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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A METHOD AND A DEVICE FOR MAKING CONCRETE PRODUCTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1995/029799
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method and a slide casting apparatus for casting concrete products. Concrete is fed into a mould through a feeding hopper (9) fitted above the mould. The feeding hopper (9) is moved so that the vertical component of the path of motion of the hopper's bottom part is equal to or exceeds the vertical component of the path of motion of the top part, which > 0 or = 0.

Inventors:
HARALA OLLI (FI)
SUTINEN RISTO (FI)
JAERVINEN LASSI (FI)
Application Number:
PCT/FI1995/000228
Publication Date:
November 09, 1995
Filing Date:
April 26, 1995
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PARTEK CONCRETE ENGINEERING OY (FI)
HARALA OLLI (FI)
SUTINEN RISTO (FI)
JAERVINEN LASSI (FI)
International Classes:
B28B1/087; B28B1/08; B28B13/02; (IPC1-7): B28B3/20
Foreign References:
DE965687C1957-06-13
DE1252569B
DE3502861A11986-07-31
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims
1. A method of casting concrete products with a slide cast¬ ing apparatus moving along a base (2) so that concrete mix is fed into a mould through a feeding hopper (9) fitted above the mould and tapering downward towards the discharge opening and being moved along a path of motion deviating from the path of travel of the apparatus, characterized in that the feeding hopper (9) is moved along a controlled path of motion so that the vertical component of the path of motion of the hopper's bottom part exceeds or is equal to the vertical component of the path of motion of the feeding hopper's (9) top part which > 0 or = 0.
2. A method as defined in claim 1, characterized in that the feeding hopper (9) is moved so that the path of motion of its bottom part also comprises a horizontal component besides the vertical component.
3. A method as defined in claim 2, characterized in that the feeding hopper (9) is moved so that the horizontal compo¬ nent of the path of motion of its top part exceeds the horizontal component of the path of motion of the feeding hopper's (9) bottom part.
4. A method as defined in any of claims 1 3, character¬ ized in that the movable feeding hopper (9) guides the con¬ crete in the desired direction and compacts the concrete near to its final density.
5. A method as defined in claim 4, characterized in that the change in direction of the concrete flow between the movable feeding hopper (9) and the top plate (5) of the mould is no more than 90°, preferably no more than 60°.
6. A slide casting apparatus for casting concrete products and comprising a mould movable in relation to a base and formed by side walls and a top plate (5) and a feeding hopper (9) fitted above the mould and tapering downward towards the discharge opening for feeding concrete mix into the mould, whereby the feeding hopper (9) is provided with means (11, 13,17 18) for moving the hopper along a path of motion deviating from the path of travel of the apparatus, characterized in that the path of motion of the feeding hopper (9) is controlled and the vertical component of the path of motion of its bottom part exceeds or is equal to the vertical component of the path of motion of the feeding hopper's (9) top part, which > 0 or = 0.
7. A slide casting apparatus as defined in claim 6, charac terized in that the bottom part of the movable feeding hopper (9) is connected with a cam (21) and the top part is connected through an articulated arm (25) with another cam (23) , whereby the cam (23) connected to the top part is arranged so that the vertical component of motion caused by it in the top part of the feeding hopper (9) cancels the vertical component of motion caused in the top part by the cam (21) connected to the bottom part of the feeding hopper.
8. A slide casting apparatus as defined in claim 6, characterized in that it is equipped with a vibrator which vibrates the movable hopper under forced mechanical control.
9. A slide casting apparatus as defined in any of claims 6 8, characterized in that the wall moving ahead of the movable feeding hopper (9) and/or the trailing side wall (10', 10) is tilted so that their inner surfaces slope downward towards the trailing side of the device.
10. A slide casting apparatus as defined in any of claims 6 9, characterized in that the bottom end of the wall (10') moving ahead of the movable feeding hopper (9) extends below the top wall (5) of the mould.
11. A slide casting apparatus as defined in any of claims 6 10, characterized in that the trailing end wall (10) of the movable feeding hopper (9) is separate from the remaining hopper and is movable along a path of motion deviating from the path of motion of the remaining hopper. 12. A slide casting apparatus as defined in any of claims 6 11, characterized in that the crosssection of the movable feeding hopper (9) decreases in the concrete compacting zone from the top downward by 0 ... 80 per cent.
Description:
A method and a device for making concrete products

