US 11,656,113 B2
Bulk material metering system
Pat Hinner, Gleason, WI (US); Robert Klessig, Merrill, WI (US); and Benjamin Bostrom, Merrill, WI (US)
Assigned to AGRA Industries, Inc., Merrill, WI (US)
Filed by AGRA Industries, Inc., Merrill, WI (US)
Filed on Jul. 19, 2019, as Appl. No. 16/516,650.
Prior Publication US 2021/0018352 A1, Jan. 21, 2021
Int. Cl. G01F 11/24 (2006.01); B65G 65/48 (2006.01); G01F 11/00 (2006.01)
CPC G01F 11/24 (2013.01) [B65G 65/4881 (2013.01); G01F 11/003 (2013.01)] 16 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A bulk material metering device comprising:
a housing including:
a cylindrical body portion concentric about a central axis, the cylindrical body portion including an inner surface and an outer surface, wherein the inner surface defines a first inner diameter portion defined by a first diameter and a second inner diameter portion defined by a second diameter, wherein the first inner diameter portion is immovably fixed to the second inner diameter portion and the second diameter is greater than the first diameter;
a first end cap secured to a first end of the cylindrical body portion, the first end cap including an inner surface and an outer surface;
a second end cap secured to a second end of the cylindrical body portion, the second end cap including an inner surface and an outer surface;
a bulk material receiving aperture located on an upper portion of the cylindrical body portion; and
a lower bulk material discharge opening located on a lower portion of the cylindrical body portion; and
a rotatable drive member including:
a drive axis extending through the cylindrical body portion arranged coaxial with the central axis of the cylindrical body portion;
a plurality of radially extending paddles extending from the drive axis towards the inner surface of the cylindrical body portion, wherein the paddles include distal ends that make contact with the first inner diameter portion and that are spaced away from the second inner diameter portion; and wherein at least some of the paddles comprise a rigid base portion and the distal ends comprise a flexible distal end portion;
a first end plate connected to a first end of the drive axis;
a second end plate connected to a second end of the drive axis;
wherein the plurality of paddles are connected to the first end plate and the second end plate;
wherein the first end plate is spaced away from the first end cap and defines a space;
wherein the second end plate is spaced away from the second end cap and defines a space;
wherein two adjacent radially extending paddles define a wedge, the wedge defining an angle A;
wherein the first inner diameter portion spans at least angle A of the cylindrical body portion;
wherein the first inner diameter portion is located on the upper portion of the cylindrical body portion with at least a portion of the first inner diameter portion located on a downstream side of the bulk material receiving aperture.