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Publication numberUS3417771 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 24, 1968
Filing dateSep 24, 1965
Priority dateSep 24, 1965
Publication numberUS 3417771 A, US 3417771A, US-A-3417771, US3417771 A, US3417771A
InventorsHans Ernst
Original AssigneeHans Ernst
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flow control apparatus for fluent magnetic materials
US 3417771 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

3,417,771 FLOW CONTROL APPARATUS FOR FLUENT MAGNETIC MATERIALS Filed Sept. 24, 1965 H. ERNST Dec. 24, 1968 BY HANS smvsv 1 m t T. u my h 5 a v 4 2 N s t w .Y 2 A 1 M Z M w 7 an... w. A -I h 2 I. fi m a w V F ATTORNEY H. ERNST Dec. 24, 1968 FLOW CONTROL APPARATUS FOR FLUENT MAGNETIC MATERIALS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 24, 1965 FIGS FIG. 5


HANS ERNST .12 1- 214M.

FIG. 7

ATTQ'RNEY United States Fatent C 3,417,771 FLOW CONTROL APPARATUS FOR FLUENT MAGNETIC MATERIALS Hans Ernst, 1021 Eldoratlo Ave., Clearwater, Fla. 33515 Filed Sept. 24, 1965, Ser. No. 489,951 2 Claims. (Cl. 137-81.5)

ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to control apparatus for governing the flow or volume translation of a fluent material having magnetic properties.

Fluent materials are those capable of flowing, have no shape, and therefore must be confined in ducts or channels to guide their path of movement during translation from place to place. Such materials may be dry, as metallic dust from tumbling operations, crushed ore and the like; or they may be liquid of any viscosity, containing magnetic particles, such as iron. Thus all these materials have magnetic properties.

One of the objects of this invention is to take advantage of and to utilize the magnetic properties of a fluent material as one of the elements of the combination of means for controlling or modifying its own movement and other characteristics.

Another object of this invention is to eliminate the use of movable mechanical valving or baffles inside a flow channel, as well as the mechanical linkage thereto when the material being conveyed has magnetic properties by contriving a control system that is external of the channel but influential within the channel.

A further object of this invention is to provide a new and novel control apparatus for the purposes described which is simple in construction, effective in use, and lends itself to remote control.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention should be readily apparent by reference to the following specification, considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof, and it is to be understood that any modifications may be made in the exact structural details there shown and described, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from or exceeding the spirit of the invention.

Referring to the drawings in which like reference numerals indicate like or similar parts;

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic plan view of a reciprocable magnet for stopping and starting flow of a fluent material having magnetic properties.

FIGURE 2 is an elevational view taken on the line 22 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is an end view partly in section taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 4 is a diagrammatic view showing one form of a flow rate control mechanism.

FIGURE 5 is a plan view showing another form of flow rate control mechanism.

FIGURE 6 is an elevational view taken on the line 66 of FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 7 is a diagrammatic view of a flow rate and channel selector control mechanism.

FIGURE 8 is a sectional view through a magnetic control valve.

FIGURE 9 is a section on the line 9-9 of FIGURE 8.

In this invention, fluent materials having magnetic properties are contemplated to include those materials which in their natural state contain a large proportion of magnetizable particles and therefore the materials have magnetic properties; and also those materials which in their natural state have no magnetizable particles but to which magnetizable particles have been added to impart magnetic properties to the material. The term magnetic has conflicting definitions, so as used herein, it is intended to mean capable of being magnetized.

The control of volume translation of this class of materials involves several functions such as starting, stopping, volume control, rate control and selection of path of movement. The motivating force which effects the translatory movement may vary from gravity feed pressure to high pressures needed to utilize the material as a power medium. Anyone of the functions recited can be effected by the use of a magnetic control Valve which comprises basically a magnet, either electrical of permanent, associated with a channel or passage in a manner that its magnetic field permeates said passage to magnetically intercept the magnetic particles in the approaching material. Thus the particles are interrupted in their course and held.

It should be understood that these particles are relatively small, even minute down to the class of powders and dust. It is contemplated that some may have a magnetic core covered by a non-magnetic coating. By using ultrafine particles, they may be adequately suspended in a viscous liquid to make it homogenerous.

A simple basic form of the invention is shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3. The reference numeral 10 indicates a closed channel, such as a pipe or conduit, to the top of which is connected a suitable source of supply 11 of a fluent material from which the material flows into the channel 10. At a suitable location along the channel 10 is a control station indicated generally by the reference numeral 12, at which a magnetic control is mounted to control the function of stopping and starting the flow. In this form of the invention, a bifurcated permanent magnet 13, shown in FIG. 1, is mounted for reciprocation on suitable supporting means 14, to and from the channel 10. It will be obvious that when the open end of the magnet 13 embraces the channel It as shown in FIG. 1, that a magnetic field 15 will be projected into the channel 10 through which is flowing a fluent material having magnetic properties.

