Title:
Connection of flush mounted adapter to ground engaging bucket lip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The bottom lip of a ground engaging bucket structure useable in the earth moving industry has a front edge that is transverse to the parallel top and bottom sides of the lip and extends from the top side of the lip to the bottom side thereof. A flush-mounted adapter has a top leg that longitudinally extends transversely along the top side of the lip, with a nose portion of the adapter projecting forwardly beyond the lip. A weld is formed in a groove in an underside portion of a mounting section of the adapter and intersecures the mounting section to the front lip edge in a manner that the weld is stressed substantially entirely in a shear mode in response to an upwardly directed operational load on the adapter nose.



Inventors:
Robinson, Howard W. (Grapevine, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/471784
Publication Date:
01/03/2008
Filing Date:
06/21/2006
Assignee:
Hensley Industries, Inc. (Dallas, TX, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02F9/28
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, MAI T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAYNES AND BOONE, LLP (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. Ground engaging apparatus comprising: a lip having parallel top and bottom sides and a substantially planar transverse front edge extending from said top side to said bottom side; an elongated support structure longitudinally extending transversely to said front edge and having a top portion extending rearwardly along said top side, and a front portion extending forwardly beyond said front edge, said front portion having a mounting section disposed forwardly of said lip, said mounting section having a rear side facing said front edge in a forwardly spaced relationship therewith and secured thereto by a weld area which, in response to an upwardly directed force on said front portion, is stressed substantially entirely in a shear mode.

2. The ground engaging apparatus of claim 1 wherein: said ground engaging apparatus is a bucket structure.

3. The ground engaging apparatus of claim 1 wherein: said support structure includes an adapter, said mounting section being a portion of said adapter.

4. The ground engaging apparatus of claim 1 wherein: said mounting section has a portion that projects transversely outwardly from said front portion.

5. The ground engaging apparatus of claim 1 wherein: said mounting section includes a pair of mounting wing structures projecting transversely outwardly from opposite sides of said front portion.

6. The ground engaging apparatus of claim 1 wherein: substantially all portions of said front edge lie in a plane.

7. The ground engaging apparatus of claim 1 wherein: said front edge has a substantially non-notched configuration.

8. The ground engaging apparatus of claim 1 wherein: no portion of said support structure extends rearwardly along said bottom side of said lip.

9. The ground engaging apparatus of claim 8 wherein: no portion of said support structure projects appreciably below said bottom side of said lip.

10. The ground engaging apparatus of claim 1 wherein: said ground engaging apparatus further includes a welding groove extending along an underside portion of said mounting section and being bounded along one side thereof by said front edge of said lip, said weld area being positioned in said welding groove, and said rear side of said mounting section being defined by a side of said welding groove.

11. The ground engaging apparatus of claim 5 wherein: said welding groove has opposite end portions extending along underside portions of said mounting wing structures.

12. An ground engaging bucket structure useable in earth moving operations, comprising: a lip having substantially parallel top and bottom sides, and a front edge transversely extending from said top side to said bottom side; an adapter having a length which extends transversely to said front edge, said adapter having a top leg portion extending rearwardly along said top side of said lip, and a nose portion forwardly extending outwardly from said lip and operative to removably support a wear member thereon, said nose portion having associated therewith a mounting section disposed forwardly of said lip and having a rear side surface spaced forwardly apart from and facing said front edge; and a weld area intersecuring said front edge of said lip and said rear side surface of said mounting section and, in response to an upwardly directed force on said nose portion, being stressed substantially entirely in a shear mode.

13. The ground engaging bucket structure of claim 12 wherein: said adapter is a flush-mounted adapter.

14. The ground engaging bucket structure of claim 12 wherein: substantially all portions of said front edge lie in a plane.

15. The ground engaging bucket structure of claim 12 wherein: said front edge has a substantially non-notched configuration

16. The ground engaging bucket structure of claim 12 wherein: said mounting section projects transversely outwardly from said front portion.

17. The ground engaging bucket structure of claim 12 wherein: said mounting section includes a pair of mounting wing structures projecting transversely outwardly from opposite sides of said front portion.

18. The ground engaging bucket structure of claim 12 wherein: said ground engaging bucket structure further includes a welding groove extending along an underside portion of said mounting section and being bounded along one side thereof by said front edge of said lip, said weld area being positioned in said welding groove, and said rear side surface of said mounting section being defined by a side of said welding groove.

19. The ground engaging bucket structure of claim 17 wherein: said welding groove has opposite end portions extending along underside portions of said mounting wing structures.

20. The ground engaging bucket structure of claim 12 wherein: said ground engaging bucket structure is a loader bucket.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to ground engaging apparatus used in the earth moving industry and, in a representative embodiment thereof, more particularly provides an improved technique for operatively securing a flush-mounted adapter on the forward lower ground engaging lip portion of an earth moving bucket structure.

Large ground engaging buckets, dippers or the like are typically provided with a spaced series of teeth which are each formed from two primary parts—a relatively large adapter and a relatively small replaceable point. The adapter has a rear base portion which is welded to a front portion of the bucket lip, and a forwardly projecting nose portion onto Which the replaceable tooth point is removably secured by a suitable connecting pin or other connecting structure. Additionally, a series of replaceable lip protectors or shields may be interdigitated with the adapters, and suitably secured to the lip, to shield front edge portions of the lip between the adapters from operational abrasion wear.

One conventional type of bucket lip adapter is generally C-shaped and has upper and lower leg portions which respectively extend rearwardly along, and are welded along opposite side edge portions thereof to, top and bottom side portions of the lip. The interdigitated lip protectors extend beneath and shield the rearwardly extending lower adapter leg portions of the spaced adapters. In this conventional construction the positioning Of adapter leg portions both above and below the lip thickens the vertical earth penetrating dimension of each adapter in a manner undesirably lessening its earth penetration efficiency.

It is also known in the earth moving art to utilize a “flush mounted” lip adapter configuration in which the lower adapter leg portion is eliminated so that only an upper leg portion of the adapter extends rearwardly along the lip (i.e., an upper side portion thereof) and is surface welded thereto along the edge periphery of the upper adapter leg, with no portion of the adapter projecting downwardly past the bottom side of the lip. While this reduces the vertical thickness of the toothed lip assembly, it undesirably weakens the adapter/lip attachment strength. This is due to the fact that the weld area between the upper adapter leg and the top side of the lip (which provides substantially the entire adapter/lip attachment strength) is oriented in a manner such that the weld area extending along the top side of the lip may be undesirably subjected to high tensile stresses during use of the bucket.

Additionally, as conventionally configured, the front edge portion of a bucket lip is traditionally beveled in a manner such that its top side slopes downwardly and forwardly. The weld line joining the top adapter leg to the top side of the lip is typically continued downwardly and forwardly along the top side of this beveled front lip edge. This weld line extension area is also subjected to primarily a tensile stress during bucket operation as opposed to a stronger shear stress mode.

As can readily be seen from the foregoing, a need exists for an improved techniques and structure for operatively connecting flush mounted adapters to a ground engaging bucket lip structure. It is to this need that the present invention is directed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In carrying out principles of the present invention, in accordance with a representative embodiment thereof, improved ground engaging apparatus is provided which is representatively in the form of an earth moving bucket having a lip with parallel top and bottom sides and a substantially planar transverse front edge extending from the top side of the lip to its bottom side.

An elongated support structure longitudinally extends transversely to the front lip edge and has a top portion extending rearwardly along the top lip side, and a front portion extending forwardly beyond the front lip edge. Illustratively the support structure is an adapter, with the front portion thereof including an adapter nose for releasably supporting a wear member such as an intermediate adapter or a replaceable tooth point.

The front portion of the support structure has a mounting section disposed forwardly of the lip and having a rear side surface facing and spaced forwardly apart from the transverse front lip edge. According to a feature of the invention the rear side surface of the mounting section is secured to the facing front lip edge by a weld area which, in response to an upwardly directed operational force on the front support structure portion, is stressed substantially entirely in a shear mode. Illustratively, the rear side surface of the mounting section is a rearwardly facing surface portion of a welding groove formed in the underside of the mounting section.

