FIG. 4 shows a view along lines 4—4 of FIG. 1. It shows the lateral location of a plural series of link plates. The protective covers are not shown for clarity of the position of the link plates 3. 5 FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view similar to FIG. 1 through the bucket conveyor chain and its supporting wheel to show the use of multiple strands.
FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a useful conveyor arrangement that is much improved when combined with the chain 10 disclosed in this invention.
DRAWING REFERENCE NUMERALS
Past bucket conveyor chains can be grouped into two 15 general groups, i.e., those in which the buckets are connected to rigid links that are hinged together to form an endless chain and those in which the buckets are connected to bands of rubber, leather, wire rope, or metal which are joined at the ends to form an endless belt. My present 20 invention relates to improving the structure of bucket conveyor chains comprised of endless metal belts, including structure for guiding the belt laterally as it goes about its support wheels, attaching buckets, preventing damage, easy maintenance, etc. 25
Past conveyor chains which are related to my present invention teach how to make an elastomer belt with internal wire or cable reinforcement, how to splice together the ends of belts made of rubber, leather, canvas or other similar materials, and how to attach buckets to the flat sides of these 30 type of belts. Those relating to metal bands are very [in] general and deal primarily with welding or brazing the ends of a strip of metal together to form an endless metal band, etc. My present invention differs from these by teaching the specifics of how to manufacture a bucket conveyor chain 35 comprised of a plurality of metal plates.
OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES
Accordingly I claim the following as my objects and 40 advantages of the invention:
To introduce a much improved bucket conveyor chain comprised of a series of metal plates.
To introduce an easy to repair metal plate chain.
To introduce a bar for holding the chain's link plates up 45 off of the supporting wheels to prevent damage.
To introduce a protective cover to protect the chain's link plates from damage.
To introduce a guide to track the chain as it travels around 50 the wheels.
To introduce a plurality of laterally spaced link plates to protect the chain from separating and pulling apart should a link plate break.
To introduce a way to mount buckets to the metal links. 55 To introduce a useful conveyor and chain arrangement.
FIG. 1 shows a cross sectional view through the bucket g0 conveyor chain and its supporting wheel.
FIG. 2 is a schematical cross sectional view along the lines 2—2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 shows a cross sectional view along lines 3—3 of FIG. 1. FIG. 3 is similar to FIG. 2 with the exception that the 65 wheel is not shown and the chain has been straightened out and drawn larger for clarity.
3 link plate 5 bar
7 bar screws
9 protective covering
II internal bucket plate 13 external bucket plate 15 bucket screws
17 bucket 19 guide
21 support structure
23 bucket conveyor frame
25 discharge conveyor
27 upper wheel
29 vessel's hold
33 bucket conveyor chain
35 primary loop of bucket conveyor—used for reclaiming 37 exit wheel 39 guide wheel 41 gather wheel
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, the chain is comprised of a series of link plates 3. The ends of adjoining link plates 3 are butted together and held in position by a pair of bars 5 which are clamped together over and under the ends of adjoining link plates 3. The clamping force is provided by bar screws 7 which mount in holes match drilled in the ends of link plates 3 and bars 5. These screws are also countersunk in bars 5 to prevent damaging the wheels 1.
Referring to FIG. 1, buckets are attached to the ends of bars 5 by bucket screws 15 which protrude through holes drilled in internal bucket plate 11, bucket 17, and external bucket plate 13. Internal bucket plate 11 and external bucket plate 13 are used to distribute the compressive stresses created by the clamping force of the bucket screws 15 upon the shell of bucket 17. The sides of the bucket 17 and/or the external bucket plate 13 can be used to guide the chain together with or without the use of additional guides. The external 13 and internal 11 bucket plates can be used to mount other accessories. The above described construction i.e., small pieces held together with screws, makes assembly and disassembly very easy.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, protective coverings 9 made of a flexible material such as rubber are attached to the exposed surfaces (tops, bottoms, and edges) of link plates 3 in the areas where link plates are not in contact with bars 5. Referring to FIG. 4, a plural series of link plates 3 can be used instead of a single series of plate 3. In other words,