United States Patent 3827182

The invention pertains to a device for automatically opening and closing a curved sliding door with respect to a concentric opening in a fixed curved section, for instance a drum of a machine for washing linen, wherein at least one pressure cylinder is fitted between said sliding door and said fixed curved section, the cylinder itself and its piston rod being concentrically disposed, both with regard to said sliding door and with regard to said fixed section.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
49/41, 220/213
International Classes:
B63B19/08; B65D90/58; D06F37/28; E05F15/02; E05F15/08; E05F15/12; F15B15/12; (IPC1-7): D06F37/28
Field of Search:
49/40,41 92
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3246580Rotary fluid displacement device1966-04-19Huska
3206058Closure for laundry machines1965-09-14Widigen
3165226Operating means for tub door1965-01-12Files
2657538Toric fluid displacement chamber and packing therefor1953-11-03Myers
1032694N/A1912-07-16Milne et al.
1006157N/A1911-10-17Weber et al.

Primary Examiner:
Taylor, Dennis L.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bacon & Thomas
What I claim is

1. A device for opening and closing a curved sliding door on a similarly curved wall of a vessel comprising:

2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said last-named means comprise:

This invention concerns a device for automatic opening and closing of curved doors, in particular for opening and closing curved sliding doors to follow the curved wall of a container, a drum, a vehicle body or similar.

We know various applications of doors, in particular curved doors, where these doors must seal, for specific reasons, an opening in the curved wall of a container, drum, vehicle or similar such as, for instance, in washing machines for linen, shipping tanks, airplane doors, etc.

Generally, such curved doors are operated simply by sliding said door by hand into the desired positions in its guide fixtures and along said curved wall.

Access to such doors is quite difficult in some specific cases and, consequently, attempts were made to automatically move these doors by mechanical means, for which purpose various chain systems, cable systems and the like have already been used. However, none of the solutions presented to this day showed efficient results.

This invention involves a device, by which such doors can be opened and closed by completely automatic and remote control, while the door can be moved to and held in any position with regard to the door opening, the device itself being extremely simple and very safe in operation.

This device consists, mainly, in fitting, between said sliding door or similar and said fixed curved section, minimum one pressure cylinder, the cylinder part and the piston rod of which will be curved and installed concentrically with regard to said sliding door and with regard to said fixed section.

For the purpose of showing the special features of the device according to the invention, we detail hereinafter, as an example and without any restriction, two preferred embodiments by referring to the drawings hereto attached, in which:

FIG. 1 shows part of a radial section through a drum with an access door fitted with a device according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a view along arrow F2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view along arrow F3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view according to line IV--IV in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a view along arrow F5 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 shows a sectional view according to line IV--IV in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a view along arrow F7 in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a view along arrow F8 in FIG. 5;

FIG. 9 is a view similar to that of FIG. 1, but with said sliding door in open position;

FIGS. 10 and 11 are both sectional views similar to FIGS. 1 and 9, but illustrating a different embodiment;

FIG. 12 shows, as an example, a washing machine for linen, to which the device according to the invention has been fitted.

FIGS. 1 to 9 show a curved wall 1 of a drum, container, vehicle body or the like, in which an opening 2 can be sealed by means of a sliding door 3, which door is curved according to a radius drawn from the same centre as the local outline of components 1.

This door can be opened, or closed, by moving the door along the outline of component 1, for which purpose this door will slide in guides 4 and 5 attached to the wall of component 1.

In accordance with this invention, said sliding door 3 will be connected in an appropriate manner with at least one device 6 according to the invention. As shown by the example and by preference, we provide for two such devices 6, one at each side of said door, for the purpose of fully freeing said opening 2 and for the purpose of opening sliding door 3 without torsional strain.

Each device 6 will in that case, consists of a cylinder body 7 concentrically curved with said door 3, and in which cylinder is a piston 8 fitted, at each end with piston rods 9 and 10.

At each outer end, said cylinder 7 is slidable on the piston rods 9 and 10 by means of an appropriate gasket 11, in which arrangement both components 10 of the two devices 6 are linked together in an appropriate manner by means of a rod 12 that passes through two lugs 13 and 14 attached to said sliding door 3. In this case, said rod 12 will pass through oblong holes 15 provided for in supports 13 and 14 for the purpose of allowing radial motion of the door with regard to component 1; this is necessary in some cases, for instance when the design involves a container or similar 1 that must be sealed air-tight and water-tight by means of said door 3, and in which we use, after having moved the door 3 in position with regard to opening 2, known hydraulic or pneumatic gasket systems fitted to the outline of sliding door 3, and which systems will be inflated at that moment.

Said piston rods 9 and 10 are attached at each end, by means of an appropriate support 16, to the outer wall of component 1.

As clearly shown by the drawings heretoattached, it will suffice to bring pressure to one or the other side of said piston 8 in order to move cylinder 7 along the guiding piston rods 9 and 10 and thus either open or close said sliding door 3.

This arrangement provides a very simple, low cost and very safe automatic system capable of remote control for the purpose of opening or closing said sliding door 3. This device is all the more interesting when, for instance, sliding doors are involved that are installed at great heights, or in places of difficult access and, in some cases, offering access only after having disassembled part of a specific machine.

In order to avoid using flexible feed and discharge lines for the pressure fluid, said piston rods 9 and 10 are hollow in this design, in which each piston rod is connected at its end that passes through a support 16 and is hereto-attached, with lines 17 and 18 while, in order to admit the fluid to the cylinder, and to remove said fluid from the cylinder, each piston rod 9 and 10 is provided with, adjacent the piston 8, with a small hole 19 or 20.

The ends 11 of cylinder 7 extend into a body 21, into which has been fitted a gasket ring 22 and a compressing part 23 that bears on a gasket 24.

Piston 8 consists of a body with end taps 25 and 26 to which the free ends of piston rods 25 and 26 are fitted, threaded parts 27 and 28 and two cylindrical parts 29 and 30 separated one from another by a cylindrical part 31 of larger diameter. On each side of part 31 are fitted rings, respectively 32 and 33, made, for instance of self-lubricating synthetic material, which will result, first, in extremely low friction and practically no wear and, second, in insuring that part 31 which has an outer diameter somewhat smaller than the inner diameter of cylinder body 7 will not make metal and metal contact with the cylinder. The seal itself of piston 8 with regard to cylinder wall 7 is achieved by means of rings with flanged lateral edges, 34 and 35, made, for instance, of synthetic material and fitted against said rings 32 and 33, in which will cooperate, with each of said rings 34 and 35, compressing rings 36 and 37, which compressing rings will, in their turn, be compressed by nuts, 38 and 39, that cooperate with said threaded parts 27 and 28.

In this manner, we achieve a very simple and operationally safe device.

Obviously, the construction of said end parts 11 as well as of said piston 8 may be of any other design without exceeding the limits of the invention.

FIGS. 10 and 11 schematically show an embodiment, in which cylinder 7 is firmly attached to the outer wall of component 1 and in which it is piston rod 40 that is attached at one end 41 to said sliding door 3, while the other end of said piston rod 40 is provided with an appropriate piston 42. In this case, the pressure fluid feed may be achieved directly along cylinder 7 and, by preference, by means of lines 43 and 44.

FIG. 12, shows as an example, a large capacity linen washing machine for industrial purposes, in which the outer fixed drum 46 is provided, with an opening at its lower part, which opening can normally be sealed by a door 3 that can be opened and closed by means of devices 6 such as detailed hereabove.

This invention is by no means restricted to the designs shown by the drawings hereto-attached and to be understood as examples, and such a device may be embodied in other shapes and measurements without exceeding the limits of this invention.