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Title:
SIDE SUPPORT MEANS FOR A HATCH COVER OF A SHIP
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1996/027523
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a side support element (9) for a ship's hatch cover with one or a greater number of sections adapted to cover a ship's cargo space, said hatch cover sections being connected to each other by hinges, and said side support element (9) being adapted to a location close to the hinged folding seam joining the hatch cover sections (1, 2), to both sides of the cargo space, and serving to transmit the load of the cover to the ship's hull. According to the invention, the side support element (9) is adapted to be rotatable between its home position (9') and operating position (9) so that the side support element in its home position is essentially located below the hatch cover (1), and in its operating position, the side support element is backed by a horizontal recess (7) made to the ship's side bulkhead (8), and an actuating element (13, 14) suited to transmit a rotating torque to the side support element is adapted between the hatch cover sections.

Inventors:
Ahokas, Kalevi
Application Number:
PCT/FI1995/000127
Publication Date:
September 12, 1996
Filing Date:
March 06, 1995
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MACGREGOR (FIN) OY HATCH COVER DIVISION AHOKAS, Kalevi.
International Classes:
B63B19/19; (IPC1-7): B63B25/18
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Claims:
Claims :
1. A side support element (9) for a ship's hatch cover (1, 2) with one or a greater number of sections adapted to cover a ship's cargo space (5) or similar space, said hatch cover sections (1, 2) being connected to each other by hinges, and said side support element (9) being adapted to a location close to the hinged folding seam joining the hatch cover sections (1, 2), to both sides of the cargo space, and serving to transmit the load of the cover to the ship's hull, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the side support element (9) is adapted to be rotatable between its home position (9') and operating position (9) so that the side support element in its home position is essentially located below the hatch cover (1), and in its operating position, the side support element is backed by a hori¬ zontal recess (7) made to the ship's side bulkhead (8) , and in that an actuating element (13, 14) suited to transmit a rotating torque to the side support element is adapted between the hatch cover sections (1, 2) .
2. A side support element as defined in claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the actuating element is comprised of a peg (14) mounted to one (2) of the hatch cover sections, said peg protruding toward the adjacent section (1) , and in that said adjacent section incorporates a rotating lever (13) which is pushed downward by said peg (14) during the closing of hinged seam between the sections (1, 2), that is, during the unfolding to the cover sections to their closed position, and in that said rotating lever (13) is permanently mounted to said side support element (9) which thus is forced to rotate with the rotating lever (13) .
3. A side support element as defined in claim 1 or 2, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that during the opening of the hatch cover (1, 2) , that is, during the folding of the cover sections (1, 2) , said peg (14) releases said rotating lever (13) , whereby the side support element (9) is rotated to its home position situated below the hatch cover by gravity and/or mechanical contact with the upper edge of said recess (7) .
4. A side support element as defined in claim 2 or 3 , c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the combination formed by the rotating lever (13) and the side support element (9) and the members (10 and 11) interconnecting them is rotat¬ able about a shaft (12) pivotally mounted in bearings to one (1) of the cover hatch sections and that the rotating lever (13) is contoured upward concave.
5. A side support element as defined in claim 4, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that to one (2) of the cover sections is mounted a peg (14) or similar element having a ballshaped element (15) rotatingly mounted in a bearing to its end, said ballshaped element being adapted to meet the concave surface of the rotating lever (13) and slide along said concave surface during the rotary movement of the side support element (9) .
Description:
SIDE SUPPORT MEANS FOR A HATCH COVER OF A SHIP.

The present invention relates to a side support element for a ship's hatch cover with one or a greater number of sections adapted to cover a ship's cargo space or similar space, said hatch cover sections being connected to each other by hinges, and said side support element being adapted to a location close to the hinged folding seam joining the hatch cover sections, to both sides of the cargo space, and serving to transmit the load of the cover to the ship's hull.

The hatch cover of a ship's tween deck is usually designed to comprise two or a greater number of sections. Such a two-section cover, for instance, is unfolded to its horizontal place with the help of an arrangement in which the edge of the fore section is provided with a pair of wheels adapted to travel in horizontal recesses made to the adjacent side bulkheads of the cargo space. Corresponding- ly, the aft section is hingedly mounted in bearings at its lower end thus forcing it to rotate in place to its horizontal position. The cover sections are hingedly connected to each other at their adjacent edges. The hatch cover is conventionally operated by means of a hydraulic cylinder or similar actuator having its piston rod pivotally connected via a bearing to the aft section, that is, to that section which is hingedly mounted in bearings to the ship's hull. Then, the support of the hatch cover is provided by said pair of wheels at the fore edge of the fore section and by means of said hinged mounting in bearings at the aft edge of the aft section. In contrast, the middle of the hatch cover, that is, the hinged seam joining the cover sections inherently lacks support. Due to the relatively high weight of the hatch cover and the additional requirement set for the cover to stand high loads placed on the cover, it is necessary to support the cover also at its middle, namely, at the hinged seam

joining the cover sections. For this purpose, different arrangements have been developed including detachable or rotatable support brackets at the side bulkheads of the cargo space, fixed brackets or hydraulically telescoping support elements.

Due to the straightness requirements set for the bulkheads of the cargo space make a fixed support bracket arrangement most unfavourable. In turn, a detachable or rotatable bracket is hampered therein that these brackets must be separately operated, and in particular, prior to the unfolding of the cover sections to avoid damage to the cover. A hydraulic actuator can be adapted for automatic operation which in principle overcomes the risk of damage. However, such a system is extremely expensive and also subject to malfunction.

It is an object of the present invention to achieve a side support element with the properties defined in the intro- duction above in a manner that avoids the problems of prior-art techniques. The side support element according to the invention is characterized in that the side support element is adapted to be rotatable between its home position and operating position so that the side support element in its home position is essentially located below the hatch cover, and in its operating position, the side support element is backed by a horizontal recess made to the ship's side bulkhead, and in that an actuating element suited to transmit the rotating torque to the side support element is adapted between the hatch cover sections.

An embodiment of the side support element according to the invention is characterized in that the actuating element is comprised of a peg mounted to one of the hatch cover sections, said peg protruding toward the adjacent section, and in that said adjacent section incorporates a rotating lever which is pushed downward by said peg during the

closing of hinged seam between the sections, that is, during the unfolding to the cover sections to their closed position, and in that said rotating lever is permanently mounted to said side support element which thus is forced to rotate with the rotating lever.

Another embodiment of the side support element according to the invention is characterized in that during the opening of the hatch cover, that is, during the folding of the cover sections, said peg releases said rotating lever, whereby the side support element is rotated to its home position situated below the hatch cover by gravity and/or mechanical contact with the upper edge of said recess.

A further another embodiment of the side support element according to the invention is characterized in that the combination formed by the rotating lever and the side support element and the members interconnecting them is rotatable about a shaft pivotally mounted in bearings to one of the cover hatch sections and that the rotating lever is contoured upward concave.

The essential goal of the invention is thus accomplished in that during the unfolding of the hatch cover sections (that is, during the closing of the hatch cover), the movement occurring in the hinged seam between the cover sections forces the side support element adapted close to the seam to protrude correctly synchronized with the closing of the cover sections so as to simultaneously be backed by the slot made to the wheel track running along the side bulkhead. Correspondingly, during the opening of the hatch cover, either by meeting the upper edge of the bulkhead recess or by gravity, the side support element is rotated back to its home position where it also stays in place by the gravity balance of the element masses .

An advantage of the invention is its automatic operation and the benefit that this kind of an entirely mechanical construction is not subject to malfunction. Thus, the operation of the side support element is possible without the need for hydraulics or other external power means, and its use overcomes the need for the mounting of protruding cover support brackets or similar elements to the side bulkhead of the cargo space.

The invention is next examined with reference to the appended drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a diagrammatic side view of a two-section hatch cover in both open and closed position;

Figure 2 is an end view of a side support element according to the invention in two different positions;and

Figure 3 is a side view of the side support element shown in Fig. 2.

With reference to Fig. 1, a two-section hatch cover 1, 2 for a ship's tween deck is shown in both open and closed position. When closed, the hatch cover closes the cargo space 5. When open, the hatch cover sections 1, 2, which are hingedly connected at their adjacent edges to each other, are stowed in vertical position so that the hinge connects the top edges of the sections. The aft section 1 is hingedly mounted in bearings at its lower edge and is arranged rotatable by means of a hydraulic cylinder 3 having its one end connected to the ships hull and the other end to the aft section 1. A pair of wheels is mounted in bearings to the lower end of the fore section 2 (the term lower edge refers here to the folded position of the cover) , whereby both sides of the fore section 2 have one wheel 4. When the hatch cover 1, 2 is being closed with the help of the hydraulic cylinder 3, the pair of wheels 4

travels along the wheel tracks 6 of the wheel track recesses 7 (Fig. 2) made to the side bulkheads 8 of the ship 5. Simultaneously, the top edge of the section 1 moves along the trajectory plotted in Fig. 1 until the hatch cover is unfolded fully horizontal. Then, the wheel pair of the fore section has travelled to the far end of the wheel track. This arrangement is prior art, so its closer description is omitted herein.

With reference to Fig. 2, a detail is shown illustrating that edge of the section 1 which is adjacent to the side bulkhead 8 and incorporates the side support element 9 according to the invention for the hatch cover. The side support element 9 is shown by solid lines in its operating position and by dashed-double-dotted lines 9' in its home position, respectively. In its operating position the side support element 9 rests against the wheel track 6 of the wheel track recess 7 of the side bulkhead 8 thus serving to transmit a portion of the load of the hatch cover 1, 2 to the ship's hull.

The side support element 9 is connected via a beam 10 to a limiter element 11 which serves to provide mechanical limit positions 9, 9' for the side support element. The limiter element 11 is rotatably mounted on a shaft 12 and further has a curved rotating lever 13 (with an upward concave shape) . To the adjacent section 2 of hatch cover is mounted a peg 14 or similar element having a ball 15 rotatingly mounted in a bearing to its end, said ball being adapted to meet the rotating lever 13 of the section 1 just prior to the instant at which the sections 1, 2 will become unfolded fully horizontal.

The operation of the side support element 9 according to the invention is as follows. Assuming an initial folded situation in which the hatch cover is open, the hatch cover sections 1, 2 are in their vertical position. Next, the

closing of the hatch cover is started by means of the hydraulic cylinder 3. This phase is carried out in a con¬ ventional manner until the sections are unfolded almost fully horizontal. At this moment the side support element is still in the position 9' shown by dashed-double-dotted line in Fig. 2. Then, the peg 14 of the section 2 and par¬ ticularly the ball 15 at its end will meet the rotating lever 13' of the section 1 so as to start pushing the rot¬ ating lever downward. Th s, the downward movement of the peg (and the ball) starts at the moment the seam between the sections 1, 2 is just closing. In other words, no addi¬ tional actuator is required to move the peg, but rather, its movement is controlled entirely mechanically by the movements of the sections 1, 2. As the ball 15 pushes the rotating lever downward, the rotating lever as well as the limiter element 11 with the beam 10 and the side support element 9 connected thereto commence their rotation about the shaft 12 so that just prior to the fully closed posi¬ tion of the hatch cover 1, 2, the side support element 9 will attain its operating position in the wheel track recess 7 of the side bulkhead 8 as shown by solid lines in the diagram. Then, also the limiter element 11 will attain its operating position shown by solid line, whereby the firm contact of the limiter element with the structure of the section 1 prevents further rotation of the side support element 9.

In the reverse operation of opening the hatch cover 1, 2, as the cover starts to fold upward at the seam of the sections 1, 2, the side support element 9 is returned by gravity and/or mechanical contact with the upper edge of wheel track recess 7 to its home position shown by dashed- double-dotted line (Fig. 2) .

To those versed in the art it is obvious that the invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but rather, can be varied within the scope of the invention

which is defined in the appended claims. Accordingly, the details of the side support element and the actuating mechanism thereof can be varied as desired. The character¬ izing property of the invention is in that the rotation of the side support element to and from its home position in the wheel track recess made to the side bulkhead is actuated by the movement of the cover sections . As the structural or operational details of the rotating mechanism elements are nonessential to the function of the invention, the design of these elements can be varied as required by a person versed in the art.

While the side support element is shown in the drawing supporting the cover section 1 alone, the side support element also provides support for the cover section 2 by virtue of the stepped seam which transmits the support force from the section 1 to the section 2. Obviously, while the side support element 9 is shown in the drawing for one side of the hatch cover only, another similar support element is required for the opposite side of the cover to provide sufficient support.




 
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