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Патент USA US3066739

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Dec. 4, 1962
Filed April 14, 1958
Patented Dec. 4, 1962
after open the door manually and permit escape of the
persons through the door opening.
Referring to the drawings in detail, FIGURES 1 and 2
show a traction-type overhead door operator, generally
Glenn P. Gessell, 930 Lake Shore Road,
designated 10, as installed in a building structure 12 hav
Grosse Pointe Shores 36, Mich.
ing a door opening 14 closed by a hinged panel over
Filed Apr. 14, 1958, Ser. No. 728,304
head door 16. The building structure 12 is provided
2 Claims. (Cl. 160-193)
with a front wall portion 18 extending downward from
This invention relates to overhead door operators, and
the ceiling 20, the door opening 14 having a door frame
in particular, to safety devices therefor.
10 22 including spaced parallel vertical side members 24
One object of this invention is to provide a safety trac
interconnected at their upper ends by a horizontal top
tion disconnecting device for disconnecting a pulled or
member 26 above which is an upper parallel horizontal
towed object from its towing or traction member, such
framing member 28 to which the front wall portion 18 is
as a ?exible cable or chain, at the will of the operator.
also secured. The construction of the building structure
Another object is to provide a safety-traction discon
12 is shown merely ‘diagrammatic-ally in order to simplify
neoting device, as set forth in the object immediately
the disclosure of the invention. Extending rearwardly
preceding, which is also provide with means for auto
from the upper cross member 28 at each end thereof is
matically reconnecting the pulled object with the traction
member either by moving the pulled object manually rela
a beam 30.
Mounted within the building structure 12 at each side
tively to the towing or traction member or in response 20 of the door opening 14 adjacent the side members 24
‘to the power-operated reactuation of the towing or trac
thereof is the arcuately-curved portion 32 of a channel
tion member after the cessation of the emergency or other
guide track, generally designated 34. The latter has a
cause requiring such disconnection.
slightly inclined lower portion 36 extending from the
Another object is to provide a safety traction discon
building floor 38 to the lower end of the arcuate portion
necting device for disconnecting an overhead door from 25 32 and also has an upper horizontal portion 40 connected
the door operator, thereby enabling the door to be quickly
to the upper end of the arcuate portion 32 of each chan
and easily disengaged ‘from the traction member of the
nel guide track 34 and extending rearwardly therefrom.
door operator, such as a ?exible cable, upon the oc
The channel guide tracks 34 are of approximately J
currence of any sudden emergency and enable the door,
shaped cross-section, and their upper horizontal portions
if in its closed position, to be opened so as to permit 80 40 are supported by spaced struts 42 secured to and de
the escape of persons inside the building, notwithstanding
the temporary inoperativeness of the door operating
pending from the ceiling 20. The generally vertical
portions 36 of the channel guide tracks 34 are secured
motor due to a power failure resulting from the emer
gency, or from other causes.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be
come apparent during the course of the following descrip
tion of the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a vertical cross-section through an over
‘as by angle brackets 43 to the side frame members 24
of the door ‘frame 22.
The hinged-panel overhead door 16 is of conventional
construction and its details are beyond the scope of the
present invention. As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, it
consists of multiple horizontally-elongated panels 44 in
head door equipped with a power-driven cable-actuated 40 terconnected by multiple horizontally-spaced hinges 46
door operator provided with a safety traction disengaging
having upper and lower hinge and roller brackets 48‘ and
device, according to one \form of the invention;
50 pivotally interconnected by laterally-outwardly
FIGURE 2 is a vertical section, principally in elevation,
extending hinge pins 52 carrying at their outer ends guide
taken along the line 2-2 in FIGURE 1;
rollers 54 engageable with the channel guide tracks 34
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation 45 so as to simultaneously support and guide the panels 44
of the safety traction disengaging device shown in the
of the ‘door 16 as it is moved upward or downward by
upper central portion of FIGURE 1;
the mechanism described below. Secured to each side
FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the device shown in
of the lowermost door panel 44 near the bottom edge 56
thereof is an auxiliary roller bracket 58 having an ex
FIGURE 5 is a right-hand end elevation of the device 50 tended pivot pin 60 carrying a lower guide roller 62
shown in FIGURES 3 and 4, with the overhead door
which is also engageable with the channel guide track 34.
guide rail shown in cross-section; and
Mounted on and wound upon a winding drum 68
FIGURE 6 is a vertical longitudinal section taken along
above and at each end of the upper frame cross member
the line 6—6 in FIGURE 4.
