A plate-type vibratory compactor which includes an oil-sealed vibrator unit mounted on the sole plate of the compactor. The vibrator unit includes an open-ended housing with bearings and a rotatable eccentric weight removably mounted in the housing. The bearings and eccentric weight may be removed from the housing if replacement is necessary. Oil is contained in the housing for continuously lubricating the bearings. The vibration-generating unit may be applied to either a self-propelled vibratory compactor or a compactor used in connection with a vehicle such as a backhoe. Two vibration-generating units and a transmission may be used with a self-propelled compactor to provide a direction-reversing feature.
1. For use with a plate-type vibratory compactor, vibration generating apparatus comprising:
2. The vibration-generating apparatus of claim 1 further comprising seal means for retaining lubricant within said housing.
3. The vibration generating apparatus of claim 2 wherein said shaft extends out of said housing and said seal means is positioned between said shaft and one of said cover means.
4. A vibratory compactor comprising:
5. The vibratory compactor of claim 4 wherein said means for rotating said shaft and eccentric weight means is a hydraulic motor.
6. The vibratory compactor of claim 5 further comprising means for mounting the compactor on a vehicle; said mounting means including means for isolating the vibrations from said vehicle.
7. The vibratory compactor of claim 4 wherein said means for rotating said shaft is a gasoline-powered engine and the vibratory compactor further comprises means for isolating the vibrations generated by said rotating shaft and eccentric weight means from said engine.
8. The vibratory compactor of claim 7 wherein said housing is positioned so that the rotation of said shaft and weight vibrates said soleplate and moves the compactor horizontally along the material to be compacted.
9. The vibratory compactor of claim 8 wherein said soleplate has a portion which is inclined upwardly and said housing is mounted on said portion.
10. The vibratory compactor of claim 4 further comprising means positioned between said rotating means and said shaft for reversing the direction of rotation of said shaft.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to vibratory compactors and in particular to a novel vibrator for use with plate-type vibratory compactors and a new configuration of a plate-type vibratory compactor which permits the direction of travel of a self-propelled vibratory compactor to be reversed.
Vibratory compactors which employ a rotating eccentric weight are generally known. They are usually used under conditions which do not lend themselves to long life. They are often used in the presence of adverse conditions such as a large amount of dirt and dust as well as water. Prior to this invention the rotating eccentric weight was mounted in bearings which were open to the elements. In such prior apparatus it is necessary to continuously grease the bearings in order to prevent failure. More often than not, the operator fails to perform the necessary preventive maintenance such as greasing the bearings. The elements such as dirt and water which get into the bearings often leads to premature failure of the bearings. This may be the case even though the bearings are adequately greased.
By the present invention a sealed housing has been provided for the vibrating element and the bearings are mounted within this housing. The housing may be partially filled with a lubricant so that the bearings are continuously lubricated.
Also prior to this invention when it was desired to compact dirt and other materials in trenches, it was necessary for a man to enter the trench with a hand-held tamping tool. The trench is partially filled with dirt and that dirt is compacted. The remainder of the trench is then filled with dirt and compacted. These trenches often contain water and the effect is adverse on the operator who enters them and on the tools used to compact the soil. By the present invention a compactor has been provided which may be connected to a vehicle such as a backhoe and used for compacting material in a trench without requiring a man to enter the trench.
With most prior self-propelled plate-type compactors, when it is desired to reverse the direction of travel of the compactor, it was necessary to turn the compactor around. In one embodiment in this invention, a large plate-type vibrating compactor is provided which permits reversing direction of travel of a vibratory plate compactor without turning the compactor around.
It is therefore the principal object of this invention to provide a novel vibration-generating unit for a plate-type vibratory compactor which will substantially reduce failures of the unit due to adverse conditions encountered in the use of the compactor.
It is another object of this invention to provide a vibration-generating unit for vibratory compactors which may be used in more than one type of vibratory compactor.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a plate-type vibratory compactor which is adapted to be connected to a vehicle.
It is still a further object of this invention to provide a reversible plate-type vibratory compactor.
In general, these and other objects will be carried out by providing a vibratory compactor comprising: a sole plate for engaging the material to be compacted; an open-ended housing secured to said soleplate; bearing means removably mounted within said housing; a shaft positioned within said housing and rotatably mounted in said bearing means; eccentric weight means mounted on said shaft; cover means removably secured to said housing for closing the ends of said housing; said housing being adapted to be at least partially filled with a lubricant; and means for rotating said shaft and eccentric weight for generating vibrations in said soleplate.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention will be described in connection with the annexed drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a view partly in section showing a vibratory compactor adapted to be used with a vehicle such as a backhoe;
FIG. 2 is a plan view taken on the line 2--2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a self-propelled vibratory compactor employing the vibration-generating unit of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a top view of the compactor of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view of the vibration-generating unit of the present invention taken on the line 3--3 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a generally schematic view of a reversible self-propelled vibratory compactor; and
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 showing the compactor of FIG. 6 driven for movement in the opposite direction.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
In FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a plate-type vibratory compactor which is adapted to be used in connection with a vehicle such as a backhoe. When used with a vehicle, a vibratory compactor need not be self-propelled; i.e., compaction is the sole object; forward motion is not necessary. The compactor is generally indicated at 1 and includes a housing 2 mounted on a work-contacting soleplate 3. The housing is closed by plates 4. The compactor is connected to a vehicle such as a backhoe 6, only a portion of which has been shown. The connection is made by means of a channel 7 and pin means 8. Rubber shock absorbers 10 are provided for isolating the vibrations of the compactor from the vehicle 6.
A vibration-generating means generally indicated at 15 is mounted on the soleplate 3 and includes a rotating eccentric weight. The eccentric weight is rotated by means of a hydraulic motor 11 and belt drive 12. Hydraulic fluid is supplied to the motor 11 through connection 13 from the vehicle. Because backhoes are equipped with a source of hydraulic fluid power, the use of a hydraulic motor to drive the compactor makes hookup relatively easy. The vibration-generating unit is mounted on the soleplate 3 so that it is used only for compaction, not for forward motion.
The vibration-generating apparatus is best shown in FIGS. 1 and 5. Although FIGS. 1 and 5 refer to two different applications of the vibrator, the vibrator unit is the same for both applications. The vibrator 15 includes an open-ended housing 16. A pair of bearings 18 and 19 are removably mounted within the housing 16 by means of plates 20 and 21, respectively. A shaft 22 having an eccentric weight 23 is rotatably mounted in the bearings 18 and 19 and extends out of the housing so that a drive belt may be connected thereto. The open ends of the housing 16 are closed by cover plates 24 and 25. The plate 25 is provided with an opening 26 therein for passage of the shaft 20 therethrough. The housing is provided with a filler cap 28 so that a suitable lubricant such as oil may placed in the housing 16. A seal 27 is positioned in the opening 26 and surrounds the shaft 22 for preventing lubricant from leaking out of the housing 16. As the shaft 22 and eccentric weight 23 rotate, the eccentric weight moves through the lubricant in the housing and the lubricant serves to continuously oil the bearings 18 and 19 are prevent wear. The substantially sealed housing prevents water and dirt from entering the housing and bearings.
If, for some reason, the bearings fail and it is necessary to replace either the bearings or the shaft 22 and eccentric weight 23, all that need be done is remove the cover plate 25 and slide the shaft 22 and bearings 18 and 19 out of the housing. A new unit may then be inserted and the compactor is again operational.
Referring now to the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4, a vibratory compactor of the self-propelled type is shown which includes a soleplate 30 adapted to engage the material 31 to be compacted. The plate 30 includes an upwardly turned portion 32 on which the vibration-generating unit 15 is mounted. The vibration-generating unit is mounted on this upwardly turned portion 32 to achieve a proper balance between forward motion and downward compaction. As the eccentric 23 rotates in a counterclockwise direction, the compactor will tend to move forward along the material to be compacted. The plate 30 is provided with a handle 33. An internal combustion engine 35 is mounted on the compactor for driving the vibrating-generating means 15 through a centrifugal clutch, generally indicated at 39 and belt 36. The centrifugal clutch permits the vibrator to be engaged at high idle speeds. A suitable guard 37 and steering handle 38 are provided. The engine 35 is mounted by means of shock absorbing elements 40 between the upwardly turned sides of the soleplate 30.
Referring now to the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7, there is shown a plate-type vibratory compactor which is particularly adapted for use where a large area of material is to be compacted. The compactor includes a soleplate 50 having upwardly turned portions 51 and 52 at opposite ends thereof. A suitable handle 53 is provided for guiding the unit. A vibration-generating unit similar to that employed in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 3 is mounted on each of the upwardly turned portions 51 and 52. A suitable source of power such as a gasoline-powered engine 55 is provided and connected to a reversing mechaniam or transmission 56. A belt or chain drive 57 connects the transmission 56 to one of the vibration-generating means 15. A timing belt 58 connects the second vibration-generating means 15 to the first vibrator so that the two eccentric weights rotate in phase with each other. Because the weights 23 are in phase with each other, the compactor is provided with greater force. This permits the compactor to be larger.
When it is desired to have the compactor move to the left as shown in the drawings, the eccentric weights are rotated in a counterclockwise direction. When it is desired to have the compactor move to the right as shown in the drawings, the transmission 56 is reversed so that the eccentric weights 23 rotate in a clockwise direction. Thus, the direction of travel of the compactor can be easily reversed without turning the compactor around.
From the foregoing it is apparent that the objects of this invention have been carried out. A vibratory element for compactors has been provided which permits the apparatus to be used under all conditions and which may be used with a variety of compactors. Lubrication of the bearings of the vibrator is insured because of the sealed housing which is at least partially filled with a lubricant. A large plate-type compactor is provided by use of two vibratory elements which are timed to rotate in phase with each other.