US 3114392 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 17, 1963 J. D. HARPER FLUID TRANSFER APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 31, 1961 INVT bRI A? //mpe;
Dec. 17, 1963 J. D. HARPER FLUID TRANSFER APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 51, 1961 Dec. 17, 1963 J. D. HARPER FLUID TRANSFER APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed July 31, 1961 w w WW4; wV r/m 2% z M United States Patent 3,114,392 FLUID TSFER APPARATUS John D. Harper, Bartlett, llL, assiguor to Powered Pipe, Incorporated, Oak Park, ilk, a corporation of Illinois Filed July 31, 1961, Ser. No. 123,231 4 Claims. (ill. 137-615) The invention relates to apparatus for transferring liquids or other fluid materials from one terminal point to another such as between tanks or containers, at least one of which is movable relative to the other.
Apparatus of the above general character may be used for transferring fluid material to and from mobile tanks such as railroad cars or trucks, between shore installations and ships or between ships. The terms fluid as used herein are intended to embrace not only liquids and gases but other materials in a state which permits them to flow, such as finely pulverized solids.
In the transfer of fluid mate-rial to and from cars and trucks, the main problem is in positioning the apparatus for establishing an initial connection with the mobile tank. In the case of ships, however, an additional problem is presented by the likelihood of movement of the ship during the loading or unloading operation. The present invention provides apparatus suitable for any of the above uses and is especially advantageous for transferring liquid or fluid materials to or from or between ships or other floatingly supported tanks.
One object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above general character in the form of a conduit assembly which is self-supported in the sense that it re quires no supporting boom or other auxiliary supporting structure, which is quickly and easily manipulable to establish connection with variably positioned tanks or terminal points to or from which fluid is to be transferred, and which has a degree of flexibility allowing it to conform readily to changes in the position of the tank or terminal to which it is connected.
Another object is to provide fluid transfer apparatus including conduit means adapted to have one end connected more or less permanently with. a tank or fluid terminal and embodying suificient flexibility so that the other end may be manipulated into position for connection with variably positioned mobile tanks and characterized by the construction of the flexible parts to incorporate a degree of rigidity enabling the conduit means to function as a self-supporting boom without the auxiliary supporting structure while yielding readily to movements of the mobile tank to which it is connected.
It is also an object of the invention to provide novel fluid operated means for manipulating 1a flexible fluid transfer conduit assembly into position to establish connection with a mobile tank or the like and embodying means permitting the conduit assembly to automatically conform to changes in the position of the tank to which it is conneced.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of fluid transfer apparatus embodying the features of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an elevational view of the apparatus shown in the preceding figures with the component elements of the conduit assembly folded back into retracted position.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentaryview showing the details of one of the joints by which the conduit sections of the assembly are connected.
FIG. 5 is a diagram of the hydraulic operating and control circuits of the apparatus.
3,114,392- Patented Dec. 17, 1963 While a single preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and will be described in detail herein, it is not intended to limit the invention to the particular form or use shown, the intention being to cover all modifications and adaptations falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as more broadly or generally characterized in the appended claims. 7
For purposes of illustration, the invention has been shown in the form of apparatus particularly suitable for the transfer of fluid between ship and shore, although it will be appreciated that this is only one of a large number of fluid transfer operations for which it can be used to advantage. The particular apparatus shown includes a base 10 or generally rectangular form adapted to be rigidly secured as by anchor bolts 11 to a dock, pier or other structure adjacent which a ship or other tank carrying vessel may be moored. Secured to the base 10' in a horizontal position is a first conduit section 12 having an elongated straight portion 13 and an elbow portion 14- turned at right angles to the straight portion. As shown, the conduit section 12 is secured to the base as by straps 15 with the straight portion projecting at the rear for attachment to a pipe, tank or other terminal to or from which fluid is to be transferred. Straight portion 13 of the conduit section terminates in a flange 16 for effecting the connection with the terminal.
Articulated to the end of the elbow portion 14 of the first conduit section 12 by a swivel joint 19 is a second conduit section 20 in the form of an elbow presenting right angularly disposed straight portions 21 and 22. Joint 1?, the construction of which will be described in detail hereinafter, is designed to permit the second conduit section to be rotated relative to the first section 12 about an axis coincident with the central axis of the straight portion 21 of the second section. In the embodiment shown, the second section 20 is adapted to be rotated anticlockwise from the position in which it is shown in FIG. 2 with the straight portion 22 substantially upright to a position in which the straight portion is substantially horizontal.
