US 3755918 A
A Grain Storage Bin Construction formed preferably of metal and having cylindrical side walls, a floor at the bottom and a roof at the top; a horizontal conveyor located under the floor and having one end communicating with the exterior of the bin and the other end located at a point closely adjacent to the center of the bin, a vertical conveyor with its lower end communicating with the interior end of the horizontal conveyor and located within. The bin with its axis generally aligned with the cylindrical axis of the bin, the lower end of the vertical conveyor having selective port means being movable from open to closed position to selectively permit communication between the lower end of the conveyor and the interior of the bin, aeration means surrounding the vertical conveyor and extruding from a point above the port means to the top of the vertical conveyor and detachable conduit means located at the top of the vertical conveyor for selectively conveing material from the vertical conveyor to a point outside the bin.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Parrot 51 Sept. 4, 1973 GRAIN STORAGE BIN CONSTRUCTION Dale W. Parrot, Rural Delivery, Apple Creek, Ohio 44606  Filed: July 9, 1971  Appl. No.: 161,019
Primary Examiner-Robert G. Sheridan Attorney-John H. Bishop and Joseph Frease  ABSTRACT A Grain Storage Bin Construction formed preferably of metal and having cylindrical side walls, a floor at the bottom and a roof at the top; a horizontal conveyor lo cated under the floor and having one end communicating with the exterior of the bin and the other end located at a point closely adjacent to the center of the bin, a vertical conveyor with its lower end comm unicating with the interior end of the horizontal conveyor and located within. The bin with its axis generally aligned with the cylindrical axis of the bin, the lower end of the vertical conveyor having selective port means being movable from open to closed position to selectively permit communication between the lower end of the conveyor and the interior of the bin, aeration means surrounding the vertical conveyor and extruding from a point above the port means to the top of the vertical conveyor and detachable conduit means located at the top of the vertical conveyor for selectively conveing material from the vertical conveyor to a point outside the bin.
4 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures Patented Sept. 4, 1973 3,755,918
2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. DALE W. PARROT WWQQM ATTORNEYS GRAIIN STORAGE BIN CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the Invention and Description of the Prior Art This invention relates to grain storage and loading and unloading systems and more particularly to a grain bin which includes conveyor means for loading and unloading the bin which are completely located within the interior of the bin construction.
In recent years it has become a common practice in the grain industry and particularly in the corn harvesting industry to field shell the corn. The field shelled corn requires storage facilities since those used for ear corn are not entirely satisfactory for shelled corn. First, the shelled grain must be dried to a point where the moisture content is low enough that spoilage will not occur. Facilities for drying of the grain are therefore necessary. Secondly, the average farmer may desire to keep a portion of his own product for use as feed for his own livestock. He must therefore keep the dried grain at the proper moisture level to prevent problems caused by absorption of moisture from the atmosphere.
The storage and drying operations are commonly carried out with grain being placed in large bins which are generally cylindrical and have very large bushel capacities. These large bins, which may have capacities of up to 30,000 bushels, require the use of associated grain handling equipment and much has become commercially available in recent years. It is fairly common to provide the grain bins with a screw conveyor which is located at the bottom of the bin with a feed area located near the center of the bin. Grain may then be conveniently unloaded from the bin by operation of the screw conveyor to a discharge point outside the bin where it may be moved by other handling equipment. The grain which is conveyed to the outside of the bin is generally loaded onto a vehicle by using a vertical screw conveyor which is fed by the discharge of the horizontal conveyor that communicates with the interior of the bin. Other types of conveyors are available commercially such as portable elevators which are inclined at some desired angle. This type of conveyor may also be used to load the grain onto the desired vehicle.
Two methods are in common use for loading the bins with the corn from the field. The standard design bin is usually provided with an opening at the top of the usual conical shaped roof. A vertical auger conveyor can raise the grain high enough to allow it to fall through a convenient chute to the opening in the roof. As an alternative the portable type inclined auger conveyor mentioned above may be positioned to empty into the roof opening. A spreader, of which several forms are commercially available, is normally employed to uniformly distribute the grain being loaded into the bin. These are usually positioned just under the opening in the roof and spread the grain being discharged from the conveyor.
If the shelled grain which has been loaded into the bin has a moisture content high enough to necessitate drying, any one of a number of drying methods may be used. A common method is to employ the use of a large capacity blower having a heater which forces warm, dry air from the bottom of the bin up through the grain, exhausting through the opening in the roof. This forced warm, dry air will quickly lower the moisture content of the grain to acceptable levels.
When the grain is stored for extended periods of time in confined bins it is necessary to aerate the grain to prevent what is known as moisture migration to maintain quality. This is normally accomplished by inserting a tube having its lower end perforated into the center of the bin and maintaining a constant flow of air through the tube and, thus, through the grain. This will prevent accumulation of moisture in the stored grain and prevent or retard any spoilage which might be 00- casioned by such moisture concentration.
The loading and unloading of grain from and into vehicles can, of course, be done by hand. However, with the large quantities of grain which are raised by individual farmers today, such is neither economically feasible nor practical.
The above described procedures and equipment have their attendant problems. The equipment such as the vertical auger conveyors being located outside the storage bins are subject to the effects of weather as well as being subject to damage from other sources such as the farm vehicles which are normally operated in and around the grain bin structures. Furthermore, it is necessary that this vertical type auger, in order to discharge grain into a chute which will permit the grain to slide into the bin by gravity, must necessarily be of a length high enough to extend beyond the top of the bin roof, and the cost of such conveyors is obviously related to its length.
The portable type conveyor which is inclined and usually mounted on a type of dolly for easy movement may be used by the farmer. These types of conveyors if allowed to remain in the bin area will, of course, be subject to the effects of weather and they are therefore generally stored in some suitable enclosure. This, of course, requires the use of storage space in the farmers barn or garage which normally can well be used for storing other equipment. Also, the conveyor must be moved to the bin area each time it is used and this will, of course, occupy some time. It is apparent that these systems now in common use require the purchase by the farmer of an extensive amount of equipment which is subject to damage through several sources, though some equipment is necessary even though it is not used an extensive amount of time in relation to the length of the growing and harvest season.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Objectives of the present invention therefore include the provision of a grain loading, unloading and storage system in which; the system iscompletely integrated within the bin structure and in which the various elements of the system may conveniently be used to perform the loading, unloading and storage functions without requiring external equipment; the capital investment of the farmer is reduced by such use for both loading and unloading the bin; at single source of power may be used to operate all of the mechanical elements of the system; additional accessories such as a grain spreader are not required; and in which external mechanical equipment such as a portable conveyor is not required.
These and other objects and advantages apparent to those skilled in the art form the following description and claims may be obtained, the stated results achieved, the described difiiculties overcome by the improvements, combinations, and subcombinations, constructions and elements which comprise the present invention, a preferred embodiment of which illustrative of the best modes in which applicant has contemplated applying the principles is set forth in the following description and drawings and which are particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims forming a part hereof.
The nature of the discovery and improvements of the present invention may be stated in general terms as including a grain bin structure preferably formed of metal and cylindrical in shape having a floor at the bottom and a roof at the top, horizontal conveyor means located under the floor and having one end thereof communicating with a point outside the grain bin structure, the other end of the horizontal conveyor located at the point closely adjacent to the center of the bin structure; vertical conveyor means with its lower and communicating with one end of the horizontal conveyor means and extending upward through the floor to a point near the top of the grain bin structure and having its upper end open, selective port means at the lower end of the vertical conveyor capable of being moved from open to closed position to permit communication between the lower end of the vertical conveyor and the interior of the bin, aeration means surrounding the vertical conveyor and extending from a point just above the port means to the vertical conveyor means and detachable means for selectively conveying material discharged from the vertical conveyor to a point outside the grain bin.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevation partly in section showing the storage system of the present invention during the bin loading function;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing the bin during the unloading function;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing the bin during the storage function;
FIG. 4 is a vertical cross section, partly in elevation showing the junction between the vertical and horizontal conveyors, with the loading collar in closed position;
FIG. 5 is a plan view, partly in section of the junction between the vertical and horizontal conveyors;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary plan view similar to a portion of FIG. 4 showing the collar in open, unloading position;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary elevation, partly in cross section, showing the top end of the vertical conveyor in bin loading configuration;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary plan view of the top end of the vertical conveyor showing the grain distributor;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary elevation, partly in cross section, showing the top end of the vertical conveyor in bin unloading configuration; and
FIG. 10 is fragmentary elevation, partly in section, showing the system as used in connection with a second remote storage bin.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the preferred embodiment of the present invention illustrated in the drawings, the grain bin system includes a generally cylindrical structure 20 having a cylindrical side wall 21, a generally conically shaped roof 22, and floor 23. The floor 23 may be supported by a cement foundation to aid in supporting the weight of the grain stored in the bin or other reinforcing means may be provided if the size of the structure so requires.
