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Publication numberUS3379344 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 23, 1968
Filing dateJun 28, 1966
Priority dateJun 28, 1966
Also published asDE1532626A1
Publication numberUS 3379344 A, US 3379344A, US-A-3379344, US3379344 A, US3379344A
InventorsCornelius Richard T
Original AssigneeCornelius Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for treating and handling a beverage
US 3379344 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

prii 23, w68

R. T. CORNELIUS APPARATUS FOR TREATING AND HANDLING A BEVERAGE Filed June 28, 1966 United States Patent Oiice 3,379,344 Patented Apr. 23, 3&68

3,379,344 APPARATUS FOR TREA'HNG AND HANDLNG A BEVERAGE Richard T. Cornelius, Minneapoiis, Minn., assigner to The Cornelius Company, Anoka, Minn., a corporation of Minnesota Fiied .lune 2S, i966, Ser. No. 56Ll13 6 iairns. (Ci. 222-76) ABSTACT F THE DSCLOSURE A housing having a heated vented chamber is supported on a casing which is carried by trunnions on a pivoted bracket which controls r'illing means that direct a highly carbonated beverage such as coffee against a stationary frusto-conical surface at the upper end of the chamber -to cause the beverage to move centrifugally to a lower portion of larger diameter as a thin layer of progressively decreasing thickness so as to decarbonate it and heat it for withdrawal through a dispensing valve under the control of a coin-controlled timer.

This invention relates generally to an apparatus for treating and handling a beverage for consumption from a room-temperature supply of highly carbonated beverage, in which the beverage is decarbcnated.

Although the principles of the present invention may be included in various devices, a particularly useful application is made in a coifee dispensing machine. Such application is illustrative and does not exclude other usage.

One feature of this invention is that carbonated beverage, such as highly carbonated coffee, is tangentially injected and directed against the undersurface of a frustoconical cover. The carbonated beverage clings to the underside of such cover due to centrifugal force, and as it moves outwardly and downwardly, the thickness of the beverage progressively decreases to be a very thin layer or film, thereby effecting or aiding in effecting decarbonation and bubble breakup.

Conventional liquid level control means do not adequately distinguish between a rather iirm foam, produced by carbonation, and liquid. Therefore, a further feature of this invention is that the entire reservoir is supported on an adjustably spring-biased pivotaliy-supported bracket which actuates a snap switch to open or to close a control circuit which governs replenishing of the beverage in the reservoir.

A pressure slightly above atmospheric is maintained in the reservoir by means of carbon dioxide gas. This gas is derived from the decarbonation of the beverage. However, when the apparatus is first set into operation, there is no released carbon dioxide gas present above the beverage. This condition is particularly objectionable when the pressure in part determines the quantity of beverage to be dispensed in response to deposit of a particular amount of coinage. Therefore, a still further feature of the invention is the provision of an auxiliary line which supplies carbon dioxide gas, such additional gas being under the control of a pressure regulator so that auxiliary gas will not be admitted when the pressure in the chamber is sufiiciently high to be within the cycling range of a relief valve by 'which surplus released gas is vented. Further, when such relief valve is of the gravity type, the machine may have been jiggled, and gas may have been inadvertently released, thereby prospectively decreasing the amount of beverage that will be dispensed at the next purchase. However, the auxiliary supply of carbon dioxide gas replenishes such storage pressure so that the customer is not cheated.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a beverage decarbonating and storage mechanism.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a means for decarbonating a pressurized beverage by causing it to move as a layer or as a film which continually decreases in thickness.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide automatic means for replenishing the beverage in the decarbonator wherein such means are not actuated by foam which is likely to be present.

Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide means for insuring that a dispensing pressure which is obtained from the carbonation of the beverage will be maintained, particularly when the apparatus is initially placed in operation, and also particularly if there has been an inadvertent loss of pressurizing gas.

Many other advantages, features and additional objects of the present invention will become manifest to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description and the accompanying drawing in which a preferred structural embodiment incorporating the principles of the present invention is shown by way of illustrative example.

On the drawing:

The single ligure is a cross-sectional view of an apparatus for handling or treating a carbonated beverage, provided in accordance with the principles of the present invention, certain portions of the drawing being diagrammatic.

As shown on the drawing:

The principles of the present invention are particularly useful when embodied in a preferred form of beverage dispensing apparatus such as illustrated in the drawing, generally indicated by the numeral itl. The dispensing apparatus is an apparatus for handling and treating a beverage for consumption where the beverage is initially obtained from a room-temperature supply of highly carbonated beverage, such as a supply of highly carbonated coffee.

The apparatus l@ includes a housing generally indicated at 11, comprising a lower section l2 and a removable cover 13 jointly defining an interior chamber or reservoir 14. The lower housing section l2 is provided with an embedded heater and a discharge outlet i6 connected to a dispensing valve 17. The upwardly opening storage section i2 is closed by the cover 13 which has an inlet i8 at its upper end, such inlet being at the upper end of the chamber 14. The supply of carbonated coifee beverage is connected by a solenoid valve 19 to the inlet 1S.

The cover 13 has a frusto-conical inner surface Ztl which tapers outwardly and downwardly. The inlet 1S is disposed so that beverage entering the chamber is tangentia ly directed to iiow against the interior of the cover. Such beverage clings to the interior due to centrifugal force, and aided by gravity, the beverage flows downwardly clinging to the surface 2?. As the area of the surface 2i) gradually increases in a downward direction, the layer or lrn of beverage gradually decreases in thickness, thereby aiding in effecting decarbonation of the beverage and breakup of carbon dioxide gas bubbles.

The lower section 12 and the cover 13 are held together by a clamp lring 21. The clamp ring 21 has an inturned flange 22 which engages a sloping external portion of the cover i3, such clamp ring 21 having a skirt 4portion that spans the overlapping portions of the cover 213 and the storage section 12. The storage section 12 is provided with a number of lugs 23 which are angularly spaced from each other, there typically being four such lugs equal- 1y spaced. The clamp ring 21 has a corresponding number of indented portions 24 which can pass between the lugs 23, and which move into position below the lugs 23 in response to a fractional turn of the clamp ring 21 with re- 3 spect to the housing 11. An O-ring seal is also provided between the cover 13 and the storage section 12.

The housing 11 has a number of supporting pads 26 disposed lower than the lugs 23, the housing 11 being supported by the pads 26 on the upper surface of a casing 27. The housing 11 maybe lifted in and out of the casing readily for maintenance such as cleaning. The casing 27 has a pair of diametrically arranged trunnions 28 which are carried on a bracket 29. The bracket 25'# is pivotally supported as at 30 on a frame portion 31 Vof the dispensing machine. The bracket 29 is biased by a spring 32 which is provided with adjusting means 33 for altering the effective spring force. Means are provided which are rresponsive to the position of the bracket or the housing, and in this instance, such means comprises an electric switch 34 which is supported to be actuated by the bracket 29 in response to increases and decreases in the amount of beverage in the housing 11. As foam is weightless for practical purposes, the switch 34 operates independently of whatever foam may be in the reservoir or chamber 14 above the liquid therein. The switch 34 is connected to the solenoid valve 19 so that in response to a decrease in beverage level to a predetermined point, the spring 32 will pivot the bracket 29, slightly raising the housing 11, and closing the switch 34, thereby initiating entry of additional carbonated beverage to the chamber. When there has been adequate replenishment, the mass present will have increased sufciently so that the bracket 29 will pivot downwardly, thereby depressing the plunger of the switch 34 and opening the circuit to the solenoid valve 19.

