Patents Represented by Attorney Elroy Strickland
  • Patent number: 5871247
    Abstract: A wheel puller for handling a heavy wheel assembly. The puller comprises a beam having one end for securing a heavy wheel assembly thereto, and an opposite end having a weight member connected thereto. The weight member has a mass comparable to the wheel assembly. At a location intermediate the beam ends, the hook of a lifting device is received.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: John B. Greenwell, Charles E. Lander, David L. Williamson, Stanley G. Barrett, Linda Ingram, Gary K. Jeffries, Donald K. Whitledge, Edwin A. Kuhn, James E. Havener, Michael F. Virden, John H. Scott
  • Patent number: 5829664
    Abstract: A method for welding together two workpieces includes the steps of abutting workpieces together along respective edges of each of the workpieces, and locating one end of a rotatable tool astride the edges and against the workpieces. The tool is provided with a relatively narrow pin extending from the working end of the tool to engage the workpiece edges. The tool and pin are rotated to heat the workpiece edges, and the tool and workpieces are relatively moved. Electric current is supplied between the workpiece edges and the pin, with electrical resistance occurring between the workpiece edges and pin to provide heat in addition to the heat generated by friction occurring between the pin and workpieces to weld the workpieces together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Donald J. Spinella, Eric T. Streicher, Raymond Kastelic
  • Patent number: 5813081
    Abstract: A circular layer of cleaning material is located on a circular elastomer pad located in a circular container. The layer of cleaning material has a surface capable of cleaning an exposed end of an optical fiber when the fiber end is rubbed against the surface of the layer. The circular container includes a base and cover that are relatively manually rotatable when assembled together, and the lid is provided with an opening for receiving the end of the optical fiber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Assignee: Alcoa Fujikura Limited
    Inventors: Bo Wang, Ronald Peek
  • Patent number: 5753056
    Abstract: A method of controlling bulk absorption of atomic hydrogen and facilitating degassing of hydrogen from aluminum alloy workpieces during heat treatment in furnaces with ambient and/or moisture-laden atmospheres. The method includes exposing the surface of the workpieces to an acidified inorganic salt solution or dispersion, with the inorganic salt of the solution containing a transition metal cation and a sulfate, phosphate or nitrate anion, before being subjected to the heat treatment. The workpieces are next subjected to the heat treatment, and the acidified transition metal sulfate, phosphate or nitrate salt is used to substantially decrease the amount of atomic hydrogen entering the respective bulks of the workpiece during heat treatment and to facilitate removal of atomic and molecular hydrogen from the bulks of the workpieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1998
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Susanne M. Opalka, Joseph T. Laemmle
  • Patent number: 5740602
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for making wire harness. The apparatus includes the use of a sequential wire processor that serially and sequentially fabricates circuits having terminal ends. The terminated circuits are transferred by a transfer means to an upstanding carousel provided with arrays of circuit-receiving clips. The transfer means receives terminated circuits from the sequential wire processor and places them on the clips of the carousel. The carousel is then moved to an assembly line and robotic station where robots remove the circuits from the clips of the carousel and place the terminated ends of the circuits in cavities of connectors strategically located on the assembly line. The robots have end effectors that physically insert the terminal ends into the connector cavities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1998
    Assignee: Alcoa Fujikura Limited
    Inventors: Eric C. Peterson, Alex H. Damalas, Glynn R. Bartlett, Steven B. Farmer, Leslie B. Hoffman, Tak Kameoka, Horace H. Wacaser, Paul B. Wood
  • Patent number: 5735055
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are disclosed for measuring the thickness of an article having upper and lower surfaces and substantial length and width dimensions, such as a sheet or plate of aluminum or another metal. A table is provided for supporting the article, and one or more openings across the length and width of the table provide access to the lower surface of the article. The table has a plurality of thickness references, each of which has an upper and a lower surface, and the thickness references are spaced across the width of the table at or near a first end. A plurality of pairs of opposed sensors are mounted at spaced intervals on a carriage that extends across the width of the table and is adapted for movement in the longitudinal direction of the table. A first member of each pair of sensors is disposed above the level of the supporting surface of the table opposite a second member that is disposed therebelow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1998
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: David E. Hochbein, Craig J. Kerney
  • Patent number: 5724846
    Abstract: A method of preventing roll chatter in a stand of a rolling mill during the process of directing a strip of material through the mill. The method comprises the step of introducing into the stand a low power vibration component that prevents the rolls in the stand from vertically oscillating in any generally large, uncontrollable manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Albert C. Wang, K. Wing Chang, L. Duane Dunlap, Jing Luo, D. Frederick Stewart, Michael L. Barry, Terry C. Lee
  • Patent number: 5703757
