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Publication numberUS3837294 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1974
Filing dateDec 4, 1972
Priority dateDec 4, 1972
Publication numberUS 3837294 A, US 3837294A, US-A-3837294, US3837294 A, US3837294A
InventorsFossett W
Original AssigneeAcf Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cammed railway hopper gate latching apparatus
US 3837294 A
Abstract
A rotatable shaft is mounted along an end of a gravity outlet having locking means mounted thereon for engaging the end portion of the gate to hold the same in closed position. Also mounted on the shaft is at least one locking cam. Upon rotation of the shaft to move the locking means into engagement with the gate, a locking cam engages the surface of a rigid member, deflecting the shaft and then locking the cam in place to hold the locking means in engagement with the gate. When the shaft is rotated in the opposite direction the shaft is again deflected, the cam disengages from the rigid member and the locking means disengages from the gate so that the same can be opened.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 [111 3,837,294 Fossett Sept. 24, 1974 CAMMED RAILWAY HOPPER GATE Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr.

LATCHING APPARATUS Assistant ExaminerI-Ioward Beltran [75] Inventor: Wallace L. Fossett, Weldon Spring Attorney Agent or Flrm Henry Cummmgs Heights, Mo. [73] Assignee: ACF Industries, Incorporated, New [57] ABSTRACT York, N.Y. A rotatable shaft is mounted along an end of a gravity [22] Filed: 4, 1972 outlet having locking means mounted thereon for engaging the end portion of the gate to hold the same in PP 311,881 closed position. Also mounted on the shaft is at least one locking cam. Upon rotation of the shaft to move 52 US. Cl 105/253, 105/282 P, 105/308 P the h means into engagement h t gate a 51 Int. (:1 8611! 7/20, B61d 7/26, B61d 49/00 lock1ng cam engages the shrfacehf a "9 h [58] Field of Search 105/250, 253, 280, 282 R, deflechhg the h and FOCkmg the cam Place 105/232 A 282 P, 305 308 R 308 P to hold the lock1ng means in engagement w1th the gate. When the shaft is rotated in the opposite direc- [56] References Cited tion the shaft is again deflected, the cam disengages UNITED STATES PATENTS from the rigid member and the locking means disengages from the gate so that the same can be opened. 3,707,126 12/1972 Nester 105/282 P 22 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures CAMMED RAILWAY HOPPER GATE LATCI-IING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Gravity outlets for hoppers comprise a mechanism, such as a rack and pinion, for moving a horizontal gate back and forth to close and open the gate in order to discharge the lading therefrom. When such gravity outlets are used on hoppers in railroad cars, it is important to maintain the gate in closed position during transit. In this regard a locking shaft running transversely of the car and parallel to the pinion drive shaft has been provided having a locking arm thereon which, when rotated to the locked position, is designed to hold the gate in place and prevent it opening. Upon rotation of the shaft the gate can be opened by means of the pinion drive shaft.

However, under impact, such as coupling of cars and in transit over uneven tracks, the locking arm has been jarred out of the locked position, thus permitting the gate to open and discharge part or even all of the ladmg.

OBJECTS It therefore is an object of the present invention to provide a means for maintaining the locking arm in locked position under impacts and/or during transit.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a means for maintaining the locking arm in locked position in a simple and economical manner.

Other objects will be apparent from the following description and drawings.

THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective cut-away view of the gravity gate and locking system therefor of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top view of a gravity outlet gate and locking arrangement of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view along the line 33 of FIG.

FIG. 4 is a detail view of the locking cam and cam plate of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of another locking cam shape which could be utilized in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a view of an alternative embodiment of the rigid member wherein the rigid member has a cross section in the form of an angle;

FIG. 7 is a view of an alternative embodiment of the rigid member wherein the rigid member comprises a rectangular tube in cross section;

FIG. 8 is a view of an alternative embodiment of the invention wherein the rigid member comprises a convex surface and an elliptical cam surface is utilized;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a portion of the outlet shown in FIG. 1 illustrating that rigid member 54 may extend only part way across the outlet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION As shown in the drawings, a gravity outlet indicated generally at 10 mounted on the car frame is shown having side slope sheets 12 and 14 and end slope sheets 16 and 18 which are welded or otherwise joined together. The slope sheet flanges 11 have bolt openings therein 15 for affixing the gate to a hopper of a railroad car, overland truck or other transportation vehicle.

