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Publication numberUS3881647 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 6, 1975
Filing dateApr 30, 1973
Priority dateApr 30, 1973
Publication numberUS 3881647 A, US 3881647A, US-A-3881647, US3881647 A, US3881647A
InventorsBaron C Wolfe
Original AssigneeLebus International Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Anti-slack line handling device
US 3881647 A
Abstract
An anti-slack line handling device for maintaining constant tension of wire ropes and the like while being unreeled or re-reeled by a standard winch device, the line handling device comprising a housing, a stationary carrier assembly secured within the housing, said carrier assembly comprising a first drive sprocket wheel rotatably secured to the housing, a second drive sprocket wheel rotatably secured to the housing and spaced from the first drive sprocket wheel, and roller chain means disposed around the outer periphery of the said drive sprocket wheels for transmitting rotation therebetween; gripping means secured along the outer periphery of the roller chain means; a movable carrier assembly reciprocally disposed within the housing directly above the stationary carrier assembly, said movable assembly comprising an elongated frame member, two spaced sprocket wheels rotatably secured to each end of the said frame member, a second roller chain means disposed around the outer periphery of the movable carrier assembly sprocket wheels and a second gripping means secured to the outer periphery of the second roller chain means for moving the movable carrier assembly to apply pressure against the stationary carrier assembly thereby gripping the wire rope therebetween and drive means secured to the housing and operably connected to the stationary carrier assembly for applying rotary power to the drive sprocket wheels of the stationary carrier assembly, and line guide means secured to the housing for guiding said wire rope into and out of the anti-slack line handling device.
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May 6, 1975 United States Patent [1 1 Wolfe [5 ANTI-SLACK LINE HANDLING DEVICE line handling device comprising a housing, a stationary Inventor: Baron C Wolfe Eureka Calif carrier assembly secured within the housing, said carrier assembly comprising a first drive sprocket wheel rotatably secured to the housing, a second drive [73] Assignee: LeBus International, Inc., Longview,

Tex.

sprocket wheel rotatably secured to the housing and spaced from the first drive sprocket wheel, and roller [22] Filed: Apr. 30, 1973 chain means disposed around the outer periphery of the said drive sprocket wheels for transmitting rotation therebetween; gripping means secured along the 211 Appl. No.1 355,921

52 US. 226/172; 226/176 Periphery the chain means; wvable carrier assembly reciprocally disposed within the housing directly above the stationary carrier assembly,

said movable assembly comprising an elongated frame [51] Int. B65h 17/34 226/172, 173, 174, 176;

[58] Field of Search member, two spaced sprocket wheels rotatably secured to each end of the said frame member, a second roller chain means disposed around the outer periph- [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS cry of the movable carrier assembly sprocket wheels and a second gripping means secured to the outer pe- 4/1926 Tiller 226/173 4/1933 7/1957 Seeley.....

- riphery of the second roller chain means for moving Hallden 7/1962 Francis the movable carrier assembly to apply pressure against the stationary carrier assembly thereby gripping the wire rope therebetween and drive means secured to the housing and operably connected to the stationary 11/1966 Slator......

11/1967 Grek 11/1971 carrier assembly for applying rotary power to the drive sprocket wheels of the stationary carrier assembly, and line guide means secured to the housing for guiding said wire rope into and out of the anti-slack line handling device Primary Examiner-Richard A. Schacher [57] ABSTRACT An anti-slack line handling device for maintaining constant tension of wire ropes and the like while being unreeled or re-ieeled by a standard winch device, the 10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures I I a PATENTEBHAY 6&975

SHEEI 1- BF 3 OOOOOOOOOOOO WEHTEDHAY 6:9?5 3,881,647

sum 38F 3 Fig. 5

ANTI-SLACK LINE HANDLING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to line handling devices and more particularly, but not by way of limitation, to antislack line handling device for maintaining constant tension in wire ropes or the like while being unreeled or re-reeled by a standard winch device. This device is useful in paying off wire rope from winch drums and for holding a tension on the wire rope while re-spooling when there is no load on the said wire rope.

