US 3744829 A
Linear differential lock apparatus in which lock elements linked to pinions are activated by racks to either bodily translate or rotate. When one rack is moved one of the lock elements will tighten, the easiest to move. Upon this lock meeting resistance, another lock element, the next easiest, will move. The apparatus is effective so that the force on all the lock elements when in operation is the same.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 Germer July 10, 1973 DOOR LOCK APPARATUS 2,150,371 3/1939 Furnish 214/38  Inventor: John A. Germer, c/o The Budd company, 2450 Hunting park Pnmary ExammerlRcl )bert L. Wolfe F l A P d l ,P Att0rney-Thomas avenport, Edward M. arrel, vemle hl a e p la a 132 John D. Sowell, Alford L. Trueax, Jr. and William R.  F1led: Jan. 18, 1971 Nolte  Appl. No.: 107,194
 ABSTRACT  US. Cl. 292/22, 292/25, 292/96, Linear differential look appara us in hich lock ele- 292/ 1 12, 292/199 ments linked to pinions are activated by racks to either  Int. Cl. E05c 9/00 bodily translate or route When ne rac is mo ed one 581 Field of Search 292/22, 25, 39, 51, of the look elements will g the easiest to move.
292/96, 112, 199, 5-7 11 Upon this lock meeting resistance, another lock element, the next easiest, will move. The apparatus is ef-  Ref rences Cit d fective so that the force on all the lock elements when UNITED STATES PATENTS lll operatlon IS the same.
3/ 1890 Darmstadt 292/25 10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PAIENTED L 1 mm sum 10f 2 INVENTOR.
JOHN A. GERMER AGENT PATENIED JUL 1 01975 T A I INVENTOR.
JOHN A. GERMER AGENT DOOR LOCK APPARATUS This invention relates to lock closure apparatus for structures such as containers having closure doors associated therewith. In particular the lock apparatus is useful in connection with weather-tight doors on containers, trailers, or buildings and in marine application requiring water-tight doors. Disadvantages of some of the lock closure apparatus for such structures above has arisen at times due to the mismatch of parts for example as between the container and its closure door. This has precluded the obtaining of the same clamping forces at different points along the interface of the door and the door jamb. In these situations pressure applied at successive clamping points along the door has not accomplished uniform sealing engagement between the door and the container and special adjustment apparatus has been required to accommodate for the mismatch. In still further instances, the locking apparatus is driven on its seating surfaces in a manner to cause binding, thereby requiring special effort to drive the locks off their seats.
In additional other forms of the prior art, the access door or container openings contained in a structure require the margins of the opening to be structurally reinforced to enable transfer of stress forces across the opening.
Accordingly it is the principal object of this invention to provide an improved lock apparatus for a structure which avoids one or more of the disadvantages of the prior art lock devices.
It is still another important object of this invention to provide an improved lock apparatus for securing a door across an opening in a structure wherein said door may be clamped together to the structure at several points from one position.
It is still another object of this invention to provide an improved lock apparatus for a door extending across an opening in a structure wherein the interface between the door and the structure at the margins of the opening are clamped at a plurality of points along the interface with the same force from one position.
It is still another important object of this invention to provide an improved lock for a door extending across an opening in a structure wherein said door is enabled to transmit forces across the door opening in the structure.
In accordance with the invention the locking apparatus for securing for example a door across an opening in a structure comprises movable rack means with pinion means mounted for movement between said rack means. Clamping means are connected to the pinion means to secure the door to the marginal surfaces of the opening of structure. The locking apparatus further includes means for moving the rack means to activate the clamping means into clamping engagement between the door and the structure.
For a better understanding of the invention together with other and further objects thereof, reference is had to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a structure, such as a container, and which is provided with a door and the lock apparatus of the present invention for securing the door across an opening in the structure;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the lines 22 of FIG. 1 through a clamping assembly of the locking apparatus with the door in its closed position;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 2 showing the clamping assembly in its retracted position;
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are views similar to FIG. 3 showing the clamping elements in FIG. 3 in successively advanced positions of securement with the structure containing the access door opening;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged perspective view partially in section and greatly enlarged showing a plurality of lock clamping assemblies along the periphery of the access cover for engagement between the interface between the cover and margins of the cover opening of the structure.
Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawing there is shown the locking apparatus 10 of the present invention employed to secure for example an access door 11 to a structure 13 having an opening 14 therein. In the present instance, the structure 13 is illustrated as a closed container, but may also be in the form of a cargo container, a trailer, or a building.
With reference now to FIGS. 2, 3 and 7, the lock apparatus 10 is adapted to apply clamping pressure along a number of points between the access door 11 and the marginal surfaces 15 adjacent opening 14 in the top 17 of the container. For this purpose the locking apparatus 10 as illustrated in FIG. 7 includes a plurality of clamping assemblies 19, 20, 21 and 22 shown disposed along one edge of the door. For clarity of illustration identical locking assemblies disposed along the remaining margins of the door or access cover 11 are not shown. The aforementioned clamping units 19, 20, 21 and 22 contain elements which are mounted for movement between a retracted position enclosed within the exterior top panel 23 of access door 11 as seen in FIG. 3 and its lower interior panel 24, and an extended position, FIG. 4, wherein the clamping units extend through apertures 27 within interior panel 24 and apertures 29 in top panel 17 of structure 13. The apertures 29 are shown disposed along the margins of opening 14 in matched spaced relationship along panel 17 with apertures 27 of the access panel of container 13.
In order to activate each of the aforementioned clamping units 19, 20, 21, 22 from a retracted unlocking position shown in FIG. 3, to an extended locking position as shown in FIG. 6, differential gear means 33 are provided, see FIG. 7. The latter gear means comprises a plurality of toothed rack elements 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 with meshing pinion gears 41, 43, 45 and 47 disposed between the rack elements. The gear means 33 include an elongated sleeve member 48 rectangular in cross section. Sliding rack members 35, 37 and fixed rack 39 are shown resting on the lower horizontal web 49 of sleeve 48, while rack elements 36, 38 slide along the top web of the sleeve. Pinion gear 41 is shown meshing with a far end of lower rack element 35 and the near end of rack element 36. Pinion gear 43 meshes with the far other end of rack 36 above and with the forward end of lower rack 37. Correspondingly the far end of lower rack 37 supports pinion 45 which in turn engages the forward near end of upper rack 38. The remaining pinion gear 47 in the illustration shown in FIG. 7 meshes with the far end of tooth rack element 38 and the lower rack endmost rack 39. The latter rack is fixed against longitudinal movement to the lower web 49 of sleeve member 48.
With reference now to FIG. 7 it is seen that the clamping units 19, 20, 21 and 22 are identical except that clamping units 19 and 21 face in one direction while the clamping units 20, 22 face in an opposite direction relative to the longitudinal axis of the locking apparatus.
With reference now to FIG. 3, clamping unit 19 is illustrated as having a pair of elongated members 53, 53a each with a hooked end 54, 54a carrying a roller 57 extending transversely across the bottom web 49 of sleeve member 48. A first pair of links 59, 59a are each connected to the ends of hook members 53, 53a remote from the respective hooked ends 54, 54a as at pin connection 61. The other ends of the links 59, 59a are connected to the ends of shaft 60 secured extending through the axis of pinion gear 41. The pinion shaft 60 is arranged so that the links 59 and the pinion 41 are not tied together in rotation. The sidewalls 62, 63 of sleeve 48 are slotted as at 64 to enable longitudinal travel of the ends of pinion shaft 60 along the sleeve I member 48. A second pair of links 65, 65a pivotally connected to earred brackets 68 secured to the bottom wall 49 of the sleeve member as at 69 while the opposite ends of said links are pivotally connected to the hook members 53, 53a midway of the length of the latter as at 70. Spring members 71, 71a attached at their respective upper ends to pin connection 61 and at their opposite ends at anchor pins 72 exert a downward force on hooked members 53, 53a. Stop element 75 secured to the sidewalls 62, 63 of the sleeve member limit the upward counter-clockwise travel of links 59 when the clamping assembly is in its retracted position.
In operation when drive screw 76, FIG. 7, is turned in the appropriate direction, for example, rack 35 is forced to the left. The first pinion 41 can first either walk on rack 36 moving to the left or locking, or secondly remain in position and rotating on its axis driving rack'36 to the right. Pinion 41 will choose the motion which offers the least resistance. When rack 36 moves to the right pinion 43 will either move to the right and lock or drive rack 37 to the left. The process continues to rack 39 which cannot move because it is fixed to the bottom wall 49 of sleeve 48.
The net effect is that when the drive screw 49 is turned, one of the clamping assemblies will move to tighten, i.e., the easiest one. When the clamping assembly meets resistance another locking assembly will move. The locking apparatus 33 is so arranged that the force on all of the clamping assemblies will be the same. If there is compliance in the structure, that is, if one of the clamping assemblies deforms or bends the structure so that the force is relieved from another clamping assembly, the clamping assembly so relieved will move and tighten.
While there has been described what at present is considered to be the preferred embodiment of this invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein, without departing from the invention, and it is aimed to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Lock apparatus for securing a first member to a second member comprising in combination, .gear means, means mounting said gear means for linear movement in said first member, clamping .rneans, means mounting said clamping means to said gear means for movement between a retracted position and an extended position into clamping engagement with said second member, and means for moving said gear means relative to said means mounting said gear means to cause said clamping means to move into engagement with said second member.
2. Lock apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said gear means include rack members and pinions.
3. Lock apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said means mounting said gear means for linear movement include sleeve means, and rack members include a plurality of slidable racks mounted in said sleeve means for linear movement.
4. Lock apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein said rack members include a a rack member fixed against movement to said sleeve member.
5. Lock apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein said means for moving said gear means for linear movement include screw means mounted to said sleeve means and connected to one of said slidable racks.
6. Lock apparatus as set forth in claim 3 including means mounting said pinions to said sleeve means for rotation and for bodily movement relative to said sleeve means.
7. Lock apparatus as set forth in claim 6 wherein said pinions are engaged between said rack members and wherein said clamping means are secured to said pinions. I
8. Lock apparatus as set forth in claim 7 wherein said clamping means include roller means for engagement with said second member along a plurality of points.
9. Lock apparatus as set forth in claim 7 wherein said clamping means include a plurality of clamping assemblies, and wherein each clamping assembly is secured to a respective pinion of said pinions.
10. Lock apparatus as set forth in claim 9 wherein each said clamping assembly includes a hook member mounting said roller means, and link means interconnecting a pinion with said hook member.