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Патент USA US3082877

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March 26, 1963
w. N. POUNDSTONE
3,082,860
TROUGHING IDLER ROLLER ASSEMBLY FQR BELT CONVEYORS
Filed Feb. 16, 1960
36
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INVENTOR.
l8
' WILLIAM N. POUNDSTONE
BE’ZMLJJKK 4..
A»;
ATTORNEY
"ice
3,082,860
Patented Mar. 26, 1963
2
rigid unit from end to end. These ?exible shafted idler
3,082,860
roller assemblies usually hung in approximately a cat
William N. Poundstone, Morgantown, W. Va., assignor to
Christopher Coal Company, Osage, W. Va., a corpo
enary curve between two ?exible side frame members of
the conveyor system. As the load on the conveying
reach of the belt conveyor was increased, the trough of
TROUGHING IDLER ROLLER ASSEMBLY FOR
BELT CONVEYQRS
the conveying reach deepened because the ?exible shafted
idler rollers permitted the catenary curve to change shape.
The deepening of the trough of the conveying reach was
also effected by the fact that the ?exible side frame mem
This invention relates to troughing idler rollers which 10 bers of the conveyor system moved toward each other in
are utilized to support the troughed conveying reach of an
the vicinity of the transversely extendingidler roller as
endless conveyor ‘belt, and more particularly to improived
semblies. This inward movement of the ?exible side
idler roller assemblies for ?exible side frame supported
frames of the conveyor system had the effect of shorten
belt conveyors.
ing the span which the ?exible shafted roller assemblies
The conventional endless belt conveyor consists of a 15 bridged. Although a certain amount of trough deepening
belt supported by a series of idler rollers. The belt is
under load is desirable, excessive deepening of the
driven by a belt drive means. The belt has a troughed
troughed conveying reach of the belt conveyor often oc
conveying reach supported in a generally hoirizontal man
curred when the conveying reach of a ?exible side
ner by ‘a series of troughing idler rollers. The conveying
frame suported conveyor was heavily loaded.
‘
reach carries the material to be transported by the con 20
To overcome the excessive deepening of the trough
of the conveying reach, rigid spreader members were
veyor belt. The conveyor belt has a return reach sup
ported in a generally horizontal manner, usually below
made va part of the troughing idler roller assemblies that
spanned the distance between the generally parallel ?ex
the conveying reach, by a series of return reach idler
rollers. The return reach returns the empty portion of
ible side frames of the conveyor system. The idler roll
ration of West Virginia
Filed Feb. 16, 1960, Ser. No. 9,077
3 Claims. (Cl. 198-—192)
the belt to the belt drive to form a continuous path for 25 ers were still formed with ?exible shafts, but the distance
the endless conveyor belt.
between the ?exible side frame members was rigidly ?xed
at the idler roller assembly by the spreader members.
In recent years ‘belt conveyors have been constructed
While the spreader members prevented excessive deepen
in which a pair of ?exible side frames are trained along
a conveying course to ‘support the conveyor belt. The
ing of the trough of the conveyor conveying reach, they
?exible side frames are usually formed of wire rope or 30 changed some of the advantageous characteristics of ?ex
the like, and are supported at intervals by side frame sup
porting means such as vertical side frame supporting
stands. The spaced side frames extend in a generally
parallel manner along the conveying course. Idler rollers
span the side frame members to support the conveying 35
ible side frame conveyors.
rollers are connected to the ?exible side frames, this trans
fer of force causes the idler roller assemblies of a ?exible
side frame supported belt conveyor to react somewhat
roller assembly. Accordingly, when the conveying reach
One of the advantageous characteristics of ?exible side
frame conveyors which was changed by the spreader
member was the inherent ability of the ?exible side frames
to maintain the ?exible shafted idler roller assembly in
reach of a belt conveyor.
contact with the belt conveying reach under all conditions
Flexible side frame belt conveyors have many advan
of belt loading. For example, when a ?exible shafted
tages which make them popular in the mining industry.
