US 3912143 A
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United States Patent [1 1 Miller et al.
[ 1 Oct. 14, 1975 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR GUIDING STRAND-LIKE MATERIALS  Inventors: Paul W. Miller, Warren; Norman R.
Fobes, Cortland; Edward J. Thompson, Kinsman; Eugene K. Redman, Cortland, all of Ohio; James A. Lavender, Jr., New Castle, Pa.
 Assignee: Wean United, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.
 Filed: Oct. 10, 1973  Appl. No.: 405,250
 US. Cl. 226/3; 226/21; 226/118; 226/199  Int. Cl. B65II 23/32  Field of Search 226/15, 18, 21, 22, 23, 226/118, 119, 180, 199, 3
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,513,927 7/1950 Farrington 226/23 3,119,535 l/l964- Hoffman.... 226/23 3,312,335 4/1967 Paris.... 226/18 X 3,380,678 4/1968 Fcasey 226/118 X 3,401,860 9/1968 Frantzcn. 226/199 3,435,693 4/1969 Wright 226/18 X 3,730,449 5/1973 Satas 226/23 X Primary Examiner-Richard A. Schacher Attorney, Agent, or FirmDaniel Patch; Henry C. Westin  ABSTRACT One embodiment of the invention pertains to an automatic and precision guiding procedure and apparatus for thin narrow moving steel strip as the strip is collected in a looping or storage device made up of four rolls. One end of each of the rolls is rotatably supported in a stationary frame, while the opposite ends of the rolls are rotatably supported in an orbital mounted frame, the axes of rotation of the rolls being equal distance from the axis of rotation of the rotatable frame.
Much activity in recent years has centered on developing and perfecting a means and method for automatically guiding moving material such as rolled steel strip, incident to the processing of the strip; for example, during its rolling, pickling, annealing, or plating. One of these activities has become generally known as the Lorig self-centering system for strip-like material, which system is covered by a number of US, patents, three exemplary ones being US. Pat. Nos, 2,593,157, 2,593,158, and 2,706,625.
While such guiding systems have found employment they have not replaced the more conventional guiding procedure of employing edge engaging means for the moving strip. One of the reasons for the continuance of employment of edge guiding means is the additional cost involved in employing the automatic guiding means, even though such means offer the advantage of avoiding the strip physically coming into contact with the rigid edge guiding members of the conventional procedure.
2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet 1 of3 3,912,143
Sheet 2 of 3 US. Patent O ct. 14, 1975 US. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet 3 of3 3,912,143
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR GUIDING STRAND-LIKE MATERIALS The present invention provides a new and different approach to obtaining automatic or self-guiding of a moving strand-like product. t
More particularly, the present invention provides a method and apparatus for creating and adjusting frictional forces imposed on the moving strand-like material whereby the material will move automatically to a forced equilibrium condition or position, which condition or position will represent a precise path of travel on which path the material will be maintained automatically.
In one form the present invention provides a metho of and an apparatus for automatically guiding moving strip material comprising two or more spaced-apart rolls arranged to be engaged by a passing stripor other strand-like material, one end of the rolls being rotatably supported in a relatively fixed relationship relative to the material, while the other ends of the rolls are displaceable, each about the same fixed axis and in the same circular direction relative to said axis, and'in which the rolls are driven so that their surface speeds substantially equal the speed of the material.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a strip-storage apparatus comprised of four rotatable strip supporting rolls in which the moving strip is fed around a portion of each of the rolls in a manner that a number of parallel spaced-apart strands are stored in the apparatus, means for driving said rolls at a surface speed substantially equal to the linear speed of the material, similar ends of the rolls being rotatably supported in a common stationary frame, while the other ends are rotatably supported in an orbital frame having an axis of rotation equal distance from the centers of each roll, and means for adjusting the orbital frame so that the rolls will develop frictional forces on the moving strip of such a nature to cause each strand to move to a forced equilibrium position defining precise predetermined spaced pathsof travel, in which the strands will be automaticallymaintained in such precise spaced-apart paths of travel during the accumulation and storage of the strands.
