US 3455327 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 15, 1969 R ELLSWORTH DOREMUS ETAL- 3,455,327
VALVE Filed June 5, 1964 FIG. I
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INVENTORS R ELLSWORTH DOREMUS RICHARD E. DOREMUS ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,455,327 VALVE R Ellsworth Doremus, Clifton, and Richard E. Doremus,
Upper Montclair, N.J., assignors to Golden Gate Manufacturing Company, Clifton, N.J., a corporation of New Jerse y Filed June 5, 1964, Ser. No. 372,748
Int. Cl. F16k 43/00, 51/00; F16l 55/18 US. Cl. 137323 7 Claims This invention relates to valves and more particularly to valves for use in beer kegs in which improvements are made to facilitate emptying of additional quantities of beer from the keg by the use of a fiexbile extension member and to permit cleaning of the valve and keg.
One widely adopted beer keg dispensing system is known as the Golden Gate system. This system utilizes a first fitting in a wall of the keg which is conneced to a source of pressurized gas and a normally closed fill opening in the keg side wall. The keg is also provided with a tapping valve in its side wall located adjacent the keg bottom wall. The tapping valve is formed to accommodate a tapping device which is locked to the valve by a rotational movement in a first direction which also opens the valve to permit dispensing of the beer from the keg under pressure of the gas. Rotation of the tapping device in the other direction closes the valve and disengages the tapping device.
As should be evident, when the beer in the keg goes below the level of the tapping valves outlet port, no more beer can be extracted from the keg. In tapping valves of the general type described above, the valves outlet port is usually located within the keg about an inch or more above the keg bottom. As a consequence, when the keg is level it still contains a quantity of beer even though no more flows through the port. The loss of the beer below the level of the port is usually sought to be minimized by tipping the keg so that the beer will again cover and flow through the port. However, in some cases this tipping arrangement proves to be unsatisfactory.
Several suggestions have been made to modify the tapping valve to get to the remaining beer without tipping the keg. One of these suggestions is to provide the rotatable valve member with an integrally formed tubular extension member which communicates with the valve-outlet port and to dispose the inlet end of the extension member adjacent the botom of "the keg when the tapping valve is in the open position. This enables the keg to be substantially drained since the tubular extension member eifectively places the valve outlet port at a lower position in the keg.
Valves whose extension members are integrally formed as part of the movable valve member, which is normally made of metal, have several disadvantages. For example, when the bottom of the keg is dented at a point below where the extension member is to be disposed, the dent may prevent the extension member from extending all the way down into the bottom of the keg and, in some cases, block the valve outlet port from being opened. When the latter occurs, it is impossible to empty the keg.
Another difficulty arising in valves with extension members is the inability to wash out the valve and the extension member. After a keg has been drained, it u su al ly is Washed out at the brewery with the tapping valve in the closed position. Unless some special arrangement is provided to take care of the extension member; the passageway therein would not normally be washed since it would be blocked off from the valves outlet port. One proposed arrangement for taking care of this is to cut several slots through the movable valve member to the passageway of the extension member. This provides communication between the interior of the keg. and the 3,455,327 Patented July 15, 1969 extension member passageway to permit washing. Of course, providing these slots necessitate either drilling the valve member or casting it with the slots, both procedures give rise to increased cost for the valve.
The present invention is directed to a valve for use in beer kegs with improvements therein which solve the problems discussed above encountered by prior art valves with extension members. In accordance withjthe present invention, a tubular extension member of flexible material is provided. This permits substantially complete opening of the valve and extension of the member to the bottommost portion of the keg, even when the keg is dented. Also, a novel arrangement, in the form of a suitably placed slot, is provided in the sealing seat for the rotating valve member to permit communication between the interior of the keg and the passageway in the extension member. This is accomplished without drilling any holes in the movable valve member or any other portion of the valve which might give rise to leakage problems.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved valve for a beer keg.
A further object is to provide an improved valve for a beer keg in which a flexible member is provided to effectively lower the outlet port of the valve to the bottom of the keg.
Another object is to provide a valve having an extension member, washing of which is facilitated by the use of a washer or seat having a passage therein to communicate between the extension member and the interior of the keg when the valve is in a closed position.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following specification and annexed drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is an elevational view in section showing the valve of the present invention mounted within a keg, only a fragment of which is shown in section;
FIGURE 2 is a front elevational view of the valve indicating the position of the extension member with respect to the bottom of the keg in the opened and closed position of the tapping valve;
FIGURE 3 is a view of the end wall of the valve body taken along line 3-3 of FIGURE 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows; and 7 FIGURE 4 is a view of the lower face of the valve member seat taken along line 44 of FIGURE 1 and looking in the direction of the corresponding arrows.