2. Description of the Prior Art Anti-slack line handling devices or cable pull-off mechanisms are used extensively in the oil drilling industry and are expecially useful in off shore drilling operations where it is necessary to pay off large quantities of wire rope from a winch or other spooling device. However, in order to obtain a tight and even winding or re-winding of the wire rope on the winch or spooling device, it is necessary to provide a tensioning device for holding tension on the wire rope between the handling device and the spool. Circular drum type pull off capstans are frequently used for paying off line from a spool and for providing tension upon re-spooling. These drum type pull off capstans have the particular disadvantage of causing bending and reverse bending of the cable or wire being handled which causes excessive wear and heat being generated in the cable itself. Other means for cable handling such as the patent to Bruestle, US. Pat. No. 2,339,761 issued 1944 and entitled Cable Pull Off Mechanism provides a rather complicated plurality of shoe locking devices which slide onto and hold the cable in a clamping relationship while the cable is being handled. The mechanism does not cause bending and reverse bending of the cable being handled but reliability problems are encountered due to the complexity of the shoe type locking devices and the actuation thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention contemplates a novel antislack line handling device for maintaining substantially constant tension of wire ropes or the like while being unreeled or re-reeled by a standard winch device. The present invention comprises a stationary carrier assembly and a movable carrier assembly which is disposed adjacent to the stationary carrier assembly. A linear torque actuator means is operably connected to the movable carrier assembly. Both the stationary carrier assembly and the movable carrier assembly are provided with ferro cuprous binary metal gripping blocks having a high coefficient of friction which are brought in gripping relation to the cable by means of the linear torque actuator. A drive means is operably connected to the stationary carrier assembly for pulling the cable therethrough after the gripping action is accomplished by means of the linear torque actuator.

The arrangement of the stationary carrier assembly and the movable carrier assembly prevents any bending or reversed bending of the cable being handled thereby. The novel anti-slack line handling device is economical and durable in construction and yet simple and efficient in operation which in turn greatly enhances the reliability thereof. Simple reverse action capability of the drive means allows this anti-slack line handling device to provide tension on the wire rope in either direction thereby greatly increasing the possible utilization of the device for all sizes of wire rope regardless of the uniformity thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other and further advantageous features of the present invention will hereinafter more fully appear in connection with a detailed description of the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of an anti-slack line handling device embodying the invention and is shown partially in section.

FIG. 2 is a sectional end elevational view taken along the broken lines 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an end elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the movable carrier assembly of FIG. 1 with an alternate actuator means.

FIG. 5 is an end sectional elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 4 taken along the broken lines 55 of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawings in detail, reference character generally indicates an anti-slack line handling device which comprises a housing 12, a stationary carrier assembly generally indicated by reference character 14 secured Within the housing and a movable carrier assembly 16 reciprocally disposed within the housing 12 directly above the stationary carrier assembly 14. The anti-slack line handling device 10 also comprises a drive motor 18 which is secured to the housing and operably connected to the stationary carrier assembly 14 and a linear actuator means generally indicated by reference character 20 secured to the housing and operably connected to the movable carrier assembly 16 to provide reciprocating movement of the said movable carrier assembly 16 in a manner that will be hereinafter set forth.

For ease of maintainence and construction, the housing 12 is comprised of an upper housing 22 and a lower housing 24. The upper housing 22 comprises a pair of substantially identical oppositely disposed rectangular side plates 25 and 26, a top rectangular plate 28 secured to the side plates 25 and 26, a rectangular end plate 30 and a substantially identical oppositely disposed end plate 32, are secured to the side plates 25 and 26 and the top plate 28. The side plates 25 and 26 are provided with elongated outwardly extending flange members 34 and 36, respectively along the bottom edges of the said side plates 25 and 26.

