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Publication numberUS2990971 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 4, 1961
Filing dateApr 6, 1959
Priority dateApr 6, 1959
Publication numberUS 2990971 A, US 2990971A, US-A-2990971, US2990971 A, US2990971A
InventorsMilton J Enell
Original AssigneeMilton J Enell
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety closure cap for filling spouts of pressurized liquid cooling systems
US 2990971 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


Filed April 6, 1959 INVENTOR ah ATTORNEY y 1961 M. J. ENELL 2,990,971

SAFETY CLOSURE CAP FOR FILLING SPOUTS OF PRESSURIZED LIQUID COOLING SYSTEMS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 6, 1959 m N I? 43A rra war United States Patent Ofiice 2, 3 .11

2,990,971 SAFETY CLOSURE CAP FOR FILLING SPOUTS OF PRESSURIZED LIQUID COOLING SYSTEMS Milton J. Fuel], 1262 Westlake Ave., Lakewood, Ohio Filed Apr. 6, 1959, Ser. No. 804,348 4 Claims. (Cl. 220-40) This invention relates to radiator closure caps for pressurized liquid cooling systems of internal combustion engines, and particularly to detachable radiator closure caps for the filling spouts of water, or anti-freeze liquid, cooled, cap sealed radiator systems of automobile engines.

As is well known in the art, the conventional radiator spout of such pressurized cooling systems is provided with an internal annular seat and with an overflow pipe having its inlet in the spout above the seat and its outlet below the bottom of the radiator. The cooperable detachable closure cap is provided with valve means, which, when the cap is connected onto the spout, cooperates with the seat and seals the spout to prevent the escape of liquid, vapors, and steam from the system through the inlet of the spout and through the overflow pipe.

Generally, the valve is in the form of a spring seated main valve disc which seats near its outer periphery on the annular seat in the spout, but which, near its center, has a so-called vacuum port. The vacuum port is sealed by a small spring-seated vacuum release valve arranged so as to seat on the inner face of the main valve disc in a direction toward the inlet of the spout. release valve disc is held lightly in seating relation on the main valve disc by means of a spring and is urged toward sea-ting position thereby and also by pressure within the radiator, but can be unsearted readily by exterior atmospheric pressure in event a vacuum or sub-atmospheric pressure occurs in the cooling system. Thus, during operation, when the liquid in the radiator becomes highly heated, it is prevented from escape by virtue of the spring seated main valve disc and the vacuum release valve. On the other hand, when the liquid cools and causes subatmospheric pressure in the system, the vacuum release valve opens to permit ingress of outside air to relieve and neutralize the sub-atmospheric pressure in the system.

However, caps of this character are very hazardous. The spring of the main valve disc holds it seated under such pressure that pressure of several pounds above atmospheric is necessary to unseat it. Consequently, when the cap is released and permitted to lift slightly preparatory to removal for inspection of the liquid level or for adding additional liquid, the pressure of the seating spring is greatly reduced and a substantial quantity of the superheated liquid within the radiator system is suddenly converted into steam vapor which blows out of the radiator spout around the loosened cap, often forcing out a considerable amount of superheated liquid. This very greatly heats the cap, and frequently the cap is already heated to a high degree, so that the operator or gasoline station attendant generally disconnects the cap and promptly releases it and turns it loose after it is disconnected. As a result, his hand, and oftentimes his face and body, are sprayed with the escaping steam and hot liquid."

This has become a recognized hazard and it is very desirable that some means be provided for relieving this pressure preparatory to disconnection and release of the cap, either intentionally or accidentally.

The present invention has for its object the provision of a detachable closure cap by which this super-atmospheric pressure is relieved preparatory to the release of the connecting means between the cap and the spout to a degree permitting escape of steam between the peripheries of the cap and spout, and preparatory to the' loosening ofthe capso that it can be blown off of the spout.

The vacuum 7 A specific object of the invention is to provide a closure cap with a valve means and an operating means therefor which can be manipulated while the cap remains connected in normal position on the spout so as to relieve this pressure and allow the steam and liquid to flow past the valve means and seat in the spout and escape through the overflow pipe while the cap is sufliciently tightly connected to the spout to prevent escape of the steam and liquid between the peripheries of the cap and upper end of the spout.

More specifically, an object of the present invention is to provide a means for assuring accomplishment of this end prior to the cap connecting means being loosened in the slightest.

Another object is to provide an audible signal for informing the operator when the escape of super-heated liquids and steam has ceased, thus informing him that it is safe to disconnect and remove the cap.

