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Publication numberUS3371745 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 5, 1968
Filing dateMar 11, 1964
Priority dateMar 11, 1964
Publication numberUS 3371745 A, US 3371745A, US-A-3371745, US3371745 A, US3371745A
InventorsCallahan James J, Shivak Robert A
Original AssigneeTrabon Engineering Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Unidirectional-flow lubricating means
US 3371745 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 5, 1968 J. J. CALLAHAN L-:TALl 3,371,745

UNIDIRECTIONAL-FLOW LUBRICATING MEANS 5 Sheets-Sheet l Filed March 1l, 1964` INVENToRs James Jl Callahan Rober .Skill 1r,

ATTORNEYS March 5, 1968 J. J. CALLAHAN ETAL 3,371,745

UNIDIRECTIONAL-FLOW LUBRICATING MEANS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March ll, 1964 A INVENTORS James J. Callahan-t Robert ATTORNEYS y mw March 5, 1968 J. J. CALLAHAN ETAL UNIDIRECTIONAL-FLOW LUBRICATING MEANS Robert A. Shiv 1l;-

ATTORNEYS March 5, 1968 J. J. CALLAHAN ETAL 3,371,745

UNIDIRECTIONAL-FLOW LUBRICATING MEANS Filed March ll, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 |NVENTORS James Callahan,

Robert .Skiv' k ATTORNEYS March 5,1968 J.J.ALLAHAN ETA'. 3,371,745

UNIDIRECTIONAL-FLOW LUBRICATING MEANS Filed March l1, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States Patent 7 3,371,745 UNIDIRECTIUNAL-FLOW LUBRICATING MEANS James J. Callahan, Mentor, and Robert A. Shivak, Parma,

Ohio, assignors to Trabon Engineering Corporation, Solon, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Mar. 11, 1964, Ser. No. 350,981 22 Claims. (Cl. 184-7) This invention relates t-o single-line series or sequential type lubricant distributors for lubrication systems. Distributors of this type are sometimes referred to as cycling or cyclic distributors. They supply lubricant from a supply source to several stations and proportion the supplied lubricant between the several stations through lubricant branch lines that communicate between the distributor and the stations to be lubricated. Distributors of this type have .a plurality lof valVe-a-nd-plunger units and interconnections are made between the valve means of each valve-andplunger unit and the piston chamber of another valve-andplunger unit. The interconnections are accomplished through conduit means leading from unit to unit in such a manner as to prov-ide for cyclic sequential operation of the units of the distributor and cyclic sequential discharge of measures of lubricant to the branch lines. Examples of distributors of this general type in the prior art are found in U.S. Patents 2,792,911; 2,834,433; 3,025,929; and 3,074,509.

An object of the invention is to provide a lubricant distributor which in its mode of ope-ration is superior to known dist-ributors. Another object is to provide a distributor which when employed alone or with other like distributors in a centralized lubrication system substantially provides systemiwide unidi-rectional ii'ow in all fluid passages, or in all fluid passages of substantial length.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the foliowing desc-ription.

`In the drawings:

FIGURE l is a diagram-matic view of a single-line series or sequential type lubricant distributor embodying the invention.

FIGURES 2, 3 and 4 are, respectively, diagrammatic views of different valve-and-plunger units which maybe added to the distributor shown in FIGURE 1, and one of which may be substituted for one o-r all the units shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 5 is a view of an alternate end block which may be substituted for the end block shown in FIGURE 1 when certain other changes are made.

FIGURE 6 is a diagrammatic view of a single-l-ine series or sequential type lubricant distributor embodying the invention and similar to that seen in FIGURE 1, eX- cept that m-ore valve-an-d-'plunger units are shown in FIG- URE i6 and, unlike FIGURE 1,'in FIGURE 6 each outlet branch passage eXtens-ion does n-ot lead back through and discharge from the block associated with the valve-andplunger unit which controls the flow to such outlet branch passage extension. Furthermore, unlike the distributor shown in FIGURE 1, that shown in FIGURE 6 d-oes not have inlet and end caps or blocks but has special-ly formed passaging means within the blocks associated with the two endmiost valve-and-plunger un-its.

IFIG'URE 7 is a partly broken away elevation of a detailed structural embodiment `of FIGURE 6.

FIGURE 8 is a section taken from the plane of line 8 8 in FIGURE 7, one part of the structure being broken out in order to foreshorten the illustration.

FIGURE 9 is a plan View of the top unit shown in FIGURES 7 and 8.

FIGURE 10 is a fragmentary plan View of the next-totop un-it sh-own in FIGURES 7 and 8.

n 3,371,745 Patented Mar. 5, 1968 ICC IFIGURE 11 is a fragmentary plan view of the next-to- 'bottom unit shown in FIGURES 7 and 8.

FIGURE 12 is a fragmentary .plan view of the bottom unit sho-wn in FIGURES and 8.

The distributor shown in FIGURE 1 has a fluid supply header and comprises the valve-and-plunger units 111, 12 and 13 each embodied in a block-shaped structure. Interblock connections may be sealed by O-rings Within the shallow top-'of-block oounterbores that are schematically shown, or by other appropriate means. Each unit has first and second hydraulic piston chambers 16 and 17. Each unit has a pair of hydraulic pistons 26 and 27. Each piston is in its own one of the pair of hydraulic piston chambers 1-6 and 17 and is in lubricant sealing sliding relationship with the chamber.

Each of the units 11, 12 and 13 includes linkage means, which may merely be the stem 45 of the plunger or lpiston, for linking the pistons 26 and 2.7 for movement together and in hydraulic opposition to each other back and Vforth between first and second limiting end lpositions. Each unit also inci-udes valve means associated for movement with the linkage means 45, the valve means being constituted by the portions of the various lobes of the pistons which register in different ways with valve ports opening into the bores in which the piston and valving means are received.

Each unit includes firs-t, second, 1third, fourth, and fifth valve port means. The first valve port means is constituted by the .ports 21A and 21B taken together. The second valve port means is constituted by the ports 22A and 22B taken together. The third, fourth and fifth valve port means are, respectively, the ports 23, 24 and 25 in the type of valve-and-p-lunger units 11, 12 and 13 shown in FIGUR-E 1 and also in the substitute or supplemental unit 19 shown i-n 'FIGURE 4.

yIn the valve-and-.plunger units 15 and 18 shown in FIG'U'RES 2 and 3, the fifth valve port means comprises a pair of fifth valve ports 25A and 25B taken together. The n-ature of the openings 25A and 25B as true ValveA ports in units having valving of this general type is discussed in U.S. Patent 3,025,929 at column 3, line 42 if., and such explanation is here adopted by reference as if [fully set forth herein.

Consistently with the teaching of U.S. Patent 3,025,929, units such as lunits 1'5 and 18 should be included within the distributor only when there are at least three units of the type or types of the units 11, 12, 13 and 19 within the system.

The first piston chamber 16 is closer to the first valve port means 21A, 21B than it is to the second valve port means 22A, 22B; and the second piston chamber 17 is closer to the second valve port means than to the tirst.

The first and fifth valve port means are interconnected and the second and fourth valve port means are interconnected when the first limiting end position of each valve-and-plunger means obtains but not when the second limiting end position obtains; and the first and third and the second and tth valve port means are interconnected when the second limiting end position obtains but not when the first limiting end position obtains. This will now be explained in greater detail.

The first Valve port means includes the ports 21A, 21B, and only in the second limiting end position is one of these ports interconnected with the third valve port means. The fifth valve port means is the port 25 in the units 11, 12, 13 and 19; and in units 15 and 18, the fifth valve port means is the ports 25A, 25B taken together. Therefore only "in the first limiting end position is the first valve port means interconnected with the fth valve port means.

The second valve port means includes the ports 22A, 22B, and only in the rst limiting end position is one of 3 these ports interconnected with the fourth valve port means. The fourth valve port means is the port 24. There` fore only in the first limiting end position is the second valve port means interconnected with the fourth valve port means.

The first valve port means includes the ports 21A, 21B, and only in the second limiting end position is one of these ports interconnected with the third valve port means. The third valve port means is the port 23. Therefore only in the second limiting end position is the first valve port `means interconnected with the third valve port means.

Finally, only in the second limiting end position are the ports 22A, 22B, taken together as the second valve port means, interconnected with the fifth valve port means.

Each valve-and-plunger unit has a first passage means, including the passages 31A, 31B taken together, a second passage means, including the passages 32A, 32B taken together, a third passage means 33, and a fourth passage means 34. The first, second, third, and fourth passage means communicate respectively with the first, second, third, and fourth valve port means.

Each unit has a first in-out line means, including the lines 91A, 91B taken together, and a second in-out line means, including the lines 92A, 92B taken together. The rst and second in-out line means communicate respectively with the first piston chamber 16 and the second piston chamber 17.

The third and fourth passage means 33 and 34 constitute the upstream portions of outlet branch passages (respectively, 33, 81 and 34, 82) for guiding measures of lubricating fluid for discharge from the distributor to outlet branch lines that lead from. the distributor to the stations to be lubricated, or to subsidiary distributors. In the distributor shown in FIGURE 1, it Will be noted that the portions 81 and 82 of the outlet branch passages are located within the same block as is the valve-and-plunger which governs discharge from that outlet branch passage.

lEach of the pairs of passage means comprising the first and second passage of each unit is connected with its own pair of in-out line means comprising the first and second in-out line means of another unit, with a given number of the connected pairs of passage means and inout line means having the first passage means connected to the first in-out line means and the second passage means connected to the second in-out line means; any remaining number of such connected pairs of passage means and in-out line means is connected in the opposite manner. In the distributor of FIGURE 1, the given number is three and the remaining number is zero. Were the end block 49 of FIGURE 5 substituted for the end block 48 of FIGURE 1, the given number would be two and the remaining number would be one. In any case, the given number (three or two in the above examples) and the remaining number (zero or one in the above examples) are numbers of from zero to the number of units in the distributor (three) and together the given number (three or two) and the remaining number (zero or one) total the number of units in the distributor (three).

A given number of the valve means are formed to alternately connect their first and second valve port means to their fifth valve port means when the one of their first (16) and second (17) piston chambers closest to their first and second valve port means is filled. In FIG- URE l, this relationship is true of the valve-and-plunger units 11 and 12, so that the given number is two. Any remaining number of valve means is oppositely arranged. This remaining number is one in FIGURE 1, the valve means associated with the unit 13 being the only one that is thus oppositely arranged (due to the presence therein of a different plunger). Such given number of valve means (two) and such remaining number of valve means (one) are each numbers of from zero to the number of units (three) in the distributor and together total the number of units in the distributor.

The total of remaining numbers of connected pairs of passage means and in-out line means and remaining numbers of valve means must equal an odd number for the distributor to sequentially operate. (Therefore the abovementioned substitution of end block 49 for end block 48 without any other changes would render the distributor inoperative unless additional changes were made, because the remaining numbers in such instance would be one and one, a total of two (an even number). This could be corrected for example by replacing the plunger in unit 13 with a plunger of the configuration illustrated in units 11 and 12, thus making the remaining numbers one and zero, a total of one (an odd number). The illustrated plunger in either (but not both) of units 11 and 12 could be replaced with a plunger of the configuration illustrated in unit 13, thus making the remaining numbers one and two, a total of three (an odd number).) This is set forth here so that it is clear that the invention is not directed to only one operative combination and is not limited to details as to whether and how often lines cross or as to whether the valves port in one manner rather than another. The various possibilities of operative combinations in these respects are also discussed in U.S. Patent 3,025,929, which discussion is herein adopted as if fully set forth and repeated.

It will be remarked that in accordance with the principles discussed above and in such patent, a five-lobe plunger of the type shown in units 11 and 12 may be substituted in unit 13 if the end block 49 is also employed in place of end block 48. Alternatively, two plungers of the type shown in the unit 13 may be substituted for the plungers of the units 11 and 12. Or one plunger of the type shown in unit 13 may be substituted for the plunger of one of the units 11 and 12 if the end block 49 is also substituted for the end block 48. These comments are made simply to illustrate that numerous combinations are possible. It may sometimes be preferable to employ exclusively plungers all of one type such as the type shown in units 11 and 12 and to employ an end block 49. Thus, no matter how many units were added to the system, the operating units would be identical in all respects including the plungers.

It will be seen that the first and second passage means and first and second in-out line means of the several units as discussed above constitute interconnections between valve means of one unit and piston chamber of another unit for cyclic sequential operation of the units of the distributor and discharge of measures of lubricant to the branch lines fed by the distributor. According to the present invention, at least the longest of such interconnecting conduit means are constituted throughout at least the majority of their lengths by unidirectional-flow conduits. In the illustrated example, all of the interconnected conduit means are constituted throughout at least the majority of their lengths by unidirectional-flow conduits.

Although the units of the distributor are shown as stacked, it will be apparent to those familiar with this art that the units operate in circular or endless sequence according to a cycle of operation. The endless sequence of valve-and-plunger units constitute a cyclic hydraulic network, along the annular extent of which the units are distributed in an array that is endless or circular in the operative sense. Even though in the structural sense the distributor has top and bottom ends, in the operative sense it comprises an endless sequence of valve-and plunger units, each of which controls its own associated controlled unit in the sequence and therefore constitutes the controller member of a controller-controlled doublet, and each of which is controlled by its own associated controller unit and therefore constitutes the controlled member of another controller-controlled doublet, the controller unit of each controller-controlled doublet valving inflowing fiuid to, and outflowing fiuid from, the controlled unit of the doublet via first fluid conduit means leading to one piston chamber of the controlled unit of the doublet and via second fluid conduit means leading to the other piston chamber of the controlled unit of the doublet.

In FIGURE 1 the controller-controlled doublets are the three doublets comprising respectively units 11 and 13; 13 and 12; and 12 and 11. In each case the reference numeral of the controller unit is given first. Each unit will be seen to constitute the controller unit of one doublet and the controlled unit of another.

The present invention, then, contemplates an improvement wherein, as to at least one of the controller-controlled doublets, at least the majority of the length of such rst fluid conduit means is constituted by a first twosome of separate unidirectional-flow fluid conduits; namely, the unidirectional-flow conduit that includes the passage 31A and line 91A and the unidirectional conduit that includes the line 91B and the passage 31B. Also at least the majority of the length of the second fluid conduit means is constituted by a second twosome of separate unidirectoinal-flow conduits; namely, the conduit that includes the passage 32A and the line 92A and the conduit that includes the line 92B and the passage 32B. It will be seen that such twosornes include an infeed conduit and an outfeed conduit.

A check valve 30 is provided in the outfeed conduit of the rst fluid conduit means between the members of the controller-controlled doublets, and in the outfeed conduit of the second fluid conduit means between the controller-controlled doublets. As shown in the gures, the check valves are all located to the same side of their associated valve-and-plunger units, so that when a vertical installation'site is available and the distributor is properly installed with such same side upward, each check valve is located above the piston chamber from which its associated one of the first and second uid conduit means leads. Furthermore, if such same side is regarded as the positive direction (and the opposite side the negative direction), then outfeeding portions of such associated ones of such irst and second conduit means, in passing from the piston chamber to the check valve, do not extend in the negative direction, and therefore when the distributor is properly installed in an available vertical site, such outfeeding portions rise continuously from the piston chamber to the check valve. The term rise continuously is used herein in the sense of having a non-negative slope. In this sense for example, the lines 91A shown in FIGURE 1 are seen to rise continuously from the bottom of the block to their associated piston chamber, even though through much of their ex,

tent their slope is zero.

The closer each check Valve is to its associated piston chamber, the better. Ideally the check valves orifice would also constitute the inlet port of the associated outfeed conduit line 91B or 92B so that the associated piston chamber would directly and immediately communicate with and discharge through the check valve orifice, and the configuration and dimensioning of the associated piston chamber and piston would be such that the piston chamber would be fully occupied by the piston and would have a zero volume in the advanced condition of the piston, the volume having approached and reached zero by progressive exhaustion through the check valve orifice with substantially no fluid remaining between the piston and the upstream side of the check valve orifice. If this were done the positional relationships discussed in the preceding paragraph would become irrelevant. But the achievement of this ideal presents fabrication difticulties and does not presently appear to be sufliciently superior to the positional relationships discussed in the preceding paragraph to justify the added manufacturing costs that are involved. However it is generally feasible to locate the check valves close to their associated piston chambers and this should be done.

FIGURE 4 illustrates an arrangement within the contemplation of the invention where the lirst and second fluid conduit means for interconnectingthe controllercontrolled doublets are not constituted entirely by unidirectional-flow uid conduits. Thus in FIGURE 4, the unidirectional lines 91A and 91B join in a common line 91 and are connected to the plunger chamber 16 through this short common line 91. Similarly, the lines 92A and 92B join and communicate with the piston chamber 17 through a short common line 92.

The tiuid supply header 43 communicates directly with a central bore in each of the plunger units 11, 12, 13 and 19. This header does not directly communicate with the central bore of the valve-and-plunger units of the types shown in FIGURES 2 and 3.

The illustration of FIGURE 3 is included merely to demonstrate that a two-lobe plunger may replace the three-lobe plunger shown in FIGURE 2 if the ports 21B and 22B and 23 and 24 are shifted appropriately.

The operation of the distributor shown in FIGURE 1 should now be apparent. If lubricant is supplied through the header 43, the next plunger to operate will be that of the unit 12, and lubricant will be expressed from the plunger chamber 16 of unit 12 through 91B of unit 12, 31B and 33 of unit 13, and 81 of unit I12. Flow through 91A of unit 12 is prevented because in unit 13, as in other units, when the first and third valve port means are connected, such connection is between the third valve port means (23) and the first outfeed port (21B) to the exclusion of the first infeed port (21A). On the other hand, flow through 92B of unit 12 is prevented because in unit 13, las in other units, when the second and fth valve port means are connected, such connection is between the fifth valve port means (25 in units 11, 12, 13 and 19, or the ports 25A, 25B taken together in units 15 and 18) and the second infeed port (22A) to the exclusion of the second outfeed port (22B). Similarly, proper infeeding and outfeeding of fluid to and from end chambers is controlled `at later stages in the operating cycle of the distributor.

After the plunger of unit 12 moves to the left, lubricant will be admitted from port 25 of unit 12 through port 22A of unit 12 to chamber 17 of unit 11 and the plunger of unit 11 will move to the left. Then the plunger of unit 13 will move to the left. Then the plunger of unit -12 will move to the right. Then the plunger of unit 11 will move to the right. Then the plunger of unit 13 will move to the right, completing one full cycle of an endless or circular operating sequence. Then the plunger of unit 12 Will again move to the left, starting Ia subsequent cycle.

In the apparatus of FIGURE 6, like reference numerals apply to like elements and to like interconnections. Also the passages which serve solely to connect the top 'and bottom units have been designated with the reference letter R (for runner). The valve-and-plunger units 111-114 will be seen to be substantially the full equivalents of the units 11-13 in FIGURE l. Units 112 and 113 are identical because they respectively constitute self-contained inlet and end blocks; units 111 and 114 have their own different conduit configurations. Unit 114` is a self-contained end block and will be seen to be the equivalent of unit 13 in FIGURE 1. Unit will be seen to be the equivalent of unit 15 in FIGURE 2. FIGURE 6 is intended merely to illustrate a non-modular or semi-modular unit wherein special end units are provided in lieu of inlet yand end blocks. It will 'be understood that the units may be added to or removed from the apparatus shown in FIGURE 6, so long as both end units and at least one intermediate unit are employed. If a unit of the type of unit 115 is employed, it should be employed with at least one intermediate unit of the type of units 112 or 113. It will be noted that plungers of units 111, 112, 113 and 114 may be interchanged and that the unit will operate as a cycling distributor so long as the rules as to interconnections that are set forth previously and in U.S. Patent 3,025,929 `are observed.

A detailed structural embodiment of the distributor shown in FIGURE 6 is illustrated in FIGURES 7 et seq.

Again like reference numerals are employed to designate like passages. The reference letter R is applied to the runners between top and bottom blocks. The nature of the hardware illustrated in FIGURE 7 yand the following figures will be readily apparent to those familiar with this art. It will be seen that the bores of the valve-and-plunger units are closed by fluid-tight end plugs in accordance with known practice. The blocks are held together by tie rods, in accordance with known practice. Reference numerals have not been applied to these conventional and purely mechanical elements because it is desirable to emphasize the equivalency ofthe actual structure to the diagrammatic representation of FIGURE 6. Inclusion of extraneous reference numerals might make this equivalency less apparent. Some of the illustrated passages are dead ends, formed only because they `are necessary to allow drilling of the operative passages, or because they are desirable in order to facilitate common connections between outlet ports (as lby drilling through from one dead end to another) during iield installation. The reference letter D is applied to these dead end passages.

In centralized lubrication systems, and in distributors employed in such systems, lubricant deterioration (such as separation of grease into liquids and clogging solids) tends to occur at those locations where the lubricant tends to stagnate within the system or the distributor--particularly in those lines where direction of flow is constantly reversed and where the volume of ow in the reverse direction is such that the same lubricating material remains in one general vicinity and is forced to flow a slight distance, first in one direction `and then in another, without ever leaving the distributor or the distributor system.

The present invention overcomes problems attendant upon lubricant stagnation by providing for unidirectional fluid flow substantially through all the interconnecting liuid lines within the operating circuit of a single-line or sequential type lubricant distributor. During each cycle of operation of the distributor, flow occurs throughout lall the unidirectional conduits therein at relatively high flow rates. The result is a lubricant distributor that, during operation, continuously flushes itself of the lubricant being fed through it so that no lubricant stagnates within the distributor. In systems employing single-line series or sequential type lubricant distributors, the insystem How that is exterior to the distributors is through unidirectional-How branch lines, so that no stagnation occurs within the system exteriorly of the lubricant distributors. Accordingly, the problems Aattendant upon the stagnation of lubricant within any part of the system are eliminated by accomplishing the flushing of the entire system las it operates. This is automatically accomplished by the utilization, within the system, of the single-line series or sequential type lubricant distributors contemplated 'by the present invention.

The flushing action mentioned above and accomplished by the present invention also makes it possible to avoid or minimize problems of air entrapment and resultant pneumatic cushioning effects which may lead to erratic or anomalous operation of the valve-and-plunger units. The invention contemplates the minimization of air cushioning problems, particularly at the most troublesome long-conduit connections, by means of the check valves located within the conduit means that interconnect the valve means of one valve-and-plunger unit of the distributor and the piston chamber of another valve-and-plunger unit of the distributor. It has not heretofore been possible to provide for check valving of ow within such interconnections in single-line series or sequential type lubricant distributors, since the interconnections have constituted bidirectional-ow lines.

Air cushioning problems and grease separation problems may tend to be most severe in some of the longer interconnecting passages within the commercial versions of single-line series or sequential type lubricant distributors, and as implied above the invention contemplates in 8 some of its aspects the avoidance of extensive bidirectional ow in less than all of the interconnecting conduits within the distributor, such avoidance being accomplished, however, at least in those interconnections where the problems tend to be most critical.

As an aid to interpretation, and with no limiting effect intended, the longest of the following claims is specitically applied to the systems shown in FIGURES l and 6.

Also in the following claims, a two-member set is spoken of as a doublet, pain or twosome according to whether the distribution (the locational displacement, with respect to each other) of the two members of the set is respectively (l) along the annular extent of the cyclic hydraulic network, (2) from side to side of the network, i.e., from side to side of the valve-and-plunger units, or (3) neither along nor from side to side of the network. For example, two associated ports 25A, 25B are referred to as a pair of ports because they are distributed from side to side of their valve-and-plunger unit, but two associated ports 21A, 21B are referred to as a twosome of ports because they are not distributed from side to side of their unit nor are they distributed along the network.

What is claimed is:

1. In a single-line series or sequential type lubricant distributor for a lubrication system that supplies lubricant from a supply source to several stations and proportions the supplied lubricant between the several stations, the system having lubricant branch lines that communicate between the distributor and the stations to be lubricated, and wherein interconnections between valve mean's of each valve-and-plunger unit of the distributor and piston chambers of another valve-and-plunger unit of the distributor are accomplished through conduit means leading from unit to unit, said interconnections being for cyclical sequential operation of said units of the distributor and discharge of measures of lubricant tothe branch lines, the improvement wherein, at least as to the longest of all of said unit-to-unit interconnecting conduit means of the distributor, in one unit said conduit means are wholly constituted by unidirectional-how conduits and in another unit are at least partly constituted by unidirectional-flow conduits forming continuations of the firstmentioned unidirectional flow conduits.

2. An improvement as defined in claim 1 wherein check valve means are provided in said longest unit-to-unit interconnecting conduit means.

3. An improvement as defined in claim 1 wherein at least the major in number of said interconnecting conduit means are at least partly constituted by unidirectionalow conduits leading from one unit at least partly into another.

4. An improvement as defined in claim 1 wherein all of said interconnecting conduit means are at least partly constituted by unidirectional-flow conduits leading from one unit at least partly into another.

5. An improvement as defined in claim 4 wherein check valve means are provided in said interconnecting conduit means.

6. In a single-line series or sequential type lubricant distributor having an endless sequence of valve-and- `plunger units each of which controls its own associated controlled unit in the sequence and therefore constitutes the controller member of a controller-controlled doublet, and each of which is controlled by its own associated controller unit in the sequence and therefore constitutes the controlled member of another controller-controlled doublet, the controller unit of each controller-controlled doublet valving inowing fluid to, and outflowing fluid from, the controlled unit of the doublet via rst fluid conduit means leading to one piston chamber of the controlled unit of the doublet and via second Huid conduit means leading to the other piston chamber of the controlled unit of the doublet, the improvement wherein,

as to at least one of said controller-controlled doublets, said first fluid conduit means is at least partly constituted by a first twosome of separate unidirectional-How fluid conduits leading from said controller unit and extending at least partly into the controlled unit of the doublet, and said second fluid conduit means is at least partly constituted by a second twosome of separate unidirectionalflow uid conduits leading from said controller unit land extending at least partly into the controlled unit of the doublet, each of said twosomes including an infeed conduit and an outfeed conduit.

7. A distributor as in claim 6 wherein said at least one controller-controlled doublet is one having longer first and second fluid conduit means between the members of the doublet than do any of the other controller-controlled doublets in the distributor.

8. A distributor as in claim 7 in which a check valve means is provided in at least one unidirectional-flow fluid conduit of said first fiuid conduit means of said at least one controller-controlled doublet and in at least one unidirectional-How fluid conduit of said second fluid conduit means of said at least one controller-controlled doublet.

9. A distributor as in claim 8 in which said check valve means .comprises a check valve in the outfeed conduit of said first fiuid conduit means of said atleast one controller-controlled doublet and a check valve in 4the outfeed conduit of said second fluid conduit means of said at least one controller-controlled doublet.

10. A distributor as in claim 9 in which each of said check valves is located close to the piston chamber from controller-controlled doublets, both said first and second uid conduit means are at least partly constituted by their own respective twosomes of separate unidirectional-flow uid conduits leading at least partly into the controlled units of the respective doublets, each of said twosomes including an infeed conduit and an outfeed conduit.

13. A distributor as in claim 12 wherein a check valve i is located in each of said outfeed conduits.

14. A distributor as in claim 13 wherein each of said check valve is located close to the piston chamber from which its associated outfeed conduit leads.

15. A distributor as in claim 13 wherein all of said check valves are located to the same side of their associated valve-and-plunger units, outfeeding portions of said associated ones of said first and second conduit means extending in the direction of said same side from the piston chambers to the check valves, so that when a vertical installation site is available and the distributor is installed with such same sideupward, said outfeeding portions rise continuously from the piston chambers to the check valves.

16. In cycling lubricant distributor means having a fluid supply header (43), said distributor comprising a plurality of at least three valve-and-plunger units (11- 14 or lll-115), each unit having first (16) and second (17) hydraulic piston chambers and a pair of hydraulic 10 (22A, 22B taken together), third (23), fourth (24) and fifth (port 25 in units 11-13 and 111-114, or the ports 25A, 25B taken together in unit 115) valve port means associated with each of said valve means, with said rst (16) piston chamber being closer to said first (21A, 21B taken together) valve port means than it is to said second (22A, 22B taken together) valve port means and said second (17 piston chamber being closer to said second (22A, 22B taken together) valve port means than it is to said first (21A, 21B taken together) valve port means, said first (21A, 21B taken together) and fifth (port 25 in units 11-13 and 111-114, or the ports 25A, 25B taken together in unit valve port means being interconnected and said second (22A, 22B taken together) and fourth (24) valve port means being interconnected when said first limiting end position obtains but not when said second limiting end position obtains, and said first (21A, 21B taken together) and third (23) valve port means being interconnected and said second (22A, 22B taken together) and fifth (port 25 in units 11-13 and 111-114, or the ports 25A, 25B taken together in unit 115) valve port means being interconnected when said second limiting end position obtains but not when said first limiting end position obtains, each said unit (l1-14 or 111115) having first (31A, 311B taken together), second (32A, 32B taken together), third (33) and fourth (34) passage means communicating with its said first (21A, 21B taken together), second (22A, 22B taken together), third (23) and fourth (24) valve port means, respectively, first (91A, 91B taken together) and second (92A, 92B taken together) in-out line means in each said unit communieating with said first (16) and second (17) piston chambers, respectively, said third (33) and fourth (34) passage means constituting the upstream portions of outlet branch passages (33, 81 and 34, 82) for guiding measures of lubricating fluid for discharge from said distributor to outlet branch lines, each of the pairs of passage means comprising said first (31A, 31B taken together) and second (32A, 32B taken together) passage means of each unit being connected with its own pair of in-out line means comprising said first (91A, 91B taken together) and second (92A, 92B taken together) in-out line means of another unit, with a given number (three in FIGURE 1, five in FIGURE 6) of the connected pairs of such passage means (31A, 31B taken together and paired with 32A, 32B taken together) and in-out line means (91A, 91B taken together and paired with 92A, 92B taken together) having said first (31A, 31B taken together) passage means connected to said first (91A, 91B taken together) in-out line means and said second (32A, 32B taken together) passage means connected to said second (92A, 92B taken together) in-out line means and any remaining number (zero in FIGURES l and 6) of said connected pairs of such passage means (31A, 31B taken together and 32A, 32B taken together) and in-out line means (91A, 91B taken together and 92A, 92B taken together) being connected in the opposite manner, said given number (three in FIGURE 1, five in FIGURE 6) of connected pairs and said any remainingnumber (zero in FIGURES 1 and 6) of connected pairs being numbers of from zero to the number (three in FIGURE l, five in FIGURE 6) of vsaid plurality of units and together totalling the number (three in FIGURE 1, five in FIGURE 6) of said plurality of units, a given number of said valve means (two in FIGURE l, four in FIGURE 6) being formed to alternately yconnect their said first (21A, 21B taken together) and second (22A, 22B taken together) Valve port means to their said fifth (port 25 in units 11-13 and 111-114, or the ports 25A, 25B taken together in unit 115) valve port means when the one of their said first (16) and second (17) piston chambers closest to their said first (21A, 21B taken together) `and second (22A, 22B taken together) valve port means is filled, any remaining number of said valve means (one in FIGURES l and 6) being oppositely arranged, said given number (two in FIGURE 1, four in FIGURE 6) of valve means and said any remaining number (one in FIGURES 1 and 6) of valve means being numbers of from zero to the number (three in FIGURE 1, five in FIGURE 6) of said plurality of units and together totalling the number (three in FIGURE 1, five in FIGURE 6) of said plurality of units; the total of said remaining numbers of connected pairs (31A, 31B taken together and 32A, 32B taken together and 91A, 91B taken together and 92A, 92B taken together) and valve means equalling an odd number (one in FIGURES l and 6), the improvement wherein at least one of the said connected pairs of passage means and in-out line means comprises a first passage means that itself is constituted by a first twosome (31A, 31B) of a first infeed passage (31A) and a separate first outfeed passage (31B), a second passage means that itsel-f is constituted by a second twosome (32A, 32B) of a second infeed passage (32A) and a separate second outfeed passage (32B), a first in-out `line means that is at least partially constituted by a first twosome (91A, 91B) of a first in line (91A) and a separate first out line (91B), a second in-out line means that is at least partially constituted by a second twosome (92A, 92B) of a second in line (92A) and a separate seeond out line (92B), the first (21A, 21B taken together) and second (22A, 22B taken together) port means of the units with which said first (31A, 31B taken together) and second (32A, 32B taken together) passage means of said at least some connected pairs of passage means and iu-out line means are associated comprising a first port means that includes a first twosome (21A, 21B) of a first infeed port (21A) and a first outfeed port (21B), a second port means that includes a second twosome (22A, 22B) of a second infeed port (22A) and a second outfeed port (22B), said first (31A) and second (32A) infeed passages leading respectively from said first (21A) and second (22A) infeed ports, said first (31B) and second (32B) outfeed passages leading respectively to said first (21B) and second (22B) outfeed ports, said interconnections between said first (21A, 21B taken together) and fifth (port 25 in units 11-13 and 111-114, or the ports 25A, 25B taken together in unit 115) valve port means and said second (22A, 22B taken together) and fifth (port 25 in units 11-13 and 111-114, or the ports 25A, 25B taken together in unit 115) valve port means when said rst and second limiting end positions respectively obtain being between said fifth valve port means (port 25 in units 11-13 and 111-114, or the ports 25A, 25B taken together in unit 115) and respectively said first (21A) and second (22A) infeed ports, to the exclusion respectively of said first (21B) and second (22B) outfeed ports, and said interconnections between said second (22A, 22B taken together) and fourth (24) valve port means and said first (21A, 21B taken together) and third (23) valve port means when said first and second limiting end positions respectively obtain being between said fourth valve port means (24) and said second outfeed port (22B) to the exclusion of said second infeed port (22A) when said first limiting end position obtains and between said third valve port means (23) and said first outfeed port (21B) to the exclusion of said first infeed port (21A) when said second limiting end position obtains.

17. The improvement of claim 16 in which all the said connected pairs of passage means and in-out line means have said recited first and second twosomes of passages and first and second twosomes of lines and all the said units have said recited first and second twosomes of ports.

18. The improvement of claim 16 in which said first and second in-out line means are wholly lconstituted respectively by said first twosome of said first in line and said separate first out line and by said second twosome of said second in line and said separate second out line.

19. The improvement in claim 16, said first in-out line means of said at least one connected pair of passage means and in-out line means being only partly constituted by said first twosome of said first in line and said separate first out line, said first in-out line means also being partly constituted by a first in-and-out portion at that end of said first in-out line means associated with the piston chamber that is fed thereby, said second in-out line means of said at least one connected pair of passage means and inout line means being only partly constituted by said second twosome of said second in line and said separate second out line, said second in-out line means also being partly constituted by a second in-and-out portion at that end of said second in-out line means associated with the piston chamber that is fed thereby.

20. In a modular unit for a lubricant distributor, said module comprising a valVe-and-plunger unit having first and second hydraulic piston chambers and a pair of hydraulic pistons each in its own one of said pair of chambers in lubricant sealing sliding relationship with its said own one of said pair of chambers, said unit including linkage means for linking its said pair of hydraulic pistons for movement together and in hydraulic opposition to each other back and forth between first and second limiting end positions, said unit also including valve means associated for movement with said linkage means, first, second, third, fourth and fifth valveport means associated with said valve means, said first and fifth valve port means being interconnected and said second and fourth valve port means being interconnected when said first limiting end position obtains but not when said second limiting end position obtains, and said first and third valve port means being interconnected and said second and fifth valve port means being interconnected when said second limiting end position obtains but not `when said first limiting end position obtains, said unit having first, second, third and fourth passage means communicating with its said first, second, third and `fourth valve port means, respectively, first and second in-out line means in said unit communicating with said first and second piston chambers, respectively, the improvement wherein said first passage means includes a first twosome of a first infeed passage and a separate first outfeed passage, said second passage means includes a second twosome of a second infeed passage and a separate second outfeed passage, said first in-out line means is at least partly constituted by a first twosome of a first in line and a separate first out line, said second in-out line means is at least partly constituted by a second twosome of a second in line and a separate second out line, said first port means includes a first twosome of a first infeed port and a first outfeed port, said second port means includes a second twosome of a second infeed port and a second outfeed port, said first and second infeed passages leading respectively from said first and second infeed ports, said first and second outfeed passages leading respectively to said first and second outfeed ports, said interconnections between said first and fifth valve port means and said second and fifth valve port means when said first and second limiting end positions respectively obtain being between said fifth valve port means and respectively said first and second infeed ports, to the exclusion respectively of said first and second outfeed ports, and said interconnections between said second and fourth valve port means and said first and third valve port means when said first and second limiting end positions respectively obtain being between said fourth valve port means and said second outfeed port to the exclusion of said second infeed port when said first limiting end position obtains and between said third valve port means and said first outfeed port to the exclusion of said first infeed port when said second limiting end position obtains.

21. A modular unit as in claim 20 in which said fifth valve port means comprises a pair of fifth valve ports, a first of said pair of fifth valve ports communicating with said first in-out line means, the second of said fifth valve ports communicating with said second in-out line means.

22. In a modular unit for a lubricant distributor, said module comprising a valve-and-plunger unit having first and second hydraulic piston chambers and a pair of hydraulic pistons each in its own one of said pair of chambers in lubricant sealing sliding relationship with its said own one of said pair of chambers, said unit including linkage means for linking its said pair of hydraulic pistons for movement together and in hydraulic opposition to each other back and forth between first and second limiting end positions, said unit also including valve means associated for move'ment with said linkage means, first, second, third, fourth and fifth valve port means associated with said valve means, said first and fifth valve port means being interconnected and said second and fourth valve port means being interconnected when said first limiting end position obtains but not when said second limiting end position obtains, and said first and third valve port means being interconnected and said second and fifth valve port means being interconnected when said second limiting end position obtains but not when said first limiting end position obtains, said unit having first, second, third and fourth passage means communicating with its said first, second, third and fourth valve port means, respectively, first and second in-out line means in unit communicating with said first and second piston chambers, respectively, the improvement wherein said first passage means includes a first twosome of a first infeed passage and a separate first outfeed passage, said second passage means includes a second twosome of a second infeed passage and a separate second outfeed passage, said first port means includes a first twosome of a first infeed port and a first outfeed port, said second port means includes a second twosome of a second infeed port and a second outfeed port, said first and second infeed passages leading respectively from said first and second infeed ports, said rst and second outfeed passages leading respectively to said first and second outfeed ports, said interconnections between said first and fifth valve port means and said second and fifth valve port means when said first and second limiting end positions respectively obtain being between said fifth valve port means and respectively said first and second infeed ports, to the exclusion respectively of said first and second outfeed ports, and said interconnections between said second and fourth valve port means and said first and third valve port means when said first and second limiting end positions respectively obtain being between said fourth valve port means and said second outfeed port to the exclusion of sai-d second infeed port when said first limiting end position obtains and between said third valve port means and said' first outfeed port to the exclusion of said first infeed port when said second limiting end position obtains, said unit having a fluid supply header passage, and the fifth valve port means comprising a fifth valve port communicating with said fluid supply header passage.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,007,156 7/ 1935 Burrell. 3,223,198 12/ 1965 Gruber.

FOREIGN PATENTS 702,682 1/ 1931 France. 757,544 9/ 1956 Great Britain.

LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

E. J. EARLS, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2007156 *Apr 6, 1932Jul 9, 1935Farval CorpLubricating system
US3223198 *Apr 17, 1963Dec 14, 1965Eaton Mfg CoFluid pressure lubricating system indicator means
FR702682A * Title not available
GB757544A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3666048 *Oct 30, 1970May 30, 1972Eaton CorpCross porting structure
US4186821 *May 15, 1978Feb 5, 1980McNeill CorporationLubricating apparatus
US4632648 *Jun 24, 1985Dec 30, 1986Goyne Thomas SGrease pumps
US4712649 *Oct 21, 1986Dec 15, 1987Joseph Vogele AgProgressive distributor for lubricants
US5662023 *Sep 15, 1995Sep 2, 1997Premier Lubrication Systems, Inc.Replaceable cylinder piston assembly for a lubricator pump
US7735608 *Aug 22, 2003Jun 15, 2010Lincoln GmbhProgressive distributor comprising displaceable pistons
EP0224774A2 *Nov 13, 1986Jun 10, 1987Joseph Vögele AGProgressive distributor for a lubricant
Classifications
U.S. Classification184/7.4
International ClassificationF16N25/02
Cooperative ClassificationF16N25/02
European ClassificationF16N25/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 6, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: LUBRIQUIP-HOUDAILLE, INC., HOUDAILLE-LUBRIQUIP, IN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:LUBRIQUIP - HOUDAILLE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004688/0030
Effective date: 19870115
Owner name: LUBRIQUIP-HOUDAILLE, INC.,OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LUBRIQUIP - HOUDAILLE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004688/0030
Feb 21, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: LUBRIQUIP - HOUDAILLE, INC., 18901 CRANWOOD PARKWA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HOUDAILLE INDUSTRIES, INC., A CORP OF DE;REEL/FRAME:004370/0143
Effective date: 19850131