The magnetic field 15 functions to intercept, that is, to magnetize, attract, and hold the moving magnetic particles 16 of the material when the magnet is advanced to the position shown in FIG. 1. This action clogs the channel, which in the process will stop the flow of non-magnetic particles as well, until the build-up stops the flow entirely. It will now be seen that the magnetic properties of the material cooperate with the magnet and its magnetic field to form a combination of means to initiate and stop the flow of material.

The magnet 13, having opposing north and south pole piece 17 and 18, is reciprocated to and from an active position, preferably by power means rather than by manual means, such as solenoid 19. It has a plunger 20, connected at one end by a pin 21 to the magnet 13. A spring 22 working against a fixed abutment 23 holds the plunger in an advanced position against a stop 23a to stop the flow. By operation of the switch 24, the solenoid is energized, and the magnet 13 is retracted against the stop 23a to start the flow. Thus, when the power is oflt, the channel 3 is blocked. This is convenient when the system is shut down.

The effectiveness of this stopping operation will of course depend for one thing on the proportion of magnetic particles to non-magnetic material. Regardless of the proportions, however, if the magnet particles are intercepted, that is stopped and held, it impedes the flow. It is also recognized of course, that the size of the cross section of the channel and the strength of the magnetic field of magnet 13 also plays an important part in this action.

Therefore it is obvious that there must be a prescribed relationship between the cross sectional space in the channel and the strength of the magnetic field for the field to adequately and effectively magnetize the particles as they enter the field. Thus the magnetized particles form or build up artificial poles on the inside of the channel. Other magnetic material is constantly being added as long as the flow continues, to build up these poles and bridge the channel, which stops the flow completely.

In any case, this results in the formation of a short section of frozen material in the channel 10, as shown in FIG. 3, within the confines of the magnetic field 15 and held together by magnetic forces. Being confined in length by the extent of the magnetic field, this frozen section must also support the weight of the free material above it and beyond the reach of the magnetic field when the flow is stopped.

With fuzzy, light, dry material, probably somewhat aerated, the attraction of the magnetic forces and the friction of the side walls of the tube 10 are sufficient to hold back the material without slippage. With more compact and heavier material, and especially frictionless material, such as oils and the like, these forces may not be sufiicient.

To aid in this situation, the interior of the tube may be 5- fitted with a short bushing 26, as shown in FIG. 3, just below the station 12, which provides a more positive support against slippage.

Strong electro-magnets may be utilized in place of permanent magnets, and controlled by conventional switches, when it is desired to eliminate movable magnets. It may not be convenient to use a vertical channel with gravity feed, in which case the tube may be set at an angle, or even horizontal, and the source of supply pressurized sufficiently to effect flow. In some cases, suction may be resorted to.

Another function of the control of volume translation is determining the rate of flow of these materials by use of their own magnetic properties. One form of rate control mechanism is diagrammatically shown in FIG. 4, comprising two independent magnetic control valves mounted in spaced relation along the tube 10, the first valve comprising a pair of electro-magnets 28 and 29, and the second valve having a pair 30, 31. In operation,

the second pair 30, 31 are energized to stop the flow and thereby fill the tube 10 above this point. Then the first pair 28, 29 are energized to hold back or stop the flow at that point, and the second pair simultaneously deenergized to release the material trapped between the two pairs so that it flows on as by gravity.

The cycle is repeated byagain energizing the magnets 30, 31 and the first pair simultaneously de-energized which again fills the interval of tube 10 between the two pairs of magnets. Thus by these alternate operations, an intermittent feed is achieved.

An electrical control circuit for governing automatic a1- ternate operation of these valves is shown diagrammatically in FIG. 4. One end of the windings of the first pair of magnets 28, 29 is electrically connected in parallel by line 32 to brush 33 of a commutator 34. One end of the windings of the other pair of magnets 30, 31 are connected in parallel by line 35 to brush 36. The remaining ends of all the windings are connected in parallel by line 37 to a power line 38.

Power rotation of the commutator is obtained by providing a conventional power driven reduction gear drive mechanism comprising a motor 39, a worm 40 and a worm gear 41 mounted on shaft 42. The shaft 42 bears the commutator 34 having independent arcuate sections 43 and 44. The brush 33 is shown riding in contact with the segment 44 which is insulated from the shaft 42. The brush 36 is shown riding in conctact with the segment 43. This segment is electrically connected to shaft 42. A line 45 electrically connects shaft 42 to power main 46. In the position of parts shown in FIG. 4, current flows from the power line 46 to brush 36 and thus energizes magnets 30 and 31, which stops the flow in channel 10 at that point. Since brush 33 is insulated, the magnets 28, 29 are de-energized. Upon rotation of the commutator 34, the brush 36 eventually engages the insulated segment 44 and the brush 33 engages the power segment 43. This results in the upper magnets 28 and 29 stopping the flow, and the lower magnets 30, 31 releasing the material trapped between the two pairs of magnets. Thus by continuous rotation of the commutator, the cycle repeats and an intermittent feed is obtained.

