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Title:
RECIPROCATING SLAT CONVEYOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/177463
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a reciprocating slat conveyor comprising a support structure or subdeck, multiple parallel elongate slats that are supported by the support structure and that are slidable in the longitudinal direction with respect to the support structure, slide bearings between the support structure and the slats, and a drive mechanism for reciprocating sliding movement of the slats with respect to the support structure, wherein the slats comprise a floor profile and a bottom profile that is joint with the floor profile, wherein the bottom profile comprises at least one hollow guide profile that extends in the longitudinal direction of the slat and that extends with respect to the floor profile towards the support structure, and wherein the slide bearings comprise a base and a guide body projecting from the base, wherein subsequent guide bodies define a guide channel in between which the guide profile is slidably guided.

Inventors:
DE RAAD, Frans Arian heino (Byte 14, 7741 MK Coevorden, NL)
MATER, Nicolaas Marc (Byte 14, 7741 MK Coevorden, NL)
Application Number:
NL2019/050168
Publication Date:
September 19, 2019
Filing Date:
March 18, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
CARGO MAC B.V. (Byte 14, 7741 MK Coevorden, NL)
International Classes:
B65G25/06; F16C29/02
Foreign References:
DE3731612A11989-04-06
FR2719831A11995-11-17
NL1024558C22005-04-20
US7185755B12007-03-06
US20030168318A12003-09-11
US4679686A1987-07-14
US3649090A1972-03-14
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GEURTS, Franciscus Antonius (Octrooibureau Vriesendorp & Gaade B.V, Koninginnegracht 19, 2514 AB Den Haag, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
C L A I M S

1. Reciprocating slat conveyor comprising a support structure or subdeck, multiple parallel elongate slats that are supported by the support structure and that are slidable in the longitudinal direction with respect to the support structure, slide bearings between the support structure and the slats, and a drive mechanism for reciprocating sliding movement of the slats with respect to the support structure, wherein at least one of the slats comprises a floor profile and a bottom profile that extends below and that is joint with the floor profile, wherein the bottom profile comprises multiple side wall sections that define at least one hollow guide profile that extends in the longitudinal direction of the slat and that extends with respect to the floor profile towards the support structure, and wherein the slide bearings comprise a base and a guide body projecting from the base, wherein subsequent guide bodies define a guide channel in between in which the guide profile is slidably guided.

2. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 1, wherein the hollow guide profile is prismatic in its elongate direction.

3. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least one guide body comprises a side surface that bounds the guide channel and that faces the base, and wherein the guide profile at least partly extends below the side surface of the guide body and is slidably confined in the guide channel by sliding abutment with the side surface of the guide body.

4. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the side wall sections define a hollow guide profile having a prismatic V- configuration .

5. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 4, wherein the side wall sections define a hollow guide profile having a prismatic V-configuration that tapers towards the base.

6. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the bottom profile comprises a bottom wall section between the side wall sections that together define a hollow guide profile having a prismatic rectangular configuration.

7. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 5 or 6, wherein the guide profile comprises a guide strip that projects from at least one of the side wall sections and wherein the guide channel comprises a guide slot in a guide body in which the guide strip extends to come into sliding abutment with that guide body.

8. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the guide profile comprises a cut in at least one of the side wall sections that defines a distal outline of a guide lip, wherein the guide lip projects from the side wall by bending out therefrom, and wherein the guide channel comprises a guide slot in a guide body in which the guide lip extends to come into sliding abutment with that guide body.

9. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 8, wherein the guide profile comprises a series of guide lips that are spaced apart from each other in the longitudinal direction of the slat.

10. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the bottom profile comprises a bottom wall section between the side wall sections that together define a hollow guide profile with a prismatic W (omega) -configuration or trapezium configuration .

11. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the bottom profile comprises a bottom wall section between the side wall sections that together define a hollow guide profile with a prismatic R-configuration .

12. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 10 or 11, wherein at least one guide body comprises a side surface that bounds the guide channel and that faces the base to come into sliding abutment with a portion of the guide profile that extends below the side surface of the guide body.

13. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the slats have longitudinal side edges and wherein adjacent slats slidably overlap each other at and along their meeting longitudinal side edges .

14. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 13, wherein of two adjacent slats the guide profile at one side of the overlap is slidably confined in its guide channel while the guide profile at the other side of the overlap is kept in its guide channel via the overlap.

15. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the bottom profile comprises top wall sections that extend parallel to a main plane of the reciprocating slat conveyor and that merge into the side wall sections.

16. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 15, wherein the floor profile is joint with the bottom profile at the top wall sections.

17. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the floor profile comprises a straight plate that extends parallel to a main plane of the reciprocating slat conveyor.

18. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the floor profile comprises bottom wall sections that extend parallel to a main plane of the reciprocating slat conveyor, wherein the bottom wall sections merge into an upwardly extending slide profile that extends in the longitudinal direction of the slat .

19. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 18, wherein the slide profile has a prismatic V- configuration that tapers upwards.

20. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 18, wherein the slide profile has a prismatic curved configuration .

21. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 18, wherein the slide profile has a prismatic trapezium configuration.

22. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the floor profile is made of a metal.

23. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 22, wherein the floor profile is made of aluminium or steel .

24. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 23, wherein the floor profile is made of a wear resistant steel.

25. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, the floor profile is made of a plastic .

26. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 25, wherein the floor profile is made of ABS, PE or PP .

27. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the floor profile is formed with a plate having a constant thickness over the entire width of the slat.

28. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the bottom profile is made of a metal.

29. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 28, wherein the bottom profile is made of aluminium or steel .

30. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 29, wherein the bottom profile is made of a wear resistant steel.

31. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, the bottom profile is made of a plastic.

32. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to claim 31, wherein the bottom profile is made of ABS, PE or PP .

33. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the bottom profile is formed with a plate having a constant thickness over the entire width of the slat.

34. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the floor profile and the bottom profile are formed as one unity or monopiece.

35. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the floor profile and the bottom profile are formed with one plate, wherein the floor profile continues into the bottom profile.

36. Reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the reciprocating slat conveyor has multiple conveyor sections along the longitudinal direction of the slats, wherein the slats have different configurations in the subsequent conveyor sections .

37. Computer-readable medium having computer- executable instructions adapted to cause an additive manufacturing apparatus, in particular a 3D printer, to print a reciprocating slat conveyor according to any one of the preceding claims .

O - O-O - O-o-o-o-o-

FG/HZ

Description:
Reciprocating slat conveyor

BACKGROUND

The invention relates to a reciprocating slat conveyor comprising multiple parallel slats that are slidable in the longitudinal direction with respect to each other by means of a drive mechanism. Such reciprocating slat conveyors are able to load and unload cargo without auxiliary loading equipment .

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The design of known reciprocating slat conveyors is usually optimized for one specific type of cargo, such as hard bulk goods, soft bulk goods or series of heavy pallets. This is particular the case for heavy duty conveyors or high impact conveyors, where a compromise needs to be reached between its high strength and the total weight of the conveyor. Such specific design has its impact on the design of all the parts of the specific slat conveyor. This has manufacturing disadvantages.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a reciprocating slat conveyor of which at least some of the parts can be easily configured to the specific type of cargo.

The invention provides a reciprocating slat conveyor comprising a support structure or subdeck, multiple parallel elongate slats that are supported by the support structure and that are slidable in the longitudinal direction with respect to the support structure, slide bearings between the support structure and the slats, and a drive mechanism for reciprocating sliding movement of the slats with respect to the support structure, wherein at least one of the slats comprises a floor profile and a bottom profile that extends below and that is joint with the floor profile, wherein the bottom profile comprises multiple side wall sections that define at least one hollow guide profile that extends in the longitudinal direction of the slat and that extends with respect to the floor profile towards the support structure, and wherein the slide bearings comprise a base and a guide body projecting from the base, wherein subsequent guide bodies define a guide channel in between in which the guide profile is slidably guided .

The reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention comprises a bottom profile with a guide profile that is guided by the bearings to provide a standardized main platform for the conveyor. The hollow guide profile may form a box beam to provide rigidity to the main platform. The floor profile is joined with the bottom profile and can be optimized to the specific type of cargo without impact to the main platform. This provides manufacturing advantages .

In an embodiment the hollow guide profile is prismatic in its elongate direction whereby it can be manufactured in many different ways, such as roll forming or bending from a plate, or extrusion.

In an embodiment at least one guide body comprises a side surface that bounds the guide channel and that faces the base, and wherein the guide profile at least partly extends below the side surface of the guide body and is slidably confined in the guide channel by sliding abutment with the side surface of the guide body. The side surface holds down the slat with respect to the slide bearings via the slidably confined guide body.

In an embodiment the side wall sections define a hollow guide profile having a prismatic V-configuration .

In an embodiment thereof the side wall sections define a hollow guide profile having a prismatic V- configuration that tapers towards the base.

In an alternative embodiment the bottom profile comprises a bottom wall section between the side wall sections that together define a hollow guide profile having a prismatic rectangular configuration.

In specific embodiments thereof the guide profile comprises a guide strip that projects from at least one of the side wall sections and wherein the guide channel comprises a guide slot in a guide body in which the guide strip extends to come into sliding abutment with that guide body .

In an embodiment the guide profile comprises a cut in at least one of the side wall sections that defines a distal outline of a guide lip, wherein the guide profile comprises a cut in at least one of the side wall sections that defines a distal outline of a guide lip, wherein the guide lip projects from the side wall by bending out therefrom, and wherein the guide channel comprises a guide slot in a guide body in which the guide lip extends to come into sliding abutment with that guide body. The guide lip can form one unity with the guide profile, which can be efficiently manufactured for example by laser cutting and bending .

In an embodiment thereof the guide profile comprises a series of guide lips that are spaced apart from each other in the longitudinal direction of the slat.

In an embodiment the bottom profile comprises a bottom wall section between the side wall sections that together define a hollow guide profile with a prismatic W (omega) -configuration or trapezium configuration. In these configurations the guide profiles have the largest with at their distal end and are smaller towards the floor profile, whereby they can be easily slidably confined by the slide bearings . In an embodiment the bottom profile comprises a bottom wall section between the side wall sections that together define a hollow guide profile with a prismatic R- configuration .

In specific embodiments thereof at least one guide body comprises a side surface that bounds the guide channel and that faces the base to come into sliding abutment with a portion of the guide profile that extends below the side surface of the guide body.

Abovementioned prismatic configureations of the hollow guide profile provide bending stiffness for the slats, whereby the slide bearings may be spaced apart from each other in the elongate direction of the slats.

In an embodiment the slats have longitudinal side edges, wherein adjacent slats slidably overlap each other at and along their meeting longitudinal side edges. The overlap may provide a closed cargo area for the reciprocating slat conveyor, without stationary parts between subsequent slats.

In an embodiment thereof is of two adjacent slats the guide profile at one side of the overlap slidably confined in its guide channel while the guide profile at the other side of the overlap is kept in its guide channel via the overlap. In this configuration a slat is at least partially kept with its guide profile in its guide channel by its adjacent slat. In this manner hold down features are not necessary for all guide profiles.

In an embodiment the bottom profile comprises top wall sections that extend parallel to a main plane of the reciprocating slat conveyor and that merge into the side wall sections.

In an embodiment thereof the floor profile is joint with the bottom profile at the top wall sections.

In an embodiment the floor profile comprises a straight plate that extends parallel to a main plane of the reciprocating slat conveyor. The straight plate may provide a flat cargo area, or it may form a basis onto which slide profiles may be provided that are optimized for the type of cargo .

In an embodiment the floor profile comprises bottom wall sections that extend parallel to a main plane of the reciprocating slat conveyor, wherein the bottom wall sections merge into an upwardly extending slide profile that extends in the longitudinal direction of the slat. The bottom wall sections continue into the slide profile to form a closed floor profile that is suitable for bulk cargo having fine particles.

In an embodiment the slide profile has a prismatic V-configuration that tapers upwards.

In an alternative embodiment the slide profile has a prismatic curved configuration.

In an alternative embodiment the slide profile has a prismatic trapezium configuration.

In an embodiment the floor profile is made of a metal .

In particular, the floor profile may be made of aluminium or steel .

More particularly, the floor profile may be made of a wear resistant steel. An example thereof is the wear resistant steel that is commercially known as Hardox.

In an alternative embodiment the floor profile is made of a plastic.

More particularly, the floor profile is made of ABS, PE or PP .

In an embodiment the floor profile is formed with a plate having a constant thickness over the entire width of the slat, whereby it can be applied as a plate or configured by roll forming or angle bending.

In an embodiment the bottom profile is made of a metal .

In particular, the bottom profile may be made of aluminium or steel.

More particularly, the bottom profile may be made of a wear resistant steel. An example thereof is the wear resistant steel that is commercially known as Hardox.

In an embodiment the bottom profile is made of a plastic .

More particular, the bottom profile may be made of ABS, PE or PP .

In an embodiment the bottom profile is formed with a plate having a constant thickness over the entire width of the slat, whereby it can be applied as a plate or configured by roll forming or angle bending.

In an embodiment that can be manufactured by roll forming, angle bending or extrusion, the floor profile and the bottom profile are formed as one unity or monopiece.

In an embodiment that can in particular be manufactured by roll forming or angle bending, the floor profile and the bottom profile are formed with one plate, wherein the floor profile continues into the bottom profile .

In an embodiment the reciprocating slat conveyor has multiple conveyor sections along the longitudinal direction of the slats, wherein the slats have different configurations in the subsequent conveyor sections.

The various aspects and features described and shown in the specification can be applied, individually, wherever possible. These individual aspects, in particular the aspects and features described in the attached dependent claims, can be made subject of divisional patent applications .

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be elucidated on the basis of an exemplary embodiment shown in the attached drawings, in which :

Figure 1 shows a trailer with a reciprocating slat conveyor according to a first embodiment of the invention; Figure 2 shows a part of the reciprocating slat conveyor of figure 1, wherein some of its slats have been cut and partially removed to show its underlying slide bearings ;

Figures 3A and 3B are an isometric view and a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of figure 2;

Figures 4A and 4B are an isometric view and a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a second embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention;

Figures 5A and 5B are an isometric view and a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a third embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention;

Figures 6A and 6B are an isometric view and a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a fourth embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention;

Figures 7A and 7B are an isometric view and a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a fifth embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention;

Figures 8A and 8B are an isometric view and a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a sixth embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention;

Figures 9A and 9B are an isometric view and a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a seventh embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention;

Figures 10A and 10B are an isometric view and a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a eighth embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention;

Figures 11A and 11B are an isometric view and a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a ninth embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention;

Figure 12 is a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a tenth embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention;

Figures 13A and 13B are a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of an eleventh embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention, and an isometric view of the slats;

Figure 14 is a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a twelfth embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention; and

