Harvesters – Cornstalk type – Pickers or huskers
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of Invention
This invention relates to an improvement in disc brakes in which relatively stationary and rotatable surfaces are brought into frictional engagement by the axial separation of an actuation plate and a cooperating pressure plate. Between the actuation plate and the pressure plate are arranged angularly spaced balls which work in complimentary ramps positioned within depressions in the adjacent surfaces of the plates.
2. Description of the Related Art
It is known in the art to provide a disc brake in which relatively stationary and rotatable surfaces are brought into frictional engagement by axial separation of a pair of pressure plates. Typically, angularly spaced balls are arranged and work within inclined depressions in adjacent surfaces between the pressure plates to separate the pressure plates. The disc brake has rotatable surfaces that are formed on discs splined, or otherwise keyed, for rotational movement on a rotatable shaft. The discs provide the rotatable surfaces and are axially slidable on the shaft. Stationary surfaces are formed by end walls of a housing enclosing the discs and the pressure plates.
In a spreading-type multiple disc brake, the pressure plates are usually centralized within a housing. The axial separation of the plates is accomplished by providing a means for initiating angular movement of the pressure plates relative to each other in order to separate the pressure plates. The separation of the pressure plates causes the other surfaces of the brake discs to come into frictional engagement. The pressure plates are then rotated by the rotating surfaces until one plate abuts a stop on the housing. Generally, a cam mechanism causes the axial separation of the pressure plates and thereby engagement of the other brake discs with each other. The cam mechanism has balls operated in conjunction with ramps in adjacent surfaces of the plates. A brake applying mechanism moves the pressure plates angularly relative to each other, and in opposite directions, thus engaging the balls or rollers with the ramps defined by the recesses. This causes the pressure plates to move apart and into engagement with friction discs. The friction, or rotating discs, are then urged into engagement with the stationary braking surfaces.
Often a disc type brake device is mounted on a shaft projecting outside the housing. This makes the brake devices vulnerable to damage due to corrosion and extraneous matter such as dust and dirt. Such brake devices may therefore require excessive maintenance.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a brake mechanism for use in braking an axle within an axle housing on an associated vehicle. The vehicle has brake initiating means such as a brake pedal for selectively initiating the brake mechanism. The brake mechanism includes a brake stack for selectively braking the axle. The brake stack has a first rotating disc operatively connected to the axle and a first stationary disc operatively connected to the axle housing. The brake mechanism also includes an actuation plate for use in activating the brake mechanism, a pressure plate for use in forcing the first rotating disc against the first stationary disc and gearing means operatively connecting the brake initiating means to the actuation plate.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the gearing means includes a brake lever gear having first and second teeth and a geared portion on an outer periphery of the actuation plate. The geared portion has first and second teeth receiving zones for selectively receiving the first and second teeth of the brake lever gear.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the brake mechanism also includes wear indicator means for indicating the wear condition of the brake mechanism. The brake mechanism includes a brake lever that has a rotational position corresponding to the wear condition of the brake mechanism. This brake lever is operatively connected to the wear indicator means.
According to still another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for braking an axle. The method includes the steps of initiating a brake mechanism, rotating a brake lever gear, intermeshing first and second teeth from the brake lever gear with first and second teeth receiving zones of an actuation plate, rotating the actuation plate, forcing a pressure plate against a brake stack, and braking the axle.
One advantage of the present invention is that a gearing means provides an even and reliable contact area between the brake initiating means and the actuation plate of the brake mechanism.
Another advantage of the present invention is that wear indicator means is provided permitting the operator to sense the wear in the brake mechanism.
Another advantage of the present invention is that the brake mechanism is positioned within the axle housing and is therefore protected from all extraneous matters such as dust and dirt.
Still other benefits and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading and understanding of the following detailed specification.
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Emerson Roger D.
Emerson & Associates
Lipka Pamela J.
MTD Products Inc
Oberleitner Robert J.
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