Title:
Safety barrier
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This present invention concerns a safety barrier that includes a boom (100) carried by a support mounting (200), associated with a drive system that is suitable for selectively moving the boom (100) between a horizontal rest position, barring the roadway in a manner that blocks passage, and a temporary position opening up the said roadway to permit the passage of traffic on the roadway when authorised access is detected, the said boom (100) being able to move in relation to the support mounting (200) when, in the rest position, it is subjected to an impact that is greater than a given threshold, so that damage is avoided, characterised by the fact that it includes elastic resources (222, 224) for the automatic return of the boom to its position (100) on the said support mounting (200).



Inventors:
Allain, Daniel (Bernes sur Oise, FR)
Puille, Alain (Ennery, FR)
Application Number:
11/374718
Publication Date:
10/12/2006
Filing Date:
03/14/2006
Assignee:
BCA Barrieres et Controle d'Acces
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E01F13/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080038054Community intermodal transit systemFebruary, 2008Gustafson et al.
20090226257SCREED SYSTEMSeptember, 2009Lindley
20070077118Vehicle incursion inhibitorsApril, 2007Mahal et al.
20100074684RECYCLING ASPHALT APPARATUSMarch, 2010Stockwell et al.
20100040412CONVEYING SYSTEMFebruary, 2010Fickeisen
20090175682Vibratory Plate Compactor with Aggregate Feed SystemJuly, 2009Jeffrey
20090154992Systems and methods for haul road management based on greenhouse gas emissionsJune, 2009Greiner et al.
20050123349Temporary rampJune, 2005Koch
20030007836Method for creating custom design interlockJanuary, 2003Clarke et al.
20090214293Road Surface Overlay SystemAugust, 2009Wheatley
20070196169Truncated dome insert pins with flexible Mylar Layout GridAugust, 2007Logan et al.



Primary Examiner:
STRIMBU, GREGORY J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LERNER, DAVID, LITTENBERG, (CRANFORD, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. A safety barrier including a boom, a support mounting which carries the boom, a drive system suitable for selectively moving the boom between a horizontal rest position, barring a roadway in a manner that blocks passage, and a temporary position opening up the roadway to allow passage via the roadway when authorised access is detected, the boom being able to move in relation to the support mounting when, in the rest position, it is subjected to an impact greater than a given threshold, so that damage is avoided, comprising: resources for detecting a movement of the boom in relation to the support mounting, and elastic resources for automatic return of the boom to its position on the support mounting.

2. A barrier according to claim 1, further including resources suitable for automatically placing the support mounting in a vertical position when movement of the boom is detected, in such a manner that the re-positioning of the latter on the support mounting takes place other than on the roadway.

3. A barrier according to claim 1, wherein the boom is articulated on the support mounting about a secondary axis, at an angle to an axis of rotation of the support mounting.

4. A barrier according to claim 1, wherein the elastic resources include at least one spring.

5. A barrier according to claim 4, wherein the spring is coaxial with an axis of rotation of the boom in relation to the support mounting.

6. A barrier according to claim 1, further including two springs for return of the boom to its position of use in relation to the support mounting.

7. A barrier according to claim 1, wherein the elastic resources include at least one torsion spring the ends of which are attached respectively to the boom and the support mounting.

8. A barrier according to claim 1, further including an intermediate support fitted between the boom and the support mounting.

9. A barrier according to claim 8, wherein the intermediate support includes two cheek pieces designed to grip one end of the boom.

10. A barrier according to claim 1, further including holding resources to hold the boom on the support mounting unless a force greater than a given threshold is applied to the boom.

11. A barrier according to claim 10, wherein the holding resources include a magnet carried on one of the boom and the support mounting, and a polar plate carried on the other one of the boom and the support mounting.

12. A barrier according to claim 11, wherein the holding resources include an electromagnet.

13. A barrier according to claim 10, further including resources providing flexible support for one of the holding resources so as to allow self-positioning of the latter.

14. A barrier according to claim 1, further including resources which prevent positioning of the support mounting in the horizontal position unless the boom is in its normal position on the support mounting.

15. A barrier according to claim 1, wherein the resources for detecting the movement of the boom in relation to the support mounting trigger a timing process in the event that a displacement is detected.

16. A barrier according to claim 1, wherein the support mounting possesses a longitudinal symmetry.

17. A barrier according to claim 1, further including resources limiting the pivoting of the boom to an angle of the order of 90° in relation to the support mounting.

18. A barrier according to claim 17, wherein one end of the boom or of an associated intermediate support is designed to come up against an edge of a core of a stirrup of the support mounting in the event of displacement, in order to limit the relative pivoting between the boom and the support mounting.

19. A barrier according to claim 1, wherein the boom is manufactured from a composite material.

20. A barrier safety assembly according to any one of claims 1-19 further including a support mounting, a boom capable of displacement in relation to the latter when it is subjected to an impact greater than a given threshold, and elastic resources for the automatic return of the boom to its position on the support mounting.

Description:

This present invention concerns the area of barriers intended to control road traffic.

This present invention may have many applications. The barriers according to this present invention can, in particular, be used on road toll stations, at the entrance to vehicle parks, etc. Many such barriers have already been proposed.

The known barriers generally include a boom associated with a drive system suitable for selectively moving the boom between a horizontal rest position, barring the roadway in a manner that blocks passage, and a temporary position opening up the said roadway to permit the passage of traffic on the roadway when authorised access is detected. Although they have given good service, the known barriers nevertheless do not always give total satisfaction.

In particular, one of the problems that have been poorly solved by the existing barriers of previous design is that of rapid recovery after an accidental impact, such as when vehicle hits the boom of a safety barrier.

In the case of serious impacts, a large number of existing barrier designs lead to the complete destruction of the boom, which then has to be replaced. This generally requires significant time.

It has sometimes been proposed that the boom should be placed on a support mounting associated with the drive system in such a manner that the boom is able to move in relation to the support mounting when, in the rest position, it is subjected to an impact greater than a given threshold, so that damage is avoided.

More precisely, in this case, when the vehicle hits the boom of a safety barrier, an arrangement is provided so that the boom moves out of the way of the vehicle by rotating on a vertical axis when it moves in relation to the support mounting. These barriers have the disadvantage however of needing to be restored to position manually by the staff, such as the toll-booth attendant for example, which obliges him to exit from his booth to walk onto the roadway, incurring the danger of being struck by the next vehicle.

Document EP-1394325 proposes an automatic solution for returning the boom to its support. However, this solution is technically complex and has a large number of parts, some of which are fragile and break easily, requiring frequent and costly maintenance. Apart from this, during the return of the boom to its position, using the resources described in the said document, the said boom returns to its position with an oscillating motion as it moves, due to the use of a rack and pinion system, giving rise to surprise for the driver arriving at the barrier during the re-positioning of the boom on the support mounting.

In this context, the main objective of the invention is to propose new resources that will allow a rapid return to service of a safety barrier boom after an accidental impact.

This objective is met in the context of this present invention by means of a barrier that includes a boom, a support mounting which carries the boom, a drive system suitable for selectively moving the boom between a horizontal rest position that bars the roadway in a manner that blocks passage, and a temporary position opening up the said roadway to permit the passage of traffic on the roadway when authorised access is detected, the said boom being able to move in relation to the support mounting when, in the rest position, it is subjected to an impact greater than a given threshold, so that damage is avoided, characterised by the fact that it includes resources for detecting the movement of the boom in relation to the support mounting and elastic resources for the automatic return of the boom to its position on the said support mounting.

The invention thus proposes a safety barrier boom that can be re-positioned automatically.

According to another advantageous characteristic of this present invention, the safety barrier also includes resources that are suitable for automatically placing the mobile assembly in the vertical position when movement of the boom is detected, in relation to the support mounting, in such a manner that the re-positioning of the latter on the support mounting takes place other than on the roadway.

The invention also concerns an independent assembly composed of the combination of the boom and its support mounting, in its own right and apart from the connection of this assembly to the drive system.

