US 3194220 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 3, 1965 J. M. DOWELL ETAL 3,194,220
ROTARY ENGINES Filed Aug. 21, 1961 6 sheets sheet 1 o He :50
n. MP2 "H iziir lNVE TORS y 1965 J. M. DOWELL ETAL 3,
ROTARY ENGINES 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 21, 1961 M, ATTORNS INVE BY W WQ July 13, 1965 owE ETAL 3,194,220
ROTARY ENGINES 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug. 21, 1961 y 1965 J. M. DOWELL ETAL 3,194,220
ROTARY ENGINES Filed 21. 1961 s Sheets-Sheet 4 ./r us 22 1" y 13, 1965 J. M. DOWELL ETAL 3,194,220
ROTARY ENGINES Filed Aug. 21, 1961 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 July 13, 1965 J. M. DOWELL ETAL 3,194,220
ROTARY ENGINES 6 Sheets-Sheet Filed Aug. 21, 1961 aoo c' km 170 c5 I86 United States Patent 3,194,220 RUTARY ENGINES James M. Dowell, 85 High St, Milford, Conn, and Rolaert F. Roy, West Haven, Qonn. (235d NE. 17th t., Pompano Beach, Fla.)
Filed Aug. 21, 1961, Ser. No. 132,753 12 Ellaims. (til. 123-16} This invention relates generally to internal combustion engines, and particularly to those of the rotary type.
In the field of internal combustion engines, considerable effort and energy have gone into the development, design and manufacture of piston and cylinder type engines which are widely used to power automobiles. Although rotary engines were utilized to a limited degree as aircraft engines, particularly in the World War I era, they were of extremely crude form and never achieved any significant degree of perfection or acceptance.
In internal combustion engines, particularly of the type the application of which, such as in automobiles and aircraft, requires that they be portable, there are a number of desired features some of which conflict and among which are the following:
(1) Simplicity of design and construction. The desire here is to provide an engine having a minimum weight and size to horsepower ratio, which can be readily diecast with a minimum number of dies for various horsepower ratings, and which may be easily mounted in any position for operation.
(2) Versatile and improved operation. Elements entering into this desired feature are to provide an engine: including a minimum number of moving parts and thereby reducing friction and wear; allowing for the use of a variety of gaseous or liquid fuels, such as gasoline, kerosene, natural gas (propane) or the equivalent; allowing for utilization of a plurality of the engines in series to I increase horsepower without creating any diflicult synchronizing problems; operating so as to require a simple, yet accurate, timing and control arrangement for both fuel supply and ignition which eliminates the need to advance or retard the spark during changes from low to high r.p.m.; operable at very high temperatures; scavenging 100 percent of the spent fuel; permitting air or liquid cooling; including a built-in supercharger; and which may be started by self-generated compressed air and eliminates any possibility of kick-back in starting.
It is an object of the invention to provide an improved rotary engine which includes all of the desired features set forth in the preceding paragraph.
Other objects and further details of that which we believe to be novel and our invention will be clear from the following description and claims taken with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
'FIG. 1 is a perspective View of one form of the invention with the end cap removed and inverted to show its inner side for the sake of clarity;
FIG. 2 is an end elevational view thereof with the end cap removed;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken substantially on line 3-3 of FIG. 2 with some portions broken away;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken substantially on line 4-4 of FIG. 3 with a portion broken away for clarity;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the engine fly wheel showing the rope starter means;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the engine housing per so with portions broken away for the sake of clarity;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a subassembly of elements including the take-01f shaft, the pair of driving vanes, the ring means and the means for supporting and sealing the vanes in the ring means with some portions broken away and others displaced for the sake of clarity;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken substantially on line 8-8 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of one of the elements of the FIG. 7 subassembly, namely, a ring means section;
FIG. 10 is an elevational view of one of the slippers which form the driving vanes supporting said sealing means;
FIG. 11 is an exploded view of the pair of driving vanes and the take-oil shaft;
FIG. 12 is an enlarged somewhat schematic view taken substantially on line 12-12 of FIG. 3 and showing the driving vanes solid, dotted and dot-dashed in three representative positions they assume during operation;
FIGS. 13 and 14- are schematic views which should facilitate an understanding of the operation of this form of the invention;
FIG. 15 is an end elevational view of another form of the invention;
FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a subassembly thereof;
FIG. 17 is a sectional view taken substantially on line l71'7 of FIG. 15, and
FIG. 18 is a sectional view taken substantially on line 18-48 of FIG. 17.
With reference to the drawings, in FIGS. 1-14 we have illustrated one form of our invention which is particularly useful for power applications under ten horsepower though not necessarily limited thereto. This form of the invention comprises a main housing which may be cast of a light-weight metal and conveniently made in. two sections, a main section iii and detachable end cap 12. The main section includes supporting means for mounting the engine in any desired position which, as illustrated, takes the form of a plurality of legs 14 and feet 16. The main section it) includes a cylindrical side wall 18 and a diametral end wall 2d having a flat circularinner surface 22. The side wall 18 and end wall 2% cooperate to define a solid cylindrical space in the housing section 10. The end cap 12 is detachably connected to the main section ill in any convenient manner, as by a plurality of threaded bolts 24 that are rigidly secured at one end of the main section 10 and which are arranged to be received in the openings 26 formed in the end cap 12 and have nuts 28 secured thereto. The inner surface 30 of the end cap 1?; is circular and substantially flat and completes a solid cylindrical compartment C when the end cap is secured to the main section of the housing. Centrally of the end wall 20 and coaxial with the compartment C there is formed a circular bore 32 into which is rigidly mounted in any convenient manner a radial hearing, such as a sleeve 34 (see FIG. 6). In the end cap 12 there is formed a centrally disposed bore 36 which rigidly supports a radial hearing, such as sleeve 38. The bearing sleeves are aligned and rotatably support a power take-01f shaft ill that extends completely through the housing (see FIG. 3).
