United States Patent 3732806

A removable ram head for a trash compactor employs an integral casting having a flat compacting face with an undulating or scalloped periphery of generally overall circular configuration. In trailing relation to the compacting face is a circular, laterally extending flange to which is secured an annular gasket. The undulating periphery of the compacting face and the flange combine to increase the compacting efficiency of the ram head. Structural details of a trash compactor incorporating the ram head are also disclosed.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B30B9/30; (IPC1-7): B30B15/06
Field of Search:
100/295,229 241
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3613568REFUSE COMPACTOR RAM COVER1971-10-19Bottas et al.
3444806APPARATUS FOR PRESSING SCRAP1969-05-20Ozeki et al.
3371599Scrap compressing apparatus for electric furnaces1968-03-05Tezuka
3353478Waste collecting and compacting unit1967-11-21Hopkins
3253537Trash compacting apparatus1966-05-31Porter et al.
2622510Pressing sawdust into the form of bodies1952-12-23Letts

Primary Examiner:
Wilhite, Billy J.
I claim

1. In a trash compactor having ram means movable in a substantially rectilinear leading direction to compact trash, said ram means including a ram head assembly movable by said ram means in said direction, said head assembly including a substantially planar leading compacting surface, the improvement comprising: said compacting surface having a periphery undulating radially with respect to the axis of a circle about said periphery, sad circle being in circumscribed relation to said periphery; and a generally circular flange concentric with said circle, said flange extending radially with respect to said axis and having a leading face disposed in trailing relation to said compacting surface, the overall diameter of said flange being greater than the diameter of said circle, said compacting surface and flange face being joined by a side wall integral with both having an outer face undulating as aforesaid.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said compacting surface is formed on the leading face of an end wall joining said side wall, said end wall having a trailing face and sad side wall an inner face, and including reinforcing ribbing extending between said side wall inner face and integrally joined thereto add to said end wall trailing face.

3. the device of claim 2 including a flexible gasket secured to said flange and extending radially with respect to said axis beyond the periphery of said flange.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein said head assembly is releasably attached to said ram means, said head assembly being removable therefrom by slidable movement n a direction normal to said axis.


An unfavorable aspect of prior trash compactors is the ram head itself. These are typically integral with the ram and cannot easily be removed for cleaning or replacement. Problems with them have also been incurred on account of the size and shape of their compacting faces. Clearance between the ram head and the container into which the trash is placed and compacted is important, especially when a tapered container is used in order more easily to remove the compacted trash. If the clearance is too little, then articles can jam between the ram head and the container; if it is too much, then smaller articles will be missed or also jam. On the other hand, the area of the ram head should be as small as possible in order to provide maximum pressure on the trash with respect to the overall force applied to the ram. These competing considerations have not been too well accommodated in present trash compactors of the kind concerned.


The present invention here summarized and later claimed is confined to the removable ram head, although other inventive features of the trash compactor in which the ram head is employed are also shown in the drawings and disclosed in the more detailed description which follows this summary.

In its preferred form the ram head of the present invention is an integral casting having a leading end wall providing a flat compacting face. Around the end wall and extending in trailing relation from it is a side wall which both forms the periphery of the compacting face and undulates radially with respect to a circle circumscribed thereabout. The overall configuration of the head is thereby generally circular in shape and the periphery of the compacting face also of undulate configuration. A circular flange, concentric with the aforesaid circle, extends around and laterally outwards from the side wall in trailing relation to the compacting face, thus providing a step between the compacting face and the flange. The latter has an annular gasket secured to its trailing face and transverse reinforcing ribbing is provided within the confines of the side wall and joined thereto and to the end wall. To the ribbing is secured a pair of transverse ways by which the ram head is slidably attached to and detached from the ram of the compactor in a direction normal to that of its compacting stroke.


FIG. 1 is a vertical elevation of the interior of a trash compactor, certain portions of the chassis, the the ram and its drive and the trash container mount being additionally sectioned to illustrate their details.

FIG. 2 is an exploded isometric view of the ram and its drive.

FIG. 3 is an exploded isometric view of the removable ram head according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the removable ram head.


The trash compactor consists of a chassis 10 formed essentially of a heavy, downwardly flanged rectangular floor plate 11 reinforced beneath by a transverse channel assembly 12. Just inboard of and along the side edges of the floor plate 11 are located two broad, shallow vertical channels 13 disposed in facing relation to each other. The lower ends of the channels 13 are provided with horizontal tongues 13a which pass through slots 11a along the side flanges of the floor plate 11 and engage its under face, being secured thereto by bolts 13b. The channels 13 extend nearly to the top of the compactor and are capped by a heavy, downwardly flanged top plate 14, also reinforced above by a pair of transverse channel assemblies 15. The respective opposite flanges of the channels 13 are connected by heavy crossplates 16 just beneath the top plate 14, all to form in effect a heavy, cage-like structure in which the ram operates. Over the chassis 10 is slipped an open front, rectangular sheet metal cabinet 17 whose forward edges are flanged at 17a and provide with a toe space 18. The front of the cabinet is closed by three panels, 19, 20 and 21 against the cabinet flanges 17a, the upper edge of the panel 21 being provided with a hand grip 22. The cabinet 17 is secured only to the rear and side edges of the floor plate 11, being otherwise spaced from the chassis 10 in order to minimize transmission of vibration, and the floor and top plates 11 and 14 extend forward to just behind the toe space 18 and the panel 19, respectively.

The ram assembly, generally indicated at 30, consists of an upper horizontal plate 31 of rectangular shape generally spanning the area bounded by the four inner corners of the channels 13 and provided with transverse upwardly turned flanges 32. From the side edges of the plate 31 depend a pair of deep skirt plates 33, reinforced by angle braces 34 about the four edges of the plate 31 and by flanges 35a and 35b along their four vertical and to bottom edges. Over the four corners formed by the skirt plates 33 and their flanges 35a are secured nylon glides 36 which slidably bear against the inner corners of the channels 13. Beneath the upper plate 31 are welded the upper ends of a pair of trapezoidal shaped supports 37 braced by flanges 38 along their upright edges and disposed in spaced, back-to-back relation centrally of the plate 31. Welded to the lower ends of the supports 37 is the upper face of a circular bottom plate 39 having a forward tab 40 for purposes to be later described and centrally disposed with respect to the upper ram plate 31. The latter is centrally bored between the supports 37 to receive a flanged swivel seat 41 for a swivel nut 42 having a squared upper boss 42a, the seat 41 and nut 42 being retained by a flange plate 43 bolted through the plate 31, the plate 43 having a squared aperture 43a receiving the boss 42a and so preventing rotation of the nut 42. Through the latter is threaded a long, Acme type vertical screw 44, its thread being interrupted at 45 toward its upper end and provided thereabove with a pair of opposite flats 46 on which is threaded a nut 47. The latter supports a large, cogged driven gear 48 whose hub 49 fits the flats 46 to fix the gear 48 relative to the screw 44. On the hub 49 is placed a sleeve needle bearing 50 which is received in a flanged bushing 51 seated in an aperture 52 in the chassis top plate 14 and bolted thereto between the channel assemblies 15. Above and below the busing 51 are interposed a pair of washer-type needle thrust bearings 53, each sandwiched between a pair of flat washers 54. Through the bushing 51 extends the upper end of the screw 44, the latter and thus the entire ram assembly 30 being suspended from the bushing 51 by means of a nut 55 bearing against the upper-most washer 54. In order to prevent whipping of the screw 44, its lower end is extended down through an aperture 57 in the ram bottom plate 39. Forward of the ram assembly 30 a hat-shaped bracket 58 is bolted to the under face of the chassis top plate 14 from which is vertically suspended an appropriate electric motor M, the upper end of its drive shaft carrying a small cogged drive gear 59, the gears 48 and 59 being connected by a cogged drive belt 60. It will be understood, of course, that a suitable electrical control circuit is employed to drive the ram assembly 30, but since various of these are well known and play no part in the present invention, none needs be described herein.

Accordingly, as the screw 44 is driven in the appropriate direction, the entire ram assembly 30 moves downwardly owing to the swivel nut 42. The four nylon glides 36, which in effect provide a total of eight bearing faces, fit tightly against the inner corners of the chassis channels 13 and are heavily greased. The screw 44, which provides a single axis of thrust centrally disposed with respect to the ram assembly 30 and parallel to the glides 36, absorbs most of the resistance encountered by the ram assembly 30 as it descends. Any tendency for it to "cock" or "twist" is effectively resisted and accommodated by the strength of the ram assembly 30, the extensive length of the eight surfaces of the nylon glides 36 and the substantial lateral spacing of the latter from the axis of the screw 44. The interrupted thread portion 45 of the screw 44 prevents over-travel of the ram 30 upon its upward movement.

The removable ram head assembly 90, which is of generally circular shape, consists essentially of an integral casting 91 having a side wall formed by peripheral ribbing 92 which undulates radially with respect to a circle circumscribed thereabout, the ribbing 92 being extended to provide a forward tab 93 similar to tab 40 of the ram bottom plate 39. The ribbing 92 is reinforced by reticular ribbing 94 therebetween, the upper ends of the ribbing 92 and 94 and the upper face of the tab 93 providing faces mating with the lower face of the ram bottom plate 39. The lower ends of the ribbing 92 and 94 are closed by an end wall whose leading face provides a flat, compacting surface 95 whose peripheral contour is the same as that of the ribbing 92 and centrally disposed with respect to the axis of thrust of the ram drive screw 44. Midway between the top and bottom of the periphery of the ribbing 92 is formed a laterally extending, generally circular flange 96 below the level of the tab 93 of substantially the same overall diameter as the ram bottom plate 39 and concentric therewith. The intersections between selected ones of the ribbing 94 are enlarged to provide four rectangularly spaced bolsters 97, centrally disposed with respect to the head assembly 90, to which is screwed an inverted hat section plate 98, diametrically aligned with the tab 93. Beneath the leaves 99 of the plate 98 the respective ribbings 92 and 94 are relieved, as indicated at 100, in order to permit the leaves 99 slidably to engage a pair of flat spaced ways 101 formed from a pair of reversely bent metal strips 102 welded to the bottom face of the ram bottom pate 39 to each side of a diametrical line through the tab 40 in order to attach the ram head assembly 90 to the plate 39. The two are releasably retained by a spring loaded bayonet catch assembly 103 mounted in the tab 40 and engaging a hole 104 in the tab 93 therebelow. In order to provide clearance for the lower end of the screw 44 as the head assembly 90 is slid on and off the way 101, the ribbing 92 and the flange 96 opposite the tab 93 are relieved at 105, as is the transverse ribbing 94 between the adjacent-most pair of bolsters 97 and the corresponding portion 106 of the plate 98. Finally, to the upper face of the flange 96 is screwed a neoprene splash gasket 107 having a circular perimeter of a diameter somewhat greater than that of the flange 96. Accordingly, by releasing the catch 103 the ram head assembly 90 can be slid forwardly and readily removed for cleaning or replacement.

A slide-out mount 120 for the trash container 180 is formed by a rectangular floor pan 121 having a large centrally located, circular aperture 123 therein normally axially aligned with the ram head 90 and somewhat larger in diameter. The floor pan 121 is carried on a pair of three-piece, ball bearing full extension glides of conventional type (not shown) secured across the flanges of the chassis channels 13 just above the floor plate 11. The cabinet front panel 21, carrying the hand grip 22, is secured in turn to the pan 121 by means of a pair of upright, trapezoidal braces 129. Four flat, container supporting springs (not shown) secured to the pan 121 extend radially into the aperture 123 and support the tapered, bucket-like trash container 180 which sits thereon through the aperture 123.

When the ram 30 is in its fully retracted position as shown in FIG. 1, the container 180 can be pulled forwardly out of the cabinet 17 on its mount 120, as indicated by the arrow, by the hand grip 22 in order for trash to be deposited. When the container 180 is full, the ram 30 is activated and descends to compress the trash at which time the springs on which the container 180 sits deflect allowing the latter to sink through the aperture 123 until its bottom sits firmly upon the chassis floor plate 11. The scalloped perimeter of the lower face 95 of the ram head plate 91 not only reduces the area and thus increases the pressure applied by the face 95 but also tends, together with the step between the face 95 and the flange 96 above, to apply a multitude of random, downwardly directed forces on bottles and the like lying about the wall of the container 180 in order to provide effective breakage and to reduce or eliminate lateral forces on the side wall of the container 180. At the same time, the flange 96 avoids missing small objects and yet minimizes clearance between the ram head plate 91 and the wall of the container 180. As a practical working example, the diameter of the flange 96 of the ram head plate 81 may be about 13 inch while the edge of the scalloped perimeter of the ram head face 95 undulates between 3/8 inch and 1-1/2 inch from the edge of the flange 96, the step between the latter and the face 95 being about 3/8 inch. The container 180 is sized so that the clearance between the edge of the flange 96 and the interior of the container 180 is about 5/16 inch at the top and 3/16 inch at the bottom.

Though the present invention has been described in terms of a particular embodiment, being the best mode known of carrying out the invention, it is not limited to that embodiment alone. Instead, the following claims are to be read as encompassing all modifications and adaptation of the invention falling within its spirit and scope.