WO2018232449A1 - Suspension unit for a conveyor belt - Google Patents

Suspension unit for a conveyor belt Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2018232449A1
WO2018232449A1 PCT/AU2018/050606 AU2018050606W WO2018232449A1 WO 2018232449 A1 WO2018232449 A1 WO 2018232449A1 AU 2018050606 W AU2018050606 W AU 2018050606W WO 2018232449 A1 WO2018232449 A1 WO 2018232449A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
bracket
suspension unit
support
elongate
impact
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/AU2018/050606
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Brett Holmes
Original Assignee
Beinoni Pty Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to AU2017902400A priority Critical patent/AU2017902400A0/en
Priority to AU2017902400 priority
Application filed by Beinoni Pty Ltd filed Critical Beinoni Pty Ltd
Publication of WO2018232449A1 publication Critical patent/WO2018232449A1/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65GTRANSPORT OR STORAGE DEVICES, e.g. CONVEYORS FOR LOADING OR TIPPING, SHOP CONVEYOR SYSTEMS OR PNEUMATIC TUBE CONVEYORS
    • B65G15/00Conveyors having endless load-conveying surfaces, i.e. belts and like continuous members, to which tractive effort is transmitted by means other than endless driving elements of similar configuration
    • B65G15/60Arrangements for supporting or guiding belts, e.g. by fluid jets
    • B65G15/62Guides for sliding belts

Abstract

The disclosure relates to a suspension unit for bearing material load impact on a conveyor belt. The suspension unit includes an impact bearing member, such as a roller or a plate fabricated from a low friction material, mounted on an upper support member, a lower portion comprising a lower support member configured, in use, to be mounted on a frame for supporting the conveyor belt, and one or more resilient members. The resilient members engage the upper and lower support members in a manner to allow the upper support member to be displaced under load with respect to the lower support member.

Description

"Suspension unit for a conveyor belt"
Technical Field
[0001] The present disclosure relates to a suspension unit which is adapted to support a conveyor belt. In particular, the present disclosure relates to a suspension unit, permitting several configurations of the unit, for absorbing impact imparted on a conveyor belt.
Background
[0002] The following discussion of the background to the disclosure is intended to facilitate an understanding of the invention. However, it should be appreciated that the discussion is not an acknowledgement or admission that any of the material referred to was published, known or part of the common general knowledge as at the priority date of the application.
[0003] A conveyor system may consist of a conveyor belt supported by a series of rollers. The rollers are contained in roller frames at predefined spacings along the length of the conveyor belt. The nature and structure of these conveyor systems often render them susceptible to damage by the material they convey. This damage commonly occurs at material transfer stations, in particular at material loading stations, where material to be conveyed is deposited and strikes the belt at high velocity, resulting in considerable impact damage to the underlying belt and rollers.
[0004] To protect the conveyor system against such damage, these impact areas disposed along the conveyor system are generally supported by impact rollers. The impact rollers typically consist of a static shaft portion and a rotating roller portion which may be lined with rubber to absorb impact. An alternative solution is to deploy impact beds underneath the conveyor belt. The impact bed generally consists of a steel structure lined with elongate rubber bars, commonly known as slider bars, containing a bonded low friction layer of plastic that contacts the conveyor. Such impact beds are well known to those in the art.
[0005] A further adaptation is the use of a dynamic impact bed assembly which contains a plurality of springs contained within or adjacent to the supporting steel structure. These allow the upper portion of the steel structure to deflect in response to impact.
[0006] Conveyor systems are commonly used in the mineral processing industry, where bulk materials are handled and transferred to and from various locations.
Conveyor systems are often installed inside underground tunnels with negligible side access and limited overhead crane availability. Others will be installed at great height, where the use of cranes for installation is often unfeasible except at high cost. Many mineral processing facilities are initially built at the lowest possible cost, disregarding the need for impact assemblies at material transfer stations, thus leading to costly retrofit projects after commissioning.
[0007] Impact bed assemblies for conveyor systems are most commonly deployed in mineral processing facilities at material transfer stations. Initially, their installation will often involve lifting the conveyor belt to obtain the required clearance and removal of existing rollers and roller frames. Once all roller frames in the relevant area are removed, the impact table must be partially disassembled, moved to an area adjacent to the conveyor and then moved into place using a combination of cranes and specialised rigging equipment as the impact table structure is too heavy to be manipulated manually. Typically, the support structure for an impact table may weigh between 200 and 600kg. This operation is costly, time consuming and carries significant safety risk.
[0008] A further problem with existing impact bed assemblies is that they require periodic maintenance to change the slider bars. This is normally performed by removing an array of bolts, and sliding the bars out of the assembly along a T-shaped channel in the bar. In order to do this, it is often necessary to remove adjacent rollers to facilitate the removal of the bars, further exposing operators to safety risk and reducing conveyor availability during the maintenance period.
[0009] Existing impact beds also require that the supporting steel structure be manufactured separate to that from the normal roller frames, which are widely available. Additionally, the supporting steelwork for a conventional impact bed is unique to each manufacturer. Consequently, the initial cost for a new support structure may be substantial. High costs and the requirement of bespoke steelwork often results in the failure of operators to hold replacement parts, leading to risk of unplanned stoppages if the items fail.
[0010] When evaluating existing installations to determine requirements for current impact bed assemblies, it is often difficult to determine the exact position to install the items. For example, a typical transfer chute above a conveyor may be 3 to 4 metres long, although the impact area may be as short as 500 or 600 millimetres. As the transfer chute will be fully sealed to prevent egress of feed material, it is often not possible to visually evaluate the actual impact point. Commonly, the solution is to install impact table assemblies to cover the full length of the chute, leading to added unnecessary cost.
[0011] If the length of the impact bed assembly is too long, the conveyor belt will begin to sag, leading to accelerated wear on the slider bars. Installation of rollers within or between impact beds is not unknown to those skilled in the art, but is problematic due to the moving parts of dynamic assemblies where space constraints become an issue.
