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Publication numberUS3844524 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1974
Filing dateOct 30, 1972
Priority dateOct 30, 1972
Publication numberUS 3844524 A, US 3844524A, US-A-3844524, US3844524 A, US3844524A
InventorsAlbers B, Fisher H, Luczak J
Original AssigneePennsylvania Engineering Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Concrete molding machine
US 3844524 A
Abstract
A machine for molding concrete slabs comprises several panels which are supported vertically on rollers for moving on a horizontal track. The spaced apart panels define mold cavities between them. Concrete may be admitted to the open top of each cavity. The cavity sides and bottom are enclosed by frame members which are equal in width to the thickness of the slab that is molded. The side frame members swing out for demolding. The panels and slabs are clamped between a stationary end panel and a movable end panel during molding. The movable panels are equipped with sliding bolts which can be extended to be intercepted by special lug links on a moving chain to permit selective movement of the panels. Hydraulic means are provided for producing a clamping force on the panels. The panels can also be equipped with a hot liquid piping system for decreasing the set time of the concrete.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Fisher et al.

[111 3,844,524 [451 Oct. 29, 1974 1 1 CONCRETE MOLDING MACHINE Castle, Pa.

[73] Assignee: Pennsylvania Engineering Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa.

[22] Filed: Oct. 30, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 301,964

[52] US. Cl 249/120, 249/129, 249/161, 249/170, 425/182, 425/441, 425/450 [51] Int. Cl B28b 7/24 [58] Field of Search... 249/119, 120, 129, 160-162,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,075,240 l/1963 Cusavina et al. 425/450 X 3,220,692 ll/l965 Eklund 249/161 3,360,231 12/1967 Van Hezik 1 249/129 3,488,817 1/1970 Katz 249/160 X 3,519,243 7/1970 Kleiber et al. 249/119 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,213,141 11/1970 Great Britain 249/119 Primary ExaminerCharles W. Lanham Assistant Examiner-Carl E. Hall Attorney, Agent, or FirmFred Wiviott; Ralph G. Hohenfeldt 5 7 ABSTRACT A machine for molding concrete slabs comprises several panels which are supported vertically on rollers for moving on a horizontal track. The spaced apart panels define mold cavities between them. Concrete may be admitted to the open top of each cavity. The

cavity sides and bottom are enclosed by frame members which are equal in width to the thickness of the slab that is molded. The side frame members swing out for demolding. The panels and slabs are clamped between a stationary end panel and a movable end panel during molding. The movable panels are equipped with sliding bolts which can be extended to be intercepted by special lug links on a moving chain to permit selective movement of the panels. Hydraulic means are provided for producing a clamping force on the panels. The panels can also be equipped with a hot liquid piping system for decreasing the set time of the concrete.

. 21' Claims, 16 Drawing Figures ,7 "l "1 L M111 misusin U 1 :ii iii: 1 A l 41 ll Fiji D it U 3? PAIENIEMma m4 3844324 sum IBM 11 PMENIEBnmewu 3.844524 SHEET "us or U PAIENIEunms-mu SHEET 100F 11 CONCRETE MOLDING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a machine for molding several concrete slabs at one time.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The new molding machine comprises groups of juxtaposed mold panels which are supported vertically on upper and lower sets of rollers that permit the panels to be translated longitudinally and selectively on horizontal tracks. The panels have opposed face plates. The spaces between the panels define mold cavities which are open. at the top to receive concrete. The thickness,

bolted to vertically disposed beams which are on pivotable adjustment devices which are supported on the mold defining panels. These beams may be pivoted out of the way along with the side frame members to facilitate demolding and they may be adjusted inwardly and outwardly between the panels to set the slab widths.

The group of molds is compressed by means of a movable end panel to which clamping forces are applied at its upper and lower regions. The movable pan els react against a stationary end panel which is pivoted at its bottom and secured against pivoting by adjustable members that enable plumbing the end panel to thereby assure that the faces of the slabs will be parallel and square with the ends. The clamping devices for the movable end panel may be released so that the end panel and one or more of the intermediate panels may be selectively transported on the horizontal tracks to a demolding area.

A chain driven by a hydraulic motor runs along the sides of the mold panels. Each panel is equipped with an advanceable and retractable pin or sliding bolt which may be extended into the path of a lug carried by the chain so as to enable transport of the mold defining panels and-themolded concrete slabs to the demolding station.

An object of this invention is to provide a molding machine having novel means for clamping the mold defining panels at the top and bottom to resist the expansive forces incidental to molding and to assure that dimensional tolerances of the molded slabs are maintained.

Another object of this invention is to provide novel means for selectively moving the mold panels individually or collectively by use of power driven means to thereby facilitate demolding and preparation of the mold group for another molding cycle.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a molding machine for concrete slabs wherein the mold cavities'are defined by frame members at the sides and bottom which members define the thickness of the molded slab and are easily exchangeable so. that the machine may be adapted for making panels of different thicknesses and widths without undergoing excessive production downtime.

Yet another object of this invention is ,to provide a slab molding machine wherein the side frame members defining the mold cavities are supported on pivotable devices which have adjustment means for conveniently establishing the width of the mold cavities by advancing or withdrawing the members with respect to the mold cavities.

Still another object of the invention is to provide panel members for slab molding machines which are equipped with internal piping for facilitating circulation of hot liquids through the panel to thereby reduce the set time of the concrete.