Decarbonation of the carbonated beverage includes the release of carbon dioxide gas from such beverage which gas collects in the upper part of the chamber 14. It is desired to maintain a certain predetermined pressure therein, for example a pressure between two and four p.s.i. To this end, there is provided a relief valve generally indicated at 35. The relief valve 35 is of the gravity type and includes a stem 36 which is clamped and sealed to the cover 13, the upper end of the stem terminatingy in an upwardly directed vaive seat 37. Coacting therewith is a valve 38 that is carried by a weight 39 having an appropriate mass so as to create the proper cracking and reseating or resealing pressures. Thus when the pressure in the chamber 14 exceeds the cracking pressure of the relief valve 35, surplus carbon dioxide gas will be vented to the atmosphere, and when the pressure has decreased, the weighted valve 3S will reseat and close. This pressure that is thus maintained insures a substantially constant rate of ow of beverage when the dispensing valve 17 is opened.

The dispensing valve 17 is under the control of a timer 49, which is operated by a coin control mechanism 41 of a known type. Thus with a constant pressure acting on the beverage to be dispensed, and with the valve 17 opened for a predetermined fixed period of time, -a fixed quantity of beverage will be dispensed at each purchase.

When the apparatus is first placed into operation, there will have been relatively little carbon dioxide gas released from the decarbonated beverage, land possibly not enough pressure wiil be present in the chamber 14 to cause the valve 35 to be within its normal operating range. Therefore, an auxiliary supply of carbon dioxide gas is connected through a pressure regulator 42 which leads through a carbon dioxide gas line 43 to the chamber 14. The pressure regulator 42 is so set that it will admit carbon dioxide gas to 'the chamber 14, but will close off at a pres sure which is slightly below the reseating or resealing pressure of the relief valve 3S, or which is slightly below the operating range of the relief Valve 35, thereby insuring against waste of carbon dioxide gas. The auxiliary supply of carbon dioxide gas thereby insures that even at an early point after the apparatus has been placed in operation, the proper dispensing pressure will `be present. Moreover, as the relief valve 35 is of the gravity type, there is a possibility that the vending machine may have become jiggled,

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or the carbon dioxide gas may have been lost due to some other circumstance or inadvertence. Nevertheless, the regulator 42 senses such condition and restores and maintains any loss of dispensing pressure gas.

The highly carbonated beverage supply is stored under a pressure several times greater than that of the dispensing pressure, and therefore the decarbonating-storage-dispensing pressure is relatively low and is somewhat reduced from that of the supply.

Although various minor modications might be suggested by those versed in the art, it should be understood that I wish to embody within the scope of the patent war-` ranted hereon, al1 such embodiments as reasonably and properly come within the scope of my contribution to the art.

I claim as my invention:

1. Apparatus for handling and treating a beverage for consumption from a room-temperature supply of highly carbonated beverage, comprising:

(a) a housing defining a vented chamber having an inlet for being connected to the supply of highly carbonated beverage;

(b) a relief valve connected to said chamber by which the venting thereof is provided and by which a normal dispensing pressure is maintained therein;

(c) a heater operative on said housing to raise the temperature of the carbonated beverage to a level where its carbonation is unstable;

(d) a dispensing valve communicating with said chamber;

(e) a coin-controlled timer connected to control operation of said dispensing valve;

(f) a carbon dioxide gas line connected to said chamber; and

(g) a pressure regulator for being attached to an auxiliary supply of carbon dioxide gas and connected to said gas line for pressurizing said chamber with carbon dioxide gas to a pressure slightly below the shutoff pressure of said reliefvalve.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which. said relief valve is of the gravity type.

3. Apparatus for handling and treating a beverage for consumption from a room-temperature supply of highly carbonated beverage, comprising:

(a) a housing having an upwardly opening lower storage section and a removable cover closing said lower section, said housing sections jointly defining a vented chamber having an inlet at its upper end for being connected to the supply of highly carbonated beverage, the interior surface of said cover being a frusto-conical surface tapering outwardly and downwardly at the upper portion of said chamber, and said inlet enabling beverage to enter said chamber tangentially near the upper end of the frusto-conical surface;

(b) a heater operative on said housing to raise the temperature of the carbonated beverage to a level where its carbonation is unstable; and

(c) a dispensing valve communicating with said charnber.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3, including a clamp ring securing said cover to said storage section, and said ring having means by which the ring may be detached therefrom in response to a fractional turn thereof.

S. Apparatus for handling and treating a beverage for consumption from a room-temperature supply of highly carbonated beverage, comprising:

(a) a housing defining a chamber having an inlet at its upper end for being connected to the supply of` highly carbonated beverage, the upper portionof said chamber including a frusto-conical inner surface tapering outwardly and downwardly, and said inlet enabling beverage to enter said chamber tangentially near the upper end of the frusto-conical surface;

(b) a heater operative on said housing to raise the temperature of the carbonated beverage to a level Where its carbonation is unstable;

(c) a dispensing valve communicating with said chamber;

(d) a relief valve connected to said chamber by which venting thereof is provided and by which a normal dispensing pressure is maintained therein;

(e) a coin-controlled timer connected to control operation of said dispensing valve;

(f) a carbon dioxide gas line connected to said chamber; and

(g) a pressure regulator for being attached to an auxiliary supply of carbon dioxide gas and connected to said gas line for pressurizing said chamber with carbon dioxide gas to a pressure slightly below the shut-off pressure of said relief valve.

6. Apparatus for handling and treating a beverage for consumption from a room-temperature supply of highly carbonated beverage, comprising:

(a) a housing dening a vented decarbonating chamber having an inlet;

(b) a valve connected to said inlet for controlling the admission of highly carbonated beverage to said chamber;

(c) a heater operative on said housing to raise the temperature of the carbonated beverage to a level where its carbonation is unstable;

(d) a dispensing valve communicating with said chamber;

(e) a casing having trunnions and supporting said housing;

(f) a spring-biased pivotally-supported bracket supporting said casing by its trunnions and pivotable in response to increases and decreases of beverage in said housing; and

(g) means responsive to pivoting of said bracket for controlling said inlet valve to replenish beverage in said chamber automatically.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 812,855 2/1906 Ljungstrom 55-205 2,381,505 8/ 1945 Lindholm 222-56 2,545,028 3/ 1951 Haldeman 55-204 2,667,990 2/ 1954 Mojonnier 222-67 3,084,047 4/ 1963 Holstein et al 222-67 X 3,113,871 12/1963 Webster 55-204 X OTHER REFERENCES Project 408B of Wisconsin Ag. Experiment Stn.

D Oct. 12, 1956 (1 page).

ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.

HADD S. LANE, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US812855 *Nov 11, 1905Feb 20, 1906Separator AbMilking-machine.
US2381505 *May 27, 1942Aug 7, 1945Pneumatic Scale CorpPackaging machine
US2545028 *Dec 5, 1945Mar 13, 1951George W HaldemanFalling film heat exchanger
US2667990 *Apr 4, 1949Feb 2, 1954Mojonnier Dawson CoDispensing mechanism with time controlled flow
US3084047 *Jul 29, 1959Apr 2, 1963Nat Vendors IncVending machine
US3113871 *Dec 23, 1960Dec 10, 1963Air ReductionPreparation of fruit juices
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3765569 *Apr 10, 1972Oct 16, 1973Bras SpaBeverage dispenser
US4560089 *Sep 7, 1982Dec 24, 1985The Cornelius CompanyApparatus for dispensing a carbonated beverage
US4624395 *May 11, 1984Nov 25, 1986Lykes Pasco Packing Co.Hot beverage dispensing machine
US7107896 *Nov 25, 1997Sep 19, 2006L'air Liquide Societe Anonyme Pour L'etude Et L'exploitation Des Procedes Georges ClaudeMethod and device for inerting a vat for consumable liquid, in particular wine, and corresponding inerting gas
US7107897Nov 5, 2003Sep 19, 2006L'air Liquide Societe Anonyme Pour L'etude Et L'explotation Des Procedes Gerges ClaudeDevice for inerting a vat for consumable liquid, in particular wine
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/640, 96/209, 222/146.4, 99/323.1, 222/146.1, 222/56
International ClassificationB67D1/00, B67D1/04, B67D1/08
Cooperative ClassificationB67D1/08, B67D1/04
European ClassificationB67D1/08, B67D1/04