Referring to the drawings, a portion of the side and bottom walls 12 and 13 of a keg 10 is shown in FIG. 1 An opening 15 in the keg defined by an inwardly directed sleeve 17 terminating in a radially inwardly directed flange 18 is closed off by a tapping valve 20 mounted within the keg.
Valve 20 has a hollow main body portion or barrel 21 formed with a flange 22 at one end thereof which fits within the keg sleeve 17 and flange 18. A sealing washer 23 of a suitable material such as rubber is placed between flanges 18 and 22 and the entire valve 20 is held within the keg by a locking ring 25 screwed into mating threads 27 on the sleeve 17. A tab 24 on the valve flange 22 aligns the valve 20 into position in the keg by mating with a groove 28 in the sleeve 17 The interior of the lower and larger portion of the valve body 21 is formed with a pair of half-threads 30 to accommodate the mating threads of the tapping device (not shown).
The other end of body 21 terminates in an end wall 35 which has a hole 37 therethrough to accommodate a rotatable spindle or stem 39. Spindle 39 has a polygonal or keyed head 40 located within the hollow interior of the valve body to mate with a corresponding member on the tapping device which turns the spindle as the tapping device is rotated into and out of threads 30. The other end of spindle 39 -is formed with screw threads 42 and carries a movable valve member or butt 45. Upon rotation of spindle 39 butt 45 opens and closes an outlet port 44 in the end wall 35 which communicates with the interior of the valve body 21 and the tapping device.
A seat 47 is interposed between the valve member 45 and the valve body end wall 35 and the stem 39 passes through a hole in the center of the seat. Seat 47 is preferably molded of a suitable material such as nylon or Tefion" having good bearing and sealing qualities. The preferred Shape of the seat 47 and the end wall of the valve face is described below.
Rotatable valve member 45 has a hole 48 through which the threaded end 42 of the stem 39 extends. The interior wall 51 of the generally circular hole 48 is formed with flat faces (not shown) to engage corresponding flat faces 51' on the shank of stem 39 so that the valve member 45 will rotate with the stem 39. The valve member 45 and the seat 47 are held to the body by a nut 49 and a washer 50 mounted on screw threads 42. The nut 49 is tightened down to a degree suflicient to permit only rotation of valve member 45 with respect to seat 47.
A small hollow nipple 52 is integrally formed to the top of the member 45 and at an angle therewith. Nipple 52 has a passage 54 which also extends through the valve member 45. Attached to nipple 52 is a tubular extension member 58 made of a suitable flexible material such as rubber, or nylon. One end is slipped over the nipple and fits tightly thereon. If desired, a suitable adhesive (not shown) may be used to increase the holding force between the member 58 and the nipple. The length of extension member 58 is selected so that its angled end 59 will be close to the bottom of the keg when the valve 20 is in the open position as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
The lower face 46 of valve member 45 is made generally flat so it will be free to move and rotate over the flat upper face 61 of seat 47. The lower face of the seat is formed with a raised circular rib 63 which extends therearound. The rib 63 mates with a groove or depression 65 formed in the end wall 35 of the valve body. The lower face of the seat also has a plurality of ribs 66 extending generally transverse of the rib 63 for mating with a like plurality of grooves 67 in the end wall of the valve. This arrangement permits the seat 47 to be firmly locked to the end wall of the valve so that the member 45 will be free to rotate with the stem 39 without the seat 37 coming loose from the valve body. This also keeps the port 44 in the valve body and an opening 55 in the seat aligned with each other at all times.
The seat 47 is also formed with a circular depression 71 on each side thereof around the opening through which the stem passes. Depressions 71 lie opposite corresponding circular depressions 72 in the valve end wall and lower face of the member 45 to accommodate two rings 72' used as packing seals for the stem 39. A wash slot 70 is also formed on the upper face of the seat, as best shown in FIG. 2. The slot 70 is a groove which extends only partially through the seat from a point on the periphery across a major portion of the seat. The shape of the lower portion of the slot approximately matches the shape of the passage 54 of member 45. The function of this slot is described below.
As pointed out before, the seat 47 is preferably molded so that all of the various raised and depressed portions thereon can be readily formed. The seat configuration has several advantages. First of all, the use of the mating rib 63 on the seat and the groove 65 on the end wall provides a seal against any side pressures which may be exerted between the beer in the keg and the valve. This prevents beer from leaking from the keg into the valve when the latter is closed. Additionally, the 0 rings 73 in the mating depressions 71 and 72 provide an effective seal for the stem 39. Also, slot 70 permits washing without the need for m king any holes in the memb r 5.