The bottom housing half 24 is provided with a pair of substantially identical rectangular side plates 38 and 40, a bottom rectangular plate 42 secured to the lower edges of the side plates 38 and and a pair of substantially identical oppositely disposed rectangular end plates 44 and 46. The said end plates 44 and 46 are secured to the side plates 38 and 40 and the bottom plate 42. A pair of elongated outwardly extending flange members 48 and 50 are secured along the upper edges of the side plates 38 and 40, respectively.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the housing halves 22 and 24 may be secured together by a plurality of bolts extending through the flange members 34 and 48 on one side of the housing and the flange members 36 and 50 on the opposite side of the housing. Referring to FIG.

l, a handling plate 54 having a bore 56 therethrough may be secured to the top housing plate 28 so that the anti-slack line handling device may be easily picked up by means of an overhead crane or the like (not shown).

The stationary carrier assembly 14 is disposed within the lower housing half 24 and comprises a pair of spaced heavy duty sprocket wheels 58 and 60. The sprocket wheel 58 is provided with an elongated centrally disposed axle member 62 rigidly secured to the sprocket wheel 58 for simultaneous rotation therewith. The axle member 62 is rotatably secured to the lower housing side plates 38 and 40 by means of a pair of heavy duty bearing members 64 and 66, respectively. The sprocket wheel 60 is similarly provided with an elongated centrally disposed axle member 58 which is like wise rotatably connected to the lower housing side plates by means of a pair of bearing members (not shown) which are substantially identical to the bearing members 64 and 66. An endless chain means 70 is secured around the outer peripheries of the sprocket wheels 58 and 60 and disposed in meshing engagement with the sprockets of the said wheels 58 and 60 for providing simultaneous rotation of the said sprocket wheels. A transversely disposed elongated bar member 72 is located between the sprocket wheels 58 and 60, each end of the said bar 72 being secured to the side plates 38 and 40 by a plurality of horizontally extending bolts or screws 74 and 76, respectively. A longitudinally disposed flat plate member 78 is secured to the bar 72 by any well known means such as welding, the said plate member being disposed directly between the sprocket wheels 58 and 60. The bottom portion of the plate 78 is flush with the bottom surface of the bar 72. Each end of the plate 78 is provided with a concave arcuate surface 80 and 82 to conform to the general circular outer periphery of the sprocket wheels 58 and 60, respectively. The upper flat surface 84 of the plate 78 is disposed in tangential alignment with the upper edges of the sprocket wheels 58 and 60 and is disposed in sliding engagement with the endless chain means 70 for the prevention of sagging of the upper portion of the endless chain means 70 between the sprocket wheels 58 and 60.

The endless chain means 70 comprises a plurality of pivotally connected links 86, each said link being provided with a substantially flat mounting plate 88 thereon. A gripping block 90 is secured to the outer surface of each of the mounting plates 88 in any well known manner such as by rivets 92 extending therethrough. Each of the gripping blocks 90 is provided with a longitudinally disposed recess 94 along the outer face thereof for a purpose that will be hereinafter set forth. The gripping blocks 90 are preferably constructed of a ferro cuprous binary metal having a high coefficient of friction. The grooves 94 provided in the gripping blocks 90 are sized to coincide with various diameters of wire rope or line which is to be carried and handled by the anti-slack line handling device.

The motor 18 is secured to the outside of the lower side plate 24. The output of the said motor 62 being operably connected to one end of the axle member 62. Referring to FIG. 3, the motor 18 may be disposed within the housing half 24 and connected directly to the axle member 62 as depicted by the broken lines.

The drive motor 18 may be of a fluid vane-motor type as disclosed in the patents to Wolfe, Ser. Nos.

3,241,456 and 3,289,543 issued in 1966. However, any suitable motor 18 may be utilized to drive the stationary carrier assembly 14. i

The movable carrier assembly 16 comprises an elongated frame means generally indicated by reference character 94. The frame means 94 comprises a pair of spaced elongated plate members 96 and 98 which are longitudinally disposed in the upper housing 22 in a manner that will be hereinafter set forth. One end of the plate member 96 is provided with a traverse bore 100 therethrough. Likewise, the corresponding end of the plate 98 is provided with a similar traverse bore (not shown) therethrough in alignment with the bore 100. An axle member 102, having an outside diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of the bore 100 is disposed through the said bores in the plate members 96 and 98 for a purpose that will be hereinafter set forth.