Articulated to the straight portion 22 of the second con duit section 20 as by a joint 24 is a third conduit section 25, herein shown as comprising a elbow. Preferably, the joint 24 permits the third conduit section to be rotated through an angle of at least about an axis coincident with the central axis of the straight portion 22 of conduit section 20. Section 25, in turn, is articulated by a joint 29 with a fourth conduit section 30. As shown, the fourth conduit section comprises a relatively long straight portion 31 terminating in the end remote from the joint in a 90 elbow portion 32. The joint 29 preferably permits rotation of the section 39 through approximately 360 whereby the elbow portion 32 may be'presented in any desired radial direction with respect to the straight portion of the conduit.
A fifth conduit section 35 having a straight portion 36 and an elbow section 37 is articulated to the fourth conduit section by a joint 38. Preferably, the straight conduit portion 36 is somewhat shorter than the straight portion 31 to permit the fifth conduit section to be folded back adjacent the fourth section as shown in FIG. 3. As will be seen by reference to FIG. 2, the joint 38 connects the two elbow portions of the conduit sections for relative rotation so that the fifth section may be extended from the folded condition to form a relatively long outwardly reaching boom as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
Conduit section 35 is articulated by a joint 39 to a sixth conduit section 4-0 in the form of a 90 elbow.
Elbow secion 49 in turn is articulated by a joint 44 to a series. Valves V2 and V3 are similarly connected, the latter having its exhaust connected to the inlet ports of valves V4. The exhaust port of the latter valve is connected to a drain 103 leading to the reservoir R. By reason of this series connection, operation of any one valve cuts off pressure fluid supply for the succeeding valve of the series.
Valve V1 is connected by conduits 104 and 105 with opposite ends of actuator cylinder 65. A double check valve CV1 and flow regulating valves FV1 are interposed in the above connections. The flow control and check valves may be of any conventional type, the check valve being operative to prevent flow of fluid from the cylinder with the valve V1 closed while the ball checks are pilot operated to open position through control passages P to permit fluid to be exhausted from either end of the cylinder when the valve V1 is opened to direct fluid flow to the other end of the cylinder.
The conduit connections 104 and 105, which may include sections of flexible tubing or hose, lead to the associated control valve V1 which, with the companion valves, is located at a central control station. It will be apparent that by appropriate positioning of the valves V1, fluid may be directed to the actuator 65 to move the piston 63 in either direction to rotate the conduit section 20 about the swivel joint 19 or to lock fluid in the cylinder and thus positively restrain the piston against movement. Piston movements are transmitted to the conduit section 29 to raise or lower the conduit assembly as previously explained.
In a similar manner valve V2 is connected to opposite ends of actuator cylinder 75 by conduits 107 and 108 in which are interposed a double check valve CV2 and flow regulating valves VFZ. The valve V2 has a manual operator 109 by which it may be shifted between its operated and neutral positions. Valve V3 is similarly connected by conduits 110 and 111 with opposite ends of the actuator cylinder 85. A double check valve CV3 and flow control valves FV3 are interposed in the circuit connections as above explained. Valve V3 is provided with a manual operator 112 by which it may be shifted between the neutral and two operated positions.
Since actuator 63 is composed of two one-way rams, the connections between the cylinders 95 and the valve V4 differ somewhat from those above described. In this case, the valve V4, which has a manual operator 113, is connected by conduits 114 and 115 to the rod ends of the respective cylinders. The conduit connections include double check valve CV4 and flow control valves FV4. The various conduit connections also include needle valves NV for regulating fluid flow.
In accordance with another important aspect of the invention, novel means is incorporated in the hydraulic system which permits the pistons of the several actuators to move in either direction responsive to the application of a predetermined external force to the conduit assembly. More particularly, the conduit sections may be shifted relative to one another by an external force while the associated control valve remains closed. This enables the conduit assembly to adjust automatically to changes in the position of the tank or other terminal to which its free end is connected. By way of example, the conduit assembly when connected for transfer of fluid between ship and shore installations is enabled to automatically follow movements of the ship as it rises or falls, moves forwardly or rearwardly or toward or away from the dock to which it is moored.
Referring to FIG. 5 of the drawings, it will be noted that the valves V1-V4 when in their central or neutral positions effectively close both conduits leading to their associated actuator cylinders. The check valves CV1, CV2, CV3 and CV4 also act to prevent pressure fluid from entering or leaving the actuator cylinders. The conduit sections to which the actuators are connected are therefore positively retained in the positions to which they were adjusted prior to closure of the control valves.
To permit compensating movements of conduit sections in the event of movement of the terminal or tank to which the assembly is connected, the hydraulic circuit for each of the actuators is equipped with a pair of pressure relief valves connected so as to permit fluid flow from one side of the actuator to the other upon a predetermined pressure rise. In the case of the actuator 60, relief valves RV1 and RVZ are connected between the conduits 104 and 105 leading to opposite ends of cylinder 65. The relief valves are connected so that valve RV1 opens upon a predetermined pressure increase at the non-rod end of the cylinder while valve RV2 opens upon a predetermined pressure rise at the rod end of the cylinder. The valves may be set to open at any suitable pressure above that required for the operation of the actuator as, for example, at 1500 p.s.i. The piston 68 is thus permitted to move in the direction dictated by the external force imposed on the conduit sections when that force is suficient to raise the pressure in the cylinder above 1500 p.s.i. The fluid forced out of the cylinder ahead of the piston then flows out through the relief valve to the end of the cylinder behind the piston.
To take care of the difference in the volumetric capacity of the cylinder ends, a make-up valve MV and an auxiliary relief valve RV3 are connected between the conduit 1114 and the sump R. Valve MV may be a conventional check valve positioned to permit free fluid flow to the cylinder While blocking flow from the cylinder. Valve RV3 may be a conventional pressure relief valve and in practice it is set to open at a pressure somewhat above that for which the valves RV1 and RV2 are set. luid from the non-rod end of the cylinder in excess of that required to fill the other cylinder end is thus returned to the sump. Make-up fluid suficient to compensate for the lower capacity of the rod end of the cylinder is supplied to the non-rod end of the cylinder through the check valve when the piston moves outwardly of the cylinder.
Actuators 61, 62 and 63 are similarly equipped with double relief valves. Thus, relief valves RV4 and RV5 are bridge across conduits 1G7 and 108 leading to the cylinder 75. Relief valves RV6 and RV7 are similarly bridge across conduits 110 and 111 leading to the cylinder 85; and relief valves RV8 and RV? are bridged across conduits 114 and 115 leading to the cylinders 95. As the opposite ends of cylinders 75 and 85 and the ends of one-way ram cylinders 95 are of equal volumetric capacity, no make-up and auxiliary relief valves are required for those actuator cylinders.
The operation of the improved liquid transfer apparatus will be readily apparent from the foregoing detailed description. By reason of the novel construction of the joints by which the several conduit sections are articulated, the conduit assembly is self-supporting in any position. No boom or other auxiliary supporting structure is required. The relative movability of the conduit sections, coupled with their shaping, that is, the inclusion of the right angle bend in each section, permits the free end to be positioned for connection with a terminal located anywhere within reach of the assembly.
Manipulation of the conduit assembly for positioning purposes is effected quickly and easily by power operated means controlled by simple, manually settable valves located at a convenient central control station. Thus, by appropriate setting of the valve V1, actuator 60 may be operated to raise or lower the assembly of conduit sections between the folded back or retracted position and the extended position. Valve V2 affords convenient control of the actuator 61 to swing the assembly while valve V3 controls rotation of the long conduit section 30. Finally, valve V4 provides for the control of actuator 63 to either fold the conduit section 35 in jackknife fashion alongside the section 3% or to extend it as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
The four different axes of rotation of the conduit sections provided by the construction shown and the power openated actuating mechanism enable the free end of the conduit assembly to be positioned by power for connection with a terminal coupling located substantially anywhere within the reach of the assembly. When the conduit sections are so positioned, they are effectively locked in place by closure of the control valves. It is to be particularly noted that the actuators in cooperation with the reinforced joints provided by the conduit sections makes the assembly self-supported in the sense that no external supporting structure such as booms or the like is required. At the same time, the bypass means provided by the relief valves bridged across the actuators permits the conduit sections to move under the influence of an externally applied force even though the actuators remain closed off from the fluid supply portion of the hydraulic system.
