Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

Gravity brake

United States Patent

December 4, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Division Website
A mechanical gravity brake that prevents hoisted loads within a shaft from free-falling when a loss of hoisting force occurs. A loss of hoist lifting force may occur in a number of situations, for example if a hoist cable were to break, the brakes were to fail on a winch, or the hoist mechanism itself were to fail. Under normal hoisting conditions, the gravity brake of the invention is subject to an upward lifting force from the hoist and a downward pulling force from a suspended load. If the lifting force should suddenly cease, the loss of differential forces on the gravity brake in free-fall is translated to extend a set of brakes against the walls of the shaft to stop the free fall descent of the gravity brake and attached load.
Lujan; Richard E. (Santa Fe, NM)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
09/ 520,310
March 7, 2000
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36, awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.