The fastening arrangement for the seat 47 is similar to that shown in our prior Patent 2,992,654 issued on July 18, 1961. It should 'be understood that the position of the ribs 63 and 66 and the groove 65 can be interchanged so that one or more of the raised ribs and/or grooves can be placed on either the seat or the valve end wall as desired.
To explain the operation of the valve, reference is made to FIGURE 2 where the dotted lines indicate the closed position of the valve and the solid lines indicate the open position. With the valve closed, the passage 54 in the valve member 45 is turned approximately away from outlet port 44 and aligned seat opening 55 to close off port 44. Thus, no beer can flow out of the keg to the tapping device. In the closed position of the valve, communication is also provided between the lower end of wash slot 70 and the passage 54 which is now located over the wash slot. Thus, the extension member 58 can be washed since fluid will flow from slot 70 into passage 54.
When the valve member 45 is turned to the open position passage 54 comes into alignment with outlet port 44 and the opening 55 in the seat. As can be seen in FIG. 1, the end 59 of the extension member 58 comes down almost to the bottom wall 13 of the keg. Thus, substantially all of the beer within the keg may be extracted without tapping the keg. It should be noted that when the bottom wall of the keg has a dent, such as at 14, the valve still can be moved to the fully open position. This is due to the flexibility of.member 58 which permits it to bend in the manner shown in FIGURE 2. If the member 58 was not flexible, but instead an integral part of the metal nipple 52, then the valve could only be opened partially or not opened at all.
While the nipple 52 is shown angled away from the member 45, it should be understood that this is not the only permissible arrangement. For example, the nipple could be straight, i.e., parallel to the stem, and a generally L-shaped flexible extension member 58 used. Also, a generally L-shaped flexible member can be attached directly into the passage 54 of member 45 and nipple 52 can be eliminated.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been described above, it will be understood that it is illustrative only, and the invention is limited solely by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
14 Valve for dispensing liquid contents from a container comprising:
abody member adapted to be placed within a tapping hole of the container, said body member having an opening at one end thereof adapted to accept a dispensing device from outside the container and an end wall with an outlet port therein into the valve body at the other end and adapted to be located within the container,
a rotatable spindle having one end thereof extending through said end wall, the other end of said spindle located within the body member and shaped to mate with the dispensing device which is adapted to rotate the spindle from a first to a second position,
a valve member having a passage therethrough on said one end of said spindle and rotatable therewith, the
lower face of said valve member located adjacent said end wall and adapted to open and close said outlet port,
anda flexible conduit attached to said valve member and rotatable therewith, said flexible conduit projecting away from said body member and in communication with the passage in said valve member, rotation of said spindle to said first position bringing said passage in said valve member and said flexible conduit member into communication with said outlet port and moving said flexible conduit to a location ad-ja-. cent one of the container walls, and rotation of said spindle to said second position moving said valve member to close off said outlet port and moving said flexible conduit away from said one wall.
2. A valve as in claim 1 wherein the valve member is integrally formed with a rigid extension having a passage in communication with the valve member passage, and the flexible conduit is attached to said rigid extension.
3. A valve as in claim 2 wherein a seat is located between the lower face of the valve meriiber and the end wall of the valve' body to provide a bearing surface for the relative rotation between the end wall and the valve member. I
4. A valve as set forth in claim 3 wherein a mating groove and rib are formed on the adjacent surfaces of the seat and the end wall of the valve body member at a point spacedfrom the outer edges thereof and substantially completely therearound.
5. A valve as set forth in claim 3 wherein at least one other mating groove and rib are formed in the adjacent surfaces of the seat and the end wall of the body member to enhance fastening of the seat to the end wall.
6. A valve as in claim 3 wherein said seat is formed with a groove extending inwardly from its edge, said passage of said valve member extension and conduit being sealed otf from the outlet port and said groove being in communication with said valve member passage and said conduit to permit washout of the passage and conduit, with the valve closed when said spindle is in said secondposition.
7. A valve as in claim 2 wherein the free end of the flexible conduit is formed so that it is generally parallel to the major portion of said one wall of the container when the spindle is in said first position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,992,654 7/1961 Doremus et al 137323 3,115,149 12/1963 Tonna et al 137323 X 3,115,150 12/1963 Sariotti et a1 13 7--323 X 3,206,175 9/1965 Boteler 251180 X ALAN COHAN, Primary Examiner DAVID R. MATTHEWS, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 135 7