(19)
(11)EP 2 523 890 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
10.05.2017 Bulletin 2017/19

(21)Application number: 11725602.4

(22)Date of filing:  13.01.2011
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B66B 23/04(2006.01)
B66B 23/24(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2011/021059
(87)International publication number:
WO 2011/075749 (23.06.2011 Gazette  2011/25)

(54)

ESCALATOR HANDRAIL CHAIN

HANDLAUFKETTE FÜR EINE FAHRTREPPE

CHAÎNE DE MAIN-COURANTE D'ESCALIER ROULANT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
21.11.2012 Bulletin 2012/47

(73)Proprietor: Otis Elevator Company
Farmington, CT 06032 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • GE, Wei
    Zhejiang (CN)
  • SHAO, Weifeng
    Hangzhou (CN)
  • JIANG, MingPing
    Hangzhou (CN)
  • LI, Jun
    HangZhou (CN)

(74)Representative: Klunker . Schmitt-Nilson . Hirsch 
Patentanwälte Destouchesstraße 68
80796 München
80796 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- 2003 221 178
JP-A- 2005 282 813
US-A- 5 160 009
US-A- 5 785 166
JP-A- 2003 292 278
JP-A- 2008 184 241
US-A- 5 477 954
  
     
    Remarks:
    The filing date of the international application is within two months from the date of expiration of the priority period (R. 26bis.3 PCT ).
     
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The subject matter disclosed herein relates to escalators, travelators, moving ramps, and the like. More specifically, the subject disclosure relates to handrail guide mechanisms for escalators, travelators, moving ramps, and the like.

    [0002] Escalator systems typically include a handrail, often two handrails that travel along with a plurality of pallets that make up the escalator system. The handrail travels over a handrail guide which is fixed to a balustrade of the escalator system. In guiding the handrail, it is desired that the handrail guide reduce the frictional resistance of travel of the handrail over the handrail guide to reduce wear and also prevent unwanted noise in the handrail. Typically, three approaches are taken in reducing the resistance. First, the handrail guide material may be changed to a low-friction material. Second, coatings may be added to the handrail or handrail guide. Finally, a chain including rolling elements, such as roller bearings, may be added between the handrail guide and the handrail. The chain is fixed to the handrail guide, with the roller bearings contacting the handrail. This results in a rolling contact , and rolling friction between the handrail and handrail guide, which is less detrimental than a sliding friction which results from direct contact between the handrail and the handrail guide.

    [0003] The typical handrail including the roller bearing chain, however, generates undesirable noise during operation for at least two reasons. First, the sealing of the roller bearing breaks down causing lubricant to leak therefrom resulting in dry rubbing which generates noise. Second, when the roller bearing chain is subjected to a side force, the roller bearings contact and rub against the handrail guide generating noise. Further, when sealing of the roller bearings is damaged, contaminants enter the roller bearings. As a result, the roller bearings stop rotating generating heat between the roller bearings and the handrail, thus reducing the useful life of the handrail.

    [0004] JP 2003 292 278 A discloses a handrail guide deck for guiding the travel of a handrail belt, handrail guide deck being mounted along the outer edge part of a handrail body. A roller unit comprising a roller coming in rolling contact with the back face of the handrail belt, a roller shaft for rotatably journaling the roller, and a link member for supporting the roller shaft, is made one unit, and the link members of the required number of units are connected by pins one after another in series to constitute a roller row. Both end parts of the roller row are fixed to the handrail guide deck by fixing means.

    [0005] US 5 785 166 A describes a drive system for the steps and carriage pallets of escalators and moving sidewalks. A conveyor chain is arranged beside the steps or carriage pallets, the conveyor chain having a number of link pins of different axial lengths cooperating with bushes. The link pins are axially longer and respectively fitted with a running roller provided in the region of the steps or carriage pallets and are connected with these, if desired, via further components. Also provided are a plurality of plates cooperating, also by way of running rollers if desired, with the axially shorter link pins and bushes. The plates are connected in a manner fixed against relative rotation as inner plates to the bushes and as outer plates to the link pins. Sealing elements are provided in the region of both faces of the bushes. The link pins are formed by electroplated, case-hardened steel pins and the bushes are made of a case-hardened quenched and tempered steel and electroplated between the link pins. At least one sliding bearing, which is formed of a thin-walled plastic, extends between the link pins and the bushes.