How the foregoing and other more specific objects of the an internally threaded element pivotally supported on an inner element, and an adjusting screw extending through said internally threaded element, invention are achieved will appear in the more detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention which will be set forth shortly hereinafter in reference to the drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 1 FIG. 1 is a side elevation view, with some parts re moved, of a concrete slab molding machine comprised of two groups of molds;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of one of the groups of molds shown in FIG. 1 with some parts shown fragmentarily and other parts removed;

FIG. 3 is an offset end elevation view of the machine shown in FIG. 1 with certain parts removed and others being shown fragmentarily;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the molding machine, with parts removed, in conjunction with the apparatus for handling the concrete slurry from which the slabs are molded;

FIG. 5 is an elevation view of a typical roller carriage support for the bottom frame members of. the mold cavities; g I

FIG. 6 is a side view of the parts shown in the preceding figure;

FIG. 7 shows the manner in which the movable mold panels are supported on rollers running on a horizontal track;

FIG. 8 shows the details of a sprocket and chain assembly used for translating the molds on a horizontal track;

FIG. 9 shows the hydraulic motor drive for the mol translating chain in conjunction with a slide-bolt assembly which couples the chain and the molds, certain parts being shown in sections and others being shownfragmentarily;

FIG. 10 shows, partially in section, the details of the idler sprocket and chain tension adjusting means together with a fragment of a roller mounted intermediate panel; I

FIGS. 11 and 12 are respectively side and end views of the slide-bolt mechanisms used for engaging the mold panels with a transport chain;

FIG. 13 is a plan view of a mechanism for adjusting the width of the molded panels and for enabling the side frame members to be swung out for demolding;

FIG. 14 is an end view of the adjustment mechanism shown in the preceding figure with the mold panel part omitted; and

FIG. 15 is a section taken through a plane corresponding with 15-15 in FIG. 14; and

FIG. 16 is a schematic diagram showing a group of intermediate panels equipped with an internal piping system.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The general features of the concrete slab molding machine will be described in reference to FIGS. 1-3 to which attention is now invited. FIGS. 1 and 3, particularly, show that the molding machine is supported on a concrete floor in which there is a pit 11 that accommodates some of the components thereof. There are a series of longitudinally spaced apart I-beam columns such as 12, 13 and 14 supported on the floor footings on opposite sides of the machine. These columns support a pair of horizontal and longitudinally extending I-beams 15 and 15 which have rails 16 and 17 welded to their top flanges.

Supported on rails 16 and 17 are a group of intermediate mold panels 18-22. There is also a complementary group of panels 23 to the right of the group 18-22 in FIG. 1 but since the two groups are similarly constructed and merely increase the capacity of the molding machine, only one of them will be described in detail. The two groups of molded panels are symmetrical about an open central demolding area 24.

Intermediate panel 22 is typical of the panels 18-22 which are all the same. Panel 22 comprises two parallel face plates 30 and 31. Extending laterally across the space between face plates 30 and 31 are several vertically spaced apart laterally extending box beams 32, only one of which is shown in hidden lines in FIG. 1. These box beams are welded near their ends and at other places to the face plates so as to impart stiffness to the box-like intermediate planels and maintain the face plates 30 and 31 in parallelism. The sides of the panels 18-22 as viewed in FIG. 1 are enclosed by vertically extending box beams such as 33 and which appears as a flat surface in elevation in FIG. 1. A cross section ofa rear side vertically extending box beam 33' appears between the face plates 40 and 41 of a fragment of intermediate panel 21 which is shown in FIG. 13. It will be understood that the vertical end enclosing box beams 33 and 33' are similar in all of the intermediate panels 18-22.

As can be seen in FIG. 3, there are laterally oppositely directed I-beams 34 and 35 extending from the intermediate panels. The rear side extension 35 has a roller 37 which runs on a rail 16 that is supported on the longitudinally extending horizontal beam 17. Similarly, the front side extension 34 has a roller 36 which runs on a rail 17 that is supported on horizontal beam 15. All of the intermediate mold panels 18-22 are similarly equipped at their upper ends with pairs of rollers. Thus, the intermediate panels 18-22 may be selectively translated bidirectionally on rails 16 and 17 toward and away from the central demolding region 24.

The panel 21 next adjacent panel 22 is similarly constructed to the latter and has a pair of parallel face plates marked 40 and 41, which are like face plates 30 and 31. Face plate 40 of panel 21 is spaced from face plate 30 of panel 22 to thereby create a mold cavity 42 between the face plates. The arrangement may be seen particularly well in FIG. 13. The bottom of cavity 42 is closed by a laterally extending frame member 43 which is bolted onto a laterally extending I-beam 44 as can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 6. The frame members can be constructed of wood, wood and steel, or steel alone as desired. In the drawings the frame members are shown as wood frame members. The width of frame member 43 governs the thickness of the concrete panel which is molded in the cavity 42. As can be seen in FIG. 1, all of the mold cavities have frame members such as 43 extending across their bottom and all are similarly supported on laterally extending I-beams such as 44 which are, in turn, supported on carriages as will be explained in reference to FIGS. 5 and 6.

