US 2761662 A
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M, MN 7 all Y IIIIIIIHIIIH United States Patent 2,761,662 AERA'I'ING DEVICE Joseph J. Goodrie, Chicago, 111., assignor to Wrightway Engineering Co., Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Application May 5, 1954, Serial No. 427,7 07 12 Claims. (Cl. 26176) This invention relates to improvements in aerating devices of the type adapted to be connected to water faucets and the like.
Aerating devices for mixing water and air are now widely known and used on faucets and other water outlets. Such devices are highly useful and advantageous since in their preferred form they produce a soft bubbly coherent stream which is non-splashing and which contains large amounts of entrained air. Various structures have been proposed for such devices, e. g. as shown in my prior Patents 2,510,395 and 2,510,396 wherein the device has a cylindrical mixing chamber provided with lateral air ports, an apertured disk for forming jets of water within the chamber, a break-up plug against which the jets impinge, and means at the outlet of the chamber for coalescing the water and entrained air.
I have found that in order to meet sanitary and health regulations in many localities it is essential that the aerating device be as short as possible so that there is no excessive lengthening of the faucet or other outlet when the aerator is attached thereon. For example, when an aerator of the foregoing type is attached to the faucet of a wash basin or sink, it is sometimes contended that there is a danger of back siphoning of waste water if theaxial length of the aerator casing is too great and the aerator outlet projects downwardly into the waste water. I have also found that much difficulty is encountered in the periodic cleaning of aerating devices which require disassembly and reassembly by mechanically inexperienced persons. Particularly in reassemblythe component parts sometimes are placed in improper position or in cocked position so as to result in misoperation of the device.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved aerator characterized by an extremely short axial length and compactness of structure.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel aerator which when installed on a sink faucet or the like will comply with local plumbing regulations and will not be subject to possible back siphoning.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel and simplified aerator construction which is economical to manufacture and easy to assemble.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a novel and simplified aerator construction which can easily be taken apart and cleaned and the parts reassembled to proper position by mechanically inexperienced persons.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the subsequent detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of an aerator comprising one specific embodiment of the invention and showing the aerator attached to a faucet outlet;
Fig. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 22 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a transverse sectional view taken along the lines 3--3 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a transverse sectional view taken along the line 4--4 of Fig. 2; and
Fig. 5 is a partially exploded view of the device showing the manner of assembly of the component parts.
Referring to the drawing, the aerator has an external Patented Sept. 4, 1956 ice cylindrical casing or sleeve 16 which is of relatively short axial length and which has internal screw threads 11 at its inlet end for attachment of the device to the threaded outlet of a faucet shown fragmentarily at 12. The wall of the casing 10 is formed with a plurality of lateral slots or openings 13 which serve as air inlet ports for admitting air to an air and water mixing chamber 14 within the interior of the casing 10. In the present instance three such slots 16 are provided but any desired number of ports may be used. I
The wall thickness of the casing 10 above the air inlet slots 13 is slightly less than the wall thickness below the slots 13 (see Fig. 2) so as to provide a narrow radial shoulder 16 immediately above the slots. In other words, the threaded inlet end ofthe casing 10 above the slots 13 has a counterbore of greater diameter than the main body portion defining the chamber 14. An annular supporting ring or collar 17 of relatively short axial length has an outwardly flared upper flange portion 18, which seats against the shoulder 16, and a depending skirt portion 19 in concentric inwardly spaced relation from the casing 10 and adjacent the slots 13. As will hereinafter appear, the depth of the skirt 19 is suificient to overlie or cover the air inlet ports 13 and thereby serve as a shield to prevent water from splashing out through and clogging the slots. The flared upper end of the collar 17 has a tight press fit within the larger diameter counterbore portion of the casing 16 so as to constitute a rigid and substantially permanent assembly therewith.
Detachably supported on the upper flanged end 18 of the ring 17 is a disk 21 having a plurality of apertures or openings 22 which in this case are arranged in circular fashion (Fig. 4). As hereinafter described, the disk 21 has a slightly loose fit within the upper part of the casing 16. When the aerator is mounted on the end of a faucet, as in Figs. 1 and 2, a gasket 23 of rubber or the like is interposed between the disk 21 and the open end of the faucet 12 so as to provide a water tight seal with the result that water under pressure from the faucet 12 is forced through the apertures 22 to form a multiplicity of substantially independent or discrete jets which are surrounded by air. A depending break-up or mixing plug 24 is suspended centrally from the disk 21 and is so shaped that the plurality of fine jets from the openings 22, which entrain air in passing from the disk to the plug, impinge upon the plug and are broken up and mixed with the entrained air and surrounding air which enters the chamber 14 through the slots 13. The overall shape of the plug 24, which is more or less like that of a mushroom as seen in Figs. 2 and 5, has been found to give highly effective performance. Thus, the plug 24 has a restricted neck portion 25 immediately below the apertured disk 21 and then an abrupt radially extending enlargement or button portion 26 which provides the primary water jet break-up function of the device. The enlargement 26 has a smoothly curved shoulder or downwardly rounded corner portion 26a disposed directly be neath the apertures 22 so that the water jets may impinge thereon and be diverted in many different directions. This enlarged upper portion 26 of the break-up plug 24 may be said to have a generally toroidal or oblate spheroidal shape; A cylindrical stem or tail portion 27 of reduced diameter depends integrally from the upper enlarged portion 26 of the break-up plug 24 and terminates a slight distance above the open lower end or outlet of the casing 10.
The lower end of the casing 16 is formed with an inwardly extending flange or shoulder 28 which provides a restricted discharge outlet for the aerated stream. A retaining ringor collar 29, generally similar to the ring 17, is disposed within the casing 10 and has an upperflanged or outwardly flared end 31 affording a tight press.
fit with the wall of the casing 10. The ring 29 also has a depending skirt portion 32 which engages the upper side of a screen 33 or other like foraminous element supported on the shoulder 28, the skirt 32 having substantially the same inner diameter as the restricted discharge outlet provided by the shoulder 28. It will be seen that the stem portion 27 of the break-up plug 24 extends into and is concentricahly surrounded at its lower end by the ring 29, and the axially aligned skirt 32 and shoulder 28 form an elongated restricted discharge outlet from the aerator. The rigid fit of the ring 29 in the casing holds the screen 33 in position on the shoulder 28.
From the foregoing description it will be seen that in assembling the device the screen 33, the retainer ring 29 and the supporting ring 17 are rigidly and permanently installed in the casing 10 and constitute a unit for the operable life of the aerator. The disk 21 and attached plug 24 also constitute a separate unit, as seen in Fi which can readily be removed from the other unit comprising the elements 10, 17, 29, and 33 so that cleaning of the device can be accomplished quickly and in an exceptionally easy manner. The diameter of the disk 21 is slightly less than that of the upper portion of the casing 10 with the result that in reassembly the unitary disk and plug may merely be dropped into place without any possibility of cocking or jamming in misaligned position.
In assembling the elements of the device, the rings 17 and 29, and the screen 33 are installed in the casing 10 to provide a unit sub-assembly. In a separate operation, the plug 24 is permanently secured to the disk 21 by inserting an upper reduced end of the plug through an aperture in the disk and upsetting or deforming the projecting end, as at 34 (Fig. 2), in substantially the same manner as in a riveting operation. disk 21 and plug 24 thereby constitute a second sub-assembly. To complete the assembly operation, it is a simple matter for the worker, or user after cleaning, to drop the disk and plug sub-assembly into the open upper end of the casing unit so that the disk 21 is received on the upper flared end 18 of the ring 17. Because of the slight clearance between the disk 21 and the casing 10 and because of the fact that the weight of the plug 24 is concentrated below the disk 21, the disk-plug unit can be dropped readily into proper aligned position in the casing 10 without any special care or precision. In other words, the weight distribution in the disk-plug sub-assembly is such that when the unit is dropped from any appreciable distance above the casing unit 10 it automatically straightens itself during its fall so that the plug 24 depends substantially vertically from the disk 21 and falls accurately into place in the casing unit. Obviously, this characteristic greatly simplifies and speeds up the assembly operation for continuous quantity production of the device and insures that the mechanically inexperienced housewife may reassemble the device properly after cleaning.
In operation, water under pressure enters the upper or inlet end of the casing 10 and is forced through the small apertures 22 in the disk 21 thereby creating a multiplicity of fine separate jets of water below the disk 21. Because of their discrete or relatively independent nature, these jets are entirely surrounded by air which freely enters the inner space 14 of the casing 10, the outside air passing through the slots 13 and downwardly under the lower end of the skirt 19 and thence upwardly into the substantially annular space between the skirt 19 and the upper enlarged portion 26 of the plug 24. As the Water jets pass downwardly through this space While surrounded by air, the air becomes entrained in the jets and the latter then impinge with considerable force against the curved shoulder portion 26a of the plug.
This violent impingement of the water jets against the curved surface causes considerable splashing and breakup of the jets in all directions thereby further intimately mixing the waterand the air. Obviously, some of the water will be thrown back against the underside of the The interconnected disk 21 and some will also be thrown outwardly against the skirt 19. The splashing water may be in the form of sprays or separate droplets depending upon the degree of break-up. Furthermore, some of the water will also adhere to the plug as a thin film and pass downwardly along the surface of the depending stern portion 27. During this break-up and mixing action and splashing of water in the zone between the plug 24, the disk 21, and the ring 17, it will be understood that the depending skirt portion 19 of the ring effectively shields the air ports or slots 13 so as to prevent water from splashing out through or blocking the slots.
An important feature of the construction is the fact that the annular opening, designated at 36 in Fig. 2, between the lower end of the skirt 19 and the enlarged plug portion 26 has a greater area then the combined area of the openings 22 in the disk 21. By this relationship, there is no tendency for the incoming water to collect in and fill up the space defined between the disk 21, the ring 17, and the plug 24. Consequently, proper impingement and break-up of the individual water jets and entrainment of air therein are realized because of the absence of restrictions to fluid flow downstream from the openings 22. Also, outside air may freely pass from the slots 13 downwardly and thence upwardly around the skirt 19 to replenish the air which becomes entrained and mixed with the water during break-up of the water jets.
The mixture of commingled air and water passes downward-1y below the ring 17 at considerable velocity, drawing more air into the casing 10 as it does so, and ultimately strikes or impinges upon the side walls of the easing and upon the retaining ring 29 and particularly the curved shoulder or flange portion 31 thereof. This results in a further degree of mixing and break-up of the air and water mixture. The presence of the depending stem 27 provides a further rebound and impingement surface for the splashing water and entrained air and the stem 27 also fills a portion of the space within the casing 10 so that a proper outlet flow velocity is maintained. The slightly restricted outlet from the unit, as defined by the substantially aligned ring 29 and shoulder 28, tends to coalesce the air and entrained water into a coherent stream as it issues from the outlet end of the device. The screen 33, although not absolutely essential to proper operation of the device, is desirable for optimum elfectiveness in that it tends to give a softer outlet stream and assists in splash prevention.
From the foregoing, it will be evident that my invention, while adopting the basic principles of aerator devices heretofore known, provides a highly simplified and compact construction which is desirable for reasons of economy, ease of cleaning, and compliance with local health and sanitary regulations.
Although the invention has been described with reference to a particular structural embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that various modifications and equivalent structures may be resorted to without departing from the scope of the invention is defined in the appended claims.
1. In an aerating device, a pair of detachable subassembly units; one of said units comprising a casing having an inlet and an outlet at opposite ends thereof and lateral air inlet ports in the wall thereof, said casing having a threaded portion at the inlet end thereof for connection to a fluid conduit, a screen supported in said casing adjacent the outlet end thereof, and a pair of annular elements frictionally fitted in axially spaced relation in said casing, one of said elements engaging said screen for holding the screen in place in the casing and the other of said elements providing an annular shield spaced inwardly from said air inlet ports for shielding the latter said one element also having a portion thereof in substantial axial alignment with the peripheral edge of said outlet for defining with the latter a restricted discharge passage from the device; and the other of said sub-assembly units comprising an apertured disk and a break-up and mixing body.
rigidly afl'ixed thereto, said disk being removably supported on said other element with said body depending therefrom and extending below said shield, and said disk being adapted to be clamped against said other element for retaining said units in assembled relation when the threaded portion of said casing is connected to a fluid conduit.
2. The device of claim 1 further characterized in that the minimum annular area between said body and said shield is greater than the total area of the apertures in said disk whereby to prevent liquid from filling the space below said disk and between said body and said shield.
3. The device of claim 1 further characterized in that said body terminates at its lower end closely adjacent said screen.
4. The device of claim 1 further characterized in that said body is provided with a short neck portion of restricted diameter immediately below said disk and a radially projecting enlargement extending abruptly from said neck portion in spaced relation below said disk for impingement thereon of jets of water from said disk.
5. An aerating device comprising a casing having an inlet and an outlet at opposite ends thereof, said casing also having lateral air inlet ports in the wall thereof, an apertured disk extending transversely across the casing above said ports, a break-up and mixing body rigidly affixed to said disk and depending therefrom, an annular skirt interposed between said body and said ports for shielding the latter, an inwardly extending radial shoulder portion at the outlet end of said casing, a screen supported on said shoulder portion adjacent said outlet, and an annular retaining element rigidly mounted within said casing and engaging said screen for holding the same in assembled position against said shoulder portion, said annular element having an upright skirt portion spaced radially inwardly from the casing and in substantial axial alignment with the inner periphery of said shoulder portion for defining with the latter a restricted fluid outlet from the device.
6. An aerating device comprising a casing having an inlet and an outlet at opposite ends thereof, said casing also having lateral air inlet ports in the wall thereof, an apertured disk extending transversely across the casing above said ports, a break-up and mixing body rigidly aflixed to said disk and depending therefrom, an annular skirt interposed between said body and said ports for shielding the latter, an inwardly extending radial shoulder portion at the outlet end of said casing, a screen supported on said shoulder portion adjacent said outlet, and an annular retaining collar of relatively short axial length rigidly disposed in said casing with its lower axial end engaging said screen for clamping the latter against said shoulder portion, the upper axial end of said collar being flared radially outwardly into tight frictional engagement with the interior of said casing for rigidly holding the collar in the casing and for providing a fluid break-up and diverting surface adapted for the impingement of water thereon.
7. An aerating device comprising a casing having an inlet and outlet at opposite ends thereof, said casing also having lateral air inlet ports in the wall thereof, an annular supporting element rigidly mounted in said casing above said ports and having a depending skirt portion spaced inwardly from and extending below said ports, an inwardly extending flange at the outlet end of said casing, a screen supported on said flange adjacent said outlet, an annular retaining element rigidly fitted in said casing and engaging said screen for holding the latter in position on said flange and forming a shoulder for breaking up and mixing air and water, and a removable internal unit comprising an apertured disk detachably seated on the upper end portion of said annular supporting element above said ports and a break-up 6 and mixing body rigidly aflixed to said disk and having a portion thereof extending downwardly through said casing and into said annular retaining element and terminating closely adjacent said screen.
8. An aerating device comprising a casing having an inlet and outlet at opposite ends thereof, said casing also having lateral air inlet ports in the wall thereof, a pair of upper and lower collars rigidly mounted in said casing in axially spaced relationship therein, said upper collar having its upper axial end flared outwardly into tight frictional engagement with the interior of the casing and extending downwardly within the casing closely adjacent but spaced inwardly from said ports, a screen fitted in the lower end of said casing adjacent the outlet therefrom, said lower collar having its lower axial end engaging said screen for retaining the same in position in the casing and being flared outwardly at its upper axial end into tight frictional engagement with the interior of the casing, and a removable internal unit including an apertured disk detachably supported on the flared upper end of said upper collar and a break-up and mixing body rigidly suspended from said disk and extending at its lower end into said lower collar and terminal closely adjacent said screen.
9. The device of claim 5 further characterized in that the minimum annular area between said body and said shield is greater than the total area of the apertures in said disk whereby to prevent liquid from filling the space below said disk and between said body and said shield.
10. The device of claim 5 further characterized in that said body terminates at its lower end closely adjacent said screen.
ll. The device of claim 5 further characterized in that said body is provided with a short neck portion of restricted diameter immediately below said disk and a radially projecting enlargement extending abruptly from said neck portion in spaced relation below said disk for impingement thereon of jets of water from said disk.
12. In an aerating device, a pair of detachable subassembly units; one of said units comprising a casing having an inlet and an outlet at opposite ends thereof and lateral air inlet ports in the wall thereof, said casing also having a threaded portion at the inlet end thereof for connection to a fluid conduit and an inwardly extending shoulder disposed above said air inlet ports, a screen supported in said casing adjacent the outlet end thereof, and a pair of annular elements frictionally fitted in axially spaced relation in said casing, one of said elements engaging said screen for holding the screen in place in the casing and the other of said elements comprising a collar of relatively short axial length disposed in said casing in inwardly spaced relation from said air inlet ports for shielding the latter and having its upper axial end flared radially outwardly into tight frictional engagement with the interior of the casing and seated rigidly on said shoulder; and the other of said sub-assembly units comprising an apertured disk and a break-up and mixing body rigidly afiixed thereto, said disk being removably supported on the outwardly flared upper end of said collar with said body depending from said disk and extending below said shield, and said disk being adapted to be clamped against said collar for retaining said units in assembled relation when the threaded portion of said casing is connected to a fluid conduit.
References (Iited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,510,395 Goodrie a- June 6, 1950 2,510,396 Goodrie June 6, 1950 2,564,060 Gettins Aug. 14, 1951 2,565,554 Goodrie Aug. 28, 1951 2,657,024 Reinecke Oct. 27, 1953 2,707,624 Shames et a1 May 3, 1955 2,717,614 Palivos Sept. 13, 1955