[0012] Use of conventional impact bed assemblies are often limited by the speed of the conveyor belt. At belt speeds beyond approximately 5 metres per second, the low friction material used to contact the belt will wear too rapidly to make the installation of an impact bed feasible. [0013] The need to install an impact bed solution can arise unexpectedly and at short notice. For example, a site may discover a damaged conveyor belt which, due to production constraints or availability of suitable replacement parts, may not be immediately replaced. In these cases, it is advantageous to install an impact protection assembly to protect the belt until it may be replaced. However, most common impact tables require to be custom built to suit a given application, rapid installation is not possible. Production constraints at many processing facilities also prevent maintenance staff from being able to find sufficient available shutdown time to install a conventional impact bed.
[0014] Some of the embodiments as disclosed herein seek to address at least some of the problems identified herein.
Summary
[0015] The present invention relates to a suspension unit for bearing material load impact on a conveyor belt, such that the impact damage imparted on a conveying surface may be reduced. The inventor has found that the size and adaptability of the suspension unit reduces the time and labour attributed to the maintenance of impact assemblies currently available in the field.
[0016] In various embodiments the suspension unit comprises an upper portion comprising an impact bearing member mounted on an upper support member; a lower portion comprising a lower support member configured in use, to be mounted on a frame for supporting a conveyor belt, and one or more resilient members, wherein the resilient members engage the upper and lower support members in a manner to allow the upper support member to be displaced under load with respect to the lower support member.
[0017] In one embodiment the impact bearing member comprises a roller. [0018] In alternative embodiments, the impact bearing member comprises a plate fabricated from a low friction material or a plate having an upper surface fabricated from a low friction material.
[0019] In one embodiment, the resilient member may comprise a torsional spring, such as a ROSTA™ rubber suspension unit. In an alternative embodiment, the resilient member may comprise a block of compressible material adapted to elastically respond to compression, tension and/or shear loading.
[0020] In one embodiment, the upper support member comprises an upper bracket and the lower support member comprises a lower bracket.
[0021] In another embodiment the upper support member comprises an elongate upper bracket and the lower support member comprises a pair of spaced apart lower brackets. In this particular embodiment, a plurality of plates are mounted on the elongate upper bracket in adjacent alignment with one another.
[0022] In a further embodiment of the suspension unit, the upper bracket or the elongate upper bracket is provided with one or more upwardly inclined wing members extending outwardly from opposing side walls of the upper bracket or the elongate upper bracket. The said wing members may be adapted, in use, to have respective plates mounted thereon. In one example, the elongate upper bracket is provided with two pairs of spaced apart upwardly inclined wing members.
[0023] In another embodiment of the suspension unit, the upper bracket is configured to interchangeably receive the impact bearing member or the roller.
[0024] In various embodiments, the lower bracket has a lower surface configured to contiguously abut an upper surface of a conveyor belt frame member. [0025] In some of these embodiments the lower bracket is provided with a clip to engage the lower bracket with said frame member. In other embodiments, the lower bracket is fixed to said frame member.
[0026] In a further embodiment of the suspension unit said frame member is provided with slots and the lower bracket is provided with respective flanges disposed, in use, to be received in the slots, thereby fixedly mounting the lower bracket on said frame member.
[0027] In another embodiment of the suspension unit, the plate is fixed to the upper bracket by fasteners manufactured of the low friction material. The fasteners may comprise a retainer to prevent the plate moving in a direction of travel of the conveyor belt.
[0028] In an alternative embodiment, the upper support member comprises an upper bracket and the lower support member comprises a shaft. Opposing ends of the shaft may be configured to be received in respective recesses provided in said frame, such that the shaft remains fixed with respect to rotational movement.
[0029] In one particular embodiment at least a portion of the shaft may be encompassed by the compressible material, and the compressible material may be mounted to an underside of a mounting plate of the upper bracket or the upper elongate bracket with a C-bracket. In this particular embodiment the upper bracket or the upper elongate bracket is displaced substantially vertically under load with respect to the shaft.
[0030] In another embodiment, at least a portion of the shaft may be encompassed by the compressible material, and the compressible material may be in operational communication with a torsional spring engaged by the upper bracket or the upper elongate bracket in an arrangement whereby the upper bracket or the upper elongate bracket is angularly displaced under load with respect to the shaft. [0031] In a further aspect of the disclosure, there is provided an impact bearing member for a suspension unit configured for bearing material load impact on a conveyor belt, said impact bearing member comprising a plate fabricated from a low friction material or a plate having an upper surface fabricated from a low friction material, wherein the plate is provided with a plurality of apertures to allow the impact bearing member to be fixed to said suspension unit by a plurality of fasteners, and a plurality of retainers to prevent the plate moving in a direction of travel of the conveyor belt.
[0032] A third aspect of the disclosure provides a conveyor belt comprising a plurality of suspension units as defined above, wherein the plurality of suspension units are arranged in an alternating array of suspension units comprising plates and suspension units comprising rollers.
[0033] These and various other embodiments and features of novelty which characterise the invention are pointed out in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the invention, its advantages, and objectives met by its use, reference should be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof, and to the accompanying descriptive matter, in which there is illustrated and described embodiments of the invention.
Brief Description of Drawings
[0034] Various embodiments of the disclosure will be described and illustrated, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying figures in which:
[0035] Figure 1 illustrates one embodiment of a suspension unit in accordance with the disclosure.
[0036] Figure 1A illustrates an exploded view of the suspension unit shown in Figure 1. [0037] Figure IB illustrates a plurality of adjacent suspension units shown in Figure 1 installed onto a conveyor belt frame.
[0038] Figure 2 illustrates another embodiment of the suspension unit.
[0039] Figure 3 illustrates the embodiment of the suspension unit from Figure 2 adapted to support a roller.
[0040] Figure 4 illustrates an embodiment of the suspension unit from Figure 2, suitable for locating onto a conveyor belt frame utilising existing slots for conveyor supports.
[0041] Figure 4A illustrates the embodiment of the suspension unit from Figure 4, assembled onto a conveyor belt frame.
[0042] Figure 4B shows detail D from Figure 4A, illustrating the mechanism for locating the suspension unit onto a conveyor belt frame utilising existing slots and a conveyor support frame.
[0043] Figure 5 illustrates a further embodiment of the suspension unit shown in Figure 4.
[0044] Figure 5A illustrates the embodiment shown in Figure 5 assembled onto a conveyor belt frame.
[0045] Figure 6 illustrates a further embodiment of the suspension unit configured to interchangeably receive a roller or an impact bearing member.
[0046] Figure 6A illustrates the embodiment of the suspension unit from Figure 6 supporting an impact bearing member.
[0047] Figure 6B illustrates an exploded view of the suspension unit in Figure 6A. [0048] Figure 6C illustrates the embodiment of the suspension unit from Figure 6 supporting a roller.
[0049] Figure 7 illustrates the embodiment of the suspension unit from Figure 2 adapted to be mounted on a retractable frame member of a retractable conveyor frame.
[0050] Figure 7A shows detail E from Figure 7 illustrating the fixing arrangement.
[0051] Figure 7B illustrates the embodiment of the suspension unit from Figure 7 wherein the retractable frame member is shown in a retracted position.
[0052] Figure 8 illustrates the embodiment of the suspension unit from Figure 7, whereby the conveyor rollers are replaced with a plurality of adjacent interconnected suspension units as shown in Figure 1.
[0053] Figure 8A shows detail F from Figure 8.
[0054] Figure 9 illustrates a plurality of suspension units supporting an impact bearing member and a plurality of suspension units supporting a roller as illustrated in Figures 6A and 6C, respectively, wherein the both embodiments of the suspension units are arranged in an alternating array.
[0055] Figure 10 illustrates an alternative embodiment of an impact bearing member.
[0056] Figure 10A illustrates an underside of the impact bearing member shown in Figure 10.
[0057] Figure 10B illustrates an exploded view of the impact bearing member shown in Figure 10.
[0058] Figure 11 illustrates an embodiment of the suspension unit, adapted to be fixed on an underside of the conveyor belt frame. [0059] Figure 11 A illustrates an exploded view of the suspension unit shown in Figure 11.
[0060] Figure 1 IB illustrates the embodiment of the suspension unit shown in Figure 11 supporting a pair of rollers.
[0061] Figure 11C illustrates a plurality of the suspension units shown in Figure 1 IB, whereby the suspension units are interconnected to provide increased rigidity to the conveyor belt frame.
[0062] Figure 1 ID illustrates the embodiment of the suspension unit shown in Figure
I IB without a conveyor belt frame.
[0063] Figure 1 IE illustrates the embodiment of the suspension unit shown in Figure
I I without an impact bearing member or a conveyor belt frame.
[0064] Figure 1 IF illustrates an exploded view of the suspension unit shown in Figure HE.
[0065] Figure 11G illustrates a front view of the suspension units from Figure 11C.
[0066] Figure 11H illustrates section G-G as shown in Figure 11G.
[0067] Figure 12 illustrates the conveyor belt supported by suspension units and conveyor frame shown in Figure IB.
[0068] Figure 12A illustrates the conveyor belt from Figure 12, supported by a plurality of conveyor frames and suspension units.
Figure 13 illustrates a further embodiment of a suspension unit as disclosed herein. Figures 14A - 14C illustrates perspective, side and cross- sectional views (A- A), respectively, of the suspension unit shown in Figure 13 mounted on the conveyor frame in the absence of a C-bracket shown in Figure 13.
Figures 15A - 15C illustrates perspective, side and cross- sectional views (B-B), respectively, of the suspension unit shown in Figure 13 mounted on the conveyor frame.
Figure 16 illustrates the relative displacement of the upper portion of the suspension unit with respect to the lower portion of the suspension unit shown in Figure 13 when placed under load.
[0069] Figure 17 illustrates an alternative further embodiment of a suspension unit and frame as disclosed herein. Figures 18A - 18C illustrate perspective, side and cross- sectional views (C-C), respectively, of the suspension unit shown in Figure 17 mounted on the conveyor frame.
Description of Embodiments
[0070] The present disclosure relates to a suspension unit for bearing material load impact on a conveyor belt.
GENERAL TERMS
[0071] Throughout this specification, unless specifically stated otherwise or the context requires otherwise, reference to a single step, composition of matter, group of steps or group of compositions of matter shall be taken to encompass one and a plurality (i.e. one or more of those steps, compositions of matter, groups of steps or groups of compositions of matter. Thus, as used herein, the singular forms "a", "an" and "the" include plural aspects unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. For example, reference to "a" includes a single as well as two or more; reference to "an" includes a single as well as two or more; reference to "the" includes a single as well as two or more and so forth.
[0072] The term "and/or" e.g., "X and/or Y" shall be understood to mean either "X and Y" or "X or Y" and shall be taken to provide explicit support for both meanings or for either meaning.
[0073] Throughout this specification the word "comprise", or such variations such as "comprises" or "comprising", will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps, but not the exclusion of any other element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps.
[0074] Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, suitable methods and materials are described below. In case of conflict, the present
specification, including definitions, will control. In addition, the materials, and examples are illustrative only and do not intend to be limiting.
SUSPENSION UNIT FOR A CONVEYOR BELT
[0075] Referring to the Figures, where like numerals refer to like parts throughout, there is shown a suspension unit 10 for bearing material load impact on a conveyor belt 1000.
[0076] A first embodiment of the suspension unit 10 is shown in Figures 1, 1A and IB. The suspension unit 10 is configured, in use, to be installed on a frame member 1002 for a conveyor belt system 1004 which includes a first pair of upright supports 1006 extending from the frame member 1002, a second pair of upright supports 1008 extending from the frame member 1002 and a pair of rollers 1010 suspended from respective pairs of first and second upright supports 1006, 1008. In use, a conveyor belt 1000 overlies and is supported by the pair of rollers 1010, as shown in Figures 12 and 12A.
[0077] The suspension unit 10 includes a lower support member 12 configured, in use, to be mounted on the frame member 1002, an upper support member 14 having an impact bearing member 16 mounted thereon, and a plurality of resilient members 18. The resilient members 18 engage the upper and lower support members 14, 12 in a manner to allow the upper support member 14 to be displaced under load with respect to the lower support member 12.