The manner in which the weight of the molded concrete slab in a mold cavity is supported and the manner in which the slabs are transported with the mold forming panels is evident in FIGS. 5 and 6. In these figures one may see that the laterally extending I-beams 44 rest in a carriage assembly 45 which has pairs of rollers 46 and 47 on opposite sides. The l-beam 44 fits between two parallel plates 48 and 49 which span between another pair of perpendicular parallel plates to which they are welded. The top flange of I-beam 44 supports a bottom frame member 43 for a typical mold cavity 42. As explained, a frame member such as 43 is interposed between the face plate 30 of one mold panel and the opposite face plate 40 of another panel to define the closed-bottom mold cavity 42. The carriages 45 roll on the upper flanges of a pair of channels 61 and 62 which extend longitudinally of the machine in the pit 11 and serve as tracks. There are several carriages 45 supporting each lateral l-beam 44 as can be seen in FIG. 3.

There is a post 53 welded to the base flange of l-beam 44. This element is vertically adjustable with respect to the carriage element 45. Post 53 is guided between plates 48 and 49. The walls of post 53 are provided with aligned holes such as 54 and 55 which can be positioned vertically to register with holes 56 and 57 in plates 48 and 49. The post may be supported in carriage 45 by means of a pin, not shown, which passes through the sets of holes 54-57 when they are aligned. In this manner, post 53 by use of the sets of holes such as 54 and 55 may be raised and lowered to correspondingly raise and lower the bottom wood frame member 43 in the bottom of mold cavity 42. This facilitates molding concrete slabs with different height dimensions from time to time.

The front and rear sides of mold cavities such as 42 are also enclosed by vertical frame members 58 and 59 as can be seen in FIG. 2 and in FIG. 13 where member 58 is visible. The vertically disposed face of the side frame members 58 may be seen in FIG. 1. These side frame members are fastened by any suitable means, not shown, lengthwise of vertically extending l-beams such as l-beam 60. The l-beams 60 are supported from upper and lower hinge assemblies such as 63 and 64 which are fastened to the rigid intermediate mold panel such as 21. The hinge assemblies permit the side members to be swung out during the demolding operation. These hinge assemblies are more aptly described as side frame adjustment mechanisms and a typical one is shown in detail in FIGS. 13-15 which will now be discussed.

FIG. 13 shows a horizontal section of two vertically extending face plates 40 and 41 that comprise an intermediate mold panel such as 21, which is next adjacent an intermediate panel 22. Vertically extending box beams 33 are welded between face plates 40 and 41 on a typical intermediate panel 21 to stiffen the panel and provide a base on which a side frame adjustment mechanism bracket 66 may be welded or otherwise fastened. This bracket 66 is part of a hinge mechanism which allows the vertically extending side frames 58 to be swung out from the mold cavity space 42 for facilitating demolding of a concrete slab formed therein. In FIG. 13, a typical mold cavity 42 is formed between the face plate of one intermediate panel and the opposite face plate 30 of the next adjacent intermediate mold panel. The mechanism in FIG. 13 also facilitates adjusting side frame member 58 inwardly or outwardly of mold cavity 42 in accordance with the width of the concrete slab that is desired. The side frame members 58 may be fastened to their supporting vertically extending I-beams 60 by any suitable means such as with screws 67.

Each vertical I-beam 60 that supports a side frame member 58 has welded to its outside flange at least a pair of vertically spaced collars 70. Collar has a socket or bore 71 for receiving the unthreaded end 72 of an adjustment screw 73. The adjustment screw 73 passes through an internally threaded block element 74 which is supported on a clevis 75 in which there are a pair of vertically extending pins 76 and 775 As can be seen in FIG. 15, block 74 has pin holes 78 which receive the pins and permit the block to pivot in a horizontal plane. The adjusting screw 73 has a lock nut 79 which can be tightened against block 74 to prevent screw 73 from turning inadvertently after it has been adjusted for a particular width of concrete slab. As can be seen clearly in FIG. 15, the clevis 75 on which block 75 is pivoted, is fastened to an inner element 80 which is adapted to telescope longitudinally within an outer element 81. The inner element 80 has an end plate 82 welded exclusively into it. End plate 82 has a threaded hole 83 whichis occupied by a socket headed adjusting screw 84. The outer element 81 has a plate 85'welded into it and it also has an end plate 86 with a central hole 87 through which an Allen wrench may be inserted to engage the head of screw 84 and turn it. By this means, the center line of the large adjusting scrcw73 may be aligned accurately with the center of the bores 71 in the collars 70 which are attached to the vertical I-beams that support the side frames 58, regardless of the width of the side frame members that are used.

As can be seen in FIG. 14, the outer element 81 is welded to a pivotable yoke 88 which pivots on a pin 89 that extends vertically through bracket 66. Also provided is a locking pin 90 which is attached to bracket 66 by means of a chain 91 which has one of its ends welded to the pin and the other to the bracket. The locking pin 90 constrains yoke 88 from pivoting.

When pin 90 is removed, the yoke 88 and inner and outer elements 80 and 81 can pivot on pin 89 and the main adjusting screw 73 can pivot about the axes of pin 76, 77 so as to permit withdrawal of frame member '58 from the end of the mold cavity 42. This makes demolding the concrete slabs and cleaning of the mold cavities and end frame members easy. When another group of concrete slabs is to be molded the frame members 58, 59 are repositioned between adjacent face plates such as 30 and 40. All of the locking pins 90 are then inserted and the mold panels are compressed so as to define mold cavities of uniform thickness between them. Screws 73 only need to be adjusted when it is de sired to set a new slab width.

