US 3065630 A
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Nov. 27, 1962 THERMORESPONSIVE VALVE THERMORESPONSIVE ELEMENT c. w. JENSEN 3,065,630
GELATIN BLEEDERS FOR AUTO THERMOSTATS Filed Oct. 15, 1958 YVALVE,(OPEN) LUBLE MATERIAL TER CHAMBER (TOP OF ENGINE) CIRCULATING COOPAIT INVENTOR. EARL IWIJEAZEzE-N tats The present invention relates to an improved method for allowing free circulation of liquid at ambient temperatures through the coolant system of internal combustion engines, and to an improvement in the thermoresponsive valve of the coolant system.
In the production of automotive vehicles it is desirable to test the engine assembly to determine whether or not there is proper circulation in the cooling system and to make certain that the hose connections are secure. Any leakage from the hose connections or obstruction in the line can readily be corrected at this point to insure free circulation and a better operating machine to the customer. in the normal operation of the cooling system of the engine assembly, the thermostat, which may be placed in the water manifold, in one of the hose connections, or in any number of other locations, is composed of a spring-action thermoresponsive valve which is normally closed until a predetermined temperature is reached in the fluid circulating in the engine block.
Thermostats are available which are designed to function at temperatures as low as about 150 F. Others do not open to allow the fluid to circulate through the radiator until a temperatureof about 180 F. is reached. Weather conditions dictate to a large extent the type thermostat to be used, e.g., in cold weather a high temperature thermostat is desirable. Perhaps the optimum temperature range for automotive thermostats is l57162 F. In the operation of the assembly, when the valve is closed the liquid being pumped by the water pump merely recirculates in the block, there being no circulation through the radiator. When the liquid in the block heats up to the temperature at which the valve responds, the valve opens, allowing circulation through the radiator to cool the engine.
In order to test the engine assembly for leakage and proper circulation, it is desirable for the manufacturer to be able to quickly flush liquid through the system. However, unless a liquid is added that has been heated to above the responsive temperature of the valve, it will remain closed and none of the liquid will circulate through the radiator to allow checking for obstructions and watertightness of the hose connections. Thus, it has previously been necessary to use hot water to flush the system or to run the engine for a period of time suflicient to heat the fluid in the assembly to a temperature at which the thermostat will function. Obviously neither of these methods is desirable. It is expensive to heat the water before it is flushed through the system, and it is time-consuming to have to operate the engine until the fluid in the block is hot enough to open the valve and allow circulation through the radiator.
Attempts have been made to prop open thermostat valves for a period of time to allow circulation through the entire assemblage. To this end, lump sugar has been placed in the valve. However, sugar has not proved satisfactory. It is not a desirable propping agent because it is soluble in cold water as well as hot water and, therefore, does not prop open the valve for the length of time that is necessary to allow testing of the cooling system by free circulation therethrough. Another drawback is that sugar is deleterious to the cooling system itself.
The drawing illustrates an elementary embodiment of my invention wherein a propping material is fitted into a valve opening. The illustration is a section view of a typiice cal thermo-responsive valve propped open by a material which solubilizes after a liquid coolant is circulated therethrough and has attained a temperature at which the therrno-responsive valve is in a normally open position. Obviously, this drawing is merely one illustration of my invention and many modifications and variations may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and therefore only such limitations should be imposed as are indicated in the appended claims.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a method for allowing liquids to be flushed through the coolant system of an engine assembly at ambient temperatures.
Another object of the invention is to provide a propping agent which can be easily inserted in a pellet-type automotive thermostat.
A further object of the invention is to provide an automotive thermostat which will allow liquids to pass through the valve thereof at ambient temperatures.
Still another object of the instant invention is to provide a propping agent which will not have a harmful effect on the cooling system after passing into solution.
Further objects and advantages Will become apparent to persons skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the invention.
I have discovered that a material particularly suitable for use as a bleeder in the normally closed thermo-responsive valve comprising an automotive thermostat is a fusible substance which is relatively insoluble in the cooling fluid below the responsive temperature of the valve and readily soluble in fluid at and above such temperatures. I have found that gelatin is an eminently suitable material for such use.
Particles of gelatin are used to prop the valve open. Thereafter the thermostat is installed in the engine assembly. Water, antifreeze, or a combination thereof is then allowed to circulate freely during the early stages of the initial run of the engine. As the fluid circulates the engine begins to warm up and the temperature of the water increases. When the temperature of the fluid reaches about F., the gelatin particle begins to dissolve. Due to the density of the particle, the time lapse to obtain complete solubility of the gelatin into the fluid system is sufficient to allow the engine to heat up to the functional temperature of the thermosat.
At high temperatures a relatively small quantity of water will dissolve the gelatin. As the water continues to circulate the solution containing this dissolved propping agent will be further diluted insuring that the gelatin will thereafter be completely soluble in the fluid at ambient temperatures. Therefore, no problems are encountered in the cooling system as a result of the presence of gelatin therein.
It will be apparent that in quickly testing the hose connections for leakage and checking for obstructions in the cooling system it may not be necessary to run the engine for a period of time sufficient to increase the temperature of the liquid to the degree necessary to dissolve the propping agent. In that event the gelatin wedge will remain intact and will serve the additional purpose of allowing the engine to warm up slowly since it will be surrounded in its early run by fluid that has circulated through the radiator of the vehicle.
Any easily inserted particle of gelatin is suitable as a propping agent in the practice of my invention. The gelatin particles should be of a size and shape that will fit in the valve opening and allow liquid to pass through the opening. Therefore, they will vary in size and shape with the type of thermostat used. I have found that a particularly desirable bleeder for most valves comprises a Wedge-shaped particle of gelatin approximately 4 inch long with flat surfaces approximately /4 inch wide. in
operation the manufacturer of the engine assembly inserts the wedge-shaped particle in the normally closed thermostat valve. The thermostat is then incorporated in the engine assembly and cold water .is added and allowed to freely circulate throughout the System. The bleeder props the valve open for a few minutes until the water is hot enough to dissolve the gelatin. It will normally take about five minutes for the wedge-shaped particle previously mentioned to completely dissolve. At such temperatures the thermostat functions in the normal manner.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the invention as hereinbefore set forth may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof and, therefore, only such limitations should be imposed as are indicated in the appended claims.
1. In the method for allowing free circulation of fluid at ambient temperature throughout the cooling system of an internal combustion engine, said system including a thermo-responsive valve normally closed at said temperature, the improvement comprising: propping said valve in an open position with a material insoluble in said fluid at said temperature, and readily soluble at and above the responsive temperature of said valve, inserting said valve in the cooling system of said engine and circulating said fluid through said system.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the material is gelatin.
3. *In the method for allowing free circulation of fluid at ambient temperature throughout the cooling system of an internal combustion engine, said system including a thermo-responsive valve normally closed at said temperature, the improvement comprising: propping said valve in an open position with a material insoluble in said fluid at said temperature and readily soluble at and above the responsive temperature of said valve, inserting said valve in the cooling system of said engine, circulating said fluid through said system, elevating the temperature of said fluid to solubilize said material, and diluting the solution of said material whereby to insure that said material is completely soluble in said fluid at ambient temperature.
4. In the testing of an automobile cooling system wherein a fluid is circulated between an engine assembly and a radiator through a thermo-responsive valve normally closed at ambient temperature, the steps which comprise: inserting a quantity of gelatin in said valve whereby the valve is held in an open position, incorporating said valve in said open position into the cooling system, and operating said engine to circulate fluid throughout said cooling system at temperatures below the responsive temperature of said valve.
5. In the testing of an automobile cooling system wherein a fluid is circulated between an engine assembly and a radiator through a thermo-responsive valve normally closed at ambient temperature, the steps which comprise: inserting a quantity of gelatin in said valve whereby the valve is held in an open position, incorporating said valve in said open position into the cooling system, operating said engine to circulate fluid at ambient temperature throughout said cooling system, and further operating said engine for a length of time suflicient to raise the temperature of said fluid to the responsive temperature of said valve, whereby said gelatin will be dissolved and said valve will function in response to the temperature of said fluid.
6. In the testing of a closed fluid cooling system containing a thermo-responsive valve wherein fluid is passed through said system at ambient temperature to determine the water-tightness of said system, the step of maintaining said valve in an open position with a material which solubilizes when said fluid is at a temperature at which said valve is normally open,
7. A method for temporarily permitting circulation of relatively cold fluid throughout the cooling system of an internal combustion engine wherein said system includes a thermo-responsive valve normally closed to prevent circulation during the period said fluid remains cold, said method comprising the steps of inserting a quantity of material in said valve whereby said valve is held in the open position to permit free circulation of fluid therethrough, said material being relatively insoluble in said fluid at temperatures below the normal operating temperature of said engine and readily soluble at and above said normal operating temperature, assembling said valve including said material in the cooling system of an internal combustion system and operating said engine to circulate the relatively cold fluid throughout the system.
8. An improvement in thermo-responsive valves for cooling systems of internal combustion engines of the type that are normally closed and that open to permit circulation of coolant only upon the temperature of the coolant in said engine reaching a predetermined temperature, said improvement comprising: a wedge inserted in said valve to maintain it in the open position and permit free circulation of the coolant therethrough, said wedge being of a material relatively insoluble in the coolant at temperatures below the normal operating temperature of said engine and readily soluble at and above said normal operating temperature, whereby as said engine is initially operated the coolant will circulate throughout said system and said wedge will dissolve upon the coolant reaching said normal operating temperature to permit the valve to function in response to the temperature of said coolant.
9. An article of manufacture comprising, in combination: a wedge and a normally closed, thermoresponsive valve held in the open position by said wedge, said wedge being of a material relatively insoluble in water below the responsive temperature of said valve and readily soluble at and above said responsive temperature.
10. An article of manufacture adapted for incorporation in the cooling system of an internal combustion engine comprising, in combination: a thermoresponsive valve normally closed below a predetermined temperature, and a prop inserted in said valve to maintain said valve in the open position, said prop being of a material relatively insoluble in water below said predetermined temperature and readily soluble at and above said predetermined temperature, whereby when said valve is incorporated in said system liquid at ambient temperature can be immediately circulated throughout said system and thereafter, when said liquid rises in temperature to about said predetermined temperature, said prop will be dissolved to allow normal functioning of said valve.
11. The article of claim 10 wherein the predetermined temperature is at least about F. and the material is gelatin.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS