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Publication numberUS3187762 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 8, 1965
Filing dateDec 10, 1962
Priority dateDec 10, 1962
Publication numberUS 3187762 A, US 3187762A, US-A-3187762, US3187762 A, US3187762A
InventorsNorwood Richard E
Original AssigneeIbm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electro-fluid apparatus
US 3187762 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 8, 1965 R. E. NORWOOD ELECTRO-FLUID APPARATUS Filed Dec. 10. 1962 FlG. 3

INVENTOR RlCHARD E. NORWOOD I A TORNEY United States Patert hice 3,17fl2 ELECTRUTELJD APPARATUE Richard E. Norwood, Endicott, NE., assignor to ?international Business Machines Corporation, New York, NY., a corporation of New York 7 Claims. (Ci. l37--81.5) Filed Dec. li), 1962, Ser. No. 243537 This invention relates generally to fluid control devices and more particularly to devices of the fluid amplifier type which may either be controlled by or control electric circuits.

There is currently consider-able interest in the design and application of fluid amplifiers in which a high energy, fluid power stream is deflected from its path by a low energy, fluid control stream directed against the power stream. Fluid amplfiers are particularly adapted for use as control devices in hydraulic systems or fluid operated computers because of low manutacturing cost, small size and reliability. These devices possess a major advantage in that few moving parts are required for a system and the ampliflers may be easily ;interconnected to provide a complete control system.

A fluid amplifier usually compn'ses a power nozzle directing a power stream of fluid into an enclosed chamber having a plurality of outlet channels and a corresponding plurality of control nozzles. Fluid entering through a control nozzle deflects the power stream into one of the outlet Channels. The fluid flowing from the outlet channel is then used as an energy source to operate mechanical or other fluid apparatus. Each control nozzle is representative of particular conditions and upon occurrence of the prescribed conditions operates to appropriately deflect the power stream in response thereto.

Thus, the power stream may be switched from one outlet channel to another to operate indicating or control ap- 'paratus upon the occurrence of fluid control puls'es.

It is desirable in many instances that the power stream of a fluid amplifier respond also to electrical signals. Heretofore, electrical control of the power stream has been exercised by Operating electrical valves in the channels leading to the control nozzles. This method requires the use of relatively complex and expensive valves which generally must be located outside the fluid amplier because of size. The control valves ofiset to some extent the advantageous small size of the fluid amplifiers. Elec trically operated valves also necessitate moving parts which reduce system reliabilty.

Furthermore, the fluid power stream is often used to operate electrical circuits as it leaves the amplifier in order to transform a fluid signal into an 'electrical signal. The transformation is accomplished by using the stream energy to close electrical contacts in a circuit. The contacts are generally supported on a vane or flapper adjacent the outlet channel which opens or closes in response to the presence or absence of fluid flow in that particular outlet channel. This arrangement at times creates eXcessive loading of the power stream and produces a back pressure which causes the power stream to Shift to another channel. V

Accordingly, a primary object of this invention is to provide a fluid control element in which the power stream may be switched to a selected channel by either electrical or fluid pressure signals independently of each other.

Another object of this invention is to provide a fluid control device having a flexible chamber wall responsive to electrical signals to divert a fluid power stream from one output channel to another.

Another object of this invention is to provide a flexible chamber wall which follows the movement of a power stream from one output channel to another and is adapted to complete an electrical circuit c'orresponding to the particular channel into which the power stream is flowing without producing objectionable back pressure.

Another object of this invention is to provide a fluid control device in which the necessity of providing a pivoted control vane is eliminated;

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a fluid control device having a more clearly defined and eflicient power stream at the outlet Channels thereof.

In accordance with the foregoing objec-ts, the invention provides a flexible wall for a chamber which intercommunicates with a nozzle issuing a power stream and first and second outlet channels for receiving the power stream. The ilexible wall is secured at one end adjacent the power nozzle and has an opposite end freely movable between positions of substantial alignment with either of the outlet Channels. A fixed chamber wall adjacent the nozzle and opposite the flexible wall is divergently disposed relative to the nozzle and produces a low pressure region adjacent the power stream which stably directs the power stream into the first of the outletrchannels. Static pressure outside the flexible wall forces the wall to move to the periphery of the power stream flowing into the first channel. Means provided adjacent the flexible wall are selectively operable in response to an electrical signal to move the wall into alignment With the second outlet channel and overcome the eiiect of the fixed wall to attract the power stream thereto from the first outlet channel into which the stream normally flows. Upon termination of the electrical signal, the fixed wall becomes effective again to divert the power stream into the first outlet channel so that the flexible wall follows the stream. The power stream is also subject to being directed into the second channel by a control stream issuing from a control nozzle at the junction of the power nozzle and fixed chamber wall. Thus, the power stream flows normally into the first outlet channel but can be switched into the second channel by Operating the means responsive to electrical signals to move the fiexible wall or by the issuance of a fluid control stream at the control nozzle adjacent the power nozzle.