A sliding gate indicated generally at 20 is provided having an elongate horizontal portion 22. The gate may have a tapered end portion 24 adapted to cooperate with tapered gate guides 17in sealing the gate in closed position. The other end of the gate 20 may comprise a vertical portion 26 which in the closed position engages a combination pan stiffener and stop 13. The gate may be provided with means for affixing the same to a discharge container or conduit indicated generally at 110. This means may comprise a channel 112 made integral with slope sheet 16 on the closed side of the outlet and a similar channel member 114 on the open side of the outlet.

Means for moving the gate horizontally into the open and closed positions are provided indicated generally at 30. In this regard one or more pinions 32 may be provided which drive racks 34 which are integrally affixed to gate 20 and move the gate into the open and closed positions. Pinions 32 may be driven by a pinion shaft 36 having mounted thereon a capstan 38. Capstan 38 may be rotated manually, or known motive power means attached to capstan 38 and/or shaft 36 to drive the pinions 32 automatically.

Mounted parallel with pinion shaft 36 and extending transversely of the car is a locking means indicated generally at 40 and comprising a locking shaft 42 having mounted thereon at least one locking arm 44 and may have at least one handle 41 thereon. Locking shaft 42 is held in place by means of supports 43. While two locking arms are illustrated in the drawings, it will be obvious that only one or any number of locking arms may be provided on shaft 42 as desired. In order to maintain gate 20 in the locked position, shaft 42 is rotated so that locking arm 44 engages an end portion of the gate to hold the same in closed position, for example, the end of racks 34 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. R0- tation of the locking shaft 42 for example by means of handles 41 in the opposite direction to disengage locking arm 44 will allow the gate to be opened by the rack and pinion arrangement.

However, as mentioned above, the problem of the locking arm being jarred out of position during car coupling and during transit, which allows the gate to be wholly or partly opened by further jarring action is solved in accordance with the present invention by providing a locking cam arrangement indicated generally at 50. In accordance with the present invention a rigid member 52 is mounted parallel with locking shaft 42 all or part way across the car (as shown in FIG. 9). This rigid member is mounted at an incline with respect to the vertical and may as shown in the drawings, comprise an angle (FIG. 6), a rectangular tube (FIG. 7), or a T-member (FIGS. 4 and 5 Furthermore, at least one locking cam 54 is mounted upon locking shaft 42. While, if desired, more than one locking cam may be utilized, only one is illustrated in the drawings and only one is needed for effective operation of the locking arrangement. The locking cam and locking arm are so mounted on shaft 42 that upon rotating shaft 42 so that locking arm 44 engages the end of the gate 20 to hold the same in closed position, locking cam 54 moves along rigid cam plate 52 causing deflection of shaft 42 and/or rigid member 52. When the cam member reaches locked position shown in FIG. 3, shaft 42 assumes its undeflected position.

FIG. 4 illustrates in enlarged form, the camming action which takes place when shaft 42 is rotated to move locking arm 44 into the closed position. As locking arm 44 is moving into the closed position, locking cam 54 engages the lower surface of rigid cam plate 52(a). Specifically, cam surface 55 is moved along surface 52(a) as the shaft 42 deflects. Deflection will generally be at a maximum at about the mid-point 52b of surface 52. When the cam 54 reaches the position 520 deflection of shaft 42 will be essentially completed and no moment or stress will remain on shaft 42.

In general, it has been found that if at least about five foot-pounds of torque are required to move locking cam 54 from the engaged position shown in FIG. 4 that there will be very few, if any, occasions when jarring in transit can even partially open gravity gate 20.

In general, a bar diameter of from about one-half inch to two inches may be utilized for locking shaft 42. During engagement of locking cam 54 on plate 52 a deflection of about A to /2 inch may be utilized, depending upon the size of the bar and the distance from the locking cam to the nearest shaft support 43. In general, less deflection is required the nearer the locking cam is placed to the nearest shaft support 43. For example, with a inch diameter bar with the locking cam about 2 feet from the lock shaft support a deflection of about if; of an inch has been found to be satisfactory.

