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Publication numberUS3789772 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 5, 1974
Filing dateMay 15, 1972
Priority dateMay 15, 1972
Publication numberUS 3789772 A, US 3789772A, US-A-3789772, US3789772 A, US3789772A
InventorsBullard H
Original AssigneeBullard H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hopper car door operating and locking mechanism
US 3789772 A
Abstract
A hopper car door operating and locking mechanism for bottom opening containers is especially suited for use in railroad hopper cars. The mechanism comprises pneumatic cylinder actuated lever arms linked to the hopper doors. A positive force is required to either open or close the hopper doors. The mechanism is an assembly which can be removed and installed as a unit, and it eliminates need for removing the car from service for a long period of time for repairs to the operating mechanism.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Bullard 1 51 7 Feb. 5, 1974 I HOPPER CAR DOOR OPERATING AND LOCKING MECHANISM [76] Inventor: I-Iaran W. Bullard, 4228 Wilderness Rd., Birmingham, Ala. 35213 22 Filed: May 15, 1972 211 Appl. No.: 253,078

[52] US. Cl 105/240, 105/251, 105/290, 1 105/308 R [51] Int. Cl 861d 7/08, B6ld 7/18, B6ld 7/28 [58] Field of Search'...... 105/240, 250, 251, 290, 105/308 R; 214/58 [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 780,761 1/1905 Otis 105/240 2,268,290 12/1941 Landis 105/240 X 3,656,437 4/1972 Kuzmicki... 105/251 X 1,077,299 11/1913 Priebe 1o5/250 x 10/1923 Davis ..214/5s 6/1970 Aguino 105/251 Primary Examiner-Robert G. Sheridan Assistant Examiner-Howard Beltran Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ralph l-l. Dougherty [5 7] ABSTRACT A hopper car door operating and locking mechanism for bottom opening containers is especially suited for use in railroad hopper cars. The mechanism comprises pneumatic cylinder actuated lever arms linked to the hopper doors. A positive force is required to' either open or close thehopper doors. The mechanism is an assembly which can be removed and installed as a unit, and it eliminates need for removing the car from service for a long period of time. for repairs to the operating mechanism.

11 Claims,- 5 Drawing Figures @VJ I F w j x I SHEET 1 BF 4 PATENTEUFEB 51914 PATENTEU FEB 5 I974 sum 2-0; 4

lllllmllla P-ATENTEDFEB 51914 sum 3 nr 4 1 HORRER ,CAR DQQR OPERATING AND LOCKING MECHANISM This invention relates to an improved apparatus for operating hopper doors located at the bottoms of hoppers for containing generally granular type material.

Although my invention is not thus limited, it is especially suitable for hopper bottom railroad cars used to transport raw materials for basic industries and, particularly, for use in steelmaking. Most known hopper cars have transverse doors with a latching device at each end of each door, orhav e'several doors on each side of the center sill. These hopper cars usually require two men working on opposite sides of the car to open their hopper doors. The men open one door at a time. Material discharges from the portion of the car above the opendoor until it forms a bridge over the vacant space above the door. This bridge is broken by poking a rod at it, by shaking the ear with a car shaker, by pounding on the sides of the car, or .by using an overhead crane with a clamshell or other appropriate device All of these methods are time-consuming, and shaking or using a crane involves an additionalcost. In

the case where the doors do 'not extend transversely across the width of the car, and when all the doors on one side only have been opened, such car has been known to turn over. This, of course, is extremely dangerous to life and limb. Whenever hopper doors are warped, bent, or strained, they must be repaired by heating and pounding them back into shape. Prior art hopper door operatingmechanisms have required that the hopper or hopper car be shut down or taken out of service whenever the operating mechanism is broken or badly worn, until such time as repairs have been completed.

Door operating mechanisms are shown and described in the following U. S. patents: Priebe U.S. Pat. No.

v l,077,299, Davis U.S. Pat. No. 1,470,149, Landis U.S.

Pat. No. 2,268,290, Aquino US. Pat. No. 3,515,076, and Kuzmicki US. Pat. No. 3,656,437.

I have invented an apparatus for opening and closing oppositely disposed hopper doors simultaneously. My apparatus can be operated by a single individual, has a self-locking mechanism that will maintain doors in a closed position in t ransit, 'is much safer to operate than hopper car doors heretofore available, and is installed on and removed from the hopper bottom as a unit for servicing. v

It is the primary object of my invention to provide an apparatus for rapid opening and closing of oppositely disposed doors on hopper bottoms simultaneously for rapid discharge of materials.

It is another object to provide a positive mechanical locking mechanism to prevent doors from opening in the event air cylinders are inadvertently actuated.

It is another object of my invention to provide a positive self-locking mechanism that will not allow doors to open or be opened in transit.

It is also an object to provide an apparatus capable of being operated by a single individual.

' It is another object to provide an apparatus that can be rapidly installed and removed from a hopper bottom as a single unit for servicing.

It is another object to provide an apparatus that can be operated with a high degree of safety.

In the appended drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a railroad hopper car equipped with my invention. I

FIG. 2 is a plan view of my door operating mecha- A hopper bottom railroad car (FIG. 1) is equipped with horizontally opposed hopper doors l2 and 13. A center sill 14 runs the length of the car as is standard in railroad car construction.

