US 3272337 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 13, 1966 H. A. ELWELL 3,272,337
FUEL-DISPENSING SYSTEM FOR ASSURING DELIVERY OF UNCONTAMINATED FUEL Filed April 5. 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ump- INV ENTOR. Howard A. E /ve/l Sept. ls, 1966 H, A ELWELL- 3,272,337
FUEL-DISPENSING SYSTEM FOR ASSURING DELIVERY OF UNCONTAMINATED FUEL Filed April 3. 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Howard A. E/we/l ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3 272,337 FUEL DISPENSING SBZSTEM FOR ASSURING DE- LIVERY F UNCONTAMINATED FUEL Howard A. Elwell, Glen Ellyn, Ill., assigner to Standard Oil Company, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Indiana Filed Apr. 3, 1963, Ser. No. 270,459 1 Claim. (Cl. 210-136) This is a continuation-impart of U.S. patent application Serial Number 182,581, filed March 26, 1962, and now abandoned.
This invention relates to apparatus for dispensing liquid fuels, and more particularly provides means siutated conveniently near the outlet of a fuel-dispensing system for assuring delivery of uncontaminated fuel to the outlet consumer.
Every effort is made by oil refining companies to maintain and deliver their motor fuels free from contamination by small particles of dust, rust, and the like. But although gasoline leaving a refinery may be free of solid particles, rusting storage tanks and product pipe lines, wearing pumps, open tank vents, and old gasoline delivery hoses are unavoidable sources of contamination. Contamination may also be introduced by the trucks or tank cars transporting the gasoline from the refinery and terminal. It takes only a small amount of contamination to exceed what are generally regarded as .the safe limits for late-model engines; solid particles larger than twenty-five microns interfere with the operation of sensitive carburetors, and particles larger than ten microns can cause difficulties with fuel injection engines. Most in-line gasoline filters for .present-day automobiles are not designed to remove particles smaller than about 35 to 50 microns.
The contamination problem may be aggravated by the use of powerful detergents in premium grade gasolines. Detergents tend to retard the settling of small particles suspended in the gasoline when in storage at service stations. Settling may be further retarded by frequent deliveries of gasoline to the tanks, occasioned by large sales and small tanks, whereby the gasoline is regularly disturbed from a stable or static condition.
Accordingly, one object of the invention is to provide an improvement for fuel dispensing systems which assures delivery of gasoline and similar fuels uncontaminated by suspended solids.
Another object is to provide such dispensing apparatus with a solids removal means that is designed to interdict fuel fiow unless such means are properly positioned and installed.
A further object is to provide means for assuring fuel consumers that they are receiving clear and contaminantfree fuels.
A specific object is to provide an apparatus for a fuel dispensing system which removes solid contaminants at the outlet of that system.
Still another object is to provide a fuel dispensing improvement which is situated conveniently in and at the end of the delivery hose of a fuel dispensing pump system.
Other and more particular objects will become apparent as the description of this invention proceeds.
Briefly, according to the invention, a special filtering device is disposed between the discharge hose or conduit of a fuel dispensing pump and the flow-controlling valve at the outlet of this discharge conduit, The inventive filtering device comprises a housing disposable between the discharge conduit and the valve, .a replaceable filter element received in the housing and adapted to remove solids from fuel being dispensed, and an arrangement at the inlet of the housing for terminating fuel fiow unless the filter element is properly positioned, effective filtering is Thus, all critical contamination introduced between the ICC oil refinery and the outlet of the dispensing pump is removed by a filter element which, because it is downstream of a powerful pump, can have pores sufficiently fine so as lto be impermeable to all but the very tiniest solids. Moreover, by providing a positive fuel shut-off unless the filter element is properly positioned, effective filtering is made automatic and completely foolproof.
Further objects and advantages of the invention, as well as the structural details thereof, will be further described in the ensuing specification, which is to be read in conjunction with the following appended drawings which, in schematic form, include:
FIGURE l depicts the arrangement of gasoline dispensing pump, flexible discharge conduit, filter housing, and fiow-controlling valve or nozzle of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal section through the center of the filter element and filter housing;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of a bi-directicnal swivel joint advantageously disposed between the filter housing and the How-controlling valve.
