Title:
Agitator for storage bins
United States Patent 2333739
Abstract:
The present invention relates to means for the insuring of the downward movement of material stored or contained in hoppers' wherein the material contained in said hoppers is adapted to be removed from the bottom thereof. In storage bins and particularly large storage bins used for storing...


Inventors:
Puckett, Nick T.
Application Number:
US38490341A
Publication Date:
11/09/1943
Filing Date:
03/24/1941
Assignee:
Puckett, Nick T.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
366/297
International Classes:
B65D88/68
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Description:

The present invention relates to means for the insuring of the downward movement of material stored or contained in hoppers' wherein the material contained in said hoppers is adapted to be removed from the bottom thereof. In storage bins and particularly large storage bins used for storing material such as the bark of paper logs, wood kindling, coal, and the like, wherein the material is removed from the bottom of the bin, there is a great tendency on the part of the material to arch, thereby preventing the material from slipping down i the bin and causing hollows in the material above the bottom.

Heretofore, no means has been devised for readily breaking up such arches., The common expedient heretofore resorted to has been that of having a man or men descend into the bin and, by the use of crowbars or picks, break up the arch. This is an extremely dangerous practice, as, very frequently, when the arch is broken up, the material has a tendency to slide down quickly and carry with it the man who is working in the bin. Ropes are tied to the men to prevent their being engulfed in the material, butthere have been occasions where, through breakage of .the ropes, or through other causes, themen have become so deeply embedded in the sliding material, that it has been impossible to extract them before they are smothered.

My present invention relates to means for me- 3( chanically breaking up these arches, thereby avoiding the danger heretofore accompanying the breaking of the arches by the means of men working in the bins. : ; : The present application is a continuation in 3 part of my application filed April 19, 1939, Serial No. 268,761, for Feeding storage bin.

For the purpose of disclosing the invention, 1 have illustrated certain embodiments thereof in the accompanying drawings, in which: 41 Fig. 1 is a transverse sectional view of a hopper bin embodying my invention; Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of Fig. 1; Fig. 3 is a view of a modification of the struc- .4 ture illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2, showing means whereby the agitator may be swung to various parts of the bin; and Fig. 4 is a plan view, somewhat ensmalled, of the device illustrated in Fig. 3. 5 Referring to the drawings, the bin. illustrated is one adapted to contain fuel such as the bark of paper logs, or the like, for delivery to a furnace and is preferably mounted above the furnace which is generally represented as at 1. This bin 5 comprises a plurality of sections 2 to 7, which sections decrease in their size toward the top and are suitably connected together by joints, as at 8. There is thus provided a bin which is larger at its bottom than at its top. This bin is supported upon suitable I-beams 9 on the top of the furnace wall and is provided-on one side with an inclined wall 10 inclined inwardly from the outer wall and toward the center of the bin. This wall is also supported on suitable I-beams I I extending between the two end walls of the hopper and braced by suitable braces 12. The bottom proper of the hopper comprises a series of flights of-worm conveyors 13 extending from the rear to the front and adapted to deliver at the front of the bin into a suitable discharge opening 14. These screw conveyors may all be driven simultaneously from a suitable sprocket chain operating over sprocket wheels 15 on the shafts of the conveyors.

As a result of this arrangement, the material in the bin will be fed from the bottom into the opening 14 and from thence to the furnace. As the material is removed from beneath, there is a tendency for the fuel to arch, particularly across the apron or inclined wall- 10. . In order to break up such arches as may be formed in the material under these circumstances, I extend vertically into the bin in the structure illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2 a plurality of agitators taking the form of worms Sor spirals. Each of these worms or spirals comprises a plurality of sections 16 having the worm or spiral flights 17 formed thereon and so arranged as to have a tendency to lift the material upon the rotation of the worm. The various secStions of each of the agitators are connected together by suitable universal joints, as at 18, so that the different sections may swing relatively to one another in any direction, and the top sections of each of the agitators is connected by a Suniversal joint 18 with a driving spindle 19 provided at its top with a gear 20. Each of these gears 20 is adapted to mesh with a gear 21 on a horizontal shaft 22 driven by any suitable motive power, as by an electric motor or the like. By the above arrangement, all of the agitators may be simultaneously driven from this shaft 22 which is mounted in suitable brackets 23 supported on the top of the bin. In order to take care of the weight of the agitators, each of the shafts or 0 spindles 19 is supported in a suitable bearing 24 carried on a suitable frame 25.

Due to the fact that the lower ends of these agitators are perfectly free aid due to the fact that each of the agitators is supported from a 5 universal joint 18, the agitators can swing back and forth across the material. When the agitators are rotated to break up an arch, the material sliding down in the bin will in no way tend to bend the agitators. Due to their flexible connection 18 with the shaft and also due to the flexible joints in the length thereof, these agitators may be readily deflected from the true vertical without in any way injuring the agitators themeselves.