idler roller without a rigid spreader member was utilized
in a ?exible side frame conveyor and when the conveying
Among these advantages, ?exible side frame conveyors
are easily erected and disassembled for movement. Cer 40 reach of the belt was lightly loaded, the ?exible side
tain types of ?exible side frame conveyors also proivide
frames exerted tension on the ?exible shafted idler roller
assembly so that the trough of the idler roller assembly
an inherent belt training action which is valuable in belt
conveyors. An example of an improved type of ?exible
became more shallow and the idler roller was maintained
side frame supported belt conveyor may ‘be found in my
in contact with the under side of the belt throughout the
45
copending United States patent application Serial No.
entire width of the belt.. .When the load on the conveyl'
690,684, ?led on October 17, 1957.
ing reach was increased, the trough of the ?exible shafted
idler roller assembly deepened by drawing the ?exible
In ?exible side frame supported belt conveyors, the
side frame members more closely toward each other..
force exerted by the load on the conveyor belt conveying
reach is transferred through the transversely extending
When the spreader member was added to the ?exible
idler rollers which support the conveying reach to the 50 side frame supported conveyor system, the distance be
tween the ?exible side frame members was ?xed at the
?exible side frames of the conveyor. Since the idler
of the belt was relatively lightly loaded, the conveyor belt
conveying reach tended to ?atten so that it rode up out of
In such a situa
differently. than the idler roller assemblies of rigid side 55 the trough of the idler roller assembly.
frame supported conveyors as will be discussed in the fol
lowing paragraphs.
tion, only the edges of the belt conveying reach contacted
the idler rollers so that there was excessive conveyor belt
wear along the edges of the belt. When the spreader
In most material carrying belt conveyor systems, the
conveying reach of the belt conveyor is troughed to re
members ?xed the distance between the ?exible- side
tain the conveyed material. t is recognized as desirable 60 frames, the ability of the ?exible side frame conveyor to
to have the trough of the conveying reach deepen some
maintain the ?exible shafted idler roller in contact with
what when the load on the conveying reach is increased
the belt conveying reach throughout the width of the belt
so that a greater volume of material may then be re
conveying reach no longer existed.
tained on the belt. In the early ?exible side frame sup
Another advantage of ?exible shafted idler rollers is the
ported conveyor systems, troughing idler rollers with ?ex 65 fact that they may easily be shipped and stored with little
ible shaft members were utilized to support the belt con
danger of shaft deformation and shaft breakage. Fur
veying reach. By ?exible shaft members are meant both
ther, the ?exible shafted idler rollers can often be dis-'v
shaft members formed of ?exible material such as wire
assembled into relatively short lengths so that they may
rope and shaft members formed of sections of rigid ma
more easily be shipped and stored.
.
70
terial joined by pivot pins or hinged joints. The term is
When it became necessary to utilize spreader members
intended to encompass any shaft member which is not a
with the ?exible side frame conveyors, this case of han
8,082,860
4
dling characteristic of the idler roller assemblies was
often lost. The spreader members were rigid structural
elements which were long enough to span the distance be
20 and the center section 22 of the shaft member are
joined by hinges indicated generally at 24. The division
of the shaft member into three sections is by way of ex
ample only, and it will be appreciated that the shaft mem
ber could be divided into a greater number of sections
tween the ?exible side frames of the conveyor system.
It became the practice to assemble the idler rollers and
the spreader members as a unit and not to disassemble
or a lesser number as the individual requirements of the
them. Accordingly, a spreader member and an idler
roller, when assembled as a unit, made a bulky, difficult
to handle conveyor system element.
particular conveyor system dictate.
Each of the hinges 24 are formed with a pair of angled
hinge arms 26 secured to the shaft member end sections
The present invention contemplates a form of idler 10 18 or 20. The angled arms 26 are best seen in FIGURE
2 and may be either formed integrally with the shaft
tages of ?exible shafted idler roller assemblies when
member end sections 18 or 26 or may be a?ixed thereto
utilized without spreader members ‘in the flexible side
as by welding. The shaft member center section 22 has
:fr-ame supported belt conveyor systems but which elimi
a hinge arm 28 secured to each of its ends. The hinge
nates the excessive troughing of the belt conveyor reach 15 arm 23 may be secured to the shaft member center sec
that originally initiated the use of rigid spreader members.
tion as by welding or it may be formed integrally there
with.
To accomplish these desirable results, the present in
vention provides an idler roller assemby which is com
Each of the hinge arms 26 and 28 has an enlarged
pletely ?exible within the normal range of belt convey
portion 30 formed at its end. The enlarged portions 30
ing reach loading conditions, but which inhibits the exces 20 are bored to receive a hinge pin 32 that is disposed trans
sive troughing of the belt conveying reach when addi
versely of the shaft member.
tional loads are placed upon the conveying reach.
A pad 34 preferably formed of a deformable resilient
In operation, the idler roller assembly of the present
substance such as rubber, may be secured to the ends of
invention permits deepening of the belt conveyor belt
the end sections 18 and 26 and the center section 22
roller assembly that provides the aforementioned advan
conveying reach trough by permitting the ?exible side 25 to provide a resilient cushion when the ends of the re—
frame members of the conveyor system to be drawn to
ward each other as the belt conveying reach load in
creases. After the flexible side frames move together to
within a minimum distance of each other, their further
movement toward each other is inhibited by the idler
roller construction of the present invention.
With the foregoing considerations in mind, it is a pri
mary object of the present invention to provide an im
proved idler roller assembly.
so
spective shaft member sections contact each other. The
pad 34 is not a critical portion of the present invention
and may be omitted if desired. Its function will become
apparent as this description proceeds.
A rigid cylindrical roller member 38 is rotatably mount
ed on each of the shaft member sections 18, 20, and 22,
and supported thereby. The rigid cylindrical roller mem
bers support the troughed conveying reach of the endless
belt conveyor.
Another object of this invention is to provide an im 35
With the foregoing arrangement of the components of
proved troughing idler roller assembly for a ?exible
the idler roller assembly in mind, the operation of the
side frame supported belt conveyor.
idler roller ‘assembly of FIGURES 1-3 in a ?exible side
Another object of the present invention is to pro
frame supported conveyor may be considered. The in
vide an idler roller assembly for a ?exible side frame
dividual sections 18, 29 and 22 of the shaft member of
supported belt conveyor which produces the advantages 40 the idler roller assembly are connected by hinge pins 32.
of a ?exible shafted idler assembly, but which eliminates
As clearly shown in FIGURE 1, the hinge pins 32, about
excessive troughing of the belt conveying reach.
which the sections pivot relative to each other, are oifset
Another object of the present invention is to provide
from and disposed below the longitudinal axes of the in
an idler roller assembly which eliminates the requirement
dividual shaft sections 18, 20 and 22. The shaft mem
for separate, rigid spreader members when utilized ‘with
ber end sections 18 and 2'1! have clamps 36 secured to
?exible side frame supported belt conveyors.
their outer end portions to clamp the idler roller assem
Another object of the present invention is to provide
bly 10 between the ?exible side frame members 12 and
14.
idler roller assemblies which may be compactly and safely
packed for shipping and storage.
With such a construction, the individual shaft sections
These and other objects of this invention will become
may move relative to each other to vary the depth of the
apparent as this description proceeds in conjunction
with the accompanying drawings:
trough of the belt conveying reach 16. ‘However, the
depth of the belt conveying reach trough may not exceed
In the drawings.
a predetermined maximum. The maximum depth of the
FIGURE 1 is an elevational view of one embodiment
belt conveying reach trough is determined by the angles
of the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is 'a fragmentary perspective view on an
enlarged scale of the shaft hinge of the embodiment of
FIGURE 1.
55 at which the hinge arms 25 and 28 are set relative to the
end sections 18 and 20 and the center section 22 respec~
tively.
