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Publication numberUS3929231 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 30, 1975
Filing dateJul 31, 1974
Priority dateJul 31, 1974
Publication numberUS 3929231 A, US 3929231A, US-A-3929231, US3929231 A, US3929231A
InventorsCook Henry S
Original AssigneeSouthwire Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Anode carrier lifting device
US 3929231 A
Abstract
This disclosure relates to an apparatus for lifting and carrying a carbon anode used in an aluminum reduction operation. The apparatus includes a locking device for securing the anode, through the medium of the anode shaft, to an overhead crane. The locking device comprises a first male coupling member carried by the anode shaft engageable with a cooperating female coupling member carried by a superstructure extending from the overhead crane. The cooperating coupling members have openings formed therein which are adapted to be concentrically aligned when in coupled relation. A locking pin, which may be pneumatically or electrically actuated, is carried by the locking device and adapted to be extended through the concentrically aligned openings for joining the coupling means in coupled relation.
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United States Patent 1 Cook [ Dec. 30, 1975 ANODE CARRIER LIFTING DEVICE [75] Inventor: Henry S. Cook, Owensboro, Ky.

[73] Assignees: Southwire Company, Carrollton, Ga.; National Steel Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa.

[22] Filed: July 31, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 493,483

[52] US. Cl 212/11; 24/201 LP; 212/14; 294/83 R [51] Int. Cl. B66C 17/06 [58] Field of Search..... 294/83 R, 82 R; 24/201 LP, 24/230 AL, 230 AN; l3/l416, 23; 212/13, 11, 14; 214/145 Primary ExaminerR0bert J. Spar Assistant Examiner Lawrence J. Oresky Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Van C. Wilks; Herbert M. Hanegan; Stanley L. Tate [57] ABSTRACT This disclosure relates to an apparatus for lifting and carrying a carbon anode used in an aluminum reduction operation. The apparatus includes a locking device for securing the anode, through the medium of the anode shaft, to an overhead crane. The locking device comprises a first male coupling member carried by the anode shaft engageable with a cooperating female coupling member carried by a superstructure extending from the overhead crane. The cooperating coupling members have openings formed therein which are adapted to be concentrically aligned when in coupled relation. A locking pin, which may be pneumatically or electrically actuated, is carried by the locking device and adapted to be extended through the concentrically aligned openings for joining the coupling means in coupled relation.

7 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 30, 1975 3,929,231

TO CRANE OPERATING STAUON ANODE CARRIER LIFTING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to apparatus for lifting and transporting a carbon anode used in an aluminum reduction operation by means of an overhead crane.

In the production of aluminum by means of the electrolytic reduction of aluminum ore in an aluminum reduction cell, large blocks of carbon or aggregate containing carbon are used as the anodes in the electrolytic operation. These carbon anodes are provided with a metal shaft which facilitates adjustment of the anode position within the electrolytic cells as well as transportation of the anode from one station to another within the reduction plant. When the carbon blocks are fabricated, they are provided with indentations at the upper surface thereof into which prongs which extend from the distal end of the anode shaft are embedded and secured by suitable means, such as solidifying molten metal or the like. After fabrication, the anode with attached shaft must be lifted and transported from the fabricating station to an aluminum reduction cell, or to special trays where they are stored prior to use.

The prior art method of lifting and transporting anodes utilizes a clamping device attached to an overhead crane. The clamping device is constructed in the form of tongs which attach to openings formed in the anode shaft. After the device is clamped to the anode shaft, the entire assembly may be lifted and transported by the overhead crane. However, the prior art clamping devices often prove unreliable because there is no positive lock and the anode shaft can easily slip out of the grip of the tongs, thereby causing damage to the anodes, the reduction cells, anode trays, other machinery, not to mention the safety hazard to workmen in the vicinity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In view of the foregoing, it should be apparent that there is still a need in the art for apparatus that will facilitate the lifting and transporting of anodes in an aluminum reduction plant without the attendant hazard inherent in the prior art devices. It is, therefore, a primary object of this invention to provide a safe and reliable means for lifting and transporting carbon anodes.

More particularly, it is an object of this invention to provide an anode lifting device which securely attaches and locks the anode shaft to an overhead crane for safe lifting and transportation.

Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus for lifting and carrying a carbon anode having an anode shaft extending therefrom, comprising a first male coupling member carried by the anode shaft engageable with a cooperating female coupling member carried by a superstructure extending from an overhead crane, the first male coupling member and the cooperating female coupling member having openings formed therein which are adapted to be concentrically aligned when in coupled relation, and a locking pin carried by the cooperating coupling members adapted to be extended through the concentrically aligned openings for joining the coupling members in coupled relation.

Briefly described, these and other objects of the invention which may become hereinafter apparent, are accomplished in accordance with this invention by constructing the anode shaft with a laterally extending bracket which supports a generally rectangular shaped first male coupling member having a horizontal bore extending therethrough. The first male coupling member is adapted to be engaged by a second cooperating female coupling member which includes a housing adapted to at least partially receive and enclose the male coupling member in mating connection. The housing is of box-like construction having a generally rectangular cross-section and open at one end for receipt of the male coupling member. Two opposed sides of the housing have aligned holes formed therein which will become concentrically aligned with the bore extending through the male coupling member when the two coupling members are in coupled relation.

The female coupling member is carried by a superstructure which is connected to the overhead crane by means of piston rods which extend from cooperating hydraulic cylinders carried by the crane. Consequently, the crane may be moved to position the female coupling member over the upwardly extending male coupling member, and the hydraulic cylinders then actuated to lower the superstructure and attached female coupling member over the male coupling member in mating relation.

The superstructure also carries a locking assembly which includes a horizontally extending locking pin adapted to extend through the aligned holes in the mated male and female coupling members to fixably join the same in coupled relation. The locking pin may be actuated by any suitable means such as a pneumatic or electric actuator which is operatively connected to the operating station of the crane whereby the crane operator may selectively advance and retract the locking pin as desired.

With the above and other objects in view that may become hereinafter apparent, the nature of the invention may be more clearly understood by reference to the attached drawing, the following detailed description thereof, and the appended claimed subject matter:

IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevation view of a carbon anode and anode shaft fixedly secured to an overhead crane by means of the coupling device of this invention; and

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the cooperating male and female coupling members, and illustrates details of the construction thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in detail, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a carbon anode 10 having an anode shaft 12 extending vertically therefrom. The anode shaft 12 includes a plurality of prongs 14 disposed at the distal end thereof which are embedded and suitably secured in indentations formed in the top of the anode 10. A support bracket 15 extends laterally from the top of the anode shaft 12 and carries a first male coupling member 16. i

The anode 10 is adapted to be lifted and carried by means of an overhead crane 18 having wheels 20, 22 which roll in overhead tracks 24, 26, respectively. The crane 18 carries hydraulic cylinders 28, 30 which are operable to selectively raise and lower piston rods 32, 34 as is conventional in the art. The piston rods 32, 34 carry a superstructure assembly 36 which includes a platform 38 and support struts 40, 42. The support 3 struts 40, 42, in turn, carry a female coupling member 44 which is adapted to receive the male coupling member 16 in mating relation.

As seen in FIG. 2, the female coupling member 44 is of box-like construction having oppositely-facing side walls 46, 48 and 50, 52. The side walls 46, 48 have aligned openings or holes 54, 56, respectively, formed therein. 1 r

The male coupling member 16 is of generally rectangular shape and is adapted to be received within the interior of the box-like female coupling member 44. The male coupling member 16 includes a horizontallyextending bore 60 extending-therethrough. When the male coupling member 16 is fully inserted into the female coupling member 44 such that the upper surface thereof seats against the interior of the upper end wall of the female coupling member 44, the holes 54, 56 will be concentrically aligned with the bore 60, as seen in FIG. 1.

In order to fixedly lock the cooperating coupling members 16, 44 in coupled relation, there is provided a locking device generally indicated by the numeral 62. The locking device 62 includes a support flange 64 carried by and extending from the female coupling member 44 as seen in FIG. 1. An actuating cylinder 66 having a locking pin 68 extending therefrom is mounted on the flange 64. The locking pin 68 is adapted to extend through the aligned holes 54, 56 and 60 so as to lock the cooperating coupling members 16, 44 in assembled condition. The locking pin 68 may be either advanced or retracted by the actuating means 66 to either lock or unlock the cooperating coupling members 16, 44.