According to further features of the invention, the mounting section of the support structure preferably includes a pair of mounting wing structures projecting transversely outwardly from opposite sides of the front support structure portion, with opposite ends of the welding groove extending along the undersides of the mounting wing structures. Illustratively, substantially all portions of the front lip edge lie in a plane, with the front lip edge having a substantially non-notched configuration. The adapter is representatively of a flush-mounted configuration, with no portion of the adapter extending rearwardly along the bottom side of the lip and no portion of the adapter projecting appreciably below the bottom side of the lip. However, adapters of other configurations could alternatively be utilized without departing from principles of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partially cut away top plan view of a flush-mounted adapter secured in a novel manner to a lip portion of an earth moving bucket structure; and

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view through the adapter/lip assembly taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 is a support structure, representatively a flush-mounted adapter 10, secured to an earth moving bucket lip 12 in a unique high strength manner embodying principles of the present invention. Representatively, but not by way of limitation, the lip 12 is the lip of a loader bucket. However, it could be a lip of another type of earth moving bucket structure, or other types of ground engaging implements, if desired, without departing from principles of the present invention. In accordance with one aspect of the invention, the entire front edge 14 of the lip 12 is substantially planar and transverse to the generally planar, parallel top and bottom sides 12a, 12b of the lip 12, transversely extending completely between the top and bottom lip sides 12a, 12b as opposed to being for the most part downwardly and forwardly beveled as in the case of a conventionally configured front lip edge.

Adapter 10 has a rearwardly extending elongated top leg portion 16 positioned on the top side 12a of the lip 12 and peripherally welded thereto as at 18, and a nose portion 20 disposed forwardly of the lip edge 14 and to which a tooth point (not shown) may be removably connected in a conventional manner. Alternatively, another type of wear member, such as an intermediate adapter (also not shown) could be connected to the support structure nose 20 if desired. Adapter 10 is termed a “flush-mounted” adapter because it does not have a bottom leg that extends along the underside of the lip 12, and does not have any appreciable portion which projects downwardly beyond the bottom side 12b of the lip 12, thus positioning the adapter 10 essentially flush with the bottom side 12b of the lip 12.

Another aspect of the invention is the unique fashion in which the forwardly projecting front portion of the adapter 10 is secured to the lip 12. Specifically, horizontal attachment wings 22 transversely extend outwardly from opposite sides of the adapter at the forward end of the leg 16. A welding groove 24 is formed along the bottom side of a front connecting portion of the adapter 10 immediately in front of the front lip edge 14, with opposite ends of the groove 24 extending along the bottom sides of the wings 22. Welding groove 24 is bounded on its rear side by the front lip edge 14, and has a generally vertical front surface 26 which is in a forwardly spaced, facing relationship with the front lip edge 14.

To operatively mount the adapter 10 on the lip 12, the leg 16 is placed atop the lip 12 in a manner such that the front weld groove surface 26 is disposed forwardly of the front lip edge 14 in a facing relationship therewith. The top weld areas 18 are then formed along the opposite side peripheries of the elongated leg portion 16 longitudinally extending rearwardly along the top side 12a of the lip 12, and a weld 28 is formed along the length of the interior of the welding groove 24, the elongated weld 28 laterally extending between and weldingly interconnecting the facing lip and adapter surfaces 14,26.

This vertical orientation of the front edge weld 2, and the provision of the squared off front lip edge surface 14, causes the weld 28 to resist an upward operational force on the nose 20 in substantially entirely in shear rather than in tension (a considerably weaker weld stress mode) as would be the case if the front lip edge 14 sloped forwardly and downwardly as in conventionally configured lips and adapters. Accordingly, the earth penetration efficiency of a flush mounted adapter is maintained without the adapter weld attachment strength deficiency encountered in conventional weldments of flush mounted adapters to bucket lips or the like.

While the use of the lateral wings 22 as a part of the mounting section of the adapter 10 enlarges and thus strengthens the weld area 28, the wings 22 could be eliminated if desired, thereby leaving the balance of the weld line 28 to resist, substantially in a shear stress mode, an upwardly directed operational force on the adapter nose 20.

The foregoing detailed description is to be clearly understood as being given by way of illustration and example only, the spirit and scope of the present invention being limited solely by the appended claims.