|Publication number||US3148713 A|
|Publication date||Sep 15, 1964|
|Filing date||Feb 20, 1962|
|Priority date||Feb 20, 1962|
|Publication number||US 3148713 A, US 3148713A, US-A-3148713, US3148713 A, US3148713A|
|Inventors||Jr Howland B Jones|
|Original Assignee||Stanley P Lewis|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (19), Classifications (13)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
P 15, 1964 v H. B. JONES, JR 3,148,713
SAF ETY MEANS' FOR LIQUID DISPENSING NOZZLES Filed Feb. 20', 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 7 -INVENTOR l8 Howlcnd B J es, Jr.
ATTORNE Sept. 15, 1964 H. B; JONES, JR 3,148,713 SAFETY MEANS FOR LIQUID DISPENSING NOZZLES Filed Feb. 20, 1962 3 SheetsSheet 2 INIVENTOR HOWLAND a JONESJK g 4 .L/ A
ATTORNEYS P 15, 1964 'H. B. JONES, JR 3,148,713
SAFETY MEANS FOR LIQUID DISPENSING NOZZLES Filied Feb. 20, 1962 a Sheets-Sheet a FIG. 9
INVENTOR HOWLAN) B. JONEQJ:
ATTORNEYS United States Patent Filed Feb. 20, 1962, Ser. No. 176,854 8 Claims. (Cl. 141-346) This invention relates to safety means for preventing inadvertent discharge from a liquid dispensing nozzle and, more particularly, to automatic valve means associated with such a nozzle to allow liquid to be dispensed therefrom only when the nozzle is properly inserted in its intended opening. This is a continuationin-part of my copending application Serial Number 123,- 547, filed July 12, 1961, entitled Safety Means for Liquid Dispensing Nozzles, now abandoned.
Though there are various beneficial uses for this new development of safety means for liquid discharging devices, it is particularly contemplated for use in gasoline dispensing apparatus. Such apparatus typically comprises a pumping unit into which gasoline is drawn from a tank and from which it is delivered through a flexible hose and out a nozzle at the end of the hose. The nozzle ordinarily includes a manually operated valve assembly and a spout which can be inserted into the openended fill-pipe of a fuel tank. In practice, the nozzle is usually grounded electrically to prevent dangerous sparking from static or other electric charges.
One of the primary objects of this invention is to provide safety means for such gasoline dispensing apparatus which will prevent inadvertent discharge of gasoline from the nozzle when the spout of the nozzle is not properly inserted in a fill-pipe. It sometimes happens that persons using the apparatus will unintentionally actuate the manual valve at the nozzle before placing the nozzle in the fill-pipe, thereby causing gasoline to spray over the surrounding area and create a fire hazard.
'This is particularly likely when inexperienced persons operate the apparatus, as in self-service gasoline stations.
Broadly stated, the new safety means is to be incorporated in apparatus for selectively dispensing liquid into an opening through a nozzle adapted to be inserted in said opening. The safety means comprises a valve for controlling liquid flow through said nozzle, and electrically activated actuating means for opening the valve solely when the nozzle is inserted in the opening. More particularly, the invention provides improvements in apparatus for selectively dispensing liquid from a source through a hose, out of a nozzle at the hose end, and thence into an open-ended fill-pipe into which the nozzle can be inserted. The improvement lies in safety means which comprises an electrically operated valve for controlling liquid flow through the nozzle. In one instance a magnetic switch is provided for opening and closing the valve and the switch is mounted on the portion of the nozzle adapted to be inserted into the fill-pipe. A magnet is mounted inside the fill-pipe opening for actuating the switch to open the valve when the nozzle is inserted in the fill-pipe and the switch is positioned adjacent the magnet.
In another instance, I have found that the capacitance to ground normally present on a fill-pipe of an automobile and the like is sufficiently larger than that of the human body so that it can be utilized as the switch to actuate dispensing nozzles. Therefore, according to the invention apparatus is also provided which will utilize the capacitance of a vehicle and thereby eliminate magnetic switch devices. The safety means of this embodiment, also broadly stated, is comprised of a valve for controlling liquid flow through said nozzle and electrically activated actuating means sensitive to the capacitance of the receptacle for opening the valve solely when the nozzle is inserted into the receptacle. More particularly, the safety means also includes a spout on the nozzle for insertion into a fill-pipe and at least one contact means electrically insulated from said spout and positionedin a portion of the spout remote from the outlet end of the spout such that it contacts the fill-pipe to sense the capacitance thereof solely when the spout is inserted in the receptacle. 7
By constructions, such as these, it is impossible for a liquid such as gasoline to flow out of the nozzle, even if a manual valve on the nozzle is open, unless the means on the nozzle is actuated to open the safety valve. For all practical purposes, the valve means cannot be so actuated until the nozzle is inserted in the fill-pipe in proper position. Therefore, the danger of discharging liquid prior to insertion of the nozzle into the fill-pipe is eliminated, even though totally inexperienced person may be using the apparatus.