The actuating cylinder 66, which may be a pneumatic cylinder powered by a compressed air supply, or an electrically powered solenoid, is operatively connected, as schematically illustrated by the dashed line 70, to the operating station (not shown) of the crane 18. Thus, it is a simple matter for the crane operator to selectively operate the coupling device 62 as desired.

The operation of the anode lifting and transporting device should be apparent in view of the foregoing description. When it is desired to secure the anode to the crane 18, the crane operator positions the crane 18 such that the female coupling member 44 will be aligned vertically over the male coupling member 16. The hydraulic cylinders 28, 30 are then actuated to advance the piston rods 32, 34 to lower the superstructure 36 and the attached coupling member 44 over the male coupling member 16 until the top of the male coupling member 16 seats against the upper end wall of the female coupling member 44. At this point the holes 54, 56 will be aligned with the horizontally-extending bore 60 formed in the male coupling member 16. The hydraulic cylinder 66 is then actuated by the operator to advance the locking pin 68 through the aligned openings 54, 56 and 60. In this condition the anode 10 is securely fixed to the crane l8 and may be lifted and transported safely and reliably.

In view of the foregoing, it should be apparent that there is provided in accordance with this invention an anode carrier and lifting device which facilitates safe and reliable lifting and transportation of a carbon anode and its attached anode shaft in an aluminum reduction plant.

Although only a preferred embodiment of the invention has been specifically illustrated and described herein, it is to be understood that minor modifications could be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention.

It is claimed:

1. In combination with a carbon anode having an anode shaft extending therefrom, means for lifting and carrying said anode comprising first coupling means carried by a superstructure extending from an overhead crane, said first coupling means and said cooperating coupling means having openings formed therein which are adapted to be concentrically aligned when in coupled relation, means carried by said cooperating coupling means adapted to be extended through said concentrically aligned openings for joining said coupling means in coupled relation, means for actuating said means for joining said coupling means in coupled relation, and wherein said actuating means is operatively connected to the operating station of said crane whereby the crane operator may selectively advance and retract said joining means.

2. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said actuating means is a pneumatic actuator.

3. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said actuating means is an electric actuator.

4. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said joining means is a pin operatively connected to said actuating means.

5. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said cooperating coupling means includes a housing adapted to at least partially receive and enclose said first coupling means in mating connection.

6. Apparatus for lifting and carrying a carbon anode having an anode shaft extending therefrom, comprising first coupling means carried by said anode shaft engageable with cooperating coupling means carried by a superstructure extending from an overhead crane, said first coupling means and said cooperating coupling means having openings formed therein which are adapted to be concentrically aligned when in coupled relation, means carried by said cooperating coupling means adapted to be extended through said concentrically aligned opening forjoining said coupling means in coupled relation, said cooperating coupling means including a housing adapted to at least partially receive and'enclose said first coupling means in mating connection, and wherein said housing is of box-like construction having a generally rectangular cross-section, said housing being open at one end for receipt of said first coupling means which has a complementary generally rectangular cross-section.

7. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said superstructure is connected to said crane by means of piston rod means which extend from cooperating hydraulic cylinder means carried by said crane, whereby an anode may be lifted upon actuation of said hydraulic cylinder means when said coupling means are joined in coupled relation.

Patent Citations
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US2986421 *Oct 7, 1958May 30, 1961John L GroveAir-operated hook
US3204793 *Jun 28, 1963Sep 7, 1965Guy E LaneFront end loader automatic implement attachment apparatus
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4121955 *Sep 7, 1976Oct 24, 1978Foseco Trading A.G.Treatment of electrodes
US4216987 *Oct 26, 1978Aug 12, 1980Ely Robert GSafety shackle
US4277093 *Sep 17, 1979Jul 7, 1981Aluminum Company Of AmericaSafety hook device
US4496063 *Oct 22, 1982Jan 29, 1985Kawasaki Steel CorporationMethod of handling slabs by an overhead traveling crane provided with a slab grip lifter
US4850787 *Nov 26, 1986Jul 25, 1989Kyokuto Kaihatsu Kogyo Co., Ltd.Cargo vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification414/630, 294/82.35, 212/319, 294/82.3
International ClassificationB66C1/66, B66C1/62
Cooperative ClassificationB66C1/66
European ClassificationB66C1/66