The invention may be modified to complete electrical circuits each characteristic of a different output channel. This can be accomplished by using an electrically con-` ductive flexible wall and placing an electrical terminal in one wall of each output channel. When the free end of the flexible wall fol'lows the power stream as it is shifted from one output channel to another, the flexible wall breaks contact with one output channel terminal and makes contact with the terminal for the other output channel. Thus the flexihle wall is used to activate one of a plurality of circuits each characteristic of a particular output channel, and in doing so the flexible wall adds negligible back pressure to the fluid power stream.

The use of a flexible' chamber wall provides an advantage of decreasing energy loss due to fluid mixing on one side of the power stream and also serves to confine the downstream end of the power jet as it enters one of the outlet channels. This permits the receiving ports of the outlet channels to be more closely spaced and increases the energy recovery at the outlet Channels.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the followi ing more particular description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 s a plan view ofl a fluid control device .constructed in accordance with the invention;

Patented June &1965

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the device shown in FIG. 1 and taken along the line 3- 3;

FIGURES4 and 5 are diagranmatic illustrations of a modification of the invention,`and show the flexible wall in each of two positions; and

FIGURE 6 is a s'ectional view of the device shown in FIG. 4 taken along the line 6-6.

With reference to FIGS. `1, 2 and 3, a fluid control device 10 is formed of three flat plates 11, 12 and 13 secured 'as a unit by any suitable means such as screws or adhesive. The plates may be of nonmagnetic metal, plastic or ceramic and are shown as formed from transparent plastic sheets for purposes of illustration. Plates 11 and 13 are substantially unaltered from their sheet form while sheet 12 is `appropriately cut to form the nozzles and channels necessary for the operation of the control device.

Plate 12 is formed to provide a power nozzle 15 communicating with an interaction or switching chamber 16 and a pair of outlet Channels 17 and 18 through either of which a power stream of fluid from nozzle 715 may be directed. Channel 17 is aligned with nozzle 15 and channel 18 is displaced therefrom to the right as shown in FIGS. '1 and 2. A fluid streanrissuing from either of the outlet Channels may be used as a control stream in additionally connected fluid devices or be used to operate an indicator such as a switch or flapper. For purposes of this description, however, the fluid from the outlet channels may be considered as exhausting to a suitable sump or the atmosphere. Plate 12 is further cut away to provide a control` nozzle 19 adjacent nozzle 15 i and may be formed with exhaust ports 20 and 21 for respective outlet channels 17 and 18.- The exhaust ports serve as escape vents for the power stream when the outletchannel through which the stream is' flowing becomes severely backloaded. The escape vents prevent a pressure build-up at the outlet channel which would otherwise 'result in uncontrolled switching of the power stream to the other outlet channel. i

In addition to the walls formed by plates 11'and 13,

chamber 16 is defined by a fixed wall 22 extending be- V tween control nozzle 19 and exhaust port 21,-and a flexible wall 23 substantially opposite the fixed wall. The fixed wall 22 extends between control nozzle 19 and exhaust port 21 and is aligned with .channel wall 24 of channel 13. Although not necessary, the -fixed wall is' preferably set back at point 25 from the power nozzle to provide a recess which creates a low pressure region adjacent the power stream. This produces a pressure gradient across the stream so that the power stream will move toward and lock onto wall 22, normally flowing through outlet channel 18. The fixed wall need not be set back at point 25 because the divergent angle of the wall relative to the power nozzle causes the Creation of a separation bubble along the wall which also produces a low pressure region. The offset, however, improves flow stability. p

u Flexiblechamber wall 23 is forme'd of a strip of thin maguetic material such as steel shim stocka few thousandths of an inch thick, so that it can be easily flexed. The strip is secured at end 27 adjacent power nozzle 15 opposite control nozzle 19 by any suitable'means such as anadhesive, The flexible strip extends from the power nozzle to escape vent 20 and, when positioned as shown in FIG. '1, is aligned with wall 28 of an outlet channel 17. End 29 is unattachcd and free to move inwardly of t. u nozzle 15 and outlet channel wall 28. i When the switch is opened, the strip is free to leave the core tips and move inwardly of chamber 16. The tips 31 are used to hold the strip from contact With the core of the magnet so that the strip will not adhere to the magnet by residual magnetism. Nonmagnetic stops such as pins secured in plates 11 or 13 may be used instead of the core'tips 31.