These objects, as well as other novel features and advantages of the present invention, will be better under stood when the following description thereof is read along with the accompanying. drawings of which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a two roll guiding arrangement employing the teaching of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the roll guiding arrangement of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a second embodiment of the invention as related to a four roll strip storage apparatus;
FIG. 4 is an elevational view of the strip storage apparatus shown in FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is an elevational view of a third embodiment of the invention as applied to a six roll strip storage apparatus. g
In referring first to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, there is shown a continuous strip S moving in the directions indicated by the arrows 10. As shown,
the strip moving in a general horizontal path of travel passes over an upper rotatable roll 12, then vertically downward and under a second lower rotatable roll 14 from where it returns to the right. The rolls l2 and l4 are rotatably supported in two spaced-apart upright frames 16 and 18, the frame 16 being stationarily mounted while the frame 18 is designed to orbit or rotate about an horizontal axle 20 supported by means separate from the frame 18, not shown. Rotation of the frame 20, and hence, the skewing of the rolls l2 and 14, which skewed position is in exaggerated form portrayed in FIGS. 1 and 2, is accomplished by a handwheel 22 and a screw-nut assembly 24, by which agency the frame can be accurately displaced in both a clockwise and a counter-clockwise direction. In this movement the ends of the rolls supported in the stationary frame 16 are free by virtue of universal bearing mountings to move angularly as are the ends of the rolls supported by the rotatable frame 18. Because of the location of the respective rolls relative to the equal distance axis of the rotation of the frame 18, the upper roll 12 moves in an opposite horizontal direction from the movement of the lower roll 14. The ends of the rolls associated with the stationary frame 16 are driven by electrical motors 26, shown in FIG. 1 at a speed so that the surface speeds of the rolls substantially equal the linear speed of the strip.
The strip S passing around the rolls 12 and 14 is subject to a tension, which tension may be very slight but sufficient, to maintain the strip in contact with the faces of the rolls to establish sufficient frictional forces between the strip and rolls. The means for establishing the tension on the strip and a more complete showing of one application of the rolls l2 and 14 can be seen in referring to US. Pat. No. 2,830,809 that issued on Apr. 15, 1958 to P. Maroco, et al., in which the rolls can be used in place of the guide roll that is mounted on the horizontal movable slack producer car. The-forces are controlled and adjusted by the degree of skewing or tilting of the rolls to cause the strip to move to a forced equilibrium position, which will be that position where the longitudinal axis of the strip and the major axis of the roll are perpendicular to each other, which position will represent and define a precise predetermined path of travel, in which the strip will be automatically maintained in the precise path of travel during its travel around the rolls.
The degree or amount of skewing or tilting of the rolls can either be accomplished by adjusting the rotation of the frame 18 until a stable running condition is obtained for the traveling strip or it can be determined beforehand by use of a mathematical computation that takes into account the various parameters or factors involved in obtaining the self-centering condition for a given strip or strands of material. Once obtained, the self-centering conditioning will be maintained even on a variation in the speed of the strip or the tension in the strip. By employing the following equation it can be determined for a desired pitch or axial position of the strip relative to the axes of the rolls 12 and 14, the precise amount of displacement of the frame 18 in degrees so that the position of the rolls can be pre-set before the rolls receive the strip. This setting, if desired, can be done from a control booth remote from the actual location of the rolls and can be accomplished by a strip travel detecting means, schematically shown in FIG. 4 at 25, associated with the strip designed to detect an off-path condition of the strip and send a signal to the means adapted to displace the frame to cause the strip to move to a desired path of travel. It will be appreciated that while this formula is addressed to a four roll arrangement as shown in FIGS. and 6, which involve pitches between two or more strands of the material, the factors and relationships are applicable just as well to a two roll arrangement as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, in which case P would represent the center of the incoming strip relative to the center of the out-going strip. The formula is represented as in which:
L l horizontal distance between two horizontal coplanar rolls,
L 2 the vertical distance between two co-planar vertically arranged rolls,
L 3 the distance between the bearings of any one of the rolls,
r the radius of the rolls, and
I the pitch in units between the adjacent strands supported by the rolls.
The factors of the equation are identified in FIGS. 3 and 4. For the purpose of further illustration, two different examples of pitches will be now discussed. For a pitch of five inches of carbon rolled steel strip 2 inches wide the rotational position in a clockwise direction of the frame 18, as one views FIG. 4, was computed to be 6 degrees. For the same strip, but for a 10 inches pitch condition, the angle 6 was found to be 12.
With reference again to FIGS. 3 and 4, which pertain to an apparatus for accumulating and storing a number of spaced-apart strands S1 and S2, there is provided four strand supporting rolls 26, 28, 30 and 32. These rolls, as in the case of the rolls 12 and 14, are mounted for both rotatable and angular movements in a stationary frame 34 and a rotatable or orbital frame 36. The axes of the rolls arranged in the corners of the frames are arranged equal distance from an axle 38 of rotation of the frame 36. In the two roll arrangement of FIGS. 1 and 2, the object was to maintain the strip at the center of the roll face of the rolls, whereas in the embodiment now being discussed, the object is to maintain the pitch of the strands S1 and S2 in precise equal distance paths of travel. Consequently, pitch (P) becomes an important factor in the aforesaid equation.