In the surface 22 of the end wall 2th there is formed a circular groove 42 which is disposed eccentrically relative to the end wall and the bore .32 formed therein. In the inner surface 39 of the end cap 12 there is formed a similarly eccentrically disposed groove 44 which is arranged to be aligned with the groove 42 when the end cap is attached to the main housing'section. It will be particularly noted in FIG. 6 that one point on the groove 42 (the lowermost one) is common with one point on the inner surface 7% of the side wall 18 of the main housing section which point falls on an axial line x. The aligned grooves 42 and 44 are arranged to receive and rotatably support a ring means generally designated by reference numeral 46 which subdivides the compartment C into two chambers, one chamber designated as a compression chamber which is formed within the ring means as between the surfaces 22 and 30, being circular in cross section and identified as CP in the drawings, and the other chamber designated as the combustion chamher which is formed between the radially outer side of the ring means 46 and the radially inner side of the side wall 18 of the main housing section between the surfaces 22 and 3t being generally crescent-shaped in cross section and identified as CB in the drawings (see FIGS. l214). When the ring means 46 is fully assembled in the housing, it is mounted for substantially frictionless rotation therein and it cooperates with the housing, which is stationary, to form the referred-to chambers in a manner which seals them so as to be substantially airtight. To efiect the frictionless mounting of the ring means, antifriction thrust bearings are mounted in the grooves 42 and 44, as ring sets of ball bearings 43 and '3, respectively, and have edgewise bearing contact with the respective opposite ends of t to ring means.
Mounted on the shaft 449 is a pair of driving vanes 52 and 54, which preferably are made of hard steel, each Vane including a main fiat driving portion that is radially disposed in compartment C when the vanes are. operatively mounted and a tubular mounting hub, as can most clearly be seen in FIG. 11. Vane 52 is directly drivingly connected to shaft 40, and therefore, includes an axial keyway 56 in the inner surface of its hub 58 which is arranged to receive a key 6% that is mountable in an axial keyway groove 62 formed in the shaft as to directly connect the vane 52 to the shaft (see FIG. 3). The vane 54 1 is mounted on the shaft 4d so as to float thereon, and therefore, it includes a plain tubular mounting hub as that is freely rotatably mounted on said shaft. The vanes 52 and 54, when operatively mounted, extend radially through slots formed in the ring means as, in a particular manner to be subsequently described in greater detail, and have their axially extending, free radially outer edges 66 and 68, respectively, in close sliding clearance fit with the inner surface '70 of the housing side wall 18. The structural arrangement of the shaft as, vanes 52 and 54, and ring means 46 is such that they are capable of rotating jointly within the compartment C in the housin During such movement, the edges 66 and 68 of the vanes have a close wiping fit with the inner housing wall 713 and the radially extending, parallel, side edges 72 and of the vanes 52and 54, respectively, have close wiping contact with the flat, parallel, end wall surfaces 22 and 36 If it is desired to enhance the sealing and bearing relationship between the vanes and housing surfaces with which they have close wiping contact and reduce the wear of the vanes, the edges 66, 653, 72 and 7d of the vanes may be provided with elongated grooves, generally semi-circular in cross section, and elongated sealing members made of a good bearing and sealing material may be disposed in the grooves by having complemcntarily formed portions seated in the grooves and portions protruding beyond the edges of the vanes into good sealing contact with said housing surfaces. The arrangement is such that on rotation of the driving vanes, ring means and take-off shaft, the vanes rotate relative to the compartment C, but due to the eccentric relative disposition of the shaft and ring means, the vanes move radially in the slots in the ring means through which they extend and oscillate relative to the ring means, hence these cle ments though rotating jointly do not rotate uniformly. The vanes are mounted in the ring means so as to have bearing and sealing engagement with the portions of the ring means which define these slots; therefore, the con pression chamber and combustion chamber are isolated by the ring means.
The detailed construction of the ring means and driving vanes subassembly and their cooperative relationship will now be described. With particular reference to FIG. 7, it will be observed that the ring means as comprises a pair of substantially semicylindrical sections '76 which are preferably made of a mild steel, a pair of detachable end rings 78 which preferably are made of bronze, and a pair of bearing and sealing means for the vanes 52 and which are diametrall disposed and supported by the sections 76 and rings '73 when the ring means is fully assembled. Each bearing and sealing means comprises a pair of slippers do which may be made of a good hearing and sealing material, such as bronze, and cooperate when assembled in the ring means to form an elongated rectangular slot 32 of a shape to snugly receive a driving vane to support and seal it. The slippers are elongated, being longer than the axial length of sections 76, generally semicylindrical throughout the outer surface of their main axial central portions 84 and have tapered ends 86. When two slippers are operatively associated, their ends 86 cooperate to form conical mounting stubs for the assembled slippers which are receivable in complementarily shaped sockets 88 formed in the end rings 73, two of such sockets being formed and diametrally spaced in each ring '78. The axial length of the slippers is sufficient so that when they are operatively mounted relative to the sections 76, the mounting stubs formed by the tapered ends extend axially beyond opposite ends of the sections '76 where they are disposed to be positioned in end ring sockets 33, when the r ing means is lully assembled. At this time, the semicyhndncal outer surfaces 84 of the slippers are positioned in axially extending arcuate grooves 90 formed on opposing free axial edges of the sections as. On its inner side, each of the slippers includes a cut-away notch 92 which oppose each other and cooperate when the slippers are assembled to form a slot 32 for a driving vane, two such slots being located at diametrically oppositely spaced locations on the completed ring means.
