Browse Prior Art Database

Return to Neutral for Horizontal Gate Opening System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000249879D
Publication Date: 2017-Apr-21

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Horizontal sliding gates are often used to control the discharge from bulk material containers. In some instances when the bulk material containers are portable, the mechanism that actuates the gate is not permanently affixed to the container but instead is part of the discharge stand on which the container is placed. For the gate actuation system to operate reliably, it must not only fully open and close the gate but also move to a neutral or safe position during container exchanges. The neutral position is necessary so that the opening mechanism is not damaged by contact with the container during the container exchange.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 23% of the total text.

1

Return to Neutral for Horizontal Gate Opening System

Abstract

Horizontal sliding gates are often used to control the discharge from bulk material

containers. In some instances when the bulk material containers are portable, the

mechanism that actuates the gate is not permanently affixed to the container but

instead is part of the discharge stand on which the container is placed. For the gate

actuation system to operate reliably, it must not only fully open and close the gate but

also move to a neutral or safe position during container exchanges. The neutral position

is necessary so that the opening mechanism is not damaged by contact with the

container during the container exchange.

Introduction

Portable bulk material containers are used in the oilfield for delivery and storage of

proppant for hydraulic fracturing operations. The containers can be moved around the

well site with forklifts and are ultimately placed on a discharge device (Fig. 1) which

routes the contents of

the container to the

frac blender where

the proppant is mixed

into the fracturing

fluid. During

fracturing operations

many containers of

proppant may be

required, and the time

between container

exchanges can be as

short 2 to 2.5

minutes. The

discharge device must be capable of

opening and closing the container outlet.

The open/close mechanism usually does

not require human interaction to make the

connection between the open/close

mechanism and the gate at the container

outlet. Often the engagement mechanism

between the open/close mechanism and

Fig 1. Container Discharge Device

Fig 2. Horizontal Gate at container outlet

2

the container gate is a pin (Fig. 2, Find #2) located below and centered on the gate.

This pin fits into a receiver on the discharge device (Fig. 3) which slides horizontally to

control the opening of the gate. The container is additionally fitted with a keeper (Fig.2,

Find #1) that hinges down when the container is removed from the discharge device.

The purpose of the keeper is to limit the travel of the pin on the gate (Fig. 2, Find #3)

and ensure the gate does not open during transport (Fig. 4). The keeper is lifted up and

out of the way when the container is placed on the discharge device.

Special considerations need to be taken to ensure that the gate pin always fits within

the receiver and that neither the gate pin nor the receiver is damage during container

exchanges.

Fig. 3. Gate pin in receiver window

Fig 4. Window in keeper allows some travel of gate when in the down position but prevents gate from opening during transportation

Problem Description

The keeper located on the container has a window which is approximately 6 inches in

length (Fig. 4). The receiver on the discharge device (Fig. 5, Find #4) needs to have the

same size or larger window to

ensure that the gate pin of a

container placed on the discharge

device always lands inside the

window of the receiver; otherwise,

when the container is placed on the

discharge device, it will interfere...