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Publication numberUS3776094 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 4, 1973
Filing dateSep 29, 1971
Priority dateOct 1, 1970
Also published asDE2048205A1, DE2048205B2, DE2048205C3
Publication numberUS 3776094 A, US 3776094A, US-A-3776094, US3776094 A, US3776094A
InventorsGilles M, Thiel A
Original AssigneeClouth Gummiwerke Ag
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flexible structural member for a vehicle casing
US 3776094 A
Abstract
A vehicle casing is made up of interconnected structural members with each structural member comprising a plurality of flat plates arranged in adjacent spaced coplanar relation and encased in elastic material which holds the plates in flexibly interconnected relation. Fabric embedded in the elastic material on at least one side of the plates provides reinforcing for the structural member.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

El ted States Patent [191 [111 3,776,094 Gilles et all. 1 Dec. 4, 1973 [54] FLEXIBLE STRUCTURAL MEMBER FOR A 2,771,384 11/1956 Collins 161/404 VEHICLE CASING 2,922,483 1/1960 Harris 89/36 A 3,171,671 3/1965 C0rnett.... 280/163 Inventors: Martin Gllles, g Anton Thlel, 3,523,057 8/1970 Buck 109 49.5

Garching/Alz, both of Germany RE NT lCATl [73] Assignee: Clouth Gummiwerke AG, Cologne, F0 IGN PATE 8 OR APPL ONS Germany 1,102,646 10/1955 France 89/36 A 1,127,759 4/1962 Germany 89/36 A [22] Filed: Sept. 29, 1971 [21] A L No. 184,874 Primary Examiner-Richard J. Johnson Assistant ExaminerReinhard Eisenzopf Att alte B k [30] Foreign Application Priority Data omey w r cc er Oct. 1, 1970 Germany P 20 48 205.7

[57] ABSTRACT 52 US. Cl. 89 109 4 9.2 R, I I [36 3 f g gg I16 4 A vehicle casing is made up of interconnected struc- [51] Km Ci I54! 5/06 tural members with each structural member compris- [58] Fieid S E a I 267/152 ing a plurality of flat plates arranged in adjacent 267/153, 85 280/152 spaced coplanar relation and encased in elastic material which holds the plates in flexibly interconnected 89/36 36 36 36 36 161/404 relation. Fabric embedded in the elastic material on at l 56 1 References Cited least one side of the plates provides reinforcing for the tu UNITED STATES PATENTS ta] member 2,373,726 4/1945 Watts 109/83 13 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures in 1m 1. a 6 4 Y I: /2 u m FLEXIBLE STRUCTURAL MEMBER FOR A VEHICLE CASING The present invention relates to a casing made of elastic material for track-laying and wheeled vehicles which is used further for ballistic protection and against the whirling up of dust and snow.

It is an object of this invention to provide a casing of the general type mentioned above which on the one hand may be bent up to 90, so that the articulations do not crack or break off even under the heaviest stress, and which as a result of slight vibrations during travelling will be self-cleaning from dirt, snow and ice, whilst on the other hand the casing will keep its shape even after it has been in use for a fairly long time.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 shows a front view of a casing or cover according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a section taken along the line IIII in FIG. I, but on a larger scale than that of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 shows a detail of FIG. 2 on a still larger scale.

FIG. 4 shows a detail of FIG. 1 in a scale corresponding to that of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a section taken along the line VV of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 represents a section along the line VI-VI in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 shows a section taken along the line VII-VII of FIG. 1, on a scale corresponding to that of FIG. 3.

FIG. 8 is a section taken along the line VIII-VIII of FIG. 1 on a scale corresponding to that of FIG. 3.

FIG. 9 is a partial elevational view of a track-laying and wheeled vehicle provided with a casing or cover having features in accordance with the teaching of the present invention FIG. 10 is a fragmentary cross sectional view taken along line X--X in FIG. 9.

The casing according to the invention is characterized primarily in that metal plates are embedded in the elastic material and at least on one side of the metal plates a fabric insert is provided. The spaces between the metal plates make bending possible and the fabric insert ensures the stability of the form of the casing. Furthermore, the fabric insert increases the tearing resistance of the casing.