28 is a traction cable 66. The cable 66 is anchored
Hitherto, in the operation of overhead doors driven 55 in any suitable way to its respective cable drum 68,
by power-actuated door operators of the cable-driven or
which in turn is keyed or otherwise drivingly connected’
to a ‘cross shaft or jack shaft 70, the opposite ends of
other ?exible traction member type, emergencies, such
which are journaled in bearing brackets 72 resting upon
as explosions or ?res, have occasionally occured inside
and bolted or otherwise secured to the adjacent beam
the building equipped with such doors while the doors
39. Also rotatably supporting the cross shaft 70 at
were in their lowered positions. Very frequently, the
approximately the mid-portion thereof is an intermediate
?re or explosion either ruptured the electric power lines
bearing bracket 74 (FIGURE 2) which is bolted or
or caused or required the current to be shut off, thereby
trapping persons inside the building by their inability
to open the door by the use of the power-driven door
operator. The present invention provides a safety trac
otherwise secured to an angle bracket 75 secured in
turn to the upper cross member 287
Seated as in sockets 76 in the bearing bracket 74 (FIG
URE 2) are the inner ends of weight-counterbalancing
tion disconnecting device interposed between the over
torsion springs 73 which are coiled around the cross shaft
head door and its ?exible traction member, such as a
cable or chain, so that even if the motor-driven door
7%) and extend outwardly therefrom in oppositely—wound
directions, their outer ends being seated as in sockets
operating mechanism halts the traction motion of the
traction cable or chain, a person, by operating the safety
disconnecting device of the present invention, can there
86 in anchor collars 82 which are bolted or otherwise
secured to the cross shaft 70. The cross shaft 70 at
one end is drivingly connected to a motor-driven reduc
scribed above. Integral with the hub extension 138 and
tion gear set 86 mounted on an angle bracket 88 which
is bolted or otherwise secured to the upper horizontal
frame cross member 28.
projecting in the opposite direction from the forward
arm portion 116 is a rearward arm 142 terminating in
an eye ‘144 in which is secured the upper end loop 145
of a control member 146, such as a chain, cable or rod,
having at its lower end a handle 148. The rearward
The traction cable or other ?exible traction member
66 on one side of and above the door opening 14 is, as
previously stated, wound around the cable drum 68 and
secured. thereto by any suitable anchorage. The cable 66
arm portion 142 is engaged by the hooked rearward
end 150 of a torsion spring 152 (FIGURES 3 and 4)
which encircles the axle 132 and has a hooked forward
also passes around a rearward pulley 90 which is ro
tatably mounted upon an axle 92 supported in an up
standing bearing bracket 94 which rests upon and is 10 end 154 hooked over a rod 156 interconnecting the
laterally-spaced parallel opposite load-moving levers 158
bolted or otherwise secured to its respective beam 30
and 160 respectively. The spring 152 yieldingly urges
(FIGURE 1). Bolted or otherwise secured to the upper
the coupling lever 112 in a counterclockwise direction
end of the bearing bracket 72 and extending rearwardly
into its coupling position (FIGURES 1, 3 and 6).
therefrom is an apertured upstanding angle arm 96
The outer and inner levers 158 and 160, ‘in addition
through the aperture of which passes the upper course of 15
to being interconnected by the rod 156, are also piv
the cable 66, this upper course also passing through the
otally connected to the pivot shaft 164 (FIGURE 5)
aligned aperture of a forwardly-extending apertured up
of a carriage, generally designated 162, mounted for
standing angle arm 98 which is similarly bolted or other
travel along the guide track 34. The pivot shaft 164 is
wise secured to the upper end of the bearing bracket
94 (FIGURE 1). Mounted upon the upper course of 20 threaded at its outer end to receive a nut 166 and is
headed on its inner end to rotatably support and retain
the cable 66 are two spaced ?anged spring abutment
a guide roller 16S ‘forming a part of the carriage 162
collars 106 and ‘1012 respectively serving as abutments
for compression spring 104 and 106 respectively, the
spring 104 extending forwardly from the forward collar
100 and the spring 106 extending rearwardly from the
and rollably engageable with the glide track 34. The
shaft 164 has an enlargement 170 intermediate its oppo
25 site ends immediately outside the inner lever 160 (FIG
URE 5) and has a tubular spacer 172 disposed on the
portion of the shaft 164 between the levers 158 and
rearward collar 102 so that both springs 104 and 186
eventually engage their respective upstanding angle arms
160. The upper ends of the levers 158 and 166 are
96 and 98 during travel of the cable 66 in opposite
bored to receive the axle 132, the upper end of the
directions. The collars 1110 and 162 are bolted or
otherwise ?xedly secured to the upper course of the 30 inner lever 16% being received in the slot 140 in the
‘hub extension 138 and that of the outer lever 158 being
traction cable 66, and operate a pressure-responsive
mounted on the outer end of the axle 132 and retained
safety motor shutoff device (not shown)‘, outside the
thereon by the nut 174 threaded upon the threaded
reduced-diameter outer end thereof (FIGURE 5).
scope of the present invention.
_- Bolted or otherwise ?xedly secured to the lower course
'of the traction cable 66 (FIGURE 6) as by the set 35
The lower ends of the bent levers 158 and 160 are
screw 107 is a traction coupling ball or coupling en
gagement element 1128 of metal or other suitable ma
terial by which the pull of the cable 66 is applied to
raising or lowering the door 16. The coupling ball 1'08
drilled to receive a pivot pin or axle 176 (FIGURE 2)
rotatably supported in a pivot bracket 178 which is bolted
device, generally designated 110, and shown in detail in
IFIGURES 3, 4 and 5. Selectively engageable with and
disengageable from the ball 108 is a hump-backed cou~
pling lever 112 having a socket 114 of approximately
semi-circular cross-section beneath the hump 115 inter
mediate its ends. The socket 114 faces downwardly
into nesting engagement with the approximate upper
half of the coupling ball 168, and constitutes a coupling
shoulder engageable therewith. The coupling lever 112
with the channel guide track 34 and at its end carries
a guide roller 180 rotatably mounted thereon and engage»
able with the guide track 34.
or otherwise secured to the uppermost panel 44 of the
overhead door 16 near the upper edge thereof. The
serves as one element of a safety traction-disconnecting 40 pivot pin or axle is extended laterally into alignment
In the operation of the invention, let it be assumed‘
that the overhead door 16 is in its lowered position and
that the coupling lever 112 is in its coupled position (FIGURES 1, 3 and ‘6) with its socket 114 receiving an en
forward arm 116 with a groove or slot 118 therethrough
gaging the coupling ball 108. Let is also be assumed that.
the motor-driven reduction gear set 86 (FIGURE 2) is
de-energized so that the door ‘16 is stationary in its lowered position as shown in FIGURE 1. Let it ?nally be
for the passage of the lower course of the cable 66, the
assumed that some emergency has occurred, such as an.
upwardly and forwardly-inclined parallel arms 120 of
the V-shaped portion 116 terminating in an inclined
explosion or ?re, which has either severed the connec-~
tion or cut off the supply of current to the motor-driven
gear set 86 or has required the shutting off of such current, with the result that the door 16 cannot be raised
by power, so that a person or persons would be trapped
has a downwardly-extending approximately V-shaped
bridge or connecting portion 122 which serves as a cam
member for swinging the coupling lever 112 upward to
re-engage the socket 114 with the ball 108, as explained
below in connection with the operation of the invention.
The opposite end of the coupling lever 112 from the
inside the building structure 12.
To enable manual raising of the door and permit the
cam end portion 122 is provided with a hub 124 hav 60 escape of the persons trapped inside the building structure 12, a person inside the building grasps the handle
ing therein a slot 126 aligned with the lower course of
148 and pulls down upon the control member 146, over
the cable 66 and of greater than semi—circular extent to
coming the urge of the torsion spring 152 and lifting the
enable upward and downward swinging of the coupling
forward arm 116 of the coupling lever 112 away from
lever 1112 without engagement of the opposite ends 128
the lower course of the traction cable 66 so as to dis
and 130 of the slot 126 with the cable 66 (FIGURE 6)
engage the socket 114 from the traction ball 108. With
except at stops at the extreme limits of swing of the
the coupling lever 112 thus moved into its uncoupled
coupling lever 112 (FIGURE 6). The hub 124 of the
position, the operator lifts the door ‘16 manually by grasp
coupling lever 112 is rotatably mounted upon a shaft
ing any convenient portion thereof while maintaining a
or axle 132 having a bore 134 therethrough for the
control upon the pull member 146. As the door 16 is
passage of the lower course of the cable 66. The axle 132
raised manually, the carriage 1162 moves rearwardly along
has a head 136 at one end and extends through the hub
124 and projects therebeyond (FIGURES 4 and 5).
the guide track 40, causing the raised coupling lever 112
The hub 124 has an extension 138 (FIGURES 4 and
to move rearwardly away from the coupling ball 108.