Other characteristics, objectives and advantages of this present invention will appear on reading the detailed description that follows, with reference to the appended figures, which are provided as non-limited examples only, and in which:

FIG. 1 presents a diagrammatic view in perspective of a safety barrier of this present invention in the horizontal rest position of the boom,

FIG. 2 presents a partial view of the safety barrier of this present invention after removal of a cover initially enclosing the support mounting and the end of the associated boom,

FIG. 3 presents a similar view after the displacement of the boom, and positioning of the support mounting in the vertical position,

FIG. 4 presents a partial diagrammatic view of the support mounting according to this present invention,

FIG. 5 presents a similar view of the support mounting and boom assembly according to this present invention,

FIG. 6 presents a diagrammatic view from above of a safety barrier in the horizontal rest position, and

FIG. 7 presents a similar view, and also illustrates the two positions of displacement of the boom in the horizontal position in relation to the support mounting.

To begin with, a general description will be provided of the safety barrier of this present invention as illustrated in the appended figures.

In FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the arrow referenced P indicates the direction of travel of the vehicle.

The safety barrier of this present invention includes a boom 100 carried by a support mounting 200 which itself is associated with a driving resource enclosed in a cabinet 300.

The assembly 200 is mounted to pivot about a main horizontal axis 202 on the cabinet 300. More precisely, and typically, the assembly 200 is mounted to pivot up and down about the axis 202 over an angle of 90°. The support mounting 200 can thus be moved between a position called the horizontal position, illustrated for example in FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 5, and a position called the vertical position, illustrated for example in FIG. 3, turned through 90° in relation to the previous position.

In the rest position, illustrated for example in FIGS. 1 and 2, the boom 100 carried by the support mounting 200 is horizontal. It extends across the roadway and prevents passage via the latter.

On the other hand, when the support mounting 200 is moved into a temporary vertical position, as illustrated in FIG. 3, by pivoting about the axis 202, the boom 100, if it is not displaced in relation to the support mounting 200, also lies in the vertical position. The roadway is then freed and traffic allowed to pass.

However, as mentioned previously, in the context of this present invention, the boom 100 is able to move in relation to the support mounting 200 about a secondary axis 102 at right angles to the main axis 202. The boom is thus capable of being “displaced” in relation to the support mounting 200,

In the rest position of the support mounting 200, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the secondary axis 102 is vertical. On the other hand, in the temporary vertical position of the support mounting 200, as illustrated in FIG. 3, the secondary axis 102 is horizontal. In addition, the boom 100 is secured to the support mounting 200 by threshold resources 110, 210 so that the boom 100 is not displaced in relation to the support mounting 200 unless a force greater than a given threshold is applied to the boom. Typically these threshold resources include a magnet 210 on the support mounting 200 and a polar plate 110 carried by the boom 100 (or conversely a polar plate carried by the support mounting 200 and a magnet place opposite on the boom 100).

In addition, the safety barrier of this present invention includes elastic resources 220 designed to return the boom 100 to the rest position on the support mounting 200, after a displacement. Preferably, these elastic resources take the form of one or more (two for example) springs 222, 224.

A more detailed description will now be given of the safety barrier of this present invention. Preferably, the support mounting 200 includes a stirrup 230 that is suitable to be fixed onto the output shaft 310 of the drive resources, which pivots about the main horizontal axis 202. The stirrup 230 is preferably in metal, such as stainless steel. The stirrup 230 is formed by a U-section beam structure. It includes a core 232 with two lateral wings, one on either side 234, 236 perpendicular to the core 232.

The core 232 lies perpendicular to the main axis 202 of the output shaft 310, and is designed to be secured onto the latter. The boom 100 is mounted to rotate in the stirrup 230 about the secondary axis 102 at an angle to the axis 202 of the output shaft 310 and perpendicular to the lateral wings 234, 236.

To this end, in the normal working condition, the end of the boom 100 is located in the internal volume of the stirrup 230, between the two lateral wings 234, 236.

More precisely, and preferably, an intermediate support 130, in a thermoplastic material for example, is fitted to the end of the boom 100 and placed in the stirrup 230 to act as an articulation element between the boom 100 and the stirrup 230, about the axis 102, in the event that the boom 100 is ejected. The intermediate support 130 preferably includes two shells or cheek pieces 131, 132 designed for insertion and gripping of the end of the boom 100, by tightening up of these elements when they are secured by bolts 134 or any equivalent resource.

In fact, the inventors have determined that it is highly preferable not to articulate the boom 100 directly on the stirrup 200. In fact articulating the boom 100 on the stirrup 230 via an intermediate support 130, allows fast and easy replacement of the boom 100 if necessary. In this case, all that is required is to undo the bolts 134 holding the two cheek pieces 131, 132, to withdraw the boom 100 by pulling on its longitudinal axis, then to replace it and re-tighten the bolts 134.

The elastic resources 220 designed to provide for the automatic re-positioning of the boom 100 on the support mounting 200 preferably take the form of two torsion springs 222, 224 that are coaxial with each other and coaxial with the secondary axis 102, mounted on either side of the stirrup 230 on cylindrical spacers 232, 234. As can be seen in particular in FIG. 2, each spacer 232, 234 preferably has a broadened head 233, 235 at its end, designed to hold its respective spring 222, 224.

The spacers 232, 234 themselves are centred on the secondary axis 102. They are preferably made of a thermoplastic material. One end 2220, 2240 of each spring 222, 224 is connected to a plate 240 attached to the stirrup 230, or more precisely to its core 232. This plate 240 lies generally parallel to the secondary axis 102.

A second end 2222, 2242 of each spring 222, 224 is connected to the intermediate support 130, preferably to each of the cheek plates 131, 132, and advantageously distanced from the secondary axis 102, in order to apply adequate return force to the intermediate assembly 130 and the boom 100 attached to it.

As indicated previously, the springs 222, 224 have as their purpose to provide for automatic re-positioning of the boom 100 on the support mounting 200 in the event that the latter is ejected by a vehicle and pivoted about the secondary axis 102. The re-positioning of the boom 100 on the stirrup 230 is guaranteed regardless of the position of the boom, horizontally or vertically, and its angle of displacement, between 0 and 90°. As a non-limited example, the springs 222, 224 are made from Z10CN18.08 work-hardened stainless steel and able to handle approximately 57 Nm at 60° C.

According to the particular method of implementation presented in the appended figures (though as indicated previously, the reverse arrangement can also be employed), the intermediate support 130 carries a plate 110 forming a polar element placed opposite to a magnet 210 carried by the core 232 of the stirrup 230. These resources 110, 210 are used to hold the boom 100 in position in the stirrup 200 unless a force greater than a given threshold is applied to the boom 100 tending to pivot the latter about the secondary axis 102.

In addition, and preferably, the magnet 210 and/or the polar plate 110 are carried by their respective supports with a certain degree of freedom of movement in order to guarantee perfect contact between the opposite faces of the polar plate 110 and of the magnet 210, in the rest position of the safety barrier. This arrangement allows any risk of lack of parallelism between the opposite faces of these elements to be eliminated. As a non-limited example of this, the magnet 210 can be carried by the core 232 of the stirrup 230 by means of a rubber damping washer 212. Such a washer 212 is used to provide flexibility of orientation to the magnet 210. When the boom 100 is struck, the polar plate 110 “unsticks”, and allows the boom to be ejected by pivoting about the secondary axis 102. As a non-limited example, the retention force of the magnet 210 can be of the order of 160 daN.

In a variant, the magnet 210 can be replaced by a electromagnet, though this will have to be provided with a power supply.

As can be seen in FIG. 1 attached, the safety barrier of this present invention also preferably includes a protective cover 250 fixed onto the intermediate support 130, so as to follow the movements of the latter. The purpose of the cover 250 is to protect the system and to provide a certain aesthetic look to the assembly. It can also be the subject of many implementation variants and will therefore not be described in detail in what follows.

Preferably, the safety barrier of this present invention also includes resources designed to detect the displacement of the boom 100 in relation to the stirrup 230, that is the pivoting of the boom 100 in relation to the stirrup 230, about the secondary axis 102, in other than its normal working condition. It is also preferably provided with resources that are suitable for automatically placing the mobile assembly 200 in the vertical position, as illustrated in FIG. 3, during such a detection of displacement of the boom 100, in such a manner that re-positioning of the latter on the support mounting 200, under the effect of the force applied by the springs 222, 224, takes place away from the roadway.

The aforementioned detection resources can be the subject of many implementation methods. They preferably take the form of an inductive sensor 260 carried by the core 232 of the stirrup 230 opposite to a complementary metal element 160 carried by the intermediate support 130.

Such a sensor 260 detects the presence of the boom 100 in its normal position. In the event of an impact, the sensor 260 transmits the information on the displacement of the boom 100, and in this event emits a command to open the barrier in order to position the mobile assembly 200 in the vertical position, as illustrated in FIG. 3. It also set off a timing process for the closure of the boom, in order to allow the spring 222, 224 to guarantee the re-positioning of the latter in the open position, away from the road traffic, before allowing the closure of the barrier.

The operation of the safety barrier of this present invention is essentially as described below.

When a displacement of the boom 100 has occurred after an impact on the latter, the boom presence sensor 260 sends a command to the electronic control card present in the cabinet 300 and controlling the driving resource, to raise the mobile assembly 200 into the vertical position, as illustrated in FIG. 3. This raising process can be timed or not. If the boom 100 is not constrained by the presence of an obstacle during the raising process of the mobile assembly 200, the two springs 222, 224 force the re-positioning of the boom in the stirrup 230 in its initial working position. With the boom 100 returned to its position, the sensor 260 can then issue the command to the system to resume its normal cycle.

The retention of the boom 100 in the stirrup 230 is then guaranteed by the magnet 210, which prevents any accidental or unintentional movement of the boom 100.

In relation to previous design techniques, the safety barrier of this present invention offers many advantages. The arrangement according to this present invention allows an automatic return of the boom of the barrier to its initial position in the event of ejection of the latter, no longer requiring any human intervention. This allows the operators to avoid going into the roadway, and greatly reduces the risk of an accident, especially around toll stations.

The system according to this present invention is adaptable to any type of barrier. It suffices merely to attach it to the rotation shaft 310 of the existing barriers.

Preferably, the boom 100 is manufactured from a composite material as specified in patent application FR 03 14188 submitted on 3 Dec. 2003. Such a boom is particularly light, and in any case is lighter than the aluminium booms used traditionally, so that is not necessary to change the adjustment of the opening mechanism to cater for any additional weight introduced by the re-positioning mechanism proposed in the context of this present invention.

The displacement and the re-positioning action can describe an angle of up to 90°. The re-positioning action takes place while the boom 100 is in its position clear of the road traffic. It therefore has no disruptive effect on the latter.

In addition, it should be noted that the resources of this present invention present a perfect symmetry in relation to their longitudinal axis Thus one single model suffices for an installation with its boom mounted either to the left or right.

Naturally this present invention is not limited to the particular method of implementation which has just been described, but also covers all possible variants that comply with its spirit. Where appropriate, the intermediate support 130 and the stirrup 230 can be provided with resources, typically bores or holes 190, 290 capable of receiving a bolt or a pin or any equivalent resource suitable for retention of the intermediate support 130, and therefore the boom 100, on the mobile assembly 200, so as to prevent any displacement of the boom 100 in relation to the stirrup 230 if the operator so desires.

Preferably in the context of this present invention, it is also provided with resources limiting the movement that is allowed between the boom 100 and the support mounting 200 to an angle of the order of 90°.

According to the method of implementation illustrated in the attached figures, these resources limiting the movement of the boom are formed by the end of the intermediate support 130 which is designed to come up against an edge 233 of the core 232 of the stirrup 230.

To this end, the core 232 of the stirrup is of a length that is less than that of the lateral wings 234, 236. In addition, the intermediate support 130 extends at its end beyond the secondary axis 102 for a distance that is greater than its thickness across this secondary axis 102.

It can also be seen from the appended figures that the height of the intermediate support 130 parallel to the secondary axis 102 is equal to the distance separating the two lateral wings 232, 234 so as to prevent unwanted play between the boom 100 and the stirrup 230 in its normal position of use.

According to another advantageous characteristic of this present invention, the barrier includes resources for providing flexible support for one of the securing resources, in order to allow self-positioning of the latter.

According to another advantageous characteristic of this present invention, the barrier includes resources which prevent positioning of the mobile assembly in the horizontal position unless the boom is in its normal position on the mobile assembly.