The improvement is adaptable, of course, to many uses other than gasoline dispensing apparatus. Indeed, it may be employed to advantage wherever a liquid or other flowable material is to be discharged out of a movable spout into various selected openings. Also, it may be the sole valving means in a nozzle, thereby rendering it unnecessary to rely upon a manual valve of the sort included in the usual gasoline nozzle. In that case, liquid discharges automatically from the nozzle as soon as it is properly inserted into a fill-pipe equipped with actuating means for opening the automatic valve.
A preferred embodiment of the invention is described below with reference to the accompanying drawing, wherein FIG. 1 is an elevation partly in section of a nozzle inserted in a fill-pipe and equipped with the improvement of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a diagram of the electric circuit for the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation partly in section of the magnetic switch mounted on the nozzle of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged section of the switch of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged perspective view of a magnetsupporting element to be positioned inside the fill-pipe opening of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an elevation partly in section of a second embodiment of the nozzle inserted in a fill-pipe;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary section of the FIG. 6 nozzle and actuating means in relation to the fill-pipe;
FIG. 8 is a section taken substantially along lines 88 of FIG. 7; and
FIG. 9 is a diagram of the electrical circuit for the FIG. 6 embodiment of the apparatus.
Referring first to FIG. 1, a gasoline dispensing nozzle 10 includes two basis components, namely a valve housing 11 and a spout 12. The spout 12 is the portion of the nozzle adapted to be inserted into a fill-pipe. Gasoline-is adapted to flow under pressure from a pump through a flexible hose 13 to the nozzle 10 at the end of the hose, and thence out of the spout 12 thereof. Within the valve housing 11 is conventional manually operated valve means controlled by a manual trigger 14 to regulate discharge of the gasoline.
In ordinary use, the spout 12 of the nozzle 10 is inserted into a fill-pipe 15 leading to the fuel tank of an automobile, boat, etc. The open end of the fill-pipe 15 is typically defined by an inwardly extending flange 16 adapted to receive a bayonet-type fastener or the like of a closure cap. To avoid sparking from static electricity, the entire nozzle 10 including its spout 12 is grounded electrically by means of a conductor (not shown) ernbedded in the wall of the hose 13 and leading back to the 44 and the magnetizable' elements 37 and 38 return to their normal position to break the circuit and close the valve 23. Hence, the gasoline stops flowing from the spout 12 even though the manual trigger 14 may still be displaced.
In FIGS. 69, a second embodiment of the invention is shown. Referring initially to FIG. 6 a gasoline dispensing nozzle 55 consists essentially of a housing 56 and spout 57 with the gasoline adapted to flow through a hose 58 and regulated by a manual trigger 59. The nozzle 55 is shown inserted into an ordinary fill-pipe 60 having a flange 61 as described above. In this embodiment, however, as shown in FIG. 7 the spout 57 is preferably formed from a plastic material. The purpose of the plastic material is to provide a spout which is electrically nonconductive, and thus any suitable dielectric materials could be substituted for the plastic in the spout, or alternatively, the outer portion of the spout could be suitably insulated. If necessary, for elimination of the hazard due to static electricity a plastic of a partially conducting nature could be employed, providing its resistance was large compared to the resistance of a relay coil 84 in the metering circuit such as will be described in relation to FIG. 9.
As was the case with the first embodiment, the apparatus of the second embodiment is provided to prevent discharge of the gasoline out of the spout 57 even when the trigger 14 is actuated, unless the spout is properly inserted into the fill-pipe 60 substantially as shown. In some circumstances it may be desirable to eliminate the trigger entirely.