This invention relates to a method of casting concrete products with a slide casting apparatus moving along a base so that concrete mix is fed into a mould through a feeding hopper fitted above the mould and tapering downward towards the discharge opening and being moved along a path of motion deviating from the path of travel of the apparatus. The invention also relates to a slide casting apparatus for casting concrete products and comprising a mould moving in relation to a base and formed by side walls and a top plate and a feeding hopper fitted above the mould and tapering downward towards the discharge opening for feeding concrete mix into the mould, whereby the feeding hopper is provided with means for moving the hopper along a path of motion deviating from the path of travel of the apparatus.

It is previously known to cast concrete products by slide casting. In previously known slide casting machines of the extruder type compacting takes place by using feeding screws which grow thicker towards the rear end and possibly by using vibration. However, a feeding screw mechanism of this kind is relatively complicated and expensive.

It is also known to use slide casting machines of the so- called slipformer type which have no compacting feeding screws. However, in these it is necessary to use concrete mix of plastic consistency and of a relatively high water/cement ratio. A problem with this kind of plastic concrete is its poor dimensional stability immediately after casting and the known fact that the strength of the product made of plastic concrete is poorer. To improve the strength, more cement than in relatively dry concrete must be used in concrete with a high water content. A product cast of plastic concrete also tends to move along with the casting machine, and the resulting friction is abrasive on the casting base.

Such apparatus are also known wherein two feeding hoppers are located one above the other and the lower one is vibrated to compact the concrete. Such devices are described, for example, in SU Patent Publications 455 010 and 751 629.

However, a problem with such vibration of the hopper is that due to the compacting resulting from the vibration, the

casting mix tends to be compacted already in the top part of the hopper, where it will arch. This prevents the concrete from flowing into the bottom end of the hopper.

The method in accordance with this invention is character- ized in that the feeding hopper is moved along a controlled path of motion so that the vertical component of the path of motion of the hopper's bottom part exceeds or is equal to the vertical component of the path motion of the feeding hopper's top part, which > 0 or = 0. The device in accordance with the invention is characterized in that the path of motion of the feeding hopper is controlled and the vertical component of the path of motion of its bottom part exceeds or is equal to the vertical component of the path of motion of the feeding hopper's top part which > 0 or = 0. In the method according to the invention it is possible to use casting mixes of a clearly stiffer consistency than in slide casting machines of the slipformer type. A lower water/cement ratio has a favourable effect on the strength and dimensional accuracy of the final product. Until now, this advantage has in fact belonged to slide casting methods of the extruder type using screws in order to create pressure and compacting. With the present invention the qualitative advantages of concrete mix of a stiffer consistency are achieved in the final product without any complicated and expensive screw machinery. With the path of motion of the movable hopper arranged in accordance with the invention, the bottom end of the hopper will also act as a part of the mould and will also compact the concrete.

The invention and its details are described more closely in the following referring to the enclosed drawings, in which

Figure 1 is a schematic side view of an apparatus according to the invention,

Figure 2 is a top view of the lower hopper of the same apparatus and of its driving mechanism, Figure 3 is a side view on a larger scale along two similar sections A-A of Figure 2, and

Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view of different concrete products which can be made with the apparatus according to the invention.

The apparatus according to the invention has a frame 1, which moves on wheels 2 along rails 4 on a base 3. The frame supports a casting mould formed by side walls and a top plate 5. The top plate is provided with a vibrator 6. The driving wheels are driven by a driving mechanism 7 and the device moves in the direction shown by arrow A.

In addition, the frame supports an upper and a lower feed¬ ing hopper 8 and 9, one on top of the other and separate from each other. Both hoppers taper towards their bottom end. In addition, a wall 10 at the trailing end of the lower hopper is tilted so that the bottom end of its inner surface slopes downward towards the trailing end of the machine. Thus, in a way, the bottom end of the hopper forms an extension to the mould's top plate 5. The wall 10' on the front side is also tilted in a corresponding way.

