|Publication number||US3376894 A|
|Publication date||Apr 9, 1968|
|Filing date||May 6, 1965|
|Priority date||May 6, 1965|
|Publication number||US 3376894 A, US 3376894A, US-A-3376894, US3376894 A, US3376894A|
|Inventors||Broerman Arthur B|
|Original Assignee||Phillips Petroleum Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (18), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
April 1968 A. s. BROERMAN 3,376,894
VALVE Filed May 6, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet l I l I F IG la AB. BROERMAN ATTORNEYS INVENTOR April 9, 1968 A. B BROERMAN VALVE 4 Shets-Sheet 1.
Filed May 6, 1965 III BY gm} 2 -77 A 7' TORNEKS April 9, 1968 A. B. BROERMAN VALVE 4 Sheets-Sheet Filed May 6, 1965 INVENTOR A. B. BROERMAN ATTORNEYS FIG. 4
VALVE Filed May 6, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 F IG. 5 I INVENTOR A.B. BROERMAN United States Patent O 3,376,894 VALVE Arthur B. Broerman, Bartiesville, Okla, assignor to Phillips Petroleum Company, a corporation of Delaware Filed May 6, 1965, Ser. No. 453,583 12 Claims. (Cl. 137-625.48)
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A valve employing at least one plunger rod wherein the plunger rod is composed of a plurality of separate members which are contiguous with one another, optionally, the plunger rods being supported upon a rotatable means for moving one or more of said plunger rods rela tive to the remainder.
This invention relates to a valve mechanism. In one aspect, this invention relates to a multi-port, diaphragmsealed, valve mechanism. In another aspect, this invention relates to a fluid-actuated, multi piston-operated, sampling valve. In yet another aspect, this invention relates to a rotary-actuated, rnulti piston-operated, sampling valve.
This invention relates to sampling valves for chromatographic analyzers as are fully and completely set forth in U.S. Patent 3,140,615, issued to A. B. Broerman on July 14, 1964. In that patent, there is disclosed a valve which utilizes plant air supply having limited pressure by first applying same against a pOWer piston of a relatively large area which piston transmits the pressure to a plurality of cylindrical piston rods of relatively small total area, each rod head provided with a cylindrical recess forming an annular edge, which edge tightly seals the adjacent areas of a cushion supported sealing diaphragm between two valve ports. Half of the cylindrical piston rods are main-' tained in closed position against the sealing diaphragm while the other half are maintained in an open position away from contact of the sealing diaphragm and this relationship is intermittently reversed through a series of movements comprising first moving the pistons in the open position into the closed position and then moving the pistons that were originally in the closed position into the open position so that the half of the pistons which were originally in the open position are now in the closed position and the remaining half of the pistons originally in the closed position are now in the open position.
This piston reversal is accomplished by intermittently directing the power fluid or pressurized air into at least one separate chamber enclosed by two power pistons. An external side or member of a first, upwardly biased power piston contacts and supports a first group or one-half of the plunger rods. The upper ends of this first group of plungers are in the closed position therefore making sealing contact with the flexible sealing diaphragm while their lower ends are contacted and supported by the first power piston. When pneumatic pressure is exerted downwardly on the spring biased, normally raised first piston thereby retracting same, the positive pressure of the carrier fluid from a chromatographic analyzer re-establishes flow between adjacent ports, as explained in US. 3,140,615. An external member or side of the second power piston contacts and supports a second group or remaining half of the plunger rods. The upper ends of this second group of rods are in close proximity to the sealing diaphragm but spatially removed therefrom and therefore in the open position. This second group makes sealing contact with the sealing diaphragm when raised by the second power piston when it in turn is raised from its normal spring biased, lowered position by the same pneumatic pressure that lowers the first power piston. Thus, when pneumatic pressure or other power gas is passed to the separate chamber and pressure is exerted on the second power piston thereby forcing the second group of plungers into a closing position on the sealing diaphragm, the flow of carrier gas and/or sample fluid from the chromatographic analyzer between adjacent ports is interrupted so long as the pneumatic pressure is maintained in the separate chamber. For further details on construction and operation of this valve reference is made to the above US. patent.
It has now been found that the operating life of the cushioning material which is inserted between the flexible sealing diaphragm and the annular closing surfaces of the plunger rods of the valve above described is substantially increased if, instead of one piece, cylindrical plunger rods, there is substituted a plurality of separate and distinct rounded members, said members being contiguous with one another and forming a single line thereof suitable for use as a plunger rod. One end member of this line of contiguous members carries a closing surface which will contact the sealing diaphragm as discussed above. Two groups of separate plunger rods each composed of separate and distinct rounded members are operated in the same manner as discussed above by intermittently directing a power fluid into at least one separate chamber enclosed by two power pistons. The first group of plunger rods is supported and reciprocated by a first, upwardly biased power piston which has notches on the supporting portion thereof which notches are spaced apart intermediate the areas of contact of the first group of plunger rods and which are adapted to receive and/or hold the bottom member of each plunger rod of the second or remaining group of plunger rods. The second or remaining group of plunger rods is supported and reciprocated by a second, downwardly biased power piston which has notches on the supporting portion thereof which notches are adapted to receive and/ or hold the bottom member of each plunger rod of the second or remaining group. The two power pistons define the separate chamber into which the power fluidis passed.
Plungers formed of independent rounded members substantially reduce the wear product, i.e., a mixture of wear dirt formed from metal-to-metal contact in the plunger rod area combined with lubricating oil to form a paste, formed during the operation of the valve. The reduced amount of wear product present also reduces the amount of wear product which comes into contact with the cushion disc separating the closing surfaces of the plunger rods from the sealing diaphragm and therefore increases the operational life of the valve because the wear product particles are abrasive and tend to distintegrate the cushion disc and the greater amount of wear product present the more rapid the deterioration of the cushion disc. Not only does the elimination of substantial amounts of wear product increase the time to failure of the valve but also provides even performance of the valve up to the time of actual failure. Also, the use of separate rounded members to form each plunger rod can effect overall economic savings since separate and specially designed and machined plunger rods no longer are necessary. Further savings are effected by this aspect of the invention in that each plunger and can be made of substantially the same length as com pared to the different length plunger rods used in a valve of the above patent. The use of equal length plunger rods simplifies the assembly procedure of the parts of the valve.
The use of a line or stack of rounded members in lieu of a single cylindrical plunger rod further makes possible the operation of the valve with a solenoid or similar rotating means instead of with pneumatic power since the power 3 requirement is reduced by decreased friction between the stack of separate, rounded members and their containing cylinder.
In this aspect, the two groups of plunger rods are supported on a single rotatable member which has spaced depressions in the surface thereof. The spaced depressions are aligned with the plunger rods and spaced so that before rotation the first group of plunger rods extends thereinto and is thereby supported in an open position while the second group is supported by the upper surface of said member in a closing position with the sealing diaphragm. The spacing of the depressions further is such that when the member is rotated through a predetermined angle, the first group is moved out of the depressions into a closing position while the second group is maintained in the closing position and then after the first group has reached the closing position the second group is reached by the depressions and moved into an open position. The use of a single rotating means for the intermittent and alternate actuation of both groups of plunger rods substantially simplifies the actuating mechanism necessary for the operation of the valve. Further, no external power fluid supply and the associated apparatus for fluid operation is necessary. Also, only electrical connections are required to this type of valve which simplifies programming of the operation of the valve.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved valve mechanism. It is another object of this invention to provide an improved fluid-actuated, multi piston-operated valve. It is another object of this invention to provide an improved electrically operated, multi piston-operated valve.
Other aspects, objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from a study of the disclosure, the drawings and the appended claims to the invention.
FIGURES 1 and 1a are exploded perspective views of a valve embodying an aspect of this invention.
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the plunger rod supporting surfaces of the two power pistons.
FIGURE 3 is a full sectional view of the assembled valve of FIGURES l and la.
