US 3221995 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1955 .1. A. SIEVERT 3,221,995
SELF-CLOSING NOZZLE Filed July 25, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.
JAMES A. SIEVERT United States Patent 3,221,995 SELF-CLOSING NUZZLE James A. Sievert, Marinette, Wis, assignor to The Ansul Company, a corporation of Wisconsin Filed July 25, 1963, Ser. No. 297,713 3 Claims. ((1 239-452) The present invention relates generally to fire extinguisher nozzles and pertains, more specifically, to nozzles employed in fixed installations of the type having a source of fire extinguishing agent supplied under pressure to remote discharge points, which points may be located in an environment having conditions adverse to the proper operation of the dischrage nozzles.
It is the function of fire extinguishing equipment to deliver to a fire at least the minimum concentration of fire extinguishing agent necessary to extinguish the fire. In order to perform the function properly, such equipment is generally provided with means capable of effectively distributing the extinguishing agent over the entire area to be protected so that an adequate quantity of agent is always available at the vicinity of a fire, such means usually being provided in the form of discharge nozzles located within the areas to be protected. In many installations, these areas are located in an environment where adverse conditions exist which could interfere with the proper performance of the nozzles and even render such nozzles entirely inoperative. For example, installations in asphalt saturators, cotton gins, grease carrying ducts and the like are subjected to accumulations of unwanted matter which could clog the nozzles employed in such installations and rapidly decrease the working effectiveness of such nozzles.
A typical installation may be found in providing fire protection in a restaurant hood and duct system. Such systems are employed to exhaust cook'ng vapors, containing quantities of grease, from the cooking ranges utilized in restaurants and are generally constructed with ducts which, of necessity, may follow tortuous paths through walls and fioors of buildings making the interior of the ducts quite inaccessible for purposes of periodic maintenance necessary to keep the ducts free of accumulated grease and other debris. Such accumulated grease can be readily ignited by sparks or flames originating in faulty exhaust fans and related electrical wiring, or from flaming debris which may be expelled from the ranges themselves. The heat generated as a result of such a fire within the duct can then ignite combustible materials surrounding the duct to establish an uncontrolled fire.
In order to protect against the above outlined hazard, fire extinguishing systems have been developed which provide a source of extinguishing agent maintained under pressure outside the ducts, in a relatively accessible location, with conduits leading to nozzles installed Within the ducts for spreading the extinguishing agent immediately upon the detection of a fire within the duct and extinguishing the fire before any damaging effects result. It has been found, however, that deposits of grease will accumulate on the nozzles and clog the conduits leading to the nozzles as well as the nozzle passages themselves, thereby hampering their proper operation and sometimes rendering them totally inoperative. Efforts to overcome the difliculty have lead to the practice of covering the nozzles with such objects as paper bags, plastic caps and like makeshift devices which can be blown clear of the nozzle with the first discharge of extinguishing agent. While such devices may operate to accomplish the protection of the nozzles against deposits of grease, the replacement of the protective objects after initial use of the nozzles is, at best,
3,221,995 Patented Dec. 7, 165
an objectionable, if not difficult job and is frequently not done properly, if done at all.
It is therefore a primary object of the invention to provide a nozzle for use in a fire extinguishing system installed in an environment having adverse conditions, which nozzle will operate properly despite such conditions.
Another object of the invention is to provide a nozzle for use in a fire extinguishing system supplying a source of fire extinguishing agent under pressure, the nozzle being protectively sealed against the adverse effects of a surrounding environment and capable of being opened to discharge a stream of fire extinguishing agent when the agent is presented to the nozzle at a predetermined pressure.
A further object of the invention is to provide a selfclosing nozzle for use in a fire extinguishing system, the nozzle being normally closed and protectively sealed and capable of opening to discharge a stream of fire extinguishing agent when the agent is presented to the nozzle at a predetermined pressure and automatically closing upon completion of the discharge to again become protectively sealed.
A still further object or" the invention is to provide a self-closing, protectively sealed nozzle in a fire extinguisher system, the nozzle being capable of operating properly under adverse conditions to distribute a stream of fire extinguishing agent over a desired pattern to assure that the required amount of the agent is supplied to extinguish a fire in the vicinity of the nozzle.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a nozzle for use in a fire extinguishing system which nozzle is simple in construction, yet effective in operation and is easily fabricated and readily installed.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows and in part will be obvious from the description or may be learned from practice of the invention, the objects and advantages being realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the claims.
Briefly, the invention may be described as a self-closing nozzle for providing a normally protectively sealed discharge outlet in a fire extinguishing system supplying a source of fire extinguishing agent under pressure, and discharging a stream of fire extinguishing agent when the agent is presented to the outlet at a predetermined pressure. The nozzle has a body member with an outlet therein and means for directing a stream of fire extinguishing agent in a desired path through the outlet. A sealing means is provided for the outlet and is movable between a first position wherein the outlet is closed and protectively sealed and a second position wherein the outlet is open to permit the discharge of the stream of fire extinguishing agent. Means are provided for normally maintaining the sealing means in the first position and allowing the sealing means to be moved to the second position in response to a stream of fire extinguishing agent presented to the outlet at the aforesaid predetermined pressure to discharge the stream and returning the sealing means to the first position upon completion of the discharge. Further means may be located adjacent the outlet for distributing the discharged stream of fire extinguishing agent into a predetermined pattern.
The invention consists in the novel parts, constructions, arrangements, combinations and improvements shown and described.
The accompanying drawings which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification illustrate one embodiment of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention.
Of the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a nozzle constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a sectioned perspective view of the nozzle of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of another nozzle constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view similar to FIGURE 3, but with the component parts in another operating position;
FIGURE 5 is a sectioned perspective view of a nozzle similar to that of FIGURES 3 and 4; and
FIGURE 6 is a pictorial representation of the operation of the nozzle of FIGURES 3 and 4.
Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGURES 1 and 2, a nozzle constructed in accordance with the invention is shown having a generally tubular body member 10 which is capable of being connected to a source of fire extinguishing agent by means of a threaded connection, the male component of which connection is shown at 12, the installation of the nozzle being facilitated by the provision of a hexagonal portion with fiat wrench engaging faces 14 for receiving the application of the torque necessary to secure the nozzle in the installation.
As best seen in FIGURE 2, a bore 16 is provided wit-hin the body member 10 to conduct a stream of fire extinguishing agent from an inlet end 18 toward an outlet end 20. In order to assure that the stream of fire extinguishing agent follows a prescribed path as it passes through the outlet end 20, means are placed within the bore 16 for directing the stream into a desired path, the means being illustrated in the form of sleeve member 22 releasa'bly secured within the bore 16 by set screw 24. Thus, sleeve 22 may be selectively removed from bore 16 and may be interchanged with sleeves of various configurations for imparting any one of a number of prescribed paths to the stream of agent discharged from the nozzle. For example, sleeve 22 is provided with a pas sage 26 for conducting the stream of fire extinguishing agent to three orifices 28, all of which have equal dimensions and are so spaced from one another as to effect a multi-directional, diffused dissemination of agent in the discharged stream. In addition to allowing a choice of paths for the discharged stream, the provision of interchangeable sleeves allows the pressure drop across each nozzle and related conduit to be regulated so that the pressure drop across all nozzles and conduits in systems utilizing a plurality of nozzles may be balanced for optimum performance.
As explained hereinbefore, it is essential for effective operation of the nozzle that outlet and the orfices 28 be kept free of any accumulation of foreign matter which may exist in the environment in which the nozzle is installed. To this end, means are provided for protectively sealing the outlet 20 against deposits of unwanted matter, such means being illustrated in the form of a cover 30 establishing a closure over the outlet 2! and .having a seal 32 to assure that such matter is not admitted to the outlet 20 and to orifices 28 when the nozzle lies dormant in the fire extinguishing system.
