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Патент USA US3088611

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May 7, 1963
Filed Sept. 6, 1960
sets-Sheet 1
.H. LT
May 7, 1963
2 Sheets-‘Sheet 2
Filed Sept. 6, 1960
/. ,
United States Patent 6 "ice
Patented May 7, 1963
‘for the transmission of angular movement of the lever
to the rotor.
William J. Metzger, East Cleveland, Ohio, assignor to Na
In a preferred embodiment, the linkage comprises a
medial pivot joint preferably adjacent the axis along
tional Castings Company, a corporation of Ohio
Filed Sept. 6, 1960, Ser. No. 54,210
which the head and shank are connected in combination
with structure which supports and guides the linkage at
the pivot joint in linear motion to effect the abovcmen
tioned transmission of the angular movement. The pre
9 Claims. (Cl. 213-466)
This invention relates to automatically coupling rail
ferred embodiment also includes a stop mounted on the
way car couplers of a type comprising a coupler head
shank for cooperation with the mechanism in holding
‘in pivotable relation with a shank to permit vertical an
the coupler in an uncouplahle condition.
gling of the head along a transverse horizontal axis.
In the drawing in respect to which the invention is
The invention is particularly useful in couplers adapted
below in ‘detail:
for connection to a tail bolt or other draft member of
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the coupler embodying this
a car providing connection along a vertical axis and hence
horizontal angling of the coupler in addition to the ver 15 invention shown supported on the tie bolt of a railway
tical angling of the head.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the equipment shown in FIG.
In some parts of the world, railway cars adapted for
1 with the coupler transferred to a horizontally angled
the carrying of materials in bulk are constructed for un
position with respect to the tie bolt.
loading when up-ended, through an open end of the car
FIG. 3 is a lateral elevation of the equipment of FIGS.
body normally closed by an end gate. The contents of
1 and 2.
the up-ended car is ordinarily discharged into a chute
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary lateral elevation showing the
supported at approximately track level. It is necessary
mechanism positioned ‘for maintaining
for the coupler or a portion thereof to be tilted upwardly
relative to the car length in order to prevent interference 25 the coupler in an unlocked or uncouplable condition.
FIG. 5 is a lateral elevation of the railway vehicle
of the coupler understructure with the chute and the
embodying the coupler of the foregoing ?gures in up
ended relation to a track bed.
In regions wherein automatic couplers and screw cou
FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating interconnected
plings are in concurrent use, the coupler of the present
invention include-s also a hook portion adapting it ‘for 30 parts of the coupler lock-actuating mechanism ‘but re
moved from the head and shank of the coupler.
alternate use with screw couplings. Such a coupler is
The coupler selected for illustration by the various
constructed and arranged wtih respect to the vehicle on
of the drawing is of the “Willison” type having a
which it is mounted to enable the aforementioned ver
head 5 of conventional design wherein a for
tical angling and also horizontal angling placing the auto
matic coupler head in a stowed position while exposing 35 wardly and rearwardly reciprocal lock 6 is supported in
sliding lateral relation with a ?xed jaw 7. In this coupler,
the hook portion for use.
lock 6 is ‘urged forwardly along an inner forwardly
In view of these and other factors, an essential object
declining guideway by ‘gravity but retracted rearwardly
of the invention is to provide -a coupler operating mecha
in a conventional manner by a rotor 9 of which a lever
nism arranged relative to the other parts of the coupler
i.e., the lever 10, is disposed exteriorly of the
for freedom from damage and inactivation at various po 40
head along one side thereof for rotation in a vertical plane
sitions in which the head of the coupler may be placed in
relative to a transverse horizontal axis 10a.
angled relation with the pulling axis of the associated
The head 5 is connected with a shank 12 in a forked
joint comprising cooperating portions of both transpierced
On account of the customary practice of “neutraliz
ing,” i.e., rendering the coupler incapable of coupling
with another coupler, it is a further object to provide
by a bolt 13 ‘de?ning a horizontal pivotal axis 13a. As
shown, the shank provides a tongue portion of the joint,
coupler operating mechanism capable of maintaining the
and the head forms the clevis portion.