[0078] In this particular embodiment, the lower support member 12 comprises a lower bracket 20. The lower bracket 20 includes an inverted V-shaped base member 22, a pair of parallel plates 24 extending upwardly from opposing sides 26 of the inverted V-shaped base member 22 and a pair of clips 28 disposed on an underside 30 of said base member 22.
[0079] The inverted V-shaped base member 22 is configured to contiguously abut an upper surface 1012 of the conveyor belt frame member 1002. In use, the clips 28 fix said base member 22 to the conveyor belt frame member 1002.
[0080] In this particular embodiment, the upper support member 14 comprises an upper bracket 32. The upper bracket 32 includes a mounting plate 34, a pair parallel plates 36 downwardly depending from an underside 38 of the mounting plate 34 proximal to opposing sides 40 of the mounting plate 34, and a pair of web members 42 interconnecting the downwardly depending plates 36. The upper bracket 32 also includes a plurality of stiffening ribs 44 disposed on the plates 36 adjacent to the sides 40 of the mounting plate 34. The plates 36 may include lightening holes 46 to reduce weight of the upper bracket 32.
[0081] The impact bearing member 16 is configured, in use, to be disposed below an underside of the conveyor belt 1000 and to bear and/or absorb the impact of a material load and friction on the conveyor belt 1000, as shown in Figures 12 and 12A. [0082] The mounting plate 34 of the upper bracket 32 is configured to support the impact bearing member 16. In this particular embodiment the impact bearing member 16 comprises a plate 48 fabricated from a low friction material. The low friction material may be a polymeric material such as ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), polyurethane (PU) or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
[0083] Alternatively, the impact bearing member 16 may comprise a plate having an upper surface (not shown) fabricated from a low friction material. For example, the plate may be fabricated from a resilient material such as rubber bonded to a sheet of low friction material such as UHMWPE.
[0084] In other embodiments which will be discussed in detail later with reference to Figure 3, the impact bearing member 16 may be a roller.
[0085] The plate 48 and the mounting plate 34 may be provided with a plurality of mutually aligned apertures 50 to allow the plate 48 to be fixed to the mounting plate 34 of the upper support member 14 with fasteners, such as bolts. Preferably, the fasteners are fabricated from a polymeric material so that the conveyor belt 1000 is not subject to wear, in use, from the fasteners. The polymeric material may be the same low friction material as the plate 48 or a different material.
[0086] The resilient member 18 may comprise a torsional spring 52, such as a ROSTA™ rubber suspension unit. The torsional spring 52 is provided with a plurality of apertures to receive fasteners to fix the torsional spring 52 between respective plates 24 of lower bracket 20 and the plates 36 of the upper brackets 32. In this regard, upper portions 54 of the plates 24 of the lower bracket 20 and lower portions 56 of the plates 36 of the upper brackets 32 may be provided with a plurality of through holes 58 to receive said fasteners and engage the torsional spring 52 therebetween.
[0087] In use, the torsional spring 52 when coupled with the lower and upper support members 12, 14 provides a four bar chain mechanism which acts as a combined pivot, thereby allowing the upper support member 14 to be displaced under load with respect to the lower support member 12. Additionally, the impact bearing member 16 is maintained in a substantially horizontal orientation with respect to the frame member 1002 of the conveyor belt system 1004. In this way, the impact bearing member 16 absorbs the load imparted on the conveyor belt 1000 to reduce wear on the conveyor belt 1000.
[0088] It will be appreciated that in alternative embodiments, as will be described in more detail with reference to Figures 13 to 18A-C, the resilient member 18 may additionally or alternatively comprise a block of compressible material, such as a rubber block. Said block is adapted to elastically respond to compression, tension and/or shear loading.
[0089] By mounting the suspension unit 10 on existing conveyor frame members 1002 the overall costs associated with installation and maintenance are advantageously reduced in comparison to costs commonly incurred using currently available impact assemblies.
[0090] With reference to Figure 2, an alternative embodiment of the suspension unit 10' is illustrated.
[0091] In this particular embodiment, the upper support member 14 comprises an elongate upper bracket 32' which supports a plurality of impact bearing members 16 adjacently disposed with respect to one another. The elongate upper bracket 32' engages via a plurality of resilient members 18 with a pair of spaced apart lower support members 12 mounted on the conveyor belt frame member 1002.
[0092] The elongate upper bracket 32' includes a elongate rectangular mounting plate 34' and two pairs of parallel plates 36, downwardly depending from an underside 38' of the elongate mounting plate 34' . The pairs of parallel plates 36 are spaced apart from one another, each pair being disposed proximal an end 60 of the mounting plate 34' . The downwardly depending plates 36 are as previously described with respect to Figures 1, 1A and IB. For example, it will be appreciated that the parallel plates 36 in each pair are spaced apart from one another by a distance sufficient to accommodate the resilient member 18 therebetween, as shown in Figure 2.
[0093] The elongate upper bracket 32' is also provided with an elongate web members 42' interconnecting the pairs of parallel plates 36. The elongate upper bracket 32' also includes a plurality of stiffening ribs 44 disposed adjacent the sides 40 of elongate mounting plate 34'.
[0094] The elongate mounting plate 34' is configured to support a plurality of impact bearing members 16, in particular a plurality of plates 48, in adjacent alignment with one another. The plates 48 are fixed to the elongate mounting plate 34' of the upper bracket 32' in a similar fashion as has been as previously described with reference to Figures 1, 1A and IB with fasteners.
[0095] The lower support members 12 are as previously described with reference to Figures 1, 1A and IB. The pair of lower support members 12 are spaced apart from one another at a distance to accommodate a plurality of torsional springs 52
therebetween which mutually engage respective pairs of parallel plates 36 of the upper elongate bracket 32'.
[0096] Figure 3 illustrates a further embodiment of the suspension unit 10".
[0097] In this particular embodiment, the upper support member 14 comprises a elongate upper bracket 62 adapted to support a roller 64. The elongate upper bracket 62 engages via a plurality of resilient members 18 with a pair of spaced apart lower support members 12 mounted on the conveyor belt frame member 1002.