    [0006] JP 2005 282 813 A proposes a roller chain in which a recessed part is provided on an inside face of an inner link plate, a recessed groove in a ring shape is formed on a bottom face of the recessed part and the seal ring is fit into the recessed groove. The seal ring is contacted to the seal plate loosely fit to an end face of the roller 6 and a bearing part of the roller is sealed. The seal plate , its loose fit part and the seal ring do not interfere with the sprocket teeth even in the case that a roller outer peripheral face is worn.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0007] According to one aspect of the invention, a handrail assembly for an escalator system includes a handrail movable along a length of the escalator and a handrail guide assembly defining a travel path for the handrail. The handrail guide assembly includes a handrail guide and a plurality of sliding bearing supports interconnected to form a handrail chain and secured to the handrail guide. One or more sliding bearings extend at least partially through each sliding bearing support of the handrail chain. A shaft extends through each sliding bearing support and is in sliding contact with the one or more sliding bearings. One or more rollers are secured to at least one end of the shaft and are in rolling contact with the handrail.

    [0008] According to another aspect of the invention, a handrail chain for an escalator system includes a plurality of sliding bearing supports interconnected to form a handrail chain. One or more sliding bearings extend at least partially through each sliding bearing support of the handrail chain. A shaft extends through each sliding bearing support and is in sliding contact with the one or more sliding bearings. One or more rollers are secured to at least one end of the shaft and are in rolling contact with a handrail.

    [0009] These and other advantages and features will become more apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0010] The subject matter, which is regarded as the invention, is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing and other features, and advantages of the invention are apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

    FIG. 1 is a plan view of an embodiment of a handrail assembly; and

    FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a handrail assembly



    [0011] The detailed description explains embodiments of the invention, together with advantages and features, by way of example with reference to the drawings.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0012] Shown in FIG. 1 is a plan view of a handrail assembly 10 for an escalator, travelator, moving ramp, or the like. The handrail assembly 10 includes a handrail guide 12, formed from sheet metal or the like, and a handrail chain 14 secured to the handrail guide 12. The handrail chain 14 is formed from a plurality of sliding bearing supports 16 which are joined by linking a head end 18 of one sliding bearing support 16 to a tail end 20 of an adjacent sliding bearing support 16. The sliding bearing support 16 supports a sliding bearing 22 and one or more rolling members 24. The one or more rolling members 24 are interactive with a handrail 26 (shown in FIG. 2) to reduce a friction of movement of the handrail 26 along the handrail guide 12 in a handrail drive direction 28. One or more bosses 30 extend laterally from the sliding bearing support 16. The bosses 30 extend laterally a boss width 32 which is greater than a rolling member lateral span 34. This feature operates when the handrail chain 14 is subjected to side loads which try to force the handrail chain 14 toward a wall of the handrail guide 12. Under such loads, the boss 30, due to its extended boss width 32, will contact the handrail guide 12 before the rolling members 24 contact the handrail guide 12, and essentially act as a stop to prevent the rolling members 24 from contacting the handrail guide 12. This prevents the undesired noise from rolling member contact with the handrail guide of the prior art.

    [0013] Referring now to FIG. 2, the rolling member 24 and sliding bearing 22 will be discussed in more detail. As shown, two sliding bearings 22 are disposed in the sliding bearing support 16. A shaft 36 extends through the two sliding bearings 22 and is configured to have a sliding friction relationship between the shaft 36 and the sliding bearings 22 when the shaft is rotated about a shaft axis 38. Rollers 40 are fixed to each shaft end 42, and rotate about the shaft axis 38 with the shaft 36. The rollers 40 are in contact with the handrail 26 and provide the reduction in friction via the rotation of the rollers 40 and shaft 36 through the sliding action of the shaft 36 relative to the sliding bearings 22. In some embodiments, the sliding bearings 22 are lubrication-free bearings and have a bearing flange 44 that abuts the roller 40. In other embodiments, lubrication can be added between the bearing flange 44 and the roller 40. As shown in FIG. 2, two sliding bearings 22 are included, and have a bearing gap 46 at the shaft 36 between the two sliding bearings 22. In some embodiments, lubrication may be included in the bearing gap 46. In other embodiments, there is no bearing gap 46, and the two sliding bearings 22 substantially abut. In still other embodiments, only one sliding bearing 22 is utilized, which may extend entirely across the sliding bearing support 16.

