US3486241A - Controlled aeration system for a covered hopper railway car in transit - Google Patents

Controlled aeration system for a covered hopper railway car in transit Download PDF

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US3486241A
US3486241A US3486241DA US3486241A US 3486241 A US3486241 A US 3486241A US 3486241D A US3486241D A US 3486241DA US 3486241 A US3486241 A US 3486241A
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air
car
conduit
lading
bottom outlet
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Edward L Coyle
Willard E Kemp
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ACF Industries Inc
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ACF Industries Inc
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Assigned to NATIONAL WESTMINSTER BANK USA, A NATIONAL BANKING ASSOCIATION, 175 WATER STREET, NEW YORK NEW YORK reassignment NATIONAL WESTMINSTER BANK USA, A NATIONAL BANKING ASSOCIATION, 175 WATER STREET, NEW YORK NEW YORK SECURITY INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ACF INDUSTRIES, INCORPORATED
Assigned to ACF INDUSTRIES, INCORPORATED reassignment ACF INDUSTRIES, INCORPORATED RECONVEYS ALL LETTERS PATENTS BACK TO BORROWER RECITED IN REEL 4307FRAMES 396 AND 397 RECORED OCT. 2, 1984 (LOAN HAS BEEN PAID IN FULL) Assignors: NATIONAL WESTMINSTER BANK USA, AS AGENT
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61DBODY DETAILS OR KINDS OF RAILWAY VEHICLES
    • B61D27/00Heating, cooling, ventilating, or air-conditioning
    • B61D27/0018Air-conditioning means, i.e. combining at least two of the following ways of treating or supplying air, namely heating, cooling or ventilating
    • B61D27/0027Air-conditioning means, i.e. combining at least two of the following ways of treating or supplying air, namely heating, cooling or ventilating for freight cars; Isothermic wagons

Description

Dec. 30. 1969 HOPPER RAILWAY CAR IN TRANSIT ll Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 19, 1968 INVENTORS.

EDWARD L. COYLE i l I A Y T A H v T 4 ||lLv| llllll l1 Wm n g w u n g @X mm mm Tk T n T) dd [:Tllllll lllllll lM IIIMIII llllll lI ILIIIA. llllll ll lllllll 11 WILLARD E. KEMP a nm ATTORNEY E. L. COYLE El A1,.

Dec. 30. I969 CONTROLLED AERATION SYSTEM FOR A COVERED HOPPER RAILWAY CAR IN TRANSIT ll Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 19, 1968 Dec. 30. 1969 a. In con: a'rm. 3,486,241

CONTROLLED AERATION SYSTEM FOR A COVERED HOPPER RAIL-WAY CAR IN TRANSIT ll Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Sept. 19, 1968 Dec. 30. 1969 E. L, COYLE H L 3,486,241

CONTROLLED AERATION SYSTEM FOR A COVERED HOPPER RAILWAY CAR IN TRANSIT ll Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Sept. 19, 1968 EVAPORATOR BLOWER BLOWER MOTOR FIG. ll.

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Dec. 30. 1969 E. 1,. can: ETAL CONTROLLED AERATION SYSTEM FOR A COV ERED HOPPER RAILWAY CAR IN TRANSIT Filed Sept. 19, 1968 I 11 Sheets-Sheet 6 Dec. 30. 1969 E. L-COYLE T CONTROLLED AERATION SYSTEM FOR A COVERED HOPPER RAILWAY CAR IN TRANSIT ll Sheets-Sheet 7 Filed Sept. 19, 1968 Dec. 30. 1969 E. L. COYLE ErAL CONTROLLED AERATION SYSTEM FOR A COVERED HOPPER RAILWAY CAR IN TRANSIT ll Sheets-Shee t 8 Filed Sept. 19, 1988 Dec. 30. 1969 1-. cons AL CONTROLLED AERATION SYSTEM FOR A COVERED HOPPER RAILWAY CAR IN TRANSIT Filed Sept. 19, 1968 11 Sheets-Sheet 9 FIG. l8.

CONTROLLED AE RATION SYSTEM FOR A COVERED HOPPER RAILWAY CAR IN TRANSIT 19, 1968.

D 30, 19 9 E. L, COYLE EI'AL ll Sheets-Sheet 10 Filed Sept.

ON 6E Dec. 30. 1969 E. 5"- 3,486,241

CONTROLLED AERATION SYSTEM FOR A COVERED HOPPER RAILWAY CAR IN TRANSIT Filed Sept. 19, 1968 ll Sheets-Sheet 11 8 INVENTORS. EDWARD L. CQYLE WILLARD E. KEMP ATTORNEY nited States Patent 3,486,241 CONTROLLED AERATION SYSTEM FOR A COVERED HOPPER RAILWAY CAR IN TRANSIT Edward L. Coyle, St. Charles, and Willard E. Kemp,

Bridgeton, Mo., assignors to ACE Industries, Incorporated, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 695,910 Jan. 5, 1968. This appiication Sept. 19, 1968, Ser. No. 760,933