By referring to FIG. 1, one may see that the group of intermediate moldpanels 18-22 are compressed between a stationary end panel-95 and a movable end panel 96 during a molding operation. The movable end panel 96 is equipped with rollers 38 so it can move on the horizontal tracks 16 and 17 which support the in-- termediate panels 18-22, Stationary end panel 95 absorbs the compressive force which is generated by applying horizontally directed forces to movable end panel 96.

Stationary end panel 95 is pivoted for limited movement on several pins 97 which are supported in the base of the machine. Several upstanding legs 98, 99 and others, see FIG. 3, extend upwardly from the base. The members 98, 99 are stiff and resist the compressive forces which are exerted normal to the planes of the mold panels 18-22 during molding. Extending horizontally from the upper ends of leg members 98, 99 are adjusting screws such as 100 which engage by means of a clevis 101 to a bracket 102 on the outside'of stationary end panel 95. The screws. 100' may be advanced and retracted to adjust the plumb of stationary end panel 95.

The group of intermediate mold panels 18-22 are 7 some tie-rods 105 extending lengthwise of the molding machine in the pit 11. There is actually a pair of such rods 105 which are connected by means of an equalizer 106 to a force producing device such' as the ram of a hydraulic cylinder 107. There may be several hydraulic serted on'and removed from the tie-rods manually.-

When the blocks 108 are in place, they react against stationary nuts 109 on the tie-rods which nuts prevent the blocks from yielding axially. The blocks 108 are interposed tightly between the stop nuts 109 and a plate 110. When the blocks 109 are removed, the plate 110 and hence movable endpanel 96 may shift to the right as viewed in FIG. 1 so as to allow the battery of molds to be .decompressed and translated, if desired, to the demolding region 24 in the machine. To ready the machine for molding, the roller carried mold panels 18-22 and 96 are'shifted as far-as they will go to the left in the leftportion of FIG. 1 and the tie-rods are extended to the right under the influence of hydraulic ram 107. This provides a free space for depositing the compression blocks 109. After the latter are in place, the hydraulic ram 107 may be pressurized so as to cause a retracting force on the tie-rods which compresses the movable end panel 96 at its bottom.

Means are also provided for exerting a compressive force at the top of movable end panel 96. As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the upper end of the end panel 96 has a pair of brackets 110 in which there are slots 111. These slots are engageable by pins 112 which extend laterally from the tie-rods 114' which in turn connect to a hinge clevis 115. The clevis 115 is coupled with a force producing device which in this case is the ram of a double acting hydraulic'cylinder 116. When the cylinder 116 is extended to, the right in the left panel of the machine as viewed in FIG. 1, the laterally extending pins 112 slide out of slots 111 so as to free the movable end panel 96 for movement to the right. The tie-rods 114 are swung upwardly on hinge clevis 115 so that there is no interference with the movement of the end panel 96. When the upper pins 112 are engaged with the slot 111 in the upper bracket 110 and the lower blocks 109 are in place, the upper 116 and lower 107 hydraulic rams are pressurized and a compressive force is exerted on end panel 96. This compresses the intermediate panels and the side and bottom frames which define the mold cavities at which time the machine is prepared for molding a group of concrete slabs.

Before discussing in detail the means for opening or separating the panel groups, the embodiment of the invention which provides an internal piping system within the panels will be described. In most concrete slab processing plants time is of extreme importance and the industry has been searching for ways of decreasing the time the mold must be kept around each slab. It is possible to modify the panels of this invention (intermediate panels, fixed end panel, and movable end panel) so that they include internal piping systems. Hot liquid is circulated through the piping system to uniformly heat the inner surface of the panel and the concrete in the mold cavities thereby shortening the set time. Conventional set times for concrete molding operations are on the order of l2-l4 hours, while if the hot liquid piping system is employed the set time may be reduced to less than 4 hours. Daily production then from each machine can be tripled by using this modification of the invention. Water can be used as the circulating liquid although it is more advantageous to use higher boiling organic materials such as oils.

For purposes of illustration only, FIG. 16 shows an intermediate panel 200. A pipe 207 traverses the panel and is provided with inlet means 208 and outlet means 209 for connecting to the hot liquid supply and collection means not shown. Since the entire invention is designed for ease of modification for molded slabs of different sizes, the pipe of each panel system is connectable to adjacent panels by connecting inlet 208 to outlet 209 of an adjacent intermediate or end panel. The connection may be a threaded connection, a clamp connection or any other type of leakproof connection known to the art. Of course, other designs of the piping system can be employed, the only requirement being that the entire internal surface of the panel be heated as uniformly as possible. Obviously, the outlet from one intermediate panel group could be attached to the inlet of an end panel, etc. Also both inlet and outlet could be on the same end of the panel.

To close a panel group in preparation for molding concrete slabs, only rolling friction of the intermediate panels 18-22 and the movable end panel 96 needs to be overcome. To open the group, the adhesion between the steel face plates of the mold panels and the concrete slabs has to be overcome. In accordance with the invention, means are provided to move one mold panel at a time in either direction: Means for opening or separating the panels in a group and for translating a panel at a time will now be described.

For the purpose just stated, there is a translating means such as closed loop chain 121 running lengthwise of front side longitudinally extending horizontal beam 15, as can be seen in FIG. 1, where the chain appears in hidden lines. Sag of the chain is prevented by letting it slide on a bar 117 which appears in hidden lines in FIG. 1. There is a similar chain 122 running parallel to rear side horizontal beam 14. The intermediate mold panels 18-22 and the movable end panel 96 are transported on horizontal rails 16 and 17 by means of chain belt 121 and by a similar chain belt 122, which appears in FIG. 9, for example. In FIG. 1, one may see that there is a drive shaft 123 extending laterally across the right end of the machine which means normal to the plane of the drawing sheet in this view. The drive shaft 123 is supported at one end in a bearing capsule 124, which is mounted on beam 15 and in another similar bearing capsule 125, which is mounted on the rear beam 14 as can be seen in FIG. 9. A drive sprocket 126. is keyed on drive shaft 123 adjacent beam 14 and a bearing assembly 125. There is a similar drive sprocket on shaft 123 immediately inside of front I-beam 15, as viewed in FIG. 1. In FIG. 9 one may see that drive shaft 123 is joined by means of a coupling 127 to the shaft 128 of a reversible hydraulic motor 129. The closed loop chains 121 and 122 extend lengthwise of beams 15 and 14, respectively, to idler sprocket mounting assemblies such as 130 in FIG. 1.

The details of an idler sprocket assembly 131, which is the rear one, may be seen in FIGS. 8 and 10. In FIG. 10, one may see that a typical idler sprocket 131 is keyed to a shaft 132, which has its opposite ends mounted in slidable bearing capsules 133 and 134. The longitudinally extending I-beam 14 is slotted lengthwise as at 135 to allow for longitudinal adjustment of bearing capsules 133 with bolts 142 to thereby control the tension in chains 121 and 122. In FIG. 8, one may see how the bearing capsule 133 is slidable in a slot 135 so that when a capsule moves to the right in this figure, increased tension on the chain 122 will result. The bearing capsule 133 can be adjusted by member 140, which is engaged by the head 141 of a chain tension adjusting bolt 142. There is a tension adjusting nut 144 on one side of an end plate 143 through which the bolt 142 passes, and there is a jam nut 145 on the other side of the end plate. A short sleeve 146 on bolt 142 serves as a stop to limit the amount of tension that can be placed on chain 122 by adjusting nut 144. Similar tension adjusting means are provided for bearing capsule 134. The typical rear chain 122 is shown in FIG. 8, and is similar to front chain 121, has a special link 147 which extends from the plane of the chain and serves as a lug for engaging a pin or slide-bolt such as the one marked 148 in FIG. 8. These bolts may be extended and retracted laterally with respect to the mold panels 18-22 and the movable end panel 96 on which they are also carried so that the panels may be selectivelyengaged by the chains and translated in either direction on the horizontal rails 16 and 17. In FIG. 8, a typical wheel 37 for supporting an intermediate mold panel or the movable end panel is shown bearing on track 16, which is, in turn, supported on the I-beam 14.

How the slide-bolts 148 may be advanced into the path of translating lug or specialized chain link-147 may be seen in FIGS. 9 and 10 which show the chain 122 running along rear l-beam 14. Each of the intermediate mold panels 18-22 and the movable end panel 96 has a pair of laterally slidable bolts 148, their sides next to the chains. A typical mounting for a sliding bolt 148 may be described conveniently in reference to FIGS. 9, 11 and 12. The slide-bolt 148, as can be seen in FIG. 12, is slidable within a sleeve 149, which is welded on the web 150 of the short I-beam 35 which extends laterally from a mold panel. The bolt 148 is capable of being turned and slid by manual force exerted on a handle 151 which projects radially from the bolt 148 and is welded thereto. Sleeve 149 and semi-circular slots 152 and 153 which are joined by an axial slot 154. It will be evident from inspection of FIGS. 9 and 12 that handle 151 can be rotated manually from its vertical position, as shown, to a horizontal position wherein it extends normal to the plane of the drawing, after which the handle may be slid along the axial slot 154 and returned to its downward position wherein it is again locked by slot 153. Sliding the pin back axially, retracts it from the path of lug 147 and disengages the particular mold panel or movable end panel to which the pin is mounted from the chain. Converse action restores the bolts to the chain lug path as depicted in FIGS. 9-12. Thus, pairs of slide-bolts on a panel may be actuated to selectively engage a panel with the translatable chain lug so one panel can be moved at a time.

FIG. 4 shows the apparatus for charging the molding machine with concrete slurry to make several concrete slabs at one time. Most of the structural details of the molding machine are omitted in FIG. 4 for the sake of clarity. Thisfigure shows, however, how the stationary end panel 95 and the movable end panel 96 are compressed toward each other to define with the intermediate panels 18-22 a plurality of mold cavities 42. The mold cavities 42 are open on the top and it will be recalled that the sides thereof and bottom are closed by frame members. The bridge 161 of a gantry crane extends over the machine. This gantry has a leg 162 and a truck assembly 163 which has wheels 164 that run on rails 165 which are set in the concrete floor. Another end of gantry crane bridge 161 has an end truck assembly 166 provided with wheels 1657 that run on a rail 168 which is supported on a beam 169. The beam 169 is, in turn, supported on brackets 170, which are welded to vertical columns 171, that rests on the floor or suitable concrete footings.

The gantry crane actually has two bridge beams 161 spaced apart from each other in parallel, although this is not visible in FIG. 4. At any rate, there is a wheeled carriage 172 running on the bridge 161. This carriage supports a distribution hopper 173 which has a top opening for receiving concrete slurry. The hopper is provided with a pair of discharge gates 174 and 175 which swing on horizontal shafts 176. The gates are in terconnected by a mechanism, not shown, which' causes them to swing equiangularly toward an open position under the influence of a hydraulic operator 177. A motor and a set of gears, neither of which are shown, are used to translate the carriage 172 back and forth on the beams 161. The means for driving the gantry crane along the tracks 165 and 167 have also been omitted.

The open-topped hopper 173 may be positioned on the gantry crane bridge as shown in phantom in FIG. 4 so as to enable the hopper 173 to be charged with concrete slurry from a traveling bucket 180. The bucket 180 has an opening in its top for receiving concrete from a chute 181, which leads to a source, not shown, of mixed concrete slurry. Bucket 180 is mounted on a carriage 182 for translation on l-beam rails 183 and 184. These rails may extend over several molding machines so that they can all be charged with concrete received from the single chutel81. The bucket 180 is, of course, loaded under the chute 181 and then transported to alignment with the charging hopper, which is carried on a gantry crane associated with a particular molding machine. With this arrangement, traveling bucket 180 may be used to fill a charging bucket 173 associated with one machine and the bucket may be translated to the next machine while the hopper from the first machine is dispensing concrete into the mold cavities.

The operating sequence of the concrete slab molding machine may now be recapitulated. The first steps in setting up the machine for molding concrete slabs of a selected width, height and thickness is to anchor the bottom frame members 43 on the roller-carried I- beams 44 to define the bottom of a mold cavity. Then the side frames 58 and 59 are anchored on a swingable vertical l-beam 60. The amount by which the side frames enter the mold cavity space 42 between adjacent mold panels determines the width of the panel.

The setting of these side frames is accomplished with the adjusting bolts 73, which were discussed in connection with FIG. 14. The height of the mold panel cavities is determined by the horizontal elevation of the bottom frames 43, which may be selectively raised or lowered with the mechanism shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The thickness of the concrete slabs is determined by the width of the side and bottom frames 58, 59 and 43, respectively, which are chosen.

When the procedures mentioned in the preceding paragraph are completed, the intermediate mold panels 18-22 and the frames which are carried thereby are, in conjunction with movable end panel 96 pushed up against stationary end panel 95. This may be done preliminarily with manual effort since only rolling friction has to be overcome. Of course, all of the sliding bolts 148 would preferably be retracted at this time so that the chain carried lug 147 would not interfere with movement of any of the mold panels.

It is, of course, also possible to transport one or more of the mold panels from the demolding region 24 to the molding position by driving the chains 121 and 122 so that the lugs 147 intercept bolts 148 as selected. Generally, however, the movable end panel 96 may be pushed toward the stationary end panel to thereby carry the intermediate mold panels 18-22 with it. The upper and lower panel group locking mechanisms are then actuated. The upper cross pins 112 carried by the tie-rods 114 are then swung into engagement with slot 111 in bracket 110. At this time the tie-rods 114 are extended toward the center of the molding machine. Next the blocks 109 are positioned on the lower set of tiedemolding, the hydraulic cylinders 116 and 107 are actuated to releasethe upper locking pin 112 and the lower locking block 109 for removal. The slide-bolts 148 on the first mold panel nearest the demolding region 24 may then be extended and the chains driven so as to transport the first mold to the demolding region 24. The other molds may then be transported consecutively by extending their slide-bolts in a similar manner.

When demolding of both the left and right groups of molds as shown in FIG. 1 is completed, the equipment can be washed down with water after which the molds are restored to their active position for another molding cycle.

Although various functions and features of the new concrete molding machine have been described in considerable detail in a preferred embodiment, such description is to be considered illustrative rather than limiting, for the invention may be variously embodied and is to be limited only by interpretation of the claims which follow.

We claim:

1. a concrete molding machine comprising:

a. a stationary vertically disposed end panel,

b. a movable vertically disposed end panel spaced from the stationary panel and in substantial parallelism therewith,

c. a group of vertically disposed movable mold panels intermediate said stationary and movable end panels,

d. means supporting each of said intermediate panels and said movable end panel for horizontal bidirectional translation whereby to permit said last named panels to be separated from each other and to be juxtaposed in spaced relationship to define mold cavities between them,

e. power driven translating means extending along the sides of said panels,

f. translating means engaging means mounted on individual movable panels, respectively, said engaging means each being operable to selectively engage with said translating means, whereby to permit said panels to be moved away from each other individually,

g. said translating means comprising closed loop chain belts each of which has a lug projecting therefrom,

h. said engaging means on the movable panels comprising pin means mounted for being slidably advanced and retracted selectively into and out of the path of said lug means.

2. A concrete molding machine comprising:

a. a stationary vertically disposed end panel,

b. a movable vertically disposed end panel spaced from the stationary panel and in substantial parallelism therewith,

c. a group of vertically disposed movable mold panels intermediate said stationary and movable end panels,

d. means supporting each of said intermediate panels and said movable end panel for horizontal bidirectional translation whereby to permit said last named panels to be separated from each other and to be juxtaposed in spaced relationship to define mold cavities between them,

e. power driven translating means extending along the sides of said panels,

f. translating means engaging means mounted on individual movable panels, respectively, said engaging means each being operable to selectively engage with said translating means, whereby to permit said panels to be moved away from each other individually,

g. means for powering said translating means comprising a hydraulic motor mounted on the machine,

h. a shaft at one end of the machine driven by said motor, said shaft being substantially coextensive with the width of said panels,

. at least a pair of sprockets fastened to said driven shaft at opposite sides of said panels,

j. idler sprockets at corresponding opposite sides of said panels at an end of the machine opposite from the driven sprockets,

k. said translating means comprising chain belts running on corresponding driven and idler sprockets,

1. said chain belts each having at least one engageable means extending therefrom,

m. said engaging means comprising pin means mounted for sliding on said movable panels into and out of the path of said engageable means for effecting the said selective engagement of the movable panels with the translating chain belt.