in order to physically assemble the ring means-talie-oil shaft-driving vanes sub/assembly, one exemplary procedure is to dispose one of he end rings '78 about the take-oil shaft 5 i; mount he driving vanes 52 and 54* operativcly the shaft 4%, i.e. vane 52 is keyed to the shat and vane is slid thereon, the hubs complemer: 'ng each otl er axially to form a continuous tubular hub; dispose a i pair of slippers operatively about each vane, i.e. they are placed on opposite sides of the vanes to form the slot 82 about the va .e; dispose the two sections 76 in position to form a cylinder with the grooves 9% in their opposing free axial edges disposed to Contact and support a pair of assembled slippers 3%, move the end rings 78 into juxtaposition with the axial ends of the sections '76 and slippers 3t? disposed relative thereto so that the projecting conical mounting stubs of the slippers are received in the sockets 88 in the end rings and to secure the end rings to the sections 76, as by inserting securing screws 94 through appropriate openings 95 formed in the end rings and anchoring them in appropriate threaded openings 98 formed in the end edges of the sections as. Cther ways of assembling this sabasscmbly may be employed, the foregoing one being merely exemplary.
The takeoff shaft, driving vanes, ring means subasscmbly may be assembled and then mounted as a unit in the engine housing by removing the end cap 12 and moving the subassembly axially into compartment C of the main section while inserting one end of the shaft 46? housing through the bearing disposing one end of ring means as in groove Thereafter, the end cap 1.2 may be mounted on the shaft 49 by having its bearing 58 slid thereon, by positioning the end cap so that its groove slides over the other end of the ring means as, and by curing the end cap to the main housing section. When full assembled, an axial linear portion of the outer surface of the ring means has line sealing contact with an axially extending linear ortion of the inner surface 7d of the housing, which line is designated arbitrarily and schematically by reference character x in FIGS. 2,. 3 and Z en these parts are so assembled, the shaft 40 is supported for rotation by the bearing sleeves 3dand 38, the ring means id is rotatably mounted with its end rings F8 dispose in grooves and 4 in cdgewise thrust bearing contact with bearings 43 and 5d, and the driving vanes 52.
is accompanied by joint though not uniform rotation of the vanes 52 and 54 and the ring means 46. In operation of the engine, as will hereinafter be explained more fully, the driving vanes are forced to rotate by reacting to the force of exploding fuel, and they cause the shaft and ring means to rotate, the power being available for takeoff at the ends of the shaft that are disposed on the exterior of the engine housing.
The engine housing is formed to include, support or accommodate the remainder of the engine elements. With particular reference to FIG. 6, it will be observed that the main housing section 19 has a pair of openings 1%, 102 formed in and through the end wall Zil in position to fall within the groove 42, and therefore, to communicate with the compression chamber CP on the interior of the ring means 45 when the latter is assembled in the housing. Opening 19h is a fuel inlet valve and communicates through appropriate fittings and tubing 1% with a carburetor 1% which may be of any known convenient type and is disposed on the exterior of the housing. Opening 102 is a compressed fuel outlet valve and communicates through appropriate tubing 1% with a fuel control valve assembly 11h which may be conveniently formed in a fitting that is mounted detachably to the main housing section it) at a point thereon wherein it communicates through a perforated fire screen 112 with the combustion chamber CB on the interior of the main housing section in an area immediately adjacent to one side of the line x (see FIGS. 2 and 6).
Adjacent to the valve assembly 11% there is disposed a spark plug 114, which may be conveniently incorporated into the referred-to valve fitting, and the electrodes of which are disposed adjacent to the surface 79, the spark plug being disposed in an opening in the main housing section that opens to the combustion chamber CB. Spark plug 114 forms part of an ignition system that may conveniently include an electrical cable carrying conduit 116, an ignition coil 118, a battery (not shown) and a control switch 12% (see FIG. 4). These ignition system elements may be of any lmown convenient type and operate to cause the spark plug to spark whenever the switch is actuated. The switch 120 is actuated by a cam 122 that is keyed to the shaft it? by a key 124 on the exterior of the housing and which includes a pair of projecting cam ears 126 which are diametrally spaced and which cooperate with a cam following tripping lever 128 which forms part of the switch 120 to actuate the switch twice each rotation of the cam, hence cause the spark plug to spark twice a cycle.
Cam 122 also actuates a cam-following roller 130 that is rotatably supported by an elongated push rod 132 at one end of the latter. The push rod is mounted for reciprocable movement in a pair of apertured bearing blocks 134- formed on the end wall 29 and is operatively associated at its other end 136 with one end 13% of rocker arm 14th which is pivotally mounted by its hub 142 on a bearing pivot pin 14 1 that is rigidly supported on one of the feet 14 (see FIG. 1). The other end 146 of the rocker arm is operatively associated with the actuating end 14-h of valve stem 153 which forms a part of the valve assembly 110 and which supports a valve body 152 internally of the valve assembly that is normally biased by compression spring 154, operating through its end retainer 155 and the valve stem, to close internal valve opening 156 but which is actuated twice a cycle by the rocker arm 14% to move to its dotted position shown in FIG. 2 to open the valve opening 156 and thereby permit the compressed fuel outlet M2 in the housing end wall 23, hence a portion of the compression chamber CI, to communicate through the tubing 108, the open valve opening 156 and fire screen 112 with the interior of the combustion chamber CB.
On the exterior of the engine housing, the take-off shaft 4t) has rigidly connected to it, adjacent the cam 122, as
by the key 124, a flywheel 158, which may be of any v I d known convenient type. One side of the mounting hub of the flywheel may be formed so as to permit starting of the engine by cranking it with a rope. This rope cranking formation may com-prise an annular groove 160 which is formed in part by a radially outwardly extending flange res, and one or more notches 164 formed in the periphery of flange 162 to allow the operative disposition of a rope knot in a notch prior to winding the rope in the groove 160 to permit engine starting by cranking with the rope in the usual manner. The flywheel performs the usual flywheel function of imparting smooth rotation to the take-off shaft.
