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Publication numberUS3326538 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 20, 1967
Filing dateAug 12, 1964
Priority dateAug 12, 1964
Publication numberUS 3326538 A, US 3326538A, US-A-3326538, US3326538 A, US3326538A
InventorsMarvin D Merritt
Original AssigneeMarvin D Merritt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vapor generator
US 3326538 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 20, 1967 M. D. MERRITT 3,325,533

VAPOR GENERATOR Filed Aug. 12, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR- MA RV/IV D. MERR/TT ATTORNEYS June 20, 1967 M. D. MERRITT VAPOR GENERATOR 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 12, 1964 mzazm Wt N2 0 wt d fillm 9...].

INVENTOR. MARVIN D. MERE/7'7 aha/ mg, M

A T TORNEYS June 20, 1967 M. D. MERRITT VAPOR GENERATOR 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Aug. 12, 1964 A A M W Ba June 20,1967 M. D. MERRETT 3,326,538

VAPOR G ENERATOR Filed Aug. 12, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 356* L msso INVEN TOR MARVIN D. MERE/77' BY 346 .JM MM/g,

348 ATTORNEYS III June 20, 1967 M. 0. MERRITT 3,326,538

VAPQR GENERATOR Filed Aug. 12, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States Patent 3,326,538 VAPOR GENERATOR Marvin D. Merritt, 1530 Pike Parkway, Streetsboro, Ohio 44240 Filed Aug. 12, 1964, Ser. No. 389,176 17 Claims. (Cl. 261-28) This invention relates as indicated to a novel vapor generator, and more particularly to an improved device for receiving and intimately mixing gases and liquids thoroughly to vaporize the latter.

While such device or apparatus is adapted for a variety of purposes such as humidifying, vaporizing medicaments, insecticide spraying, vaporization of liquid fuels'for delivery to furnace and oven burners, and the like, a particularly important use is in the performance of the function usually provided 'by the carburetor of an internal combustion engine, and the following detailed description will accordingly be concerned primarily with this field of use.

A wide variety of Vaporizers have been developed in the past, and they are, of course, manufactured in extremely large numbers for employment in the form of carburetors for automotive internal combustion engines. Such carburetors, however, are not inexpensive and are subject to a number of operational difficulties; they tend to clog rather easily, are not readily. adaptable or adjustable to accommodate different liquids (e.g. gasoline and kerosene) and evidence substantially different operating characteristics at different rates of through-put.

It is accordingly an important object of the present invention to provide a novel vapor generator suitable for employment as a carburetor with an internal combustion engine adapted to deliver vaporized liquid fuel such as gasoline to 'such engine for mixture with the main air supply to the intake manifold.

A further object is to provide such vapor generator which is self-regulating to deliver vaporized fuel at the proper rate to the engine under all engine operating conditions.

A still further object is to provide a vapor generator wherein atomized liquid is delivered into a swirling turbulent air stream and then guided through a predetermined flow path to effect thorough vaporization of the liquid.

Another object is to provide a novel atomizing assembly effective thus to break up the liquid stream into an ex tremely fine spray.

.Still another object is to provide a vapor generator suitable for employment as an internal combustion engine carburetor so designed as to obviate the necessity for manual or so-called automatic choking devices of the typenow commonly employed with known carburetor units.

A further object is to provide such vapor generator of relatively simple design and construction, having few moving parts, which is economical to manufacture and operate and which is highly dependable in operation.

Other objects of the invention will appear as the description proceeds.

T o the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, said invention then comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description andthe annexed drawing setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principle of the invention may be employed.

In said annexed drawing:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of a vapor generator unit illustrative of the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 1A is a partially schematic side elevational view showing such vapor generator arranged to supply vaporized fuel to an internal combustion engine;

FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken on the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical cross-section of the atomizing head forming a part of such vapor generator assembly;

FIG. 5 is a view, similar to FIG. 4, of a somewhat modified form of atomizing head;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of a furnace oil burner including as a component a fuel oil vapor supply device in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view, partly in section and partially fragmentary, of a modified vapor generator unit;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view of the ator'nizing head forming a part of the modified vapor generator illustrated in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 99 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of another form of vapor generator constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view of the FIG 10 form of vapor generator, taken on line 11-11 of FIG. 10, and

FIG. 12 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view of the atomizing head of the FIGS. 10-11 form of vapor generator.

Referring now in more detail to the drawings, wherein like parts are indicated by like reference numerals, and initially to the form of the invention illustrated in FIGS. l6, the vapor generator illustrated therein is generally indicated at 10 and comprises a main housing 12 having a closed end 14 and an opposite open end adapted to receive a bell housing member 16, with the latter being rigidly secured to the main housing by a plurality of bolts or the like 18 which extend through continguous flange portions of the housing members. Mounted on the closed end 14 of the main housing is a rotary vane, positive displacement air pump 20 which is adapted to be driven in the form shown by a pulley 22 which can be driven by any suitable power source but which, in accordance with the present invention, is preferably directly driven by the internal combustion engine with which the vapor generator is operatively associated. The inlet side of the air pump 20 is provided with an intake filter 24 for purifying the air directed thereto."I'he air pump 20 is operatively driven from the pulley 22 by means of shaft 26.

A centrifugal blower 28 is mounted within the main housing 12 adjacent the closed end 14 thereof and in the form shown is also driven by shaft 26. The driving of the air pump 20 and the centrifugal blower 28 at the same speed provides operational advantages more fully explained hereinbelow.

Mounted within the main and bell housings 12 and 16, respectively, is a generally cylindrical bafile tube 30 the inner end of which is provided with a laterally extending, annular flange 32. A generally dish-shaped difl'user plate generally indicated at 34 is mounted in any suitable manner on the flange 32 and is provided with a central opening generally coextensive with the internal diameter of the baffle tube. The baffle tube 30 is concentrically mounted relative to the housing 12 and forms therebetween an annular vaporizing chamber 36. Helical baflle members 38 and 40 in the form of split rings are mounted around the baflle tube 30 with the outer peripheries thereof terminating closely adjacent the main housing 12 whereby the air and fuel passing through the vaporizing chamber traverses a helical path to the vapor generator outlet. The battle tube 30 is formed with a plurality of openings commonly designated at 42 relatively adjacent the outlet end of the vaporizing chamber 36 for permitting recirculation of the vapor under certain conditions to be hereinafter explained.