Figure 15 is a front view of the slats and the slide bearings of a thirteenth embodiment of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Figure 1 shows a trailer 1 with a reciprocating slat conveyor 10 according to a first embodiment of the invention. The trailer 1 comprises two longitudinal frame bars 2 and multiple transverse frame bars 3 mounted thereon, and a schematically indicated hood 5 that covers the area above the reciprocating slat conveyor 10. The trailer 1 furthermore comprises multiple wheel axes 4, and two retractable stands 6 to support the uncoupled trailer 1. The reciprocating slat conveyor 10 according to the invention is not limited to trailer applications, but can also be applied in trucks or in fixed structures. The reciprocating slat conveyor 10 has a horizontally extending main plane M that extends over the entire cargo area of the trailer 1 or the reciprocating slat conveyor 10. The reciprocating slat conveyor 10 is configured to move the cargo forwards and backwards in the main plane M in its longitudinal direction L as described hereafter. The reciprocating slat conveyor 10 is shown in more detail in figure 2. The reciprocating slat conveyor 10 comprises multiple first slide bearings 30 that are mounted to the transverse frame bars 3 and multiple first slats 50 that are supported by the first slide bearings 30. The transverse frame bars 3 form a support structure of the reciprocating slat conveyor 10. The first slats 50 extend parallel to each other in the main plane M and in the longitudinal direction L of the reciprocating slat conveyor 10. The first slide bearings 30 may alternatively be supported by a subdeck that forms a supporting layer between the first slide bearings 30 and the longitudinal frame bars 2 or the transverse frame bars 3. The reciprocating slat conveyor 10 according to the invention is suitable to operate as heavy duty conveyor or high impact conveyor to handle hard or abrasive bulk goods such as steel scrap, or palletized heavy cargo.

The first slats 50 of the reciprocating slat conveyor 10 repetitively form part of a first group, a second group or a third group of first slats 50 and are per group connected to a dedicated drive beam 11 that extends transversely below the first slats 50. The drive beams 11 form part of an hydraulic drive mechanism that is known per se and therefore not shown in the drawings. This hydraulic drive mechanism is configured to shift one of the groups of first slats 50 in the longitudinal direction L with respect to the remaining groups of first slats 50 in subsequent cycles whereby cargo on the first slats 50 slides only in one loading direction or unloading direction, and only parallel to the main plane M.

For the connection between the first slat 50 and its drive beam 11 the hydraulic drive mechanism is provided with multiple connectors 12 having mounting holes 14 that are welded onto the drive beams 11. Each first slat 50 is provided with a series of mounting holes 23 that correspond with the mounting holes 14 of the connectors 12 to receive series of bolts 16. The bolts 16 are fixated by means of steel strips 13 that are inserted in the connectors 12 and that are provided with threaded holes 15 for the bolts 30.

The first slide bearings 30 and the first slats 50 are shown in detail in figures 3A and 3B. The first slats 50 each comprise a bottom profile 51 and a floor profile 80 that are attached to and above each other. The bottom profile 51 is in this example formed from one metal plate 52, and comprises a straight central top wall section 56, a straight left top wall section 58 and a straight right top wall section 59 that extend parallel to the main plane M. These wall sections 56, 58, 59 merge into mutually obliquely oriented straight side wall sections 61 that merge into each other to form two guide profiles 60 having a downwardly pointing V-configuration to provide rigidity to the bottom profile 51.

The floor profile 80 comprises a straight metal plate 81 having a straight left longitudinal side edge 82 and a straight right longitudinal side edge 83 that extend parallel to each other. The left side edge 82 projects in the main plane M beyond the left top wall section 58 of the bottom profile 51, and the right side edge 83 is recessed in the main plane M with respect to the right top wall section 59 over the same distance. In this manner an overlap is provided with and along the adjacent first slat 50, wherein the left side edge 82 slidably and downwardly abuts the right top wall section 59 of the adjacent slat 50.

The metal plate 81 comprises in this embodiment multiple holes or slots 85 straight above the central upper wall section 56, the left upper wall section 58 and the right upper wall section 59 of the bottom profile 51. These slots 85 are fully filled with metal welds, for example by hot welding, to attach the floor profile 80 onto the bottom profile 51. In this manner the floor profile 80 and the bottom profile 51 are joined to form one stiff unity.

The first slide bearings 30 are made of plastic, and each comprise a base 31 and in this example two guide bodies 32 projecting from the base 31 spaced apart from each other to define guide channels 40 in between. The guide bodies 32 of the adjacent slide bearings 30 are spaced apart from each other and are subsequent to each other to form a series that extends in the direction transverse to the longitudinal direction L. The guide bodies 32 comprise a straight upper surface 33 that slidably supports the central upper wall section 56 or the meeting left upper wall section 58 and a right upper wall section 59 of the first slats 50, and two straight side surfaces 34 that engage the side wall sections 61. The side surfaces 34 extend parallel to and abut the side wall sections 61. The guide bodies 32 define guide slots 35 of the guide channels 40 that extend between the side surfaces

34 and the base 31, wherein the guide slots 35 are bounded by a guide surface 36 that downwardly faces the base 31 and that is in this example oriented transverse to the adjacent side surface 34. The bottom profile 51 comprises a metal guide strip 65 that is welded against at least the side wall section 61 of the guide profile 60 that extends closest to the projecting left side edge 82 of the floor profile 81. This guide strip 65 extends in the guide slot

35 and can come with its side surface in sliding abutment with the guide surface 36 above it to slidably confine the guide profile 60 in the guide channel 40. This guide profile 60 holds down the first slat 50 itself and its adjacent first slat 50 via the overlap, or prevent them from moving upwards with respect to the first slide bearing 30 by abutment with the guide surface 36.

Figures 4A and 4B show a reciprocating slat conveyor 110 according to a second embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the first embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers . The deviant parts are hereafter discussed.

The reciprocating slat conveyor 110 comprises multiple second slide bearings 130 that are mounted to the transverse frame bars 3 and multiple second slats 150 that are supported by the second slide bearings 130. The second slats 150 each comprise a bottom profile 151 that is in this example formed from one metal plate 152, and comprises the central upper wall section 56, the left upper wall section 58 and the right upper wall section 59 that extend parallel to the main plane M. These upper wall sections 56, 58, 59 merge into mutually obliquely oriented straight side wall sections 161 and subsequently into a straight bottom wall section 162 that extends parallel to the main plane M and that form two guide profiles 160 having an W (omega) - configuration to provide rigidity to the bottom profile 151. Due to the W-configurat ion the guide profiles 160 are the widest at their bottom sides.

The second slide bearings 130 are made of plastic, and each comprise the base 31 and in this example two guide bodies 132 projecting from the base 31 spaced apart from each other to define guide channels 140 in between. The guide bodies 132 comprise the upper surface 33 that slidably supports the central top wall section 56 or the meeting left upper wall section 58 and the right upper wall section 59 of the second slats 150, and two straight side surfaces 134 that slidably engage the side wall sections 161. The side surfaces 134 downwardly face the base 31. The side surfaces 134 extend parallel to and abut the side wall sections 161 and define the smallest width of the guide channels 140, whereby the guide profiles 160 are slidably confined in the guide channels 140. Alternatively regarded the adjacent guide profiles 160 together slidably confine a guide body 132 between their facing side wall sections 161. This holds down the second slats 150, or prevents them from moving upwards with respect to the second slide bearing 130.

Figures 5A and 5B show a reciprocating slat conveyor 210 according to a third embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the first embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers . The deviant parts are hereafter discussed. The reciprocating slat conveyor 210 comprises multiple third slide bearings 230 that are mounted to the transverse frame bars 3 and multiple third slats 250 that are supported by the third slide bearings 230. The third slats 250 each comprise a bottom profile 251 that is in this example formed from one metal plate 252, and comprises the central upper wall section 56, the left upper wall section 58 and the right upper wall section 59 that extend parallel to the main plane M. The central top wall section 56 merges into mutually obliquely oriented straight inner side wall sections 261, and the left upper wall section 58 and the right upper wall section 59 merge into straight outer side wall sections 262. The inner side wall sections 261 and the outer side wall sections 262 subsequently each merge into a straight bottom wall section 263 in an R- configuration to form a left guide profile 260 and a right guide profile 270 to provide rigidity to the bottom profile 251. The bottom wall section 263 extends parallel to the main plane M. The guide profiles 260, 270 are the widest at their bottom sides.

The third slide bearings 230 are made of plastic, and each comprise the base 31 and in this example one central guide body 232, a left guide body 238 and a right guide body 239 projecting from the base 31 spaced apart from each other to define guide channels 240 in between. The central guide body 232 comprises a straight upper surface 233 that slidably supports the central top wall section 56, and the left guide body 238 and the right guide body 239 each comprise a straight upper surface 242 that slidably supports the respective left side top wall section 58 and the right side top wall section 59. The central guide body 232 comprises two straight side surfaces 234 that engage the inner side wall sections 261. The side surfaces 234 downwwardly face the base 31. The side surfaces 234 extend parallel to and abut the inner side wall sections 261 and define the smallest width of the guide channels 240, whereby the guide profiles 260, 270 are slidably confined in the guide channel 240. Alternatively regarded the adjacent guide profiles 260, 270 together slidably confine a guide body 232 between their facing inner side wall sections 261. This holds down the second slats 250, or prevent them from moving upwards with respect to the third slide bearings 230.

Figures 6A and 6B show a reciprocating slat conveyor 310 according to a fourth embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the first embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers . The deviant parts are hereafter discussed.

The reciprocating slat conveyor 310 comprises multiple fourth slide bearings 330 that are mounted to the transverse frame bars 3 and multiple fourth slats 350 that are supported by the fourth slide bearings 330. The fourth slats 350 each comprise a bottom profile 351 that is in this example formed from one metal plate 352, and comprises the central upper wall section 56, the left upper wall section 58 and the right upper wall section 59 that extend parallel to the main plane M. The left upper wall section 58 and the right upper wall section 59 merge into mutually obliquely oriented straight outer side wall sections 361, and the central upper wall section 56 merges into straight inner side wall sections 362. The inner side wall sections 361 and the outer side wall sections 362 subsequently each merge into a straight bottom wall section 363 in an R- configuration to form a left guide profile 360 and a right guide profile 370 to provide rigidity to the bottom profile 351. The bottom wall section 263 extends parallel to the main plane M. The guide profiles 360, 370 are the widest at their bottom sides.

The fourth slide bearings 330 are made of plastic, and each comprise the base 31 and in this example one central guide body 332, a left guide body 338 and a right guide body 339 projecting from the base 31 spaced apart from each other to define guide channels 340 in between. The central guide body 332 comprises a straight upper surface 333 that supports the central top wall section 56, and the left guide body 338 and the right guide body 339 each comprise a straight upper surface 342 that supports the respective left top wall section 58 and the right top wall section 59. The left guide body 338 and the right guide body 339 each comprise a straight side surface 334 that slidably engage the outer side wall sections 362. The side surfaces 334 downwardly face the base 31. The side surfaces 334 extend parallel to and slidably abut the outer side wall sections 361 and define the smallest width of the guide channels 340, whereby the guide profiles 360, 370 are slidably confined in the guide channel 340. This holds down the second slats 350, or prevents them from moving upwards with respect to the fourth slide bearings 330.

Figures 7A and 7B show a reciprocating slat conveyor 410 according to a fifth embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the first embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers . The deviant parts are hereafter discussed.

The reciprocating slat conveyor 410 comprises multiple fifth slide bearings 430 that are mounted to the transverse frame bars 3 and multiple fifth slats 450 that are supported by the fifth slide bearings 430. The fifth slats 450 each comprise a bottom profile 451 that is in this example formed from one metal plate 452, and comprises the central upper wall section 56, the left upper wall section 58 and the right upper wall section 59 that extend parallel to the main plane M. The upper wall sections 56, 58, 59 merge downwardly into parallel extending side wall sections 461, and the side wall sections 461 each merge into a bottom wall section 463 in a rectangular configuration to form two guide profiles 460 to provide rigidity to the bottom profile 451.

The fifth slide bearings 430 are made of plastic, and each comprise the base 31 and in this example two guide bodies 432 projecting from the base 31 spaced apart from each other to define guide channels 440 in between. The guide bodies 432 comprise a straight upper surface 433 that slidably supports the central top wall section 56, or the meeting left side top wall section 58 and the right side top wall section 59 of the fifth slats 450. At least one of each of the two guide bodies 432 of a fifth slide bearing 430 defines a guide slot 435 that extends along the base 31, wherein the guide slot 435 is bounded by a guide surface 436 that downwardly faces the base 31. The guide surface 436 extends straight below the upper surface 433 and transverse to the adjacent side wall section 461. The bottom profile 451 comprises a metal strip 465 that is welded against at least a side wall section 461 of the guide profile 460 that extends closest to the projecting left side edge 83 of the floor profile 81. This guide strip 465 extends in the guide slot 435 and can come with its side surface in sliding abutment with the guide surface 436 above it to slidably confine the guide profile 460 in the guide channel 440. This guide profile 460 holds down the fifth slat 450 itself and its adjacent fifth slat 460 via the overlap, or prevents them from moving upwards with respect to the fifth slide bearing 430 by abutment with the guide surface 436.

Figures 8A and 8B show a reciprocating slat conveyor 510 according to a sixth embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the first embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers . The deviant parts are hereafter discussed.

The reciprocating slat conveyor 510 comprises multiple sixth slats 550 each comprising the bottom profile 51 and the first slide bearings 30 of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the first embodiment, and a floor profile 580 that is attached to the bottom profile 51. The floor profile 580 is in this example formed from one metal plate 582, and comprises a straight central bottom wall section 586, a straight left bottom wall section 588 and a straight right bottom wall section 589 that extend parallel to the main plane M. These bottom wall sections 586, 588, 589 merge into mutually obliquely oriented straight side wall sections 591 that merge into each other to form two slide profiles 590 having an inversed V-configuration that extends in the longitudinal direction L. In this embodiment the two slide profiles 590 of the floor profile 580 extend straight above the guide profiles 60 of the bottom profile 51. In this embodiment the bottom wall sections 586, 588, 589 of the floor profile 580 have the same width as the top wall sections 56, 58, 59 of the bottom profile 51. The bottom wall sections 586, 588, 589 of the floor profile 580 may be provided with the slots 85 to be fully filled with metal welds to attach the floor profile 580 to the bottom profile 51 to provide rigidity to the sixth slats 550.

Figures 9A and 9B show a reciprocating slat conveyor 610 according to a seventh embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the sixth embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers . The deviant parts are hereafter discussed.

The reciprocating slat conveyor 610 comprises multiple seventh slats 650 each comprising the bottom profile 51 and the first slide bearings 30 of the reciprocating slat conveyor 510 according to the sixth embodiment, and a floor profile 680 that is attached to the bottom profile 51. The floor profile 680 is in this example formed from one metal plate 681, and comprises the central bottom wall section 586, the left side bottom wall section 588 and the right side bottom wall section 589 of the sixth embodiment. These bottom wall sections 586, 588, 589 merge into a fluently, in this example circularly curved side wall sections 691 to form two slide profiles 690 that extend in the longitudinal direction L.

Figures 10A and 10B show a reciprocating slat conveyor 710 according to an eighth embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the sixth embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers . The deviant parts are hereafter discussed. The reciprocating slat conveyor 710 comprises multiple seventh slats 750 each comprising the bottom profile 51 of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the sixth embodiment, and a floor profile 780 that is attached to the bottom profile 51. The floor profile 780 is in this example formed from one metal plate 781, and comprises the central bottom wall section 586, the left bottom wall section 588 and the right bottom wall section 589 of the sixth embodiment. These bottom wall sections

586, 588, 589 merge into mutually obliquely oriented straight side wall sections 791 that are joined by a straight central top wall section 792 to form two slide profiles 790 having a trapezium configuration that extend in the longitudinal direction L.

Figures 11A and 11B show a reciprocating slat conveyor 810 according to an ninth embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the first embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers . The deviant parts are hereafter discussed.

The reciprocating slat conveyor 810 comprises multiple eighth slats 850 each comprising the bottom profile 51 of the reciprocating slat conveyor according to the sixth embodiment, and a floor profile 880 that is attached to the bottom profile 51. The floor profile 880 comprises the straight metal plate 81 on which in this embodiment multiple slide profiles 890 are attached. The slide profiles 890 extend parallel and spaced apart from each other in the elongate direction L. The slide profiles 890 are in this example metal U-profiles that are connected with their parallel legs to the metal plate 81 by means of hot welds 893. Any suitable alternative prismatic slide profile may be attached to the metal plate 81, such as an L-profile or V-profile. The material of the slide profiles 890 may differ from the material of the metal plate 81.