With reference to FIG. 6, it will be observed that throughout one-quarter of the side wall 18 of the main housing section, adjacent to the line x, there are formed a plurality of elongated, parallel, circumferenti-ally extending slots 16 5, which function as engine exhaust vents, as will hereinafter become apparent. The sealing contact of the cooperating linear portions of the ring means and housing at x, however, maintain the air-tightness of the combustion chamber CB between line x and a Vane disposed in the unslotted portion of the side wall 18. If it is desired to enhance the seal between the ring means and housing at x by rendering it a surface-to-surface seal rather than just a linear one, the adjacent portions of the housing at x may be transversely arcuately recessed slightly so as to have a curvature equal to that of the outer circumference of the ring means, and the latter may be lowered slightly relative to the housing, as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 6, so as to extend into the recess into surface sealing contact with the recessed portion of the housing by reducing the outer diameter of the vane: hubs 58 and 64, and lowering the grooves 42 and 44.
The foregoing comprises a detailed explanation of the construction of this form of the invention, insofar as detail is deemed necessary. The operation of the device will now be set forth. Reference to FIGS. 2, 12, 1'3 and 14, it is believed, will facilitate an understanding of the operation of the device. In these views, the driving vanes, ring means and take-off shaft rotate in a clockwise direction, as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 12.
For purpose of explanation we will start with the driving vanes disposed substantially in vertical alignment, as shown in FIG, 2 in solid lines, and in FIG. 12in dot-dash lines. It will be observed that the compartment C is generally divided into compression chamber CP and combustion chamber CB, as previously described, by ring means as, and that the compression chamber CP is further subdivided by the vanes into .two sub-chambers, one to the right and one to the left of the vane 54, as shown in FIG. 2. (In other phases of a rotational cycle, the vanes are differently disposed, and subdivide the compression chamber into three sub-chambers.) With the vanes disposed vertically, to start a cycle of operation, the engine is cranked, as by turning the flywheel, by utilizing the rope starter, in a direction to cause ring means 46, shaft 40 and vanes 52 and 54 to rotate clockwise in the chamber C. This causes the vanes to move out of vertical alignment due to the mechanical move- :ment caused by the eccentric mounting of the vanes and ring mean-s axes. A charge of gaseous fuel will be induced by suction from the carburetor through the tubing 1% and opening into a temporary subchamber S' in compression chamber CP being formed within the ring uneans 46 by and behind theupper driving vane which has moved from its vertical posit-ion I in FIG. 12 over fuel inlet opening 101 to its position 11. For simplicity we will follow this vane and a single charge of fuel throughout this explanation. The incoming charge of fuel is designated by schematic arrows at in sub-charnber S in FIG. 13 at this point in the cycle. Continued clockwise rotation of this vane to its dotted III position in FIG. 12 has the effect of increasing the size of the sub-chamber S within the ring means and behind this vane, to admit more fuel, the fuel charge now designated a. in FIG. 14.
Continued rotation of the vanes causes them to reach a place (half cycle) wherein they are again vertically aligned, but inverted, i.e. the vane which originally was the upper one in the position .shown in FIG, 12 at the start of the cycle is now the lower vane in position IV, the vane we are following throughout this explanation. At this time, there are again just two sub-chambers, and the right hand one in FIG. 12 is filled with the fuel charge occupying about half the compression chamber. Continued rotation causes this vane to move to the FIG. 12 position V and the other vane to sweep past fuel inlet opening 1% to induce a second charge of fuel behind it which we will disregard during this explanation, but which follows the fuel charge we are considering in sequence. At this time, the first fuel charge is being carried between the vanes and is designated a" in FIG. 13. Continued rotation causes this vane to reach FIG. 12 position VI, at which point it is about to pass over fuel outlet 11% to allow the first fuel charge, now designated a in FIG. 14, to pass through opening 102 and tubing 1% to the valve assembly 1119. Continued rotation causes the vanes to complete one complete cycle and reach their original, vertically aligned, FIG. 12 position, but the first complete fuel charge is now disposed in the left-hand subchamber and the second fuel charge is disposed in the right-hand sub-chamber. Continued rotation causes the first fuel charge to be compressed to a condition designated 61" in FIG. 13, and further rotation to condition a"" in FIG. 14, one of maximum compression. In this phase of the cycle, the first fuel charge has been cornpressed and forced through fuel outlet 102, tubing 1168, into the valve assembly 110, where it is disposed to be injected into the chamber CB through the fire screen 112 upon the subsequent controlled and timed opening of the valve which occurs twice a cycle, each time momentarily after one of the vanes has swept clockwise past the fire screen .112. This is shown in FIG. 13, wherein it will be observed that the fuel charge, designated schematically ar, is being injected into a combustion sub-chamber temporarily formed behind the radially outer portion of the vane that has just passed the valve assembly 116), which portion extends radially beyond the ring means 46, and between a circumferential portion of the ring means and a portion of the surface iii. This is an extremely small space designated by CB in FIG. 13 and may be considered a temporary detonation sub-chamber, which, it will be observed, is sealed along one axial side at line x. A moment later, the valve is closed automatically by the control and timing means and the spark plug is energized just after the vane passes it, and causes the fuel charge to explode, designated by ac, exerting a substantial force on the lower side of the vane, as shown in FIG. 14, which results in a strong reactive impulse on and clockwise motion of the vane. The driving reaction of the vane to the fuel detonation is the fundamental driving force produced by the engine, and it both forces the ring means 46 to rotate clockwise and imparts a direct rotative force on the shaft til. While this vane has thus been rotating to form the temporary detonation sub-chamber CB and to be forced by the explosion of the first fuel charge therein, the other vane has induced the second charge of gaseous fuel into the compression chamber. This second charge of fuel is compressed in the compression chamber CP and ultimately is forced through the fuel outlet 1082 and tubing 1% into the valve assembly 110 so as to be poised therein for subsequent injection into a second detonation chamber temporarily formed by the radially outer portion of the other vane behind it and between a circumferential portion of the ring means 46 and surface 7t? after