FIGURES 4 and 4a are exploded perspective views of the components of the valve embodying another aspect of this invention.
FIGURE 5 is a full sectional view of the assembled valve of FIGURES 4 and 4a.
In FIGURES 1 and 1a, cap 41 is provided with one or more vertical passages, such as 71, which accommodate cap key pins 72 that align cap 41 properly relative to body 55. A resilient quad ring 73 of generally square cross section, with concave sides is disposed beween cap 41 and body 55. Ring 73 is preferably composed of an elastomeric material which is chemically inert and heat resistant, such as silicon rubber, and seats on shoulder 74 of body 55 beneath cap 41.
A flexible sealing diaphragm 76, of a diameter about that of the inner diameter of raised portion 74, and at least sufficient to cover vertical plunger passages 77 (in the cutout portion) to 82, is disposed above body 55. Sealing diaphragm 76 is preferably composed of a thermosetting plastic which is chemically inert and heat resistant, such as polytetrafluoroethylene.
Disposed between diaphragm 76 and body 55 is a cushion disc 83 which is of a suitable cloth material 2 mils thick such as a polyester filter. Cushion 83 serves to prevent sealing diaphragm 76 from cold flowing, and also furnishes support for it to prevent ballooning under alternating carrier and power gas pressure, which results in an extended cycling life of the valve. Cushion 83 also serves to distribute pressure on the flexible diaphragm against the lower face of cap 41, thus evening out any variations in thickness of that diaphragm.
A set of plunger rods 84-89, are located within vertical passages 77 to 88, respectively, when the valve is assembled. Each plunger rod is composed of three substantially spherical metal balls topped by a hemispherical ball which has a suitable closing surface such as an annular ring 85' of stack 85. The closure member for each stack of balls that comprise a single plunger rod are machined to have the desired closure surface, e.g., in the case of 85 a central relief is machined in the fiat face of the hemispherical ball to provide the annular-shaped contact surface that allows more sealing pressure per unit area to be exerted against the adjacent areas of cushion 83 that can be provided for example by the plant air system. Each stack of balls forming plunger rods 8 to 89 are of substantially the same length. The balls can be formed of any suitable material such as stainless steel and preferably have an extremely high finish and hard condition.
Open passages 48 to 53 in cap 41 are aligned with recesses 91 to 96, about 0.010 to 0.014 inch in depth, in body 55, each recess communicating with the adjacent vertical passages. Cap screws 56 to 58 secure cap 41 to body and establish and maintain the relative orientation of passages 48 to 53 and recesses 91 to 96.
A resilient O-ring 97 is disposed in a peripheral slot 98 in the lower portion of body 55. This ring makes an airtight seal between body 55 and supporting casing (FIGURE 1a). Extending from the lower end of passage 71 is another key pin 99, that aligns body 55 properly relative to power piston 101 which is normally downwardly biased. A threaded vertical recess 100 is disposed central- :ly of body 55 from the lower face.
A crimped, resilient means such as a metal retracting spring, 102, machined from, for example, a spring steel stock, is disposed between the lower surface of body 55 and the upper surface of piston 101 and gives the desired downward bias to 101. The cutouts, such as 103, are aligned to permit the passage of key pins, such as 99, therethrough to anchor in recess 104 of piston 101.
A resilient O-ring seal 106 is disposed on the shoulder 107 within a passage central of piston 101. As assembled, ring 106 makes sealing contact with collar 109 of normally upwardly biased, power piston 111. The uppermost surface of annular shoulder 112 of 101 serves as a supporting and push member for plunger rods 85, 87 and 89. Shoulder 112 is provided with three notches or recesses 113 (in cutout portion), 114 and 115 which are adjacent the lower members of plunger rods 84, 86 and 88. These recesses 113, 114, and 115 have a depth of about 0.008 to about 0.010 inch and serve as reliefs preventing contact between the plunger rods 84, 86, and 88 and shoulder 112. Lug 108 on piston 111 engages matching recess 108' in the bottom surface of piston 101. Plunger rods 84, 86, and 88 are held in contact with disc 83 by spring 131 acting through piston 111 and collar 109 unless power piston 111 is lowered by a power gas.
Another O-ring 116 and a cap seal 117 comprising a thermosetting plastic are disposed in a slot 118 in the periphery of piston 101, permitting a sealing contact with the inner wall of casing 60.
An internally threaded cylindrical bushing 119 is provided, having a diameter such that it may slidably pass its top portion within collar 109, shoulder 119 terminating the extent of sliding of bushing 119 by coming in contact with the lower surface of collar 109. Shoulder 120 of bushing 119 is of a diameter such that it clears the bottom member of each plunger rod.
Collar 109 has three notched-out recesses (in cutout portion), 136 and 137 which are adjacent the lower member of plunger rods 85, 87 and 89. These recesses 135, 136, and 137 serve as reliefs preventing contact between collar 109 and the plunger rods 85, 87, and 89. Thus, plunger rods 85, 87, and 89 are not in contact with disc 83 unless power piston 101 is elevated by a power gas. Recesses 135437 have a depth of about 0.008 to 0.010 inch.
Assembly screw 123 secures base 63 to the lower portion of bushing 119, permitting all components between body 55 and base 63 to be compressively tightened together.
An O-ring 126 and cap seal 127 are disposed in a slot 128 in the periphery of piston 111, permitting a sealing contact with the inner wall of casing 60.
A recess 129 located centrally of the bottom of the piston 111 accommodates Belleville washers such as 131, which are grouped in opposing pairs to give the desired amount of upward bias to piston 111. This upward bias forces and maintains plunger rods 84, 86 and 88 in a closed position while no power gas pressure is present in annular chamber 132 (FIGURE 3) defined by pistons 101 and 111. Annular recess 133 in the upper face of base 63 provides a boss for washers 131. A resilient O-ring 134 is disposed in peripheral slot 136' in base 63, permitting an air-tight seal between casing 60 and base 63.
Passage 61 in casing 60 communicates with an internal spring chamber 138 (FIGURE 3) defined by body 55 and power piston 101. Passage 62 communicates with power gas chamber 132 (FIGURE 3).
In FIGURE 2 the top surface of piston 101, collar 112 and recesses 113 to 115 are shown in their operating relationship with collar 109 and recesses 135 to 137.
In FIGURE 3, the assembled valve of FIGURES 1 and 1a is shown in full section except for the assembly screws, pins and plunger rods. Screw 139 retains retracting spring 102 to the lower surface of body 55. Chamber 138 is in communication with the underside of cushion 83 via the working tolerances surrounding the plunger rods such as 89.
Suitable conduits such as 31 and 43 are fitted into each of the passages 48 to 53 to provide communication directly with the lower surface of upper block 41 and to the upper surface of sealing diaphragm 76.
The operation of the valve of FIGURES 1 to 3 is the same as that set forth in U.S. Patent 3,140,615, column 5, line 71, through column 7, line 35. In general, the admission of air through passage 62 into chamber 132 first forces power piston 101 upward thereby moving plunger rods 85, 87 and 89 upward into a closing position against cushion 83 and diaphragm 76 so that all six plunger rods 84 to 89 are in the closed position. Then, subsequently, the pressure buildup in chamber 132 is sufficient to overcome the bias of washers 131 and therefore move power piston 111 downward which in turn moves plunger rods 84, 86 and 88 into the open position out of contact with cushion 83 and diaphragm 76. By this operation the flow of fluid through those recesses of the group 91 to 96 which can conduct fluid from one passage to an adjacent passage in the group 48 to 53 when plunger rods 85, 87 and 89 are in the open position, are closed and alternate recesses are opened for the passage of fluid between other adjacent passages in the group 48 to 53 by the retraction of plunger rods 84, 86 and 88 to the open position. For example, when plunger rod 89 is in the open position fluid passing into passage 53 impinges against diaphragm 76 thereby pressing same into recess 95 and passes through recess 95 across the top of plunger rod 89 into recess 96 and out through passage 48. The fluid must travel in the direction of plunger rod 89 because plunger rod 88 is in the closed position thereby in effect closing off that end of recess 95 to the flow of fluid. However,
when plunger rod 89 is moved into the closed position and plunger rod 88 is moved into the open position then fluid passing into passage 53 will be directed through recess 95 towards and over the top of plunger rod 88 and into recess 94. From recess 94 the fluid will travel out through passage 52 since when plunger rod 88 is in the open position plunger rod 87 is in the closed position thereby blocking off that end of recess 94. A similar redirection of fluid flow is effected by the movement of each of plunger rods 84, 86 and 88 relative to plunger rods 85, 87 and 89.
FIGURES 4 and 4a show an electrically operated valve employing the same cap 41, body 55, diaphragm 76,
cushion 83 and plunger rods 84-89 in the same relationship as discussed relative to FIGURE 1, supra. However, in lieu of spring 102 and power pistons 101 and 111 there is substituted, below body 55, detent plate 150 which is circular in configuration and substantially flat on its pressure or supporting surface. The detent plate and balls comprising the plunger rods are made of an extremely hard material which is machinable and polishable to a high degree. Such materials include the machinable carbides such as tungsten carbide. The extreme hardness of the detent plate is necessary to prevent wear tracks of the balls in the plate as it is rotated alternately raising and lowering the balls under extreme pressure of 70 to pounds dead weight distributed between either three or six ball contacts. The pressure face of the detent plate is lapped to a high degree of finish and flatness. The flatness allows the use of additional stacks of ball plungers to operate additional ports adjacent diaphragm 76 for multiple sample distribution. Legs 151 to 153 are fixed in apertures 154 to 156, respectively, in detent plate 150.
Recesses 157 are located in plate 150 so as to be in axial alignment with plunger rods 84 to 89 and are adapted to receive the lower ball of a plunger rod thereby lowering the plunger rod itself about 0.008 to 0.010 inch, the depth of such recesses being substantially the same as the distance through which the plunger rod is lowered. The spacing A between two depressions 157 is greater than the distance along the same arc between two adjacent plunger rods, for example plunger rods 84 and 89. The distance is greater so that upon rotation of plate 150 the plunger rods which are in the depression 157 will be moved out of those depressions onto the top or uppermost surface of plate 150 thereby being moved into the closed position before those plunger rods which are already in the closed position are moved into a depression 157. Thus, this spacing between depressions 157 gives the valve the make seal before break seal characteristic which prevents leakage of fluids from one path of flow to the alternate path of flow as the paths of flow are alternated. The same characteristic is effected in the Valve of FIGURES 1-3 by the actuation of piston 101 before the actuation of piston 111. Although the angle B through which the detent plate is rotated each time a switching sequence is eifected in the valve can vary depending on the number of plungers employed, to suit particular needs and desires, a suitable angle of rotation is about 60 for two sets of three plungers each of 45 for two sets of four plungers each.
Belleville washers 161 are grouped in opposing pairs about threaded bushing 162 and supported by shoulder 163 of that bushing. Threaded end 164 of bushing 162 extends through passage 165 of plate 150 and threads into a threaded recess in the bottom surface of body 55in the central portion 166 of that body. A similar threaded recess is shown by reference number in FIGURE 1, supra. Washers 161 provide an upward bias of plate towards the bottom surface of body 55 but plate 150 is prevented from touching body 55 by the plunger rods 84 to 89 since a portion of the bottom member of each plunger rod extends below the lower surface of body 55. Thus, plate 150 is maintained in close proximity to body 55 and the plunger rods are maintained in their respective passageways in body 55 by the upward bias of washers 161.
Legs151 to 153 slidably fit through passages 166, 167 and 168, respectively, of support plate 169 which carries on its bottom surface a ratchet 170. Springs 158 to mounted about legs 151 to 153 bias plate 169 away from plate 150. A power ratchet 171 engages ratchet 170 and prevents springs 158 to 160 from pushing plate 169 off of legs 151 to 153. A solenoid for rotating power ratchet 171 forms base 172 of the valve. Between cap 41 and base 172 the valve mechanism is enclosed by casing 173.
The rotary solenoid can be any commercially available type such as those produced by Ledex, Inc., which allow rotation at and steps to engage corresponding ratchet faces. The number of teeth in the ratchets will depend on the size of the angle of rotation of the ratchets, e.g., for an angle of 60, three or six teeth can be employed on each ratchet. For example, ratchets employing six teeth are well suited for this invention in which case the power ratchet is rotated about 67 /2 so that on its return rotation in the reverse direction it will engage the next tooth of the top rachet which ratchet, due to the return of the power ratchet, is rotated a net amount of 60.
It should be noted that although the valves of this aspect of the invention are disclosed with the use of six plunger rods, larger numbers of plunger rods can readily be employed. Also twelve plunger rods can be employed in a single valve thereby providing, in effect, two valves in one. Further, additional sampling ports can be used with this aspect of the invention by the use of two sets of plungers with four plungers per set.
FIGURE 5 shows the assembled valve of FIGURES 3 and 3a in full section except for the assembly screws, plunger rods, detent plate, mating and releasing ratchets and solenoid motor. In FIGURE 5 the bottom surface of detent plate is shown which has an annular recess 1'75 therein which recess has a smaller annular recess 176 therein. Recess 176 serves as a ball race for ball bearings 177 which bear upon washers 161 and allow relatively friction-free rotation of detent plate 150 while maintaining an upward bias of that plate by washers 161 against the plunger rods that are in the closed position.
In operation, three plunger rods e.g., 84, 86 and 88 are in the closed position on the top surface of plate 150 while the other three plunger rods, e.g., 85, 87 and 89 are in the open position by reason of their downward displacement into recesses 157. By way of solenoid motor 172, power ratchet 171 is rotated a fixed number of degrees in the direction of arrow 178 which in turn rotates ratchet 170 and plate 169 and through legs 151 to 153 rotates detent plate 150. Rotation of detent plate 150 first move plunger rods 85, 87 and 89 out of depression 157 onto the top surface of plate 150 and therefore into the closed position while maintaining plunger rods 84, 86 and 88 which are already in the closed position in that position. Continued rotation of plate 150 brings recesses 157 into alignment with plunger rods 84, 86 and 88, and these plunger rods move down into recesses 157 and into the open position at the end of the period of rotation of plate 150. At the end of the period of rotation power ratchet 171 is rotated in the reverse direction shown by arrow 179 to prepare for a second rotation period. The retraction of power ratchet 171 is effected without retraction of ratchet 170 because ratchet 170 and plate 169 are resiliently and slidably mounted on legs 151 to 153 so that the teeth of power ratchet 171 on retraction thereof merely force ratchet 170 and plate 169 upward along legs 151 to 153 and when power ratchet 171 is fully retracted springs 158 to 160 force ratchet into engagement therewith as shown in FIG- URE 5. By the alternate movement of plunger rods into and out of the closed and open positions fluid flow into and out of passages 48 to 53 through recesses 91 to 96 is effected in the same manner as described above with reference to the valve of FIGURES 13.
Reasonable variations and modifications are possible within the scope of this disclosure without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.
1. In a valve wherein a plurality of laterally contained and reciprocably supported plunger rods are employed alternately to move a closing means into and from closing and open positions for said valve and wherein the closing position comprises a plunger rod bearing against a diaphragm conforming same to close a fluid path, the improvement comprising said plurality of plunger rods being composed of a plurality of substantially rounded members, said members being stacked on one another to form each plunger rod, the non-contiguous sides of said members being laterally contained, closing means carried by an end member of each stack of members which means effects the actual closing of said valve when pressed against a diaphragm, a first group of said plurality of plunger rods being supported by a reciprocably mounted, upwardly biased means having notches thereon intermediate adjacent plunger rods of said first group for receiving a second group of said plurality of piston plunger rods, said second group of piston plunger rods being supported by a second independently reciprocable, downwardly biased member having notches thereon for receiving said first group of piston plunger rods.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said members are substantially spherical in configuration.
3. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said closing means comprises a substantially flat surface.
4. In a valve wherein at least two laterally contained plungers are reciprocably carried by two support means which are relatively movable with respect to one another and each supporting at least one of said pistons, the improvement comprising each of said at least two laterally contained plungers being composed of a plurality of separate and distinct members, said members being contiguous with one another and forming a single line thereof for each plunger, at least the non-contiguous sides of said members being rounded, a closing surface carried by an end member of each line of members, reciprocably mounted support means supporting at least one of said pistons and having notches therein for receiving the remainder of said pistons, a second support means reciprocably mounted independently of the first support means which supports the remaining pistons and has notches therein for receiving said pistons supported by said first support member.
5. A fluid motor-actuated valve system for distributing a first fiuid through a selected conduit comprising, in combination, a first body having two opposite faces; first, second, and third spaced passages in said body, each of said spaced passages communicating between said faces; a second body having an upper face spaced from the lower face of said first body; a first cushioned flexible sealing diaphragm of a diameter at least sufficient to cover said spaced passages; first, second, and third cylindrical recesses in said upper face, opposite said first, second, and third spaced passages, respectively; first and second cylindrical passages traversing said second body within the circle described by said cylindrical recesses; first and second plunger rods composed of stacks of separate and distinct members wherein at least the noncontiguous sides of said members are rounded, said plunger rods being slidably disposed in said first and second cylindrical passages, respectively; the upper end members of said first and second rods adjacent said diaphragm and intermediate the ports of said first, second, and third spaced passages, so that the end member of said first rod seals against said diaphragm intermediate said first and second spaced passages, and so that the end member of said second rod seals against said diaphragm intermediate said second and third spaced passages; a first power piston disposed adjacent and below said second body and normally biased out of contact with said second rod; said first power piston carrying a support member adapted to support a first group of said rods on its upper surface and having notches in its upper surface adapted to receive a second group of rods at a lower position; a first chamber defined by the lower face of said second body and the upper face of said first power piston; first biasing means disposed in said first chamber normally biasing said first piston downward; a second power piston disposed adjacent and below said first power piston and carrying a second support member; said second power piston being normally biased in contact with said second group of rods and having notches therein for receiving said first group of rods at a point lower than said second group; a third body disposed adjacent and below said second piston and normally space therefrom; a second chamber defined at its upper end by the lower face of said first power piston and at its lower end by the upper face of said second power piston; a cylindrical casing the inner surface of which makes sealing contact with the peripheries of said power pistons, the upper edge of said casing making sealing contact with said second body, and the lower edge of said casing making sealing contact with said third body; a second and stronger biasing means disposed intermediate said second power piston and said third body normally biasing the former upward; means to secure said first, second, and third bodies and said power pistons adjacent to one another and in fixed relationship.
6. The apparatus according to claim wherein a first conduit means is connected to supply said first fluid to be distributed under a first pressure to said second spaced passage; a second conduit means is connected to receive said first fluid from said first spaced passage; a third conduit means is connected to receive said first fluid from said third spaced passage; a fourth conduit means is connected to supply, during a first time interval, a second fluid under a second pressure greater than said first pressure to said second chamber to exert upward pressure on said first power piston, first overcoming said first biasing means and exerting force on said second plunger rod, contacting the upper side of said first power piston to force a first portion of said sealing diaphragm adjacent thereto to seal between the ports of said third and second spaced passages of said first body; said second fluid simultaneously exerting increasing downward pressure on said second power piston, overcoming said second biasing means, thus retracting said second piston means, permitting said first plunger rod to break sealing contact with a second portion of said sealing diaphragm adjacent thereto, thereby establishing communication between the port of said first and second spaced passages; whereby first fluid enters said valve system through said second passage and passes out of said system through said first passage; said fourth conduit means adapted to vent said second chamber, during the second time interval, whereupon said power piston reverts to its first described position, during which said first fluid pressure will establish communication between said third and second spaced passages under said diaphragm, by maintaining sealing communication between said first and second spaced passages, whereby said first fiuid enters said system through said second spaced passage and passes out of said system through said third passage.
7. In a valve wherein at least two laterally contained and reciprocably supported upstanding plungers are employed to move a closing surface into and from closing and open positions for said valve, the improvement comprising each of said plungers being composed of a plurality of separate substantially rounded members, said members being contiguous with one another and forming a single line thereof for each plunger, a closing surface carried by an end member of each line of members which surface causes actual closing of said valve when said line is moved into the closed position, said at least two plungers being supported by contact of their lower member with a substantially flat plate which is rotatable in a substantially horizontal plane and has spaced-apart depressions in the substantially flat supporting surface thereof 'which are in axial alignment with said lines of members and adapted to receive the lower member of each line thereby lowering the whole line into an open position for said valve, means for resiliently biasing said plate towards said lower members of said plungers, the spacing between said depressions being suflicient to cause all of said plungers to be first moved into the closed position by being supported on the top surface of said plate before a plunger is moved into a depression, said depressions also being spaced so that when one plunger is residing therein plungers adjacent to that plunger are supported on the uppermost surface of said plate in the closed position, and means for rotating said member a fixed distance to cause movement of said plungers in said depressions out of said depressions into the closed position and movement of said plungers in the closed position into said depressions and therefore into the open position.
8. An electrically actuated valve system for distributing a first fluid through a selected conduit comprising, in combination: a first body having two opposite faces; first, second, and third spaced passages in said body, each of said spaced passages communicating with said faces; a second body having an upper face spaced from the lower face of said first body; a first flexible cushioned sealing diaphragm of a diameter at least sufficient to cover said spaced passages; first, second, and third cylindrical recesses in said upper face, opposite said first, second, and third spaced passages, respectively; first and second cylindrical passages traversing said second body within the circle described by said cylindrical recesses; first and second plunger rods composed of separate substantially rounded members stacked upon one another to form each plunger, the upper member of each stack carrying a closing surface for contact with said diaphragm, said rods being slidably disposed in said first and second cylindrical passages, respectively; the upper end members of said first and second rods being adjacent said diaphragm and intermediate the ports of said first, second, and third spaced passages, so that said first rod seals against said diaphragm intermediate said first and second spaced passages, and so that said second rod seals against said diaphragm intermediate said second and third spaced passages; a first support member rotatably carried by said second body and biased toward said second body but spaced therefrom by the lower member of each rod when in the closed position; a second support member slidably carried below said first support member and biased away from said first support member; a first ratchet means fixed to the lower surface of said second support member; a second ratchet means carried in engagement with said first ratchet means; and means for rotating said second ratchet means a fixed distance.
9. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein said members are substantially spherical.
10, The apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said first support member is rotatably carried by said second body by means of a member attached to said second body and extending through said first support member and having resilient means carried intermediate the lower surface of said first support member and the bottom of said member which is attached to said second body, the contacting of said resilient means and the lower surface of said first support member being made through bearing means carried in the lower surface of said first support member.
11. The apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said first support member contains recesses in the supporting surface thereof which are adapted to receive the lower member of a plunger rod and thereby effect a lowering of the entire plunger rod, said recesses being spaced apart a distance to cause upon rotation of said first support member through a fixed distance, raising of a first group of rods out of the depressions while a second group of rods are maintained in a closed position and then retracting said second group into the recesses only after said first group has been moved into the closed position.
1 1 1 2 12. The apparatus according to claim 11 wherein said FOREIGN PATENTS depressions are spaced apart through an angle of 60. 334,053 12/1958 France References Cited 489,794 1/1954 Italy. UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 M. CARY NELSON, Primary Examiner. 1,539,054 5/1925 Meldau 137-522 M. O. STURM, Assistant Examiner. 3,140,615 7/1964 Broerman 73422 3,164,165 1/1965 FOX 137522
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|U.S. Classification||137/625.48, 251/253, 251/230|
|International Classification||G01N30/00, G01N30/20|