    [0014] In utilizing the arrangement described above, the rolling of the rollers 40 on the handrail chain 14 is realized via sliding motion of the shaft 36, and in some embodiments, the rollers 40, relative to the sliding bearings 22. This reduces noise and rough operation relative to the prior art handrails utilizing roller bearings. Further, since in some embodiments the sliding bearings are self-lubricating, heating of the handrail can be reduced thereby extending the life of the handrail compared to that of the prior art.

    [0015] While the invention has been described in detail in connection with only a limited number of embodiments, it should be readily understood that the invention is not limited to such disclosed embodiments. Rather, the invention can be modified to incorporate any number of variations, alterations, substitutions or equivalent arrangements not heretofore described, but which are commensurate with the scope of the invention. Additionally, while various embodiments of the invention have been described, it is to be understood that aspects of the invention may include only some of the described embodiments. Accordingly, the invention is not to be seen as limited by the foregoing description, but is only limited by the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A handrail chain (14) for an escalator system comprising:

    a plurality of sliding bearing supports (16) interconnected to form a handrail chain (14);

    a shaft (36); and

    one or more rollers (24, 40) secured to at least one end of the shaft (36) and in rolling contact with a handrail (26);

    characterized in that the handrail chain (14) comprises:

    one or more sliding bearings (22) extending at least partially through each sliding bearing support (16) of the handrail chain (14), wherein the shaft (46) extends through each sliding bearing support (16) and is in sliding contact with the one or more sliding bearings (22), and in that

    the handrail chain (14) further comprises one or more bosses (30), each of the bosses (30) extending laterally from the handrail chain (14) beyond a lateral extent of the one or more rollers (24, 40) and being disposed between two rollers (24, 40) which are arranged next to each other in the longitudinal direction.


     
    2. The handrail chain (14) of Claim 1, wherein the one or more sliding bearings (22) are two sliding bearings (22) at least partially extending through each sliding bearing support (16).
     
    3. The handrail chain (14) of Claim 2, including a gap (46) between the two sliding bearings (22).
     
    4. The handrail chain (14) of Claim 3, including lubricant applied in the gap (46).
     
    5. The handrail chain (14) of any of Claims 1 to 4, wherein the one or more sliding bearings (22) is a single unitary bearing extending entirely through the sliding bearing support (16).
     
    6. The handrail chain (14) of any of Claims 1 to 5, wherein each sliding bearing (22) includes a bearing flange (44) substantially abutting the one or more rollers (40).
     
    7. A handrail assembly (10) for an escalator system comprising:

    a handrail movable along a length of the escalator;

    a handrail guide assembly defining a travel path for the handrail including:

    a handrail guide (12); and

    a handrail chain (14) according to any of claims 1 to 6.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Handlaufkette (14) für ein Fahrtreppensystem, umfassend:

    eine Vielzahl von Gleitlagerstützen (16), die miteinander verbunden sind, um eine Handlaufkette (14) zu bilden;

    eine Welle (36); und

    eine oder mehrere Laufrollen (24, 40), die an mindestens ein Ende der Welle (36) gesichert sind und in Rollkontakt mit einem Handlauf (26) stehen;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Handlaufkette (14) Folgendes umfasst:

    ein oder mehrere Gleitlager (22), die sich mindestens teilweise durch jede Gleitlagerstütze (16) der Handlaufkette (14) erstrecken, wobei die Welle (46) sich durch jede Gleitlagerstütze (16) erstreckt und in Gleitkontakt mit dem einen oder den mehreren Gleitlagern (22) steht, und dass

    die Handlaufkette (14) weiterhin eine oder mehrere Naben (30) umfasst, wobei jede der Naben (30) sich seitlich von der Handlaufkette (14) über eine seitliche Ausdehnung der einen oder mehreren Laufrollen (24, 40) hinaus erstreckt und zwischen zwei Laufrollen (24, 40) angeordnet ist, die in der Längsrichtung nebeneinander angeordnet sind.