At the rear of
the track. Such mechanism is embodied in an automatic
coupler comprising, as is viewed with respect to its
mounted position on a vehicle, a forward head having
a lock therein, a shank disposed rearwardly of the head
‘and pivotally connected with the rearward end of the
head along a horizontal axis, and a lock-shifting rotor
carried by the head for rotation along a second axis
a right angle with the longitudinal direction of the cou
pler. In FIG. 1 the longitudinal direction of the coupler
the coupler, the shank 12 terminates in a clevis portion
“neutralized” condition of the coupler regardless of its
for receiving the front eye portion of a tie bolt 15.
angled relation with the vehicle.
portions of the shank and tie bolt are provided
The present invention achieves these objects and oth 50 with vertically coaxial apertures in which a pin 17 is
ers apparent from the ‘description below in an improved
received lengthwise of axis 17a. This connective struc
mechanism for operating the lock-acutating rotor of the
ture enables the coupler as a whole to angle or pivot
coupler head comprising parts that are disposed in gen
in a horizontal plane relative to the vehicle illustrated
erally serial relation with respect to the length of the
schematically and fragmentarily in dot-dash lines.
coupler along one side thereof, preferably within the
The shank 12 further comprises a hook 18 extending
general height range of the shank and the head above
rearwardly from the pin 17 at an angle slightly less than
coincides with that of the vehicle.
In FIG. 2 the cou
pler is shown rotated horizontally on pin 17 to an angle
equal to that between the hook 1S and the tongue 14
to align the hook lengthwise of the longitudinal axis of
the vehicle. In the position shown by FIG. 2, the coupler
spaced forwardly of the above named axis, and provid 65 is adapted for use with the screw coupler commonly
employed, e.g., on the railways of France and England.
ing a lever portion disposed exteriorly of the head. Such
As a part of the conventional environment for the
mechanism comprises a lever carried by the shank for
present invention, FIG. 3 further illustrates an arm 20
rotation relatively thereto along a third axis spaced rear
pivotally anchored in a housing 241 and rotatable with re
wardly of the ?rst axis and within a vertical plane at the
same side of the coupler as the rotor lever portion, a 70 speot to the axis 17a. The arm 20 swings with the coupler
in [all horizontal ‘angling and functions as a support for
linkage extending lengthwise of the coupler side just
coupler wih respect to which the coupler may tilt up
named connecting the rotor lever portion ‘and the lever
wardly away ‘from the arm but is prevented from tilting
downwardlybelow the position shown in FIG. 3. The
bottom portion of the head 5 comprises an integral ?uid
line connector 22, i.e., a typical vacuum line connector,
shown positioned for mating with the connector an oppos
ing coupler.
With attention now to the speci?c structure which re
sults in the present invention, the rotor 9, and operating
rods 25 mounted partly ‘along undersu-r?aces of the vehicle
are inter-connected by a mechanism comprising, in the
?rst instance, a lever 26 having an arm 27 and a journal
28. The lever 26 further comprises eye portions 311 and
32 at opposite ends of the journal 28 for interconnecting
the lever with the operating rods 25.
the linkage corresponding to descended (or automatic
coupling) position of the coupler look. This is no dis
advantage under usual conditions of use of the bulk-lading
type cars equipped as herein described since ‘there is no
occasion to automaticallycouple with an upended car.
Such spacing from axis 13a results in a minor amount
of rotation of the lever .26. during upward angling of the
coupler head 5 relative to the shank when the linkage
is in its released position. As the lever .26 is free to
rotate, this rotation is the result ‘of linear adjustment of
the linkage relative to the coupler and is harmless. How
ever, at the “neutralized” condition of the linkage, the
proximity of the medial pivot joint in the linkage to the
.axis 13a, as shown in FIG. 4, is desirable for good opera
The lower eye section 34 of the rear clevis portion of 15 tion. In unloading such cars, it is usually desired that the
the shank comprises, as its rearward extermity, a journal
coupler be in a “neutralized” position so that the car
bearing 34a for receiving the journal 28. The length of
may be pushed onto an unloading dock without need for a
the journal 28, however, exceeds that of the bore of the
car man to uncouple the car from the train.
bearing so that the lever may be moved lengthwise of the
For elbow action of the linkage at diiferent lock set
bore with respect to the bearing to carry the arm27 into
tings without substantial relative movement of the rotor
and out of a position behind a boss or stop 35 protruding
and lever 26, the axis of rotation for the lever 40 may be
form an adjacent side surface of the lower eye portion of
disposed more vertically above the axis :13a than shown
the shank 12. Geometrically speaking, the arm is thus
and the lengths of the links 38 and 39 modi?ed to permit
transferable into and out of a vertical plane passing
connections 38a and 39a to be disposed more closely to
through the boss 35 parallel to the length of thecoupler. 25 the axis 13a in a maner not shown.
Engagement of the lever arm .27 with a rearward surface
From FIGS. 3 and 4, it may be noted that the rotor 10
of the boss 35, as shown in FIG. 4, corresponds to a lock
and the lever ‘26 move through angles of approximately 90
retracted or uncouplable condition of the coupler which
degrees between positions corresponding to full descent
remains as long as the lever is positioned behind the
and complete retraction of the lock. However, the angles
boss 35.
30 traversed by levers 40 and 26 and the rotor 9 are depend
A linkage connecting the lever 26 with the rotor 9
ent upon the ratios of lever lengths provided by the rotor
is required for transmitting any angular movement of the
and the levers on the links 38 and 39. As shown, con
lever 26 to the rotor. To effect lock retraction in the
nections 38a and 39a are spaced from axis 41 at distances
example shown by the drawing, the rotor is rotated clock
closely similar to the effective lever lengths of lever 27
wise with the lever 10 thereof moving toward the rear 35 and the lever portion of the rotor 9. Hence, the lever 40
of the coupler. The rotor is urged in a counterclockwise
rotates also through an angle approximately 90 degrees.
direction by the lock 6 which, when unopposed, will
However, connections 38a and 39a may be spaced from
gravitate to its forward locking position. Hence, any
axis 41 to .give angular travel to nearly 180 degrees of the
linkage capable of ‘functioning in draft is suitable for con
lever '40 without disturbing the 90 :degree travel of the
necting the rotor 9 and the lever 26‘. However, such a 40 rotor 9 and the lever 26. Travels of ‘90 degrees of the lat
linkage must accommodate vertical angling of the head
ter are recognized as most desirable because the manual
relative to the shank and hence must be capable of elbow
effort applied to the operating levers 25 .is most effec
style bending in the vicinity of the axis 13a at which the
tively utilized within this range.
head and shank are relatively pivotable. For example, a
FIG. 5 schematically illustrates relative positions of
chain or cable (not shown) would be suitable for con 45 the coupler head Sand a vehicle 50 .up-ended with respect
necting the lever '10 of the rotor and the lever ‘26 if prop—
to an axis 53 when positioned for unloading through the
erly supported for elbow action in the vicinity of the
end of the car normally closed by a door 52. As shown,
axis ‘13a.
the lower extremity of the head 5 engages the ?oor 54 of
In the embodiment shown, the linkage consists of two
links 38‘ and 39 extending from the pivotal connections
with the rotor and the lever, respectively, into pivotal
connection with a lever 40 rotatable with respect to an
the chute and is tilted thereby about the axis 13a.
The terms and expressions'which have been employed
are used as terms of description and not of limitation and
there is no intention of excluding such equivalents of
axis 41 extending horizontally and transversely to the
the invention described or of the portions thereof as fall
coupler length. While location of the lever 40 and the
within the purview of the claims.
connections 3:811 and 39a with links 38 and 39, respectively, 55
What is claimed is:
is not critical, the general consideration to be observed
1. An ‘automatic coupler comprising, with respect to
in their location is that they are su?iciently adjacent the
its mounted position on a vehicle; a forward head having
axis 13a as to a?ord desired elbow action in the linkage
a lock therein; a shank disposed rearwardly of the head
concurrently with tilting of the head 5 upwardly relatively
and pivotally connected with the head adjacent its
to the shank 12, particularly, at the “neutralized” setting 60 rearward end along a horizontal ?rst axis; a lock-shifting
of the coupler.
rotor carried by the head for rotation relatively thereto
As shown in FIG. 4, pivotal connections of the links at
between a coupler-unlocking position and a coupler
38a and 39a with the lever 40 are close to the axis 13a
locking position about a second axis in ?xed relation
at the position of the lever 26 in engagement with the rear
with the head and forward spaced relation with the ?rst
side of the boss 35. This arrangement permits presetting
axis, and having a lever portion rotatable in a generally
of the coupler to a “neutralized” condition before the car
vertical plane at one side of the coupler; and a mechanism
is up-ended and upward angling of the head relative to
for actuating the rotor comprising a lever carried by the
the shank has occurred. The car may then ‘be up-ended
shank for rotation relative thereto about a third axis in
accompanied by tilting of the coupler head, as shown in
?xed relation with the shank and rearward spaced rela
FIG. 5, with but slight linear shifting of the linkage or
tion with the ?rst axis, said lever being rotatable within
rotation of the rotor 9. As a consequence, the lock 6 70 a vertical plane at said side of the coupler, a linkage
remains retracted and the coupler s‘neutralized.”