A pair of vertically spaced inwardly extending bracket support members 104 and 106 are rigidly secured to the side panel 26 of the upper housing 22. A vertically disposed rod 108 is secured between the bracket members 104 and 106 in any well known manner, such as by the use of a vertically extending bolt 110 therethrough. One end of the axle member 102 is provided with a vertically disposed bore 112 therethrough, the said bore 112 having an inside diameter substantially equal to the outside diameter of the rod 108, for reciprocally receiving the rod 108 therethrough. A pair of oppositely disposed inwardly extending mounting bracket plates 114 and 116 are secured to the side wall 25 of the upper housing 22 and a vertically disposed rod 118 is secured therebetween in any well known manner, such as by vertically extending bolt member 120. The opposite end of the axle member 102 is provided with a vertically disposed bore 122 therethrough for reciprocally receiving the rod 118 therethrough.

A sprocket wheel 124 is disposed between the plate members 96 and 98 and joumalled on the axle member 102 in any well known manner, such as by use of a cylindrical bushing member 126 which extends through a bore 128 in the sprocket wheel 124. The said bushing 126 is rotatable on the axis member 102 and the sprocket wheel 124 rotatably disposed thereon.

The opposite ends of the plate members 96 and 98 are provided with a pair of aligned bores 130 therethrough for receiving a second axle member 132 therethrough. The axle member 132 is reciprocally mounted to the side walls 25 and 26 of the upper housing 22 in a manner substantially identical to the reciprocal mounting of the axle member 102. A second sprocket wheel 134 is joumalled on the axle member 132 in any well known manner, such as by a second bushing 136 which is substantiallyidentical to the bushing 126 for the axle member 102.

The plate members 96 and 98 are provided with a substantially U-shaped bracket 138 secured to the lower portion thereof. The bracket 138 comprises a horizontally disposed plate member 140 and a pair of upwardly extending oppositely disposed attached members 142 and 144 which are secured to the lower edges of the plate members 96 and 98, respectively. The bracket 138 is located near the midpoint of the plates 96 and 98 to provide strength for the said plate members 96 and 98 and for other purposes that will be hereinafter set forth.

An endless chain means 146 is secured around the outer peripheries of the sprocket wheels 124 and 134 and disposed in meshing engagements with the sprockets thereof for providing simultaneous rotation of the said sprocket wheels 124 and 134. The endless chain 146 is provided with a plurality of pivotally connected links 148, each said link being provided with a flat mounting plate 150 thereon. A gripping block 152 is secured to the outer surface of each of the mounting plates 150 in any well known manner, such as by rivets 154 extending therethrough. It is noted that the gripping blocks 152 are substantially identical to the gripping blocks 90 of the stationary carrier assembly and are provided with longitudinally disposed recesses 155 along the outer face of each gripping block for a purpose that will be hereinafter set forth. The gripping blocks 152 are, like the gripping blocks 90, constructed of a ferro cuprous binary metal having a high coefficient of friction. The bottom plate member 140 of the U-shaped bracket 138 is disposed in substantially tangential alignment with the lower edges of the sprocket wheels 124 and 134 in a manner whereby the inside surface of the endless chain 146 may pass adjacent thereto upon rotation of the sprocket wheels 124 and 134. The bracket member 138 therefore serves to prevent buckling of the chain 146 in the space between the sprocket wheels 124 and 134.

It is therefore readily apparent that the entire movable carrier assembly hereinbefore described is reciprocally movable within the upper housing 22.

A rectangular cross plate 156 is centrally disposed across the tops of the elongated frame members 96 and 98 and secured thereto in any well known manner such as by welding. The outer ends of the cross plate 156 extend outwardly beyond the frame members 96 and 98 and are strengthened by a plurality of web members 158.