In operation, device 10 is supplied with fluid from a constant pressure source.(not shown) through pipe 34 threadedly connected to power nozzle 15 so that a power stream of fluid is directed into `chamber 16. Similarly, control nozzle 19 is connected to a source of pressurized fluid through a pipe 35 and selectvely operable valve 36 which may be opened as desired to provide a control stream at the nozzle. The fluid supplied to nozzles 15 and 19 may be air, gas, water or other liquid. .Assuming for the moment that valve 35 is closed so that no control stream is produced, the power stream issuing from nozzle 15 enters chamber 16 and exits therefrom through outlet channel 18 because wall 22 is set back from the power stream adjacent nozzle 15 creating a low pressure region. As the power stream fiows through outlet channel 18, static pressure behind flexible strip 23 urges the strip inwardly so it conforms substantially to the periphery of the power stream flowing into the outlet channel. This is illustrated in FIG; 2.' When the strip is in its deflected position, it serves to confine and direct the left side of the power stream more efliciently into channel 18 so that when the stream is to be used to subse-:

quently operate an indicator, a higher energy is available for that purpose.

With the power stream normally flowing' from outlet channel 12?, it may. be desirable to switch the flow to outlet channel 17 by means of an electrical impulse. The stream isswitched in accordance with the invention by energizing electromagnet 38 through switch 33 to attract flexible strip 23 into alignment with channel wall 28.' When this occurs, the power stream attaches itself to the flexible strip and flows tooutlet channel. 17 because of a relatively large low pressure region created initially between the strip and stream periphery and the boundary layer adhesion of the stream. The flow characteristic of the fluid and new low pressure region are 'suflicient to overcome the efiect of the recess at control nozzle 19 so that chamber 16 toward fixed wall ,22. The strip is suflicient- `ly narrow in width to move between plates 11 and 13 without interference'therewith.

An electromagnet 30 having nonmagnetic tips 31 se- `cured to the ends of its core is positioned adjacent the of the strip.

left side (FIGS. 1 and 2) of the fiexible strp23 and suiti ably Secured to plate'll or 13. Magnet 30 is connected to a source of electrical power 32 and 'energized through the selective .operation of switch 33 to attract the strip against the stop tips and in substantial alignment between the power stream will continue to flow from outlet channel 17 as long as electromagnet 30 remains energized; This arrangement permits the power stream of device 10 to be eflectively and efliciently switch in response to an electrical signal fromapparatus such as an electronic computer. Flexible strip 23 is of small mass and presents no objectionable inertia or noise during rapid operation as found with conventional vanes or flappers.

Fluid control device 1@ may also be switched from outlet channel 18 to channel 17 by application of a 'fluid control stream from nozzle 19. When the fluid control device is tobe operated in this manner', nozzle 19 is connected by pipe 35 through flow control valve 36 to a source of pressurized fluid (not shown). The valve 36 may be a conventional valve or another fluid control device 16. When a control stream is directed against the power stream,'the latter is diverted to the left (FIG. l) to channel 17 and also moves flexible strip 23. against the stops. The power stream will not' lock in the ,switched position but will return to channel 18 'upon termination of the control stream, since the attraction of the low pressure region at point 25 will overcome the stiflness It will be noted that the provision of c'ontrol nozzle 19 is optional and that power stream switching can be accomplished by using ,only electromagnet 39 and the 'movement of fleXible strip 23. Control nozzle 19 has been shown and described to illustrate that device 10 may be controlled with both electrical and fluid pulses. Two modes of control for a single device permit its use in an increased number of applications and also allow electrical Controls to be easily connected at more stages in a system such as in an electro-fluid computer.

Fluid control device 10 is readily adapted for use in a binary computer system because of the pair of outlet channels. For instance, the normal outlet channel 18 may be designated the "O output and channel 17 may be designated the "1 output. Thus, in the absence of any control pulse, electrical or fluid, the power stream flow from channel 18 indicates a state; when an input control stream is applied to the power stream to switch its flow to channel 17, a "1" state is indicated.