The cross-section of the lower hopper decreases in the con¬ crete compacting zone from the top downward by 0 ... 80 per cent. The suitable reduction in the cross-section depends on the quality of the concrete and on the need for compacting.

The lower hopper is provided with its own driving mechanism bringing the hopper into an oscillating motion. A motor 11 through a belt 14 and a belt pulley 15 rotates a shaft 13, which is journalled in brackets 12 mounted to the frame. The shaft ends carry belt pulleys 16 from which the motion is transferred by way of belts 17 through belt pulleys 19 to shafts 18 journalled on the sides of the lower hopper. Shafts 18 are supported by bearings 20 in the frame. Eccentric cams 21 are located between shafts 18 and bearings 22 on the hopper sides.

The shaft 13 is connected by eccentric cams 23 and bearings 24 to levers 25, each of which is attached through a link 27 to lugs 26 located at the top end of the lower hopper, on two sides of the hopper. When the lower hopper is moved by the motor 11, the shaft

18 mounted eccentrically to the bottom part of the hopper 9 makes the bottom end of the hopper move under mechanical con¬ trol along a forced circular path of motion in a vertical plane in the device's direction of motion.

The motion is transferred to the top end of the lower hop¬ per by levers 25 journalled eccentrically to shaft 13. The directions of rotation of the shafts 13 and 18 are counter¬ clockwise in the drawings. The cams 23 and 21 on the shafts 13 and 18 are arranged so that their phase difference is pre¬ ferably about 90° as the lower cam 21 moves ahead of the upper cam 23. Hereby the vertical components of motions transferred to the top part of the hopper from the lower cam 21 and from the upper cam 23 by way of link 27 cancel one another, while the horizontal components strengthen one another. This has the result that the path of motion of the top end is a back-and- forth longitudinal motion almost in a horizontal plane.

In addition to the motion of the lower hopper described in the foregoing, the slide casting machine is moved in a conven- tional manner on the base driven by the driving mechanism 7.

As the back and forth motion of the top end of the lower hopper takes place mainly in a horizontal plane, the concrete will not yet be compacted in the top end of the hopper. To the contrary, the horizontal vibration promotes flowing of the concrete through the top end of the hopper. But in the bottom end of the hopper the motion also has a vertical component which causes efficient compacting of the concrete. In this way the feeding hopper forms a pressurization zone promoting a good flowing of the concrete but preventing arching in the top end of the hopper.

The path of motion described above in combination with a decreasing cross-section causes compacting of the concrete close to its final density. Density and surface quality may be further improved by vibrating the top plate. The cross-sectional shape of a product made by the method according to the invention may vary very much. It may be either solid or it may contain hollows which are made by shaping mandrels in the device which are known as such. A rec¬ tangular solid or hollowed basic shape may also contain pro- trusions or recesses. Figure 4 shows different cross-sectional product shapes by way of example.

It is also possible to cast several different products in parallel at the same time.

The reinforcement of a reinforced concrete product to be

made by slide casting may be prestressed or non-prestressed, so-called static reinforcement.

The path of motion according to the invention can be achieved also in ways other than with the described cam-arti- culated arm structure. The vertical component of the motion of the top end can be limited, for example, by means of a suitable slide arrangement or other stops or guides. A mecha¬ nically controlled forced motion can also be achieved by con¬ trolled vibration. Such a controlled vibration is different, for example, from the vibration of a flexibly supported hopper in that the hopper's path of motion is not a random path, but will follow a certain predetermined path.

Neither is the upper hopper a necessary part of the inven¬ tion, it may be replaced with some other feeding arrangement to keep the oscillating hopper constantly and adequately fil¬ led so that the concrete may be compacted already in the hop¬ per. For example, a conveyor belt or a feeding screw may be used which moves the concrete from a storage container of the device into the oscillating hopper. In the solution described above, the horizontal component of the hopper's path of motion is longitudinal. The horizontal component may also be arranged to be crosswise to the machine's direction of travel.

The compacting effect can be further enhanced by forming the wall at the trailing end of the lower hopper separate from the rest of the hopper and by moving it separately. Its path of motion may be, for example, opposite to the motion of the rest of the hopper in the horizontal plane, whereby the compacting effect will enhance compacting of the concrete.