pneumatic propulsion of vehicles
US6354770 *Jul 20, 2000Mar 12, 2002Weyerhaeuser CompanyUpstream engaging fluid switch for serial conveying
US6582159Feb 8, 2002Jun 24, 2003Weyerhaeuser CompanyUpstream engaging fluid switch for serial conveying
US6709203May 8, 2003Mar 23, 2004WeyerhaeuserUpstream engaging fluid switch for serial conveying
US7121156Jan 31, 2005Oct 17, 2006Proptester, Inc.Proppant sampling
US20060169064 *Jan 31, 2005Aug 3, 2006Anschutz Donald AProppant sampling
US20060169066 *Aug 30, 2005Aug 3, 2006Anschutz Donald AInline proppant sampling
DE3624405A1 *Jul 18, 1986Feb 26, 1987Coester Oskar H WPneumatisches antriebssystem fuer fracht- und/oder personenfahrzeuge
U.S. Classification406/183, 137/874
International ClassificationB65G51/00, B65G51/24
Cooperative ClassificationB65G51/24
European ClassificationB65G51/24