[0098] The elongate upper bracket 62 includes a elongate member 66 having a V- shaped cross section, and a two outer plates 68, each outer plate 68 being disposed at an end 70 of the elongate base member 66. Spaced apart from, and in parallel alignment with, each outer plate 68 is an inner plate 72. The inner plates 72 depend downwardly from an underside 74 of the base member 66. The inner plates 72 are spaced apart from the outer plates 68 at a distance sufficient to receive and engage a torsional spring 52 therebetween.
[0099] The outer plate 68 is generally triangular having a recess 76 disposed at an apex 78 of the outer plate 68 to receive an axle of the roller 64. Respective lower portions 80 of the outer plate 68 and the inner plates 72 are provided with a plurality of mutually aligned through holes 58 to receive said fasteners and engage the torsional spring 52 therebetween.
[0100] The elongate upper bracket 62 is also provided with an elongate web member 42' interconnecting the inner plates 72.
[0101] In this particular embodiment, the lower support members 12 are as previously described with reference to Figures 1, 1A and IB. The pair of lower support members 12 are spaced apart from one another at a distance to engage respective pairs of inner and outer plates 72, 68 of the elongate upper bracket 62 via a plurality of torsional springs 52.
[0102] Referring to Figures 4, 4A, and 4B another embodiment of the suspension unit 10" ' is illustrated.
[0103] In this particular embodiment, the lower support member 12 comprises an elongate lower bracket 20' for mounting on conveyor belt frame member 1002. The elongate lower bracket 20' cooperatively engages the elongate upper bracket 32' as described previously with reference to Figure 2 via a plurality of resilient members 18.
[0104] The elongate lower bracket 20' comprises an elongate base member 22' having an inverted V-shaped structure configured to contiguously abut an upper surface 1012 of the conveyor belt frame member 1002. Advantageously, the base member 22', stiffens the conveyor frame member 1002. [0105] The elongate base member 22' is provided with two pairs of parallel plates 24 extending upwardly from the elongate base member 22'. The pairs of parallel plates 24 are spaced apart from one another, each pair being disposed proximal an end 82 of the base member 22' . The parallel plates 24 are as previously described with respect to Figures 1, 1A and IB. For example, it will be appreciated that parallel plates 24 in each pair are spaced apart from one another by a distance sufficient to accommodate resilient member 18.
[0106] In this particular embodiment, the elongate base member 22' comprises a pair end walls 84 extending upwardly from opposing ends 82 of base member 22'. Each end wall 84 includes a stud 86 disposed at an upper end 88 of end wall 84. The stud 86 is adapted, in use, to engage the upright support 1008 as shown in Figure 4B. In this way, the suspension unit 10"' is fixed in position on conveyor frame 1002.
[0107] Referring to Figures 5 and 5A, a further embodiment of the suspension unit 101V is shown.
[0108] In this particular embodiment, the upper support member 14 of suspension unit 101V comprises an elongate upper bracket 32' provided with a plurality of upwardly inclined wing members 90. The elongate upper bracket 32' engages elongate lower bracket 20' via a plurality of resilient members 18 as has been previously described with reference to Figure 4. Similarly, the lower bracket 20' is mounted on the conveyor frame member 1002 as has been previously described with reference to Figure 4.
[0109] It will be appreciated, however, that in alternative embodiments as shown in Figure 5A, the elongate upper bracket 32' may also cooperatively engage a pair of lower brackets 20 via the plurality of resilient members 18 as has been previously described.
[0110] Referring to Figures 5 and 5A, the elongate upper bracket 32' includes two pairs of upwardly inclined wing members 90 extending outwardly from opposing sides 40 of the elongate rectangular mounting plate 34'. The pairs of wing members 90 are spaced apart from one another, each pair being disposed proximal an end 60 of the mounting plate 34' .
[0111] The wing members 90 comprise a wing support member 92 having an impact bearing member 16 mounted thereon. Plates 48 of impact bearing member 16 are fixed to the support member 92 of wing member 90 in a similar fashion as has been previously described with reference to Figures 1, 1A, and IB with fasteners.
[0112] Figure 5A illustrates the suspension unit 101V installed on a conveyor frame member 1002. Inclined wing members 90 straddle rollers 1010, advantageously supporting the conveyor belt against impact imparted on opposing inclined sides of conveyor belt 1000.
[0113] Referring to Figures 6, 6A, 6B and 6C, another embodiment of the suspension unit 10v is shown.
[0114] In this particular embodiment, the upper support member 14 comprises an upper bracket 94 adapted to interchangeably receive and engage various embodiments of an impact bearing member 16 such as a roller 96 or an impact plate member 98.
[0115] The upper bracket 94 includes a pair of parallel plates 100 spaced apart from one another by a distance sufficient to accommodate the resilient member 18. The parallel plates 100 are fixed together via a pair of spacer plates 102, disposed on opposing ends 104 of the plates 100. Upper edges 106 of parallel plates 100 are provided with a plurality of spaced apart recesses 108 including a pair of recesses 108a for receiving the impact plate member 98, as shown in Figure 6A, and a recess 108b disposed between the pair of recesses 108a for alternatively receiving the roller 96, as shown in Figure 6C. The pair of recesses 108a are disposed respectively proximal to opposing ends 104 of the parallel plates 100. [0116] Lower portions 110 of the parallel plates 100 are provided with a plurality of through holes 58. Through holes 58 allow upper bracket 94 to cooperatively engage a lower support member 12 via a pair of torsional springs 52 as previously described.
[0117] The impact plate member 98 includes a mounting plate 112 configured to support the impact bearing member 16, comprising a plate 48. The plate 48 is fixed to the mounting plate 112 in a similar fashion as has been previously described with reference to Figures 1, 1A and IB with fasteners.
[0118] The mounting plate 112 includes a pair of parallel plates 114 downwardly depending from an underside thereof. Each parallel plate 114 is provided with a pair of projections (or studs) 116 which are disposed to engage the recesses 108a. The mounting plates 112 may also include a plurality of stiffening ribs 118 disposed in vertical alignment with the projections 116.
[0119] Referring to Figures 7, 7A and 7B another embodiment of the suspension unit 10V1 is shown on a retractable roller frame 1014. The retractable roller frame 1014 includes a fixed frame member 1016 and a sliding frame member 1018 configured to be positioned between an operational position as shown in Figure 7 and a retracted position as shown in Figure 7B. The sliding frame member 1018 may be conveniently positioned in the retracted position for maintenance purpose, allowing access to suspension unit 10V1 without lifting the conveyor belt 1000.
[0120] In this particular embodiment, the lower support members 12 comprise a lower bracket 20' configured to be mounted on the sliding frame member 1018. In this particular embodiment, the lower bracket 20' is fixed to the sliding frame member 1018 by fasteners, such as bolts or screws, as shown in Figure 7A rather than clips 28 as shown in Figure 1.
[0121] The lower bracket 20' cooperatively engages the elongate upper bracket 32' as described previously with reference to Figure 2 via a plurality of resilient members 18. [0122] Referring to Figures 8 and 8A further embodiments of suspension units 10V1 are shown on a retractable roller frame 1014 as has been previously described with reference to Figures 7, 7A and 7B.
[0123] In this particular embodiment, conveyor rollers 1010 suspended between conveyor first and second supports 1006, 1008 are replaced by a plurality of adjacent suspension units 10 as shown in Figure 8. In this particular embodiment, the suspension units 10 are fixed together with a plurality of interconnecting fixing plates 120, as shown in Figure 8A. The fixing plates 120 are attached to the base member 22 of suspension units 10.
[0124] In this particular embodiment, outermost suspension unit 10vu does not include a lower bracket 12 or a resilient member 18. In this way, the outermost suspension unit 10vu is rigid to advantageously prevent material leakage from conveyor belt 1000. In this particular embodiment, the upper bracket 32 of outer suspension unit 10vu is configured to interconnect with fixing plate 120 via fasteners, such as bolts.
[0125] It will be appreciated that the embodiments discussed with reference to Figures 8 and 8A, may be configured to replace conveyor rollers 1010 as shown in Figures IB, 7 and 9. Advantageously, this embodiment reduces material leakage from a conveyor belt system 1004 by minimising conveyor belt 1000 sagging under load.
[0126] Figure 9 illustrates a plurality of suspension units 10v arranged in an alternating array of impact plates 98 and rollers 96. Advantageously, this alternating arrangement minimises drag and wear imparted on wear plates 48 of impact bearing members 16. In use, the embodiment shown in Figure 9 allows the conveyor belt 1000 to travel at faster speeds that would usually be prohibitive.
[0127] Figures 10, 10A and 10B illustrates an alternative embodiment of impact bearing member 16'. [0128] The impact bearing member 16' comprises a mounting plate 34', and a plurality of parallel plates 122 fixed together via a pair of spacer plates 124. In this particular embodiment, mounting plate 34' is configured to support a plurality of impact plates 48' in adjacent alignment with one another. The plates 48' are fixed to mounting plate 34' with fasteners.
[0129] Parallel plates 122 downwardly depend from an underside of mounting plate 34' . The outermost plates 122 are disposed at opposing sides of the mounting plate 34' . Parallel plates 122 include a pair of apertures 126 mutually aligned with corresponding apertures 126 of opposing parallel plates 122. The apertures 126 are configured to receive a support rod 128 which are configured to interconnect parallel plates 122. The rods 128 also include a projection 130 (or stud) on each opposing end thereof.
[0130] The impact bearing member 16' also includes a pair of retainer plates 132 mounted on spacer plates 124 with fasteners such as bolts. In use, the retainer plates 132 reduce the shear experienced by fasteners which connect the impact plate 48' to the mounting plate 34' when plates 48' are subject to wear and drag from conveyor belt 1000.
[0131] Referring to Figures 11, 11 A, 11B, 11C, 11D, HE, 11F, UG and 11H another embodiment of suspension unit 10vm is shown.
[0132] In this particular embodiment, the upper support member 14 comprises an upper bracket 96' adapted to interchangeably receive various embodiments of the impact bearing member 16 such as a pair of conveyor rollers 1010 or the impact bearing member 16', which is configured, in use, to engage the upper bracket 96', as described with reference to Figure 10, 10A and 10B. The upper bracket 96' operatively engages the lower member 12 mounted on an underside 1020 of the conveyor frame member 1002 via a plurality of torsional springs 52. [0133] The upper bracket 96' includes a pair of side plates 134 spaced apart from one another by a distance sufficient to accommodate the impact bearing member 16' therebetween. The side plates 134 are interconnected with front and rear plates 136. Upper edges 138 of side plates 134 are provided with a plurality of spaced apart recesses 140 configured to receive impact bearing member 16' or a pair of conveyor rollers 1010.
[0134] Proximal to, and in parallel alignment with, each recess 140 is an aperture 142 configured to receive a clip 144. The clip 144 may be a standard roller clip which advantageously retains the conveyor roller 1010 or an impact bearing member 16'.
[0135] In this particular embodiment, side plates 134 includes a lower edge 146 with a profile generally corresponding to cross-sectional profile of upper surface 1012 of the conveyor belt frame member 1002. Lower edges 146 are also provided with a plurality of through holes 58 for engagement with the resilient members 18.
[0136] Spaced apart from, and in parallel alignment with, each side plate 134 is an inner plate 148. The inner plates 148 depend downwardly from an inner surface 150 of the front and rear plates 136. The inner plates 148 are spaced apart from the side plates 134 at a distance sufficient to receive and engage a torsional spring 52 therebetween.
[0137] The front and rear plates 136 include a pair of apertures 152 for receiving fasteners to interconnect adjacently aligned suspension units 10vm on respective conveyor frame members 1002 as shown in Figures 11C, 11D and HE.
Advantageously, fastening suspension units 10vm allows a plurality of adjacent suspension units 10vm to operate as a single suspension unit 10vm, thereby increasing the capacity of the conveyor belt to bear impact from material loads.
[0138] In this particular embodiment, the lower support member 12 comprises an elongate member 154 having a V-shaped cross section. The elongate member 154 includes two V-shaped clamping brackets 156a, and two pairs of parallel plates 158 extending upwardly from member 154. Advantageously, the elongate member 154 stiffens the conveyor frame member 1002 while stabilising suspension unit 10vm.