According to a further development of the invention, the fabric insert is drawn into the zone of the joint separating two adjacent metal plates in the direction towards the central plane of the metal plates, so that in the event of a buckling of the casing only a slight expansion or compression of the fabric takes place.

In order to prevent the edges of the metal plates from exerting a notch effect on the elastic material and the fabric, the edges of the metal plates are rounded off and are approximately semicircular. This ensures that even with a buckling angle of 90", no damage will occur to the elastic material and the fabric insert.

The fabric insert consists advantageously of a highly elastic plastic fabric with open meshes made from tearresistant individual threads. By means of such a fabric the tearing strength of the casing is considerably increased, because the tear-resistant threads prevent a tearing of the elastic material itself if, as the result of mechanical damage, the elastic material has a cut in it.

Furthermore, the open meshes bring about an improvement in the separating strength of the layers With casings in which the metal plates embedded in the elastic material are provided with holes, a further increase in the separating strength of the layers is achieved by drawing the fabric insert in the area of the holes towards the central plane of the metal plate.

For reasons of logistics the individual parts of the easing must possess the same shape. However, in the case of some vehicles it is desirable to design the rear part of the casing shorter, because otherwise when travelling through wet clay ground, the rear part can settle on the ground, which leads to greater wear of the casing and a loss in the driving performance of the vehicle. In order to be able to meet both the above-mentioned requirements, according to one characteristic of the invention the surface of the elastic material in the range of the separating joint between two adjacent metal plates is provided with a cut mark. As a result of this the casing can be adapted for any particular purpose at comparatively little expense.

So that no sharp edges are formed when the casing is cut up which would bring about a notch effect, according to a further feature of the invention, the elastic material is provided with a hole in the area where two joints intersect, the elastic material having a thickened or reinforced area arranged concentrically around the hole. The tearing of the casing in the zone of intersection of two joints can also be prevented by additional fabric inserts. In as much as the casing is exposed to fire hazards and the effect of the casing would be lost if the elastic material were burnt off, the elastic material advantageously consists of non-inflammable rubber.

On each side edge of the casing there is provided at least one hole for fixing a connecting link. The connection between two casings is generally effected by means of latches which are connected to each casing by means of a bolt. An unintentional lifting off of the latches is prevented according to the invention by the fact that in the immediate vicinity of each hole provided on the side edge there is provided an elevation which serves as a catch and the surface of which preferably has the shape of a ball section. A forceful stripping off of the latches by handicaps such as hedges, trees, etc. is prevented by providing a bead which extends over a quarter of a circle around the bore for connection of the connecting element.

In view of the casing, it is no longer possible to ascend the vehicle by stepping on the wheels. Therefore, it is necessary to equip the casing with a step. In order to make this possible, no metal plate is provided at the lower range of the casing, but instead a cranked metal bar is provided the two ends of which rest elastically rotatable in fabric loops vulcanized into the casing.

For purposes of cutting out an opening serving as tread step, cut markings are provided at a slight distance above the crank of the metal bar.

The lower edge of the casing is exposed to wear to a greater extent. For this reason, the lower edge of the casing is provided with a bead. At least one fabric insert or steel cable is embedded into the bead.

If the vehicle should laterally hit trees or other handicaps, the connectingscrews of the casing may be damaged. In order to avoid such damage, the plastic material is within the region of the casing where connecting screws have to be arranged, provided with a thickened or reinforcing section which is provided with a greater bore for receiving the beads of the connecting screws.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, the casing according to the invention is of an elastic material having embedded therein metal plates 1 and fabric inserts 2 (FIGS. 1 to 3). The edges 3 of the metal plates 1 provided with holes 4 are rounded off in a semi-circular form. In the zone of the joint 5 between two adjacent metal plates 1 and in the zone of the holes 4, the fabric inserts 2 are drawn in toward the central plane of the metal plates 1.

In the zone of the joint 5, the surface of the elastic material is provided with a cut mark 6 (FIGS. 4 to 6). In the zone of intersection of two joints, the plastic material is provided with a hole 7. The elastic material has a thickened or reinforced portion 8 arranged concentrically around the hole 7.

On each side edge 9 of the casing, there is provided a hole 10 (FIGS. 1 and 7) for fixing a connecting link (not shown in the drawing). In the immediate vicinity of the hole 10 there is provided an elevation 11, the surface of which has the shape of a spherical indentation. Around the hole 10 there is provided a head 12 which forms more or less a quarter of a circle.

In the lower zone of the casing, no metal plate is provided, but a bent metal rod 13 is inserted in the elastic material (FIGS. 1 and 2). The two ends of the metal rod 13 rest in fabric loops 14 which are vulcanized into the casing (FIG. 1). At a short distance above the bend in the metal rod 13, there are provided cut marks 15 for an aperture 16 to serve as a step (FIG. 1 and 2). The bottom edge of the casing is provided with a head 17 (FIGS.1, 2 and 8) in which it is possible to embed a fabric insert (not shown in the drawing) or a steel cable 18 (FIG. 8).

In the zones of the casing in which connecting bolts have to be arranged, the elastic material has a thickened or reinforcing portion 19 which is provided with a larger hole 20 to receive the heads of the connecting bolts which are not shown in the drawing. (FIGS. 1 and 2).

FIGS. 9 and 10 clarify as to the extent of the casing and how the casing is attached to the vehicle. The elevation 11 providing the form of a spherical segment serving to clamp a connection member designated with a reference C in FIG. 9 of the drawing. The connection member C is rotatably arranged on a cover or cladding part A 1 by means of a screw or bolt D. If the connection member C is now swung over the adjacent cover or cladding part A 2, so the same finally reaches over the elevation 11 and becomes securely clamped. If the connection member C is again to be released, so there only needs to be a blow struck with a hammer, a stone or the like below the connection member C. Thereby the same is shifted beyond the elevation 11 and can then easily be swung back. Bead 12 serves as a rib to hinder that along the cover or cladding there will be any objects engaging or rubbing thereagainst, for example, branches, which can come under the connection member and which could release or block the same.

By way of embedding of the offset metal rod 13 in the cladding or cover there does not yet arise any step. The metal rod 13 is only to make possible the formation of a step upon requirement thereof. The cover or cladding consists particularly of several cover or cladding parts which for reasons of manufacturing technicalities and for simplification of exchange of damaged cover or cladding parts are completely identical as constructed.

Not until after the vehicle is embodied with the complete cover or cladding are the necessary steps formed by cutting out a window (opening 16) above the metal rod 13. This cutting out is made easier and is facilitated by way of cut markings 15. Fabric loops 14 are woven strips bent in a U-form which loosely engage around the ends of the metal rod 13.

It is, of course, to be understood that the present invenfion is, by no means, limited to the specific showing in the drawings but also comprises any modifications within the limits of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A spaced casing supplementing ballistic protection for a vehicle, such as a wheeled or track laying armored vehicle, said casing comprising a plurality of interconnected structural members, each said structural member comprising metal plates in adjacent spaced coplanar relation, elastic material enclosing said plates and holding the plates together as a unit, and an insert in the form of a fabric sheet embedded in said elastic material on at least one side of said plates and extending over substantially the entire area of the respective structural member, said elastic material being provided on at least one outer surface with ribs extending parallel and adjacent the opposed edges of at least one pair of adjacent plates to indicate the line along which the respective structural member can be cut apart.

2. A spaced casing supplementing ballistic protection for a vehicle, such as a wheeled or track laying armored vehicle, said casing comprising a plurality of interconnected structural members, each said structural member comprising metal plates in adjacent spaced coplanar relation, elastic material enclosing said plates and holding the plates together as a unit, and an insert in the form of a fabric sheet embedded in said elastic material on at least one side of said plates and extending over substantially the entire area of the respective structural member, said structural member being provided with at least one hole extending through the elastic material in the space disposed between the comers of four adjacent ones of said plates.

3. A casing for a vehicle according to claim 2 in which the elastic material is provided with an annular bead upstanding therefrom on the outside in the region surrounding the said hole.

4. A spaced casing supplementing ballistic protection for a vehicle, such as a wheeled or track laying armored vehicle, said casing comprising a plurality of interconnected structural members, each said structural member comprising metal plates in adjacent spaced coplanar relation, elastic material enclosing said plates and holding the plates together as a unit, and an insert in the form of a fabric sheet embedded in said elastic material on at least one side of said plates and extending over substantially the entire area of the respective structural member, at least one hole along each side edge of the structural member for the connection thereto of a connecting link.

5. A casing for a vehicle according to claim 4 which includes a rib elevation adjacent each said hole for serving as a catch for cooperation with an element on the said connecting link.

6. A casing for a vehicle according to claim 5 in which said rib elevation extends over an angular region of about ninety degrees around the said hole.

7. A spaced casing supplementing ballistic protection for a vehicle, such as a wheeled or track laying armored vehicle, said casing comprising a plurality of interconnected structural members, each said structural member comprising metal plates in adjacent spaced coplanar relation, elastic material enclosing said plates and holding the plates together as a unit, and an insert in the form of a fabric sheet embedded in said elastic material on at least one side of said plates and extending over substantially the entire area of the respective structural member, the elastic material extending beyond said plates in the plane of the plates at one edge of the structural member, and a bent metal rod embedded in the extending portion of said elastic material including slits as a step.

8. A casing for a vehicle according to claim 7 which includes fabric loops fixed to said structural member and also embedded where rotatably engaging the ends of said embedded bent metal rod for flexibly supporting the metal rod on the structural member.

9. A casing for a vehicle according to claim 7 which includes an aperture extending through said elastic material between said bent metal rod and the nearest one of said plates and forming a step.

10. A spaced casing supplementing ballistic protection for a vehicle, such as a wheeled or track laying armored vehicle, said casing comprising a plurality of interconnected structural members, each said structural member comprising metal plates in adjacent spaced coplanar relation, elastic material enclosing said plates and holding the plates together as a unit, and an insert in the form of a fabric sheet embedded in said elastic material on at least one side of said plates and extending over substantially the entire area of the respective structural member, one edge of said structural member being provided with a bead formed on said elastic material.

11. A casing for a vehicle according to claim 10 in which said bead contains fabric reinforcing material embedded therein.

12. A casing for vehicle according to claim 10 which includes a reinforcing steel cable embedded in said bead.

13. A spaced casing supplementing ballistic protection for a vehicle, such as a wheeled or track laying armored vehicle, said casing comprising a plurality of interconnected structural members, each said structural member comprising metal plates in adjacent spaced coplanar relation, elastic material enclosing said plates and holding the plates together as a unit, and an insert in the form of a fabric sheet embedded in said elastic material on at least one side of said plates and extending over substantially the entire area of the respective structural member, holes extending through said elastic material in the space between the comers of four adjacent ones of said plates for receiving connecting bolts, each said hole being surrounded by an elevated boss and each boss being countersunk coaxially with said hole for receiving the heads of said connecting bolts.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2373726 *Aug 14, 1942Apr 17, 1945George L WattsArmored garment
US2771384 *Jan 31, 1955Nov 20, 1956Victory Plastics CoProtective material
US2922483 *Jun 3, 1954Jan 26, 1960Harris Transducer CorpAcoustic or mechanical impedance
US3171671 *Jul 18, 1963Mar 2, 1965Cornett Clinton WStep for vehicle
US3523057 *Oct 24, 1965Aug 4, 1970Schjeldahl Co G TBall and plastic armour plate
*DE1127759A Title not available
FR1102646A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4400002 *May 11, 1981Aug 23, 1983Deere & CompanyOperator mounting step for track-laying vehicles
US5032466 *Oct 13, 1988Jul 16, 1991Lasar S.P.A.Semi-rigid stratified shield
US5866839 *Dec 26, 1995Feb 2, 1999Ohayon; ShalomFor protecting a tank having a turret
US7080587 *Oct 31, 2002Jul 25, 2006Rafael Armament Development Authority LtdArmor module
US7213893 *Sep 16, 2004May 8, 2007Mccraw MarkTrack cover
US7779742Jun 30, 2006Aug 24, 2010Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd.Armor module
US8640593 *Jan 20, 2010Feb 4, 2014Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.Damping suspension with an up-lift capability for an add-on armor system
US20120097020 *Jan 20, 2010Apr 26, 2012Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.Damping suspension with an up-lift capability for an add-on armor system
Classifications
U.S. Classification89/36.2, 180/9.1, 109/49.5, 280/164.1
International ClassificationF41H7/04, F41H5/02
Cooperative ClassificationF41H5/02, F41H7/04
European ClassificationF41H5/02, F41H7/04