extending lengthwise of said coupler side connecting the
In the embodiment shown, the medial pivotal joint of
lever portion and said lever and having a pivot joint
the linkage (see connection points 38a and 39a) is some
intermediate said lever portion and said lever adjacent
what removed trom the axis 13a at the released position of 75 said ?rst axis; and means mounted on the coupler ad
approximately 40 degrees to inclined position, the shank
jacent said ?rst axis supporting the linkage at said pivot
joint and in guide relation with the linkage providing
comprises a stop for engaging and holding said ?rst lever
in a position corresponding to said coupler-unlocking
position of the rotor ‘at said inclined position of the head;
and the spacing of the axis of the second lever relative
linear motion of the linkage in effecting transmission of
angular movement of said lever to the rotor.
2. The coupler of claim 1 wherein: the rotor actuating
to said ?rst axis, and the lengths of links, dispose the
mechanism includes a stop mounted on the shank for
connections of said links with the said lever adjacent
the ?rst axis throughout said range of movement of the
head relative to the shank when the ?rst lever engages
means for supporting the lever in respect to which the
lever is movable lengthwise of its axis out of engage 10 said
7. The coupler of claim 1 wherein: said rotor-actuating
ment with the stop.
mechanism comprises a stop mounted on the shank for
3. The coupler of claim 1 wherein: said rotor-actuating
engaging and holding the ?rst lever in a position corre
mechanism comprises means rotatably connecting the
sponding to said coupling-unlocking position of the rotor;
lever to the shank in limited axially movable relation
said shank comprises a bearing providing a bore extend
with the shank; and a stop mounted on the shank for
ing horizontally transversely of the coupler length and
engaging and holding said lever in a position corre
engaging and holding said lever in a position correspond
ing to said coupler unlocking position of the rotor, and
lengthwise of said third axis; and said lever comprises
a journal supported in said bore and of greater length
sponding to said coupler-unlocking position of the rotor;
said lever being movable with said connecting means
lengthwise of its axis to carry the lever into and out of
said position engaging said stop.
than the bore to afford axial movement of the lever
20 relative to the shank into and out of engagement with
the stop, and an eye portion at at least one end of the
4. The coupler of claim 1 wherein: the guide means
journal adapting said ?rst lever for attachment to a
comprises a second lever rotatably oonnected with the
coupler-operating rod.
head rearwardly from the rotor for rotation in a generally
8. The coupler of claim 7 wherein: said shank termi~
vertical plane along said side of the coupler about a
nates rearwardly in a portion having a vertical bore
fourth axis in ?xed relation with the head; and said
adapting the coupler for horizontally pivotal attachment
linkage comprises two links, one link connecting said
a vehicle, said rearward portion terminating rear
lever portion with the second lever, and the other link
as said journal bearing.
connecting the ?rst lever with the second lever.
9. The coupler of claim 8 wherein: said rear shank
5. The coupler of claim 4 wherein: said rotor-actuating
portion is clevis-shaped and comprises upper and lower
mechanism comprises a stop mounted on the shank 30
eye sections of which the apertures form said bore; the
for engaging and holding the ?rst lever in a position corre
sponding to said coupling unlocking position of the rotor
at a predetermined upward angle of the head relative
to the shank; and journal means and bearing means
connecting the ?rst lever to the shank concentric to the 35
third axis for supporting the ?rst lever; said journal
means and bearing means being relatively movable length
wise of the third axis to carry said ?rst lever into and out
of engagement with said stop.
6. The coupler of claim 4 wherein: the head is pivotable
about said ?rst axis relatively to the shank from a hori
zontally facing position upwardly through an angle of
upper eye section comprising an upwardly turned hook
projecting away from the bore horizontally laterally with
respect to the coupler length; the lower eye section
comprising said journal bearing.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
Murphy _____________ _._ Mar. 21, 1933
Wolfe _______________ __ May 21, 1946
Kayler ______________ __ Sept. 14, 1954
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