[0139] Elongate member 154 is configured to contiguously abut an underside 1020 of the conveyor belt frame member 1002. The two V-shaped clamping brackets 156a are spaced apart from one another, each bracket 156a being disposed proximal to opposing ends 160 of elongate member 154.
[0140] The pairs of parallel plates 158 are spaced apart from one another, each pair of parallel plates 158 being equidistantly spaced from a mid-point "A" of the elongate member 154. The parallel plates 158 of each pair are spaced apart from one another by a distance sufficient to accommodate resilient member 18.
[0141] In this particular embodiment, the lower support member 12 is fixed to the underside 1020 of conveyor belt frame member 1002 with two V-shaped clamping brackets 156b fastened to clamping brackets 156a by fasteners, such as bolts. By loosening the fasteners, clamping brackets 156a, 156b and suspension unit 10vm can be lowered relative to the conveyor belt 1000. Advantageously, this provides for sufficient clearance between the suspension unit 10vm and conveyor belt 1000 to allow for the removal of impact bearing member 16' without lifting the belt 1000.
Additionally, this allows consumers to keep an inventory of impact assemblies 16' that may be replaced quickly, thereby improving maintenance schedules and reducing downtime.
[0142] Referring now to Figure 13, Figures 14A-14C, Figures 15A-15C and Figure 16, there is shown another embodiment of the suspension unit 101X. In this particular embodiment, the lower support member 12 of the suspension unit 101X comprises a pair of shafts 160 disposed in longitudinal alignment with rollers 1010. Opposing ends 162 of each shaft 160 may be configured to be received in respective recesses provided in upright supports 1008 of said conveyor frame 1002, such that the shaft 160 remains fixed with respect to rotational movement. [0143] In this particular embodiment, the upper support member 14 comprises an elongate upper bracket 32" which supports two adjacent impact bearing members 16, as have previously been described. The elongate upper bracket 32" includes a elongate rectangular mounting plate 34" and two pairs of parallel plates 36" downwardly depending from an underside of the elongate mounting plate 34".
[0144] The parallel plates 36" are adapted to engage a plurality of resilient members 18' and are provided with spaced flanges 164 having a plurality of through holes therein to receive fasteners and engage the resilient members 18' therebetween.
Accordingly, the two pairs of parallel plates are spaced apart from one another, each pair being disposed proximal a respective opposing side of the mounting plate 34". The downwardly depending plates 36" of each pair are spaced apart from one another by a distance sufficient to engage the resilient member 18' between the flanges 164.
[0145] In this particular embodiment, the resilient member 18' comprises a block 166 of compressible material in combination with a torsional spring 168. The upper bracket 34" engages the torsional spring 168 as has been described previously and at least a portion of the shaft 160 is encompassed by the block 166 of compressible material. As shown in Figure 16, under load the compressible material encompassing the shaft 160 compresses under load and the torsional spring 168 undergoes an angular deflection under load, the net result being that an effective height of the impact bearing members 16 is decreased, for example by up to 10 mm.
[0146] In operational use, the torque applied to the torsional spring 168 may tend to twist the shaft 160 within the block 166 of compressible material. While the twisting motion of the shaft 160 is not in itself detrimental to the resilient member 18', over time the opposing ends 162 of the shaft 160 will cause wear in the recesses of the upright support 1008 of the conveyor frame 1010. To mitigate this potential for wear over time, in some embodiments (not shown) the opposing ends 162 of each shaft 160 may be provided with roller clips to fasten the opposing ends into the recess and prevent the shaft 160 from twisting relative to the conveyor frame 1010. [0147] Alternatively, or additionally, the suspension unit 101X may be provided with a D-bracket 168, as shown in Figures 13 and Figures 15A-15C. The D-bracket 168 is configured to clamp the conveyor frame 1010 to the upper bracket 34" and thereby improve the rigidity of the shafts 160 relative to said frame 1010.
[0148] Referring now to Figures 14 and Figures 18A-18C, there is shown a still further embodiment of the suspension unit 10x. Similar to the preceding embodiment shown in Figure 13, Figures 14A-14C, Figures 15A-15C and Figure 16, the lower support member 12 of the suspension unit 10x comprises a pair of shafts 160 disposed in longitudinal alignment with rollers 1010. Opposing ends 162 of each shaft 160 may be configured to be received in respective recesses provided in upright supports 1008 of said conveyor frame 1002, such that the shaft 160 remains fixed with respect to rotational movement.
[0149] In this particular embodiment, the upper support member 14 comprises an elongate upper bracket 32" which supports two adjacent impact bearing members 16, as have previously been described. The elongate upper bracket 32' includes a elongate rectangular mounting plate 34" and a pair of parallel plates 36" downwardly depending from opposing sides of the elongate mounting plate 34".
[0150] The parallel plates 36" are provided with respective first cut outs 170 to receive the shafts 160. The parallel plates 36" may also be provided with a second cut out 172. The second cut out 172 may be sized and shaped to receive the conveyor frame 1010.
[0151] In this particular embodiment, the resilient member 18" comprises a block 166 of compressible material. The block 166 of compressible material is clamped to an underside 174 of the upper bracket 34" by means of a C-bracket 176. At least a portion of the shaft 160 is encompassed by the block 166 of compressible material. As shown in Figure 17, under load the compressible material encompassing the shaft 160 compresses under load, the net result being that the upper elongate bracket 32" is displaced substantially vertically under load with respect to the shaft 160 and an effective height of the impact bearing members 16 is decreased, for example by up to 5 mm. Components included in lower support member 12 and upper support member 14 are preferably manufactured from steel, or other materials of similar hardness such as an aluminium alloy.
[0152] The disclosure is particularly advantageous over existing impact assemblies due to its small size, reduced weight, and its ability to be installed onto existing conveyor frame members 1002 without the need for specialised rigging methods. Additionally, installation of the various embodiments of the suspension unit 10-10x may be performed by a single operator, with all components being manually handled, allowing the installation of the suspension units to be completed at short notice and with minimal downtime of the conveyor system.
[0153] These advantages and features allow the suspension unit 10 to be deployed using a modular approach. For example, the suspension units, in particular the lower brackets may be adapted to comply with several conveyor system requirements.
[0154] It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments, without departing from the broad general scope of the present disclosure. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A suspension unit for bearing material load impact on a conveyor belt, the suspension unit comprising:
an upper portion comprising an impact bearing member mounted on an upper support member;
a lower portion comprising a lower support member configured, in use, to be mounted on a frame for supporting a conveyor belt; and
one or more resilient members, wherein the resilient members engage the upper and lower support members in a manner to allow the upper support member to be displaced under load with respect to the lower support member.
2. The suspension unit according to claim 1, wherein the impact bearing member comprises a roller.
3. The suspension unit according to claim 1, wherein the impact bearing member comprises a plate having an upper surface fabricated from a low friction material.
4. The suspension unit according to claim 1, wherein the impact bearing member comprises a plate fabricated from a low friction material.
5. The suspension unit according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the resilient member comprises a torsional spring.
6. The suspension unit according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the resilient member comprises a block of a compressible material.
7. The suspension unit according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the upper support member comprises an upper bracket and the lower support member comprises a lower bracket.
8. The suspension unit according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the upper support member comprises an elongate upper bracket and the lower support member comprises a pair of spaced apart lower brackets.
9. The suspension unit according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the upper support member comprises an upper bracket or an elongate bracket and the lower support member comprises a shaft.
10. The suspension unit according to claim 8 or claim 9, wherein a plurality of plates are mounted on the elongate upper bracket in adjacent alignment with one another.
11. The suspension unit according to claim 10, wherein the elongate upper bracket is provided with one or more upwardly inclined wing members extending outwardly from opposing side walls of the elongate upper bracket, wherein said wing members are adapted in use to have respective plates mounted thereon.
12. The suspension unit according to claim 11, wherein the elongate upper bracket is provided with two pairs of spaced apart upwardly inclined wing members.
13. The suspension unit according to any one of claims 7, 8, 11 or 12, wherein said upper bracket or said elongate upper bracket is configured to interchangeably receive the impact bearing member or the roller.
14. The suspension unit according to any one of claims 1 to 8, 10 to 13, wherein the lower bracket has a lower surface configured to contiguously abut an upper surface of a conveyor belt frame member.
15. The suspension unit according to claim 14, wherein the lower bracket is
provided with a clip to engage the lower bracket with said frame member.
16. The suspension unit according to claim 14, wherein the lower bracket is fixed to said frame member.
17. The suspension unit according to claim 14, wherein said frame member is provided with slots and the lower bracket is provided with respective flanges disposed, in use, to be received in the slots, thereby fixedly mounting the lower bracket on said frame member.
18. The suspension unit according to claim 9, wherein opposing ends of the shaft are configured to be received in respective recesses provided in said frame, such that the shaft remains fixed with respect to rotational movement.
19. The suspension unit according to claim 9 or claim 18, wherein at least a portion of the shaft is encompassed by the compressible material, and the compressible material is mounted to an underside of a mounting plate of the upper bracket or the upper elongate bracket with a C-bracket.
20. The suspension unit according to claim 19, wherein the upper bracket or the upper elongate bracket is displaced substantially vertically under load with respect to the shaft.
21. The suspension unit according to claim 9 or claim 18, wherein at least a portion of the shaft is encompassed by the compressible material, and the compressible material is in operational communication with a torsional spring engaged by the upper bracket or the upper elongate bracket in an arrangement whereby the upper bracket or the upper elongate bracket is angularly displaced under load with respect to the shaft.
22. The suspension unit according to any one of claims 3 to 21, wherein the plate is fixed to the upper bracket by fasteners manufactured from a low friction material.
23. The suspension unit according to claim 22, wherein the impact bearing member comprises a retainer to prevent the plate moving in a direction of travel of the conveyor belt.
24. A impact bearing member for a suspension unit configured for bearing material load impact on a conveyor belt, said impact bearing member comprises a plate fabricated from a low friction material or a plate having an upper surface fabricated from a low friction material, wherein the plate is provided with a plurality of apertures to allow the impact bearing member to be fixed to said suspension unit by a plurality of fasteners, and a plurality of retainers to prevent the plate moving in a direction of travel of the conveyor belt.
25. A conveyor belt system comprising a plurality of suspension units as defined in any one of claims 1 to 23.
26. The conveyor belt system according to claim 25, wherein the plurality of
suspension units are arranged in an alternating array of suspension units comprising plates fabricated from a low friction material or plates having an upper surface fabricated from a low friction material and suspension units comprising rollers.
PCT/AU2018/050606 2017-06-21 2018-06-20 Suspension unit for a conveyor belt WO2018232449A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2017902400A AU2017902400A0 (en) 2017-06-21 Suspension unit for a conveyor surface
AU2017902400 2017-06-21

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2018232449A1 true WO2018232449A1 (en) 2018-12-27

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ID=64735368

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
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Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPS5922226U (en) * 1982-08-04 1984-02-10
GB2188018A (en) * 1986-03-19 1987-09-23 Alan Habberley Feedboot supporting troughed conveyor belt at loading position
US5564557A (en) * 1994-10-18 1996-10-15 Hinkle Contracting Corporation Impact absorbing apparatus for a belt conveyor
US20090294257A1 (en) * 2007-12-28 2009-12-03 Kuiper Daniel J Impact Bed Assembly for Conveyor Belts
US20100230252A1 (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-09-16 Felton Jarrod J Belt conveyor load zone support assembly
CN204162013U (en) * 2014-09-12 2015-02-18 湖北凯瑞知行科技有限公司 Compound type angle is buffer bed

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPS5922226U (en) * 1982-08-04 1984-02-10
GB2188018A (en) * 1986-03-19 1987-09-23 Alan Habberley Feedboot supporting troughed conveyor belt at loading position
US5564557A (en) * 1994-10-18 1996-10-15 Hinkle Contracting Corporation Impact absorbing apparatus for a belt conveyor
US20090294257A1 (en) * 2007-12-28 2009-12-03 Kuiper Daniel J Impact Bed Assembly for Conveyor Belts
US20100230252A1 (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-09-16 Felton Jarrod J Belt conveyor load zone support assembly
CN204162013U (en) * 2014-09-12 2015-02-18 湖北凯瑞知行科技有限公司 Compound type angle is buffer bed

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