The fluid control device may be modified as shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 to operate electrical contacts when the power stream is switched from one outlet channel to another. Like reference numerals in these figures are intended to have the same meaning as given them in connection with FIGS. 1-3. In this arrangement an electrically conductive and magnetic flexible strip 39 is Secured to power nozzle 19 in a manner similar to that described above for fleXible strip 23. Flexible strip 39 has an electrical conductor 40 connected thereto adjacent the end Secured at nozzle 15 and extends downstream into a recess 41 formed in wall 28 of outlet channel 17. The depth of the recess is approximately equal to the thickness of the strip so that when the strip is in the position shown in FIG. 4, the power stream from nozzle 15 may flow out channel 17 along the strip and wall with minimum turbulence. Extending slightly into the recess is an electrical contact 43, embedded in plate 12, to which is attached an electrical conductor 44. This conductor is embedded in plate 12 and extends downstream along channel 17. A second electrical contact 46 is embedded in flow divider 47 and extends sufliciently into outlet channel 17 to engage strip 39 when the strip is deflected to the position shown in FIG. 5. An electrical conductor 48 is likewise connected to contact 46 but embedded in flow divider 47 extending downstream along channel 18. The two conductors 44 and 48 may, however, extend outwardly through either plate 11 or 13 adjacent their respective Contacts. The fleXible strip, conductors 40, 44, 48 and Contacts 43, 46 are, of course, appropriately insulated if sheets 11, 12 and 13 are electrically conductive materials.

Flexible strip 39 is cut away at its free end as shown in FIG. 6 to provide openings 49. These openings permit fluid to flow therethrough when the strips are moved to the left as shown in FIG. 4 in the event that outlet channel 17 becomes severely backloaded.

In operation, flexible channel wall 39 serves as a movable contact arm to complete an electrical circuit from conductor 40 to conductor 44 representing flow in channel 17 or to conductor 48 representing flow in channel 18. In this embodiment, a fluid control stream from nozzle 19 is used to switch the power stream from channel 18 to channel 17 so that the movement of fleXible strip 39 completes electrical circuits representative of the presence and absence of a fluid control signal. This arrangement permits fluid pulses to be converted into electrical output signals. However, electromagnet 30 may still be used to switch the power stream if desired. It will be noted that the blocks of material of sheet 12, which form channel wall 28 and flow divider 47, may be of a conductive material with output conductors 44 and 48 respectively attached thereto. This avoids embedding contacts 43, 46 and conductors 44, 48 in plate 12.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and details may be made thereir without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. Fluid control apparatns comprising:

a power nozzle for issuing a fluid power stream;

a pair of outlet channels for. receiving said power stream;

a fixed wall angularly disposed between said power nozzle and one of said channels to create a reduced pressure region adjacent said power nozzle to efiect a diverson of said power stream into said one channel;

a flexible member opposite said fixed wall forming a wall between said power nozzle and said other channel and adapted to conform to the pe'phery of said power stream as it flows into said one channel in response to a decreased pressure at said periphery adjacent said member; and

means adjacent said flexible member for moving said member away from said stream periphery into alignment with said other channel to attract and transfer said power stream from said one channel to said other channel.

2. A fluid element comprising:

a power nozzle for issuing a fluid power stream;

first and second outlet channels for receiving said power stream;

means defining a chamber intercommunicating with said nozzle and said channels including a fixed wall having a recess therein to produce a reduced pressure region adjacent said issuing stream and eflect a diversion of said stream into one of said channels, and a flexible member Secured to one end adjacent said nozzle opposite said recess with another end thereof freely movable between a position adjacent the periphery of said diverted stream and a position of alignment with the other of said channels for causing said stream to flow thereinto; and

means to move said free end of said member away from said stream into alignment with said other channel to efiect a transfer of said diverted stream to said other channel.

3. Fluid control apparatns comprising:

a power nozzle for issuing a fluid power stream;

a pair of outlet channels for receiving said power stream;

means defining a chamber intercommunicating with said nozzle and said outlet channels including a fixed wall angularly disposed between said power nozzle and one of said outlet channels for eiiecting a diverson of said stream into said one channel, and a magnetic flexible member Secured adjacent said nozzle opposite said recess and having a portion thereof freely movable to a first position adjacent the periphery of said diverted stream in response to decreased pressure at the stream periphery 'and to a second position of alignment between said nozzle and the other of said channels in response to a magnetic force applied thereto; and

electromagnetic means for moving said member away from said stream into a position of alignment with 'said other channel whereby said stream is attracted and redirected thereintol 4. Apparatus as described in claim 3 further including an auxilary moving means comprisng a control nozzle in said fixed wall for directing a fluid control stream against said power stream and deflecting said power stream from said one channel into said other channel and said movable member from said adjacent position into said position of algnment.

5. Fluid control apparatns comprising:

a power nozzle for issuing a fluid power stream therefrom;

a plurality of walls formng a pair of outlet channels downstream from said nozzle for receiving said power stream;

a fixed wall between said power nozzle and'one of said channels otfset to create a reduced pressure region adjacent said power stream to direct said power stream into said one channel;

a member Secured adjacent said power nozzle opposite said fixed wall oiiset and having an unsecured portion &lewica downstream from said power nozzie, said portion being movabie to a first position adjacent said power stream periphery in response to a decrease in pressure at said stream periphery and to a second position aligned with a waii of the other of said channeis in response to a force counteracting said decrease in pressure; and

means for appiying said counteracting force and moving said wall portion into said second position from said first position where'oy said fluid power stream is attracted and redirected to said other channel.

6. Electro-fluid apparatus comprising:

a power nozzie for issuing a power stream therefrorn;

a plurality of waiis forming a pair of outlet Channels for receiving said stream;

an electrical conduction path for each of said Channels;

a fixed wall between said power nozzie and one of said Channels offset to create a reduced pressure region adjacent said power nozzie to dvert said power i stream into said one channel;

an eiectricaiiy conductive fiexble member Secured adjacent said power nozzle opposite said oifset wall and having an unsecured portion movable between a first position adjacent said directed stream connected o with the conductive path for said one channel and a i second position aligned with the other said channel connected with the conductive path therefor; and means for redirecting said power stream to said other channel and moving said unsecured portion into connection with said conductive path for said other channel. V 7. Apparatus as described in claim 6 wherein said redirecting means includes a control nozzie adjacent said 10 power nozzle and eiectromagnetic means adjacent said member selectively operable to move said member and redirecting said stream.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,932,307 4/ Bydalek 251- XR 3,001,539 9/61 Hurvitz 137--83 3,053,276 9/62 Woodward 137-610 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 1,041,060 5/53 France.

LAERNE D. GEIGER, Prmary Exam'ner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2932307 *Aug 30, 1954Apr 12, 1960Baso IncElectromagnetic control device with manual operator and overcalling control means
US3001539 *Aug 15, 1960Sep 26, 1961Hurvitz HymanSuction amplifier
US3053276 *Apr 26, 1961Sep 11, 1962Woodward Kenneth EFluid amplifier
FR1041060A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3263695 *Mar 19, 1964Aug 2, 1966Campagnuolo Carl JElectro-pneumatic transducer
US3266512 *Oct 16, 1963Aug 16, 1966Sperry Rand CorpFluid amplifier control valve
US3269419 *Jun 3, 1963Aug 30, 1966Gen ElectricFluid amplifiers
US3275014 *Sep 12, 1963Sep 27, 1966American Radiator & StandardFluid control means
US3282282 *Feb 18, 1964Nov 1, 1966Sperry Rand CorpFluid power output device
US3390692 *May 25, 1965Jul 2, 1968Army UsaPneumatic signal generator
US3405736 *Oct 13, 1964Oct 15, 1968Sperry Rand CorpPure fluid logic element
US3417813 *Aug 5, 1966Dec 24, 1968W M ChaceFluidic thermostat
US3426800 *Oct 15, 1965Feb 11, 1969Bowles Eng CorpBistable fluid valves
US3456665 *Oct 21, 1965Jul 22, 1969Bertin & CieFluid amplifiers
US3556119 *May 22, 1969Jan 19, 1971Us NavyElectro-flueric valve
US3593734 *Oct 30, 1969Jul 20, 1971Foxboro CoPressure-responsive element
US3595272 *Apr 10, 1969Jul 27, 1971Automatic Systems Of AmericaFluid switch
US3613709 *Feb 19, 1970Oct 19, 1971Foxboro CoElectric to fluidic signal transducer
US3638671 *Dec 5, 1968Feb 1, 1972Garrett CorpElectrofluidic transducer
US3760848 *Oct 29, 1971Sep 25, 1973Entwicklungs Und Forschungs AgSignal transducer for fluidic controls
US3771567 *Jul 13, 1972Nov 13, 1973Bell Telephone Labor IncElectromechanically actuated fluid switch
US4073316 *Oct 19, 1976Feb 14, 1978Skega AktiebolagFlexible flow diverter
US4326559 *Apr 25, 1980Apr 27, 1982The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The ArmyFluidic force transducer
Classifications
U.S. Classification137/831, 137/841
International ClassificationF15C1/00, F15C1/04
Cooperative ClassificationF15C1/04
European ClassificationF15C1/04