US 2619986 A
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G. A. GOEPFRICH READILY DISMEMBERABLEI VALVE ASSEMBLY FOR SANITARY DISPENSATION OF FLUID Filed April 15, 1949 Dec. 2, 1952 Patented Dec. 2, 1952 READILY DISMEMBERABLE VALVE ASSEM- BLY FOR SANITARY DISPENSATION OF FLUID George A. Goepfrich, Non-walk, Conn, assignor to The Skinner Chuck Company, New Britain, Conn, a corporation of Connecticut Application April 15, 1949, Serial No. 87,596
Although susceptible of use in many applications requiring control of fluid flow, the present invention is particularly advantageous in applications wherein sanitation and ease of servicing large numbers of insta lations in widely separated locations are prime requirements, for example, in automatic coin operated vending machines for dispensing measured quantities of beverages for human consumption. In that connection, it will be appreciated that governmental agencies frequently require the meeting of high and severe performance standards with regard to sanitation as a result of which it is highly desirable that a valve for such application incorporate as many as possible of such features as the following, all of which individually and in combination enhance the degree of sanitation with which the fluid may be handled: First, the essential valve mechanisms in contact with the fluid ought to be so constructed that they may be readily dismembered and detached from the dispensing machine proper so that they may be removed for cleaning or even for replacement by a new or freshly cleaned valve mechanism. Secondly, these essential elements ought to be so constructed that there is ready and relatively open access for cleaning fluid and instruments to penetrate into all ducts or chambers with which the beverage might come into contact. To the same end, the essential valve mechanisms ought to be isolated as much as possible from the mechanisms for interrupting the fluid flow such as the plungers or like devices operating the valve head. Lastly, although related more to servicing convenience than to the sanitation features, it is desirable not only that such a valve be easily installed, serviced or replaced with another valve by relatively unskilled hands, but also that it provide simple and convenient means for adjusting the rate of flow so that any desired predetermined quantity of fluid may be dispensed, for example, where a measured quantity is desired to be dispensed in accordance with coin operation of the machine.
Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a valve of the foregoing character simple in construction and operation and incorporating one or more of the foregoing desired features.
The features of the invention upon which patent protection is sought are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following specification when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which: the Fig. 1 represents a cross-sectional view of one embodimerit of the invention; the Fig. 2 represents a plan view viewed toward the right-hand end of the Fig. 1; while the Fig. 3 represents a partial cross-section along the line 33 of the Fig. l and illustrating keying mechanisms permitting convenient dismemberment of the valve structure proper from its actuating electromagnetic coil structure.
Referring now to the Fig. l, the fluid handling portions of the valve structure are incorporated in a demountable valve assembly In detachably amxed to an electromagnet assembly H, which itself may be aflixed to any suitable support, such as the bracket l2, on the machine in which used (not shown). Bracket l2 will support both the valve assembly H1 and assembly I I when the latter is affixed to it. The two assemblies in and l I may be readily dismembered and separated from each other (approximately along the line 33) by manual operation of key means to be described later in further detail. It will at once be apparent that the assembly Iii has the primary merit that it may be readily removed for cleaning or replacement by an identical assembly which feature will understandably be of great convenience where a plurality of automatic dispensing machines in widely separated localities must be serviced periodically.
As to the detailed construction of the assembly Iii, this may be built around the cylindrical metallic block I3 having an outlet channel it to which an outlet tube or spout I5 is detachably aiiixed, the inlet channel It to which the inlet tube i1 is detachably aflixed, a valve seat i8 and a cooperating valve seat closing means such as a flexible rubber diaphragm l9, and a flow regulating meter 20. Fluid to be controlled may thus flow through the longitudinally and diametrically extending ducts respectively Ha and Hit of tube ll into the inlet channel iii, thence through the duct 23 into the cylindrical valve chamber 22 between the diaphragm l9 and the body of the block 13, thence through the duct or port 2% communicating with the chamber 22 and the outlet channel l4 when the diaphragm I9 is away from the port or valve seat I3, so that fluids may be delivered through the outlet tube 25 by pressure or by gravity as desired. If done by gravity, the Whole assembly may be positioned such that tube [5 is on the downward side.
Channels M and it constitute opposite ends of a single cylindrical diametric bore in block it interrupted by axial cylindrical bore or orifice 25, as shown. Direct flow of fluid between the outlet channel [4 and the inlet channel I 6 is prevented by the end of tube I1 and seal 32. Flow meter 29 comprises a cylindrical insert stem 24 closely fitting within a cylindrical receiving bore or orifice 25 and provided with the diagonal end surface'ifi. Rotation of the flow meter ZB'by means of its cylindrical adjusting head 21 will cause the diagonal surface 26 to assume varying positions with respect to the port 2! and the channel I4 whereby to restrict controllably the cross-section of the portion 28 of orifice 25 interconnecting the channel [4 and the port 2 l. Thus in the position shown, because the diagonal surface slants downward, the maximum cross-section of the portion 28 is provided; rotation of the flow meter 29 through 180 will substantially close the cross-section of portion 28 to stop all fluid flow. In intervening positions between that shown and the 180 rotation of the flow meter, varying amounts of the flow between full flow and complete stoppage will be permitted at the will of the operator.
Tube l5, of metal or. other suitable construction, is detachably yet rigidly aflixed to the block l3, as by friction engagement, by means of the annularsealing ring '29 preferably of circular cross-section and preferably of resilient material such .as rubber. .The metallic washer 3E3 surrounding the tube meshes with the inner peripheryof the channel 14 .as shown in order to retain ring 29 in position and to aid in the rigid positioning .ofthe tube IS with respect to block I3. With this construction, the tube 15, may be conveniently and readily inserted into the channel M by placement of the end thereof, with the rubber ring 29. attached, at the opening of the channel and manuallypressing the assembly ,downward,'in which case, rolling action of the rubber ring will facilitate the downward motion and at the same timeprovide a sealed connection between the block andthe tube. Removal may be performedsimilarly.
The tube i7 is similarly constructed. At its narrowed inner end within the annular groove 31, it is provided with a similar annular sealing ring '32 substantially the same as the ring 29 above except for its decreased diameter. A second annular ring 33, like the rings 29 and 32 above, is likewise provided .around the portiont i of somewhat enlarged diameter .of.the spout ll. As with the tube [5 alreadydiscussed, the rings 32 and 33 on the outlet tubing or spout will likewise permit by their rolling action a convenient insertion or removal of the spout l7 into or from the outlet channel [6.
Because it is subject to inlet pressure tube I? may be locked in its assembledposition bymeans of the annular keyingfiange .35 thereon and the key member 3'5 affixed to the block. A suitable omitted arcelike portion of thefiange 3,5 of sufiicient size to permit rotary engagement or disengagement with the key member 3t isprovided so that the spout may be. removed by rotation to the point where the key memberitt and the omitted portion of the flange are in juxtaposition. Locking insertion may be accomplished in the reverse manner. The structure of the omitted portion is not shown but is essentially the same as that employed for the flow meter lockingv means presently to be described. .It will be understood that, if desired, the tube l5 may be provided withlike locking means.
The flow meter 2% may be similarly inserted into its receiving channel or orifice 25105 the aid of the 4 resilient annular ring 31 substantially the same as the rings 29, 32 and 33 and functioning similarly. In order to lock the flow meter within its channel, keying means in the form of the annular flange 38 on the head 21 and having a suitable omitted arc-like portion 39 cooperates with the key member M) on the block I3 in a manner which is best indicated by the Fig. 2. It will there be apparent that the rotation of the head 21 will bring the flange omitted portion 39 to the point where it is freeof engagement with the key member 40 .so that the meter may be removed, or inserted and locked in the assembly. In assembled lockedposition, the flange 38 will rest under the .keymemberflfl whereby the flow meter is locked in the assembly although it may still rotate for purposes of adjustment.
The valve chamber 22 is formed Within the rc cess ill of varying annular cross-sections in the end face of block it. This structure includes an annular shelf 12 upon which the preferably circular rubber diaphragm l9 rests. The outer walls of the recess are provided with the kcyeroove flanges 43 which, in effect, comprise sectoralportions ofwhatwould otherwise be a. continuous peripheral "flange except for interruption by or omission of sectors A l aroundthe periphery in a manner better indicated by the Fig. 3. This is for the .purpose of permitting unlocking and looking with the keys 45 of key plate' it'likewise better illustrated by the Fig. 3. It will be apparent that if the key platefi, which has the shape'shown in Eig. 3, be inserted with its four corners ('keysifit) in the sectors'i h'thenby'turning of the. keyplate, the surfaces of keys '45 will engage the outwardly converging diagonal surfaces il of.the' key .ilanges 43 so that the whole structure is firmly locked together. Unlocking may be accomplished inthe reverse manner. Between the key plate 46 and the diaphragm is there maybe. inserted a resilient means comprising a resilientwave or. s lit ring washer 48 and an annular v.ilat metallic washer'49ior the purpose of providing resilient yet. rigid connection between the two assemblies Band I l.
The electromagnetassembly' H is largely conventional by itself and consists essentially of the electromagnet coil'tiii with its leads 5| and 52, and a movable magnetic core 53biased normallytoward the right .bymeans of the spring 54 so that it will normally maintain the valve assembly in lluid flow blocking condition bypressure of the core 53on the diaphragm it against the valve seat i8. Excessive motion ofthe core 53 which might cause it to come out of the assembly I I when assemblyla is disconnected therefrom, is prevented by means .of the stud 55 having an end portion projecting into .theannular recess-56 of the core. Recessilfi is wide enough to permit core 53 to contact Jfixe'd core portionifil. The core53 is. guided in its motion by the non-magnetic sleeve 51 (e. g., of brass, or like material) concentrically mounted in the electromagnet structure. The rear and forward plates 53 and 53 together wi-th the retaining housing 68 of the electromagnetare preferably of magnetic materialin order to complete the magnetic circuits involved. The same is true of the fixed core portion 6!. The electromagnet is preferably of the type operable by alternating currentand to thatend the usual conductive ring 62 is provided on the fixed core portion.
It will be understood-thatmeans (not shown) may be provided for energizing the electromagnetic coil for a predetermined interval of time so that a predeterminable quantity of fluid may be permitted to fiow, for example, when the invention is employed in a coin operated beverage dispensing machine.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that the entire valve assembly I!) may be disassembled quickly and easily when it has been disconnected from the operator assembly I I by the keying operation. Thereupon, because all the fluid flow channels within the assembly it are straight and readily accessible bores, they may be cleaned very easily. Moreover, the operator need not be concerned with the cleaning of the operating magnet assembly Il since it has no contact with the fluid dispensed.
It will be understood that numerous modifications of the foregoing embodiment of the invention will occur to those skilled in the art. All such as fall within the true spirit and scope of my invention I aim to include within the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. A dismemberable valve assembly adapted to be detachably affixed to a valve operator mechanism including an electromagnetic coil having a reciprocable plunger therein, and a key plate surrounding said plunger, for cooperation with said plunger, said assembly comprising a cylindrical block having a wall defining a cylindrical recess in one end face thereof, an annular shelf in said recess, a valve seat in the bottom of said recess within said shelf, a flexible diaphragm adapted to be held against said shelf by said key plate and constituting a closure member for said seat movable away from said seat by fluid pressure in the hereinafter mentioned first port and towards said seat by said plunger, said diaphragm defining with said shelf and the bottom of said recess a valve chamber, a diametric bore through said block and an axial bore in said block terminating in said valve seat, removable plug means in said axial bore separating said diametric bore into a first and a second port, said plug means and bores defining a first duct communicating with said first port and said valve seat, a second duct communicating with said second port and said chamber, said wall having key flanges adapted to cooperate with said key plate whereby, upon insertion of said key plate into said recess, said valve assembly and mechanism may be interlocked by mutual rotation and said diaphragm is held against said shelf by said key plate.
2. An assembly as in claim 1 in which said plug means comprises a cylindrical plug in said axial bore, said plug being rotatable and provided with means on its end toward said valve seat defining a portion of said first duct, said last-mentioned means being so constructed and arranged that the cross-section of said first duct is variable with rotation of said cylindrical plug.
3. A dismemberable valve assembly adapted to be detachably affixed to a valve operator mechanism including an electromagnetic coil having a reciprocable plunger therein, and a ke plate, for cooperation with said plunger, said assembly comprising a cylindrical block having a wall defining a cylindrical recess in one end face thereof, an annular shelf in said recess, a valve seat in the bottom of said recess within said shelf, a flexible diaphragm adapted to be held against said shelf by said key plate and constituting a closure memher for said seat movable away from said seat by fluid pressure in the hereinafter mentioned first port and towards said seat by said plunger, said diaphragm defining with said shelf and the bottom of said recess a valve chamber, a first port in the cylindrical surface of said block communicating with said seat, a second port in said cylindrical surface of said block communicating with said chamber, said wall having key flanges adapted to cooperate with said key plate whereby, upon insertion of said key plate into said recess said valve assembly and mechanism may be interlocked by mutual rotation and said diaphragm is held against said shelf by said key plate.
l. A structure as in claim 3 including an adjustable flow regulator between said first port and said valve seat.
5. A dismemberable valve assembly adapted to be detachably afiixed to a valve operator mechanism including an electromagnetic coil having a reciprocable plunger therein, and a key plate, for cooperation with said plunger, said assembly comprising a block having a wall defining a recess in one face thereof, a shelf in said recess, a valve seat in the bottom of said recess Within said shelf, a flexible diaphragm adapted to be held against said shelf by said key plate and constituting a closure member for said seat movable away from said seat by fluid pressure in the hereinafter mentioned first port and towards said seat by said plunger, said diaphragm defining with said shelf and the bottom of said recess a valve chamber, a first port in another face of said. block communicating with said seat, a second port in said another face of said block communicating with said chamber, said wall having key flanges adapted to cooperate with said key plate whereby, upon insertion of said key plate into said recess, said assembly mechanism may be interlocked by mutual rotation and said diaphragm is held against said shelf by said key plate.
6. A structure as in claim 5 including an adjustable flow regulator between said first port and said valve seat.
7. A valve assembly adapted to cooperate with a valve operator mechanism comprising a block having a wall defining a recess in one face thereof, a valve seat in said recess, a flexible diaphragm scalable across said recess and constituting a closure member for said seat operable by fluid pressure and said mechanism, said diaphragm defining with at least a part of said recess a valve chamber about said seat, a bore extending continuously through said block and having openings in different faces thereof, a second bore in said block and through said first bore terminating in said valve seat, removable plug means in said second bore separating said first bore into first and second ports, said bores and plug means defining a first duct communicating with one of said ports and said valve seat, and a second duct in said block communicating with the other of said ports and said chamber.
8. An assembly as in claim 7 in which said plug means in said second bore is adjustable in position and provided with means defining a portion of said first duct, said means being so constructed and arranged that the cross-section of said first duct is variable with movement of said plug.
9. A valve assembly adapted to be affixed to a valve operator mechanism including a reciprocable plunger therein, said assembly comprising a block having a wall defining a recess in one face thereof, a valve seat in the bottom of said recess, a flexible diaphragm scalable across said recess and constituting a closure member for said seat operable by fluid pressure and said plunger, said diaphragm defining with at least a part of said recess a valve chamber about said seat, a bore extending continuously .through said block and having: openingsdn difierent -faces thereof, a secand-bore -in said-block and through said first bore terminating in said valve seat, removable plug means in-said second bore separatingsaid firstibore intafirst and secondports, said bores and plug meansdefininga first duet communicating-withone of said ports and said valve seat, and a secondduet in said block communicating with thetother of said-ports and saidchamber.
-10. An-assembly as in'claim 9 in which said plug means in said second bore is rotatable and provided With means defining a portionof said first duct, saidmeans .being so constructed and arrangedthat the cross section ofsaid first duct is variable with. rotation .of said plug.
GEORGE A. GOEPFRICH.
REFERENCES CITED Theifollowingreferences are of record in rthe file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS