US 3920136 A
Large rolls of reeled paper sheet may be supported for unwinding by a flexible support sling which conforms to the curvature of said roll adjacent an arcuate portion of the peripherial surface thereof, said support sling being perforated by one or more apertures which are in fluid communication with a pressurized gas source.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
v United States Patent 1191 1111 3,920,136
Talbert Nov. 18, 1975  AIR CUSHION UNWIND SUPPORT FOR 3,596,848 8/1971 French 242/7543 REELED SHEET FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Inventor: David Talbert Minbol'o 1,280,621 10/1968 Germany 242/75.41  Assignee: Westvaco Corporation, New York,
NY. Primary Examiner-Leonard D. Christian  Filed: July 15, 1974 ggirgreggLAgsifi Z-ZF1rmW. Allen Marcontell; ] Appl. No.: 488,414
'  ABSTRACT 2% 8'; 242/55; t Large rolls of reeled paper sheet may be supported for d 68 7 78 7 unwinding by a flexible support sling which conforms 1 o i' fig 75 75 2 to the curvature of said roll adjacent an arcuate por- A tion of the peripherial surface thereof, said support sling being perforated by one or more apertures which  Refergnces Clted are in fluid communication with a pressurized gas UNITED STATES PATENTS SOUTCQ 3,346,209 lO/l967 Cronin 242/66 A 2/1970 Voss et a]. 242/66 11 5 D'awmg Flgures US. Patent Nov. 18, 1975 Sheet1of2 3,920,136
US. Patent Nov. 18, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,920,136
AIR CUSHION UNWIND SUPPORT FOR REELED SHEET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the-Invention The present invention relates to an apparatus for unwinding reels of smooth surface web material such as paper, metal foils, or polymers.
2 Description of the Prior Art In the manufacture and conversion of continuous length webs of thin sheet material such as paper and metal foil, it .is oftentimes convenient to accumulate great lengths of the web product in reels for subsequent handling or transport." Since such reels are wound on individual cores, the winding torque being delivered to the core it is also most convenient to support and drive the core with a powered mandrel.
There are other techniques for building a reel such as that illustrated in US. Pat. No. 3,497,151 but the end result is essentially the same.
At a conversion or rewinding' stationfhowever, the full reel acts as a mere passive delivery wheel without need of rotational drive power independent of the web withdrawal force. Accordingly, it would be convenient to withdraw "the 'web from a cradled reel position whereby the reel weight is supported by the wound accumulation'of web. However, in the case of smooth surface webs such as paper and foil, the weight of the reel against cradle support wheels or drums causes the web to loosen or bag infront of a support line. After only a few revolutions of the reel, such a bag becomes sufficiently large in size as to fold back upon itself thereby tearing or wrinkling the web.
. Bags formed under such circumstances occur regardless of how tightly the drum is originally wound,
It is because of the bagging phenomena that reels of such web materials are normally axle supported for unwinding even though appreciable time is lost in the axle mounting and capital investment is required for equipment'to lift the roll onto a pair of axle support pedes- .tals.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION These and other objects of the invention are accomplished by a floor mounted sling into which a reel may manually be rolled and positioned. Apertures in the sling bight supplied with a flow of pressurized air create a low friction air bearing support for the reel within the sling seat. The web may be withdrawn from the reel directly without need of additional support or positioning structure.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Relative to the drawing wherein like reference characters design ate like or similar elements throughout the several figures:
FIG. 1 is a schematic of sling mounting structure for 'the present invention",
FIG. 2 is a schematic similar to FIG. 1 but in operative support position with a full reel;
FIG. 3 is a schematic of the present invention similar to FIGS. 1 and 2 but in operative support position with a'nearly depleted reel;
FIG. 4 is a partially sectioned detail of the present sling as viewed along the reel axis; and
FIG. 5 is a partially sectioned detail of the present sling as viewed transversely of the reel axis.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference to FIG. 1, there is shown a cylindrical reel of paper in transit up a ramp 11.
In alignment with the ramp l1 apex is the crank end 22 of a support sling 21 secured to a crank link 24. Also secured to the crank link 24 are tether links 25 and 26.
Support sling 21 and links 24-26 comprise a linkage support" system whereby support sling 21 is a tensile structure member disposed to entirely support the maximum weight of reel 10 and simultaneously maintain a minimum angle of wrap A aboutthe reel 10 periphery relative to the sling fixed end 23 regardless of reel diameter.
The magnitude of the minimum wrap angle A is a function of the desired support pressure required for the weight of reel 10 but may range from 90 to I80 arcuate degrees.
Although it is difficult to achieve absolute wrap angle constancy from such a simple linkage system, reasonable approximations thereof may be accomplished within predetermined increments of reel diameter.
FIG. 2 illustrates the linkage system 20 in the stable operative position with a full reel 10 cradled within the bight of sling 21 and the paper web 12 being drawn from the cylinder from the side adjacent the sling fixed end 23.
The FIG. 3 illustration also shows the linkage system 20 in the stable operative position but with a nearly depleted roll 10.
face surface of sheet member 30 within the sling bight area is a lamination 31 of smooth surface, low friction, polymer plastic lining material such as Teflon. Perforating the sheet 30 and lamination 31 are a plurality of apertures 32 which communicate with one or more air supply conduits 33. Such air supply conduits are supplied from a preferably low pressure (less than 50 psi) source not shown. Like the minimum wrap angle A, a minimum pressure is dictated by load area. Pressures above the roll supporting minimum are a limited additional value.
Preferably, the width of sling 21 is slightly greater than the length of reel cylinder 10. If so, a small plenum chamber 34 may be formed below the reel 10 between the lateral edges of sling by placing filler strips 35 be tween the laminae 31 and the sheet 30 to create a ridge 36 therealong.
For particularly long reels, it is not necessary for the reel to be supported along the entire axial length thereof. Accordingly, long reels may be supported at opposite ends by relatively narrow slings 21 with' intermediate slings approximately spaced therebetween.
Although web 12 withdrawal is illustrated herein as taken from the fixed end 23 of sling 31, this is not to be understood as an operative requirement. The web may be withdrawn from either side of the reel center.
As a specific design example, a 48 inch diameter reel of paper 30 inches wide weighing 900 pounds was supported on a 12 inch wide sling faced with an .015 inch thickness of Teflon. The sling was perforated by 15, l/ 16 inch apertures arranged in 3 rows. Said apertures were supplied with pressurized air ranging from to 50 psi. 12 psi was found for this arrangement to be an optimum. The reeled web was withdrawn without distortion or bagging by less than 25 foot-pounds of torque.
Having described a single, preferred embodiment of my invention,
ll. An apparatus for dispensing thin sheet material from a cylindrical reel thereof, said apparatus comprismg:
A. a flexible sling means draped between two suspension points to form a cradle therebetween having an arcuate bight area to position and support a cylindrical reel therein;
B. a plurality of apertures through said sling within said bight area; and,
C. pressurized fluid supply means in communication with said apertures for discharging a continuous fluid flow between said sling and said cylindrical reel, said apertures being positioned on said sling means to channel the dominance of said fluid flow along the circumference of said reel between the outer periphery thereof and the bight area of said sling means.
.2. Apparatus as described by claim 1 wherein the bight area of said sling is coated with a smooth surface plastic material.
.3. Apparatus as described by claim 1 wherein said bight area extends between 90 and 180 arcuate degrees of wrap around said reel.
4. Apparatus as described by claim 1 wherein a chamber is formed between said reel and said bight area by a greater thickness of said sling along the lateral edges thereof.
5. Apparatus as described by claim 1 including linkage means and wherein one of said suspension points is secured to said linkage means for moving said one suspension point relative to the other of said suspension points.
6. Apparatus as described by claim 5 wherein said movable suspension point is secured to said linkage means whereby the degree of sling wrap about said reel is relatively constant between certain limits of reel diameter.
7. A support apparatus for holding a cylindrical reel of thin sheet material in an approximately fixed position for depletion of said reel by withdrawal of said sheet material therefrom, said apparatus comprising:
A. flexible sling means having opposite ends thereof pivotally secured to respective support structure, said sling means being draped to arcuate degrees of wrap about a cylindrical reel located between said opposite ends;
B. a plurality of apertures through said sling means within the arcuate wrap portion thereof.
C. pressurized fluid supply means in flow communication with said apertures for discharging a continuous fluid flow into an interproximal space between said arcuate wrap portion of said sling and said cylindrical reel, said apertures being positioned on said sling means to channel the dominance of said fluid flow along the circumference of said reel within said interproximal space.
8. Apparatus as described by claim 7 wherein said arcuate wrap portion of said sling comprises a face lamination of low friction polymer material.
9. Apparatus as described by claim 8 wherein said face lamination comprises ridges along lateral edges thereof.
10. Apparatus as described by claim 7 wherein support structure relative to one of said sling ends is secured by linkage means whereby said one sling end is movable relative to said other sling end.
11. A method of supporting a cylindrical reel of thin sheet material for rotatively depleting same, said method comprising the steps of:
A. wrapping a flexible support sling 90 to 180 arcuate degrees about said reel;
B. suspending said support sling from respective ends thereof;
C. discharging a continuous flow of pressurized fluid between said reel and the arcuate wrap of said sling, the dominant portion of said fluid flow being channeled to flow along the circumference of said reel between the outer periphery thereof and the arcuate wrap portion of said sling; and
D. rotating said reel within the confines of said sling.