US 3747519 A
Apparatus for compacting trash of the type including an elongated hollow cylinder having an open discharge end, a compacting piston longitudinally reciprocable in the cylinder, and a pivotable closure for the discharge end of the cylinder. The discharge end of the cylinder has a rearwardly inclined peripheral cut-out portion, a closure having a rearwardly inclined peripheral flange complementary to and mating with such cut-out portion when the closure is in its closed position. The piston preferably includes on its forward pressure surface a plurality of rearwardly inclined radial ribs defining a discontinuous concave trash-engaging surface.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Capps, Sr. et al.
[ July 24, 1973 TRASH-COMPACTING APPARATUS  Inventors: William T. Capps, Sr., Bladensburg; Robert J. Hunnam, Carrollton, both of Md.
 Assignee: Ram-Pack, lnc., l-lyattsville, Md.
 Filed: Oct. 19, 1971  Appl. No.: 190,484
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,527,160 9/1970 Vollmer 100/218 2,508,877 5/1950 Walker 100/250 X 1,469,511 10/1923 Huebner.. 100/295 X 3,385,208 5/1968 Clegg 100/250 X 11 [10 I A l I -J z l I 6' I I i c L" I 5O 2,705,916 4/1955 Millgard 100/249 X 3,253,537 5/1966 Porter et al 3,638,561 2/1972 Price et al 100/250 X Primary Examiner-Billy J. Wilhite Attorney-John C. Holman  ABSTRACT Apparatus for compacting trash of the type including an elongated hollow cylinder having an open discharge end, a compacting piston longitudinally reciprocable in the cylinder, and a pivotable closure for the discharge end of the cylinder. The discharge end of the cylinder has a rearwardly inclined peripheral cut-out portion, a closure having a rearwardly inclined peripheral flange complementary to and mating with such cut-out portion when the closure is in its closed position. The pis ton preferably includes on its forward pressure surface a plurality of rearwardly inclined radial ribs defining a discontinuous concave trash-engaging surface.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to presses, and more particularly to an apparatus for compacting trash from its bulk state to a highly compressed, low-volume state for ready handling.
There has been seen in recent years, due to many causes such as industrial growth and rapid population growth, a sharp increase in the amounts of trash and other disposed and discarded materials from industrial processes, residences, and almost every conceivable form of activity utilizing disposable articles such as containers. There has, therefore, been a correspondingly increasingly difficult problem in disposing of such trash and other materials, due to such rapidly increasing volume of trash, and corresponding increases in costs for trash removal, such costs generally reflecting volume of refuse.
Numerous solutions have been proposed for facilitating the handling of such refuse, such as incineration, but the most significant advance in the handling of such trash, prior to removal, has been the development of various devices and methods for compacting the trash prior to its removal. Since, as mentioned above, costs for removal of trash are generally based upon the volume of trash rather than its weight, it will be readily appreciated that apparatuses and methods which can substantially reduce the volume of such trash will correspondingly reduce the costs for removal of a given amount of trash. Compacting apparatuses have been proposed for substantially reducing the volume of loose refuse, the most efficient of these comprising, in its basic form, a compacting piston and cylinder arrangement in which the trash is fed into a cylinder and compressed under high pressure between the movable piston and a stationary abutment, the thus compacted material forming an extremely compact and dense, lowvolume mass which can be readily transported at comparatively low cost.
Such prior apparatuses have, however, exhibited several fairly serious drawbacks. Among these drawbacks is the need for a closure member, particularly when ejection of the compacted trash is longitudinally forward of the compacting cylinder, which is capable of withstanding the high pressures generated during the compacting operation and yet which can readily, simply and reliably be moved between open and closed positions topermit ejection of the compacted mass of trash from the cylinder. The closures utilized on such apparatus to date, however, have not been entirely successful towards this end. While they are generally capable of withstanding the high compaction forces, they have, due to their particular designs, been subjected to jamming of trash during opening orclosing movement of such closure, thus rendering difficult proper movement of the closure and, on occasion, even totally disabling the apparatus.
A second drawback of such prior known devices has been that trash has frequently become wedged between the external peripheral surface of the compacting piston and the internal surface of the cylinder, again creating the possibility of improper operation or even disabling of the piston itself. Clearly, therefore, there exists a need for an apparatus of this type which is simple in design and which is capable of reliable and efficient operation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION With the above background in mind, it is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for compacting loose refuse which overcomes the above-mentioned drawbacks of prior known devices.
Specifically, it is an object of the present invention to provide such an apparatus for compacting loose trash which is extremely durable in construction and which features a piston and cylinder arrangement having an end closure on the cylinder, which closure substantially eliminates the possibility of jamming during operation.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a trash compacting apparatus of the character described in which such closure member, while maintaining such reliability, is also capable of withstanding extremely high compaction pressures.
It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a trash compacting apparatus of the character described, featuring a piston of improved design which substantially eliminates wedging of the trash between the piston and the cylinder wall.
These, as well as other objects which will become apparent as the description proceeds, are fulfilled through the provision of the inventive trash compacting apparatus characterized by an elongated [hollow cylinder having an .open discharge end, a compacting piston longitudinally reciprocable in the cylinder, and a pivotable closure for the discharge end of the cylinder. Such dis charge end has a rearwardly inclined peripheral cutout portion, and the closure has a rearwardly inclined peripheral flange complementing and mating with such cutout portion when the closure is in its closed position. In an extremely simple method of manufacture, the peripheral flange of the closure may merely be formed from the material removed from the cylinder in forming the cut-out portion. The piston of the inventive apparatus preferably includes on its forward pressure surface a plurality of radial ribs which. are inclined radially inwardly and rearwardly to thus define a discontinuous concave trash-engaging surface.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention itself will be better understood, and additional objects, features and advantages thereof will become apparent, from the following detailed descrip-' tion of a preferred embodiment of the invention, which reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partially in section, of a preferred form of the inventive apparatus;
FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of the front end of the piston of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a pictorial view of the front end of the cylin' der of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a pictorial view of the closure structure of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view along the lines V-V of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 6 is a sectional view along the lines VI-VI of FIG. 4.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring initially to FIG. 1, it will be, seen that the inventive trash compacting apparatus comprises essentially three major components: an elongated hollow cylinder 10, having an inlet hopper 12 for feeding loose refuse to the interior thereof and an open discharge end at the right side of the figure; closure means, generally designated as 14, for selectively closing or exposing the discharge opening; and trash-compacting piston means, generally designated as 16, which is mounted for reciprocating longitudinal movement within the cylinder and which, when traveling forwardly, (i.e. towards the right in FIG. 1), compacts the trash between its forward space and the closure means 14, the closure means, in the closed position illustrated, thus forming a stationary abutment which cooperates with the longitudinally movable piston means 16.
As perhaps best seen in FIG. 3, the forward or discharge end of the cylinder 10 includes, about its upper circumference, an upwardly and rearwardly inclined cutout portion defining an upwardly and rearwardly inclined forward edge 18, which inclined forward edge, as will be described in greater detail hereunder, cooperates with a similar rearwardly inclined rearward edge on the closure means 14 to permit ready movement of the closure means 14 between its open and closed positions while effectively sealing the discharge end of the cylinder 10 when such closure means is in its closed position illustrated. While the upwardly and rearwardly inclined forward edge 18 of such cut-out portion may intersect directly with the forward end or edge 20 of the cylinder 10, preferably such rearwardly inclined edge 18 is offset rearwardly a short distance and defines a pair of forwardly extending, generally horizontal shoulders 22, which shoulders serve as stop abutments for the closure means 14 when approaching its closed position.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, the closure means 14 comprises a circular disc-like closure member 24 which preferably has a diameter substantially equal to the outside diameter of the cylinder 10, and at least the rearward face of which is planar. As illustrated, preferably the closure member may comprise a disc-like closure member having both its front and rear surfaces planar, for simplicity in manufacture. Secured to the rear face of the closure member 24, and extending about a portion of the periphery thereof, is a rearwardly extending annular flange 26 which has an upwardly and rearwardly inclined rear edge 28. The annular flange member 26 extends about the upper semi-circumference of the closure member 24, and preferably has its upwardly and rearwardly inclined rear edge 28 inclined at the same angle with respect to the vertical as the forward inclined edge 18 of the cylinder 10, whereby it will be seen that the flange member 26 complements the cutout portion of the cylinder 10, and further that such flange member 26 will fit into such cut-out portion, with the respective upwardly and rearwardly inclined edges 18 and 28 abutting each other, when the closure means 14 is in its closed position, thus closing off the cylinder while maintaining a smooth, substantially continuous cylindrical surface on the interior thereof.
Advantageously, the peripheral flange member 26 further includes a pair of horizontally extending shoulders 30 at the opposite ends thereof, respectively connecting the opposed lower ends of the rearwardly inclined edge 28 with the closure member 24. These shoulders 30 abut against the shoulders 22 on the cylinder 10, when the closure means 14 is in its closed position, to thus limit downward movement of the closure means.
It should now be appreciated that the peripheral flange 26 is identical in configuration to the cut-out portion of the cylinder 10. Thus, an extremely simple method of manufacturing the present device is by merely cutting through the cylinder 10 downwardly and forwardly from the top, rearwardly of the forward end thereof, forming the shoulders 22 if desired, and then using the portion which is removed from the cylinder to form the flange member 26 by securing this member to the closure member 24, as by welding or other suitable methods. Obviously, other methods will be found to work equally effectively; however, it is believed that the above-noted method of producing the cut-out portion of cylinder 10 and simultaneously the flange member 26 is by far the simplest method of achieving this structure.
While the rearwardly inclined edges 18 and 28 may be formed in a single plane transverse to the longitudinal axis of the apparatus, i.e., forming rectangular corners with the interior and exterior surfaces of the cylinder 10, preferably each of these edges is bevelled rearwardly and radially outwardly, to form respective bevelled surfaces which provide a more efficient sealing between the closure means 14 and the cylinder 10, and
simultaneously simplifying the closing movement of the closure means 14 by effecting essentially a selfalignment of the closure means with respect to the cylinder. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, such respective edges 18 and 28 may be bevelled rearwardly and radially outwardly at an angle on the order of 45.
Means are provided for effecting swinging movement of the closure means 14 relative to the cylinder 10, to thereby open or close the discharge end of the cylinder, as to eject the compacted mass of trash following accumulation of a predetermined amount thereof. Such actuating means may preferably comprise a pair of elongated bracket members 32 each of which is secured at its forward end to the closure member 14 and is pivotally mounted at its rearward end to the cylinder 10 at opposite sides thereof, as by suitable pivot means 34. Advantageously, both of the bracket members 32 may be formed integrally with a transverse cross-brace member 36 extending diametrically across the front face of the closure member 24, to thereby provide a unitary, generally U-shaped supporting bracket structure. Each of the bracket members further includes, at its rearward end adjacent the pivot means 34, a crank arm 38 rigidly secured thereto and extending downwardly therefrom, such crank arms being pivotally connected to the movable pistons 40 of respective actuating cylinders 42, which may comprise any suitable devices such as hydraulic power cylinders. Clearly, supply of pressure fluid from a suitable source through control means, not shown, to the power hydraulic cylinders 4-2 will extend the pistons 40 thereof outwardly, thus pi voting the crank arms 38 and bracket members 32 about the pivot means 34, thus raising the closure means 14 clear of the discharge end of the cylinder 10, to thereby permit ejection of the compacted trash from the cylinder. Reversal of this process will pivot the bracket members 32 downwardly to thus lower the closure means 14 into sealing relationship with the discharge end of the cylinder 10, the respective bevelled surfaces 18 and 28 on the end of the cylinder 10 and the peripheral flange member26 providing a self-aligning and scaling function to more efficiently seal the end of the cylinder.
The closure means 14 preferably further includes an annular, substantially semi-cylindrical cover member 52 secured to the exterior of the flange 26 and to the closure member 24, and which extends rearwardly of the rear edge 28 of the flange 26. It will thus be seen that the cover member 52 overlaps the joint between the flange 26 and the end of cylinder when the closure means is in its closed position, with the interior of such cover member abutting against the exterior peripheral surface of the cylinder. in this manner, there will be provided a still further efficient sealing of the discharge end of the cylinder, substantially eliminating any possibility of material leakage therefrom. The cover member 52 preferably includes a semi-circular transverse forward portion 54 which overlaps and is secured to the outer or forward surface of the closure member'24.