    Abstract: A junction box for motor vehicles in which first and second housing portions are provided for receiving and containing, respectively, low and high electrical current circuitboards. The housing portions extend in a generally common plane when connected together to form a housing unit. A planar insulating panel member containing buses and integral insulation displacement terminals are located between the housing portions and in a plane generally perpendicular to the common plane of the housing portions. The first and second housing portions are abutted and fastened together on opposed sides of the panel member with the buses and integral insulation displacement terminals. The insulation displacement terminals are effective to directly receive insulated wires of an electrical harness and electrically connect the same to the buses and to circuits of and electrical components associated with the circuitboards.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1997
    Assignee: Alcoa Fujikura Limited
    Inventors: Earl J. Hayes, Timothy A. Hutchinson, David A. Hein, Alexander Shen, Michael J. Pike-Biegunski
  • Patent number: 5688086
    Abstract: An elongated metal frame structure for connecting a large elongated container to a vehicle employed in transporting the container. The frame comprises a plurality of aluminum alloy tubes connected together at certain corners of the frame by corner assemblies. The assemblies comprise a "standard" cast iron or steel fitting and at least one steel member connected to one face of the fitting. The exterior surfaces of each steel member are coated with materials that are effective in electrically separating the steel member from an aluminum tube of the frame when the corner assemblies and aluminum tubes are assembled together. The size of the steel members in cross section with the materials applied to the surfaces of the steel member is such that the steel member can slip into the end of the aluminum tube located at a corner of the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 18, 1997
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Craig C. Menzemer, Andrew J. Hinkle, William C. Herbein, Daniel D. Roup, Ross E. Grimm, David S. Bennett
  • Patent number: 5676540
    Abstract: A refractory brick and system of bricks for constructing flue walls of a ring furnace. The brick and the bricks of the system have opposed sides and upper and lower surfaces when disposed in a vertical wall structure, with one of the surfaces having at least one crosswise groove while the other surface has a corresponding crosswise tongue for seating in the groove of an adjacent brick, the tongues and grooves terminating short of the ends or sides of the brick when the bricks are disposed in a vertical wall structure. The crosswise tongues and grooves have rounded configurations sized to mate with bricks having the same tongue and groove configurations when a plurality of such bricks are stacked one upon the other in constructing a vertical wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 14, 1997
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Alfred T. Williams, Dennis J. Haines, Robert F. Corcoran, R. Kelly McClara, Timothy W. Kempf
  • Patent number: 5674416
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for graining a surface having a substantial area traveling at a substantial rate of speed. The method includes directing the surface past an array of electrical arcs traveling about a plurality of loop electrodes arranged to provide overlapping arc loop paths as the surface travels past the array of arc loops. The arc loops are established between the loop electrodes and the traveling surface, and thus contact the surface to grain the same. When each arc is struck between its loop electrodes and traveling surface, it is magnetically impelled about the loop of its electrode by a magnetic field established perpendicular of the direction of arc current flow. An annular sheath of gas is provided on each side of the electrode loop and the arc struck between the electrode loop and the traveling surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 7, 1997
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Edward P. Patrick, Philip J. Blakeley, Regis J. Huth, Jr., A. Victor Pajerski, Christopher M. Seaman, Donald J. Spinella, Charles B. Wolf
  • Patent number: 5590011
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for providing electrical protection for circuits that use splice connections between a source of electrical power and wires of respective circuits. The splices provide a common connection of wires to the power source. The splice includes a positive temperature coefficient device in electrical series between the power source and the wires. The positive temperature coefficient device reduces the flow of current to the wires, and to any loads connected to the wires, when an excess amount of current flows through at least one of the wires and the splice. The temperature rise in the positive temperature coefficient device reaches a trip point, and the device remains in a trip state until power fed to the splice is removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1996
    Assignee: Alcoa Fujikura Limited
    Inventor: David A. Hein
  • Patent number: 5584361
    Abstract: Apparatus for lubricating die and/or workpiece surfaces, the apparatus including a container adapted to capture a predetermined volume of lubricant. At least one nozzle is provided for spraying the volume of lubricant onto the die/workpiece surfaces when the volume is received from the container. A first valve is connected between the nozzle and container, and a reservoir of lubricant and a pump for circulating lubricant through the container and past the first valve at a relatively low pressure is provided, the circulation of lubricant occurring during a portion of a lubricating cycle when no lubricant is sprayed onto the die/workpiece surfaces. A second valve is located between the pump and container for interrupting the flow of lubricant past the first valve, and a blocking valve is located between the container and the reservoir for interrupting the flow of lubricant from the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 17, 1996
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Lawrence W. Cisko, James R. Anglin, Aladar Fricke, Phillip J. Pallone, Frank E. Savor, Robert C. Wallace
  • Patent number: 5577411
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for casting molten metal in an opaque container and for determining the level of the metal within the container. This is accomplished by locating a strain sensing transducer over the container and metal, and sending a current pulse from the transducer along a wire located in the tube connected to the transducer and extending toward the vessel and molten metal. A permanent magnet is located on a stem connected to a float within the container, the float being effective to rest and float on the upper level of the molten metal within the container. A current pulse is sent along the wire from the transducer, which pulse produces a magnetic field, and which field interacts with a magnetic field of the permanent magnet. The interaction of the two fields exerts a strain on the tube, which strain is sensed by the transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1996
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Mark T. Kruzynski, Mark B. Abate, Robert H. Keenan, Gregg E. Kruzynski
  • Patent number: 5572786
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for holding a workpiece having an upper surface, a lower surface and a peripheral edge, in order to facilitate machining or working thereof. According to this method, a bed is provided that is adapted to support the workpiece, said bed having a nonplanar supporting surface so that when the workpiece is supported thereby, a plurality of evacuation spaces are formed between the lower surface of the workpiece and the nonplanar surface of the bed. The bed is also provided with a plurality of vacuum ports that extend therethrough, which ports are in fluid communication with the evacuation spaces so that at least one port communicates with each such space. In the practice of the method a continuous flexible tape is secured to and along the peripheral edge of the workpiece, which tape has a continuous flexible lip portion that curves generally outwardly from the edge of the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1996
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventor: Louis A. Rensch
  • Patent number: 5572896
    Abstract: A method of forming a metal sheet workpiece into a three-dimensional object by subjecting the workpiece to a stretch forming process along at least two strain paths having slopes of opposite sign. The strain paths define a point on a forming limit curve that is shifted substantially from a forming limit curve generated by linear strain paths. The shift in forming limit curves allows a substantially higher strain state to be reached in the workpiece in comparison to a strain state achievable using linear strain paths to attain the same strain state in flowing metal into a die cavity. The three-dimensional object is formed by flowing workpiece metal into a die cavity in a manner that controls the position and magnitude of forces restraining the periphery of the workpiece such that metal flow into the cavity takes place along the strain paths having the slopes of opposite sign.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1996
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventor: James M. Story
  • Patent number: 5537741
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for making wire harness. The apparatus includes the use of a sequential wire processor that serially and sequentially fabricates circuits having terminal ends. The terminated circuits are transferred by a transfer means to an upstanding carousel provided with arrays of circuit-receiving clips. The transfer means receives terminated circuits from the sequential wire processor and places them on the clips of the carousel. The carousel is then moved to an assembly line and robotic station where robots remove the circuits from the clips of the carousel and place the terminated ends of the circuits in cavities of connectors strategically located on the assembly line. The robots have end effectors that physically insert the terminal ends into the connector cavities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 23, 1996
    Assignee: Alcoa Fujikura Limited
    Inventors: Eric C. Peterson, Alex H. Damalas, Glynn R. Bartlett, Steven B. Farmer, Leslie B. Hoffman, Tak Kameoka, Horace H. Wacaser, Paul B. Wood
  • Patent number: 5537851
    Abstract: A bright rolled metal strip product having a surface that contains multiple microscopic raised prows formed by partial back extrusion of strip material into smooth, bowl-shaped depressions provided in a work roll surface. The prows are formed by smearing of the strip surface that results from the relative velocities of the strip and work rolls that occurs when massive reductions are taken in the thickness of the strip by the work rolls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 23, 1996
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Shen S. Sheu, Louis G. Hector, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5508119
    Abstract: A method of making a strip product having a surface that is both bright and clean after being rolled by work rolls in a roll stand. The work rolls are polished to remove grind lines from the roll surfaces, and the roll surfaces are provided with minute, ovoid depressions having relatively shallow slopes extending in the direction of rolling, followed by steeper slopes at the opposite ends of the depressions. The depressions are created by a laser beam directed against the roll surfaces at oblique incidence to the roll surface normal during relative movement of the beam and roll surfaces. The roll surfaces are then polished to remove any roll material that is raised above the nominal surface of the rolls, the raised material being the result of melting of the roll surfaces and the deposition of roll material vaporized by the laser beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1996
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: Shen Sheu, Louis G. Hector, Jr., Joseph M. Gorman, Sr.
  • Patent number: 5508492
    Abstract: Apparatus for electric arc graining the surface of a traveling electrically conductive workpiece, the surface having a substantial area. The graining is effected by a continuous loop electrode having an elongated main body portion and an elongated continuous loop tip edge projecting laterally from a general plane of the main body portion for establishing an arc between the tip edge and the workpiece surface. The arc is moved about the continuous electrode tip by elongated magnetic means located in close proximity to the electrode, the magnetic means including a continuous loop pole member spaced outwardly of and concentric with the continuous loop tip edge. A second pole member of a polarity opposite the outer pole member is located in the general center of the closed loop tip edge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1996
    Assignee: Aluminum Company of America
    Inventors: A. Victor Pajerski, Edward P. Patrick