The linear actuator means comprises a pair of substantially identical fluid piston actuators 160 and 162, the actuator 160 being disposed within the upper housing 22 between the top housing plate 28 and one end of the. cross bar 156. The actuator 162 is likewise disposed within the upper housing 22 and secured between the top plate 28 and the opposite end of the cross bar 156.

The fluid piston actuator 160 comprises a rectangular head plate 164 which is secured to the bottom surface of the top plate 28 directly above one end of the cross plate 156. A downwardly extending cylindrical sleeve member 166 is secured to the bottom surface of the head plate 164. A smaller upwardly extending inner cylindrical member 168 is secured to the top surface and at one end of the cross plate 156, said inner cylindrical member 168 b eing reciprocally disposed within the sleeve member 166. A vertically disposed threaded bore 170 is provided through the cross plate 156 and into the cylindrical member 168. A second larger bore 172 is provided in the lower surface of the cross plate 156 extending part way therethrough and in concentric alignment with the bore 170 for providing an attach means to secure the cylindrical member 168 to the plate 156 for a purpose that will be hereinafter set forth. A piston 169 is secured to the top of the member 168 and is reciprocally disposed within the sleeve 176. The piston 169 is provided with an annular seal member 171 to provide a fluid seal between the piston 169 and the cylindrical sleeve member 166. A fluid inlet port 173 is provided through the top plate 28 and the head plate 164 for providing fliud pressure into the cylinder 166 above the piston 169.

Likewise, the fluid piston actuator 162 comprises a rectangular head plate 174 which is secured to the bottom surface of the top plate 28 directly above the opposite end of the cross plate 156. A downwardly extending outer sleeve member 176 is secured to the bottom surface of the head plate 174. An upwardly extending cylindrical member 178 is secured to the top surface of one end of the cross plate 156 and is reciprocally disposed within the sleeve member 176. A vertically disposed threaded bore 180 is provided in the cross plate 156 in concentric alignment with the inner surface of the sleeve member 178. A bore 182 which is larger than the bore 180 is provided in the lower surface of the cross plate 156 extending part way therethrough and in a concentric alignment with the bore 180. The larger bore 182 is provided as an attach mean for securing the cylindrical member 178 to the cross plate 150. A piston (not shown) is secured to the top of the member 178 and is reciprocally disposed within the sleeve 176. The said piston is provided with an annular seal member (also not shown) to provide a fluid seal between the said piston and the cylindrical sleeve member 176. A fluid inlet port 175 is provided through the top plate 28 and the head plate 164 for providing fluid pressure into the cylinder 176 above the said piston.

A centrally disposed longitudinal bore 184 is provided in the seam between the end plates 30 and 44. The bore 184 is provided with an annular shaped bushing means 186 therein for slidably receiving a wire rope or the like 188 therethrough. The opposite end of the housing 12 is likewise provided with a centrally disposed bore 190 therethrough, the said bore being located on the seam between the end plates 32 and 46 and in alignment with the bore 184. A cylindrical alignment sleeve 192 having an outwardly extending annular flange 194 is secured to the end having an outwardly extending annular flange 194 is secured to the end plates 32 and 46 by a plurality of bolts 196. The said sleeve member 192 with flange 194 may be constructed as a split sleeve member, the said split being in alignment with the seam between the end plates 30 and 44 as shown in FIG. 3. The inner walls of the sleeve member 192 are disposed in concentric alignment with the bore 190 for receiving the wire rope 188 therethrough. A plate member 198 is secured to the lower end plate 46 directly below the sleeve member 192 by a plurality of bolts 200. A pair of substantially identical spaced plate members 202 and 204 are secured at one end thereof to the flat plate member 198, the opposite ends of the arm members 202 and 204 extending upwardly and outwardly from the said plate member 198. A sheave member 206 is rotatably secured between the upper ends of the arm members 202 and 204 by means of a traversely disposed axle 208. The sheave member 206 is provided with a centrally disposed annular shaped groove 210 around the outer periphery thereof, the upper surface of the said groove being in substantial alignment with the inner wall of the cylindrical sleeve 192 and the bore 190 for receiving the wire rope 188 therealong.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, reference character 212 generally represents a mechanical type linear actuator means proposed as an alternate for the fluid operated linear actuator means 20 depicted in FIGS. 1

through 3. In this embodiment, an outwardly extending thrust plate 214 is secured to the outside wall of the plate member 96 and is provided with a hemispherical shaped depression 216 on the upper surface thereof. A substantially identical outwardly extending thrust plate member 218 is secured to the outside face of the frame member 98, the said thrust plate 218 being provided with a hemispherical shaped depression 220 in the upper surface thereof.

The linear actuator means 212 comprises a pair of substantially identical screw jack actuators 222 and 224. The actuator 222 comprises a rectangular plate 226 secured to the lower surface of the top plate 28 directly above the thrust plate 214. A jack screw 228 having a convex hemispherical end piece 230 is threadedly disposed through the top plate 28, and the rectangular plate 226, the end piece 230 being engagable with the depression 216 in the thrust plate 214. The upper end of the jack screw 228 is provided with a hexagonal head 232 for facilitating the turning thereof by a conventional wrench or the like (not shown). Likewise the actuator 224 is provided with a rectangular plate member 234 which is secured to the bottom surface of the top plate 28 and a vertically disposed jack screw 236 being journalled through the top plate 28 and the plate 234. The lower end of the jack screw 236 is provided with a convex hemispherical protrusion 238 which is engagable with the depression 220 of the thrust plate 218. The upper end of the jack screw 228 is provided with a hexagonal head 232 for facilitating the turning thereof by a conventional wrench or the like (not shown). Likewise the actuator 224 is provided with a rectangular plate member 234 which is secured to the bottom surface of the top plate 28 and a vertically disposed jack screw 236 being journalled through the top plate 28 and the plate 234. The lower end of the jack screw 236 is provided with a convex hemispherical protrusion 238 which is engagable with the depression 220 of the thrust plate 218. The upper end of the jack screw 236 is provided with a hexagonal head 240 to facilitate the turning thereof with a conventional wrench or the like (not shown).

In operation the anti-slack line handling device 10 may be used in conjunction with a standard winch device in the following manner. The wire rope 188 from the winch device is threaded through the port 186 between the stationary carrier assembly 14 and the upper movable carrier assembly 16 and out the opposite end of the device through the port 190 and associated sleeve 192. The wire rope 188 is then passed over the sheave member 206 and allowed to rest on the groove 210 thereof. The linear actuator means 20 is then utilized to move the movable carrier assembly 16 downward thereby gripping the cable or wire rope 188 between the gripping blocks 90 of the stationary carrier assembly 14 and the gripping blocks 152 of the movable carrier assembly 16. As hereinbefore noted the longitudinal grooves 94 in the gripping blocks 90 and the longitudinal grooves 155 in the gripping blocks 152 may be shaped or sized to fit the particular sized wire rope being handled thereby.

If the wire rope 188 is already extended, the antislack line handling device may be taken apart thereby dividing the lower housing 24 from the upper housing 25 and simply reconnecting the housing around the wire rope 188. In this mode of operation, it would be necessary to eliminate the cylindrical sleeve member 192 or utilize a split sleeve member as shown in FIG. 3 in lieu thereof. In order to actuate the linear actuator means 20, either hydraulic or pneumatic fluid is pumped into the actuator means through the portss 173 and 175 into the chamber formed by the outer sleeve members 166 and 176 and the inner sleeve members 168 and 178, respectively. The pressure inside this chamber will then act on the upper ends of the inner sleeve members 168 and 178 thereby forcing the movable carrier downward which will in turn cause the wire rope 188 to be tightly gripped between the gripping blocks and 152 of the stationary carrier assembly 14 and the movable carrier assembly 16, respectively. The drive means 18 may be utilized to drive the sprocket wheel 58 of the stationary carrier assembly to thereby pull the wire rope 188 off the winch drum. When it is necessary to rewind the wire rope 188 on the winch drum, the drive means 118 may then be rotated in the opposite direction at a speed slow enough, with respect to the rewinding speed of the winch drum, to keep the wire rope 188 in a taught position so that smooth winch rewind operation may be accomplished. This is very important when there is no load on the opposite end of the wire rope 188 during rewind operation.

In the case of the mechanical linear actuator means 212 as depicted in FIGS. 4 and 5, the operation is exactly the same as that of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, with the exception that the jack screws 228 and 236 of the actuators 222 and 224 respectively are manually twisted downward against the movable carrier assembly to provide the necessary gripping action between the stationary carrier assembly 14 and the movable carrier assembly 16. The jack screws 228 and 236 may also be operated by an external drive source (not shown).

It is also noted that the controls for the drive motor 18 may be connected to a rope tension sensing device so that a substantially constant tension may be kept on the wire rope 188 between the anti-slack line handling device and the winch device.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that the present invention provides an anti-slack line handling device which is particularly designed and constructed for gripping a wire rope or the like and for maintaining a substantially constant tension on the wire rope between the anti-slack line handling device and a winch or the like without causing reverse bending of the said wire rope. The novel anti-slack line handling device is simple and efficient in operation and economical and durable in construction.

Whereas, the present invention has been described in particular relation to the drawings attached hereto, it should be understood that other and further modifications apart from those shown or suggested herein, may be made within the spirit and scope of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. An anti-slack line handling device for maintaining constant tension of wire ropes and the like while being unreeled or re-reeled by a standard winch device, the line handling device comprising a lower housing, a stationary carrier assembly secured within said lower housing, said stationary carrier assembly comprising a first drive sprocket wheel rotatably secured to the housing, a second drive sprocket wheel rotatably secured to the housing and spaced from the first drive sprocket wheel, and endless roller chain means disposed around the outer periphery of the said drive sprocket wheels for transmitting rotation therebetween; gripping means secured along the outer periphery of the roller chains means; an upper housing removably connected to the lower housing, a movable carrier assembly vertically reciprocally disposed within the upper housing above the stationary carrier assembly, said movable carrier assembly comprising an elongated frame member, two spaced sprocket wheels one being rotatably secured to each end of the said frame member, a second endless roller chain means disposed around the outer periphery of the movable carrier assembly sprocket wheels and a second gripping means secured to the outer periphery of the second roller chain means; linear actuator means secured to the upper housing and operably connected to the movable carrier assembly elongated frame member intermediate the spaced sprocket wheels thereof said linear actuator means being adaptable to apply pressure directly against the stationary carrier assembly thereby gripping the wire rope therebetween and drive means secured to the lower housing and operably connected to the stationary carrier assembly for applying rotary power to the drive sprocket wheels of the stationary carrier assembly, and line guide means secured to the lower housing for guiding said wire ropes into and out of the anti-slack line handling device.

2. An anti-slack line handling device as set forth in claim 1 and including an attachment means for connecting the upper housing to the lower housing whereby the line'handling device may be assembled at any point along a wire rope.

3. An anti-slack line handling device as set forth in claim 1 wherein the first and second roller chain means comprises a plurality of chain links pivotally connected, each said chain link having a mounting plate secured to the outer surface thereof and wherein the first and second gripping means comprises a plurality of gripping blocks, one said gripping block being secured to each mounting plate and each said gripping block being provided with a longitudinally disposed recess along the outer face thereof for receiving the wire rope there along.

4. An anti-slack line handling device as set forth in claim 3 wherein the gripping blocks are constructed of a ferro cuprous binary metal having a high coefficient of friction.

5. An anti-slack line handling device as set forth in claim 1 wherein the linear actuator means comprises jack screw means carried by the upper housing and engagable with the elongated frame member of the movable carrier assembly intermediate the spaced sprocket wheels thereof and operator means operably connected to the jack screw means for extending the said jack screw means against the elongated frame member between the sprocket wheels for forcing the movable carrier assembly directly downwardly toward the stationary carrier assembly thereby gripping the wire rope therebetween.

6. An anti-slack line handling device as set forth in claim 5 wherein the jack screw means comprises a pair of traversely spaced threaded jack screws threadedly carried by the uppeer housing, each of the said jack screws being engagable with the elongated frame member of the movable carrier assembly and wherein the operator means comprises a hexagonal head member secured to the outer end of each of the jack screws to facilitate turning thereof.

7. An anti-slack line handling device as set forth in claim 1 wherein the linear actuator means comprises fluid operated piston means carried by the upper housing and engagable with the elongated frame member of the movable carrier assembly for moving the said movable carrier assembly directly downwardly toward the stationary carrier assembly thereby gripping the wire rope therebetween.

8. An anti-slack line handling device as set forth in claim 7 wherein the fluid operated piston means comprises a pair of traversely spaced fluid operated actuators, each said actuator being connected between the inner surface of the upper housing and the elongated frame member of the movable carrier assembly intermediate the sprocket wheels thereof whereby the application of fluid thereto will extend the said fluid actuators thereby moving the movable carrier assembly directly downwardly toward the stationary carrier assembly for gripping the wire rope therebetween.

9. An anti-slack line handling device as set forth in claim 1 wherein the line guide means comprises a bracket means secured to the outer surface of the lower housing and extending longitudinally outwardly therefrom, grooved sheave means rotatably secured to the bracket and disposed in substantial alignment with both the first gripping means carried by the stationary carrier assembly and the second gripping means carried by the movable carrier assembly whereby the wire rope may be carried by the grooved sheave means into and out of the housing in substantial alignment with the first and second gripping means.

10. An anti-slack line handling device for maintaining constant tension of wire ropes and the like while being unreeled or re-reeled by a standard winch device, the line handling device comprising a lower housing member, the upper surface thereof being opened, a stationary carrier assembly secured within the lower housing, said stationary carrier assembly comprising a first drive sprocket wheel rotatably secured to the housing, a second drive sprocket wheel rotatably secured to the lower housing and spaced from the first drive sprocket wheel, endless roller chain means disposed around the outer periphery of the said drive sprocket wheels for transmitting rotation therebetween, gripping means secured along the outer periphery of the roller chain means, drive means secured to the lower housing and operably connected to the stationary carrier assembly for applying rotary power to the drive sprocket wheels of the stationary carrier assembly, and line guide means secured to the lower housing in substantial longitudinal alignment with the upper surface thereof; an upper housing having the lower surface thereof open, a movable carrier assembly reciprocally disposed in the upper housing, said movable carrier assembly comprising an elongated frame member, two spaced sprocket wheels, one being secured to each end of the said frame member, a second endless roller chain means disposed around the outer periphery of the movable carrier as sembly sprocket wheels and a second gripping means secured to the outer periphery of the second roller chain means, linear actuator means carried by the upper housing and operably connected to the movable carrier assembly frame member intermediate the spaced apart wheels for moving the said movable carrier assembly toward the open surface of the upper housing, and means for connecting the lower housing to the upper housing whereby the line handling device may be assembled at any point along a wire rope.

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Referenced by
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US4527723 *Mar 7, 1983Jul 9, 1985Norbert UmlaufChain bridle equipment for keeping metal strip tensions at a constant level
US5009353 *Feb 1, 1990Apr 23, 1991Lake Shore, Inc.Cable tensioning device
US5692859 *Sep 13, 1995Dec 2, 1997Dowty Boulton Paul LimitedCable handling system
US5839636 *Feb 22, 1996Nov 24, 1998Lockheed Martin CorporationSuction-operated linear traction drive for underwater handling of towed arrays
US6261437Nov 4, 1997Jul 17, 2001Asea Brown Boveri AbAnode, process for anodizing, anodized wire and electric device comprising such anodized wire
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Classifications
U.S. Classification226/172, 174/DIG.330, 174/DIG.140, 226/176
International ClassificationB66D1/50, F16L1/23, B66D3/00, B65H51/14
Cooperative ClassificationF16L1/23, B66D3/003, B66D1/50, Y10S174/33, B65H51/14, Y10S174/14
European ClassificationF16L1/23, B65H51/14, B66D3/00B, B66D1/50