A venturi tube 44 is mounted within the bafiie tube 30 and is formed with an annular flange 46 at the inlet end thereof for mounting the tube to the bell housing 16, The opposite end 48 of the venturi tube extends through the central opening of the diffuser plate 34 and such end is secured thereto in any suitable manner. The air passing through the venturi tube 44 is thereby directed to the inlet of the centrifugal blower 28. A plurality of resilient, leaf-type valves commonly designated at 52 are mounted by rivets or the like 54 on the inside surface of the venturi tube and are adapted to normally cover slightly smaller openings 55 formed in the tube. In response to a predetermined differential between the pressure in the vaporizing chamber 36 and the pressure within the venturi tube 44, the leaf valves 52 will be forced open thereby permitting recirculation of the vapor from the chamber 36 through the venturi tube back to the inlet of the cen trifugal blower 28.

The diffuser plate 34, as perhaps best shown in FIG. 2 is formed with a plurality of arcuately spaced openings 56 formed from laterally struck plate sections commonly designated at 58. With the exception of such openings 56, the area of the diffuser plate exposed to the outlet of the centrifugal blower is imperforate whereby the air must pass through the openings 56 to enter the vaporizing chamber. The baflie 38 being relatively adjacently disposed to the openings 56 in the diffuser plate, the air entering the vaporizing chamber therethrough is in a highly turbulent and swirling state. Although a particular number of such openings is illustrated, it will be apparent that both the number and area of such openings can be varied to achieve optimum air flow conditions.

A curved filter generally indicated at 60 is mounted on the end of the bell housing 16 over the intake opening of the venturi tube 44. The filter, which per se forms no part of the present invention, preferably comprises outer and inner relatively coarse mesh screens 62 and 64, respectively, with a relatively open cell filtering material 66 such as porous foamed polyurethane disposed therebetween, and functions in the usual manner to purify the inlet air.

Referring now to the manner in which the fuel is delivered to the vaporizing chamber 36, a fuel line 70 communicates at one end with a fuel source (not shown), which source ordinarily comprises the fuel tank of the vehicle or the like. The opposite end of the fuel line 70 terminates relatively adjacent the top of an auxiliary fuel container 72, which is provided to control better the fuel delivered to the vaporizing chamber. A fluid suction line 74 is provided for conveying the fluid from the auxiliary container 72 to an atomizer assembly generally indicated at 76. One end of the suction line 74 terminates relatively adjacent the bottom of the auxiliary container 72 with the opposite end of the suction line being mounted in the atomizer assembly.

A high pressure line 78 is connected at one end to the output side of the pump 20 and is connected at its opposite end to the upper end of the atomizer assembly 76. The atomizer assembly 76 is constructed and arranged to receive the high pressure fluid and to create a vacuum for drawing the'fuel through suction line 74, the resultant gas-liquid mixture being directed into the vaporizing chamber 36 as will be presently described. Such an arrangement eliminates the need for additional fuel pumping equipment, such as a conventional fuel pump, assuming the vertical distance between the suction line 74 and the fuel tank is not excessively great.

Referring to FIG. 4, the vaporizer assembly 76 comprises a flanged mounting ring 80 having a reduced, tubular portion 82 which is externally threaded for mounting the assembly on the wall of the main housing 12 relatively adjacent the diffuser plate. The mounting ring is provided with a central opening 84 for receiving an inner tube 86. One end. of such tube is open and is adapted to receive the leading end of the high pressure fluid line 78, with the opposite end of the tube 86 being closed except for a pair of discharge orifices 88 and 89. An outer tube 90 is mounted within a recess formed in the inner end of the mounting ring 80, with the outer tube 90 being concentric with the inner tube 86 and spaced therefrom to provide a continuous chamber 92. The open end of the tube 90 communicates with the suction line 74 through a connector tube 94, the latter extending through an opening provided therefor in the mounting ring 80. Similar to the inner tube 86, the outer tube 90 is imperforate with the exception of discharge orifices 96 and 98 formed therein. The openings 96 and 98 are preferably formed on the same center line as the openings 88 and 89 in the inner tube 86, with the openings 96 and 98, however, being approximately 50 percent larger in diameter than the inner tube openings.

It will be thus be seen that the pressurized air entering the inner tube 86 from the high pressure line 78 will emanate therefrom through the discharge orifices 88 and 89 to the relatively larger orifices 96 and 98in the outer tube member. As the air passes through the relatively larger orifices, it will expand thereby creating a vacuum in the chamber 92. Such vacuum will serve to draw the fuel from the auxiliary container 72 through the suction line 74, with such fuel being directed to the openings 96 ter of the discharge orifices 96 and 98 and extending below the same to interrupt the air-fuel mixture emanating from the openings 96 and 98. As will be understood, the air-fuel is traveling at a relatively high velocity and when striking the leg 102 of the leaf spring causes the same to vibrate at a relatively high frequency. Such vibration produces a breaking up of the heavier liquid particles with the result that the air-fuel mixture entering the vaporizing chamber 36 is in the form of a relatively fine spray or mist. In addition to breaking up the relatively large liquid particles emanating from the orifices 96 and 98, the leaf spring serves to prevent a direct impinging of the air-fuel spray onto the outer wall of the bafile tube. The leaf spring thus serves better to disburse the fine spray or mist into the vaporizing chamber relatively adjacent the difiuser plate openings for more effective contact with the swirling, turbulent air.

There is shown in FIG. 5 an alternative form of atomizer assembly, generally indicated at 110. In this form the inner tube 112 similarly extends downwardly through an opening 114 in the mounting ring 116 and includes a generally bulbous lower end 118. The latter is formed with discharge orifices 120 and 122 which are concentrical- 126, respectively, formed in an outer tube 128. The

vibrating leaf spring in this form comprises a central mounting portion adapted to be received in the complemental recess in the outer tube 128, and leg portions 132 and 134 which are adapted to extend to positions generally normal to the path of spray of the air-fuel mixture emanating from the orifices 124 and 126. The atomizer assembly illustrated in FIG. 5 can be mounted on the main housing in any suitable manner and functions similar to the assembly previously described and illustrated in FIG. 4, with the pressurized air emanating from the inner tube 112 creating a vacuum in the chamber 136 between the inner tube 112 and the outer tube 128 thereby serving to draw the fuel from the auxiliary container 72 through the suction line 74. The leaf spring legs 132 and 134 effectively breaks up the resulting spray into fine liquid particles and disburse the same for optimum contact with the air entering the vaporizing chamber.

The main housing 12 is formed with a bottom, depressed sump portion 140 for collecting any condensate which might form during passage of the air-fuel mixture through the vaporizing chamber 36. The bottom portion 142 of the bell housing 16 similarly forms a sump for condensate which may be formed relatively adjacent the vapor generator outlet. An overflow pipe 144 is provided having an upper end 146 which extends through the main housing into the sump area for returning excess condensate to the fuel tank.

A vaporizer tube 150 is mounted in an opening in the baflle tube 30 and extends through an opening in the wall of the venturi tube 44 into the interior thereof. The 0pposite end of the vaporizer tube 150 terminates relatively closely adjacent the bottom of the sump 140. The air entering the venturi tube 44 is in certain instances sufficient to draw the condensate from the sump 140 upwardly through the vaporizer tube 150 into the path of the air moving through the venturi tube thus ultimately returning the same to the vaporizing chamber 36. The extent to which liquid will be drawn up through the vaporizer tube 150 will of course depend upon the speed of the centrifugal blower 28. The drawing of the fuel condensate from the sump 140 is particularly effective during relatively high speed conditions, with the sump 140 acting in effect as an additional source of fluid supply.

A similar vaporizer tube 152 is provided relatively adjacent the outlet end of the vapor generator unit, with the bottom end of the vaporizer tube 152 terminating closely adjacent the sump portion 142 of the bell housing 16. The intermediate portion of the vaporizer tube 152 extends through one of the openings 42 formed in the baflle tube 39, with the opposite end of the vaporizer tube extending through an opening in the venturi tube 44 into the throat thereof. In like manner, the fuel condensate in the sump portion 142 is drawn upwardly through the vaporizer tube 152, normally under conditions of relatively high air flow through the venturi tube responsive to high-speed rotation of the centrifugal blower 28.

The bell housing 16 is formed with a cylindrical sleeve 156 relatively adjacent the top thereof which defines an outlet opening 158 through which the fuel vapor formed in the vaporizing chamber 36 can be expelled. An exhaust outlet tube 160 is adapted to fit over the cylindrical sleeve 156, with the opposite end of the outlet tube being secured to a connecting tube 162 in which is mounted a butterfly valve 164 adapted to control the fuel vapor flow from the vaporizing chamber.

To summarize the invention thus far described, the air is directed to the interior of the vapor generator through the filter 60 and the venturi tube 44, with the centrifugal blower 28 drawing the air therethrough and forcing the same through the openings 56 in the diffuser plate 34 into the vaporizing chamber 36. The outlet side of the air pump communicates with the atomizer assembly 76 and functions to draw fuel from the container 72 through the suction line 74 to the atomizer assembly. Since in the form shown the positive displacement air pump is driven directly from the engine, the actuating of the engine starting motor is effective to immediately pump air through the pressure line 78 for drawing fuel to the atomizer assembly. Such arrangement of course eliminates the need for a choke or similar device required with present carburetion devices. The latter is effective to atomize such drawn liquid and to direct into the vaporizing chamber 36 an air-fuel mixture of very fine particle size. Such mixture is directed into the vaporizing chamber closely adjacent the outlet of the centrifugal blower 28, and is forced through the vaporizing chamber under the guiding influence of the baffles 38 and 49. The air-fuel mixture is thereby intimately mixed with the incoming air and such mixture is converted to vapor in the vaporizing chamber 36. The vapor thus formed leaves the vaporizing chamber 36 through the exhaust outlet tube 160, with the quantity of vapor expelled being controlled by the setting of the butterfly valve 164. When a predetermined pressure differential exists between the pressure in the vaporizing chamber 36 and the pressure in the venturi tube 44, the leaf valves 52 are forced open thereby permitting recirculation of the vapor through the openings 42 in the baffle tube and through the now uncovered openings 55 in the venturi tube back to the inlet side of the centrifugal blower 28. Such vapor recirculation is particularly effective to maintain optimum vapor density and is also elfective to prevent the build-up of back pressure in the vaporizing chamber. Any condensate formed in the vaporizing chamber gravitates to the sumps 140 and 142 for eventual return to the vaporizing chamber or back to the fuel tank through the overflow pipe.

Referring to FIG. 1A, the vapor generator is shown there operatively associated with an internal combustion engine. In such figure, the vapor generator, which is shown substantially entirely in phantom, functions to deliver fuel vapor to the intake manifold thereof. The connector tube 162 previously described is mounted in an opening in a throttle housing 170 which forms a mixing chamber for a fuel vapor entering the housing through the connector tube 162 and the intake air entering the housing at the upper end thereof. An air filter 172 of conventional construction is mounted on the top of the throttle housing for filtering the air delivered to the mixing chamber. A curved deflector 174 is mounted on the end of the connecting tube 162 for deflecting the fuel vapor downwardly into the mixing chamber relatively centrally thereof for optimum mixing thereof with the intake air.

