US 3921245 A
A separable stub shaft connection for a rotatable brush. The brush includes a cylindrical tubular hub which, in a preferred embodiment, has a sleeve-like adapter of short axial length pressed into each end thereof. A stub shaft has one portion thereof positioned within the adapter and fixedly connected to the hub, with the stub shaft having a second portion spaced axially from said first portion and rotatably supported within a bearing. The hub and the adapter each have a separable arcuate sector which extends through an angle of approximately 180 DEG and is of short axial length. The separable sectors coact with similar opposed sectors which are fixedly connected to the hub and adapter. The one portion of the stub shaft is positionable between the opposed cooperating pairs of arcuate sectors. The sectors are fixedly connected in surrounding relationship to the stub shaft by means of a fastener, such as a bolt, which extends through the arcuate sectors and the stub shaft. Removal of the bolt and the separable sectors enables the brush to be replaced or repositioned relative to the support bearings.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Clark 1 Nov. 25, 1975 CYLlNDRlCAL BRUSH WITH STUB SHAFT SUPPORT  Inventor: Gaylord J. Clark, 4679 Paw Paw Lake Road, Coloma, Mich. 49038 22 Filed: Sept. 30, 1974 211 Appl. No.: 510,751
 U.S. Cl. 15/179; 15/21 D; 15/182; 29/123  Int. Cl. A46B 13/02  Field of Search 15/179, 180, 181, 182, 15/183, 198, 200, 77, 102, 2| D;29/115, 123
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,818,742 1/1958 Veach 29/123 X 2,924,838 2/1960 Jones et al 15/182 3,195,159 7/1965 Enchelmaier et a1... 15/179 X 3,284,830 11/1966 Kroll 15/179 X 3,418,674 12/1968 Lechene 15/182 3,574,880 4/1971 Butzen 15/179 Primary Examiner-Peter Feldman Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Woodhams, Blanchard and Flynn  ABSTRACT A separable stub shaft connection for a rotatable brush. The brush includes a cylindrical tubular hub which, in a preferred embodiment, has a sleeve-like adapter of short axial length pressed into each end thereof. A stub shaft has one portion thereof positioned within the adapter and fixedly connected to the hub, with the stub shaft having a second portion spaced axially from said first portion and rotatably supported within a bearing. The hub and the adapter each have a separable arcuate sector which extends through an angle of approximately 180 and is of short axial length. The separable sectors coact with similar opposed sectors which are fixedly connected to the hub and adapter, The one portion of the stub shaft is positionable between the opposed cooperating pairs of arcuate sectors. The sectors are fixedly connected in surrounding relationship to the stub shaft by means of a fastener, such as a bolt, which extends through the arcuate sectors and the stub shaft. Removal of the bolt and the separable sectors enables the brush to be replaced or repositioned relative to the support bearmgs.
10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 CYLINDRICAL BRUSH WITH STUB SHAFT SUPPORT FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a separable stub shaft connection which is particularly desirable for use with a rotatable member, such as a brush, to facilitate replacement or repositioning of the brush.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In a vehicle washing operation, the rotary brushes undergo substantial wear and thus must be periodically replaced or repositioned. Since the rotary brushes are of substantial length, they are normally supported by bearings located adjacent the opposite axial ends of the brush. For this purpose, the brush normally has stub shafts welded on the ends thereof or has an elongated support shaft extending throughout the length thereof for support on the bearings. This structure makes replacement or repositioning of the brush, such as by turning the brush end for end, extremely difficult and time consuming. Particularly, removal of the brush and replacement or repositioning thereof can normally be accomplished only by first axially pulling out the complete shaft through the bearing assembly. The need to pull the shaft axially through the bearing assembly is extremely difficult and time consuming, and can also cause severe damage to the bearing. Further, such a maintenance or repair operation necessarily results in the washing assembly being shut down for a substantial period of time.
A further disadvantage associated with structures of this general type is that any damage to the shaft, such as caused by a bad bearing, requires replacement of the complete shaft. This is undesirable, both from the standpoint of the magnitude of maintenance and shutdown time required, but also from the standpoint of the cost of the new shaft.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved separable stub shaft connection for supporting a rotatable member within a bearing, which stub shaft connection overcomes the abovementioned disadvantages by greatly simplifying the replacement or repositioning of the rotary member relative to the bearing. The rotary member, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, comprises a rotatable brush used in association with a vehicle washing system, whereby the improved stub shaft connection greatly simplifies both replacement and repositioning of the brush, such as repositioning the brush end for end, thereby providing substantially increased brush life and economy by providing for more uniform wear of the brush.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide an improved stub shaft connection, as aforesaid, which permits the replacement or repositioning of a rotary member, such as a brush, in a minimal amount of time and in a manner which is not damaging to the bearings, and which requires no elaborate tools or equipment.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a stub shaft connection, as aforesaid, which does not require precision machine work so that same can be manufactured in an extremely simple and economical manner, which can be manufactured from relatively inexpensive material, and which can be manufactured in a manner resulting in substantially no wastage of materials. The stub shaft connection of the present inven- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 illustrates a rotary brush system, such as used in association with a vehicle washing operation. incorporating therein the improved stub shaft connection of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the stub shaft connection and its relationship to the end of the rotary brush.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view illustrating the stub shaft connection as assembled to the end of the rotary brush.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but illustrating a modified structure.
Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience in reference only and will not be limiting. For example, the words upwardly, downwardly, leftwardly and rightwardly will refer to directions in the drawings to which reference is made. The words inwardly and outwardly will refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the device and designated parts thereof. Said terminology will include the words above specifically mentioned, deratives thereof and words of similar import.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The objects and purposes of the present invention are met by providing a separable stub shaft connection which, when fixedly secured to a rotary member, particularly a rotary brush. enables the brush to be readily removed and replaced or repositioned relative to a support bearing structure. The stub shaft connection includes a stub shaft having a cylindrical bearing portion which is adapted to be rotatably supported within the support bearing structure. The stub shaft also includes a support portion spaced axially from the bearing portion, which support portion extends into and is fixedly connected to the end of a tubular hub associated with the rotary brush. The hub of the brush has a separate arcuate section which extends through approximately I and coacts with a similar arcuate section which is fixed to the hub for clampingly surrounding the support portion of the stub shaft. A fastening member, such as a bolt, extends through the opposed arcuate sections and the support portion for fixedly connecting same. The support portion of the stub shaft extends into the hub by an axial extent which is substantially no greater than the axial length of the removable arcuate section whereby removal of the separable hub section enables the stub shaft to be separated from the brush structure by means of movement therebetween in a direction substantially perpendicular to the rotational axis of the brush.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 illustrates therein a brush system 10 of the type commonly utilized in a washing operation for vehicles, and particularly to a brush system of the type conventionally utilized for washing tires and other components of a vehicle when a vehicle is relatively, slowly moved along the length of the brush. The brush system includes a rotary brush 11 supported for rotation about a substantially horizontal axis, by conventional antifriction bearing assemblies 12 disposed adjacent the opposite ends of the brush. The brush 11 is rotatably driven by a conventional drive 13, such as an electric motor, which drive is connected by a coupling H to the brush.
The brush 1] is of substantially conventional construction in that it includes an elongated tubular support shaft 16 extending axially throughout the length thereof, which shaft has a plurality of brush bristles 17 mounted thereon and projecting outwardly therefrom. The bristles 17, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, may be secured to the support tube 16 by being draped around a cable 19, which cable extends longitudinally of a channel-shaped member 18, fixedly secured to the outer periphery of the support tube 16 and is wrapped helically therearound. The ends of cable 18 are suitably anchored to the drum 16, as by means of a threaded fastener 21, and the opposite flanges of the channel member 18 are preferably bent inwardly toward one another to clampingly engage the bristles and tightly hold the cable 19 within the channel member. This basic structure is conventional and is explained in detail in my US. Pat. No. 3,439,373. It will be appreciated that the bristles could be mounted on the drum in any desired manner and thus further description of the brush construction is not believed necessary.
The brush 11 is provided with a separable stub shaft connection 22 located adjacent each end of the brush, which stub shaft connections coact with the bearings 12 to provide for rotatable support of the brush 1 l. The stub shaft connection 22 includes an adapter sleeve 23 positioned within the end of the support tube 16, which adapter sleeve 23 is of relatively short axial length so as to project into the support tube 16 for only a short distance. The adapter sleeve 23 is fixedly secured relative to the support tube l6, as by being welded thereto, or by press fitting the adapter sleeve 23 into the end of the tube 16. Adapter sleeve 23 has a bore 24 extending therethrough.
The tube 16 has an arcuate sector 28 cut from the end thereof and a corresponding arcuate sector 29 is similarly cut from the end of the adapter sleeve 23. These arcuate sectors 28 and 29 are each of substantially the same axial length and each extends through an angle of approximately 180. The arcuate sectors 28 and 29 are formed by first press fitting the adapter sleeve 23 within the end of the support tube 16. A longitudinal slot 27 is then cut into the end of the tube 16 having the sleeve 23 fixed therein, which cut may be made by means of a conventional saw. The cut 27 is disposed substantially on a radially extending plane which passes through the axis of the tube, with the cut extending completely across the diameter of the tube. This cut 27 extends axially into the tube 16 by a dis tance which is approximately equal to one-half the length of the adapter sleeve 23. The tube 16 with the adapter sleeve 23 therein has a further cut or slot 26 formed therein, also by means of a conventional saw or similar device, which slot 26 is disposed within a radial plane which is substantially perpendicular to the axis of the tube. The slot 26 is aligned with the inner or blind end of the slot 27 and extends to the diametrical plane defined by the slot 27. This results in the formation of arcuate sectors 28 and 29, which sectors are cut directly from the tube 16 and the adapter sleeve 23 respectively. The resulting sectors thus extend through an angle which closely approximates but is slightly less than this angle due to the width of the slot formed by the cutting operation.
The formation of the arcuate sectors 28 and 29, which sectors are respectively separable from the tube 16 and the adapter sleeve 23, also result in the formation of corresponding arcuate sectors 28A and 29A. The sector 28A is substantially identical to the sector 28 in that it extends through an angle of approximately 180 except that the sector 28A is fixedly, here integrally, connected to the tube 16. The sector 29A is also substantially identical to the sector 29 in that it extends through an angle of approximately 180 but is fixedly, here integrally. connected to the adapter sleeve 23.
The arcuate sectors, as described above, are adapted to be clampingly engaged with a stub shaft .31, which stub shaft includes a substantially cylindrical bearing portion 32 adapted to be rotatably supported by the bearing structure 12. Stub shaft 31 also includes a support portion 33 spaced axially from the bearing portion 32, which support portion 33 in the illustrated embodiment is also cylindrical and is of larger diameter than the bearing portion 32. The support portion 33 is provided with an outer profile which substantially corresponds to the inner profile defined by the bore 24, that is, in the illustrated embodiment the support portion 33 has a diameter substantially equal to the diameter of the bore 24. The support portion 33 has an opening 34 extending transversely thcrethrough, which opening is adapted to be aligned with a similar opening 36 which extends through the fixed arcuate sectors 28A and 29A as illustrated in FIG. 3. The removable arcuate sectors 28 and 29 also have similar openings 37 and 38 respectively formed therein and extending substantially through the center portions thereof, which openings 37 and 38 align with the openings 34 and 36 when the stub shaft connector 22 is assembled as illustrated in FIG. 3. The arcu ate sectors 28, 29, 28A and 29A and the support portion 33 of the stub shaft are fixedly interconnected by means of a suitable fastening device, such as a bolt 39, which bolt ex tends through the aligned openings and is secured in place by a threaded nut 41 secured to the outer end thereof.
The manufacture of the brush structure of the present invention, and particularly the stub shaft connection, will now be considered in greater detail to more clearly emphasize the advantageous characteristics of this structure.
To manufacture the brush 11, the support tube 16 is initially cut to the desired length. For this purpose, the tube 16 can be formed from standard tubular steel having conventional commercial tolerances. No finishing of the inner or outer diameters of the tube 16 is necessary. Further, the wall thickness of the tube 16 can be minimized inasmuch as adapter sleeves are utilized adjacent the ends of the tube for engaging the stub shafts.
The adapter sleeves 23 are also formed from inexpensive grade steel tubes which are of standard size and have conventional commercial tolerances. The standard tube is cut to the desired length so as to form the sleeve 23, and the bore 24 is machined, as by being rcnamed, to form a suitable seat for the stub shaft. After formation of the adapters, an adapter 23 is then press fitted into each end of the tube 16. A hole is then drilled through each end of the tube 16, thereby resulting in formation of the openings 36, 37, and 38. The slot 27 is then cut longitudinally into each end of the tube 16, as by means of a vertical saw, which slot extends diametrically across the tube and is cut to a depth which is substantially less than the axial length of the adapter sleeve 23. The slot 27 in the illustrated embodiment has a depth approximately equal to one-half the axial length of the sleeve 23. A 180 slice is also cut from each end of the tube, such as by a horizontal saw, so as to result in the formation of the slot 26, which slot 26 is perpendicular to the axis of the tube and has the inner end thereof in communication with the inner end of the longitudinal slot 27. The formation of these slots 26 and 27 results in the formation of the arcuate sectors 28 and 29, which sectors are separable from one another and are likewise separable from the tube 16 and the sleeve 23.
The stub shaft 31 is also formed from inexpensive commercially available steel rods, which steel rods are cut to the desired axial length and are suitably machined to provide the portions 32 and 33 having the desired outside diameters. The support portion 33 is provided with an outside diameter substantially equal to the diameter of the bore 24.
To assemble the stub shaft structure, and assuming same is disassembled as illustrated in FIG. 2, then the support portion 33 is seated within the arcuate recess defined by the arcuate sector 29A associatted with the adapter sleeve 23. The support portion 33 is positioned so that the openings 34 and 36 align with one another and, since the shaft portion 33 and the bore 24 are of substantially the same diameter, the support portion 33 snugly seats within the arcuate sector 29A. The arcuate sector 28 and 29 are then positioned over the exposed portion of the support portion 33 so that the openings 37 and 38 are substantially aligned with the opening 34. The bolt 39 is then inserted through the aligned openings 34, 36, 37 and 38 and suitably tightened by means of the nut 41 Tightening of the nut 41 causes the arcuate sections, and particularly the inner arcuate section 29, to be drawn inwardly toward the opposed arcuate section 29A so that the stub shaft portion 33 is tightly clamped therebetween. The stub shaft 31 is thus fixedly secured to the tube 16 and projects outwardly from the end thereof. Since the arcuate sectors 29 and 29A each have substantially the same diameter as the stub shaft portion 33, these arcuate sectors snugly and securely embrace the portion 33. Further, due to the material removed by the cutting of the slot 27, the opening defined within the annulus formed by the arcuate sectors 29 and 29A will be slightly smaller than the diameter of the shaft portion 33, so that the arcuate sectors 29 and 29A will always be drawn inwardly into snug clamping engagement with the portion 33 over substantially the full arcuate extent thereof.
When it is desired to replace or reposition the brush 11, and assuming that same is rotatably supported between a pair of spaced bearing structures 12 as illustrated in FIG. 1, the bolts 39 associated with the stub shaft structures 22 are initially removed. The arcuate sectors 28 and 29 adjacent each end of the brush are then removed, whereby the brush 11 is supported on the stub shaft portions 33 solely by the aruate sectors 29A, which sectors 29A support the brush 11 in a cradle-like manner. The brush 1] can then be removed by displacing the brush 1] in a direction substantially perpendicular to its axis, whereby the brush and the arcuate sectors 28A and 29A projecting outwardly from opposite ends thereof are moved laterally away from the stub shaft portions 33. In this manner. the brush ll can be easily detached from its mounting without disrupting the bearing structures. The brush can then be replaced by a new brush or repositioned end for end, and then remounted on the stub shafts by reversing the abovedescribed disassembly sequence.
On the other hand, if one of the stub shafts 31 is damaged so as to require replacement, then the brush 11 is removed in the manner described above. The damaged stub shaft 31 is then removed from its bearing merely by pulling same axially out of the bearing, whereupon a new stub shaft is inserted axially into the bearing, and the brush 11 then remounted on the stub shaft.
As will be readily apparent from the description set forth above. replacement or repositioning of the brush, replacement of a bearing, or replacement of a stub shaft, can be carried out efficiently and economically so that the overall apparatus will be shut down for only a minimum amount of time. Further, this maintenance or replacement operation can be accomplished without requiring the use of elaborate tools or equipment. At the same time, this structure permits the brush to be readily positioned end-for-end so that this operation can be accomplished in a desirable and efficient manner, thereby encouraging such end-for-end repositioning of the brush to result in more uniform wear of the brush. This obviously increases the overall life of the brush and results in substantial economy. Further, if one of the stub shafts should be damaged and require replacement, such replacement can also be carried out in an economical and efficient manner, and additionally requires only a minimum expenditure for the new replacement shaft.
Still further. the stub shaft connection can be manufactured from commercially available tubes and shafts of relatively inexpensive material, and said tubes and shafts can be fabricated into the desired stub shaft connector without requiring extensive machining or the like. This thus results in the desirable stub shaft connector of the present invention being extremely simple and economical to manufacture.
While the invention as illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 discloses the slot 26 as exending perpendicular to the axis, this slot could extend in a nonperpendicular relationship relative to the axis, such as illustrated by the slot 26' in FIG. 4.
The present invention preferably utilizes adapter sleeves 23 so as to permit utilization of a tube 16 of minimum wall thickness. However, the tube 16 could be provided with increased wall thickness if desired. In this latter situation, the use of separate adapter sleeves 23 could be eliminated since the increased wall thickness of the tube 16 would essentially perform the same function, in which case the stub shaft connector of the present invention would have only two arcuate sectors, namely the sectors 28 and 28A, which sectors would then snugly embrace the stub shaft portion 33. In this modification, the inner end of the tube 16 would obviously be renamed to a diameter substantially equal to the outer diameter of the stub shaft portion 33.
Although particular perferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in detail for illustrative purposes, it will be recognized that variations or modifications of the disclosed apparatus, including the rearrangement of parts, lie within the scope of the present invention.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. In combination. a rotary brush, a pair of bearing means positioned adjacent the opposite ends of said rotary brush, and shaft means connencted between said rotary brush and said pair of bearing means, whereby said rotary brush is supported for rotation about its axis, comprising the improvement wherein said shaft means includes stub shaft connecting means connected to one end of said rotary brush and coacting with an adjacent one said bearing means, said stub shaft connecting means including a stub shaft having a first shaft portion rotatably supported within said one bearing means and a second shaft portion spaced from said first shaft portion and fixedly connected to said rotary brush, said rotary brush having a sleevelike hub provided adjacent at least one end thereof and defining therein an opening, said sleevelike hub having a recess formed therein and extending axially inwardly from the free end thereof, said recess extending circumferentially of said hub through a sufiicient distance so as to have a minimum width at least equal to the cross-sectional dimension of said second shaft portion, a separable portion adapted to be positioned within said recess so as to substantially occupy same, said separable portion cooperating with said hub so as to define said opening when said separable portion is disposed within said recess, said second shaft portion being positionable within said opening so as to be surrounded by said hub and said separable portion, and fastener means fixedly interconnecting said hub, said second shaft portion and said separable portion in fixed relationship relative to one another.
2. A combination according to claim 1, wherein said hub is substantially cylindrical and the opening defined by said hub has a diameter substantially equal to the diameter of said second shaft portion, said second shaft portion extending axially into said hub by a distance no greater than the axial length of said recess, and said fastener means comprising a threaded fastener element extending dismetrically across the hub.
3. A combination according to claim 2, wherein said hub has an arcuate sector fixed thereto and projecting axially from one end thereof, said recess being aligned with and defined between the free ends of said arcuate sector, and said separable portion also being arcuate and of the same diameter as said arcuate sector so as to substantially totally occupy said recess, whereby said arcuate sector and said separable portion coact to define an annulus substantially similar to said hub.
4. A combination according to claim 3, wherein said arcuate sector and said separable portion each extend through an angle of approximately 180.
5. A combination according to claim 1, wherein said hub comprises an elongated tubular member of cylindrical configuration, a tubular adapter sleeve press fitted into one end of said tubular member, said adapter sleeve being of relatively short axial length and disposed substantially fiush with the outer end of said tubular member, said recess being formed in both said tubular member and said adapter sleeve and having an axial width less than the axial length of said adapter sleeve, and said separable portion including a first arcuate sector having a configuration identical to the con figuration of the portion of the recess formed in said tubular member and a second arcuate sector having a configuration identical to the portion of the recess formed in said adapter sleeve, whereby positioning of said first and second arcuate sectors in said recess results in the formation of an annulus which defines an opening having a diameter which is no greater than the diameter of said second shaft portion.
6. A combination according to claim 5, further including a plurality of brush bristles fixedly mounted on said tubular member and projecting outwardly therefrom, said brush bristles being mounted on said tubular member in both the axial and circumferencial directions thereof so as to form a substantially annular brush.
7. A combination according to claim 6, wherein a further stub shaft connecting means is connected between the other end of said tubular member and said other bearing means, said further stub shaft connecting means being identical to the stub shaft connecting means disposed adjacent said one end of said tubular member.
8. A combination according to claim 1, wherein said rotary brush comprises a rotary brush member of annular configuration, said hub comprising an elongated tubular core of cylindrical configuration having a plurality of brush bristles mounted thereon and projecting outwardly therefrom, and said connecting means including an identical stub shaft connecting device connected to each end of said hub for rotatably supporting said brush member in said pair of bearing means.
9. A combination according to claim 8, wherein said separable section comprises an arcuate sector cut from the end of said tubular member.
10. A combination according to claim 8, wherein said hub includes a tubular adapter sleeve of relatively short axial length positioned within each end of said tubular core and fixedly interconnected to same, said recess being cut into each end of said hub so as to define a separable section for association with each recess, and said separable section comprising a first arcuate sector cut from said tubular core and a second arcuate sector cut from said adapter sleeve, the width of said sectors and the width of said slots being substantially smaller than the axial length of said adapter sleeves.