As indicated above, work of about foot-pounds is sufficient to insure that the locking cam will maintain the locking arm in engagement with the gate and hence hold the gate in place. For manual rotation of shaft 42 for example by means of handles 41, a force of about 30 foot-pounds is believed to be of the approximate maximum amount of torque one man can exert without a bar. An amount of up to about 50 foot-pounds could be utilized if bars were utilized to rotate shaft 42. In this case a capstan 58 having an opening therein 59 would be provided at the end of locking shaft instead of handle 41, as shown dotted in FIG. 1.

In order to unlock the gravity outlet it is merely necessary to rotate locking shaft 42 in the opposite direction to overcome the torque and deflect the shaft 42 as cam 54 moves from position 52c to 52a in FIG. 4 and then out of engagement with rigid member 52. At the same time locking arm 44 is rotated out of position and the gate may be moved to the open position for unloading, for example, by pinions 32.

Instead of the cam shape illustrated in FIG. 4, other cam shapes may be utilized to deflect shaft 42 and apply the locking torque. One example is shown in FIG. 5 wherein a semi-circular cam portion 55a is illustrated. If desired the cam, shape may be elliptical as shown in FIG. 8 at 55b. Other shapes for the cam surface will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

While surface of rigid member 52 has been illustrated as flat, it could have other shapes. For example, it could be made convex as shown in FIG. 8 at 57. Also, portions of rigid member 52 may deflect slightly in operation. Such variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for locking a gravity outlet comprising:

a locking shaft mounted generally parallel to the end portion of a gravity gate in closed position; said shaft having locking means thereon for engaging said gate to hold the same in the closed position; at

least one rigid member mounted adjacent to said locking shaft; said locking shaft also having cam means thereon comprising at least one locking cam having a cam surface adapted to engage said rigid member upon application of a rotational force to said shaft sufficient to at least partly deflect at least one of said shaft and said rigid member when said rigid member and said cam are interengaged whereby said cam is rotated to a locked position with respect to said rigid member whereby the cam means maintains said locking means in engagement with said gravity gate and maintain said gravity gate in closed position until such time as said locking shaft is rotated to effect deflection and move said cam means past said rigid member to disengage said cam means from said locked position and disengage said locking means from said gravity gate.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said rigid member comprises a flat surface mounted at an incline with respect to the vertical.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said rigid member comprises a T-member.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said rigid member comprises a tube rectangular in cross section.

5. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said rigid member comprises an angle.

6. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said locking means comprises at least one locking arm adapted to engage said gate and maintain the same in closed position.

7. A gravity outlet comprising:

side and end slope sheets converging to define an opening; a gate movable between an open position wherein a lading can pass through said opening and a closed position wherein said gate closes said opening; means for moving said gate between said open and closed positions; a locking shaft mounted generally perpendicular to the direction of movement of said gate; said shaft having locking means mounted thereon for engaging said gate and holding the same in closed position; at least one rigid member mounted adjacent to said locking shaft; said locking shaft further having cam means thereon comprising at least one locking cam which upon application of sufficient rotational force to at least partly deflect one of said shaft and said rigid member when said rigid member and said cam are interengaged, said cam means assumes a locked position with respect to said rigid member whereby the cam means maintains said locking means in engagement with said gate and maintains said gate in closed position until such time as said shaft is rotated to effected deflection and move said cam means past said rigid member to disengage said cam means from said locked position and disengage said locking means from said gravity gate.

8. Apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said lock ing means comprises at least one locking arm.

9. Apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said lock- 5 ing shaft deflects as said locking cam is moved into a 11. Apparatus according to claim 9 wherein a torque of at least 5 foot-pounds is required to move said locking cam into locked position on said rigid member.

12. Apparatus according to claim 9 wherein said rigid member has a surface inclined with respect to the vertical to engage said cam.

13. Apparatus according to claim 12, wherein said locking cam has a curved surface which engages the inclined surface on said rigid member.

14. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein the shape of the cam on said cam lock is generally elliptical.

15. Apparatus according to claim wherein the shape of said cam is at least partially circularf 16. Apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said rigid member is a T-section. v i

17. Apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said rigid a plurality of hoppers mounted upon a frame, said hoppers having mounted thereon a gravity outlet at the lower end thereof;

said outlet comprising:

a locking shaft mounted generally parallel to the closed end portion of a gravity gate; said shaft having locking means thereon for engaging said gate to hold the same in the closed position, at least one rigid member mounted adjacent to said locking shaft; said shaft also having cam means thereon comprising at least one locking cam which upon application of sufficient rotational force to at least partly deflect one of said locking shaft and said rigid member when said rigid member and said cam are: intei'engajged, the czim means assumes a lpcked position with respect to said rigid member whereby the cam means maintains said locking means in engagement with said gravity gate and maintains said gravity gate in closed position until such time as said locking shaft is rotated to effect deflection and move said cam means past said rigid member to disengage said locking cam from said rigid member and disengage said locking means from said gravity gate.

22. A railway car according to claim 21 wherein said locking means comprises at least one locking arm.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3707126 *Jul 13, 1970Jul 19, 1983 Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4207822 *May 4, 1978Jun 17, 1980Acf Industries, IncorporatedHopper car outlet gate assembly
US4224878 *Jun 16, 1978Sep 30, 1980Pullman IncorporatedHopper car door locking mechanism
US4224879 *Jun 12, 1978Sep 30, 1980Keystone Industries, Inc.Railway hopper car door latch
US5353713 *Oct 1, 1993Oct 11, 1994White Welding And Mfg., Inc.Apparatus for controlling operation of a railcar discharge gate assembly having a lost motion mechanism for unlocking the gate prior to movement
US5584251 *Jul 10, 1995Dec 17, 1996Keystone Industries, Inc.Railway car outlet gate assembly with automatic lock
US5671684 *Aug 29, 1996Sep 30, 1997Keystone Industries, Inc.Railway car outlet gate assembly with automatic lock
US5829359 *Sep 13, 1996Nov 3, 1998Miner Enterprises, Inc.Railway hopper car discharge gate assembly
US6899038Oct 15, 2003May 31, 2005Miner Enterprises, Inc.Railroad hopper car discharge gate assembly
US7806057 *Jul 3, 2007Oct 5, 2010Aero Transportation Products, Inc.Hopper car gate with opposed double doors
US7814842 *Oct 19, 2010Aero Transportation Products, Inc.Hopper car gate with a laterally opening door
US8371235 *Feb 12, 2013Aero Transportation Products, Inc.Vacuum and gravity discharge hopper car gate
US8746152Sep 15, 2011Jun 10, 2014Miner Enterprises, Inc.Low profile discharge gate assembly for a railroad hopper car
US8752487Aug 23, 2012Jun 17, 2014Miner Enterprises, Inc.Low profile discharge gate assembly for a railroad hopper car
US9393970 *Apr 22, 2014Jul 19, 2016Miner Enterprises, Inc.Railroad hopper car discharge gate assembly and related method for influencing gravitational discharge of material from a railroad hopper car
US20050081741 *Oct 15, 2003Apr 21, 2005Fortuna Rudolph S.Railroad hopper car discharge gate assembly
US20090007813 *Jul 3, 2007Jan 8, 2009Early Stephen RHopper car gate with opposed double doors
US20100107924 *Nov 5, 2008May 6, 2010Early Stephen RHopper Car Gate with a Laterally Opening Door
US20150298709 *Apr 22, 2014Oct 22, 2015Brian A. SennRailroad hopper car discharge gate assembly and related method for influencing gravitational discharge of material from a railroad hopper car
USRE35925 *Oct 8, 1996Oct 20, 1998Miner Enterprises, Inc.Apparatus for controlling operation of a railcar discharge gate assembly having a lost motion mechanism for unlocking the gate prior to movement
Classifications
U.S. Classification105/253, 105/282.3, 105/310.1
International ClassificationB61D7/00, B61D7/20
Cooperative ClassificationB61D7/20
European ClassificationB61D7/20