As best seen in FIG. 2, my hopper-door operating mechanism is a unitary assembly comprising an air cylinder actuating means and appropriate linkage in a housing. Unitary assembly 15 includes a top plate 16 (FIG., 4) and a bottom plate 17 held together and spaced apart by spacers 19, 20 and 2l. Three-way air valve 24 (shown only diagrammatically) controls a pair of double-acting air cylinders 26 and 26a which are oppositely disposed and have piston rods 27 and 27a. Connecting links 29 and 30 are pivotally connected to the end of piston rod 27 by pin 31 and to levers 33 and 34, respectively by pin 35 and 36. Lever 33 is pivoted to housing 15 by pivot pin 38, while lever 34 is pivoted to housing 15 by pivot pin 39 intermediate its length, but not centrally. The pivot point of each of pins 38 and 39 is off center from levers 33 and 34 to provide a relatively long arm in one direction from the pivot and a relatively short arm in the other direction. Links 29 and 30 are pivotally connected to the short arms of levers 33 and 34. A second pair of links, 40 and 41 on each long arm of the levers 33 and 34, connects these long arms to connector 42 on the respective doors, l2 and W 13. The equipment described so far is duplicated on eiotal connection with piston rod 27 at pin 31. Equalizer link 46a is pivoted to the other endof bar 44 and to link 29a in the same manner as link 46 to prevent. jamming and insure opening of the doors int'he case'of failure of one of air cylinders 26 and 26a. Each spacer 19 is backed by a lever stop 50 which is attached to its respective spacer.

Hangers 52 (FIGS. 4 and'S) are attached to the underside of center sill 14 by bolts 53 and to top housing plate 16 by bolts 54 to hold the assembly 15 in place beneath the car. Whenever it'is desired to remove the assembly for servicing or replacement, it is necessary.

only to disconnect the pneumatic connections (not shown), to remove bolts 53 or bolts 54, and to disconnect links 40 and 41 from the doors. By reversing the procedure, an operable assembly can be installed in a minimum amount of time. The worn or inoperable mechanism can then be repaired and installed on a different hopper when its mechanism is removed for repair or replacement.

When the doors 12 are in the closed position, the-axis of pivot pin 31 is on the inboard side (air-cylinder side) of a line between the axes of pins 35 and 36. When the hopper contains material which bears against the doors, a force is exerted through links 40 and-41 to levers 33 and 34 which urges pins 35 and 36 toward each other and pin 31 into the air cylinder, causing the force holding the doors in the closed position to be even greater. The doors cannot be moved to the open position unless sufficient force is generated by the air cylinder to overcome the locking force and move pin 31 past the outboard side of the line between the axes of pins 35 and 36. At this time, the weight of material above the doors 12 will assist in moving them to the open position.

Despite the fact that the door operating mechanism cannot be moved into the doors-open position without actuating air cylinders 26 and 26a, a positive mechanical locking device is provided to prevent the hopper doors from opening in transit. While a pin could be inserted through a hole in top plate 16 to block movement of my operating assembly, it is preferable to have a locking apparatus that can be controlled from the side of the car.

My locking apparatus comprises a rotatable stop having a lever arm, a link bar, a locking handle and latch. Rotatable stop 60 has a shaft 61 which is journaled in housing 62 on top plate 16 and carries lever arm 63 at one end with a curved elongated stop bar 64 at the other. Locking handle 65 is pivotally attached to the underside of car by pivot pin 66. Link bar 67 pivotally connects operating handle 65 to lever arm 63. Operating handle 65 is notched at 70. Latch plate 71 is fixed to the underside of car 10, and carries U-shaped latch 72 pivotally attached to it. Top housing plate 16 is provided with a hole 75 to accommodate stop bar 64 of rotatable stop 60.

FIG. 5 shows locking handle 65 and stop 60 in the unlocked position. To lock the assembly in the doors closed position, locking handle 65 is raised slightly and latch 72 is moved out of notch 70. Handle 65 is allowed to drop downwardly. As handle 65 pivots about pin 66, link bar 67 moves generally toward center sill 14, rotating lever arm 63 about shaft 61 of stop 60 which causes stop bar 64 to drop downwardly throgh hole 75 into position to block movement oflink 31. In the case that the cylinder 26 is inadvertently actuated,'the presence of stop bar 64 will prevent sufficient movement oflinks 29 and to pass the line between pins and 36, and thus the doors will remain closed.

Unlatching of the stop mechanism is accomplished merely by pulling the handle 65 back into the position shown in FIG. 5, and positioning latch 72 in notch 70. This rotates shaft 61 in the opposite direction and raises stop bar 64 from its blocking position beneath hole 75.

From the foregoing description, it is readily apparent that I have invented a rapid opening and closing door mechanism that can be operated safely by a single individual, with a positive latching mechanism that will not allow hopper doors to open in transit or inadvertently,

and which mechanism can be removed from a hopper bottom as a single unit for servicing.