In the structure illustrated in Figs. 3 and 4, I have shown an arrangement whereby, if desired, a single agitator may be used in the place of the plurality shown in Figs. 1 and 2. In this structure, the single agitator 25, which is of the same construction as that illustrated in Figs. I and: 2 is connected by a universal joint 26 with a vertical spindle 27 driven from electric motor drive 28 mounted on a carriage 29. This carriage is movable upon a horizontal track member 30 supported from a boom 31 mounted at one corner of the bin. This boom is freely rotatable and, therefore, the arm or track 30 may be swung across the bin. Also due to the fact that the carriage 29 is movable back and forth on the bin through suitable manipulating chains 32 and 33, the agitator may be swung to operate in most any part of the bin. I have found this arrangement particularly advantageous because, by swinging the agitator and moving the carriage so that the agitator will move transversely of the mass of material,, the agitator not only has a tendency to lift the mass of material to thus break the arch therein, but also has a tendency to cut through the mass of material, thereby additionally assisting in the breaking up of the arch.

It is obvious that, due to the universal joint 26 at the top and due to the universal joints between the sections, the top end of the agitator may be swung to various positions without in any way tending to bend the agitator proper.

The worm, as illustrated in Fig. 3, is adapted to project, as at 34, beyond the shaft proper.

By this arrangement, any tendency of the material in the bin .to pack and form more or less of a bearing for the lower end of the agitator, is prevented. This projecting end of the worm will tend to break up the material at this point so that the agitator will be free to swing,, at all times, in any direction to which it may be moved.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new is: 1. In combination, a storage bin having a bottom delivery and adapted to contain a large mass of material having a tendency to arch as the material is delivered from the bottom of the bin, and means for breaking the arched material comprising a helical screw element supported above the top of the bin and extending normally vertically downwardly into the material of the bin with its lower end free, a driving shaft for rotating said screw in a direction to lift the material in the bin, and a universal connection between said shaft and said screw, said screw, due to its universal connection with the shafts and due to the lifting action thereof upon the material, being swingable at an angle to its normal vertical line.

2. In combination, a storage bin having a bot- 7 tom and a delivery opening at its bottom, means for feeding the material contained in said bin toward the delivery opening, said bin being adapted to contain a large mass of material having a tendency to arch as the material is re- 7 moved from beneath the same by said feeding means, means for breaking the arches in said material occasioned by said feed comprising a helical screw element supported above the top of the bin and extending normally vertically downwardly into the material in the bin, the lower end of said element being free, a driving shaft for rotating said screw element in a direction to lift said material in the bin and a universal connection between said shaft and said screw, permitting said screw to shift from a vertical line as the result of the shifting of the material in the bin when the arched material in the bin is broken by the lifting action of the screw.

S:3. The combination with a storage bin having a discharge opening at its bottom and adapted to contain a large mass of material having a tendencyto. arch, of an agitator therefor comprising a plurality of shaft sections swingably connected to one another and each provided with substantially radially disposed spirally arranged projections supported above said bin and extending downwardly into said bin and into the material thereof, said agitator being swingably and rotatably supported at its upper end and haying its lower end free.

4. The combination with a storage bin having a discharge opening at its lower- end adapted to contain a large mass of material having a tendency to arch, of an agitator therefor comprising a plurality of sections of worm shafts swingably connected together and swingably and rotatably supported at its upper end above the top. of said bin and projecting downwardly into the bin and into the material thereof, the lower end of said agitator being free, and means for rotating said agitator in a direction to cause said worm to lift the material of the bin.

5. The combination with a storage bin having-a discharge opening and adapted to contain a large mass of material having a tendency to arch at its bottom, of an agitator therefor vertically disposed therein rotatably and swingably supported at its upper end and having its lower -4i5 end free, and comprising a plurality of jointed sections, each section being provided With a substantially radially disposed projection. : 6. Tne-combihation with a storage bin having a delivery opening at its bottom and adapted to contain a large mass of material having a tendency to arch, of an agitator therefor comprising a worm 'shaft swingably and 'rotatably supported at its upper end with its lower end Sfree, the worm of said shaft at its lower end being adapted 'to project beyond the end of the shaft.

7. The combination with a storage bin having a discharge opening at its lower end and o adapted to contain a large mass of material having a tendency to arch, of ah agitator therefor comprising a worm shaft, said shaft projecting vertically into the bin and having its lower end free and its upper end rotatably sup;, ported from a universal joint, and means for moving said shaft transversely of the bin.

8. The combination with a storage bin having a delivery opening at its bottom and adapted to contain a large mass of material having:a tend0 ency to arch, of an agitator projeeting vertically into said bin comprising a worm shaft, a support for said agitator mounted above said bin and movable laterally :and transversely across the top of said bin, a shaft carried by.said sup5 port; and a. universal connection between, sald shaft and said agitator, the lower end of said agitator being free.

9. The combination with a storage bin having a delivery opening at its bottom and adapted to contain a large mass of material having a tendency to arch, a support mounted above said bin and pivoted at one side of said bin to swing transversely over the top of said bin, a carriage mounted on said support and movable from one end of the support to the other, a driving shaft supported from said carriage, and a worm shaft having a universal coupling with said driving shaft and extending downwardly into the material of said bin with its lower end free, said universal coupling permitting the worm shaft to extend at an angle to the vertical through the material and said free lower end of the worm shaft, permitting the worm shaft to assume a vertical position as the shaft is rotated to cut through the material of the bin.

NICK T. PUCKETT.