the outer edge of the other vane has passed the line x. When the other vane passes the valve fire screen 112, the valve in assembly 110 is opened to admit the second charge of fuel into the second temporarily formed detonation chamber and then is closed; thereafter, when the other vane passes the spark plug 114, the latter is automatically energized to ignite and detonate the second fuel charge and to impart a clockwise force on the other vane. it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the configuration and disposition of the cam 122, the switch 12 and the cam follower 130 are empirically determinable in a known way so as to cause the valve to open twice a cycle and the spark plug to spark twice a cycle momentarily after the valve is closed, to cause two detonations of fuel per cycle and to thereby impart a clockwise ro tative impulse force on each of the vanes once a cycle. As one of the vanes is reacting to a detonation on its trailing side, its forward side is scavenging the waste or unspent gases of a prior detonation which are disposed in a temporary sub-chamber formed in the combustion chamber CB on its forward side and ejecting them out through the exhaust vents 166. The spent gases being scavenged are designated as in FIGS. 13 and 14 during the phase when they are trapped within this temporary sub-chamber combustion in chamber CB before the exhaust vents are placed into communication with this temporary sub-chamber by the vane passing over the exhaust vents (see P18. 13), and thereafter are designated as when they are free to pass to the atmosphere through the exhaust vents 166, which at that time have been placed into communication with the combustion chamber (FIG. 14). As the vane moves past vents 166, it sweeps all spent gases out,
It will, therefore, be understood that our rotary engine will operate, once it is started, by the unique cooperative operation of the ring means and driving vanes mounted within the engine housing in such a manner that the vanes cooperate to individually and sequentially form temporary sub-chambers in the compression chamber to induce a charge of fuel and then compress it and deliver it to the fuel control valve, which is operated to inject the fuel charge behind a vane, which at that time operates on the exterior of the ring means to form a temporary combustion sub-chamber, and to react to the detonation of the compressed fuel charge therein, which is ignited by the spark plug that is timed to spark momentarily after the fuel control valve closes, so as to have rotary movement imparted to the vane. The rotary movement of the vane results in rotation of the power take-off shaft, in the case of vane 52 directly to the shaft 4% as they are keyed to each other, and in the case of vane 54 indirectly to the take-off shaft, since it floats thereon, by being transmitted through the ring means to and through the other vane 52 and then directly to the take-off shaft. The overall operation is such that two charges of fuel are individually detonated each cycle. The timing and control means is designed so the induction of the fuel charges, their compression, transferral to the fuel control valve, injection into the temporary combustion sub-chamber, and detonation therein, are all operated in halfcycle sequences. Throughout, the flywheel operates to provide smooth operation.
Starting of our engine may be by rope cranking, as previously described, or starting can be accomplished by known automatic mechanical or electro-mechanical means or by injecting compressed air into the compression chamber. For the latter purpose, an auxiliary compressed air inlet may be formed and disposed adjacent the fuel inlet 1%.
Starting may be facilitated, if desired, by injecting atomized water into the compression chamber before firing commences to help fill the volume therein. This desirable technique contributes to smooth engine operation and also possesses the attribute of cooling the engine; this technique cannot ordinarily be utilized in a pistoncylinder engine, because the atomized water would short out the spark plug. Regardless of the mode and means of starting employed, it should be noted that kick back during starting is not possible with our engine because of the unidirectional operation of the driving vanes.
Although the fitting and tubing means for the fuel sup- Q ply system, both from the carburetor to the fuel inlet in the compression chamber, and from the fuel outlet in the compression chamber to the fuel control valve, have been illustrated as comprising separate fittings and tubes.
it will be realized by those skilled in the art that appropriate passageways and/or channels may be conveniently formed in the engine housing and subs tuted therefor, if desired.
Although the ignition system has been described as being an ignition coil-battery-switch arrangement, if de sired, the ignition coil, battery, switch and flywheel illu trated may be replaced by a flywheel magneto constructed to fire twice a cycle.
Although not illustrated, the engine may be conveniently and efficiently cooled by either the provision of cooling fins on the exterior of its housing or by mounting a water cooling jacket around its housing It should be noted that the fire screen 11.2 operates to prevent overheating of and flash-back into the fuel control valve.
The substantially frictionless operation of the engine should be noted. The engine includes a minimum of high friction points and much of the contact between the parts is low friction rolling contact. Sliding contact occurs between the driving vanes and the slippers; however, even this friction has been minimized to a maximum degree by the unique slippers which are mounted in the ring means to pivotally oscillate and to provide a snubbing bearing and sealing contact with the driving vanes which can be elfectively lubricated by an oil mist that can be readily generated in the compression chamber by injecting oil therein in any convenient manner.
In view of the foregoing, it will be apparent that we have provided a rotary engine which satisfies the object of this invention. Our rotary engine: is extremely simple in construction and includes few moving parts, most of which are in low friction rolling contact, hence wear on the engine parts is kept to a minimum; has an extremely low weight and size to horsepower ratio; may be operated on a variety of fuels, such as gasoline, kerosene or propane; most of its parts may be readily diecast by a minimum number of dies; horsepower ratings of it may be varied, if desired, simply by filling in axial portions of dies to thereby vary the axial dimensions of the housing, hence, of the compression and combustion chambers and the driving vanes and ring means to be used; is readily adaptable to series mounting to increase horsepower without creating and dificult synchronizing problems; starting of it may be accomplished by compressed air and all possibility of kick-back during starting has been eliminated; it includes a simple and accurate timing arrangement which does not require the ad vancing or retarding of the spark during changes in r.p.m.; and a supercharger is inherently built into the engine. The foregoing are desirable features in an internal combustion engine and their achievement in our engine contributes to the satisfaction of the object of our invention.