Another form of automatic feed mechanism is diagrammatically shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. In FIG. 5, an electromagnet 57 having arms 58 and 59 embracing the feed tube 10, is supported on the end of a swinging lever 60, pivoted at 61 on a fixed support 62 at a control station. An eccentric 63 is connected by link 64 to the lever 60. By driving the eccentric with a slow speed mechanism, indicated generally by numeral 65 and of the same type as that shown in FIG. 4, the arm 60 is slowly raised and lowered longitudinally of the tube 10. When the magnet coil 57 is energized, it will stop the flow of material in the tube regardless of its position. If this happens in the uppermost position of the lever 60, then when the lever is lowered, the material in the tube will follow the lever down. But when the lever is reversed, the magnet 57 quickly pulls away and releases a certain amount of material in the lower end of the tube due to the departure of the magnetic field. Thus by regulating the rate of rotation of the eccentric and the throw, the rate of feed may be varied.

When it is desired to have a selection between a fast and a slow rate of flow, the channel 10 as shown in FIG. 7 may be provided with a narrow by-pass channel 66. The main branch 10a is provided with a magnetic control valve 67 and the by-pass channel 66, of smaller flow capacity, is provided with a magnetic control valve indicated generally by the reference numeral 68. These magnets are connected to a selector switch 69 whereby a selection of rate may be made.

In other words, by blocking the fiow in the channel 10a by magnet 67, with the switch 69 in the full line position, the material is forced to flow through the narrow channel section 66, and therefore at a reduced rate. By throwing switch 69 to its dotted line position, the magnet 68 blocks the by-pass 66, and magnet 67 is released to permit normally faster flow through channel section 10a. Thus same arrangement may be set up for selection of different paths of flow as shown in FIG. 7. This arrangement is particularly useful when the fluent material having magnetic properties is being pumped through the channel under pressure for use as a power medium. In such a case, the branch channels 70 and 71 are provided with magnetic control valves, indicated generally by numerals 72 and 73 which may be alternately energized by switch 79 to select the path of flow by blocking flow in the other channel. In this case the channels 70 and 71 are connected to opposite ends of a cylinder 74, containing a piston 75. Thus selection of channels determines the direction of movement of the piston.

The channels 70 and 71 are connected together to an exhaust channel 76. When the flow is coming into channel 70, a magnetic control valve 77 is energized by switch 79 in its dotted line position to block the flow from channel 70 to exhaust; and the magnetic control valve 73 is energized to block the incoming flow to channel 71. The exhaust from cylinder 74 is now free to flow to channel 76.

On the other hand, if the flow in channel 71 is to be utilized, the switch 79 is turned to its full line position to energize magnetic control valve 72 and block flow in channel 70, and also energize magnetic control valve 80 to block exhaust flow from cylinder 74, whereby the piston is actuated in the opposite direction. Turning the switch also released magnetic control valves 73 and 77, permitting exhaust from channel 70 and one end of cylinder 74, and permitting flow into the other end of cylinder 74.

Positive stops 81 and 82 are provided for engagement by abutments 83 carried by the piston 84 for positively limiting the movement of the piston in either direction. These stops may be replaced by switches or other mechanical means to effect actuation of switch 79, thereby providing continuous reciprocation of piston 75.

It is to be understood that the cylinder 74 and piston 75 may be replaced by any other form of linear or rotary hydraulic motor, or pressure responsive device.

The magnetic control valves which have been shown diagrammatically in the several views thus far, may be constructed as separate units for insertion in a flow line. FIGS. 8 and 9 shows such a magnetic control valve comprising a block housing 85, made of non-magnetic material, having a central chamber 86 and a threaded inlet 87 and an outlet 88 at opposite ends thereof whereby the material may flow through the housing. A magnetizing coil 89 is mounted on top of the housing 85 and supported on an iron core 90. The opposite ends of the core are thus of opposite polarity when the coil is energized.

The chamber is sub-divided into sub-chambers 91 by several flat dividers or laminae 92 whereby the incoming flow is caused to divide and flow simultaneously through the subcharnbers 91 and then collected to flow through the outlet 88. The laminae 92 are made of magnetic material, and alternate ones are connected to one pole 93 of the core 90 and the remainder of pole 94.

