Title:
HOPPER SPREADER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hopper spreader for evenly distributing relatively dry, flowable material about a hopper or other bulk container is disclosed. The hopper spreader includes a support ring on which is mounted a bearing aligned with the longitudinal access of the support ring by a plurality of gussets. A motor rotates a shaft aligned with the longitudinal access of the support ring and received in the bearing. An impeller is rotated by the motor and shaft and distributes outwardly the flowable material.



Inventors:
Hemann, William (Riceville, IA, US)
Hemann, Matthew (Osage, IA, US)
Application Number:
12/563228
Publication Date:
03/25/2010
Filing Date:
09/21/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E01C19/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JONAITIS, JUSTIN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIS, BROWN, KOEHN, SHORS & ROBERTS, P.C. (DES MOINES, IA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A hopper spreader for distributing a material, comprising: (a) a support ring; (b) a motor mounted on the support ring; (c) a shaft rotated by the motor and aligned with the longitudinal access of the support ring; and (d) an impeller mounted on the support shaft for rotation adjacent to the support ring.

2. A hopper spreader as defined in claim 1, further comprising a bearing for the shaft supported on a plurality of gussets extended between the bearing and support ring.

3. A hopper spreader as defined in claim 1, further comprising a plurality of veins of the impeller having a concave surface upon which the material impacts.

4. A hopper spreader as defined in claim 3, wherein the veins are canted at an angle relative to the shaft.

Description:

This application claims priority to U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 61/098,453, filed Sep. 19, 2008, and incorporated herein by this reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed generally to a hopper spreader and, more specifically, to a spreader for evenly distributing a relatively dry flowable material within a hopper or other bulk container.

The handling of relatively dry, flowable materials, such as grain, feedstuffs, sand, gravel, and the like, is a very common practice. One such handling procedure is the transport of such materials from one container to another. Typically, the materials are transported by a conveyer or auger, the output of which consists of a concentrated stream of the material. Because such materials often have a significant angle of repose, a generally conically shaped pile of the material results. However, the containers for such materials usually have a fixed height across one or more directions so that a conically shaped pile of the material will not completely fill the container. There is a need, accordingly, for a spreader to evenly distribute the material throughout the storage container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention consists of a hopper spreader that is positioned below the output of a transport conveyer or auger to distribute the material flowing from the auger or conveyer evenly about a bulk container. The hopper spreader includes an annular support ring on which is mounted a hydraulic motor. The hydraulic motor rotates a shaft which is aligned along the longitudinal axis of the support ring and journaled inside a bearing housing. A plurality of radial gussets support the bearing housing on the support ring. Attached to the bottom end of the drive shaft is an impeller that rotates below the support ring. Material from the transport, conveyer or auger falls onto the rotating impeller which then distributes it outwardly so as to more evenly fill a hopper or other bulk container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a photograph of a side view of a spreader hopper of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a photograph of a plan view of the hopper spreader of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a photograph of a plan view of an impeller of the hopper spreader.

FIG. 4 is a photograph a lower side view of the impeller.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, generally at 10, is a hopper spread of the present invention. The hopper spreader includes a support ring 12 on which is mounted a hydraulic motor 14. Extending from the hydraulic motor 14 in a generally horizontal direction is a first drive shaft 16. The first drive shaft 16 is received inside a right angle gear box 18 which converts the rotation of the horizontal drive shaft 16 into rotation of a vertical drive shaft 30. A bearing housing 20 is supported along the longitudinal axis of the support ring 12 by a plurality of generally radically extended gussets 22. The vertical drive shaft 30 is journaled inside the bearing housing 20 with a lower end of the vertical drive shaft 30 extending below the bearing housing 20. An impeller 24 is mounted on the lower end of the vertical drive shaft with the result that the impeller is rotated by the hydraulic motor 14.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the impeller 24 includes a base plate 26 on which is mounted a plurality of vanes 28. In the preferred embodiment there are four vanes 28 which are attached to the base plate 26 by weldments or the like. It is preferred that the vanes 28 be canted away from vertical and that the vanes 28 have a concave surface. The hopper spreader 10 of the present invention is particularly suited for use with co-products of the processes involved in converting corn into ethanol.

The foregoing description and drawings comprise illustrative embodiments of the present inventions. The foregoing embodiments and the methods described herein may vary based on the ability, experience, and preference of those skilled in the art. Merely listing the steps of the method in a certain order does not constitute any limitation on the order of the steps of the method. The foregoing description and drawings merely explain and illustrate the invention, and the invention is not limited thereto, except insofar as the claims are so limited. Those skilled in the art that have the disclosure before them will be able to make modifications and variations therein without departing from the scope of the invention.