Referring next to the detailed structure of the piston means 16, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be seen that the piston means comprises an elongated piston rod 44 carried within and actuated by a suitable power cylinder, not shown, a transverse disc-like plate member 46 secured to the forward end of the piston rod 44 and having a diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of the cylinder 10 while permitting a free sliding fit therein, and an outer peripheral guide sleeve 48 also secured to the transverse plate 46 and which has an exterior diameter just sufficient to permit sliding longitudinal movement within the cylinder 10 while leaving minimum clearance between such guide sleeves and cylinder wall.
It will be seen that when the piston rod 44 and hence the remainder of the piston structure is moved forwardly by the power cylinder, the trash will be compacted between the forward transverse plate 46 and the closure member 24, the latter serving as a stationary abutment cooperating with the moving piston. To minimize the possibility that trash may become jammed in the small annular clearance space between thepiston and the interior wall of the cylinder 10, preferably the piston includes a plurality of radially extending blade or rib members secured to the forward surface of the transverse plate 46 and extending a short distance forwardly thereof. Preferably, and as best seen in FIG. 1, each of these blade or rib members 50 is inclined rearwardly and radially inwardly, whereby the rib members 50 taken together form essentially a discontinuous concave trash-engaging surface. It should be appreciated that, through the provision of such concave trashengaging surface, forward movement of the piston will tend to exert a slight radially inward force upon the trash while it is being compacted, towards the longitudinal central axis of the cylinder, as opposed to prior known devices which have been planar or even inclined rearwardly radially outwardly, thus tending to jam trash about the periphery of the piston, between such pistons and the cylinder wall.
A further advantage of the use of such blade or rib members 50 is that they make possible a more efficient compaction of the trash in that they will shear or sever materials such as cardboard or the like which are bulky but which are easily sheared. This assists in reducing the volume to which the mass of trash can be compacted.
Through the provision of the inventive trash compacting apparatus as described above, it is believed apparent that all of the objects set forth at the outset to this specification have been successfully fulfilled.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. Trash compacting apparatus comprising a hollow elongated cylinder having a forward open discharge end; piston means mounted for longitudinal reciprocating movement in the cylinder and having a forward transverse trash-engaging surface facing said discharge end of said cylinder; and closure means pivotally mounted on said cylinder for selectively closing or exposing said discharge end of said cylinder; said cylinder further having at said discharge end a rearwardly inclined cutout portion extending about a portion of its periphery and having a rearwardly inclined forward edge, said closure means comprising a disc-like closure member having a planar rear surface extending completely across the discharge end of said cylinder and a rearwardly extending annular flange extending about a portion of the periphery thereof, said annular flange having an inclined rear edge complementing said cutout portion of said cylinder and engaging said inclined forward edge of said cut-out portion when said closure means is in a position to close said discharge end of said cylinder. 7
2. Trash compacting apparatus as defined in claim 1, further comprising actuating means for effecting pivotal movement of said closure means, said actuating means comprising a pair of elongated bracket members disposed on radially opposed sides of said cylinder and extending axially with respect thereto, each of said bracket members having a forward end secured to said closure member at opposite sides thereof, a rearward end pivotally secured to said cylinder rearwardly of said discharge end, and a perpendicular crank arm rigidly secured to the rearward end of its respective bracket member; and a pair of piston-and-cylinder means mounted on said cylinder at opposite sides thereof, each of said piston-and-cylinder means being pivotally connected to one of said crank arms to effect pivotal movement thereof.
3. Trash compacting apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said inclined forward edge of said cut-out portion of said cylinder and said inclined rearward edge of said annular flange are each bevelled rearwardly and radially outwardly with respect to said cylinder.
4. Trash compacting apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said closure means further comprises an annular substantially semi-cylindrical cover member secured to said closure member and extending rearwardly therefrom, said cover member extending rearwardly of said annular flange and abutting against the exterior peripheral surface of said cylinder when said closure member is in said position to close said discharge end of said cylinder.
5. Trash compacting apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said transverse trash-engaging surface of said piston means is generally concave.
6. Trash compacting apparatus as defined in claim 5, wherein said piston means includes a plurality of radially extending rib members on the forward end surface thereof, each of said rib members having a forward trash-engaging surface inclined rearwardly and radially inwardly, said forward surfaces of said rib members defining said generally concave trash-engaging surface of said piston means.
radially extending rib members on the forward end thereof, each of said rib members having a forward trash-engaging surface inclined rearwardly and radially inwardly, said forward surfaces of said rib members defining said generally concave trash-engaging surface of said piston means.