Turning first to FIGURE l, the improved filter unit of the invention is depicted in its normal location near the outlet of the complete fuel dispensing apparatus. As shown in the figure, gasoline dispensing pump is positioned above ground, withdrawing gasoline or like liquid fuel from an underground storage tank, not shown, and delivering the fuel under pressure through discharge line 26, which is a gasoline-resistant flexible hose communicating from the discharge of pump 25 to the inlet of filter unit 1. The outlet of filter unit 1 is shown in FIGURE 1 as communicating directly with a flow-controlling valve or nozzle 27, which is inserted into the fill tube of an automobile or truck gasoline tank. Omitted from FIG- URE 1 for simplicity, but shown in FIGURE 3, is a bidirectional swivel joint arrangement which provides fiexibility for insertion of nozzle 27 into fill tubes positioned at varying angles. Although not illustrated the filter and swivel combination works equally well on dispensing systems employing a single pump, submerged in the fuel in the supply storage tank, which forces fuel through pressure distribution lines to dispensers which contain only the metering, control, and registration elements of the pump indicated in FIG. 1.
Turning to FIGURE 2, filter unit 1 is defined by an elongated cylindrical filter housing 4 and a pair of end caps 3 and 15. These respective end caps are provided with threaded holes or ports 5 and 16, which are tapped to receive 3A" pipe threads, as is conventional with most United States and many other countries, standards for gasoline dispensing pumps. Within filter unit 1 is a replaceable filter element 12, and a valve assembly adapted to positively interdict fuel -fiow unless the Ifilter element 12 is correctly installed within ythe filter housing 4.
Inviting attention to the lower portion of FIGURE 2, end cap 3 is shown, in its preferred form, as being threaded into mating threads on the inside of filter housing `4. Positive sealing is provided by O ring 2, or other equivalent sealing device. Advantageously, the exposed portion of end cap 3 is of hexagonal shape in the end view, or is 4otherwise equipped with wrench flats for convenient ease in removing end cap 15 at the opposite end of filter unit 1. Although not shown in the drawing, it is preferred that filter housing 4 be pinned or crimped to end cap 3 so as .to avoid inadvertent separation of these elements when otherwise intending to remove end cap 15.
At the upper portion of FIGURE 2, corresponding to the outlet of filter unit .1, an end cap 15 is positioned in a manner generally similar to that of end cap 3, except that end cap 15 is threaded into filter uni-t 1 (i.e., filter housing 4) without pins or similar permanent attachments so as to permit removal of end cap 15 for replacement of filter element 12. As with end cap 3, O rin-g 2a is disposed within an annular groove to assure leak-free assembly.
An important aspect of the invention is the provision of a means at the inlet of the filter housing for preventing, or interdicting, fuel fiow unless the filter elemen-t is properly installed. As shown in FIGURE 2, this advantageously takes the form of a fiat plate constituting valve seat S, with a plurality of circumferentially disposed, arcuate valve openings y therein, a sealing plate 7 urged into sealing relationship `with valve seat 8 (unless filter element 12 is present) by spring 6, and nipple 111 extending through a hole in valve seat 8 and protruding into the region normally occupied by filter element 12. Thus,
with filter element 12 not in place, sealing plate 7 closes the valve openings 10 of valve seat 8, .thereby positively preventing fluids from flowing through filter unit 1. Should the filter element be installed in the reverse from the normal position, valve plate 7 Will remain closed and no fuel will iiow.
Replaceable filter element 12 is a generally cylindrical structure, wit-h its extremities defined by a perforated metal, or like foraminous material, cylinder 13 and a pair of unperforated end caps 14 and 22; end cap 2-2 has a single egress conduit at its outlet, while end cap 14 has a dimple registering with nipple 11 so as to position the inlet end of filter element 12. Similarly, positioning of the outlet end of filter element12 is accomplished by fitting the outlet end into a properly sized recess in end cap 15.
The replaceable filter element advantageously employs an accordi-an-pleated cellulosic fil-ter medium of proper porosity which has been impregnated by a hydrophobic resinous or like material so as to prevent destruction by casual water.