5) projecting laterally beyond the arm portion 116 and
The handle 148 on the control member 146 can then
75 be released as soon as the socket 114 of the coupling
also provided with a slot 140 similar to the slot 126 de
lever 112 has passed beyond the ball 108 and the forward
arm 116 has likewise cleared the traction coupling ball
What I claim is:
1. In combination with an elongated guide structure
108. The door 116 can then be raised manually in a free
and an elongated power-driven ?exible traction member
and unobstructed manner by the persons inside the build
movable adjacent and along a portion of said guide struc
structure 12 without interfering with or interference from
ture in substantially parallel relationship therewith, a
the traction cable 66 which normally raises and lowers
carriage movably mounted on said guide structure for
the door 16 by means of power applied by the power
travel therealong relatively to said traction member, a
driven reduction gear set 86.
load-moving member continuously connected to said car
To recouple the door 16 to the traction cable 66 after
riage and adapted to be operatively connected to a load
the emergency has passed, the operator merely pulls manu 10 to be moved and extending into proximity to said traction
ally downward upon the door 16, causing the carriage
member, a pivot member mounted on said load-moving
162 to move forwardly along the horizontal channel
member, a coupling engagement element secured to said
track portion 40 until the cam portion 122 on the forward
traction member and projecting laterally therefrom, a
end of the forward arm 116 of the coupling lever 112
coupling lever pivotally mounted on said pivot member
collides with the coupling ball 108. Due to its inclined 15 and disposed continuously in proximity to said traction
form, the forward arm 116 rides upward over the ball
member, said coupling lever having a coupling shoulder
108, whereupon the socket 114 beneath the hump 115 of
thereon movable into and out of coupling engagement
the coupling lever 112 falls downward into coupling en
with said coupling engagement element, and a control
gagement with the upper half of the coupling ball 108 as
member operatively connected to said coupling lever for
the torsion spring 152 swings the coupling lever 112 in 20 selectively moving said coupling lever out of coupling
a counterclockwise direction (FIGURES 1, 3 and 6)
engagement with said coupling engagement element, said
around the axle 132. This action recouples the door 16
coupling lever including a coupling lever de?ector pro
to the traction cable 66 and conditions it for raising or
jecting longitudinally from said coupling lever toward
lowering thereby as soon as power is communicated to
said coupling engagement element and eifective to de?ect
the reduction gear set 86 in the usual way.
25 said coupling lever laterally away from said coupling en
While the safety traction disconnecting device of the
gagement element upon engagement therebetween upon
invention has been described and shown for purposes of
arrival of said coupling lever at said coupling engage
example as applied to disconnecting an overhead door
ment element, said pivot member projecting into the path
from a motorized ?exible member, it is by no means
of said ?exible traction member and having an opening
limited to such an application. The invention is also 30 therethrough, said ?exible traction member passing
applicable to the safety disconnection of any ?exible
through said opening.
member used to deliver power from a motor to a load
2. The combination set forth in claim 1, wherein the
coupling lever de?ector has a slot therein aligned with
the connection of a load to and disconnection of a load
the opening in the coupling lever pivot member in the
from a drag line, conveyor cable, reciprocable cable, ele 35 coupled position of said coupling lever and coupling en
vator or hoisting cable and the like. It will also be
gagement element, said ?exible traction member in said
moved by the power of that motor, such as, for example,
evident that in the above-described application of the in
coupled position passing through said slot and through
vention to a power-operated door, the operator is not
said opening.
necessarily required to move the door manually in order
to recouple the door to the door-operating cable as the
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
latter will do so automatically after the motor has been
started and the operating cable 66 moves the ball 108
Negri _______________ __ Nov. 11,
into engagement with the cam 116 of the coupling lever
Schirmer _____________ __ Mar. 6,
112 and swings the latter so as to enter the socket ‘114.
Hahn _________________ __ July 3,
In any event, it will be evident that even if the operator 45 2,753,179
Hartzler ____________ __ Nov. 25,
lifted the door manually, he could not move the door
operating carriage 162 beyond the ball 108 because the
Brady _______________ __ May ‘2,
ball 108 would act as a stop.
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