FIGS. 3 and 4 show that the frame 34 is supported stationarily by a base 40 which also carries the axle 38 for the orbital frame 36. The base also supports the electrical motors, not shown, for driving the rolls 26 32 at a speed substantially synchronous with the linear speed of the strip. The adjustment of the frame 36 is accomplished by a screw-nut arrangement 44, the screw being held against axial movement but driven by a motor 45 While the nut is held in the frame 36 by a yoke that permits limited pivotal movement of the nut.
The strip is fed to the storage device from the left, as one. views FIGS. 3 and 4, from a pay-off reel 50. A three roll tension device 52 is provided between the reel 50 and the storage device to maintain the strip under a desired tension condition. Immediately before and after the first and last rolls of the storage device, the strip engages entry and delivery rolls 54 and 56 which are mounted and adapted to rotate similar to the storage rolls 26 32.
As can be seen clearly from FIG. 3, the strip issuing to and from the storage unit must take a deflected path of travel due to the angular position of the rolls 26 and 28. This deflection of the strip has been found to have a very disturbing influence on the self-centering guiding of the strands unless it is properly guided to and from the rolls 26 and 28, respectively. In this connection it was found that the employment of rolls similar to deflection rolls 54 and 56 stabilizes the strip so that the automatic self-centering effect accomplished by the rolls 26 32 will not be disturbed. This stabilization is due to the placement of the strip at a perpendicular relationship to the axes of the rolls 26 and 28. Accordingly, one of the ends of each roll 54 and 56 is mounted for angular movement in a portion of the stationary base 40 and the other ends are rotatably supported and angularly displaceable by being carried by a pair of turn buckles 62 64.
The degree or extent of skewing of the rolls 54 and 56 has been found to require less than that required for the roll 26 32. The skewing of the rolls 54 and 56, however, is coordinated with the skewing of the rolls 26 32 by means of the interconnecting turn buckles 62 64 so that on rotation of the frame 36 there will be a similar movement of the rolls 54 and 56 and the predetermined skew relationship between the rolls 54 and 56 and 26-32 will be maintained.
The strip leaving the storage unit may be fed to other associated strip processing equipment, not shown. It will be appreciated that while discussing the embodiment of the invention, thus far the invention has been related to narrow thin rolled steel strip, the invention can be used for other strand-like material; such as wire, tubing, belting, and the like.
Coming now to the embodiment of FIG. 5, there is shown a six roll arrangement 66, 68, 70, 72, 74 and 76 of a strip accumulating and storage device. The strip or strands supporting rolls are mounted in end frames similar to the embodiment of FIGs. 3 and 4 and driven in the same fashion, the end frame 78 being the orbital one for which reason it is provided with an upper and a lower circular surface 80 and 82 that engage a series of roller bearings 84 supported in stationary frames 86. The two additional rolls 74 and 76 in this embodiment are arranged in the center of the frames co-planar to and equal distance from the axis of the pivot axle 88 of the frame 78.
The first strand of the strip S is fed over the upper left roll 66 towards the near end of the roll and then under the two center rolls 74 and 76. From here the strand is passed over the upper right roll 68, then to the two lower rolls 72 and 70, and hence, back to the upper left roll 66 to begin the next strand. The strand leaves this storage unit from the upper right roll 68. The center rolls 74 and 76, in addition to adding to the capacity of the storage device, also may be employed to allow for increased time in the case where the device is employed in combination with a strip treating apparatus where a desired lap time is required.
While only four different forms of the invention have been shown and described, including the rolls 54 and 56, the discussion of the self-centering influence of orbiting one end of a contacting element while the other end of the element is held in a non-orbital condition can be applied to many other conditions and types of material.
In accordance with the provisions of the patent statutes, we have explained the principle and operation of causing similar ends of said roller means to be displaced by rotation about their opposite ends and about a common axis from which they extend equal distance,
varying said displacement to cause the frictional force between said roller means and strip to move the strip axially of said roller means to a force equilibrium position relative to said roller means whereby adjacent supported portions of said strip are maintained parallel to each other assuring said number of exposures thereof.
2. A method of processing continuous moving strip of material according to claim 1,
the further step of causing said strip to take a rectilinear spiral path of travel around said roller means in which said strip is caused to contact only a relatively small portion of each of said roller means and in a manner that there are formed opposed exposed portions of said strip, and
subjecting said exposed portions of said strip to a working condition.