In accordance with the present invention, the system includes a horizontal conveyor 24 located beneath floor 23 and having one end 25 located adjacent to the center of the bin and the other end 26 communicating with a receiving hopper 27 located outside bin 20.
The system also includes a vertical conveyor 28 located generally along the cylindrical axis of sidewall 21 with its lower end 29 communicating with inner end 25 of horizontal conveyor 24 and its upper end 30 located closely adjacent to the top peak 31 of roof 22 and at least as high as the maximum level of the grain to be stored.
Both conveyors 24 and 28 may be powered from an external source, now shown, such as a conventional tractor through rotation of shaft 32 which is connected to gear box 33. Gear box 33 may be provided with two outputs 34 and 35 to respectively drive to operate vertical conveyor 28 and horizontal conveyor 24, in the former case through auxiliary gear box 36. In the drawing conveyors of the auger type are illustrated, and vertical conveyor 28 includes casing portion 28a and screw portion 28b.
The upper end 30 of vertical conveyor may be provided with a grain spreading propeller 37 which is removable and only used during grain loading operations.
In accordance with the present invention, the lower portion of casing 28a of vertical conveyor 28 is provided with a series of slanted oblong slots 38 located at spaced intervals surrounding the lower portion of the screw member 281;. Further, a collar 39 surrounds the casing at the lower end of the conveyor 28 and is provided with a similar series of slots 40 spaced so that they may register with slots 38 formed through the casing. Collar 39 is rotatable around casing 280 so that the slots in the collar and the slots in the casing can be aligned with one another to permit communication between the interior of the bin and the lower end of the conveyor when the slots are aligned. By rotating the collar through movement of collar actuator rod 41, communicationbetween the lower end of the conveyor and the bin can be closed off by placing the slots in collar 39 in a position that is not aligned with the slots in the lower end of the conveyor. That is, the spaces between the slots in collar 39 will not be aligned with the slots 38 in conveyor casing 280, but with the spaces between the slots, and conveyor 28 may function in a normal manner. Thus, the collar functions as a valve to selectively open and close communication between the conveyor 28 and the interior of the bin.
The various aspects of the present invention can be best understood by a description of the operation of the equipment in the three functions which the equipment performs. Referring first to FIG. 1, the use of the equipment to load grain into the bin is illustrated. Grain which has been collected in the field is loaded into receiving hopper 27 from any suitable conveyance, such as a truck 42. The grain loaded in bin 27 is conveyed to the interior of the bin at the bottom by conveyor 24 and is then raised to the top of the bin by vertical conveyor 28. During the loading operation the collar 39 is placed in the nonaligned position to close off communication between the lower end of vertical conveyor 28 and the interior of the bin. The grain that is raised to the top is evenly distributed throughout the interior of the bin by spreader propeller 37. The grain so loaded may then be stored for any desired length of time.
The storage of the grain is illustrated in FIG. 3. As indicated above, it is desirable to maintain a slight flow of air through the stored grain to maintain the proper moisture levels to prevent spoilage. This may be accomplished by surrounding conveyor casing 28a with a elongated tube or casing 43 which is provided with a series of perforations throughout most of its length and further providing a fan 44 at the upper end of the perforated tube 43. Fan 44 will maintain a flow of air in the direction of the arrows shown in FlG. 3 by exhausting air up through the tube 43 and out duct 45. The air being circulated by fan 44 continuously flows through the grain, in through the perforations to the interior of tube 43, up the tube, and is exhausted through duct 45.
The unloading function of the equipment of the pres ent invention is illustrated in FIG. 2. Propeller 37 is detached from the top of conveyor 28, and unloading chute 46 is placed over the top of conveyor 24 (see FIG. 9). Slots 40 are aligned with slots 38 (FIG. 6) by movement of rod 41 and conveyor 2% is rotated in the conventional manner. Grain from the interior of the bin passes through the slots to the lower end of conveyor 28 and is raised by the conveyor to the top and slides down chute 46 and into a suitable conveyance, such as truck 42. As illustrated in FIG. 2, a sweep auger 47 may be used to completely clear the interior of the bin of all stored grain. While such sweep augers are well known in the prior art, it is illustrated to demonstrate that conventional equipment may be used with the constructions of the present invention.
The equipment of the present invention may also be used in connection with loading a bin at a location remote from the main bin structure. In FIG. an extension 49 may be placed on conveyor 28 and grain raised to the top of the extension 49 to slide down small chute St) and be conveyed to some suitable location by means of an auxiliary conveyor 51 which may communicate with a second bin (not shown) or any other receptacle.
Accordingly, the grain bin system of the present invention may be used to load, unload and store grain and perform all functions in connection therewith, such as maintaining the grain at the desired degree of moisture content. The equipment, including the horizontal and vertical conveyors, the air circulation fan, are all permanently installed within the bin and are located substantially within the interior of the bin so that they are not exposed to weather elements or damage from tractors or other vehicles or the like. The other associated equipment, such as the propeller and unloading chute, may also be stored within the interior of the bin by hanging the same from some suitable hook attached to the roof. The structure, therefore, accomplishes the objectives of the invention in an economical and convenient manner.
In the foregoing description certain terms have been used for brevity, 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 herein and are intended to be broadly construed.
Moreover, the embodiment of the improved construction illustrated and described herein is by way of example, and the scope of the present invention is not limited to the exact details of construction.
Having now described the invention or discovery, the construction, the operation, and use of the preferred embodiment thereof, and the advantageous, new and useful results obtained thereby; the new and useful construction, and reasonable mechanical equivalents thereof obvious to those skilled in the art, are set forth in the disclosure.
ll. in a combination grain loading, unloading and storage device; a container having side walls, a floor, and roof defining a bin, horizontal conveyor means located adjacent the floor and having one end communicating with a point outside the bin and the other end located at a point inside the bin, vertical conveyor means having a lower end communicating with the end of the horizontal conveyor located within the bin, and the upper end of the vertical conveyor located at a point adjacent the roof of the bin, the vertical conveyor including a tube-like cover member coextensive with the conveyor, the cover having a plurality of openings formed through its lower end to provide communication between the lower end of the vertical conveyor and the interior of the bin, rotatable collar means surrounding the lower end of the conveyor and having a plurality of openings which correspond with the openings formed at the lower end of the conveyor, said collar being movable from a position in which the collar openings are aligned with the openings in the lower end of the conveyor to a position where said slots are not aligned to selectively permit open or closed communication location between the vertical conveyor and the interior of the bin, means outside the bin for moving the collar from open to closed position or closed to open position, detachable chute means mountable at the upper end of the vertical conveyor to direct and discharge conveyed grain to the exterior of the bin and se' lectively detachable grain-spreading means detachably mounted at the upper end of the vertical conveyor means.
2. Grain loading, unloading and storage device as defined in claim I, in which said openings include elongated slots formed in the lower end of the conveyor cover and in which the collar includes elongated slots corresponding in location to the elongated slots formed in the conveyorcover, and in which the width of the slots is slightly less than the space between adjacent slots.
3. Grain loading, unloading and storage device as defined in claim 1 in which said horizontal conveyor and said vertical conveyor are auger conveyors.
4. Grain loading, unloading and storage device as defined in claim 11 in which a perforated tube surrounds the vertical conveyor and in which air movement means communicate with the upper end of the tube for moving air within the bin.
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