The throttle housing 170 is provided with a flanged bottom portion 176 for mounting the throttle housing on the intake manifold (not shown) of the engine. A butterfly-type throttle valve 178 is mounted in the throttle housing on shaft 180 for rotation therewith. In a manner well known, the throttle valve 178, responsive to throttle demand, controls the opening at the throat of the mixing chamber thereby controlling the quantity of the air-fuel mixture entering the intake manifold.

A throttle link 182 is connected at one end' to a throttle control mechanism, for example an accelerator pedal, shown schematically in FIG. 1A, and is pivotally connected at its other end to a link 184. The latter is rigidly secured to the shaft 180, whereby movement of the throttle link 182 in the direction indicated by arrows results in rotation of the shaft 180 and thus movement of the throttle valve 178. A connecting link 186 is pivotally connected at one end to the intermediate portion of the link 184 and is pivotally connected at its opposite end to a link 188 rigidly secured to shaft 190 which in turn rigidly mounts the butterfly valve 164 which controls the delivery of vapor from the exhaust outlet tube 160. A stop plate 192 is provided on the throttle housing which is adapted to be engaged by a stop lug 194 on the link 184 for limiting the rotation thereof. An idle adjustment screw 196 of conventional construction is provided for proper setting of the throttle valve for engine idling speed. As will be apparent, the diameters of the fuel vapor outlet tube and the mixing chamber in the throttle housing can be varied, as well as the lengths of the various control links, to provide an optimum ratio of fuel vapor to intake air.

The throttle valve 178 and the butterfly valve 164 are thus operatively connected and are shown in FIG. 1A in relatively closed positions. It will be seen that when the throttle link 182 is moved by the accelerator pedal in a direction, for example downwardly and to the right as viewed in FIG. 1A, the throttle valve 178 will rotate clockwise about an axis through the shaft thereby opening the throat of the mixing chamber and increasing the intake air delivered to the manifold. Simultaneous with such movement of the throttle valve, the connecting link 186 will be retracted in the same direction as the throttle link 182 whereby the butterfly valve 164 will be rotated counterclockwise about the axis through the shaft 190, thereby permitting a greater flow of fuel vapor from the vapor generator through the connector tube 162 to the mixing chamber of the throttle housing. Thus, the settings of the butterfly valves 164 and 178 proportionally vary responsive to engine demand as controlled by the accelerator pedal. It will also be apparent that the throttle valve setting controls in another manner the quantity of fuel vapor delivered to the mixing chamber 7 of the throttle housing through the butterfly valve 164. As the engine speed increases in response to increased fuel-air mixture delivered to the intake manifold, as controlled by the accelerator pedal, the speed of the pump 20 and the centrifugal blower 28 will proportionally increase by virtue of the preferred form of direct drive thereof through the pulley 22. The engine per se forms no part of the present invention and has been schematically shown in FIG. 1A on an obviously reduced scale in order to schematically illustrate the operative relation between the demand on the engine, represented by the accelerator pedal, the actual engine speed, and the speed of the pulley-driven pump and blower. The drive connection between the engine and the pulley 22 is represented by dashed line 198. Thus, as the engine speed increases responsive to adjustment of the throttle mechanism, the increased engine speed will. be eflective to increase the speed of the pump 20 and the centrifugal blower 28, with the latter thereby drawing more air into the vapor generator unit through the venturi tube. The increased output of the air pump 20 will be effective to increase the vacuum created in the vacuum chamber 92 in the atomizer assembly 76 thereby drawing in greater quantities of liquid fuel from the container 72.

There will thus be a greater quantity of air-fuel spray V directed into the vaporizing chamber 36 there'byincreasing the amount of vapor formed therein. Thus, when the butterfly valve 164 is gradually opened, there is a proportional increase in the volume of vapor formed in the vaporizing chamber. In this manner the volume of fuel vapor directed to the mixing chamber is accurately proportional to the volume of intake air entering the mixing chamber, whereby an optimum combustible fuel mixture is provided at all engine speeds.

As stated above, the vapor generator of the present invention is capable of environmental uses in addition to that described above in conjunction with FIG. 1A. One such use is shown in FIG. 6 where the vapor generator 10 is employed .to deliver vaporized fuel oil to an oil burning furnace, the outer wall of which is indicated at 200. The vapor generator 10 is identically constructed with that described above, and the connecter tube 162 communicates withthe fuel inlet of the furnace, such inlet being in the form of a venturi tube 202. The venturi tube has mounted at the outer end thereof a pair of air shutter plates 204 and 206 which can be adjusted for regulating the air intake into the fuel inlet 202. The shutter plates are formed with central openings for receiving the inner end of a feed tube 208 the opposite end of which is connected to the connector tube 162. A heating coil 210 is disposed within the fuel inlet tube relatively adjacent the outlet of the feed tube 208 to enhance -vaporization of heavier type fuel oils. The velocity of the oil vapor passing through the venturi tube 202 creates a vacuum adjacent the outer end of the tube thereby drawing air through the shutter plates 204 and 206 for combustion. The setting of the butterfly valve 164 is preferably made synchronous with the adjustment of the air shutter openings to provide optimum fuel-air ratios.

Referring to FIG. 7, there is illustrated therein a modified form of vapor generator. The FIG. 7 form is similar in many respects to the form above described and illusa o trated in FIGS. l-6 and where appropriate the same reference numerals are applied to designate like parts. In.

directly driven from an engine-driven pulley 252 by means of shaft 254, with the centrifugal blower 28 being similarly driven by the same shaft. A fuel line 256 communicates with the fuel supply tank and with the suction side of the fuel jump, with the high pressure side of the latter expelling the fuel through pressure line 258 to an atomizing head generally indicated .at 260, the upper end of which is connected and sealed to the line 258. The fuel is thus pumped directly into the annular vaporizing chamber 36 through the atomizer head 260 to intimately mix with the air being circulated through the chamber by the centrifugal blower 28.

Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, the atomizing head 260 comprises a tubular body portion 262 and a discharge head portion 264, with the latter being secured to the former preferably by means of mating threaded surfaces as illustrated. The atomizing head portion 260 is formed with a plurality of downwardly and inwardly inclined openings commonly designated at 266, there being four such openings in the form shown, preferably spaced apart. As shown in FIG. 8, the axes of the respective openings converge at a common point 268 below the atomizing head portion 260 thereby to finely break up the fuel directed through such openings and enhance the mixing of such fuel with the air directed to the vaporizing chamber 36 by the blower 28.

It will be understood that the portion of the vapor generator not shown in FIG. 7 is identical to the corresponding portion above described in reference to the FIGS. 1-6 form of vapor generator, and that further description or illustration is therefore unnecessary.

The operation of the vapor generator illustrated in FIGS. 79 is generally similar to that above described for the FIGS. 16 form of the invention with the exception of the fuel delivery means employed. Fuel is directed by the fuel pump 250 into the vaporizing chamber 36 through the atomizing head 260. The fuel passing downwardly through the tubular body portion 262 of the atomizing head passes outwardly of the head portion 264 through the respective openings 266, with the respective engine speed as controlled by the accelerator pedal whereby the quantity of fuel vapor produced in the vaponzlng chamber 36 is proportioned to the fuel vapor requ1red for optimum engine operating conditions. It will also be noted that the FIG. 7 form is provided with recirculating leaf valves 52 to provide for recirculation of the fuel vapor through the venturi tube 44 to the inlet of the centrifugal blower 28.

Referring now to FIGS. 10-12, there is illustrated therein a further form of vapor generator constructed in accordance with the present invention. The vapor generator illustrated in this form finds particularly advantageous use where it is desired because of space or other limitations to mount the vapor generating unit directly on the intake manifold of the engine.

The vapor generator unit ofFIGS. 10-l2 comprises a main vapor generator housing 300 of generally circular form and a blower housing 302 laterally spaced therefrom, with the latter having mounted therein a centrifugal blower unit 304 which is preferably driven by means of electric motor 306. As best shown in FIG. 10, a connecting housing 308 interconnects the outlet side of the blower housing 302 with the main vapor generator housing 300, thereby to conduct the air to the vaporizing chamber 310 defined by the housing 300. Air is drawn into the centrifugal blower 304 through a filter 312 disposed in the bell mouth entrance 314 to recirculating duct 328 adjacent leaf valve 336.

The air directed to the vaporizing chamber 310 is guided therethrough by means of a battle 316, one end of which is preferably coplanar with the inner wall 318 of the housing 308. The bafiie 316 extends between the top and bottom of the main housing 300 to provide a confined path of flow and terminates in a curved end portion 320.

Fuel is directed into the vaporizing chamber 310 by means of atomizing assembly 322, the discharge openings of which will be described below when particular reference is made to FIG. 12. Fuel is directed to the atomizing assembly 322 through a fuel line 324 communicating, for example, with a conventional fuel pump. Pressurized air is conducted to the atomizing assembly by means of a high pressure air line 326 communicating at its opposite end with a source of pressurized air, for example the air pump 20 previously described in the FIGS. l6 form of the invention.

A recirculating duct or tube 328 is mounted above and extends between the approximate centers of the vapor generator housing 300 and the blower housing 302 for recirculating fuel vapor back to the inlet of the centrifugal blower. upon conditions of excess pressure within the vaporizing chamber 310. The end 330 of the recirculating duct 328 is fitted and received within annular supporting flange 314. The opposite end 332 of the recirculating duct is mounted on the top of the housing 300 and is provided with a plurality of openings 334, there being two such openings in the form shown, each of which has associated therewith a resilient leaf valve 336 similar to those described above. Upon conditions of excess pressure in the vaporizing chamber 310, the resilient leaf valves 336 will be deflected thereby permitting recirculation of the fuel vapor by the centrifugal blower 304 for re-entry into the vaporizing chamber 310 through the blower outlet. Referring to FIG. 12, the atomizing assembly 322 comprises an inner tubular member 340 and an outer tubular member 342 preferably mounted concentrically relative to the inner tube 340. A mounting sleeve 344 is provided adjacent the top of the outer tube 342 and is brazed thereto and to the inner tube 340 as illustrated to provide the concentric spacing at the upper regions of the outer tubular member 342. The latter at its opposite end is inwardly turned as indicated at 346 to provide the concentric spacing at the lower regions of the spaced tubular members. f

The bottom of the inner tubular member 340 is provided with a closure plug 348 and pressurized air entering the top of the inner tube 340 through the high pressure line '326 is directed outwardly of the inner tube through a series of vertically spaced and preferably aligned openings commonly designated at 350. The outer tubular member 342 is provided with a series of vertically spaced and aligned openings commonly designated at 352 which are relatively larger than the openings 350 formed in the inner tube. Fuel entering the annular chamber 354 between'the inner and outer tubes through the fuel line 324 is thus directed outwardly through the relatively enlarged openings 352 formed in the outer tubular member.

The openings 350 and 352 are preferably coaxial whereby the' air passing outwardly through the openings 350 and then through the relatively larger openings 352 will expand thereby drawing the fuel in the chamber 354 outwardlytherewith through the openings 352 to form an air-fuel mixture. The resulting air-fuel mixture emanating from the outer openings 352 contacts a vertically extending rod 356 preferably of a diameter slightly in excess of the diameter of the openings 352 thereby to insure impingement of the air-fuel mixture thereagainst. The rod 356, which is preferably brazed at its upper end to the sleeve 344, functions to produce a further breaking up of the liquid fuel particles'impinging thereagainst to provide a relatively fine spray or mist. To facilitate such further breaking up of the liquid fuel particles, the rod 356 is mounted only at its upper end whereby the same vibrates at a relatively high frequency when the air-fuel mixture impinges thereagainst.

The atomizing assembly 322 communicates with the vaporizing chamber 310 relatively adjacent the outlet end of the housing 308. Thus, the finely divided air-fuel mixture emanating therefrom is contacted by the blower, and in traversing the curved path defined by the baflle 316 the finely divided air-fuel mixture is converted to a fuel vapor.

