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Title:
A SOIL DISPLACEMENT APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/074006
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A soil displacement apparatus 10 includes at least one ground-engaging member 12 including an inclined cutting surface 14 and first and second lateral cutting surfaces 16 arranged along sides of the inclined cutting surface 14 and forming a channel 18 between them for in use channelling displaced soil away from the ground-engaging member 12.

Inventors:
MUNDELL, Gordon, John, Gunning (8 Hals Place Young Park, 6001 Port Elizabeth, ZA)
Application Number:
ZA2015/000062
Publication Date:
May 12, 2016
Filing Date:
September 21, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MUNDELL, Gordon, John, Gunning (8 Hals Place Young Park, 6001 Port Elizabeth, ZA)
International Classes:
E02F5/02; A01B13/00; A01B13/14; E02F7/00
Foreign References:
US3466768A1969-09-16
GB1407220A1975-09-24
US4353175A1982-10-12
US0032772A1861-07-09
US20130091744A12013-04-18
US2672701A1954-03-23
JPS53118324U1978-09-20
US0286696A1883-10-16
US0113722A1871-04-18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAHN & HAHN (222 Richard Street, Hatfield, 0083 Pretoria, ZA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Clasms

1. A soil displacement apparatus including: at least one ground-engaging member including an inclined cutting surface and first and second lateral cutting surfaces arranged along sides of the inclined cutting surface and forming a channel between them for In use channelling displaced soil away from a leading edge of the inclined cutting surface; and guide means arranged to guide displaced soil from the ground-engaging member to a zone located remote the ground engaging member; wherein, in use, a drive means is provided for pushing or pulling the soil displacement apparatus through soil.

2. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the soil apparatus includes a soil ripper arranged in front of the Inclined cutting surface.

3. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein leading edges of the cutting surfaces are bevelled to present cutting edges. 4. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein a re-enforcing structure is provided in the channel formed by the cutting surfaces to in use retain the cutting surfaces in place.

5. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed In any one of the preceding claims, wherein the guide means is in the form of a channel extending from and in line with the channel formed by the cutting surfaces of the ground-engaging member.

6. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the channel has the same inclination as the inclined cutting surface and terminates in a delivery portion that is directed away and downward from its inclined portion.

7. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 6, wherein the delivery portion includes a conveyor for receiving and transporting the soil to a zone located remote the ground engaging member.

8. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the guide means includes a feed conveyor extending from and in line with the channel formed by the cutting surfaces of the ground-engaging member.

9. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein the feed conveyor has the same inclination as the inclined cutting surface to permit a seamless transfer of soil from the ground-engaging member to the feed screw.

10. A soli displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 8 or claim 9: wherein a delivery conveyor is arranged at and below a free end of the feed conveyor, the feed and delivery conveyors together forming the guide means.

1 1. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 8 to 10, wherein the delivery and/or feed conveyor is one of: a belt conveyor, a screw conveyor, and a feed screw. 12. A soil displacement apparatus including: two ground-engaging members, each including an inclined cutting surface and first and second lateral cutiing surfaces arranged along sides of the inclined cutting surface and forming a channel between them for in use channelling displaced soil away from a leading edge of the inclined cutting surface; and - guide means arranged to guide displaced soil from the ground-engaging members to a zone located remote the ground engaging member; wherein, In use, a drive means is provided for pushing or pulling the soli displacement apparatus through soil.

13. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the ground- engaging members are arranged in an offset manner so that an inclined cutting surface of one ground-engaging member is located below the Inclined cutting surface of the other ground-engaging member.

14. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 12 or claim 13, wherein the guide means includes a feed conveyor extending from and in line with each of the two the channels formed by the cutting surfaces of the ground-engaging members and a delivery conveyor arranged below a delivery end of the feed conveyors.

15. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the delivery conveyor is arranged at an angle to the feed conveyor, which delivery conveyor deposits the excavated soil away from the ground-engaging member so that it comes to rest to the side of the trench and the drive means.

16. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 14 or claim 15, wherein the delivery conveyer is supported on wheels that in use engage the ground next to a trench being dug by the apparatus.

17. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 14 to 18, wherein the delivery and/or feed conveyor is one of: a belt conveyor, a screw conveyor, and a feed screw.

18. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 12 to 17, wherein the soil apparatus includes a soil ripper arranged In front of the inclined cutting surfaces. 19. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein a supporting framework is provided to interconnect the various elements of the soil displacement apparatus.

20. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed in claim 18, wherein the framework includes a connector for connecting the apparatus to the drive means. 21. A soil displacement apparatus as claimed In any one of the preceding claims, wherein drive means is selected from the group including a bulldozer, an excavator, and a tractor.

22. A soil displacement apparatus according to the invention substantially as hereinbefore described or exemplified. 23. A soil displacement apparatus as specifically described with reference to or as illustrated in any one of the accompanying drawings.

24. A soil displacement apparatus including any new and inventive integer or combination of integers, substantially as herein described.

Description:
A SOIL DISPLACEMENT APPARATUS Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a soil displacement apparatus for use in the digging of trenches in sandy to slightly rocky soils Background to the Invention

Digging of long trenches is generally carried out using a conventional excavator having a hydraulicaily operated arm and a bucket connected to a free end of the arm.

Soil is scooped into the bucket, the arm is rotated away from where the trench is being dug and the bucket is then tipped out. !n this manner, the excavator is used to dig a trench at a pace of around 1 km per working day.

The inventor believes that a need exists for providing a soil displacement apparatus that is capable of digging a trench at a pace significantly faster than 1 km per working day. !n particular, the inventor beileves that a need exists for providing an apparatus that scoops soil in a grading motion, delivers the soil through and opening in a ground- engaging member of the apparatus and then transfers the soil to the side of the dug trench, to be used as backfill. Such an apparatus could be used to dig trenches of various widths and depths at a fast rate. Summary of the invention

According to the invention, there is provided a soil displacement apparatus including: at least one ground-engaging member including an inclined cutting surface and first and second lateral cutting surfaces arranged along sides of the inclined cutting surface and forming a channel between them for in use channelling displaced soil away from a leading edge of the inclined cutting surface; and guide means arranged to guide displaced soil from the ground-engaging member to a zone located remote the ground engaging member; wherein, in use, a drive means is provided for pushing or pulling the soil displacement apparatus through soil. The soil apparatus may include a soil ripper which may be located in front of the cutting surfaces so that the soil is loosened before entering the ground- engaging member. in one embodiment, the ground-engaging member may be a bucket of an excavator with an opening defined in a rear wall thereof.

The thickness and hardness of material of the cutting surfaces may be selected for optimum penetration of the soil to be displaced.

Leading edges of the cutting surfaces may be bevelled to present cutting edges. A re-enforcing structure may be provided in the channel formed by the cutting surfaces to in use retain the cutting surfaces in place. The re-enforcing structure may be in the form of rods or bars spanning between and connecting the cutting surfaces. The re-enforcing structure may also loosen the soil as it passes therethrough. The guide means may be in the form of a channel extending from and in line with the opening in the rear wall of the ground-engaging member.

The channel may have the same Inclination as the Inclined cutting surface and may terminate in a delivery portion that is directed away and downward from its inclined portion. The width and height of the channel defined by the cutting surfaces may be varied so as to allow for trenches of differing dimensions to be dug by the apparatus.

In use, excavated soil may be forced or force fed upward along the inclined cutting surface and Into the channel via the opening in the rear wall of the ground-engaging member. The soil may then be pushed into the delivery portion of the channel down which it may slide under the influence of gravity.

In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the delivery portion may include a delivery conveyor. Soil pushed {force fed) along the channel may fail onto the delivery conveyor which may transport if to a zone located remote the ground engaging member. This arrangement may not be suitable for all soil types and excavation speeds. in an alternative embodiment, the guide means may include a feed screw or screw conveyor extending from and in line with the channel formed by the cutting surfaces of the ground-engaging member. The feed screw or screw conveyor have the same inclination as the inclined cutting surface to permit a seamless transfer of soil from the ground-engaging member to the feed screw or feed conveyor. in one embodiment of the invention, two ground-engaging members may be provided together with two guide means as described above. in this embodiment the ground-engaging members are arranged in an offset manner so that an inclined cutting surface of one ground-engaging member is located below the inclined cutting surface of the other ground-engaging member. In this manner, the depth of the trench is increased as the two ground-engaging members are arranged at different depths. in this embodiment, the delivery conveyor may be arranged below a deliver/ end of the feed conveyor and at an angle thereto.