The path of flow of flux from each pole to the laminae is arranged so as to minimize loss or short circuit. Spacers of magnetic material 102 are placed between the nonmagnetic cover 95' and the ends of the core to support the coil and core above the cover. Spacers 103 at the ends of the core 95 are also of magnetic material. The laminae on the right are stacked on the bolt 96 with spacers 97 of magnetic material between them. The laminae on the left are stacked on the bolt 98 with similar spacers 99 between them. It will be noted that the laminae are short enough that they do not extend to the other bolt. Spacers 100 of non-magnetic material are placed between the laminae to isolate them from each other because of their opposite polarity. Non-magnetic filler pieces 101 are placed between the free ends of the laminae to isolate them from the magnetic spacer blocks. The result is a plurality of narrow slots or sub-chambers 91, the opposite sides of which are of opposite polarity. Since the space between a pair of sides is narrow, a very strong magnetic field can be created and due to the relatively large area in addition, almost instanteous stopping of flow can be obtained.

It will be noted that the bolts 96 and 98 are passed through the block 85 and are threaded in the ends of the core 90 whereby the entire assembly is secured together.

It will be seen that the flux flows from the ends of the core through the bolts 96 and 98, the spacers 102, 103, 97 and 99 to the laminae to create the magnetic field.

There has thus been provided a new and improved apparatus for controlling the flow of fluent magnetic materials within a channel. The fluent material may be selected to have characteristics suited to a particular application. For instance graphite, oil, molybdenum disulphide, tetrafluoroethylene, or nylon particles impregnated with magnetic material could be used. The use of impregnated resilient solid materials permits elastic deformation thereof under pressure, thereby aiding in the complete blocking of flow when desired. Furthermore, the fluent medium may be selected to have electrically conductive properties also and this is particularly advantageous to facilitate the pumping action in alternating current energized systems. In this case self induced fields in the fluent medium resulting from the impressed alternating magnetic field are generated.

The apparatus is designed to interact on the magnetic property of the material to effect interception of the flowing magnetic particles in the material and thus stop and hold them. This action progresses to the point that complete stoppage of flow is efiected. It is of course contemplated that demagnetizers can be used when the material is released to start flow again if found necessary for efiioient operation. Such a system has many advantages. There are no moving parts and therefore no mechanical linkages to maintain and keep in. repair and the system lends itself to remote control and to miniaturization.

That which is claimed is:

1. In a channel for conducting flow of a fluent material, and a control station adjacent said channel, the combination with magnetic particles in said material, of a permanent magnet embracing said channel to create a magnetic field therein to intercept said particles and stop flow, means normally biasing said magnet to its channel embracing position and means overcoming said biasing means to withdraw said magnet at will to start the flow.

2. In a channel for conducting flow of a fluent material, and a control station adjacent said channel, the combination with magnetic particles in said material, of a permanent magnet embracing said channel and creating a magnetic field within said channel to intercept said particles, and means to oscillate said magnet with a component of movement generally parallel to said channel.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,651,258 9/1953 Pierce 192-215 2,415,376 2/1945 Strickland 103-1 2,447,312 8/1948 Burt 91-449 2,741,121 4/1956 Raynsford 103-1 3,066,607 12/1962 Cole 103-1 3,071,154 1/1963 Cargill et al. 137-815 3,219,851 11/1965 Kidwell 103-1 3,258,685 6/1966 Horton 137-815 3,266,514 8/1966 Brooks 137-815 3,302,532 2/1967 Graham 91-459 PAUL E. MASLOUSKY, Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3506023 *Apr 8, 1968Apr 14, 1970Us Air ForceApparatus for controlling the flow of particles of magnetic material through an orifice
US3568693 *Apr 28, 1967Mar 9, 1971Martin Marietta CorpFluidic sensing device and method
US3701357 *Sep 23, 1969Oct 31, 1972Asea AbElectromagnetic valve means for tapping molten metal
US4460018 *Jun 19, 1981Jul 17, 1984Philip Morris, IncorporatedUltralow pressure relief valve
US5113890 *Nov 14, 1990May 19, 1992Hylsa S.A. De C.V.Method and apparatus for regulating the flow of particulate ferromagnetic solids
US6044858 *Feb 11, 1998Apr 4, 2000Concept Engineering Group, Inc.Electromagnetic flow control valve for a liquid metal
US6044866 *Apr 18, 1997Apr 4, 2000Burkert Werke Gmbh & Co.Gas flow valve
US6321766Jan 14, 2000Nov 27, 2001Richard D. NathensonElectromagnetic flow control valve for a liquid metal with built-in flow measurement
US6910699May 30, 2003Jun 28, 2005Deere & CompanyMagnetorheological fluid brake and force-feedback system for a steering mechanism
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U.S. Classification137/807, 91/51, 114/77.00R, 91/459, 137/842
International ClassificationF16K31/02, G05D7/06, G01F1/56, G01F1/58, G01F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationG01F1/582, G05D7/0635, F16K31/02, G01F1/00
European ClassificationG01F1/00, F16K31/02, G01F1/58A, G05D7/06F4B