The assembly may thus automatically follow movements of the terminal or tank to which its free end is connected. For example, when connected to a ship-carried tank, the assembly may adjust automatically to rise and fall of the ship or to movements fore-and-aft or toward and from the dock to which the ship is moored. The assembly thus maintains a leakfree transfer passage by which fluid materials may be transferred in either direction elllciently and expeditiously.
I claim as my invention:
1. A conduit assembly for transferring fluid between two relatively movable terminals comprising, in combination, a series of tubular conduit sections each including a right angle bend, swivel joints connecting the conduits in series relation permitting relative rotation between adjaccnt conduit sections, means restraining adjacent conduit sections against relative angular movements including radially extending flanges formed on the conduit sections at opposite sides of the joint, a cylindrical collar encircling said flanges rigidly secured to one of said flanges and defining a bearing for the other flange whereby the joined conduit sections are supported for relative rotation, a power operated actuator mounted on the section having said other flange, means connecting said actuator with said collar whereby the latter may be rotated by the actuator, and means connected to said actuator permitting rotation of said collar independently of the actuator upon application of a predetermined external force to the conduit assembly.
2. A conduit assembly for transferring fluid between two relatively movable terminals comprising, in combination, a series of tubular conduit sections each including a right angle bend, swivel joints connecting the conduits in series relation permitting relative rotation between adjacent conduit sections, means restraining adjacent conduit sections against relative angular movements including radially extending flanges formed on the conduit sections at opposite sides of the joint, a cylindrical collar encircling said flanges rigidly secured to one of said flanges and defining a bearing for the other flange whereby the joined conduit sections are supported for relative rotation, a cylinder mounted on the conduit section having said other flange with its axis disposed transverse to the swivel joint connecting that section with the adjacent section, a piston reciprocable in said cylinder, means operatively connecting said piston with said collar for transmitting movements of the piston to the collar, and valve means connected to said cylinder operative to establish communication with opposite ends of the cylinder to permit movement of the piston by an external force applied through said collar.
-3. A conduit assembly for transferring fluid between two relatively movable terminals comprising, in combination, a series of tubular conduit sections each including a right angle bend, swivel joints connecting the conduits in series relation permitting relative rotation between adjacent conduit sections, means restraining adjacent conduit sections against relative angular movements including radially extcnding flanges formed on the conduit sections at opposite sides of the joint, a cylindrical collar encircling said flanges rigidly secured to one of said flanges and defining a bearing for the other flange v/hereoy the joined conduit sections are supported for re ative rotation, a cylinder mounted on the conduit section having said other flange with its axis disposed transverse to the swivel joint connecting that section with the adjacent section, a piston reciprocable in said cylinder, piston rods ext nding from said piston to project through opposite ends of the cylinder, a cable having opposite ends inclined relative to the cylinder, said cable passing over sheaves on the projecting ends of said piston rods and having its intermediate portion wrapped around said collar whereby movements of the piston are imparted to the collar, and valve means defining a bypass connection between the ends of said cylinder permitting movement of the piston independently of said actuator upon application of a predetermined external force to said collar.
4. In apparatus for transferring fluid between two relatively movable terminals, including an articulated conduit formed by a plurality of tubular conduit sections with joints connecting the sections in series relationship and for relative pivotal motion, means stationarily supporting a conduit section adjacent one end of the series with the conduit sec'ion at the other end of the series being free to move both horizontally and vertically, one of said joints adjacent one end of the series providing relative motion about a vertical axis of the conduit sections joined thereby so as to vary the relative horizontal position of a coupling on the conduit section at the free end of said series, and means including a pivotal joint between a pair of sections of said articulated conduit providing for relative movement thereof about a horizontal axis, the improvement comprising, power operated means carried by said articulated conduit adjacent said pivotal joint for moving the joined conduit sections relatively about said horizontal axis to position the coupling on the conduit section at the free end of the series in a vertical direction, said power operated means including a hydraulic cylinder carried by one section of said pair, a plunger in said cylinder operably connected to the other section of said pair, and control means for operating said plunger in said cylinder, the remaining conduit sections being relatively movable independently of said power operated means to position the coupling on the section at the free end of the series for connection with variably positioned terminals, said power operated means being normally cTective to restrain said sections of said pair against relative movement from the positions to which they have been power positioned, and relief valve means incorporated in said control means permitting relative motion of the plunger and cylinder upon application of a predetermined external force to said pair of conduit sections.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS