US 3426790 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Fel). il? L. S. DEY SOURCE OF REGULATED PRESSURE AND PRESSURE REGULATOR FOR USE THEREIN Filed Jan. 5, 1965 INVENTOR. 5L/:ND .5. -Y
E A'rroAQ/VEY United States Patent O 3,426,790 SOURCE F REGULATED PRESSURE AND PRESSURE REGULATOR FOR USE THEREIN Leland S. Dey, Huntington Beach, Calif., assigner to U.S.
Divers Company, Santa Ana, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Jan. 5, 1965, Ser. No. 423,471
US. Cl. IS7- 505.18 Int. Cl. GDSd 16/16;F16k 31/38;A61m 16/02 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DHSCLOSURE This invention relates generally to sources of regulated pressure and to pressure regulators for use therein, and more particularly to such means for use in underwater breathing apparatus.
Within the past decade or two, the sport of skin diving has enjoyed increased popularity, so that today there exists an entire industry for supplying equipment for this sport. This industry manufactures and sells a wide variety of instruments, devices and equipment to enable a person to properly breathe underwater so as to enable him to remain `beneath the surface for extended periods of time.
One of the most Vital concerns in the manufacture of underwater breathing apparatus, is the need for a source of air at substantially constant pressure. That is, in order to enable a person to breathe properly and hence function as desired, it is necessary to have a source of air the pressure of which does not fluctuate haphazardly or at random. However, the pressure of such air must be variable in accordance with variations in ambient pressure, that is, the pressure surrounding the body of the perso-n using the air. In this regard, as the skin diver descends to greater depths within the water, greater pressures are exerted on the outside of his body. To enable such person to continue to breathe without undue exertion and diiculty, it is necessary that the pressure of the air supply be increased accordingly.
Devices and systems heretofore available for providing a relatively constant pressure in the air being supplied have sudered from certain shortcomings. The structures employed in such prior equipment have caused many malfunctions and dangerous conditions for the user.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a source of regulated air pressure which is substantially foolproof and immune to frequent malfunctions.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a source of regulated air pressure having a regulator wherein a piston is slidable within a cylinder chamber for controlling accordingly the ow of air from a source thereof.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a source `of regulated air pressure as characterized above which comprises an air regulator and a reserve indicator whereby a supply of regulated air pressure is afforded, but only when said reserve indicator is in open position.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an air regulator as characterized above wherein sealing means is provided between the piston and cylinder chamber for preventing fluid flow therebetween.
Patented Feb. 11, 1969 ICC A further object of the present invention is to provide a source of regulated air pressure and air regulator as characterized above which are simple and inexpensive to manufacture and which are rugged and dependable in operation.
The novel features which I consider characteristic of my invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The device itself, however, both as to its organization and mode of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanyin g drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a first embodiment of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is an end elevational view of the first ernbodiment;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional View through said rst embodiment, taken substantially along line 3-3 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of the reserve indicator of the first embodiment;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 5 5 0f FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary sectional =view taken substantially along line 6 6 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 7 is a longitudinal sectional view through a second embodiment of the present invention; and
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 8 8 of FIGURE 7.
Like reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
Referring to FIGURE l of the drawings, ythere is shown therein one preferred embodiment for illustration of the present invention. Such embodiment comprises a housing 10 having a main body portion or valve body 12 and opposite end members 14 and 16 therefor.
Formed integrally with valve body 12 is a generally U-shaped yoke 18 having an internally threaded boss 20. A fastening member 22 comprising an internally threaded stem 22a and a handle 22b is provided in boss 20 for operation within yoke 18 as will hereinafter appear.
Valve body 12 intermediate yoke 18 is provided with an annular raised portion or mounting boss 24 which is formed to receive an outlet fitting 26 of a source (not shown) of air under pressure. Such fitting, for reas-ons of safety, may be tied to the yoke 18 by a lanyard 28.
Fitting 26, as shown most clearly in FIGURE 1 of the drawings, ts over boss 24 of valve body 12. Fastening member 22 is then operable to force such fitting rmly onto boss 24 to provide a hermetic seal therewith. This arrangement affords a supply of air under pressure to the valve body 12 as will hereinafter be explained.
Valve body 12 is further provided with a fluid passageway 12a as shown most clearly in FIGURE 3 of the drawings. The inlet 12b to such passageway 12a is provided with a lter 30 which is held in place by a resilient washer 32 -and an O-ring 34.
Positioned within valve body 12 along passageway 12a therein, is a reserve indicator 36 and a pressure regulator 38.
Reserve indicator 36 is provided within an opening or cavity 12C in valve body 12. One end of such cavity is formed with Aan annular valve seat 12d about the passageway 12a.
Opening 12e` is formed with internal fastening threads 12e for receiving a fitting or bonnet 40 having an externally threaded main body 40a and a hexagonally-shaped head 40b. An O-ring 42 is interposed between the bonnet 3 40 and valve body 12 to prevent iluid flow therebetween as will hereinafter become more apparent.
Bonnet 40 is formed With a through opening 40C having a reduced circular portion 40d and an enlarged circular portion 40e providing an annular shoulder 40f therebetween. Such portions 40d and 40e are provided with circular cross sections as shown in FIGURE 5 of the drawings.
Mounted within through opening 40C of bonnet 40 is a stem 44 having a threaded end portion 44a, Iand enlarged end portion 44b and an intermediate portion 44C. Enlarged end portion 44b is provided with a generally circular external :cross section affording a cylindrical external surface for rotation Within enlarged portion 40e of through opening 40e in bonnet 40. Thus, as will hereinafter become m'ore apparent, the stern 44 is permitted to rotate within :bonnet 40.
Enlarged end portion 44b is further formed with a cutout 44d having a generally square or rectangular cross section lfor operation as will hereinafter be explained. Also, enlarged end portion 44b is formed with an annular groove or retainer 44e yfor receiving an O-ring 46. Suitable gasket means 48 is interposed between O-ring 46 and bonnet 40 to provide a rm hermetic seal therebetween against the relatively high pressure of the fluid or air in passageway 12a.
Intermediate portion 44e of stem 44 is also provided with a relatively square cross sectionas shown most clearly in FIGURE 5 of the drawings. The end member 16 of valve body 12 constitutes a handle or lever 50 which is nonrotatably connected to such intermediate portion 44C of stem 44. Such handle 50 is formed with a square opening 50a which corresponds in size and shape to the cross section of intermediate portion 44c for proper sliding engagement. Handle 50 is further provided with a recess 50h wherein a compression spring 52 is positioned, and a nut 54 is threadedly secured to end portion 44a of stem 44.
Compression spring 52, as will be readily apparent to those persons skilled in the art, urges nut 54 and stem 44 to the right as viewed in FIGURE 3 of the drawings, and thus assists O-ring 46 and gasket 48 in effectively sealing the space between stem 44 and bonnet 40.
With the Iarrangement thus far described it is Seen that manual rotation of handle 50 causes stem 44 to be rotated therewith.
Positioned within cutout 44d of enlarged end portion 44b of stem 44 is a block 56 having a substantially square cross section as shown most clearly in FIGURE 6 of the drawings. The cross sectional shape and size of block 56 is complemcntal to the cross section of cutout 44d of stem 44. Thus, block 56 is also caused to rotate with stem 44 whenever the latter is rotated by handle 50.
One end of block 56 is beveled on opposite sides to provide a generally V-shaped conguration as Shown at 56a which lits within and engages corresponding V-shaped groove formed in one end of a cam member 58. Such cam member is formed with a reduced end portion 58a and an enlarged end portion 58h, the latter of which is provided with the elongated V-shaped groove 58e.