FIGURES 1 and 3 illustrate the relative positions of
the shaft sections and cylindrical rollers 38 under two
showing the relative positions of two of the cylindrical 60 belt loading conditions. In FIGURE 1, the belt convey
rollers of the embodiment of FIGURE ‘1.
ing reach is relatively lightly loaded. The tension in the
Referring now to ‘FIGURES 1-3 there is shown an
?exible side frame members 12 and 14- is su?icient to
idler roller assembly generally designated 10. The idler
exert tension on the idler roller assembly 10. This ten
FIGURE 3 is a partial elevation on an enlarged scale
roller assembly 10 extends transversely between two
sion maintains the idler roller assembly 10 in suspension
longitudinally extending ?exible side frame members 65 between the ?exible side frame members 12 and :14. The
trough of the belt conveying reach .16 is relatively shal
12 and 14. The ?exible side ‘frame members '12 and 14
are constructed of wire rope or the like and are trained
along a conveying course.
The troughed conveying reach 16 of an endless belt
low, and the pads 34 on the ends of the shaft end sections
18‘and 20 and the shaft center section 22 are maintained
out of contact with each other by the tension exerted on
conveyor is positioned in generally parallel relation to 70 the idler roller assembly 10. .
the side frame members 12 and 14 and is supported by
In FIGURE 3 the solid lines of the shaft sections 20
idler roller assemblies 10.
and 22 and the cylindrical roller members 38 represent
The shaft member of the idler roller assembly 10 is di
the relative positions of these components when the con
vided into shaft member end sections 18 and 20, and a
veying reach is relatively lightly loaded as shown in FIG
shaft member center section 22. The end sections 1-8 and
URE l. The phantom line positions of shaft 20 and
3,082,860
5
5
cylindrical member ‘38, represented by the reference nu
merals 20’ and 38' respectively, show the position of the
shaft section 20’ and roller member 38' when the belt
conveying reach is heavily loaded. When the belt con
veying reach is heavily loaded, a downward force is
exerted on the idler roller assembly 11%}. This downward
force tends to pull the ?exible side frame members 12
and 14 toward each other. As the ?exible side frame
members 12 and 14 are drawn toward each other, the
trough of the conveying reach 16 begins to deepen.
As the trough of the conveying reach 16 deepens, the
connections therebetween, said hinge pins being disposed
below said shaft sections, said hinge connections arranged
to be open when said shaft sections are axially aligned,
said hinge connections arranged to close to thereby permit
deepening of said idler roller trough by permitting said
side frame members to be drawn toward each other, a
plurality of roller members rotatably supported by said
shaft sections, said shaft sections arranged to abut each
other upon closing of said hinge connections to limit the
10 depth of said idler roller trough by inhibiting the move
shaft member sections 18, 20, and ‘22 move about the
hinge pins 32 and begin to close. The resilient pads 34
ment of said side frame members toward each other at a
minimum distance from each other.
2. A troughing idler roller assembly comprising a shaft
come into contact with each other. When the re
member transversely spanning a pair of longitudinally
silient pads 34 contact each other, the inward movement 15 extending, spaced ?exible side frame members, said shaft
of ?exible side frame members 12 and :14 is inhibited be
member having end portions secured to each of said side
cause the shaft member now resists further closing of
frame members, said shaft member including a plurality
hinges 24.
of elongated, rigid shaft sections disposed in end to end
The phantom line positions of the shaft end section 20'
relations, said shaft sections each having end portions
and the cylindrical roller member 38’ of FIGURE 3 rep 20 and at least one inclined end wall with a resilient, de
resents the relative positions of the shaft sections and cy
formable pad ?xed to said inclined end wall, a plurality
lindrical rollers when the belt conveying reach trough is
of hinge arms rigidly secured to said shaft section end
at a maximum depth. It will be ‘appreciated that the em
portions ‘and extending downwardly therefrom, and a
bodiment of FIGURES l-3 provides an idler roller ‘as
plurality ‘of hinge pins pivotally connecting said hinge
sembly which has the advantages of a ?exible shafted 25 arms of adjacent shaft section end portions to form hinge
idler roller and which, at the same time, prevents the ex
connections between said shaft sections, said hinge con
cessive 'troughing of the belt conveying reach that is a
nections arranged to be open when said shaft sections ‘are
major drawback of ?exible shafted conveyor assemblies
axially aligned, said hinge connections arranged to close
when utilized with ?exible side frame supported belt con
to thereby permit deepening of said idler roller trough
veyor systems.