3. A concrete molding machine comprising:

a. a stationary vertically disposed end panel,

b. a movable vertically disposed end panel spaced from the stationary panel and in substantial parallelism therewith,

c. a group of vertically disposed movable mold panels intermediate said stationary and movable end panels,

d. means supporting each of said intermediate panels and said movable end panel for horizontal bidirectional translation whereby to permit said last named panels to be separated from each other and to be juxtaposed in spaced relationship to define mold cavities between them,

e. hinge means mounted at least on the intermediate panels and on respectively opposite sides thereof, said hinge means being swingable into alignment with the respective mold cavities between the panels,

f. side frame members disposed vertically between adjacent panels to define the width and thickness of the mold cavity and to enclose the sides thereof, said side frame members being supported on said hinge means,

g. said hinge means comprising bracket means attachable to a panel,

h. a longitudinally extending element pivotally mounted on said bracket means,

i. an internally threaded element pivotally mounted on said longitudinally extending element, the pivot axes of both elements being substantially parallel,

j. an adjusting screw extending through said internally threaded element in a plane that is transverse to the axes of said elements,

k. means supporting said side frame members on said adjusting screws, whereby adjustment of said screws positions the side frame members a selected distance within the mold cavity between panels.

4. A concrete molding machine comprising:

a. a stationary vertically disposed end panel,

b. a movable vertically disposed end panel spaced from the stationary panel and in substantial parallelism therewith,

c. a group of vertically disposed movable mold panels intermediate said stationary and movable end panels,

(1. means supporting each of said intermediate panels and said movable end panel for horizontal bidirectional translation whereby to permit said last named panels to be separated from each other and to be juxtaposed in spaced relationship to define mold cavities between them,

e. hinge means mounted at least on the intermediate panels and on respectively opposite sides thereof, said hinge means being swingable into alignment with the respective mold cavities between the pan-- els,

f. side frame members disposed vertically between adjacent panels to define the width and thickness of the mold cavity and to enclose the sides thereof, said side frame members being supported on said hinge means,

g. the means supporting said side frame members include vertically extending beams to which said frame members are fastened, respectively,

h. vertically spaced apart sockets mounted rigidly on said beams, said sockets being engageable by said adjusting screw means.

5. A concrete molding machine comprising:

a. a stationary vertically disposed end panel,

b. a movable vertically disposed end panel spaced from the stationary panel and in substantial parallelism therewith,

c. a group of vertically disposed movable mold panels intermediate said stationary and movable end panels,

d. means supporting each of said intermediate panels and said movable end panel for horizontal bidirectional translation whereby to permit said last named panels to be separated from each other and to be juxtaposed in spaced relationship to define mold cavities between them, e. hinge means mounted at least on the intermediate panels and on respectively opposite sides thereof, said hinge means being swingable into alignment with the respective mold cavities between the panels, said hinge means including bracket means attached to a panel, side frame members disposed vertically between adjacent panels to define the width and thickness 1 of the mold cavity and to enclose the sides thereof,

said side frame members being supported on said hinge means,

g. a pivotal longitudinally extending element comprising an outer element which is pivotal with respect to said bracket means,

h. an inner element movably mounted within said outer element and supporting said internally threaded element for the adjusting screw, and

i. screw means interconnecting said outer and inner elements and being threadingly engaged with said inner element whereby said inner element may be extended and contracted to position said adjusting screw in a direction normal to the planes of the panels, and means support said frame members on said adjusting screws.

6. A concrete molding machine comprising:

a. a stationary vertically disposed end panel,

b. a movable vertically disposed end panel spaced from the stationary panel and in substantial parallelism therewith,

c. a group of vertically disposed movable mold panels,

d. means supporting each of said intermediate panels and said movable end panel for horizontal bidirectional translation whereby to permit said last named panels to be separated from each other and to be juxtaposed in spaced relationship to define mold cavities between them,

e. side frame members disposed vertically between adjacent panels at opposite sides thereof to define the width and thickness of themold cavity and to enclose the sides thereof,

f. means supporting said side frame members from adjacent panels,

g. a bottom frame member extending from side to side of each mold cavity to provide a bottom therein at a predetermined height,

h. track means extending longitudinally of said machine under said panels,

i. carriage means supporting each of said bottom frame members, said carriage means being supported for bidirectional movement on said track means,

j. each said carriage means comprising a first element having roller means supporting the element on said track means,

k. a second element supporting said bottom frame members and supported on the first element and means for adjusting the height of the second element with respect to the first element, whereby to set the heights of said bottom frame members between said panels to establish the heights of the mold cavities.