Cam member 58 and block 56 are formed with aligned through openings for receiving a valve stem 60. One end 60a of stem 60 is provided with a washer 62 which ts within a recess in one end of block 56 and provides a shoulder for engagement with said block. End `60a of stem 60 is upset or spun over to retain washer 62 in its assembled position.
The other end of stem 60 is provided with a valve member 64 which carries a valve disc 66 `formed of any appropriate resilient material such as rubber, plastic, fabric or the like. Such valve disc 66 is operable between ow permitting and flow preventing positions with respect to valve seat 12d in valve body 12 as will hereinafter be explained in detail.
A compression spring 68 is interposed between cam member 58 and valve member `64 to urge valve disc 66 into engagement with valve seat 12d to prevent fluid tlow through passageway 12a.
Regulator 38 is positioned in passageway 12a, downstream of reserve indicator 36. Valve body 12 is formed with an opening 12f affording a cylinder `chamber 70 having an inlet 72 which is part of passageway 12a and an outlet 14a. Outlet 14a, as will be readily apparent from FIG- URE 3 of the drawings, is formed in end portion 14 of housing 12. Such end portion is threadedly secured to -valve body 12, as shown most clearly in FIGURE 3 of the drawings, and is formed with internal fastening threads 14b whereby the housing 10 can be attached to tubing or other conduit means (not shown) `for conducting air to a given device or apparatus such as a face mask to be worn by a skin diver.
A piston 76 is slidably mounted within cylinder chamber 70, and has one side 76a which faces inlet 72 of regulator 38 and another side 76b which faces outlet 14a. Attached to piston 76 or formed integrally therewith is a hollow stem 7'8 which extends toward inlet 72. One end 78a of stem 78 is formed with a valve member 78b which cooperates, as will hereinafter appear, with a valve seat 80 positioned within an appropriate recess in valve body 12. Such valve seat 80 is generally tubular in construction, having a centrally located through opening 80a for receiving a tool by which such valve seat is inserted within the Vvalve body 12. An appropriate O-ring `82 is interposed between valve seat 80 and valve body 12 to prevent fluid flow therebetween.
Valve body 12 is formed with an annular extension 12g having internal fastening threads for receiving a bushing 84. A suitable O-ring 86 is interposed between bushing 84 and said annular extension 12g.
Bushing 84 is formed with a through opening 84a which slidably receives the stem 78 on piston 76.
Suitable sealing means in the form of O`rings 88 and are provided in bushing 84 and piston 76, respectively, to prevent exposure -to side 76a of piston 76 to either the inlet uid pressure or the outlet -fluid pressure of the lregulator 38, as will become more apparent. O-ring 88 is positioned within an appropriate annular cutout in bushing 84 and a backup ring 92 is provided therein to further insure hermetic sealing between bushing 84 and stem 78. O-ring 90 is positioned within an annular cutout in piston 76, and a backup ring 94 is provided therein for insuring the desired seal.
Compression spring 96, one end of which abuts against valve body 12 while the other end engages piston 76, is provided to urge piston 76 in a direction such as to place rvalve member 78b in ow permitting position relative to valve seat 80.
A through opening 12h is provided in the side of valve body 12 to vent a portion of cylinder chamber 70 to ambient pressure conditions as will hereinafter become more apparent.
To insure better pressure regulation by regulator 38, valve member 78b of stem 78 is beveled so as to provide a relatively narrow edge for engagement with valve seat 80. Also, it should be noted that stem 78 is provided with a larger diameter 78e` near Valve member 78b and a smaller diameter 78d spaced from said Valve member to provide an annular shoulder 78e therebetween. Such shoulder 78e, it will be noted, is on the inlet side of O- ring 88 so as to be exposed to the inlet pressure to the regulator 38. Such shoulder thus causes the inlet pressure to urge stem 78 and piston 76 to the right as viewed in FIGURE 3, thus counteracting and cancelling the force thereon to the left created by the inlet pressure acting on the valve member 7 8b of stem 78. By this arrangement, the extraneous forces on piston 76 and stern 78 are cancelled so as to permit the pressure in outlet 14a to be determined by the force of compression spring 96 and the ambient pressure which enters cylinder chamber 70 through opening 12h in valve body 12.
The embodiment shown in detail in FIGURE 3 of the drawings operates generally as follows.
yWith the handle 50l of reserve indicator 36 positioned as shown in said figure, the V-shaped end portion 5601 of block 56 rests within the V-shaped recess or groove 58C of cam member S8. As such, compression spring 68 is operable to urge valve disc 66 to flow preventing engagement vwith annular valve seat 12d in valve body 12. However, if the pressure from the source of air exceeds a predetermined minimum, such as 300` lbs. per square inch, sufficient force is thereby applied to disc 66 to move it to flow permitting position against the force of compression spring 68. That is, the air pressure within passageway 12a, when in excess of 30() lbs. per square inch, is sutlicient to push said valve to open position against the force of spring 68.
Thus air under pressure is permitted to ow to the inlet 72 of regulator 38.
With the pressure at outlet 14a less than a predetermined maximum, compression spring 96 and the ambient pressure conditions on side 76a of piston 76 cooperate to move piston 76 to flow permitting position of valve member 78b with respect to valve seat 80'. The air under pressure thus is permitted to flow from inlet 72 through the hollow interior of stem 78 and the opening in piston 76 to the outlet 14a where it is conducted to appropriate means such as a face mask or the like by a suitable conduit. The pressure at outlet 14a acts against the side 76b of valve member 76 to urge valve member 7811 toward ow preventing position. When such pressure reaches the predetermined maximum, the flow through stem 78 and piston 76 is terminated. This, of course, is effected by engagement of valve member 78h with valve seat 80.
As long as such maximum pressure remains in outle 14a, valve member 78b remains closed. However, when the pressure decreases from such maximum the compression spring 96 and ambient pressure conditions take over to move such valve to open position. Thus air is permitted to ow to outlet 14a and regulator 38 is operable to maintain the pressure at outlet 14a within prede` termined relatively narrow limits.
When the pressure at the source decreases below a predetermined minimum, for example 300 lbs. per square inch, spring l68 of reserve indicator 36 operates to move valve disc 66 to flow preventing engagement with annular valve seat 12d. This terminates the supply of air to the face mask thus putting the -wearer thereof on notice that the source of air is almost depleted.
Thereafter, the handle 50 of reverse indicator 36 is manually rotated to lift valve disc 66 from its closed position. This is accomplished by virtue of the fact that rotation of handle 50 causes stem 44 and block 56 to be rotated therewith due to the square or rectangular interconnection thereof. Cam member 58, on the other hand, does not rotate therewith so that the V-shaped end portion 56a of block 56 is caused to rotate with respect to the V-shaped recess 58C in cam member 58. Since cam member 58 is relatively stationary, this action causes block 56 to be cammed away from member 58 or to the right as viewed in FIGURE 3 of the drawings, to the position shown in FIGURE 4 of the drawings. Such camming action moves stem 60 and with it valve disc 66 to the right against the force of compression spring 68. Thus the reserve indicator 36 is manually adjusted to permit fluid flow to regulator 38, but it has put the wearer of the apparatus on notice that only a reserve amount of air remains at the source.
The aforedescri-bed regulation afforded by regulator 38 continues to `take place so that the pressure in outlet 14a remains substantially constant.
