Slide Bar Gripper

Main drawing for U.S. Patent 3,455,208, showing the basic layout for the original slide bar gripper.  Note that the hammer itself was held together with cylinder and base keys, something that was soon to disappear from Vulcan offshore hammers.

Once Vulcan got past designs such as this, the slide bar (the cam which turned the valve during operation) was retained in a ram using a key driven though the base of the slide bar.  The slide bar interfaced with the ram using a spherical block to allow rotation of the bar, necessary to compensate for alignment changes.  This worked until the advent of nylon slide bars, which became de rigeur for offshore hammer during the 1960’s and onshore a little while later.  These were more prone to split with driving the key.

The problem was solved by moving the key under the slide bar and using a gripper to hold the slide bar to the key interface.  It was invented by Campbell V. Adams, Vulcan’s long time chief engineer, and he was granted a patent on it in 1967 (it was Adams’ last patent for Vulcan.)

The gripper concept went through several variations; the last one was the design shown at the top.  This one was used in the 3100, 5100 and 5150 hammers.

An early layout of the slide bar gripper.



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