I claim:

1. In a railway hopper car, having opposed doors on its bottom, an operating mechanism for actuating said doors, said mechanism comprising:

an actuating means;

a pair of levers pivoted intermediate their length to said car, to provide a relatively long arm in one direction from the pivot and a relatively short arm in the other direction from the pivot;

a first pair of links pivotally connecting said short arm of each of said levers to said actuating means on a common axis; and

a second pair of links on each long arm of said levers connecting said long arms of said levers to respective doors.

2. A railway hopper car as defined in claim 1 further comprising a housing for said mechanism which is removably attached to the underside of said hopper car between said doors.

3. A railway hopper car as defined in claim 2 in which said housing has a hole through which a stop member may be inserted into the path of travel of said first pair of links, and a stop member positionable in said hole to prevent movement of said first pair of links.

4. A railway hopper car as defined in claim 3 further comprising a pivotal stop comprising a shaft journaled for rotation in a housing atop the assembly, a lever arm at one end of said shaft and at a right angle thereto and a stop bar at the other end of said shaft adapted for movement through said hole into and out of the path of movement of one of said links, and means for rotating said shaft.

5. A railway hopper car as defined in claim 4 in which said rotating means comprises an operating handle pivoted at one end to the underside of said hopper car, and a link bar pivoted to said handle intermediate its length and pivoted to the lever arm of said stop.

6. A railway hopper car as defined in claim 5 further comprising latching means attached to said hopper car and engageable with said handle.

7. A railway hopper car as defined in claim 1 in which said actuating means is a piston driven by a pneumatic cylinder.

8. A railway hopper car as defined in claim- 1 wherein said doors having an open position in which the ends of the long arms of said levers are urged outwardly, and the pivotal connection of said first pair of links to said actuating means is on the outboard side of a line between the axes of the pivotal connections between said short arms and said first pair of links;

said doors having a closed position in which the ends of the long arms of said levers are closer together than when in the doors-open position, and the pivotal connection of said first pair of links to said actuating means is on the inboard side of the line between the axes of the pivotal connections between said short arms and said first pair .of links.

9. A combination with a container having opposed doors on its bottom of an operating mechanism for actuating said doors, said mechanism comprising;

an actuating means;

a pair of levers pivoted intermediate their length to said car, to provide a relatively long arm in one direction from the pivot and a relatively short arm in the other direction from the pivot;

a first pair of links pivotally connecting said short arm of each of said levers to said actuating means on a common axis; and

a second pair of links on each long arm of said lev'ers connecting said long arms of said levers to respective doors.

10. A combination as defined in claim 9 further comprising a housing for said mechanism whice is removably attached to the underside of said container between said doors.

said first pair of links, at a point between its midpoint and its pivotal connection with said first actuating means, the free end of said other equalizer link being connected to one of said first pair of links of said second operating mechanism at a point between its midpoint and its pivotal connection with said second actuating means.

SUNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Dated February 5 y Patent No. 5,789,772

Inventor s) aran W Bullar'd It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patentare hereby corrected as shown below:

On the cover sheet, the following should be added:

-- Assignee: United States Steel'Cor'poration In item "Aguino" should read Aquino Signed sealed this 5rd day of September 197A.

(SEAL) Attest:

MCCOY M. GIBSON, JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents USCOMM-DC GOING-P69 f u.s. aovrmmnn rnm'rma OFFICE II" 0-306-314.

FORM PO-IOSO (10-69)

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US780761 *Jul 11, 1903Jan 24, 1905Nat Coal Dump Car CompanyDump-car.
US1077299 *Jun 15, 1910Nov 4, 1913Herman C PriebeHopper-car.
US1470149 *Oct 25, 1922Oct 9, 1923Davis James HCar-door-locking mechanism
US2268290 *Sep 15, 1938Dec 30, 1941Landis Miles BDoor operating means
US3515076 *Feb 23, 1967Jun 2, 1970Pullman IncManual or trackway cam hopper car door operating mechanism
US3656437 *Mar 24, 1970Apr 18, 1972United States Steel CorpHopper car door actuating mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4138948 *Apr 27, 1977Feb 13, 1979Pullman IncorporatedRailway hopper car side door actuating mechanism
US7210413Oct 7, 2004May 1, 2007Trn Business TrustUniversal boxcar
US7261044Aug 4, 2005Aug 28, 2007Trinity Industries, Inc.Boxcar with load restraint system
US7305923Oct 7, 2004Dec 11, 2007Trinity Industries, Inc.Universal boxcar with exterior metal surfaces
US7681507May 4, 2006Mar 23, 2010Trn Business TrustRailcar with discharge control system
US7735426Oct 17, 2006Jun 15, 2010Trinity Industries, Inc.Hopper cars with one or more discharge control systems
US7891304Jun 12, 2008Feb 22, 2011Trinity Industries, Inc.Railcar with discharge control system
Classifications
U.S. Classification105/240, 105/251, 105/308.1, 105/290
International ClassificationB61D7/00, B61D7/28
Cooperative ClassificationB61D7/28
European ClassificationB61D7/28
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 31, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: USX CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE, STATELESS
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION (MERGED INTO);REEL/FRAME:005060/0960
Effective date: 19880112