The embodiment of FIGURE 7 is substantially identical with the aforedescribed embodiment of regulator 38,` but differs therefrom by being separated from the reserve indicator 36. Under these conditions, a valve body 112 is provided having a threaded opening 112:1 for receiving a fitting 114. Fitting 114 is formed with a threaded opening 11411 for receiving a suitable conduit leading from a source of uid under pressure. A pair of conduits 116 are formed in fitting 114 and lead from opening 114a to an inlet chamber 112b in valve body 112. Piston 76 and stem 78 thereon are identical with the piston and stem Of the embodiment of FIGURE 3. However, although the valve seat of the embodiment of FIGURE 3 is generally tubular in construction, the corresponding seat member 118 in the embodiment shown in FIGURE 7 may be cylindrical in construction. This is because the valve seat member 118 does not have to be positioned in the valve body through the cylinder chamber 'but rather can be positioned within the fitting 114 before the latter is threaded into the valve body 112.
The second embodiment shown in FIGURE 7 also utilizes valve body 112 as guide means for stem 78. That is, rather than employing bushing 84 as in the above described rst embodiment, the second embodiment utilizes an opening 112C in said valve body to slidably receive stem 78. Suitable sealing means such as O-ring 120 is provided within `an appropriate annular groove for effectively sealing stem 78 in such valve body. Other than as mentioned above, the embodiment shown in FIGURES 7 and 8 is substantially identical with the regulator 38 shown in FIGURE 3. Also, such second embodiment works in substantially the same manner as the aforedescri'bed first embodiment, the pressure in outlet 14a being balanced against the combined force of compression spring 96 and ambient pressure conditions aiforded through opening 112d in body 112.
It is thus seen that the present invention provides a source of regulated iluid pressure whereby due to the use of a piston within a cylinder chamber, a reliable and effective regulator is provided.
Although I have shown and described certain specific embodiments of my invention, I am fully aware that many modifications thereof are possible. My invention, therefore, is not to be restricted except insofar as is necessitated -by the prior art and by the spirit of the appended claims.
1. A highly sensitive pressure regulator Ifor maintaining constant output pressure notwithstanding variations in pressure at the source thereof comprising in combination, a valve body formed with an opening affording a cylinder chamber having an inlet end portion and an outlet end portion, said body being further formed with an inlet opening having connection with a source of uid pressure, said inlet opening extending transversely of said chamber and communicating with said inlet end portion at one side thereto to provide fluid pressure to said inlet portion transversely of said chamber to thereby cause said inlet end portion to be a pressure chamber, a nondeformable piston slidably mounted in said chamber with said inlet and outlet end portions 0n opposite sides thereof and operable to aord substantially constant resistance to pressure throughout its range of travel in said chamber, a stem ,on said piston for movement therewith, ow control means comprising ea relatively stationary valve seat at the inlet portion of said chamber and a valve member formed as an annular internal bevel on said stem for flow permitting and flow preventing cooperation with said seat, means biasing said piston toward said ow permitting position of said valve member, passage means in said stem and piston permitting uid ow from said inlet portion to said outlet portion through said piston when said valve member is in flow permitting position, means insuring a predetermined minimum space between said piston and said chamber when said valve is in maximum ow permitting position, the uid pressure in said outlet portion urging said piston toward ow preventing position of said valve member, an annular shoulder |formed on said stem,
and sealing means ou said stem intermediate said shoulder and said outlet end portion of said cylinder chamber t0 provide a pressure chamber with said shoulder affording exposure of the latter to pressure in said inlet end portion of said cylinder chamber to urge said valve member toward ow preventing position to thereby cancel the force of said inlet pressure on said valve member urging the same toward flow permitting position, whereby the uid pressure in said outlet portion is caused to remain substantially constant.
2. A highly sensitive pressure regulator according to claim 1, wherein said sealing means comprises an O-ring between said stem and said valve body cooperating with said valve body and stem to form said pressure chamber for said shoulder.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,966,916 1/1961 Cummins 137-505.25 3,038,493 6/1962 Griffith 137-505.25 3,147,761 9/ 1964 Lecocq.
FOREIGN PATENTS 1,302,581 7 1962 France.
10 ALAN COHAN, Primary Examiner.
H. M. COHN, Assistant Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R.