US 2245144 A
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June 1o, 1941. W B GRIFFITH 2,245,144
ACTUATOR FORV AUTOMATIC SPRINKLERS` l Filed Jan. 27, 1940 Patented June 10, 1941 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFECE u ACTUATOR FOR. AUTOMATIC SPRINKLERS William B. Griffith, Audubon, N. J.
Application January 27, 1940, Serial No. 315,868
My invention relates to improvements in sprinkler systems for re protection, of the drypipe type and also the deluge type, and particularly relates to an actuator for automatic sprinklers which are normally held closed by struts adapted to be released by the fusing of solder at a predetermined temperature and also to sprinklers normally held closed by a strut in the form of a glass bulb containing an expansive medium adapted to break the bulb at a predetermined temperature f or opening the sprinklers.
The object of my invention is to provide an actuator for reducing the time required for sprinkler systems to be placed in operation when a fire occurs.
A further object is to provide an electric heating element arranged upon each sprinkler for transferring heat to the solder, or to the bulb, for actuating the sprinkler before the atmosphere surrounding the sprinkler has reached the required temperature for opening the sprinkler in the usual manner.
A further object is to provide an electric circuit including the heating element and provide a sudden rate in rise of temperature switch, and also a manually operated switch, in said circuit for controlling the opening of the sprinkler.
A further object is to provide novel means for mounting the heating element upon the sprinkler and for automatically opening the circuit upon the opening of the sprinkler.
These together with various other novel features oi construction and arrangement of the parts which will be more fully hereinafter described and claimed constitute my invention.
Referring to the accompanying drawing.:
Fig. 1 is a vertical sectional view of a sprinkler mounted upon a distributing pipe and embodying my invention.
Fig. 2 is a horizontal section on line 2-2 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a vertical sectional view showing a different form of sprinkler and embodying my invention. v
In the drawing in which like reference characters refer to like parts, 5 represents a Water distributing pipe of a sprinkler system, said pipe has a fitting 6 upon which is mounted a sprinkler 'I, which may be of any standard type.
The sprinkler I shown in Fig. 1, comprises an open frame 8 carrying a valve IB, forming an abutment I2, and an adjustable abutment in the form of a screw I3. Between said abutments are struts I5 and I6, normally held in valve closing position by a key Il, which is retained by solder I8, adapted. to fuse at a predetermined temperature for releasing' the struts and opening the valve I0, so that Water may be supplied through the pipe 5 and discharged at the sprinkler "I, in the usual manner.
My invention provides means for opening the sprinkler before the yatmosphere surrounding the sprinkler has reached a predetermined temperature in the event of a nre. An electric heating element 26, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, is mounted upon a resilientY plate 2I, which in turn issecured between blocks 23 and 24, formed of insulation material, and secured upon the body 25 of the sprinkler 'I by screws 26 and 21. The plate 2l has secured thereon a sleeve 3i) in which is soldered a conducto-r 3l forming part of an electric circuit including a source of potential 32. The block 24 is recessed to receive the sleeve and is provided with an aperture 33 through which the wire 3| passes.
The heating element 20 is formed of carbon or other suitable material forming an electrical resistor. Said element 20 is mounted with one end thereof in contact with thestrut I5 and with the solder Il, by means of said resilient plate 2|. A conductor 34 which is included in the electric circuit, is connectedl Withthe body 25 ofthe sprinkler by a binding screw 35, or it may be connected with one lof the kscrews 26 or 2l, soffthat uponV the circuit 36 being closed through the body 25, the current will heat the resistor, or element 2i), and fuse the solder I8, thereby releasing the struts I5 and I6 and allowing the valve III to open. Y
The circuit 36 is adapted to be closed manually by means of a push button 31, which'may be located at a distance from the sprinkler 1.
A rapid rate in rise of temperature device 38 is provided for automatically closing a circuit 39, including the heating element 20, upon a rapid increase in temperature in the event of a fire.
The device 38 may be of any well known type. The form shown in Fig. 1 comprises an air receptacle 4I, which is closed by afiiexible diaphragm 42, having a restricted aperture 43, through which aperture the air Within the receptacle may equalize with the pressure of the surrounding atmosphere during sloW changes in temperature Without moving the diaphragm. Switch plates and 46 aremounteduponthe base 41, on which the receptacle 4I is mounted. Said plates 45 and 43 are connected' in the circuit 39 by conductors 3l, 34, 48 and 49. In the event of a fire a sudden rate in rise of temperature will cause the air confined within the receptacle 4| to expand and move the diaphragm and engage the plates 45 and 46 and complete the circuit.
The closing of the circuit by the device 38 will quickly heat the resistor 2D suliciently toy fuse the solder I8 and allow the Valve Il) to open. When the struts l and I6 are expelled from the sprinkler upon the fusing of the solder I8, the heating element will be held by the plate 2| out of contact with the sprinkler parts, whereby the circuit will be opened between the element 20 and the body of the sprinkler.
Fig. 3 illustrates my invention installed.- upon a sprinkler 5l), having a glass bulb 5| which forms a strut normally holding the valve 52 closed. Said bulb contains a heat responsive substance adapted to expand and break the bulbi at a predetermined temperature, thus allowing the valve to open.
The form of my invention shown in Fig. 3 comprises a bracket 55 formed of insulation material, and secured to the body 56 of the sprinkler by screws 51. An element, or resistor 58, is mounted adjacent to the bulb 5| and is connected between `the binding screws 59 and 60 upon the bracket 55. A resilient plate 62 is attached to the screw 68 and is adapted to be held in contact with a contact screw 63-by the bulb 5|, when the latter is in valve closing position upon the sprinkler. Conductors 64 and 65 are connected with the screws 59 and 63. Said conductors 64 rand 65 correspond to the conductors 3| and 34 forming part of the electric circuit shown in Fig. 1.
When a circuit including the resistor 53 is closed by means of either of the devices 31 or 38, shown in Fig. 1, the resistor 58 will be quickly heated to a temperature which will expand the contents of the bulb 5| and cause the bulb to break, thus allowing the valve 52 to open and place the sprinkler in operation in a much shorter period of time than lheretofore when the bulbs would not burst until the surrounding atmosphere had reached a predetermined temperature in the event of a re.
The operation of my invention is as follows: The preacting devices comprising the heating elements 20 or 58 may be attached to any standard sprinklers without interfering with their normal operation at a predetermined temperature.
My Yinvention includes a heating element upon each sprinkler and provides means for opening the sprinkler before a fire has reached such proportions that the temperature of the atmosphere surrounding a particular sprinkler will reach the predetermined `point required for opening the sprinkler,V as heretofore.
The actuator is adaptedtobe operated by an electric circuit which may be controlled manually by means of push buttons 31 located at distant points relatively to the sprinkler to be controlled. Said circuit is also adapted to be automatically controlled by a sudden rate in rise of temperature switch 38, which latter may be made much more sensitive in operation than devices actuated at a predetermined temperature.
The actuators when used in connection with dry-pipe systems will reduce the time required for the systems to be placed in operation, and consequently reduce the number of sprinklers required to be opened for extinguishing a lire. The independently controlled sprinklers used with dry-pipe systems will extinguish a fire as rapidly as a deluge system and with far less damage from water.
My novel actuators may be used upon deluge systems, giving them all the advantages of drypipe systems employing normally closed sprinklers which discharge water locally or directly over the fire without waste of water.
Sprinklers equipped with independently operated sprinkler actuators according to my invention will extinguish a re in less time than heretofore, and when applied to deluge systems permit the use of normally closed sprinklers for reducing the waste of water and loss from water damage.
1. In an automatic sprinkler having a valve controlling a discharge outlet, a strut normally holding the valve closed, thermally responsive means included vin said strut and operable under the action of heat to collapse the strut and release the valve, an electric circuit, a bracket secured upon the sprinkler, a heating element included in said circuit, means mounting said element upon the bracket adjacent to said vstrut for transferring heat to the latter, a resilient plate mounted upon the bracket and positioned by said strut in circuit closing position and arranged for opening the circuit upon the collapsing of said strut, and a rate in rise of temperature switch included in said circuit.
2. An automatic sprinkler comprising a body having a discharge outlet, a valve, a-strut normally holding the valve upon the body in outlet closing position, thermally responsive means included in the strut and operable under the action of heat to collapse the strut and release the valve, a bracket secured upon the body, an electric circuit,ia heating element included in said circuit,
' and means mounting said element upon the bracket in heat transferring position with the strut and in separable relation with the latter whereby said element will be retained intact upon thevbracket upon the collapsing of the strut.
3. An automatic sprinkler comprising a body having a discharge outlet, a valve, a strut normally holding the valve upon the body in outlet closing position, thermally responsive means included in the strut and operable under the action of heat to collapse the strut andrrelease the valve, a bracket secured upon the body, an electric circuit, a heating element included in. said circuit, a resilient plate having one end thereof secured upon the bracket and its opposite end secured upon said element and arranged for yieldingly supporting the latter in heat transferring engagement with the strut for collapsing the latter upon the circuit being energized, and said plate arranged for retaining said element relatively to the bracket upon the collapsing of the strut.
WILLIAM B. GRIFFITH.