As noted previously, the present invention recognizes and utilizes the fact that the capacitance to ground of a vehicle such as an automobile, truck, or boat is large with respect to that of a man or a small liquid container. In order to sense this capacitance charge, a recess 62 is provided in the spout 12 remote from the outlet end thereof and a contact member 63 is positioned within the recess as shown in FIG. 7. The contact member 63 seats in the recess 62 such that in the normal filling position of the nozzle 55 relative to the fill-pipe 60, the contact member 63 comes into engagement with a flange 61 of the fill-pipe. As shown in FIG. 8 the normal position of the spout 57 within the fill-pipe 60 is suificient so that the more weight or" the nozzle causes the contact member 63 to engage and substantially seat on flange portion 61 of the fill-pipe. The contact surface of the contact member 63 is preferably formed so that it substantially matches the surface of the flange portion 61 into which it will come in contact. This insures a flush abutment between the two members. Shown in this embodiment a conductor 64 is disposed within the wall of the spout 12 as indicated in FIG. 6 and extends upwardly through the nozzle to the circuitry to be described with reference to FIG. 9.
Although it is contemplated that the simple contact member described above should be sufficient to provide adequate capacitance sensing means on the spout 57, it is also recognized that in certain situations it may be desirable to provide capacitance sensing means which consists of more than one contact. For example, it may be desirable to provide an additional contact member at the upper outlet end substantially at an edge 65 of the spout 57 where the spout ordinarily abuts the fill-pipe 60.
By providing two contact members in the positions described and suitably connecting them to the circuitry, there is further assurance that the nozzle would only function when inserted properly into a fill-pipe. It has also been proposed that rather than provide a single contact member within the recess 62 an actuating plate could be provided to overlie the contact member in the groove and be resiliently mounted therein and arranged at such an angle that the actuating plate could only be depressed if the nozzle were properly positioned within the fill-pipe. Unless the nozzle was properly positioned in the fill-pipe, the actuating member would not be displaced toward the contact member and it would be impossible to make electrical contact with the contact member. Another variation which may be made is to incorporate two contact assemblies such as just described, namely, wherein the actuating plate is resiliently mounted over contact member in the groove. It has been suggested to position both contact assemblies within a groove such as described and to space them circumferentially about the spout 57 approximately 60 apart. It would only be necessary for one such contact member to be sensitive to the capacitance of the fill-pipe, but by connecting the actuating elements of each of the assemblies by linking means, such as with a rocker arm, it would be impossible to depress either of the actuating elements until they are both properly positioned relative to the fill-pipe. All these alternative embodiments described are introduced to show that it is not necessary to use only one contact member in the apparatus of the invention, for if it should be found necessary to incorporate a different contact member for reasons of safety or to prevent theft, it is within the scope of the present invention to do so.
Substantially surrounding the portion of the spout 57 in which the recess 62 is formed and spaced therefrom is a hood 67 with a flame arrestor grid 68 extending across the bottom 69 thereof, substantially as described in the first embodiment.
It is noted that in FIGS. 7 and 8 a tubular member 66 is shown extending longitudinally Within the spout 57 and into the housing 56. This tubular member is conven- -tional in many gasoline nozzles and serves to provide means for sensing when the tank has been filled to capacity. It is of course contemplated that other such devices may be similarly incorporated in the apparatus of the invention.
One example of circuitry which can be used in this embodiment to actuate a valve in response to the capacitance of an automobile is shown in FIG. 9. The circuit shown can be divided into four essential branches, namely, a power supply A, a pulsing circuit B, a metering circuit C, and a valve-actuating circuit D.
The power supply A is connected to a source of alternating current which is fed through a transformer 70. Connected to the transformer at the output thereof is a double diode full-wave rectifier 71. The rectifier 71 serves to convert the alternating current to direct current. The direct current is immediately fed through a two-stage resistor-capacitor filter 72 which is connected at the output of the rectifier and acts as a smoothing filter. The rectified current is then fed to a voltage regulating tube 73 which maintains the output of the power supply A at a constant voltage and thus a constant voltage is continuously fed to the pulsing circuit B.
The pulsing circuit B consists of a conventional cathode coupled multivibrator 74 which generates rectangular pulses at a frequency determined by the variable resistor 75 and the constant resistor 76 in combination with a capacitor 77. The variable resistor and capacitor are connected to the input of the plate of one of the triodes 78 of the multivibra'tor and to the grid of the othertriode 79 of the multivibrator. Also connected to the grid of the second triode 79 is a diode 80 which serves to prevent the grid from going continually positive with respect to the lower end 81a of cathode resistor 81. The cathode resistor 81 is connected to the output of the cathodes of each of the triodes 78 and 79 of the multivibrator. The output from the multivibrator is a rectangular pulse having a fixed predetermined frequency and a constant amplitude and this is fed to the metering circuit C.
The metering circuit C consists of a diode 82 which is connected in parallel with a variable resistor 83 and a relay 84 which is shunted by a capacitor 85. The circuit is connected to a resistor 86 and then to ground so that a static discharge path to ground is provided in order to meet safety requirements. The automobile capacitor Ca is added-between the terminal 87 and ground. A blocking capacitor 88 is provided between the terminal 87 and the remainder of the metering circuit to prevent damage to the circuit components should a direct short circuit to applied to the relay coil 84 is inversely proportional to the reactance of the automobile capacitance Ca connected between terminal 87 and ground. This in turn is proportional in a roughly linear degree to the capacitance value, Ca. To permit the relay S lto react only when the correct range of values of Ca is added to the circuit, the diode 82 and capacitor d serve together to rectifythe pulses originally generated across resistorgil, and applied to the relay coil 84 through capacitance Ca. This circuit arrangement causes a direct current to flow in coil 84 as a result of rectification of the pulses, and its value is inversely proportional to the attenuation caused by the automobile capacitance, Ca connected at terminal 87.
An additional safety feature can be provided to prevent operation of the relay should the capacitance Ca exceed a predetermined value, by means of special featuresof the relay 84 or by means of the provision of a second relay 96 in series with the variable resistor 83 provided to adjust this upper limit. The normally closed contacts 97 of this relay are in series with those of relay 34 and it is evident that discharge of liquid can take place only 7 when. relay 84 is actuated and relay 96 is not.
The actuating circuit D receives its power from the transformer 91 and consists essentially of a relay 92 which is activated Whenthe contacts 90 are closed and similarly closes switch 93 which activates a solenoid 941. The solenoid 94 in turn opens the valve to dispense gasoline through the nozzle. 7
in operation the nozzle 55 is inserted into the fill-pipe '64) such that the contact member 63 which is disposed within the recess 62 on the spout 57 will seat against the flange portion 61 of the fill-pipe. Contact member 63 senses the capacitance of the fill-pipe 60 which has consistently been found to be of 'a ratio of approximately ten times greater than the capacitance of a man. This charge is sensed by the contact member 63 and is fed into the capacitance controlled circuit through the conductor 64 to the terminal 37 as shown in FlG. 9. As described previously the added capacitance introduced into the circuit will, if of a certain predetermined range of values, cause an electrically operated valve located upstream from the nozzle to be opened, and thus, permit gasoline to be discharged through the nozzle. It is evident that the apparatus of the second embodiment eliminates the need to install additional elements in the automobile itself. Nevertheless, the apparatus still maintains high degree of safety since it can only be operated when properly inserted into the fill-pipe and the electrical apparatus necessary for controlling the electrically operated valve can be suitably shielded and positioned remote from the immediate area of the source of gasoline.
Both of the foregoing embodiments of my invention are electrically activated, rather than mechanically actuated, safety means for permitting liquid flow through a nozzle solely when the spout of the nozzle is inserted into its proper'receptacle. The invention described herein makes it possible to achieve thoroughly safe electrical activation of circuitry in a nozzle which dispenses inflammable fluids V by relying entirely upon extremely low-current power sources, thus insuring that no sparking or the like will occur which might ignite the fluid. The new electrically activated means constitutes a substantial improvement over any, mechanically actuated valve which might be designed to open when thenozzle spout is inserted in the receptacle because such mechanical devices are inherently more susceptible to unintended opening of the valve by one who might inadvertently depress the mechanical actuator. With the electrical means constructed in accordance with this invention, any such accidental opening of the valve is virtually impossible l'clairn: 1. ln apparatus for selectively dispensing liquid into an opening ina receptacle through a nozzle adapted to be inserted in'said opening, safety means comprising a valve for controlling liquid flow through said nozzle, and electrically activated actuating means responsive to electrical capacitance of said receptacle for opening said valve solely when said nozzle is inserted into said receptacle. 7
2. In apparatus for selectively dispensing liquid into an opening in a receptacle through a nozzle'adapted to be inserted in said opening, safety means comprising a valve for controlling'liquid flow through saidnozzle, electrically activated valve operating means for opening and closing said valve responsive to electrical capacitance of said receptacle, and receptacle contact means positioned on said nozzle such that it contacts said receptacle to. sense the electrical capacitance thereof solely when said nozzle is inserted in said receptacle.