Fuel vapor traversing the vaporizing chamber 310 leaves the same through a screen filter 360 mounted at the upper end of a throttle housing 362 which in turn is mounted in an outlet 363 formed in the bottom of the housing 300. The quantity of fuel vapor flow entering the throttle housing 362 is controlled by the setting of a butterfly valve 364 rigidly mounted on a shaft 366, the valve 364 corresponding to the butterfly valve 164 in the FIGS. 1-6 form of the invention. Also in a manner similar to that described above, the valve 364 is operatively connected to a throttle valve 368 for simultaneous movement therewith. The valves 364 and 368 are thus operatively connected through a linkage comprising link members 370, 372 and 374. A throttle link 376 is provided one end of which is adapted to rotate the link 370 about shaft 378, with the opposition end of the throttle link being operatively connected to the accelerator pedal (not shown) of the vehicle for control thereby. It will thus be seen that movement of the throttle link 376 in either direction will produce corresponding simultaneous movement of the butterfly valve 364 and the throttle valve 368.

The throttle housing 362 is provided with a plurality of arcuately spaced openings commonly designated at 380 through which the primary intake air enters for mixing the with the fuel vapor passing the butterfly valve 364; An air filter 382 is suitably mounted on the exterior of the throttle housing 362 to filter the primary intake air entering the throttle housing through the openings 380. The bottom of the throttle housing 362 is flanged as indicated at 384 for mounting the throttle housing on the' intake manifold 386 of the engine, a plurality of mounting bolts 388 being provided for such mounting.

It will thus be seen that the fuel vapor delivered to the engine is controlled both by the throttle valve 368 movable by the accelerator pedal, and by the butterfly valve 364 which controls the supply of fuel vapor to the interior of the throttle housing. It will further be noted that the intake openings 380 in the throttle housing are between the butterfly valve 364 and the throttle valve 368 whereby the spacing between such valves forms a mixing chamber for the fuel vapor passing the valve 364 and the intake air entering the throttle housing through the openings 380. It will also be seen that as the engine demand flucuates as controlled by the throttle link 376, the fuel vapor formed in the vaporizer chamber 310 proportionally flucua-tes. For example, as the engine demand and speed increase, more fuel and air will be delivered to the atomizing assembly 322 thereby to produce more fuel vapor for delivery to the throttle housing. The increased engine demand will similarly open butterfly valve 364 and throttle valve 368 to accommodate greater flow of fuel vapor and primary intake air thereby providing a greater quantity of air-fuel vapor mixture entering the intake manifold. In a similar manner, when demand, as controlled through the accelerator pedal, is lessened, the engine speed will correspondingly decrease, less fuel vapor will be formed in vaporizing chamber 310, and the 1 1 valves 364 and 368 will be relatively less open to reduce the air-fuel vapor mixture entering the intake manifold.

The term vapor as used herein is intended to be employed in a broad sense and is meant to include gasliquid mixtures in which the liquid is in both a vaporous state and in the form of finely divided particles suspended in the gaseous medium.

It will thus be seen that the present invention possesses distinct advantages over presently available carburetion devices. The disclosed atomizing assemblies function to deliver the fuel to the vaporizing chamber in the form of a fine spray or mist. The fuel-air mixture is thoroughly vaporized in the vaporizing chamber, with the resultant vapor product being delivered to the engine intake manifold in proportion to the intake air and in response to the acceleration control mechanism and the engine speed. The need for choking or similar devices is thus effectively eliminated. Each of the disclosed vapor generator forms is, moreover, extremely simple in construction and economical to manufacture, operate and maintain.

In addition to the modifications above referred to, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that other modifications in the construction could be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, the volume of vapor output could be effectively increased by increasing the blower size and/ or by the provision of additional atomizing asemblies. More than one vapor outlet could be provided leading from the respective vaporizing chambers. Further, the blower, and air pump in certain instances, could be driven from a separate power source rather than directly from the engine as illustrated. Uses of the present invention in addition to those above described will also readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. For example, the vapor generator could eifectively operate as a humidifier, a fog-type insecticide sprayer, a vaporizer, or, for that matter, in any environment where it is desired to intimately mix a liquid and a gas to form a vapor.

Furthermore, with reference to FIG. 1A, the discharge valve 164 from the fuel vapor generator may be arranged and disposed to discharge directly into the engine intake manifold similarly to throttle valve 178, with such two valves being synchronized in the same general manner. It will likewise be apparent that valve 364 (FIG. 11) may deliver directly to the engine intake manifold separately from throttle valve 368.

Other modes of applying the principle of the invention may be employed, change being made as regards the details described, provided in the features stated in any of following claims or the equivalent of such be employed.

I therefore particularly point out and distinctly claim as my invention:

1. A vapor generator comprising a generator housing, a generally tubular gas intake means within said housing and spaced therefrom thereby to form therebetween a vaporizing chamber, blower means adjacent the inner end of said gas intake means for effecting gas flow in one direction through said gas intake means and for directing the same through said vaporizing chamber in the opposite direction, diffuser plate means mounted within said housing in the path of the gas discharged by said blower means, said diffuser plate means being formed with a plurality of openings through which the gas discharged by said blower is directed into said vaporizing chamber, helical bafiie means mounted within said vaporizing chamber relatively adjacent said diffuser plate means, the gas entering the vaporizing chamber in the area between said diffuser plate means and said helical baffle means creating a turbulent and swirling condition in such area, and means for introducing liquid into said vaporizing chamber in the area between said diffuser plate means and said bafile means, the gas and liquid being intimately mixed during flow in said opposite direction through said vaporizing chamber to form a vapor, and

12 outlet means for controlling the flow of such vapor from said vaporizer chamber.

2. A vapor generator comprising a generally cylindrical generator housing closed at one end, co-axial tubular air intake means mounted within said generator housing and spaced therefrom to form with said housing a generally annular vaporizing chamber, blower means mounted adjacent said closed end of said housing for drawing air through said air intake means in one direction and forcing said air through said vaporizing chamber in the opposite direction, helical baflle means mounted in said vaporizing chamber, liquid supply means for supplying liquid to said generator housing, an atomizer head communicating with said liquid supply means and adapted to introduce liquid in the form of a fine spray into said vaporizing chamber between the outlet of said blower and said helical bafile means, air compressor means mounted adjacent said closed end of said housing, the high pressure side of said compressor means communicating with said atomizer head to deliver an air jet for drawing liquid to said head from said liquid supply source, said blower thereupon forcing the resultant gas-liquid mixture through said vaporizer chamber, the flow of such mixture being controlled by said baflle means, such gas-liquid mixture intimately commingling in said vaporizing chamber to form a vapor, said tubular air intake means being provided with a plurality of pressure-responsive resilient valve members adapted to open to permit circulation of vapor from said vaporizer chamber to the interior of said air intake means in response to a predetermined pressure differential therebetween, and adjustable outlet means for controlling the flow of such vapor from said vaporizer chamber.

3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said blower means and said air compressor are mounted on and driv en by the same shaft, such shaft being co-axial with said tubular air intake means.

4. The combination of claim 2 wherein said tubular air intake means is shaped in the form of a venturi and wherein a plurality of vaporizer tubes are mounted within said generator housing, said tubes extending from adjacent the bottom of said housing to the interior of said venturishaped air intake means, the latter drawing condensate collecting in the bottom of the generator housing upwardly through said vaporizer tubes for ultimate return to said vaporizing chamber.

5. A vapor generator unit adapted to be mounted on the intake manifold of an internal combustion engine comprising a main vapor generator housing having an inlet and outlet and defining a vaporizing chamber, said outlet being above and generally vertically aligned with the intake manifold opening, atomizing means communicating with said vaporizing chamber relatively adjacent said inlet, said atomizing means delivering a finely divided air-fuel spray to said vaporizing chamber, blower means for delivering air to said inlet of said generator housing, said air thereby traveling over said atom-izing means and intimately contacting said air-fuel spray, baffle means in said vaporizing chamber defining a convolute path of travel of the air-fuel mixture thereby to enhance formation of a fuel .vapor in said chamber, valve means adjacent said outlet of said generator housing for controlling the flow of such fuel vapor from said vaporizing chamber, and means for synchronously controlling said valve means and said blower means.

6. The combination of claim 5 further including recirculating passage means between said vaporizing chamher and the inlet of said blower, and valve means in said. recirculating passage to return the fuel vapor to the blower inlet at or above a predetermined pressure level in said vaporizing chamber.

7. A vapor generator comprising a generator housing, a generally tubular air intake means within said housing and spaced therefrom therebyto form therebetween a vaporizing chamber, blower means for effecting gas flow in one direction through said air intake means and for directing the same through said vaporizing chamber in the opposite direction, atomizer means for introducing liquid in the form of a fine spray into said vaporizing chamber in an'area relatively adjacent the end of such reversal in direction of the gas flow, pump means for drawing liquid from a liquid source to said atomizer means, the air and liquid being intimately mixed during flow in said opposite direction through said vaporizing chamber to form a vapor, adjustable outlet means for controlling the flow of such vapor from said vaporizer chamber, said atomizer means comprising an inner tubular member connected to the pressure side of said pump and being formed with at least one opening in a closed end thereof for expelling the high pressure air therefrom, an outer tubular member communicating with a source'of liquid and being formed with at least one opening generally aligned with and relatively larger than the opening in said inner tubular member, the air expelled through said opening in said inner tubular member expanding through said relatively larger openingin said outer tubular member to draw liquid through said outer tubular member from said source, the liquid and air expelled through said opening in said outer tubular member being in the form of a relatively fine spray, said inner and outer tubular members being continuously spaced to form a vacuum chamber, and a leaf spring mounted on said atomizer having a portion extending into the path of the air-liquid mixture emanating from the opening in said outer tubular member, said leaf spring being caused to vibrate by said air-liquid thereby serving to disperse the spray and further reduce the liquid particle size.

8. A vapor generator comprising a generator housing, a generally tubular air intake means within said housing and spaced therefrom thereby to form therebetween a vaporizing chamber, blower means for effecting gas flow in one direction through said air intake means and for directing the same through said vaporizing chamber in the opposite direction, atomizer means for introducing liquid in the form of a fine spray into said vaporizing chamber in an area relatively adjacent the end of such reversal in direction of the gas flow, pump means for drawing liquid from a liquid source to said atomizer means, the air and liquid being intimately mixed during flow in said opposite direction through said vaporizing chamber to form a vapor, adjustable outlet means for controlling the fiow of such vapor from said vaporizer chamber, said atomizer means being mounted on said generator housing and extending partially into said vaporizing chamber, said atomizer means comprising an inner tubular member connected to the pressure side of said pump and being formed with at least one opening in a closed end thereof for expelling the high pressure air therefrom, an outer tubular member communicating with a source of liquid and being formed with at least one opening generally aligned with and relatively larger than the opening in said inner tubular member, the air expelled through said opening in said inner tubular member expanding through said relatively larger opening in said outer tubular member to draw liquid through said outer tubular member from said source, the liquid and air expelled through said opening in said outer tubular member being in the form of a relatively fine spray, said inner and outer tubular members being formed with a pair of concentric openings, with the openings in the outer tubular member being relatively enlarged, and leaf spring means mounted on said atomizer means including leg portions each of which extends into the path of the air-liquid mixture emanating from an associated opening in the outer tubular member, each leg portion being disposed generally normal to such path.

9. A vapor generator comprising a vaporizing chamber having air inlet means and outlet means, a blower operative to deliver air to said air inlet means, liquid delivery means communicating with said vaporizing chamber for delivering liquid thereto, atomizing means communicating with said vaporizing chamber for dividing said liquid into a fine spray to form with said air a vapor, said atomizing means comprising an inner tubular member adapted to communicate with a source of pressurized air and being provided with a plurality of openings for expelling the air therefrom, an outer tubular member concentric with and spaced from said inner tubular member, said outer tubular member being adapted to communicate with a source of liquid and being provided with a plurality of openings coaxial with and relatively larger than the openings in said inner tubular member, whereby the air expelled from said inner tubular member through said openings therein expands as it passes through the relatively larger openings in the outer tubular member and draws simultaneously therethrough the liquid directed to the space between said tubular members, means disposed exteriorly of said outer tubular member and extending into the path of the air-liquid mixture to disperse such mixture and reduce the size of the liquid particles, valve means for controlling the flow of the thus produced vapor from said vaporizing chamber, and a recirculating passage leading from said vaporizing chamber to the inlet of said blower.

V 10. A vapor generator unit adapted to be mounted on the intake vmanifold of an internal combustion engine comprising a main vapor generator housing having an inlet and outlet and defining a vaporizing chamber, said outlet being above and generally vertically aligned with the intake manifold opening, atomizing means communicating with said vaporizing chamber relatively adjacent said inlet, said atomizing means delivering a finely divided air-fuel spray to said vaporizing chamber, blower means for delivering air to 'said inlet of said generator housing, said air thereby traveling over said atomizing means and intimately contacting said air-fuel spray, bafiie means in said vaporizing chamber defining a convolute path of travel of the air-fuel mixture thereby to enhance formation of a fuel vapor in said chamber, valve means adjacent said outlet of said generator housing for controlling the flow of such fuel vapor from said vaporizing chamber, second valve means for controlling the flow of primary intake air to the intake manifold, said first recited valve means and said second valve means being mounted in a throttle housing and being interconnected for synchronous operation, and primary air intake means between said first recited valve means and said second valve means and communicating with the interior of the throttle housing.

11. A vapor generator comprising a generator housing, tubular air intake means mounted within said housing and spaced therefrom thereby to form therewith a generally annular vaporizing chamber, blower means rotatably mounted at adjacent ends of said generator housing and tubular air intake means, said blower means drawing air through said air intake means in one direction and forcing said air through said vaporizing chamber in the opposite direction, atomizer means associated with said vaporizing chamber for introducing liquid in the form of a fine spray into said vaporizing chamber, the air and liquid mixture intimately commingling in said chamber to form a vapor, and adjustable valve means at the opposite end of said generator housing for controlling the flow of such vapor therefrom.

12. The combination of claim 11 wherein said atomizer means projects into said vaporizing chamber adjacent the outlet of said blower, helical bafiie means mounted in said vaporizing chamber between said atomizer means and said valve means, said batfie means defining a helical path through which said air and liquid mixture pass for intimate commingling thereof prior to reaching said valve means.

13. The combination of claim 11 further including means for adjusting said valve means in synchronisrn with the volume of air introduced into said vaporizing introduced into said vaporizing chamber by said atomizer means.

14. The combination of claim 11 further including means for recirculating vapor from said vaporizer chamber to the inlet side of said blower for recirculation of said vapor through said vaporizer chamber.

15. The combination of claim 14 further including means for returning to said vaporizing chamber for intimate contact with said air condensate formed in said vaporizing chamber and collecting in the bottom thereof.

16. A vapor generator comprising tubular air intake means, an annular vaporizing chamber surrounding said air intake means, blower means for forcibly delivering air to one end of said vaporizing chamber, atomizer-means for'introducing liquid in the form of a fine spray into said vaporizing chamber near said blower means to cause vaporization of such liquid, adjustable outlet means at the opposite end of said chamber from said blower means for regulating the flow of such vapor therefrom and a vapor recirculating passage leading from said chamber to the inlet side of said blower means adapted thereby to recirculate at least a portion of such vapor.

17. Atomizer means comprising an inner member adapted to communicate with a source of fluid under pressure, said member being provided with at least one opening for the escape of such fluid therefrom, an outer member spaced from said inner member and defining therewith an enclosed chamber adapted to communicate with a. liquid supply source, said outer member being provided with an opening coaxial with and slightly larger than the aforementioned opening in said inner member, whereby such fluid expelled under pressure through such smaller opening in said hollow member is caused to pass through such larger. opening in said outerchamber to draw such liquid therethrough characterized in that a flexible member is mounted exteriorly of said outer member directly opposite said larger opening in said outer member thereby presenting a surface for direct impingement thereagainst of such liquid to vibrate said member and enhance atomization of said liquid.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 831,275 9/1906 Fries 26179 X 862,856 8/1907 Tygard 239102 1,036,812 7/1912 Edmonson 26l--79'X 1,401,176 12/1921 Miller et al. 239524 1,625,997 4/ 1927 Gronkwist. 1,882,388 10/ 1932 Lonaberger et al. 2,083,787 6/ 1937 Leffler. 2,096,407 10/1937 Reitmeyer 26179 X 2,116,962 5/1938 Chartier et al. 123-119 2,160,309 5/ 1939 Huflman. 2,283,694 5/1942 Perrine. 2,714,503 8/ 1955 Heisler 26179 X' 2,723,841 11/1955 Adams 26130 2,762,653 9/1956 Sinclair 239142 X 2,933,259 4/1960 Raskin 239419 X 3,050,261 8/ 1962 Littlefield 2394l8 X 3,051,397 8/1962 Hanson 239524 X 3,229,450 1/1966 Stern 26191 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,108,666 6/ 1961 Germany.

HARRY B. THORNTON, Primary Examiner. T. R. MILES, Assistant Examiner. I

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification261/28, 239/424, 261/DIG.480, 261/65, 239/419, 239/142, 261/79.1, 96/284, 239/425, 261/78.1, 261/DIG.510, 239/336, 261/76, 261/43, 239/381
International ClassificationF02M29/06, F02M19/03
Cooperative ClassificationY10S261/51, F02M29/06, Y10S261/48, F02M19/03
European ClassificationF02M19/03, F02M29/06