Various other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description wherein reference is made to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view, partly in section, of a 010- sure cap embodying a preferred form of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional View, partly in elevation, taken on the line 2-2 in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3, 4, and 5 are fragmentary horizontal sectional views taken on lines 33, 4-4, and 5-5, respectively, of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 6 and 7 are a top plan view and side elevation, partly in section, respectively, of a cap embodying a modification of the invention illustrated in FlIGS.-1 through 5, parts thereof being shown in section;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of a cap embodying another modification of the invention;

FIG. 9 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 9-9 in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a horizontal sectional view taken on the line 10-10 in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a vertical axial sectional view of a cap embodying another modification of the present invention; and

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken on the line 1212 in FIG. 11.

Referring to the drawings, the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 5, includes a conventional cap 1, having a top wall 2 and a peripheral wall 3 with inturned flanges 4 thereon. The inturned flanges 4 are adapted for engagement with corresponding inturned flanges 5 on a radiator spout 6 of a pressurized liquid cooling system.

Secured to the top wall 2 of the cap is a depending tubular support 7 on the lower end of which is slidably mounted a main valve plug, indicated generally at 8. The valve plug 8 comprises a cup-shaped member 9 which is concave downwardly and is arranged in coaxial relation with the support 7 and slidably mounted thereon. The fit between the member 9 and the support 7 is a loose fit permitting a slight rocking movement of the member 9. Secured on the lower open end of the cup-shaped member 9 is a metal disc 10, to the lower face of which is secured a resilient sealing disc 13. The disc 13 is arranged to seat on an annular seat 14 in the radiator spout 6. The seat 14 of the radiator spout is below the inlet 15 to an overflow line 16 of the spout.

The sealing disc 13 and disc 10 of the main valve plug have a common central port 17 which is normally provided for vacuum relief and is normally closed by a socalled vacuum relief valve plug 18. The valve plug 18 is disposed on the inner face of the seal 13 so as to be exposed inwardly of the radiator spout. The plug 18 is carried on a suitable stem 19 which, in turn, cooperates with a leaf spring 20 which lightly holds the valve plug 18 in seated position against the seal 13 of the main valve plug 8. Obviously, pressure in the radiator above atmospheric will force the plug 18 more firmly against the plug 8. The valve plug 8 is seated on a seat 14 in the radiator spout 6 by a main spring 22 which holds it firmly against the inlet face of the seat with a predetermined pressure.

The spring 22 has adequate strength to hold the Water or liquid in the radiator under super-atmospheric pressure, so that a temperature considerably above boiling temperature is reached.

The structure thus far described is that of a conventional cap and valve combination for sealing the radiator spout of a conventional pressurized radiator cooling system. Upon release of the connecting means 4 and of the cap and spout, the seating pressure of the spring 22 is reduced and a great amount of steam is suddenly generated which, with superheated water, spurts out of the inlet end of the spout at high velocity, thus endangering the operator and particularly, if not striking him in the face, badly burning or scalding his hand and arm.

On the other hand, after the engine is cool, a subatrnospheric pressure usually is created and the valve plug 18 unseats permitting air to enter the system and reduce and neutralize the sub-atmospheric pressure. For this purpose, small apertures 23 are customarily provided in the cup-shaped member 9. The air which is drawn in, in such a case, is pulled from the spout and is drawn into the spout through the overflow pipe 16.

Referring now to the present invention, the support 7 is in the form of a tube in which is fitted a suitable valve operating mechanism, such as a rod 25 which is movably mounted in the tube. In the form illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 5, the mechanism is arranged so as to release the pressure in the radiator or unseal the spout by means of moving the valve plug 18 to an unseated position. This is accomplished by movement of the rod or mechanism .25 endwise inwardly of the cap. For this purpose, a suitable knob 26 is provided on the upper end of the rod 25, the knob and rod being of such light weight that they do not unseat the valve plug 18 against the force of the spring 20. If desired, an additional spring 27 may be provided for counter-balancing the weight of the knob 26 and rod 25 so that the spring 20 may be of standard strength.

Thus, before removing the cap, the operator merely presses down on the knob 26 whereby the valve plug 18 is unseated and the pressure developed in the radiator is relieved through the port '17, holes 23, and the overflow pipe 16 in the spout, while the cap remains in connected position on the spout.

In order to inform the operator when this pressure has been relieved, a suitable audible signal is provided on the c ap. In the form illustrated, the audible signal is in the form of a small disc 28 which may be mounted on the rod 25. This disc is provided with a number of apertures 29 which are preferably formed by punching the metal inwardly by a punch which has a four-sided point so as to form a plurality of very small tongues 30 in surrounding relation to the apertures 29 and protruding inwardly of the spout. The disc 28 is of extremely thin metal as a result of which it and the small tongues 30 act as vibrating reeds and also as partial obstructions to the rapidly discharging steam, as a result of which, a whistling or whining noise is created by the steam. This noise is adequate to inform the operator of the presence of escaping steam so long as that condition continues. As soon as the steam subsides and no audible signal can be heard, then the knob 26 can be released and the cap removed in the customary fashion.

