|Publication number||US3800937 A|
|Publication date||Apr 2, 1974|
|Filing date||Aug 9, 1971|
|Priority date||Aug 9, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3800937 A, US 3800937A, US-A-3800937, US3800937 A, US3800937A|
|Original Assignee||Gen Electric|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (15), Classifications (15)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [1 1 Tassie 1 1 CONVEYOR MECHANISM  Inventor: Douglas Pray Tassie, St. George, Vt.
 Assignee: General Electric Co., Burlington, Vt.
 Filed: Aug. 9, 1971 211 Appl. NO.Z' 170,137
 US. Cl 198/131, 89/35 R, 198/137, 198/203  Int. Cl. B65g 15/60, 865g 23/04  Field of Search 198/131, 189, 137,181, 198/203; 104/25; 89/35 R  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,757,786 8/1956 Grebe 198/181 1,653,226 12/1927 Olson 198/137 763,897 6/1904 Hoshor 198/203 3,185,108 5/1968 Muller. 104/25 3,493,097 2/1970 Karr 104/25 3,206,006 9/1965 Meeder et a1 198/181 X Primary Examiner-Richard E. Aegerter Assistant Examiner-.lames W. Miller Attorney, Agent, or FirmBailin L. Kuch  ABSTRACT An endless conveyor system comprises an endless train of cradles, and a triple set of track, each cradle including a pivotal connection to the next proceeding cradle, a left depending and laterally extending foot, a right depending and laterally extending foot and a centrally depending'foofi'the set of track including a left track having a lateral rabbet receiving the cradles left feet, a right track having a lateral rabbet receiving the cradles right feet, and a central track supporting the cradles central feet; whereby said 3 feet of each respective cradle and the central foot of the next succeeding cradle limit the rotation of said respective cradle about the respective axis of the left and right feet of said respective cradle.
1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 2 3974 I N VENTOR.
A TIER/YE? CONVEYOR MECHANISM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of Use This invention relates to an improved conveyor mechanism, particularly to an endless conveyor assembly for linkless rounds of ammunition for high rate of fire weapons systems.
2. Prior Art An endless conveyor system for linkless rounds of ammunition for high rate of fire weapons systems is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,429,221 issued to R.G. Kirkpatrick on Feb. 25, 1969. The Kirkpatrick system has been incorporated into flexible conveyor systems of the type illustrated in passing in U.S. Pat. No. 2,993,415 issued to E.W. Panicci et al. on July 25, 1961. In'these systems, the endless train of rounds cradles is designed to be pulled through the flexible chute. The cradles tend to bind when pushed, because each cradle is free to rotate freely about the transverse axis defined by its feet, whereupon the feet bind in the rabbets of the rails, or the rails bind between the feet and the cradle bodies.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of this invention to provide an endless conveyor system wherein the endless train of rounds cradles may be pushed without binding, as well as pulled, in a convoluted or flexible guide.
A feature of this invention is an endless conveyor system comprising an endless train of cradles, and a triple set of track, each cradle including a pivotal connection to the next proceeding cradle, a left depending and laterally extending foot, a right depending and laterally extending foot and a centrally depending foot; the set of track including a left track having a lateral rabbet receiving the cradles left feet, a right track having a lateral rabbet receiving the cradles right feet, and a central track supporting the cradles central feet; whereby said three feet of each respective cradle and the central foot of the next succeeding cradle limit the rotation of said respective cradle about the respective axis of the left and right feet of said respective cradle.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification thereof when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a portion of an endless conveyor system embodying this invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the system of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is an end elevation view of the system of FIG. 1. cl DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EM- BODIMENT The conveyor system includes an endless train of rounds cradles guided by and within a chute 7.
The chute here shown includes an outer guide shell or conduit 14 and an inner track bed 16 internally supporting a left track 18 having a lateral rabbet 20, a right track 22 having a lateral rabbet 24 and a central track 26.
Each cradle includes a transversely extending platform 28 for supporting a respective round of ammunition 30, a central rib 32 having a depending central foot 34 riding on the central track 26 and a leading lug 36,
a trailing clevis 38, a left depending, laterally extending foot 40 which rides in the left rabbet 20, and a right depending, laterally extending foot 42 which rides in the right rabbet 24. The lug 36 of the next succeeding cradle is pivoted at 44 to the clevis 38 of the next preceding cradle. The relative geometry is such as to permit a limited amount of twist between successive cradles. The relative geometry of the three feet and the lug and the clevis of each cradle is such as to permit a limited amount of flexing at the pivot 44, but not so much as to cause binding ofa foot in its rabbet, or a binding of a rail between a foot and the platform of a cradle. Looking at FIG. 1, it will be seen that counterclockwise rotation of each cradle is limited by its own three feet and the respective rails; while clockwise rotation is limited primarily by its own left and right feet and the central foot of the next succeeding cradle, and secondarily by the constraint on counter-clockwise rotation of said next succeeding cradle and by the constraint on counter-clockwise rotation of the next preceding cradle.
The train of cradles is driven by a pair of sprocket wheels 50 fixed to a transverse shaft 52, the teeth of which pass between adjacent cradle platforms. It will be appreciated that the sprockets effectively push the upstream cradles and pull the down stream cradles. With the system of this invention, a single pair of sprockets can be effective to drive an entire train without binding.
It will be obvious that to minimize friction, the feet may be terminated in rollers, rather than the sliding surfaces here shown.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been here disclosed, other variations will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art which will be within the spirit and scope of the following claims:
What is claimed is:
1. An endless conveyor system comprising:
an endless train of cradles for movement along a longitudinal path;
a drive means; and
a triple set of track extending along said longitudinal path;
each cradle including:
a load supporting platform extending transversely and having a convex longitudinal undersurface,
a leading arm fixed to said platform and projecting longitudinally therefrom,
a trailing arm fixed to said platfonn and projecting longitudinally therefrom;
a transverse axis pivotal connection between the distal end of the leading arm and the distal end of the trailing arm of respective immediately adjacent cradles in said train, said connection permitting limited relative movement of said adjacent cradles in twist and in flex,
only 3 feet which support the load of said platform and engage said track, consisting of:
a left depending and distally laterally extending foot,
a right depending and distally laterally extending foot, an intermediate depending foot spaced longitudinally from said left and right depending feet; said set of track consisting of:
a left track having a lateral rabbet receiving said left foot of each of said cradles,
a right track having a lateral rabbet receiving said right foot of each of said cradles, and an intermediate track supporting the platform loading carried by said intermediate foot of each of said cradles; said left track having an upwardly facing surface for supporting platform loading and a downwardly facing surface for opposing platform tilting about said right track, said right track having an upwardly facing surface for supporting platform loading and a downwardly facing surface for opposing platform tilting about said left track, and said intermediate track having only one functional surface for supporting platform loading via said intermediate foot; and
said drive means including a sprocket having a plurality of cusps, each cusp having a concave longitudinal surface for respectively engaging a convex undersurface of a respective platform and longitudinally translating said platform to thereby push the upstream cradles and pull the downstream cradles in said train;
whereby counter clockwise rotation of an upstream cradle about the transverse axis of its leading pivotal connection is limited by its own three feet and the respective rails, and clockwise rotation of said upstream cradle about the transverse axis of its trailing pivotal connection is limited primarily by its own left and right feet and by the central foot of the immediately adjacent trailing cradle.
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|U.S. Classification||198/803.14, 89/35.1, 198/853|
|International Classification||F41A9/00, B65G17/06, F41A9/76, B65G17/12|
|Cooperative Classification||B65G2201/02, B65G2812/02772, F41A9/76, B65G17/12, B65G17/065|
|European Classification||B65G17/06F, F41A9/76, B65G17/12|