In use, soil may be transported away from the ground-engaging member by the feed screw or feed conveyor and may then fall onto the delivery conveyor. The delivery- conveyor may deposit the excavated soil away from the ground-engaging member so that it comes to rest to the side of the trench and the drive means.

Guide plates may be arranged at either side of the feed and delivery conveyors to inhibit soil falling off the conveyors.

If two ground-engaging members are provided together with two feed screws or screw conveyors both feed screws or screw conveyors terminate above the delivery conveyor so that soil from both feed conveyors may fall onto the delivery conveyor.

The delivery conveyor may be arranged at an angle of substantially ninety degrees to the feed conveyor.

The delivery conveyer may be supported on wheels that may In use engage the ground next to a trench being dug by the apparatus. The delivery and/or feed conveyor may be in the form of a belt conveyor, a screw conveyor, or a feed screw.

In use, the feed and delivery conveyors may be connected to a hydraulic and/or electrical system of the drive means. Alternatively, the conveyors may be provided with their own power source.

The speed of the feed and delivery conveyors may be selected Independently via variable speed drives having regard to soil conditions and the speed of travel of the drive means. A control panel may be provided to permit selection of the speed of the feed and delivery conveyors. A supporting framework may be provided to interconnect the various elements of the soil displacement apparatus. The supporting framework may also act as a counterweight.

The framework may include a connector for connecting the apparatus to the drive means. The connector may be a plate which may be connected to the drive means or, in the case where the drive means is puiiing the soil displacement apparatus, the connector may be in the form of a tow bar or connecting arm.

The drive means may be in the form of a bulldozer, an excavator, a tractor, and the like. A counterweight may be provided for the drive means to in use balance the weight of the soli displacement apparatus as well as forces acting thereon during digging of a trench. in use, a first portion of the trench may be dug either by hand or using an excavator. The cutting surfaces of the ground-engaging member may be positioned as desired and the drive means may then either exert a pushing or puiiing force on the soil displacement apparatus. Detailed Description of the Invention

The invention will now be described by way of the following non-limiting examples with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings:-

Figures 1A and 1B each show a side view of an embodiment of a soil displacement apparatus in accordance with the present invention wherein a drive means in the form of an excavator and a bulldozer, respectively, is provided to exert a pushing force on the apparatus;

Figures 2A, 2B and 2C each show a side view of an embodiment of a soil displacement apparatus in accordance with the present invention wherein a drive means in the form of an excavator (Fig 2A) and a tractor (Figs 2B and 2C) is provided to exert a pulling force on the apparatus; Figure 3 shows a side view of two ground-engaging members and associated conveyors in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 4 shows a top view of two ground-engaging members and associated conveyors in accordance with the present invention;

Figures 5A, 5B and 5C show a front, side and top view of a ground-engaging member in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 6 shows a top view of two ground-engaging members and associated conveyors in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 7 shows a side view of an embodiment of a soil displacement apparatus in accordance with the present invention in which the feed conveyor is a feed screw and the delivery conveyor is a belt conveyor;

Figure 8 shows a top view of the apparatus of Figure 7;

Figure 9 shows a front view of the soil displacement apparatus of Figure 7; and

Figure 10 shows a side view of a ground-engaging member of the apparatus of Figure 7. In the drawings, reference numeral 10 generally indicates an embodiment of a soil displacement apparatus in accordance with the present invention.

A soil displacement apparatus 10 includes at least one ground-engaging member 12 including an inclined cutting surface 14 and first and second lateral cutting surfaces 16.1 and 16.2 arranged along sides of the inclined cutting surface 14 and forming a channel 18 between them for in use channelling displaced soil towards an opening 20 defined in a rear wail 22 of the ground-engaging member 12.

The inclination of the inclined cutting surface 14 is typically between about thirty to forty-five degrees.

In the embodiment shown, two ground-engaging members 12 are provided.

The ground-engaging members 12 are arranged in an offset manner as can best be seen in Figure 3, so that an inclined cutting surface 14 of one ground-engaging member 12 is located below the inclined cutting surface 14 of the other ground- engaging member 12.

In this manner, the depth of a trench 42 to be dug by the apparatus 10 is doubled.

A guide means is arranged to guide soil from the opening 20 to a zone located remote each ground engaging member 12. In the embodiment shown, the guide means is in the form of feed screws 24 and 26 and delivery conveyor 28 which will be described in more detail below.