30 by permitting said side frame members to be drawn to—
When the conveyor belt is loaded under normal condi
ward each other, a plurality of roller members rotatably
tions, the ?exible side frame members 12 and 14 are main—
supported by said shaft sections, said deformable pads on
tained apart and the depth of the trough of the conveying
adjacent shaft sections arranged to abut each other upon
reach 16 may vary according to the load on the conveying
closing of said hinge connections to limit the depth of
reach. If the conveying reach is lightly loaded, the hinge 35 said idler roller trough by inhibiting the movement ‘of said
pins 32 allow hinges 24 to open to permit movement of
side frame members toward each other at a minimum dis
the shaft member sections 18, 2t} and 22 relative to each
tance from each other.
other. The cylindrical roller members 38 may then fol
3. A troughing idler roller ‘assembly comprising a shaft
low the belt conveying reach as it tends to ?atten. Thus,
member transversely spanning a pair of longitudinally ex
the cylindrical roller members 38 remain in contact with 40 tending, spaced ?exible side frame members, said shaft
the lightly loaded belt conveying reach throughout its
member having end portions secured to each of said side
width. When the conveying reach of the belt becomes
rame members, said shaft member including a plurality
excessively loaded, the ?exible side frame members 12
and 14 move toward each other until they are at a mini
of elongated, rigid shaft sections disposed ‘in end to end
relation, said shaft sections each having end portions in—
mum distance apart. At that time the resilient pads 34 45 cluding at least one inclined end wall, a plurality of hinge
on the ends of the individual shaft member sections con
arms rigidly secured to said shaft section end portions
tact each other and inhibit further movement of the ?exi
and extending downwardly therefrom parallel to said re
ble side frame members 12 and 14 toward each other.
spective shaft inclined end walls, a plurality of hinge pins
As previously stated, the resilient pads 34 are not essen
pivotally connecting the hinge arms of adjacent shaft sec
tial features of the present invention. They may be dis 50 tions to each other to form hinge connections between
pensed with and the metal shaft member sections may di
said shaft sections, said respective shaft section inclined
rectly abut each other. The shaft member sections will
end walls being spaced from adjacent shaft section in—
provide a rigid member between the side frame members
clined end walls when said rigid shaft sections are axially
12 and 14 and limit movement of the side frame members
aligned, said hinge connections arranged to close to
55
toward each other when the conveying reach trough is
thereby permit deepening of said idler roller trough by
extended to its maximum depth.
permitting said side frame members to be drawn toward _
According to the provisions of the patent statutes, I
each other, a plurality of rollers members rotatably sup
have explained the principle, preferred construction and
ported on said shaft sections, said inclined end walls on
mode of operation of my invention and have described
adjacent shaft sections being arranged to abut each other
60
what I now consider to represent its best embodiment.
upon closing of said hinge connections to limit the depth
However, I desire to have it understood that, within the
of said idler roller trough by preventing further move
scope of the appended claims, the invention may be prac
ment of said side frame members toward each other ‘be
ticed otherwise than as speci?cally illustrated and de
yond a predetermined minimum distance of said side
scribed.
frame members from each other.
I claim:
as
1. A troughing idler roller assembly comprising a shaft
member transversely spanning a pair of longitudinally
extending, spaced ?exible side frame members, said shaft
member having end portions secured to each of said side
frame members, said shaft member including a plurality 70
of elongated rigid shaft sections disposed in end to end
relation, a plurality of hinge arms rigidly secured to each
of said shaft sections and extending downwardly there
from, and a plurality of hinge pins pivotally connecting
said hinge arms of adjacent shaft sections to form hinge 75
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
754,335
2,619,221
McCabe ______________ .__ Mar. 8, 1904
Madeira _____________ __ Nov. 25, 1952
2,885,066
2,889,918
2,892,533
2,966,255
Lo Presti _____________ __ May 5,
Bergman ______________ __ June 9,
Lo Presti et a1 _________ __ June 30,
Gleeson _____________ __ Dec. 27,
1959
1959
1959
1960
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