Patent application title: CONTAINER FOR RECEIVING A STACK OF BRAKE DISKS, IN PARTICULAR AIRCRAFT BRAKE DISKS
Michel Fiore (Molsheim, FR)
IPC8 Class: AB65D8502FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package for an annular article
Publication date: 2010-05-20
Patent application number: 20100122922
The invention relates to a container for receiving different types of heat
pack, the container comprising a base carrying a central support suitable
for receiving equally well one or another of the heat packs, wherein the
support includes at least a plurality of respective seats that are
staggered so that each receives one of the heat packs, each seat being
adapted to co-operate with at least an annular surface portion of the
corresponding heat pack.
1. A container for receiving different types of heat pack, the container
comprising a base carrying a central support suitable for receiving
equally well one or another of the heat packs, wherein the support
includes at least a plurality of respective seats that are staggered so
that each receives one of the heat packs, each seat being adapted to
co-operate with at least an annular surface portion of the corresponding
2. A container according to claim 1, wherein the support presents notches defining a passage under the seats, enabling a hoist tool to be inserted for lifting the heat pack.
3. A container according to claim 1, wherein the support includes a frustoconical inside wall forming a centering member on a frustoconical centering member carried by a cover of a complementary container.
4. A container according to claim 1, wherein the base has a side wall that co-operates with the base to form a bottom shell of the container.
5. A container according to claim 4, wherein the side wall includes stiffeners forming centering members adapted to co-operate with a cylindrical outside surface of a heat pack of corresponding diameter.
6. A container according to claim 4, further including a top shell forming a cover, the two shells resting one on the other via respective peripheral collars that are mutually centering.
7. A container according to claim 1, wherein the staggered seats have different slopes.
8. A container according to claim 1, wherein the staggered seats have the same slope or different slopes, and are interconnected by transition zones.
The invention relates to a container for receiving a stack of brake
disks, in particular aircraft brake disks.
The invention relates more specially to a container receiving the brake disks stacked one on another. The set of brake disks (made up in alternation of rotor disks and stator disks) is commonly referred to as a heat pack, and it is transported as a unit in a suitable container.
Heat packs are transported on several occasions. New heat packs leaving the factory where they are fabricated are delivered to user clients, particularly aircraft manufacturers if the aircraft is being assembled, or if the aircraft is already in service with a company, to that company's storage premises, which may naturally be situated anywhere in the world. Furthermore, the company seeking to replace a worn heat pack with a new heat pack puts the worn heat pack into one of the containers to send it back to the factory where it was fabricated so that the worn disks can be reconditioned in the Applicant's factory or in any other suitable place.
This has caused the Applicant to make use of several thousand containers. At present, the Applicant uses containers that are generally in the form of bodies of revolution, each comprising a base on which the disks are stacked, and a cover fitted onto the base and covering the entire assembly. The heat pack bears against the base and a central pull rod screwed into the base and terminated by a hoist ring enables the container to be handled once it is closed. These containers are adapted to the particular size of the disks, specifically disks having a diameter of 20 inches (''). For other heat packs, made up of 22'' or 23'' disks, the Applicant uses matching containers. Some have a base in the form of a rack in which the disks are inserted vertically, being spaced apart from one another.
The invention seeks to propose a universal container adapted to receive different types of heat pack.
Document U.S. Pat. No. 4,790,430 discloses a container comprising a base and a cover with a belt extending between them. The base and the cover receive a threaded pull rod carrying two support cones of concave profile. The disks of the heat pack are placed to rest on the bottom cone so that the bottom cone penetrates into the inside diameter of the heat pack, and then the top cone is moved along the pull rod until the heat pack is held captive between the two cones. The top cone is then prevented from moving relative to the rod.
OBJECT OF THE INVENTION
The invention seeks to propose a container capable of receiving different types of heat pack, or more generally stacks of brake disks, regardless of whether a stack constitutes a complete heat pack or only a part thereof. The term "various types" means that the heat packs in question differ at least by having different inside diameters.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
According to the invention, there is provided a container for receiving different types of heat pack, the container comprising a base carrying a central support suitable for receiving equally well one or another of the heat packs, wherein the support includes at least a plurality of respective seats that are staggered so that each receives one of the heat packs, each seat being adapted to co-operate with at least an annular surface portion of the corresponding heat pack. It will be understood that in the meaning of the invention, "staggered" is used to mean that the seats are disposed at different heights and that they are defined relative to one another and distinct from one another.
Thus, instead of a concave surface as recommended by document U.S. Pat. No. 4,790,430, with the heat pack coming into contact therewith as best via an edge having the diameter of the inside diameter of the bottom disk, the support of the invention presents seats that are adapted to each size of heat pack. Thus, for a heat pack with a bottom disk that presents a chamfered inside diameter, provision can be made for a seat that presents at least one conical surface of slope that matches the slope of the chamfer. For a heat pack having a bottom disk that presents an inside diameter that is not chamfered, provision can be made for a seat presenting a circularly cylindrical surface centered on the bottom disk, together with a plane bearing surface enabling the bottom disk to be supported by the support.
The contact areas between the support and the bottom disk are thus increased, reducing any risk of damage to the portion of the bottom disk that comes into contact with the seat, and providing much better stability for the heat pack in the container, in particular while it is being put into place therein.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention can be better understood in the light of the following description of the figures of the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bottom shell of a container in a particular embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a top shell suitable for fitting to the bottom shell of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a section view of the container that contains the bottom shell of FIG. 1 and the top shell of FIG. 2;
FIG. 3A is a perspective view of the FIG. 3 container;
FIG. 4 is a section view of the FIG. 3 container in which a 20 inch ('') heat pack is packaged;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary section of the support fitted to the bottom shell of the container;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary section of a variant embodiment of the support;
FIG. 7 is a section view of the FIG. 3 container in which a 22'' heat pack is shown in silhouette;
FIG. 8 is a section view analogous to FIG. 7, but with a 23'' heat pack;
FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of a stabilizer for use in co-operation with the container of
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the FIG. 9 stabilizer;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a container receiving a heat pack, in which the stabilizer has been put into place;
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a dished plate that is fitted over the heat pack after the stabilizer has been put into place; and
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary section view of the support fitted to the bottom shell of the container in a variant embodiment.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The container according to the invention described herein is specially adapted to receiving three types of heat pack, namely a 20'' heat pack, a 22'' heat pack, and a 23'' heat pack (the dimensions in inches relating to the outside diameter of the disks). Naturally, the invention is not limited to these examples that are given by way of illustration.
These heat packs are put into place in the container by presenting the rear stator (i.e. the stator disk that faces the force take-up plate at the end of the torsion tube of the brake that receives the heat pack) towards the bottom, such that this disk is referred to below as the bottom disk. Naturally, the invention is not limited to this configuration, and the invention applies equally to a configuration in which the heat pack is presented with the front stator towards the bottom.
With reference to FIGS. 1 to 3, the container comprises two shells generally in the form of bodies of revolution that together form the outer casing of the container, and comprising a bottom shell or base shell 1 and a top shell or cover 10. These shells are advantageously made of a plastics material by molding, injection-molding, rotor-molding, or any other known method.
The bottom shell 1 includes an annular plane portion P1 that defines a bearing plane via which the container rests on the ground or on any other surface receiving it, or indeed on another similar container, as described in detail below. A support 2 adapted to receive heat packs extends centrally from the annular plane portion P1. The support 2 is generally in the form of a body of revolution, except that in this example it has three notches 3 extending at 120° to one another. The notches 3 are integrally molded with the support 2 and they contribute to stiffening it. In addition, they define a passage under the seat (described in detail below) enabling three claws of a hoist member (as commonly used by the Applicant and also by many of its clients) to be inserted under the heat pack. This hoist member is inserted in the center of the heat pack, and its claws take up positions under the heat pack in the empty spaces defined by the notches 3, thereby enabling the heat pack that is received in the bottom shell 1 to be raised as a unit. The notches 3 can be seen more particularly from beneath in FIG. 3A.
The bottom shell 1 also has a side wall 4 that is stiffened by regularly distributed stiffeners 5 integrally molded with the side wall 4 and forming setbacks that project inwards into the base 1. These stiffeners thus naturally form centering means that co-operate with the outside surfaces of the larger-diameter disks to prevent them from sliding on one another. Finally, the bottom shell 1 has a peripheral collar 8 forming a bearing plane for receiving the top shell 10.
The top shell or cover 10 has an annular plane portion P2 that defines a bearing plane suitable for receiving another container superposed thereon. Frustoconical centering means 11 extend from the annular plane portion P2 and co-operate with a frustoconical inner wall 7 (visible in FIG. 3) constituted by the inner bottom wall of the support 2 of the bottom shell 1 of a superposed container (drawn in dashed lines in FIG. 3). Like the bottom shell 1, the top shell 10 has a side wall 14 presenting stiffeners 15 that can be seen in FIG. 2 solely in the form of setbacks. Unlike the bottom shell 1, these stiffeners 15 are not regularly distributed. A zone 16 of the side wall 14, visible on the right in FIG. 2, has no stiffeners and thus presents a smooth surface suitable for receiving a label for forming a writing zone suitable for identifying the content of the container without it being necessary to open it. The top shell 10 finally includes a collar 18 adapted to co-operate with the collar 8 of the bottom shell 1 for positioning and centering the top shell 10 on the bottom shell 1.
According to the invention, the support 2 has three seats given respective references 30, 40, and 50 for respectively receiving heat packs having diameters of 20'', 22'', and 23''. Each of the seats is adapted to co-operate with an annular surface portion of the bottom disk of the corresponding heat pack. In this example, the bottom disk is made up by the rear stator of the heat pack, which is provided with studs, where appropriate, as can be seen in FIG. 4.
In this example, the bottom disks of all three heat packs in question have their inside diameters chamfered, however the slope of each chamfer is different. Each of the seats thus has a slope that is adapted to receive each of the heat packs so that the bottom disk bears against the seat via an annular bearing surface, and not via a single edge.
FIG. 4 shows how the 20'' heat pack co-operates with its seat 30. FIG. 5 shows the various seats 30, 40, and 50 with their different slopes, all adapted to the inlet chamfer of the corresponding heat pack. The values of the slopes given in FIG. 5 are naturally given purely by way of indication. FIG. 6 shows a support adapted to receive 20'', 22'', and 23'' heat packs, respectively. The 20'' and 23'' heat packs are identical to those described above, but the 22'' heat pack has an inlet that is not chamfered. The seat 40 is thus replaced by the seat 60 shown in this figure (which likewise presents a slope that is different from the slope of the seats adjacent thereto). Such a seat advantageously includes a circularly cylindrical surface 61 that centers the bottom disk, and a plane bearing surface 63 that co-operates with the outer face of the bottom disk. Thus, even with this type of bottom disk, the support of the invention co-operates with the bottom disk not via a single edge, but via a bearing surface.
As shown in FIG. 13, the invention also applies, in an embodiment, to staggered seats 30, 40, 50 of the type shown in FIG. 5 (having the same slope or different slopes), that are interconnected by transition zones ZT. In the example shown in FIG. 13, these transition zones are in the form of horizontal levels. Alternatively, the transition zones could likewise present slopes relative to the horizontal. These transition zones present slopes that are preferably different from the slope of at least one of the two seats they interconnect. The central support may thus present a profile in the form of a staircase, some steps constituting seats and others, the zones ZT, not constituting seats.
The seats of the invention are defined relative to one another, either because two adjacent seats present different slopes, or because they are spaced apart by a connection zone that presents a slope that is different from that of at least one of the seats it interconnects (and in particular both of them).
Advantageously, the walls of the seats of the central support are plane, and not curved.
By way of illustration, FIGS. 7 and 8 show the closed container respectively receiving a 22'' heat pack and a 23'' heat pack, with only the outer silhouettes thereof being shown in the figures. It can be seen that these heat packs bear, via the inlet chamfers of their bottom disks, respectively against the seat 40 and against the seat 50.
As shown in FIG. 4, it should be observed that the bottom disks are often fitted with studs that project from the outside surface of the disk. It is appropriate to stagger the seats so that, for the heat packs having studs facing one of the other seats, the studs find sufficient empty space to avoid coming into contact with the facing seat. In this respect, and where appropriate, it is advantageous to provide a step between pairs of successive seats.
Still according to the invention, the container is used together with a stabilizer 100, shown in exploded view in FIG. 9 and in assembled view in FIG. 10. The stabilizer 100 serves to hold the disks of the heat pack so that they do not slide relative to one another while they are being transported in the container. The stabilizer 100 comprises two elongate pushers 101 extending parallel to each other and associated with arms 102 that are engaged in grooves 104 of a body 103 that defines a guide path defining a common travel direction for the pushers 101. The body 103 also receives two knobs 105, one having a hub 106 that passes through the body 103 to form a pivot for the assembly formed by the two knobs. The facing faces of the knobs 105 carry spiral grooves and they receive fingers 107 carried at the ends of the arms 102, in such a manner that turning the knobs 105 causes the pushers 101 to move apart or towards each other in diametrically opposite directions, as represented symbolically by bold arrows. The knobs 105 also contribute to guiding the arms 102 in the grooves 104 by the inside faces of the knobs 105 co-operating with the facing faces of the arms 102. Thus, the pushers 101 are guided in a direction that is perpendicular to the pushers themselves. The connection between the knobs 105 and the pushers 101 is irreversible, such that it is not possible to move the pushers 101 apart or towards each other unless the knobs are turned deliberately. The set of parts making up the stabilizer 100 is advantageously molded or injection-molded out of plastics material. The outside faces of the pushers 101 that come into contact with the disks are advantageously covered in a coating 108 of elastomer or of any other springy material so as to damp impacts. It is naturally important for the pushers to be of a height that is compatible with the height of the heat pack, so that all of the disks are stabilized.
FIGS. 4, 7, and 8 show the stabilizer 100 put into place inside the heat pack after it has itself been placed in the bottom shell 1. For this purpose, and prior to putting the stabilizer 100 into place, it is appropriate to insert a pull rod 110 having its bottom end screwed into an insert 111 at the center of the bottom of the bottom shell 1. The stabilizer 100 is then presented and engaged on the pull rod 110 so that the pushers 101 extend facing the disks, inside them. Thereafter, the knobs 105 are turned until the pushers of the stabilizer bear against the disks. The disks are thus prevented from moving relative to one another. Any risk of the disks sliding relative to each other is thus eliminated.
In FIG. 11, it can be seen how the stabilizer is put into place in the container. It is engaged on the pull rod 110, and then the top knob 105 is turned so that the arms 101 are received in the notches of the stator disks.
To improve the packaging of the heat pack in the container, it is appropriate to position a dished plate 120 as shown in FIG. 12 above the heat pack. The plate 120 comprises an annulus 121 having radial grooves 122 formed therein to allow the ends of the arms 101 to pass through the plate 120. The annulus 121 is placed on the outside face of the top disk of the heat pack. The center of the plate 120 includes a central orifice for passing the pull rod, and it is conical in shape so that, as shown in FIG. 4, it is possible to install a spring nut 130 on the pull rod 110 and thus hold the disks making up the heat pack firmly against one another.
It is then appropriate to put the top shell 10 into place on the bottom shell 1 so as to close the container. In this position, the pull rod 110 passes through the top shell 10, thereby making it possible to fasten a hoist ring on the projecting end of the pull rod 110 thus enabling the container to be hoisted, and also serving to hold the top shell 10 against the bottom shell 1.
The invention is not limited to the above description, but on the contrary covers any variant coming within the scope of the claims. In particular, it is to be understood that the above-mentioned heat packs are mentioned purely by way of illustration. The container of the invention can be adapted to other heat packs, and it may be designed to transport other types of heat pack. In addition, although the container described above is adapted to receive three types of heat pack, the same container could receive other heat packs of the same diameter providing they are compatible with the seats.
Furthermore, although the support in the above example is made integrally with the bottom shell, provision could be made for a removable support to be fitted on the bottom shell. Finally, although the container shown has a bottom shell and a top shell forming respectively a base and a cover of the container, the invention is more generally applicable to any other form of container, e.g. a container comprising a base, a cover, and a belt as described in document U.S. Pat. No. 4,790,430. Under all circumstances, the support is carried by the base, regardless of whether said base is fitted with a side wall so as to constitute a bottom shell as shown herein.
Moreover, although it is stated that the stabilizer of the invention is used in conjunction with a container, it is clear that the stabilizer could be used in other circumstances. For example it could be used to stabilize heat packs stored in a warehouse, not in a container. It could also serve to center stacks of disks in order to prepare a heat pack.
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