The width of the feed screw is typically about 100 mm less than the width of the ground engaging member, so that a clearance of about 50 mm is provided at either side of the ground-engaging members 12.

A drive means in the form of an excavator 30, bulldozer 31 or tractor 33 Is provided for pushing or pulling the soil displacement apparatus 10 through soil 32.

The thickness and hardness of material of the cutting surfaces 14, 16.1 and 16.2 is selected for optimum penetration of the soil 32 to be displaced.

Leading edges of the cutting surfaces 14, 16.1 and 16.2 are bevelled to present cutting edges 34.1 , 34.2 and 34.3. A re-enforcing structure in the form of rods 36 is provided in the channel 18 formed by the cutting surfaces 14, 16.1 and 16.2 to in use retain the cutting surfaces 14, 16.1 and 16.2 in place. The rods 36 span between and connect the cutting surfaces 14, 16.1 and 16.2. The feed screws 24 and 26 are arranged at and in line with the opening 20 in the rear wail 22 of the ground-engaging members 12.

The feed screws 24 and 28 have the same inclination as the inclined cutting surfaces 14 to permit a seamless transfer of soil from the ground-engaging members 12 to the feed conveyors 24 and 26.

The delivery conveyor 28 is arranged below a delivery end of the feed screws 24 and 26 and at an angle thereto. The delivery conveyor 28 is typically arranged at an angle of substantially ninety degrees to the feed screws 24 and 26. in use, soil 32 is transported away from the ground-engaging members 12 by the feed screws 24 and 26 and fails onto the deliver/ conveyor 28. The delivery conveyor 28 deposits the excavated soil away from the ground-engaging members 12.

Guide plates 38 are arranged at either side of the feed 24 and 26 and delivery 28 conveyors to inhibit soil falling off the conveyors 24, 26 and 28. The delivery conveyer 28 can optionally be supported by wheels 50 as shown in Figure 2B that in use engage the ground 40 next to the trench 42 being dug by the apparatus 10. in use, the feed 24 and 26 and delivery 28 conveyors are connected to a hydraulic and/or electrical system of the excavator 30. The speed of the feed 24 and 26 and delivery 28 conveyors can be selected independently having regard to soil conditions and the speed of travel of the excavator 30.

A control panel (not shown) is provided to permit selection of the speed of the feed 24 and 26 and delivery 28 conveyors.

A supporting framework 54 is provided to interconnect the various elements of the soil displacement apparatus 10 as shown in Figure 5.

The framework 54 includes a plate 44 which can be connected to the excavator 30.

A counterweight can be provided for the excavator 30 to in use balance the weight of the soil displacement apparatus 10. In Figure 2A, a scoop 46 of the excavator 30 has been filled with soil to act as a counterweight, while in Figures 2B and 2C an area for accommodating a counterweight has been provided.

Similarly, a counterweight 48 can be provided to maintain the delivery conveyor 28 in balance. In use, a first portion of the trench is dug by the excavator 30. The cutting surfaces 14, 18.1 and 18.2 of the ground-engaging members 12 are be positioned as desired and the excavator 30 then either exerts a pushing (Figures 1A and I B) or a pulling force (Figures 2A,8 and C) on the soil displacement apparatus 10,

Referring now to Figures 7 to 10 in which like elements are indicated with the same reference numerals as in the previous drawings:

As many of the details of the apparatus shown in Figures 7 to 10 are the same as for previous embodiments, only the differences will be described hereunder.

In this embodiment, the feed conveyor is a feed screw 60. The use of the feed screw 80 inhibits soil that is being displaced towards the delivery conveyor 28 from sliding down the inclined feed conveyor.

The feed screw 60 is driven by a screw shaft 68 which is in turn driven by a motor 70.

The ground engaging member 12 has in this embodiment been provided with a toe 62, which assists smooth gliding of the inclined cutting surface 14 over the soil. Soil rippers in the form of rods 64 are arranged in front of the inclined cutting surface 14 to loosen the soil before the inclined cutting surface 14 reaches it, thereby increasing the speed at which soil is displaced.

The rods 64 extend from a support plate 66 which is in turn supported by framework 54. It is to be appreciated, that the invention is not limited to any particular embodiment or configuration as hereinbefore described or Illustrated.




 
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