7. A concrete molding machine comprising:

a. a stationary vertically disposed end panel,

b. a movable vertically disposed end panel spaced from the stationary panel and in substantial parallelism therewith,

c. a group of vertically disposed movable mold panels,

d. means supporting each of said intermediate panels and said movable end panel for horizontal bidirectional translation whereby to permit said last named panels to be separated from each other and to be juxtaposed in spaced relationship to define mold cavities between them,

e. side frame members disposed vertically between adjacent panels at opposite sides thereof to define the width and thickness of the mold cavity and to enclose the sides thereof,

f. means supporting said side frame members from adjacent panels,

g. a bottom frame member extending from side to side of each mold cavity to provide a bottom therein at a predetermined height,

h. track means extending longitudinally of said machine under said panels,

i. carriage means supporting each of said bottom frame members, said carriage means being supported for bidirectional movement on said track means,

j. each said carriage means comprising a first element having a pin receiving hole,

k. roller means supporting said first element for bidirectional movements on said track means,

1. a second element supported for guided vertical movement on said first element and having a row of holes selected ones of which may be aligned with the hole in said first element to receive a pin for maintaining said second element and the bottom frame member supported thereon at a predetermined height in the respective mold cavities.

8. A concrete slab molding machine comprising:

a. laterally spaced apart parallel longitudinally extending horizontal tracks,

b. a stationary end panel that is vertically disposed and extends laterally substantially between said tracks,

c. a movable end panel that is vertically disposed and extends laterally substantially between said tracks,

d. a group of movable mold panels intermediate said stationary end panel and said movable end panel and in substantial parallelism therewith,

e. each of said intermediate panels and said movable end panels having wheel means on opposite sides running on and supporting said panels on the tracks,

f. said movable panels being movable on said tracks to a predetermined spaced relationship with each other and with said stationary end panel to define a plurality of open topped mold cavities between them into which slurry may be introduced,

g. side frame members extending vertically in the respective cavities between juxtaposed panels, said side frame members being spaced apart laterally to define the widths of the cavities,

h. means supporting said side frame members from panels adjacent the respective cavities,

i. bottom frame members extending laterally of the respective mold cavities to provide bottoms thereof,

j. track means extending longitudinally below said panels,

k. carriage means having roller means running on said last named track means, said carriage means supporting said bottom frame members and the concrete molded thereon,

. upper and lower locking means for pressing said movable end panel to put said intermediate panels and intervening frame members in compression against said stationary end panel,

m. said upper locking means and lower locking means including means releaseably engageable with the respective upper and lower regions of the movable end panel, whereby said end panel may be released and disengaged for transport on said first mentioned tracks and thereby permit said mold panels to be similarly transported for demolding the molded articles individually,

n. the said means supporting said side frame members comprising relatively adjustable elements pivotally mounted on said panels,

0. a second element pivotally mounted on each of said adjustable elements, said second element having a threaded hole therein,

p. adjusting screws in said threaded holes, respectively, which screws can be directed at said side frames,

q. means supporting said side frames on said adjusting screws, whereupon said adjusting screws may be advanced or retracted to position said side frame members inwardly or outwardly of said mold cavities to thereby permit selection of the mold cavity width.

9. The molding machine defined in claim 8 including:

a. motor means,

b. shaft means driven by said motor means and having a drive sprocket fixed thereon,

c. a shaft and an idler sprocket thereon, said idler sprocket being located longitudinally remote from said drive sprocket,

d. a closed loop chain belt running on said sprockets and extending longitudinally of the machine adjacent said panels,

e. means mounted on said movable panels for selectively engaging and disengaging a panel with said chain belt, whereby said panels may be transported individually by said chain means along said first named tracks.

10. A molding machine as defined in claim 8 wherein:

a. there is another similar group comprised of a sec- 0nd stationary end panel, a second movable end panel and a second group of intermediate panels with side and bottom frame members intervening between panels to define a second group of mold cavities, and there are similar means for transporting the movable panels and for compressing the panels,

b. said second movable panel facing the first movable panel and defining a demolding region therebetween.

11. The machine defined in claim 8 wherein:

a. the said carriage means supporting said bottom frame members comprise a first element supported on said roller means,

b. a second element supported on said first element the height of said second element being adjustable with respect to said first element, the bottom frame members being supported on said second elements to thereby permit their vertical height adjustment to establish a predetermined depth in the mold cavities.

12. A concrete molding machine comprising:

a. a group of generally planar vertically disposed mold panels adapted to be juxtaposed to define mold cavities between them,

b. means for supporting said panels for being translated in a longitudinal direction with respect to each other,

c. at least a pair of laterally spaced apart generally vertically extending side frame members for being interposed between said panels to establish the width and thicknesses of said mold cavities, respectively,

(1. frame members extending generally laterally between said panels to provide bottoms for said mold cavities, respectively.

e. means selectively operable for compressing said panels and said frame members toward each other for said frame members and panels to establish said mold cavities and for alternately releasing said panels from compression,

f. power driven translating means extending generally longitudinally adjacent said panels, said translating means comprising closed loop belt means having at least projecting means projecting therefrom,

g. means mounted on said panels including means that are selectively advanceable and retractable into and out of the path of said projecting means whereby said panels may be selectively moved indi-

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Classifications
U.S. Classification249/120, 249/161, 249/129, 425/450.1, 425/441, 249/170, 425/182
International ClassificationB28B7/00, B28B7/40, B28B7/42, B28B7/24
Cooperative ClassificationB28B7/42, B28B7/243
European ClassificationB28B7/42, B28B7/24B2