     
    2. Handlaufkette (14) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das eine oder die mehreren Gleitlager (22) zwei Gleitlager (22) sind, die sich mindestens teilweise durch jede Gleitlagerstütze (16) erstrecken.
     
    3. Handlaufkette (14) nach Anspruch 2, einschließlich einer Lücke (46) zwischen den zwei Gleitlagern (22).
     
    4. Handlaufkette (14) nach Anspruch 3, einschließlich Schmiermittel, das in der Lücke (46) aufgetragen ist.
     
    5. Handlaufkette (14) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei das eine oder die mehreren Gleitlager (22) ein einzelnes einstückiges Lager ist, das sich vollständig durch die Gleitlagerstütze (16) erstreckt.
     
    6. Handlaufkette (14) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei jedes Gleitlager (22) einen Lagerflansch (44) umfasst, der im Wesentlichen an die eine oder mehreren Laufrollen (40) angrenzt.
     
    7. Handlaufanordnung (10) für ein Fahrtreppensystem, umfassend:

    einen entlang einer Länge der Fahrtreppe bewegbaren Handlauf;

    eine Handlaufführungsanordnung, die einen Laufweg für den Handlauf defi - niert, umfassend:

    eine Handlaufführung (12); und

    eine Handlaufkette (14) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6.


     


    Revendications

    1. Chaîne de main-courante (14) pour un système d'escalier roulant comprenant :

    une pluralité de supports de paliers coulissants (16) reliés entre eux pour former une chaîne de main-courante (14) ;

    un arbre (36) ; et

    un ou plusieurs rouleaux (24, 40) fixés sur au moins une extrémité de l'arbre (36) et en contact roulant avec une main-courante (26) ;

    caractérisée en ce que la chaîne de main-courante (14) comprend :

    un ou plusieurs paliers coulissants (22) s'étendant au moins partiellement au travers de chaque support de palier coulissant (16) de la chaîne de main-courante (14), dans lequel l'arbre (46) s'étend au travers de chaque support de palier coulissant (16) et est en contact coulissant avec l'un ou plusieurs paliers coulissants (22), et en ce que

    la chaîne de main-courante (14) comprend en outre une ou plusieurs protubérances (30), chacune des protubérances (30) s'étendant latéralement depuis la chaîne de main-courante (14) au-delà d'une étendue latérale de l'un ou plusieurs rouleaux (24, 40) et étant agencé entre deux rouleaux (24, 40) qui sont agencés l'un près de l'autre dans la direction longitudinale.


     
    2. Chaîne de main-courante (14) selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle l'un ou plusieurs paliers coulissants (22) sont deux paliers coulissants (22) s'étendant au moins partiellement au travers de chaque support de palier coulissant (16).
     
    3. Chaîne de main-courante (14) selon la revendication 2, incluant une fente (46) entre les deux paliers coulissants (22).
     
    4. Chaîne de main-courante (14) selon la revendication 3, incluant du lubrifiant appliqué dans la fente (46).
     
    5. Chaîne de main-courante (14) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans laquelle l'un ou plusieurs paliers coulissants (22) est un seul palier unitaire s'étendant entièrement au travers du support de palier coulissant (16).
     
    6. Chaîne de main-courante (14) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans laquelle chaque palier coulissant (22) inclut une bride de palier (44) butant sensiblement contre l'un ou plusieurs rouleaux (40).
     
    7. Ensemble de main-courante (10) pour un système d'escalier roulant comprenant :

    une main-courante mobile sur une longueur de l'escalier roulant ;

    un ensemble de guidage de main-courante définissant une voie de déplacement pour la main-courante incluant :

    un guidage de main-courante (12) ; et

    une chaîne de main-courante (14) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6.


     




    Drawing








    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description