Int. Cl. F261) 3/02, 3/04, 21/00 US. CI. 3422 17 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A controlled system for aerating lading, particularly perishable bulk commodities such as potatoes, oranges, apples and the like, in a covered hopper railway car having a bottom outlet structure for unloading the ladings. A predetermined temperature and humidity range is maintained in the lading during transit and air passes through the lading for aerating the separate components of the lading. An air conduit between each bottom outlet structure and an air supply means permits the fiow of air therebetween, and a second air conduit between the upper portions of the hoppers and the air supply means permits the flow of air therebetween to provide a continuous recirculating air system to aerate the lading within the car during transit. The direction of air flow through the car and air conduits may be selectively reversed, if desired. Ambient air may be added in predetermined amounts to provide the desired humidity and the recirculated air may be heated or cooled, as desired, by suitable heating or cooling means to provide the desired temperature before the air enters the interior of the car for maintaining the predetermined temperature range during transit.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part application of copending application Ser. No. 695,910 filed Jan. 5, 1968, now abandoned, and entitled Aeration System For A Covered Hopper Railway Car.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Heretofore, air has been supplied to railway cars, such as box cars, to aerate the interior of the cars. However, it has been difficult to provide a uniform aeration of lading in box cars as so-called dead spots occur in various areas unless substantially the entire floor or bottom of the car is provided with air discharge Openings. Normally, air is applied in a box car about the sides of the lading to envelope the lading as it is usually not desired to aerate the lading itself.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The present invention is particularly directed to an aerating system for aerating lading within a covered hopper railway car having a bottom outlet structure for unloading the lading from a bottom discharge opening. A covered hopper car does not have a floor or fiat bottom and air may flow along the slope sheets leading to the bottom outlet structure. Thus, a generally uniform aeration of the lading within a covered hopper car is provided with a minimum of air inlet and outlet openings while the air passes directly through the lading to maintain a predetermined temperature range in the lading during transit. Air openings for the air conduit for the bottom outlet structure are positioned adjacent the lower ends of the hopper slope sheets and air passes through Patented Dec. 30, 1969 the lading and along the slope sheets to aerate the lading in the hoppers adjacent the bottom outlet structures in a generally uniform manner.

Air is supplied from a blower through an air conduit to the interior of the car and is passed through the lading to an air conduit returning the air to blower for recirculation. The air flows between the upper portion of the hoppers and the bottom discharge structures to aerate the lading therebetween in a generally uniform manner and the direction of air flow may be selectively reversed. To maintain a predetermined humidity, ambient air may be added or bled into the air system upon recirculation by a suitable automatic damper. Hollow side sills are utilized as air conduits to provide a flow of air between bottom outlet structures and the blower. To provide a predetermined temperature for the air being introduced Within the car, suitable cooling and heating units are mounted on the car, such as a conventional air conditioning unit for cooling and a conventional electric heater panel for heating. To aid in maintaining the interior of the car at a predetermined temperature range, the car may be insulated by an exterior foam insulation, such as a rigid polyurethane foam material applied by spraying the exterior of the car including the discharge outlets.

As a specific but non-limiting example of a perishable commodity, it has been found that potatoes may be transported efficiently and satisfactorily by the covered hopper car comprising the present invention. The potato tuber is a form of living plant life and in storage or transit, the potato must be able to carry on the life processes common to plant life which include respiration and transpiration. In the process of respiration, starches and sugars in the potato undergo chemical changes. During this process carbon dioxide and water are formed and heat is released. The water which is produced may be released to the atmosphere by transpiration. The respiration rate and consequently the rate of heat production varies with temperature conditions. An even distribution and redisdistribution of heat and the removal of excess water and waste gases are the objectives of ventilation and air circulation in the storage and transit of potatoes.

One of the objectives of forced air ventilation and circulation is to provide the environment required by the potatoes so that the potatoes will retain their qualities. Circulation of cool dry air will remove excess moisture and lower the temperature of the stored mass of potatoes. Thus, infection and breakdown from soft rots, and such diseases as ring rot and blackleg, should be reduced by maintaining a temperature during transit between 40 F. and 60 F. The forced air ventilation and circulating system with automatic controls will provide near optimum environmental conditions with a minimum of effort. A humidity between around and has been found to be optimum. If the humidity becomes too high as shown by condensation on the inner surfaces of the covered hopper car, it may be lowered by adding a small amount of heat to the system. Fresh dry air will be taken in and moist air will be exhausted. Suitable controls may be provided to actuate a damper at a predetermined temperature or a predetermined humidity. Both heating and cooling equipment are provided since the potatoes are normally in transit throughout the year in many difierent areas of the country.

The invention accordingly comprises the constructions hereinafter described, the scope of the invention being indicated in the following claims.

In the accompanying drawings, in which several of various possible embodiments of the invention are illustrated,

FIGURE 1 is a side elevation, partly schematic, of a covered hopper railway car illustrating one embodiment of the air system for aerating the interior of the car from bottom outlet structures and providing a continuous recirculation of air;

FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the covered hopper railway car illustrated in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragment of FIGURE 1 illustrating an end portion of the car shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 with equipment mounted thereon for heating and cooling the air for aerating the interior of the car;

FIGURE 4 is an end elevation of the end portion shown in FIGURE 3 with certain equipment removed and parts broken away to illustrate the air conduits;

FIGURE 5 is an end elevation of the end portion of FIGURE 3 with the heating and cooling equipment shown mounted theron;

FIGURE 6 is a section taken generally along line 66 of FIGURE 1 and showing a polyurethane insulation on the exterior surface of the covered hopper car to aid in maintaining a predetermined temperature range within the car;

FIGURE 7 is a transverse section of an outlet structure' for aerating the lading and for unloading the lading from the car;

FIGURE 8 is a longitudinal section of the outlet structure taken generally along line 88 of FIGURE 7 and showing the adjacent air conduits;

FIGURE 9 is a perspective of a damper to control the admission of ambient air to the aerating system;

FIGURE 10 is a schematic of the air conditioning cycle for cooling the exhaust air from the car for recirculation;

FIGURE 11 is a schematic of the means supplying power to the aerating system;

FIGURE 12 is an end elevation, with certain parts broken away and partly schematic, of a separate embodiment of the air system for aerating the interior of a covered hopper car in which the direction of flow of air may be selectively reversed and illustrating the flow of air in one direction;

FIGURE 13 is a side elevation of the embodiment illustrated in FIGURE 12;

FIGURE 14 is an end elevation similar to FIGURE 12 but illustrating the flow of air in a direction opposite the flow of air as shown in FIGURE 12;

FIGURE 15 is a perspective, partly schematic, of the blower and associated structure for reversing the direction of air flow;

FIGURE 16 is a side elevation of the blower illustrating the movement of the blower between different positions for reversing the direction of air flow;

FIGURE 17 is a perspective of a movable gate which is manually actuated upon the reversal of the direction of air flow;

FIGURE 18 is a section taken generally along line 1818 of FIGURE 17 and illustrating catch means to releasably secure the gate in position;

FIGURE 19 is a sectional view of another embodiment of this invention in which means are provided to automatically reverse the direction of air flow within the covered hopper railway car;

FIGURE 20 is a sectional view of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 19 with the direction of air flow being reversed from that shown in FIGURE 19; and

FIGURE 21 is a schematic view, partly in elevation, illustrating control means for reversing the direction of air flow within the car in the embodiment shown in FIG- URES 19 and 20.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

Referring to the drawings for a better understanding of this invention and more particularly to the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGURES 1-11, a covered hopper railway car is generally indicated 10 and comprises a pair of arcuate side sheets 12, a hollow reinforcing side plate 14 extending longitudinally along the upper marginal portion of each side sheet 12 for the length of car 10, and a hollow side sill 16 extending longitudinally along the lower marginal portion of each side sheet 12 for the length of car 10.

Side plate 14 is generally channel-shaped and has respective upper and lower legs 18, 20 secured to the outer surface of adjacent side sheet 12 to form a hollow airtight box-shaped structure therewith. An arcuate roof 22 is secured to upper legs 18. Side sill 16 which extends along the lower marginal portion of each side sheet 14 has an upper leg 26 and a lower leg 28 secured to the outer surface of adjacent side sheet 12 to form a hollow air-tight box-shaped structure therewith.

Car 10 has a plurality of hoppers 30 separated by partitions 32. End slope sheets 34 and side slope sheets 36 lead to bottom discharge structures generally indicated 38. Bottom discharge structures 38 are adapted to permit a flow of air upwardly into the lading for aerating the interior of the car in addition to permitting the discharge of lading from the car. Each bottom outlet structure 38 includes a housing having an upper rectangular flange 40 which may be bolted or welded to a superjacent flange 42 on the underside of each hopper 30 as shown particularly in FIGURES 7 and 8. A gravity gate 44 carried by bottom outlet structure 38 is mounted thereon for sliding movement between open and closed positions. A rack and pinion combination includes a pinion shaft 45 which may be rotated for opening and closing gate 44.

A lower cover 46 is carried by each bottom discharge outlet structure 38 beneath gate 44 and forms an air chamber 48 with gate 44. Cover 46 is mounted on links 50 for swinging movement between open and closed positions. Links 50 form a parallogram linkage shown in broken lines in FIGURE 7 in the open positon of cover 46. An actuatng rod 52 extends beneath cover 46 and is rotated by a capstan 54 for moving cover 46 between open and closed positions. A locking link 56 has an end mounted in a slot 58 for releasably securing cover 46 in open and closed positions. For further details of cover 46. reference is made to US. Patent No. 3,332,363, dated July 25, 1967, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated by this reference.

Fixed to the housing of each bottom discharge outlet 38 is a pneumatic conduit 60 having a plurality of slots 62 therein leading to chamber 48. Gate 44 is perforated at 64 to permit an air flow from chamber 48 upwardly into the lading, such as perishable commodities. When openings or perforations in gate 44 are not desirable, gate 44 may be opened around two inches and an adeqaute air flow upwardly into the interior of the car will be provided.

Adjacent each end of car 10 is a stub center sill 66. An upper boltster cover plate 68 is secured over each stub center sill 66 and extends to a transverse end sill 70. Suitable couplers 72 are mounted within stub center sills 66.

The covered hopper railway car 10 as described above is provided with an aerating system according to the present invention. A forced recirculation of air maintains proper moisture and temperature ranges to provide a proper environment within the interior of the car for the transport of ladings, and particularly perishable commodities, such as potatoes, vegetables, or fruits. A blower 74 of the centrifugal type having paddle-type wheels for air delivery is driven by a suitable electric motor 76. Air from blower 74 is discharged through an air outlet conduit generally indicated 78. A movable vane is mounted within conduit 78 and divides the flow of air between bifurcations or branch conduits 82, 84 leading to side sills 16 as shown particularly in FIGURE 4. A slot 86 in conduit 78 receives a stud on vane 80 to permit adjustment of vane 80.

Each branch conduit 82, 84 leads to an opening 88 in an adjacent side sill 16 to supply air to hollow side sills 16. Openings 90 in lower legs 28 of side sills 16 are spaced along the length of each side sill 16 adjacent each bottom discharge structure 38 as shown in FIGURE 8. A branch connection 92 extends between each opening 90 and pneumatic conduit 60 of the adjacent bottom discharge structure 38 for supplying air thereto. Air from slots 62 and openings 64 passes upwardly within the interior of the car to aerate the lading.