Cover 30 has an annular skirt portion 34 depending from the fiat closure portion 36, the skirt portion 34 overhanging the body member 10 when the cover is closed so as to aid in precluding foreign matter from accumulating in such a way as to prevent proper operation of the nozzle. In order to allow the cover to be movable between a closed sealed position and an open, operating position, a projecting portion 38 of the cover is hinged to a bracket 40 by means of pin 42 passing through projecting portion 38 and bracket 40, the [bracket being rigidly fixed to body member 10. A helical spring 44 surrounds pin 42 and has an arm 46 which abuts projecting portion 38 of cover 30 as shown and biases the cover into the normally closed position illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2 so that seal 32 is properly seated to protectively seal the outlet 20, but allows movement of the cover toward an open position.
When the fire extinguishing system is activated and it becomes necessary for the nozzle to deliver a stream of fire extinguishing agent, the fire extinguishing agent, which has been maintained at a remote source, is conducted under pressure to the outlet 26 and the cover is pivoted to an open position in response to the pressure of the stream upon the cover which establishes a force great enough to overcome the biasing force of the spring 44 and the agent is discharged from the nozzle.
Upon the completion of the discharge, the spring 44 automatically returns cover 30 to the initial closed position and the outlet 20 and orifices 28 are once again protectively sealed until such time as it is necessary to discharge another stream of fire extinguishing agent.
Referring now to FIGURES 3 and 4, another embodiment of the invention is shown which is similar to the embodiment described above but includes means for distributing the discharged stream of fire extinguishing agent into a predetermined pattern. As in the embodiment of FIGURES 1 and 2, a tubular body member is provided with a hinged, spring biased cover and seal, all of which components are identical to the corresponding components of the embodiment of FIGURES 1 and 2 and hence are identified with the same reference characters' However, in the instant embodiment a plate-like element 50 is positioned in the path of the discharged stream of fire extinguishing agent so as to divert the stream into a predetermined pattern and distribute the agent for maximum effectiveness in extinguishing a fire in a given area. Element 50 is supported in place by an integral bracket plate 52 which is fixed to the body member 10 by lug 54. In order to provide a positive stop for cover 30 when the cover is opened to discharge a stream of agent, a shoulder 56 depends from plate-like element St} and positively locates the cover 30 in an open position as best seen in FIGURE 4. When the cover 30 is in the open position shown in FIGURE 4, the cover and the bracket plate 52 cooperate with the element 50 to divert the discharged stream of fire extinguishing agent into a symmetric pattern 60, as illustrated pictorially in FIGURE 6, the pattern 6t} approximating two cones having a common axis joined at their respective apexes.
Where it is desired to modify the pattern of FIGURE 6 to divert some of the fire extinguishing agent beyond the confines of the conical pattern 60, the nozzle construction of FIGURE 5 provides a perforation 62 in element 50 and an auxiliary deflector 64 is located adjacent thereto to control the dissemination of the agent through the perforation. It is noted that the configuration of FIGURE 5 employs a sleeve member 70 in place of the corresponding sleeve member 22 of FIGURE 2, sleeve 70 having a passage 72 leading the fire extinguishing agent to only one orifice 74 for establishing a more directional discharged stream lying generally along the longitudinal axis of the nozzle.
Nozzles constructed in accordance with the invention are particularly well suited for use with dry chemical extinguishing agents in permanently installed systems. In such systems, the agent is stored in a pressure vessel and when the agent must be delivered to a fire, an expellant gas establishes sufiicient pressure to force the agent from the vessel through conduits to be discharged at a nozzle into the flames of the fire. The system may range in size from a capacity of about 25 pounds to several thousand pounds of dry chemical agent, the smaller systems having only one nozzle, while the larger systems may utilize a plurality of nozzles arranged to provide fire protection over relatively large areas. The size and capacity of the nozzles employed will usually depend upon the number and arrangement of the nozzles in the system.
The proper operation of the nozzles described above depends to large extent upon the choice of the spring employed to bias the cover toward a normally closed and sealed position. The biasing force of the spring should be such that the pressure of the stream of chemical agent presented at the outlet will be suflicient to permit the cover to open to such an extent that there will be no unwanted interference with the desired pattern of the discharged agent introduced as a result of the cover position, yet should return the cover to the closed position at the completion of the discharge. It has been found advantageous to supply sufiicient spring biasing force to allow the cover to seat upon the body member against a relatively small amount of pressure, in the vicinity of about 2 pounds per square inch, so that the cover will remain open long enough to permit the residual agent expelling gas to blow the conduit substantially clear to chemical agent, but will close before the pressure is completely exhausted so that unwanted matter will not have an opportunity to enter the fire extinguishing system via the nozzle before the cover can return to the normally closed position.
Ordinarily, a fire is extinguished before the nozzles bu come subjected to excessive temperatures, hence the choice of materials for the component parts of the nozzle are not particularly critical. However, it has been found preferable to fabricate the spring 44 of stainless steel, since the material is able to withstand relatively high temperatures without an appreciable effect upon the mechanical properties which govern the desired spring biasing action.
It will be apparent that the nozzle construction contemplated in the invention may be applied to various types of fire extinguishing systems to gain the advantages achieved by the invention.
It is understood that the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific elements shown and described but also includes within the scope of the accompanying claims any departures made from such elements which do not sacrifice its chief advantages.
What is claimed is:
1. A self-closing nozzle for providing a normally protectively sealed discharge outlet in a fire extinguishing system supplying a source of fire extinguishing agent under pressure, and discharging a stream of fire extinguishing agent when the agent is presented to the outlet at a predetermined pressure, said nozzle comprising: a generally tubular body having an outlet therein and a bore leading to said outlet; means in said bore for directing a stream of fire extinguishing agent in a desired path through said outlet, said means having at least one orifice so positioned as to effect a desired dissemination of said discharged stream; a cover having sealing means therein; means mounting said cover for movement between a first position wherein said outlet is closed and said orifice is protectively sealed within said body member by said sealing means and a second position wherein said outlet is open to permit the discharge of the stream of fire extinguishing agent; means normally maintaining said cover in said first position and capable of allowing said cover to be moved to said second position in response to a stream of fire extinguishing agent presented to said outlet at said predetermined pressure to discharge said stream and returning said cover to said first position upon completion of said discharge; and means adjacent said outlet for distributing said discharged stream of fire extin guishing agent into a predetermined pattern, said means mounting said cover upon said body member comprising a hinge; said means normally maintaining said cover in said first position comprises a spring biasing said cover toward said outlet and said sealing means against said body memher, said means for distributing said discharged stream comprises a plate-like element, and a bracket plate mounting said plate-like element upon said body member with said plate-like element projecting into the path of said stream to divert said stream into said predetermined pattern.
2. A self-closing nozzle of claim 1 wherein said means for distributing said discharged stream includes a stop on said plate-like element for positively locating said cover at said second position such that said cover, when in said second position, and said bracket plate cooperate with said element to divert said discharged stream and establish said predetermined pattern.
3. A self-closing nozzle of claim 2 wherein said means for directing a stream of fire extinguishing agent in said desired path comprises a sleeve member releasably secured in said bore.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 340,812 4/1886 Neracher 239-533 X 450,574 4/ 1891 Beyers 169-40 525,946 9/1894 Dixon 169-37 570,721 11/1896 Tilden 169-37 748,608 1/1904 Hueni 239-552 1,286,333 12/1918 Johnson 239-384 1,495,713 5/1924 Phillips 239 552 1,599,411 9/ 1926 Gilsenan 169-37 1,638,042 8/1927 Larison 239-524 X 1,781,028 11/1930 Mapes 239-533 X 2,621,975 12/1952 Coles 239-533 X 2,666,670 1/1954 McGraw 239-533 X M. HENSON WOOD, JR., Primary Examiner.
EVERETT W. KIRBY, Examiner.