in E63. -18 we have illustrated another form of the invention which is particularly well suited for power applications over ten horsepower, though not limited thereto. This form of the invention operates on the same general principle as the first form, namely, that of utilizing a cylindrical ring means to divide a cylindrical compaitment into a compression chamber and a combustion chamber, a plurality of driving vanes extending through said ring means, and a takeoff shaft associated with the ring means and driving vanes for joint rotation therewith relative to a housing, and utilizing the reactive forces on the vanes to explosions of fuel charges to cause such rotation. The principal difference between the two forms of the invention resides in the fact that in the second form, all of the force applied to the driving vanes is transmitted through the ring means to the power take-off shaft, as contrasted with the first form wherein the force applied to one of the driving vanes (the one which is directly keyed to the take-off shaft) is transmitted directly to the take-off shaft. The fuel supply means, the ignition means and the timing and control means may all be the same in the second form as in the first form and the variations in these means set forth with regard to the first form may also be made in the second form. A specific variation which may be very successfully employed in the second form is that of utilizing a pressurized fuel injection, fuel supply system.
Therefore, there are many structural similarities in the .two forms, the principal structural differences residing in the physical construction of the driving vanes, ring means, take-off shaft and engine housing to effect complete transmission'of force from the driving vanes to the takeoil shaft through the ring means. Structural elements in the two forms which may be common are, therefore, designated by the same reference numerals but with a prime added where they are employed in the second form. Structural elements which are constructed differently in the second form will have fresh reference numerals applied to them. The materials of which the parts are made correspond in the two forms.
The engine housing in the FIGS. 15-18 form of the invention generally comprises a main housing section and a detachable end cap 172 which cooperate when assembled to form a solid cylindrical compartment C. Mounted within the compartment C is a ring means 174 which is eccentrically mounted relative to the compartment and which generally subdivides it into a compression chamber Cl" circular in cross section, and a combustion chamber CB generally crescent-shaped in cross section. The ring means 174 includes a cylindrical, side wall 176 and a diametral, flat, end Wall 178. Extending coaxialiy through the ring means 174 is an elongated take-off shaft 13% having an integrally formed, radial flange 11552 disposed contiguous with and rigidly secured to the ring means end wall 178, as by securing screws 184-. The ring means and take-off shaft are, therefore, functionally a unit that is adapted to rotate jointly and uniformly. The ends of the shaft extend in both axial directions completely through the housing where their free ends are accessible for power take-off.
The engine housing is designed to accommodate this ring means-shaft unit for rotation. For this purpose the inner surface 186 of the engine housing end wall 188, which is circular, generally flat and diametrally disposed to form one end wall of the compartment C, has an eccentric circular recess 1% and a coaxial, communicating, smaller circular recess 19?. formed therein, which communicate with a coaxial bore 11% that extends completely through an axial projection formed on end wall 188. With particular reference to FIG. 17, it will be observed that the right-hand end of the take-off shaft 13% extends through the bore 194, being supported therein and sealed by a pair of radial antifriction bearing and sealing assemblies 1%, and has its flange 182 disposed in the recess 192 and the ring means end wall i755 disposed in the recess 1%. The free open end 193 of the ring means is disposed within the free open end 2% of the main hous ing section 17d; however, it extends axially slightly beyond end where it is positioned to be disposed in a circular groove 2% formed in the inner surface of the end cap 172 and be supported therein for rotation when the latter is attached to the main housing section. The take-oh? shaft 1% extends through a bore 264 formed eccentrically in the end cap 172 which is arranged to be disposed coaxially with the bore 1% when the end cap is attached tothe main housing section. The end cap includes one or more radial antifriction bearing and sealing assemblies 2% for supporting and sealing the left-hand end of the take-off shaft (with reference to FIG. 17). Therefore, the ring means 1'74 is arranged to be supported for rotation jointly with the take-oil shaft 1% by the engine housing in recesses 1% and 192, groove Zil-Z and bores 15% and 264 formed in the engine housing components.
A pair of driving vanes 2%, 2% are arranged to be rotatably nounted coaxially within the compartment C and to extend radially therein. The driving vanes 203, are similarly constructed and each includes a main flat driving portion and a mounting hub comprising a pair of axially spaced rings and 211. respectively. rings 2113 and are arranged to be disposed coaxially and to mesh to form a solid tubular hub and to be supported on cylindrically disposed antifriction bearings that are, in turn, supported on an axially inwardly extending, cylindrical plug 214 formed integrally with the n 172. The driving vanes extend radially through a pair 01 slots 2.16 which are formed by vane bearing and seal means that are diametrally disposed in axially extend openings formed in the cylindrical side wall 176 of the ring means, Bearing and sealing means 213 are constructed and disposed in the same general manner as the bearing and sealing means of the first form of the invention. To facilitate mounting of the driving vanes 2%, 269, bearing and sealing means 2ft; and the ring means 1'74, the free end I198 of the ring means 174 may comprise a separate detachable end ring made of good bearing material, that may be detachably secured to the cylindrical side wall 176 of the ring means after the driving vanes and slippers that comprise the vane bearing and sealing means 213 have been axially slid into their receiving openings in the ring means side wall 176 which are open at the free end of the ring means when the separate end ring 1% is detached therefrom. Thereafter, the end ring may be sec d to the ring means side wall 176 to retain the driving vanes and slippers therein,
To assemble the second form of the invention, after the ring means, driving vanes and take-off shaft have been assembled, with reference to FIG. 17, the right-hand end of the takeoff shaft may be inserted and pushed through the bearing and sealing assemblies 1% in main housing end wall 188, and the end cap 172 may then be slid over the left-hand end of the shaft 1%, and adjusted until the driving vanes mounting rings 21%), 211 slide onto the bearings 212 and the groove 262 in the end cap slides over the ring means end ring 198. In this connection it will be observed that the bore 2% in the end cap extends completely through plug 214, eccentrically relative thereto and that the bearing and sealing assembly 236 ultimately supports the shaft. At this time, the parts will be fully assembled and disposed as illustrated in FIG. 17, and the end cap 172 may be rigidly secured to the main housing section 176, as by tightening nuts 219 on the mounting bolts 22% which extend through appropriate openings in the end cap and are anchored in threaded openings 2-24 formed in the free end 2% of the main housing section.
Because the ring means 174 includes integral, diametral, end wall 178, the fuel inlet from the carburetor E65 and the fuel outlet from the compression chamber CF to the fuel control valve assembly fill) cannot be formed in the end Wall 1855 of the main housing section, as in the first form. However, these elements may be conveniently formed by appropriate passageways and openings formed in the end cap 172, and therefore, the fuel inlet 2% from the carburetor 13-5 is illustrated as formed in the end cap, as is the fuel outlet 22-25 from the compression chamber CF to the fuel control valve assembly lid. With reference to FIG. 18, the direction of rotation of the driving vanes 208, 2%? is in the counterclockwise direction in operation, and the other elements of the engine are appropriately disposed as illustrated.
The operation of the second form of the invention is substantially the same as that of the first form, and thercfore, will not be repeated at this point. The supply of compressed fuel to the fuel control valve assembly, injection into the combustion chamber, detonation of the compressed fuel and the control and timing of the opening and closing of the fuel control valve and sparking of the spark lug fli t, are all substantially the same Cit aso
its; as in the first form. The principal functional difference is that reactive force of the explosion of the fuel which occurs twice a cycle as in the first form, is applied totally indirectly to the take-off shaft 1% through the ring means which is rigidly secured to the take-off shaft. The take-off shaft, ring means and driving vanes rotate jointly; however, neither of the driving vanes is directly connected to the driving shaft, hence during such rotation, both of the driving vanes oscillate individually in the end bearing and sealing means The overall operation of the secform of ti invention is somewhat better balanced and quieter than that of the first form, and therefore, adapts itself admirably to higher capacity applications of the engine.
It will, therefore, be apparent that the second form of the invention also satisfies the object of the invention.
As will be evident from the foregoing description, ceraspects of our invention are not limited to the parwe contemplate that various and other modifications and applications will occur to those skilled in the art. It is, therefore, our intention that the appended claims shall cover such modifications and applications as do not depart from the true spirit and scope of our invention.
l. A rotary internal combustion engine comprising: a housing including Wall means defining an internal cylin drical compartment having a cylindrical side wall and spaced flat parallel end walls; a cylindrical hub positioned within said compartment and extending coaxially therethrough, said hub consisting of a pair of rotatable cylindrical support rings; a cylindrical ring means and of greater diameter than said hub, said ring means encircling said hub and mounted in said compartment for rotation relative to said housing about a fixed axis therethrough, fixed axis coinciding with the axis of said ring means and being parallel to and eccentrically disposed relative to said compartment axis, said ring means having line sealing and bearing engagement with said housing at said side wall along the line of intersection of a plane through both said axes with said side wall, and said ring means having line sealing and bearing engagement Wit said hub along the line of intersection of said plane with said hub, said ring means and said housing thereby cooperating to define a first compression chamber within said ring means and between the end walls of said compartment and the cylindrical surface of said hub and a second combustion chamber between said ring ncans and said side wall and the end walls of said compartment; an elongated power take-off shaft extending through said housing within said ring means; bearing means in said housing supporting said shaft for rotation; 21 pair of separate flat axially and radially extending driving vanes one vane attached to each of said support rings, said vanes and support rings disposed for rotation about said. compartment axis, said driving vanes being disposed about said shaft in operative driving relationship thereto, said driving vanes extending from said hub through a pair of diametrally opposed spaced axially extending slots formed in said ring means and having their radially outer edges in a close sliding clearance fit with said housing at said side wall, said driving vanes having axially spaced parallel radially extending side edges in a close sliding clearance fit with the portions of said housing which define the end walls of said compartment, all of said shaft, said driving vanes and said ring means being jointly rotatable relative to said housing; inlet and outlet ports for said compression chamber in one of said compartment end walls, said ports being disposed on opposite sides of and closely adjacent to, the sealing engagement between said ring means and said hub, the inlet port being displaced from said sealing engagement in the direction of said ring means rotation; inlet and outlet means for said combustion chamber disposed in the cylindrical side wall of said compartment, said inlet and out- 13 let means being disposed on opposite sides of, and adjacent to, the sealing engagement between said ring means and said housing, said outlet means comprising a plurality of slots through said compartment side wall and extending from a point closely adjacent said sealing engagement a substantial angular extent in a direction opposite the.
direction of said ring means rotation, said inlet means comprising inlet chamber means in said cylindrical side wall and extending radially outward from the inner surface of said side wall, a fire screen dividing said inlet chamber means from said combustion chamber; a port in the radially outer portion of said inlet chamber means, and fuel control valve means separating said fire screen from said port; conduit means interconnecting said inlet chamber means port and said compression chamber outlet port; means for supplying a gaseous or liquid fuel to the inlet port for said compression chamber; ignition means adjacent said inlet chamber means and arranged to periodically ignite fuel in said combustion chamber; means for timing and controlling the operation of said valve means and said ignition means in response to rotation of said shaft so as to periodically permit flow through said conduit means and said inlet chamber means and into said combustion chamber means and ignite it shortly thereafter.
2. An engine as defined in claim 1 wherein said driving vanes operate when rotated to cause fuel to be ad mitted into said compression chamber and be compressed therein, and said timing and control means operates in response to rotation of said driving vanes and said shaft to open said valve means and inject a charge of pressurized fuel from said compression chamber into said combustion chamber behind a driving vane relative to the direction of rotation thereof and to actuate said ignition means to ignite the pressurized fuel and cause it to explode and exert a force behind the driving vane, whereby there is an explosion of a charge of fuel for each driving vane and two explosions for each rotation of said ring means and shaft.
3. An engine as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said slots is formed by separate bearing and sealing means that is supported by said ring means for oscillation relative to a driving vane and is configured to closely embrace said driving vanes in substantially frictionless bearing and sealing relationship therewith.
,4. An engine as defined in claim 3 wherein each of said bearing and sealing means comprises a pair of elongated slippers that are configured to cooperate when assembled -to form a substantially elongated cylindrical portion with an elongated slot of a cross section to accommodate a driving vane.
5. An engine as defined in claim 1 wherein said housing includes a detachable end cap which defines one of the end walls of the compartment and includes a ring means mounting groove.
6. An engine as defined in claim 1 wherein said ring means comprises a cylindrical portion and an integral diametral end wall that is rigidly secured to said. drive shaft; and said drive shaft is coaxial with said ring means.
7. An engine as defined in claim 6 wherein said driving vanes are mounted for rotation on a supporting plug formed on said housing and extending coaxially through said compartment, and a bore is formed eccentrically through said plug and arranged to receive and support said drive shaft.
8. An engine as defined in claim 7 wherein said vanes include spaced tubular mounting rings which mesh when mounted on said plug to form a continuous tubular hub.
9. An engine as defined in claim 6 wherein at one of said end walls said housing includes a circular recess for receiving said ring means end wall, and at the other of said end walls a groove is formed coaxial with said recess to receive the end of said ring means opposite to the end wall thereof.
10. A rotary internal combustion engine comprising: a housing including wall means defining an internal cylindrical compartment having a cylindrical sidewall and fiat spaced first and second parallel end walls; said first and second end walls defining, respectively, first and second aligned circular grooves; a cylindrical ring means of smaller diameter than and mounted within said compartment for rotary movement relative to said housing, said ring means comprising a pair of substantially semi-cylin drical sections and a pair of end rings detachably secured to the axial end edges of said sections forming the opposite ends of said ring means; said opposite ends being positioned for rotation in the aligned first. and second grooves of said first and second end walls in sealing and bearing relationship therewith; said ring means and said compartment having their axes spaced and parallel; said ring means being eccentrically disposed relative to said compartment and having an axially extending side portion thereof in line sealing and bearing engagement with said housing at said side wall, said ring means and said housing thereby cooperating to define two chambers within said compartment, a compression chamber within said ring means between the end walls of said compartment and a combustion chamber between said ring means and said side Wall and the end walls of said compartment; an elongated power take-off shaft extending through said housing and being disposed coaxially with said compartment within said compression chamber; said housing having bearing means for supporting said shaft for rotation; a pair of separate flat axially and radially extending driving vanes disposed in said compartment; one of said driving vanes being rigidly connected to said shaft, extending radially through said ring means and having its radially outer edge in a close sliding clearance fit with said housing at said side wall; the other of said driving vanes being mounted on said shaft for relative rotation thereto, extending radially through said ring means and having its radially outer edge in a close sliding clearance fit with said housing at said side wall; said ring means including a pair of diametrally opposite spaced axially extending slots through which said driving vanes extend; said driving vanes having spaced parallel radially extending side edges in a close sliding clearance fit with the portions of said housing which define the end walls of said compartment; whereby said shaft, said driving vanes, and said ring means are arranged for joint rotation relative to said housing; means for supplying a gaseous or liquid fuel to the interior of said compression chamber; fuel control valve means for controlling injection of fuel under pressure into said combustion chamber; means connecting the interior of said compression chamber with said valve means; ignition means for igniting fuel in said combustion chamber; means for timing and controlling the operation of said valve means and said ignition means so as to inject fuel under pressure and ignite it shortly thereafter; and means for scavenging said. combustion chamber.
ill. An engine as defined in claim 10 wherein said sections have spaced opposed axially extending side edges which cooperate to define a pair of diametrically opposite spaced axially extending spaces; and separate bearing and sealing means are disposed in said spaces and supported by said ring means; said bearing and sealing means being mounted for oscillation and being configured to form said slots and to closely embrace said driving vanes in substantially frictionless bearin ship therewith.
12. An engine as defined in claim 11 wherein each of said bearing and sealing means comprises a pair of elongated slippers that are configured to cooperate when assembled to form an elongated substantially cylindrical portion of a length equal to the axial length of said sections, an elongated slot of a cross section to accommodate one of said driving vanes, and a pair of oppositely axially extending mounting axle portions; and said end g and sealing relation- 1.5 ringsinclude bearing sockets for receiving said axle 2,402,257 portions. 2,907,307
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 427,732 846,844 3/07 Green 123-16 446,787 865,206 9/07 Ranek 12316 194,695 1,004,696 10/11 Schoeck 12316 1,974,761 9/34 Vogel 123-16 2,037,450 4/36 Bancroft 123-16 2,071,799 2/37 Mabille 123-16 6/46 Rich 12316 10/59 Striegl 123--16 FOREIGN PATENTS 6/ 11 France.
10/12 France. 10/24 Great Britain.
KARL J. ALBRECHT, Primary Examiner.
1! RALPH H. BRAUNER, JOSEPH H. BRANSON, JR.,
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No, 3,194,220 July 13, 196
James M. Dowell et a1.
It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered pat ent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read a corrected below.
Column 4, line 55, before "driving" insert a hyphen; same line 55, before "ring" insert a hyphen; column 9, line after "housing" insert a period; line 48, for "and" read any column 12 line 32, after "means" insert of 5m diameter than said compartment Signed and sealed this 28th day of December 1965.
ERNEST W. SWIDER EDWARD J. BRENN] Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patenl