In above described embodiments the floor profiles 80, 580, 680, 780, 880 are welded to the bottom profiles 51, 151, 251, 351, 451 by filling the slots 85 or holes with welds. Also the other components are connected to each other by welding. Alternatively, these profiles or components are connected to each other by an adhesive, by rivets, by seams or folds, clinches or by means of spot welding or roll welding or any other means to firmly join these components with each other without play.

In above described embodiments the floor profiles 80, 580, 680, 780, 880 and the bottom profiles 51, 151,

251, 351, 451 are each formed from one plate by means of angle bending or roll forming. Alternatively these profiles are formed by extrusion. It is also possible to form the floor profile 80, 580, 680, 780, 880 and the adjoined bottom profiles 51, 151, 251, 351, 451 simultaneously by angle bending, roll forming or extrusion. Figure 12 shows a reciprocating slat conveyor 910 according to an tenth embodiment of the invention in which these features are typically embodied. The parts that correspond with the second embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers. The deviant parts are hereafter discussed.

The reciprocating slat conveyor 910 comprises multiple of the second slide bearings 130 that are mounted to the transverse frame bars 3 and multiple tenth slats 950 that are supported by the second slide bearings 130. The tenth slats 950 each comprise a bottom profile 951 and a floor profile 980 that are together formed from one metal plate 952. The bottom profile 951 comprises the central upper wall section 56 that extends parallel to the main plane M. The central upper wall section 56 merges into the mutually obliquely oriented straight inner side wall sections 161 and subsequently into the straight bottom wall sections 162 that extend parallel to the main plane M. The bottom wall sections 162 finally merge into straight outer wall sections 963. The side wall sections 161, 163 and the bottom wall section 162 form a left guide profile 960 and a right guide profile 970 in an R-configuration to provide rigidity to the bottom profile 951. The inner side wall sections 161 of the pair of guide profiles 960, 970 together slidably confine guide bodies 132 of the slide bearings 130 at the side surfaces 134 thereof that extend parallel to and abut the inner side wall sections 161, whereby the guide profiles 960, 970 are slidably confined in the guide channels 140. This holds down the tenth slats 950, or prevents them from moving upwards with respect to the second slide bearing 130.

The outer side wall section 963 of the left guide profile 960 merges into the floor profile 980. The floor profile 980 comprises a main bottom wall section 984 that extends above the right guide profile 970, the upper wall section 56 and partly above the left guide profile 970 of the bottom profile 951. The main bottom wall section 984 projects in the main plane M with its straight right longitudinal side edge 83 beyond the right guide profile 970. The outer side wall section 963 of the right guide profile 970 is in this example welded to the floor profile 980. Above the left guide profile 960 the main bottom wall section 984 merges via an oblique bottom wall section 985 into a support wall section 986 that extends transverse to the main plane M lower than the main bottom wall section 984 over a distance that is equal to the thickness of the plate 952, whereby the main bottom wall sections 984 of adjacent slats 950 extends in the same main plane M while the right longitudinal side edge 83 is slidably supported by the adjacent support wall section 986.

Figures 13A and 13B show a reciprocating slat conveyor 1010 according to an eleventh embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the first embodiment and the tenth embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers . The deviant parts are hereafter discussed .

The reciprocating slat conveyor 1010 comprises multiple sixth slide bearings 530 that are mounted to the transverse frame bars 3 and multiple eleventh slats 1050 that are supported by the sixth slide bearings 530. The sixth slide bearings 530 each comprise the base 31 and the guide body 32 projecting from the base 31, wherein each guide body 32 slidably supports one eleventh slat 1050. The eleventh slats 1050 each comprise a bottom profile 1051 and the floor profile 980 that are together formed from one metal plate 1052. The bottom profile 1051 comprises the central upper wall section 56 that extends parallel to the main plane M. The central upper wall section 56 merges into the obliquely oriented straight inner side wall sections 61 and subsequently into the straight bottom wall sections 162 that extend parallel to the main plane M. The bottom wall section 162 finally merge into the straight outer wall sections 963. The side wall sections 61, 963 and the bottom wall sections 162 form a left guide profile 1060 and a right guide profile 970 in a semi trapezium configuration to provide rigidity to the bottom profile 1051. The bottom profile 1051 comprises multiple cuts 2000 that are separated from each other at equal distance. The cuts 2000 have in this example the shape of a horse shoe, wherein the cuts 2000 have the ends in the merger between one of the side wall sections 61 and the bottom wall section 162 and extend with the bow from there upwards in the side wall section 61. From each cut 2000 a guide lip 2001 has been bent in direction Q, which guide lip 2001 projects from the side wall section 61 and that forms a continuation of the bottom wall section 162 which extend in the same straight plane parallel to the main plane M. The guide lips 2001 extend in the guide slot 35 and can come with its distal end in sliding abutment with the guide surface 36 above it to slidably confine the guide profile 1070. The guide lips 2001 holds down the eleventh slat 1050 itself and its adjacent eleventh slat 1050 via the overlap, or prevent them from moving upwards with respect to the sixth slide bearings 530 by abutment with the guide surface 36.

Figure 14 show a reciprocating slat conveyor 1110 according to an twelfth embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the first embodiment and the tenth embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers. The deviant parts are hereafter discussed.

The reciprocating slat conveyor 1110 comprises the first slide bearings 30 and multiple eighth slats 1150 having same features as the first slats 50. However, instead of the guide strips 65, the guide lips 2001 have been bent in direction Q from the cuts 2000 in one of the side wall sections 61. The guide lips 2001 extend in the guide slot 35 and can come with its distal end in sliding abutment with the guide surface 36 above it to slidably confine the guide profile 60.

Figure 15 show a reciprocating slat conveyor 1210 according to an thirteenth embodiment of the invention. The parts that correspond with the fourth embodiment and the tenth embodiment are provided with the same reference numbers. The deviant parts are hereafter discussed.

The reciprocating slat conveyor 1210 comprises the fifth slide bearings 30 and multiple ninth slats 1250 having same features as the fifth slats 450. However, instead of the guide strips 65, the guide lips 2001 have been bent in direction Q from the cuts 2000 in one of the side wall sections 461. The guide lips 2001 extend in the guide slot 435 and can come with its distal end in sliding abutment with the guide surface 436 above it to slidably confine the guide profile 460.

In above described embodiments one particular floor profile 80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980 is joined with one particular bottom profile 51, 151, 251, 351, 451, 951. However, any combination of a floor profile 80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980 with a bottom profile 51, 151, 251, 351, 451, 951 is possible.

In above described embodiments the floor profiles 80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980 that are adjacent to each other along their side edges 82, 882, 83 cover the entire cargo area of the reciprocating slat conveyor 10, 110, 210, 310, 410, 510, 610, 710, 810, 910 in the main plane M. There are no stationary part in between that are connected with the transverse frame bars 3 that form the support structure. In above described embodiments, the floor profiles 80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980 are made of a metal such as aluminium or steel. In a preferred embodiment a wear resistant steel is used, such as the wear resistant steel that is commercially known as Hardox. Alternatively, the floor profiles 80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 890 are made of a plastic, such as ABS, PE or PP . The same applies in particular for the separately attached slide profiles 890, wherein its material may differ from the material of the remainder of the floor profiles 80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980 to which they are attached.

In above described embodiments, the bottom profiles 51, 151, 251, 351, 451, 1051 or the attached strips 65, 465 are made of a metal, such as aluminium or steel. In a preferred embodiment a wear resistant steel is used, such as the wear resistant steel that is commercially known as Hardox. Alternatively, the bottom profiles 51, 151, 251, 351, 451, 951, 1051 or the attached strips 65,

465 are made of a plastic, such as ABS, PE or PP . Any combination for the applied materials of the floor profiles 80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980 and the bottom profiles 51,

151, 251, 351, 451, 951, 1051 is possible.

In above described embodiments, the type of material is constant over the entire length of the reciprocating slat conveyor 10, 110, 210, 310, 410, 510,

610, 710, 810, 910, 1010, 1110, 1210 or the slats thereof in the longitudinal direction. It is alternatively possible to use different materials over that length to optimise to the use of that particular position or partial length, for example a material having a higher wear resistance at the loading entrance of the trailer 1.

In above described embodiments, thickness of the material, in particular of the floor profile 80, 580, 680,

780 is constant over the entire length of the reciprocating slat conveyor 10, 110, 210, 310, 410, 510, 610, 710, 810,

910, 1010, 1110, 1210 in the longitudinal direction L. It is alternatively possible to use different material thicknesses over that length to optimise to the use of that particular position or partial length, for example a larger material thickness at the loading entrance of the trailer

1.

In above described embodiments, one particular floor profile 80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980 is joined with one particular bottom profile 51, 151, 251, 351, 451, 951, 1051 over the entire longitudinal length of the reciprocating slat conveyor 10, 110, 210, 310, 410, 510, 610, 710, 810, 910, 1010, 1110, 1210. Alternatively different combinations are applied over the length of the reciprocating slag conveyor in the longitudinal direction L to optimise to the use of that particular position or partial length.

In above described embodiments the slide bearings 30, 130, 230, 330, 430, 530 are made of plastic, such as

ABS, PE or PP, by injection molding or by extrusion.

In above described embodiments the slats 50, 150, 250, 350, 450, 550, 650, 750, 850, 950, 1050, 1150, 1250 are provided with mounting holes 23 that extend through both the floor profile 80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980 and the bottom profile 51, 151, 251, 351, 451, 951, 1051. Alternatively it is possible to provide only the bottom profile 51, 151, 251, 351, 451, 951, 1051 with these mounting holes 23, which are covered by the subsequently installed floor profile 80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980.

In above described embodiments, the slats 50, 150, 250, 350, 450, 550, 650, 750, 850, 950, 1050, 1150,

1250 overlap each other along both longitudinal side edges 82, 83. An overlap may be applied where necessary, along one or both of the side edges 82, 83. Alternatively, no overlap is applied.

It is to be understood that the above description is included to illustrate the operation of the preferred embodiments and is not meant to limit the scope of the invention. From the above discussion, many variations will be apparent to one skilled in the art that would yet be encompassed by the scope of the present invention.