In some instances, it is desirable that the cap be latched in its connected position and a mechanism be provided whereby the cap cannot be unlatched for rotation until the valve mechanism has been operated so as to vent the spout. For this purpose, the arrangement shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 may be provided. In this form of the invention, the conventional cap, indicated at 31, having the connecting flanges 32 for engagement with cooperating flanges 33 of a spout 34, is shown. In this form of the invention, the cap and spout are provided with an interlocking means which prevent rotation of the cap for disconnecting the flanges 32 and 33 while the interlocking means is in latching position. In the form illustrated, the interlocking means is connected onto the cap instead of onto the spout, although an opposite connection may be used, if desired. A suitable means for this purpose comprises a leaf spring 35 which is secured fixedly to the cap by means of rivets 36 and extends peripherally of the flange of the cap. At one end, the latch has a detent 37 which, when the cap is connected to the spout in operating position, is disposed against the end of a flange of the spout in such manner as to prevent rotation of the cap for releasing the flanges 32 from the flanges 33. Furthermore, the spring 35 has a finger 38 which extends above the level of the cap. For releasing this latch means and assuring unsealing of the spout by the valve means before the unlatching operation, a suitable mechanism is mounted on the cap. This mechanism may comprise a lever 39 pivotally secured by a pivot 39a to the cap for swinging about an upright axis and having an upturned portion 40 which may be engaged by the finger of an operator for swinging the lever 39 about its pivotal axis. One end of the lever 38 has a cam surface 41 which, when the lever is swung in one direction, engages the finger 38 and unseats the detent 37 by moving it radially outwardly of the cap and clear of the spout flange, so that the cap can be rotated for disconnecting the flanges 32 and 33. Also on the lever 39 is a cam surface 42 which is arranged to engage an operating rod 43 for operating the vacuum relief valve. The rod 43, as illustrated, functions in the same manner as the rod 25 described in FIGS. 1 through 5, the sole difference in this modification being in the means for operating the rod for unseating a vacuum relief valve plug, such as the valve plug 18 in FIG. 1.

The cam surface 42 is so positioned relative to the cam surface 41 that the cam surface 42 engages and depresses the rod 43 before the cam surface 41 has moved the detent 37 out of latching position. Therefore, a considerable interval exists between the time in which the rod 43 is depressed and the cap is unlatched. A further time interval exists between the time the cap is unlatched and the time when the cap can be rotated for disconnecting it from the spout. During this interval, the pressure is relieved from the radiator so that the cap may safely be removed.

Referring next to FIGS. 8, 9 and 10, there is illustrated a cap which, except for the mechanism for operating the valve, is the same as that illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 5. Briefly, the cap, indicated at 50, is provided with the usual support 51 on which a main valve plug 53 is supported for movement relative thereto. The main valve plug 53 carries the conventional vacuum relief valve 54 and is seated by a spring 55. In this form of the invention, the valve means is operated to release and vent the spout by means of unseating the main valve plug instead of the vacuum relief valve plug. For this purpose, a suitable mechanism may include a rod 56 slidably mounted in the support 51 and connected at its lower end to a rectangular or polygonal disc 57 which is arranged to engage a shoulder 58 of the main valve plug 53 and thus lift the plug when the rod 56 is lifted. At its upper end, the rod 56 is connected to a lever 59 by a horizontal pivot 60. The lever has a finger engageable portion 61 by which it may be swung about its pivot, and a cam portion 62 which engages the upper end of the support 51 for lifting and lowering the rod 56 upon lifting and lowering of the finger engageable portion 61. Thus, for unseating the. valve plug 53, the lever 59 is swung upwardly,

clockwise in FIG. 9, as a result of which the cam surface 62, in cooperation with the upper end of the support 59, raises the main valve plug 53 off of the seat.

Since the gases and steam escaping in this instance escape around the periphery of the plug 54, the audible signal device is in the form of a thin, readily vibratable, metal disc 63 which rests on the outer surface of the plug 53 adjacent the shoulder 58 and is held in position by the spring 55. The disc 63 is provided with the punched apertures 64 so formed as to have the number of inturned tines or tongues 65. The disc 63 is slightly less in diameter than the internal diameter of the spout so that the gases can escape both past the periphery of the disc 63 and through the apertures 64. If desired, cutouts 66 may be provided around the periphery of the disc so as to permit greater ease in passage. A balance is maintained so that the steam passing the disc causes the disc and tongues to vibrate and causes a whistling noise. A suitable stop 67 is provided on the lever 59 to limit the movement of the cam and lever to the proper position for fully relieving the valve.

Referring next to FIGS. 11 and 12, a modification is shown which is essentially the same in all respects as that shown in FIGS. 8 through 10, except for the fact that instead of lifting the entire main valve 53 against the full force of the spring 55, provision is made for merely tilting the main valve plug on the seat in the spout. In this form of the invention, the main valve plug 70 is mounted on a support 71 so that it can be rocked slightly as well as moved axially. It is held seated by the spring 72. A rod 73, connected to an operating lever 74, extends through the support and at its inner end is provided with a finger 75 which extends radially and engages the plug 70 at only one point, for example, adjacent the shoulder 76. Upon lifting up the rod 73, since the valve plug 70 can rock on the support 71, the valve plug is merely tilted on the seat--for example, to the dotted line position shown in FIG. 11-whereupon steam can escape. The power required to tilt the plug against the force of the seating spring is much less than that required to lift it bodily against the full force of the seating spring.

In this form also a suitable disc 78 comparable to the disc 63 is added for providing an audible signal.

It is apparent from the foregoing description that I have provided a cap by which the pressure in the radiator can be relieved fully while the cap remains connected to the radiator spout in the normal operating position, thus greatly contributing to the safety of the operation.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A removable closure cap device for closing the filling spout of the radiator of a water cooled internal combustion engine, which radiator has a neck connected to the radiator top with an internal annular rim therein defining a filling port and with an overflow pipe above the level of the rim, said device comprising a cap, connecting means thereon for connecting the cap to the top of the spout upon rotation of the cap relative to the spout axis in one direction and for releasing the cap for removal from the spout upon rotation of the cap in the opposite direction, a sleeve secured to and coaxial with the cap and positioned to extend from the inner face thereof toward the rim when the cap is connected to the spout, valve means,

including a main valve plug, slidable along the sleeve to a position for sealing the port, said main valve plug having a vent port therein, an auxiliary valve plug mounted on the main valve plug and closing said vent port when the valve means is in a position sealing the filling port, yieldable means normally yieldably holding the main valve plug in said sealing position, a stem mounted in the sleeve for axial movement and operatively engageable at its inner end with the auxiliary valve plug and extending through the cap for access from the exterior thereof for moving the auxiliary valve plug to unsealing position with respect to the vent port upon movement of the stem axially inwardly to a predetermined position, a lever connected to the cap for swinging about an axis parallel to the spout axis in opposite directions relative to the cap, complementary cam means on the lever and stem operative upon swinging of the lever in one of said directions to a predetermined position to move the stem axially inwardly to its said predetermined position and for constraining the stem from axial movement outwardly from its said predetermined position.

2. The device according to claim 1 and further including a latch on the cap positioned for engagement with a portion of the spout for latching the cap to restrain it from rotation relative to the spout when the cap is in connected position, and latch releasing means operatively interconnecting the latch and lever and movable by the lever to release the latch upon movement of the lever to its said predetermined position.

3. The device according to claim 2 wherein the cam means, the latch releasing means, the lever axis, and the stem are positioned relative to each other so that the lever moves the latch releasing means to its releasing position in time delayed relation to the unsealing of the auxiliary valve plug when the lever is moved in its said one direction.

4. The device according to claim 2 wherein the latch includes a detent member carried by the cap for interengagement with said portion of the spout when the detent is in a latching position, a spring member which normally holds the detent member in latching position, and the latch releasing means is a portion of the lever which operatively engages one of the two last mentioned members to unlatch the detent member when the lever is moved to position to unseat the auxiliary valve plug.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,079,359 Oppenheimer Nov. 25, 1913 1,273,347 Ferris July 23, 1918 1,473,408 Richardson et al Nov. 6, 1923 2,191,975 Stephens Feb. 27, 1940 2,227,323 Scully et al Dec. 31, 1940 2,360,338 Hammond Oct. 17, 1944 2,528,791 Scoville Nov. 7, 1950 2,591,562 Levell Apr. 1, 1952 2,619,254 Tray Nov. 25, 1952 2,792,964 Reese et a1. May 21, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 134,334 Australia Sept. 19, 1949 553,444 Italy Dec. 27, 1956

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3062400 *May 3, 1960Nov 6, 1962Reuben J HumbertSafety valved pressure caps
US3098636 *Jul 18, 1961Jul 23, 1963Contella Samuel LAutomobile radiator cap
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U.S. Classification220/203.7, 220/303, 220/DIG.320, 116/109
International ClassificationF16K17/19, F01P11/02
Cooperative ClassificationY10S220/32, F01P2011/0252, F16K17/19, F01P11/0238, F01P11/0247
European ClassificationF16K17/19, F01P11/02A2D