To return exhaust gases from the interior of car to blower 74 for recirculation, openings 94- are provided in the upper marginal portion of each side sheet 12 which forms a part of each side plate 14. Openings 94 are spaced along the length of each side sheet 12 and communicate the interior of the car with hollow side plates 14 which act as exhaust air ducts. Exhaust air from each side plate 14 flows to opening 96 adjacent to end thereof as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4. A connecting air duct 98 leads from each opening 96 to a space formed beneath roof 22 between an inner partition 97 and an outer partial bulkhead 99. Air fiows downwardly from the space to an evaporator generally indicated 100 and is heated or cooled by evaporator 100 as will be explained. The air then flows from evaporator 100 to blower 74 through an air chamber formed by a hood 102.

Referring particularly to FIGURE 10, in the event the exhaust air from side plates 14 is above a predetermined amount, such as 60 F., evaporator 100 will cool the air. Evaporator 100 includes a plurality of generally horizontally extending coils having vertical fins or plates connected thereto with the air flowing between the plates. A conventional refrigeration cycle is employed with a refrigerant liquid in the coils absorbing latent heat from the moving air until the liquid is completely evaporated and forms a gas. A compressor 104 draws the gas through suction line 106 from evaporator 100 due to to suction exerted from the pumping action of the compressor.

Compressor 104 compresses the refrigerant gas and discharges the gas through line 103 to condenser 110. Condenser 110 includes a fan 111 for cooling the gas and the refrigerant changes from gas to liquid. The liquid refrigerant is then collected in receiver 112 and is forced by pressure to an expansion valve 114 in line 116 leading to evaporator 100. Expansion valve 114 controls the flow of liquid refrigerant to evaporator 100 and is responsive to the outlet temperature of evaporator 100. Expansion valve 114 releases the pressure of the liquid and reduces it from the condenser pressure to that of the evaporator. The reduction of pressure allows the refrigerant to boil at a low temperature since heat from the air flows through the evaporator surface into the liquid which is at a lower temperature. Thus, the refrigerant system cycle includes four functions: (1) absorbing heat as the liquid refrigerant evaporates 2) forcing the heat contained in the resulting gas to a higher temperature level by compression, (3) rejecting heat by the condensation of the compressed refrigerant vapor, and (4) reducing the pressure of the liquid refrigerant to the evaporator level so that the cycle may be repeated.

To supply power for the operation of the aerating system, a diesel engine 118 is mounted on cover plate 68 and drives a generator 120. Fuel from tank 122 is supplied to engine 118. Controls for the phasing of the various operations are arranged in control panel 124. Electric energy from generator 120 drives compressor motor 126, condenser fan motor 128, and blower motor 76.

When the exhaust air from the interior of car 10 reaches a predetermined minimum, such as 40 F., the cooling cycle is stopped by various thermostatic controls in control panel 124 and a heat cycle may be started at around 35 F, for example. A heating element is located in the bottom of evaporator 100 and comprises a plurality of spaced parallel heat conduits 130 extending between the ends of evaporator 100. Heat conduits 130 are of the electric-resistance type and air passing downwardly between the spaced heat conduits 130 into the hood 102 is heated before entering blower 74.

Referring to FIGURE 9, a damper 132 is illustrated for admitting ambient air within the aerating system as might be desirable if the humidity in the circulating air reaches predetermined maximum, such as ninety-five 95 percent. Damper 132 includes a pair of pivoted doors 134 having an operator 136. Operator 136 may be controlled by a suitable thermostat for opening and closing doors 134 to proportion the amount of air introduced within the air system. In some instances, operator 136 may be responsive to a humidity control and will be actuated upon the reaching of a predetermined high humidity.

As shown in FIGURE 6, an insulating layer 140 is applied to the exterior surface of car 10 to aid in maintaining the interior of the car at a predetermined temperature range. Layer 140 is preferably between one (1) and two (2) inches in thickness and may be applied in a spray form on the exterior surface of car 10 including the bottom discharge outlets 38. Insulation will be applied to the ends of the car before the heating and cooling equipment is mounted thereon. A rigid polyurethane foam material has been found to function effectively as an insulating layer. It is apparent that other insulations could be employed if desired, such as a layer of insulating material applied to the interior surface of car 10. Also a liner might be placed interiorly of the car to insulate the lading, if desired.

As an example of a specific use of the forced recirculating air system, potatoes, such as employed in the manufacture of potato chips, may be transported within car 10. Potatoes are of a highly perishable nature and require a continual air circulation within specific ambient temperature ranges from minus 50 F. to plus 100 F. A circulation rate of 900 to 1800 cubic feet per minute is desirable for 3000 cubic feet of potatoes. Potatoes generate heat and when transported air must be brought in to reduce the humidity to around ninety (90) percent or less and to eliminate any condensation which will occur on the sides of the railway car. If the interior of the car reaches a temperature of over plus 60 F., the cooling unit would be employed to maintain a temperature less than 60 F.

Heretofore, potatoes have normally been shipped in bags or box cars. The use of a covered hopper railway car permits a very rapid loading and unloading of the potatoes while providing a generally uniform environment within the interior of the car. A humidity of around eighty-five to ninety percent is satisfactory while a temperature range between 40 F. to 60 F. has been found to be satisfactory. A continuous circulation of air provides adequate moisture and temperature control so that hot spots or the like do not occur in the potatoes as rotting will rapidly take place upon such occurrence.

The only horizontal or flat floor portion of the hoppers which would be aerated comprises the closure or gravity gate in the bottom outlet structures and would be less than around fifty (50) square feet. With an air supply of around 2,000 c.f.m. (cubic feet per minute) a supply of air is provided of at least around forty (40) c.f.m. for each square foot of horizontal floor surface of the hoppers thereby providing a relatively high intensity of air when the air is discharged into the bottom outlet structures. Such a high air intensity at the bottom outlet structures provides a very effecive aeration of the lading in the bottom outlet structures and the lower portions of the hoppers. Further, since air is directed into each bottom outlet structure at only two openings, a highly effective control of the air is provided with the high air intensity. By comparison with box cars, the air supply is diffused over the entire floor of the box car through a very large number of openings in a floor area of 400 square feet or more. This would provide only around five (5) c.f.m. for each square foot of floor area in a box car and permit only a small degree of control and a relatively small intensity or quantity of air to be supplied for each square foot of floor area.

Referring now to FIGURES 12-18, an embodiment of the air system for aerating the interior of the covered hopper car is illustrated in which the direction of air flow may be selectively reversed. Thus, the direction of air flow may be from the upper portions of the hoppers to the bottom outlet structures, or, if desired, the direction of air flow may be reversed to be from the bottom outlet structure to the upper portions of the hoppers. For example, if warm air is supplied to the interior of the car, it might be desirable to have the warm air enter the bottom outlet structure, pass upwardly through the lading, and then be withdrawn from the upper portions of the hoppers. The above is desirable since warm air rises and the coldest portion of the car would usually be in the area of the bottom outlet structures. However, if cool air is supplied to the interior of the car, it may be desirable to have the cool air enter the upper portion of the car, pass downwardly through the lading, and then be exhausted from the bottom outlet structures. The cool air would thus reach the warmest portion of the car first and tend to provide a generally uniform temperature throughout the lading.

To provide a reversal in the direction of air flow through the covered hopper car, a blower 74A is driven by motor 76A and is mounted for selective movement between two discharge positions. Blower 74A includes a blower housing 144 mounted for rotating movement about a drive shaft 146. A blower wheel 148 has fan blades 150 and air is drawn within air inlet 152 for discharge from outlet discharge chute 154. As shown particularly in FIG- URE 16, outlet chute 154 is hinged at 156 to blower housing 144 and a torsion spring 158 biases chute 154 outwardly of housing 144. Leaf 160 which is connected to an end of torsion spring 158 is secured to flange 162 adapted to fit against a mating flange 164 on an associated air outlet conduit 166 leading to evaporator 100A and heating panel 130A. Leaf 170 adjacent an opposite end of torsion spring 158 is secured to flange 172 about the discharge opening of housing 144.

A second air discharge conduit 174 is provided beneath blower 74A and has a flange 176 adapted to fit against flange 162 as illustrated in broken lines in FIG- URE 16. In the position shown in solid lines in FIG URE 16, blower 74A communicates with conduit 166 to discharge air therethrough. If desired to discharge into conduit 174, blower 74A may be manually rotated to the broken line position illustrated in FIGURE 16. Torsion spring 158 releasably secures blower 74A in position adjacent conduits 166 and 174.

As shown in FIGURES 12 and 13, air passes from blower 74A and conduit 166 into evaporator 100A, and then into the upper portion of the car through an opening 175 in an intermediate bulkhead 177. Air is returned provide a continuous recirculation of air. A heating element or panel 130A is mounted adjacent evaporator 100A. A gate 184 is hinged at 186 adjacent the lower end of conduit 174 and is manually actuated by handle 188. Spring clips 190 releasably secure handle 188 in position. Gate 192 is hinged at 194 adjacent the upper end of conduit 182 and is mounted for actuation in a manner similar to gate 184. As shown in FIGURE 12, when air is being discharged into the upper portion of the railway car, gate 184 permits air to pass into the lower end of conduit 182 while gate 192 blocks the flow of air from the upper end of conduit 182.

If desired to reverse the direction of air flow through the railway car, blower 74A is rotated to the position shown in FIGURES 14 and with outlet chute 154 in communication with air conduit 174. Then, gates 184 and 192 are moved to the position of FIGURE 14 with air being supplied to bottom discharge structures 38A through air conduit 174, transverse air conduit 180, side sills 16A, and conduits 178. Air is discharged from conduit 178 into each bottom outlet 38A and is directed down- Wardly to adequately aerate the lading within each bottom outlet structure 38A. Air is returned to blower 74A through opening 175, evaporator A, and conduit 182.

While air is directed into or exhausted from each bottom outlet structure only at two openings, a generally uniform aeration of lading is obtained as the adjacent inclined slope sheets direct the flow of air into and out of the bottom outlet structures thereby providing aeration of substantially all of the lading within the bottom outlet structures and the hoppers and a highly effective control of the air.

Referring to FIGURES 1921, another embodiment of the air system for aerating the interior of the covered hopper car is illustrated in which the direction of air flow through the car is automatically reversed at a predetermined time interval to provide a timed reversing cycle. A pair of centrifugal fans 200 and 202 are driven by respective motors 204 and 206. Fan 200 supplies air to the upper portion of the covered hopper car through conduit 208, heater panel B, and evaporator 100B as shown in FIGURE 20. Fan 202 supplies air to the bottom outlet structures through air conduit 1743, and transverse air conduit B as shown in FIGURE 19.

To permit a reversal of air flow within the covered hopper railway car, gates 210 and 212 are linked together by a connecting link 214. Gate 210 selectively permits a flow of air through air conduit 216 and gate 212 selectively permits a flow of air through air conduit 218. Referring specifically to FIGURE 21, gate 210 is mounted on a shaft 220 secured to a segment gear 222 in mesh with a worm gear 224. A reversible motor 226 drives a worm 228 in mesh with worm gear 224. A control box is generally indicated 230 and includes a timing device 232 operatively connected to motors 204, 206 and 226. With gates 210 and 212 in the position of FIGURES 20 and 21, air is supplied by blower 200 to the upper portion of the car. At a predetermined time interval, timer device 232 energizes motors 206 and 226 to eflect movement of gates 210 and 212 to the position of FIGURE 19 while air is supplied by blower 202 to the bottom outlet structures. Motor 204 is deenergized and upon movement of gates 210 and 212 to the position of FIGURE 19, reversible motor 226 is deenergized. After a predetermined time interval, motor 206 is deenergized and motors 204 and 226 are energized to return gates 210 and 212 to the position of FIGURE 20 with air being supplied by blower 200 to the upper portion of the railway car thereby to complete the reversing cycle. Thus, means are provided to automatically reverse the direction of air flow within the covered hopper car at periodic intervals.

If desired, the reversing cycle may be actuated only at predetermined temperature levels. Generally, it is desirable to have heated air supplied to the bottom outlet structures while cool air is supplied to the upper portion of the car. Thus, a suitable thermostat such as indicated at 234 may be provided to energize motor 204 only when a predetermined ambient temperature is reached, such as 60 F., and cool air is supplied to the upper portion of the car. Upon the reaching of an ambient temperature of 40 F., motor 206 may be energized to supply heated air to the bottom outlet structures. Reversible motor 226 would also be energized for movement of gates 210 and 212 upon energizing of motors 204, 206.

Further, it would be possible to provide an air reversing arrangement with a single blower and drive motor as in the embodiment of FIGURES 1-11, with the blower being a fan delivering air axially and the drive motor being reversible for driving the fan in opposite directions. Such an arrangement would provide a simple means for reversing the direction of air flow within the interior of the car and the air conduits.

The term air as used in the specification and claims herein is interpreted as including other suitable gases which may be employed in this system, such as nitrogen, hydrogen, or the like. 1

In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results obtained.

What is claimed is:

1. A covered hopper railway car having, a generally air-tight hollow side sill extending the length of the car and forming an air conduit, a bottom outlet structure having a discharge opening therein for unloading lading from the car, a closure for the discharge opening movable between open and closed positions, means to provide a continuous circulation of air to lading Within the car, said means comprising, a blower mounted on said car and in fluid communication with the hollow side sill to permit a flow of air between the hollow side sill and the blower, a branch air conduit between the side sill and the bottom outlet structure to permit a flow of air between the outlet structure and side sill, and an additional air conduit extending between the upper portion of the car and said blower to provide an air passage between the blower and the interior of the car.

2. A covered hopper railway car for aerating lading transported by the car and comprising, a pair of opposed sides, a hollow side still extending along the lower portion of one side for the length of the car and forming a main air conduit, a plurality of hoppers between the sides, each hopper having inclined slope sheets leading to a bottom outlet structure having a discharge opening therein for unloading the lading from the car, a closure for the discharge opening movable between open and closed positions, aerating means to provide a continuous supply of air to lading within the car, said aerating means comprising; a blower mounted on said car and in fluid communication with the hollow side sill to permit a flow of air between the hollow side sill and the blower, a branch air conduit between the side sill and each bottom outlet structure to permit a flow of air between the side sill and each outlet structure, said branch air conduit having an air opening adjacent the lower ends of the inclined slope sheets for each bottom outlet structure, and an additional air conduit extending between the upper portion of the car and the blower to permit a recirculation of air for aerating lading within the car.

3. A covered hopper railway car as set forth in claim 2 wherein air heating means are provided in the air recirculating system to raise the temperature of the air within the railway car.

4. A covered hopper railway car as set forth in claim 2 wherein air cooling means are provided in the air recirculating system to lower the temperature of the air within the railway car.

5. A covered hopper railway car as set forth in claim 2 wherein means are provided in the air recirculating system to introduce a predetermined amount of air from atmosphere to influence the humidity of the air being recirculated.

6. A covered hopper railway car as set forth in claim 2 wherein a layer of polyurethane foam material is applied to the outer surface of said hopper car to insulate said car.

7. In a railway covered hopper car for maintaining a predetermined temperature range within the interior of the car, a plurality of bottom outlet structures for discharging lading, air supply means mounted on said car, a first air conduit between said air supply means and the interior of the car adjacent the upper portion of the car, a second air conduit extending between said air supply means and said bottom outlet structures, and means permitting said air supply means to supply air to a selected one of said air conduits with the other of said conduits returning air to the air supply means thereby to provide a continuous recirculating air system, the direction of air flow within the interior of the car being from the bottom outlet stuctures to the upper portion of the car when air is supplied to said second air conduit, the direction of air flow within the interior of the car being from the upper 10 portion of the car to the bottom outlet structures when air is supplied to said first air conduit, whereby the direction of air flow Within the car may be selectively reversed.

8. In a railway covered hopper car for maintaining a predetermined temperature range within the interior of the car, a plurality of bottom outlet structures for discharging lading, air supply means mounted on said car, a first car conduit between said air supply means and the interior of the car adjacent the upper portion of the car for selectively supplying air to the upper portion of the car, a second air conduit extending between said air supply means and said bottom outlet structures for returning air to the air supply means to provide a continuous recirculating air system, means to provide a predetermined temperature in the air supply, means to reverse the flow of air in said conduits from the air supply means to provide a flow of air from the bottom discharge structures to the upper portion of the car thereby reversing the direction of air flow within the interior of the car, and control means for automatically controlling the means for reversing the direction of air flow within the car.

9. A railway covered hopper car for maintaining a predetermined temperature range within the interior of the car and aerating a bulk commodity comprising, a plurality of hoppers, a bottom discharge outlet structure for each hopper, air supply means mounted on said car, means to provide a predetermined temperature in the air supply, a first air conduit between the air supply means and each bottom discharge outlet, a second air conduit between the air supply means and the upper portion of the interior of the car, means to selectively connect the air supply means for supplying air to one of said air conduits, and means to selectively connect the other of said air conduits for returning air to the air supply means to provide a continuous recirculation of air whereb the direction of air flow through the bulk commodity may be selectively reversed.

10. A covered hopper railway car for aerating lading transported by the car and comprising, a pair of opposed sides, a hollow side sill extending along the lower portion of one side for the length of the car and forming an air nlet conduit, an upper hollow side plate member extendlng longitudinally along the upper portion of one side for the length of the car and forming an air passage, a plurality of hoppers between the sides, each hopper hav- 1ng a bottom outlet structure with a discharge opening therein for unloading the lading from the car, a closure for the discharge opening movable between open and closed positions, means to provide a continuous supply of air to lading within the car, said means comprising, a blower mounted on said car and in fluid communication with the hollow side sill to permit a flow of air to the hollow side sill from the blower, a branch air conduit between the hollow side sill and each bottom outlet structure to provide a supply of air to the outlet structures whereby the air passes from said side sill into the outlet structures and thence upwardly through the outlet structures into the interior of the car to aerate the lading, and an air return conduit extending between the hollow side plate member and the blower thereby to return air to the blower for recirculation.

11. In a covered hopper railway car having a plurality of hoppers, a bottom outlet structure secured beneath each hopper and having sides leading to a bottom discharge opening, a closure for each bottom discharge opening movable between open and closed positions for unloading lading from the bottom of the respective hopper, an air-tight hollow sill structure extending generally the length of the car forming a main air conduit, air supply means mounted on said car in fluid communication with the sill structure, a branch air conduit for each hopper extending between the air-tight hollow sill structure and respective hopper and having an air opening for the associated bottom outlet structure to permit a flow of air between the air supply means and bottom outlet structures, and an additional air conduit between the upper portion of the hoppers and said air supply means to provide a continuous recirculating air system between the upper portion of the hoppers and the bottom outlet structures to aerate the lading within the car during transit.

12. In a covered hopper railway car as set forth in claim 11, said main and branch air conduits between the air supply means and the hoppers comprising air inlet conduits and said additional air conduit between the upper portion of the hoppers and said air supply means comprising an air outlet conduit.

13. In a covered hopper railway car as set forth in' claim 11, said main and branch air conduits between the air supply means and hoppers comprising air outlet conduits and said air conduit between the upper portion of the hoppers and said air supply means comprising an air inlet conduit.

14. In a covered hopper railway car having a plurality of hoppers, a bottom outlet structure secured beneath each hopper and having sides leading downwardly to a bottom discharge opening, opposed hopper inclined slope sheets extending downwardly to each bottom outlet structure, a closure for each bottom discharge opening movable between open and closed positions for unloading lading from the bottom of the respective hopper, air supply means mounted on said car, an air conduit between the air supply means and each hopper having an air discharge opening for each bottom outlet structure directing air into the associated bottom outlet structure to provide a discharge of air from the air supply means into the bottom outlet structures, means to conrol the temperature in the air before the air enters the bottom outlet structures, and

an air return conduit between the upper portion of the hoppers and said air supply means for returning air from the interior of the car to the air supply means thereby to provide a continuous recirculating flow of air between the upper portion of the hoppers and the bottom outlet structures to aerate the lading within the car during transit and to maintain a predetermined temperature range within the car.

15. In a covered hopper railway car having side sheets and a plurality of hoppers, a bottom outlet structure secured beneath each hopper and having sides leading downwardly to a bottom discharge opening, a closure for each bottom discharge opening movable between open and closed positions for unloading lading from the bottom or the respective hopper, and a layer of polyurethane foam material on the side sheets of said car and on the bottom outlet structures to insulate the car; air circulating means to provide a continuous circulation of air to lading within the hoppers and associated bottom outlet structures during transit, said air circulating means comprising, air supply means mounted on said car, an air conduit between the air supply means and each hopper and having an air discharge opening directing air into the associated bottom outlet structure to provide a discharge of air from the air supply means into the bottom outlet structures, heating means to increase the temperature in the air before the air enters the hoppers, cooling means to decrease the temperature in the air before the air enters the hoppers and operable independently of the heating means, and an air return conduit between the upper portion of the hop pers and said air supply means to provide a continuous recirculating air flow between the upper portion of the hoppers and the bottom outlet structures whereby the air passes upwardly from said bottom outlet structures into the interior of the car for aerating the lading within the car during transit.

16. In a, covered hopper railway car as set forth in claim 15 including means to bleed in a predetermined amount of ambient air into the continuous recirculating air flow to influence the humidity of the air entering the interior of the car.

17. In a covered hopper railway car as set forth in claim 15, said layer of polyurethane foam material being applied to the outer surfaces of said side sheets and said bottom outlet structures and exposed to the atmosphere.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,431,201 11/1947 Ross 3426 2,677,246 5/1954 Wehby 98-6 2,696,086 12/1954 Jones 986 3,194,144- 7/1965 Linden et a]. 98-b' 3,326,111 6/1967 Stevens 98-6 LLOYD L. KING, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

US3486241D 1968-09-19 1968-09-19 Controlled aeration system for a covered hopper railway car in transit Expired - Lifetime US3486241A (en)

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Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3570592A (en) * 1969-02-18 1971-03-16 Acf Ind Inc Aerating system for a covered hopper railway car
US3694925A (en) * 1970-09-04 1972-10-03 Acf Ind Inc Humidity control in a temperature controlled railway car
US3731053A (en) * 1971-12-27 1973-05-01 Acf Ind Inc Railway car having a heated fresh air intake
US3831391A (en) * 1972-12-29 1974-08-27 Acf Ind Inc Apparatus for testing the operation of the defrost switch in an air conditioning unit
US3989097A (en) * 1974-09-27 1976-11-02 Marshall Erdman And Associates, Inc. Dehumidification controls
US3995541A (en) * 1973-10-31 1976-12-07 Acf Industries, Incorporated Railway hopper car having baffles decreasing load density
US4531377A (en) * 1983-08-04 1985-07-30 American Trailers, Incorporated Temperature control apparatus for mounting in a transportable body
US4726196A (en) * 1986-12-04 1988-02-23 American Trailers, Incorporated Temperature control apparatus including air return bulkhead for mounting in a transportable body
US4853241A (en) * 1985-02-04 1989-08-01 Degesch Gmbh Process for treating agricultural products with pesticides on ships
US6286437B1 (en) 1998-10-05 2001-09-11 Asf-Keystone, Inc. Railway car outlet gate assembly
US6571718B2 (en) 1998-10-05 2003-06-03 Aero Transportation Products, Inc. Railway car outlet gate assembly
US7971369B2 (en) * 2004-09-27 2011-07-05 Roy Studebaker Shrouded floor drying fan
US20130180479A1 (en) * 2010-09-27 2013-07-18 Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Vehicle having a component cooled by means of a cooling air mass flow

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2431201A (en) * 1944-04-21 1947-11-18 Donald W Ross Drying of porous masses
US2677246A (en) * 1950-11-17 1954-05-04 Wehby Jack Phillip Compartmentalized vehicle
US2696086A (en) * 1950-01-05 1954-12-07 U S Thermo Control Co Method and means for air conditioning
US3194144A (en) * 1962-03-19 1965-07-13 Pullman Inc Vent structure for pneumatically discharged hopper car
US3326111A (en) * 1965-11-15 1967-06-20 Acf Ind Inc Vent structure for covered hopper railway cars

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2431201A (en) * 1944-04-21 1947-11-18 Donald W Ross Drying of porous masses
US2696086A (en) * 1950-01-05 1954-12-07 U S Thermo Control Co Method and means for air conditioning
US2677246A (en) * 1950-11-17 1954-05-04 Wehby Jack Phillip Compartmentalized vehicle
US3194144A (en) * 1962-03-19 1965-07-13 Pullman Inc Vent structure for pneumatically discharged hopper car
US3326111A (en) * 1965-11-15 1967-06-20 Acf Ind Inc Vent structure for covered hopper railway cars

Cited By (16)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3570592A (en) * 1969-02-18 1971-03-16 Acf Ind Inc Aerating system for a covered hopper railway car
US3694925A (en) * 1970-09-04 1972-10-03 Acf Ind Inc Humidity control in a temperature controlled railway car
US3731053A (en) * 1971-12-27 1973-05-01 Acf Ind Inc Railway car having a heated fresh air intake
US3831391A (en) * 1972-12-29 1974-08-27 Acf Ind Inc Apparatus for testing the operation of the defrost switch in an air conditioning unit
US3995541A (en) * 1973-10-31 1976-12-07 Acf Industries, Incorporated Railway hopper car having baffles decreasing load density
US3989097A (en) * 1974-09-27 1976-11-02 Marshall Erdman And Associates, Inc. Dehumidification controls
US4531377A (en) * 1983-08-04 1985-07-30 American Trailers, Incorporated Temperature control apparatus for mounting in a transportable body
US4853241A (en) * 1985-02-04 1989-08-01 Degesch Gmbh Process for treating agricultural products with pesticides on ships
US4726196A (en) * 1986-12-04 1988-02-23 American Trailers, Incorporated Temperature control apparatus including air return bulkhead for mounting in a transportable body
US6286437B1 (en) 1998-10-05 2001-09-11 Asf-Keystone, Inc. Railway car outlet gate assembly
US6571718B2 (en) 1998-10-05 2003-06-03 Aero Transportation Products, Inc. Railway car outlet gate assembly
US20030192452A1 (en) * 1998-10-05 2003-10-16 Lucas Anthony L. Railway car outlet gate assembly
US7124693B2 (en) 1998-10-05 2006-10-24 Aero Transportation Products, Inc. Railway car outlet gate assembly
US7971369B2 (en) * 2004-09-27 2011-07-05 Roy Studebaker Shrouded floor drying fan
US20130180479A1 (en) * 2010-09-27 2013-07-18 Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Vehicle having a component cooled by means of a cooling air mass flow
US9677457B2 (en) * 2010-09-27 2017-06-13 Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Vehicle having a component cooled by means of a cooling air mass flow

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