3. In apparatus for selectively dispensing liquid from a source through a hose and thence into an open-ended fill-pipe, safety means comprising a spout on said nozzle for insertion into said fill-pipe, an electrically operated valve for controlling liquid flow through said nozzle, at'
least one fill-pipe contact means electrically insulated from said spout and positioned in a portion of said spout remote from the outlet end of the spout such that it contacts said fill-pipe to sense the electrical capacitance thereof solely when said spout is inserted in said receptacle. j
4. In apparatus for selectively dispensing liquid from a source through a hose and thence into an open-ended fill-pipe, safety means comprising an electrically insulated spout on said nozzle for insertion into said fill-pipe, an electrically operated valve for controlling liquid flow through said nozzle, a recess formed in said spout in a portion of said spout remote from the outlet end thereof, fill-pipe contaotrneans positioned in said recess such that it contacts said fill-pipe to sense the capacitance thereof solely when said spout is inserted in said fill-pipe, and an electrical capacitance control operatively connected to said contact means and said valve for opening the valve responsive to the electrical capacitance sensed by said contact means. 7
5. In apparatus for selectively dispensing liquid from a source through a hose and thence into an open-ended fill-pipe, safety means comprising an electrically insulated spout on said nozzle for insertion into said fill-pipe, an electrically operated automatic valve upstream from said hose for controlling liquid flow to said nozzle, a recess formed in said spout in a portion of said spout remote from the outlet end thereof, fill-pipe contact means positioned in'said recess such that it contacts said fill-pipe to sense electrical capacitance thereof solely when said spout is inserted in said fill-pipe, an electrically insulated protective hood assembly substantially surrounding but spaced from the portion of the spout remote from the outlet end thereof substantially wherein the recess is formed, and an electricalcapacitance control operatively connected to said contact means and said valve for openingthe valve responsive to the electrical capacitance sensed by said contact means.
6. In apparatus'for selectively dispensing liquid from a source through a hose and out of a nozzle which intrically operated automatic valve upstream from said hose' for controlling liquid flow to. said nozzle, a magnetic switch for opening and closing said automatic valve mounted on the outside of said nozzle remote from the nozzle end but on a portion of the nozzle adapted to be inserted into said fill-pipe, a protective cover over said switch, a substantially C-shaped resilient member mounted permanently closely inside the fill-pipe opening, and a magnet on said Cshaped member for actuating said switch to open said automatic valve when said nozzle is inserted in the fill-pipe and the switch is positioned adjacent said magnet.
7. In apparatus for selectively dispensing gasoline from a source through a hose and out of an electrically grounded nozzle which includes a manual flow-controlling valve at the hose end and thence into an open-ended fill-pipe into which the nozzle can be inserted, safety means comprising an electrically operated automatic valve upstream from said hose for controlling flow to said nozzle, a magnetic switch grounded at one terminal to said nozzle and mounted on the outside of said nozzle remote from the nozzle end but on a portion of the nozzle adapted to be inserted into said fill-pipe, a protective cover over said switch terminal and adapted to open said automatic valve when the switch is closed, a substantially C-shaped resilient member mounted permanently closely inside the fill-pipe opening, a magnet on said C-shaped member for closing said switch when said nozzle is inserted in the fill-pipe and the switch is positioned adjacent the magnet, and protective hood means on said nozzle adapted substantially to cover the open-ended fill-pipe when the nozzle is inserted therein at all times when said switch is closed.
8. In apparatus for selectively dispensing liquid into a receptacle opening at least partly defined by electrically conductive material through a movable nozzle adapted to be manually inserted into said opening, safety means for preventing inadvertent flow of said liquid from said nozzle when said nozzle is removed from said opening comprising a valve separate from said receptacle for controlling liquid fiow through said nozzle, electrically activated valve actuating means separate from said receptacle for opening and closing said valve, and electrically conductive circuit means on said nozzle engageable with said conductive material at said receptacle opening for transmitting electrical current from said conductive material to said circuit means to activate said actuating means and open said valve solely when said nozzle is inserted in said opening.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,149,256 Godfrey Aug. 10, 1915 1,284,310 Gilbert Nov. 12, 1918 2,877,313 Stoicos Mar. 10, 1959 2,918,095 Shawhan Dec. 22, 1959 3,011,036 La Rocca Nov. 28, 1961
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|U.S. Classification||141/346, 141/DIG.100, 141/361, 251/149, 141/286, 200/61.6, 141/370|
|Cooperative Classification||B67D7/48, Y10S141/01, B67D7/3236|
|European Classification||B67D7/32E, B67D7/48|