Fluid flowing through filter unit 1 enters filter housing 4 via threaded hole 5, passes around lsealing plate 7, through valve openings 10 of valve seat 8, Iand then -to annulus 18 defined by the inside of filter housing 4 and the outside of perforated metal cylinder 13 of the replaceable filter element 12. From this annulus, it fiows radially in-Ward through the cellulosic filter medium to the center hollow port 21, and thence through the outlet port in end cap 22 and out through threaded hole 16 of end cap 15. Bypassing o-f fluids is avoided by ernploying an imperforate end cap 14 at one end of filter element 12 and by utilizing a washer 17 to seal end cap 22 at the opposite end.
Filter unit 1 and replaceable filter element 12 are obtainable, for example, from the Wix Corporation, Gastonia, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Turing to FIGURE 3, the bi-directional or bi-ax-ial swivel joint advantageously employed in conjunction with the invention is shown in cross sectional view. Swivel joint 31 preferably provides two degrees of rotation, 360 in each direction. One direction is about an axis normal to the axis of filter unit 1, and the other direction is about an axis .perpendicular to the second-named axis. By this flexibility, Ihow-controlling valve or nozzle 27 may be pivoted freely so as to be positionable with renpect to vehicle tanks having varying positions; at the same time, kinking or undue stressing of hose 26 is avoided.
As shown in FIGURE 3, swivel joint 3-1 comprises elbow 32 which has la nipple portion 33 threaded into the mating hole 16 on end cap 15. Perpendicular to nipple 33 is cylindrical male member 34, which is slidably received in a mating female member 36. The cylindrical rotating surface 37 between male member 34 and female member 36 is maintained fuid tight by O ring 38 disposed in one or more annular grooves in either male member34 or female member 36. Similarly, the fiat surface 39 is maintained fiuid tight by O ring 411 in suitable annular grooves in one or both of the surfaces 39.
'Female member 36 constitutes one portion of elbow 42, the other portion being an identical rotatable combination comprising male member 40 and female member 43, with O rings disposed as heretofore described. Both male members 34 and 40 are locked in .place by locking rings 44 which fit in annular grooves 4and rest upon shoulders machined into elbow 42. Locking rings 44 are advantageously of the omega type.
To provide access for assembly and repair of swivel joint 31, -an access plug 46 is provided, which threads into elbow 42 at port 47. Fluid tightness is provided by an O ring 4S positioned between access plug 46 and elbow 42. Suitable swivel joints yare supplied, for example, by Buckeye Iron and Brass Works, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A., and are termed Multi-swivel, catalogue number 4101E, made according to U.S. Patent 2,745,682.
Outlet nipple 49 from elbow 42 of swivel point 31 is threaded via pipe threads into nozzle 27.
To employ the inventive system, it is merely necessar to detach nozzle 27 from the discharge line or hose 26 of a gasoline dispensing pump 25, and to screw filter unit 1 in place via threaded hole 5. Alternatively but less de,- sirably, filter unit 1 may be installed between pump 2S and hose 26. So long as filter element 12 is not -in position, the normally-closed effect of the check valve at the inlet of filter unit 1 will absolutely prevent fluid from flowing through the filter unit. However, when end cap 15 is screwed into swivel joint 31 or nozzle 27, a filter element 12 is inserted into filter unit 1, Iand end cap 15 then screwed lin place, fuel is permitted to ow through the discharge system as described earlier. With clean pipe lines and tankage, it is unnecessary to replace filter element 12 at intervals more frequent than, say, once every few months; the need for replacement is signaled by a diminishing tiow rate through filter unit 1. When, however, replacement becomes necessary, it is only necessary to unscrew end cap 15, w-ithdraw the old filter element 12, and insert the new element, followed by re-closing end cap 15. The unit may be disassembled for filter element replacement without draining the hose 26 but pump 25 should be shut off, in the interest of safety. This occurs when sealing plate 7 can close valve openings 10 before end cap 15 is fully detached from the filter housing 4. v
The inventive apparatus may employ a number of refinements which provide additional benefits. For example, it is advisable to make the housing 4 and end caps 3 `and 15 of filter unit 1 of a light-weight ductile metal such as magnesium or aluminum or their alloys; lightness minimizes or avoids objections to use of the apparat-us based on awkwardness. In general, the housing and caps may be made of any non-sparking metal. Similarly, swivel joint 31 may be fabricated of die cast magnesium, aluminum, zinc, or alloys comprising a major portion of each.
Additionally, it is highly advantageous to cover at least housing 4 of filter element 1 with a resilient protective layer such as plastic coating 20. Many plastics, such as t-he polyvinyl chlorides7 polyethylene, etc., are sufficiently gasoline-resistant to be employed satisfactorily in this service, and not only provide a pleasing appearance and protection for -filter unit 1, but avoid the possibility of scratching vehicles whose tanks are being filled.
Thus it is Iapparent that there has been provided according to the invention a simple, rugged, and foolproof device for installation on fuel dispensing yapparatus which guarantees the delivery of clear fuel to the consumer. In addition, it has been found in use that the employment of a filter at this location not only removes solid contaminants such as rust and dirt, but also removes a significant amount of gums which may tend to form in g-asolines on prolonged storage.
While the invention has been described in conjunction with a specific embodiment thereof, many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications, `and variations as fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appendedclaim.
For a fuel-dispensing apparatus having a pump. discharge conduit connected to said pump, and a flow-controlling valve at the outlet of said discharge conduit, the improvement assuring delivery of uncontaminated fuel 5 comprising:
an elongated cylindrical non-sparking `filter housing made of light-weight metal and covered with a resilient protective layer inserted in said discharge conduit at said valve, said housing having fuel inlet and 6 may pass into said housing through said check valve, inwardly through said lter medium and out through said outlet end caps; and a bri-directional fluid-conducting swivel joint connected in flow communication between the outlet of said filter housing and said flow-controlling valve.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS outlet ends fitted with end caps, at least one of said 1,782,531 1'1/1930 Ffkkel end caps bei-ng easily removable from said housing 1,971,120 3/1934 R'lce et a1' for replacement of a filter element therein; a re- 2,198,819 4/1940 Hflmplaceable cylindrical filter element positioned in said 2,317,774 4/1943 Kiek et a1 21o-'222 filter housing and adapted for removing solid particles 2,624,463 1/ 195 3 FreeSefrom fuel flowing therethrough, said lter element 2,642,187 6/1953 B611 --1 2104-493 having an outer filter medium with its inner surface 2,745,682 5/1956 Chevalher 285-122 forming a centrally located hollow passage, a filter 2,793,752 3/1957 Jay 21o-234 X element outlet end cap provided with a centrally lo- 2,914,179 11/1959 P01151 21o-493 X cated fuel outlet port, said filter element outlet end 2,919,807 1/1960 Brlggs 21o-493 X ca-p being in a sealing relationship with said housing 2,932,398 4/'1960 Korte 21(1*45'2 X fuel outlet end cap, and an Iunperforated filter ele- 2,936,893 5/'1960 Afkoosh et 3L 21o-223 ment end cap having a centrally located dimple-like 2,956,915 1071960' KOU et al- 22o-64 element, said unperforated cap and said sealing re- 3,080,972 3/1963 811.11111 21o-235 X lationship preventing by-passing of fuel around said 3,127,255 3/1964 W111S10W- filterdeljement; ahncrmlallyl/ closd fchecdkhvalve posi FOREIGN PATENTS tione etween t e ue in et en o sai ousing an t.
the adajcent end of said lter element and in sealgig;
ing relationship with said fuel inlet end of said housing, said check valve being provided with a springloaded nipple adapted to fit in said dimple to force said check valve to its open position and to position the inlet end of said lter element when said lter element is in position in said housing so that fuel 1/ 1957 Great Britain. 7/ 1960 Great Britain.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE 0F CORRECTION Patent No. 3,272,337 September 13, 1966 Howard A. Elwell It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent Should read as corrected below.
Column l, line 7l, after "positioned," strike out "effective filtering is" and insert instead within the housing. Column 3, line 59, for "renpect" read respect Column 4, line 68, after "amount of" insert suspended Signed and sealed this lst day of August 1967.
EDWARD J. BRENNER Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.
Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer