US 3486519 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec.- 30, 1969 P. E. OLSON PANEL BLOCK ASSEMBLY Filed Dec. 26,- 1967 INVENTOR. PAUL E. OLSON W %fi//Wj,.
ATTORNEY United States Patent Ofiice 3,486,519 Patented Dec. 30, 1969 US. Cl. 137-608 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A panel block assembly in which a plurality of panel blocks, each having one or more internal end to end passages communicating with one -or more internal passages in adjacent blocks when assembled end to end in a stack are held in fluid tight relationship by means of tie rods interconnecting the lateral protrusions of one end block with the lateral protrusions of the other end block of the stack and extending through lateral protrusions of one of the intervening blocks to provide lateral support for the intermediate portion of the assembled stack.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Heretofore, in holding a stack of panel blocks in assembled fluid tight end to end relationship, a pair of tie rods were disposed internally of the stack in fluid passages extending from one end of the stack to the other, each of which fluid passages comprised a plurality of aligned passage segments, each segment comprising an end to end through passage in each panel block. External nuts disposed on the ends of the rods were tightened against the end blocks to seal the ends of the through passages to clamp the assembly together, as for example, in Patent No. 3,158,164, issued Nov. 24, 1964 to B. G. Barton and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention.
The aforementioned end to end fluid passages in the stack were comprised of a pair of transversely spaced end to end through passages in each panel block axially registering with the corresponding pair of through passages in the adjacent blocks to comprise a fluid pressure passage transversely spaced relative to a fluid tank passage, which fluid pressure passage and tank passage internally communicated with other passages in the blocks to comprise part of an internally disposed piping system. Therefore, it was advantageous to dispose the tie rods in the pressure supply passage and the fluid tank passage to eliminate the need for separate additional through passages for the tie rods. However, since it was necessary to radially space the tie rods relative to the through passages to provide unrestricted movement of fluid through the internal piping system, the tie rods were unable to provide lateral support for a lengthy stack of blocks, which stack could buckle or develop seal breaking sag at the unsupported portions of the assembly intermediate its ends, particularly during handling, shipping and installation of the panel block assembly.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the object of the present invention to provide in a panel block assembly an externally disposed means for holding a panel block assembly in end to end fluid tight relationship, which means cooperates with the panel block dimension greater than that of the remainder of the panel blocks so that when all of the panel blocks are assembled in end to end engagement in a stack with each of the plurality of laterally spaced end to end through passages of each block in axial registration with the corresponding one of the plurality of laterally spaced through passages in the adjacent blocks, both sides of each of the end blocks and one intermediate block laterally protrude beyond the sides of the other panel blocks. Each lateral protrusion on one end block is provided with an end to end through bore which, when the panel blocks are stacked as described, are coaxially aligned with a threaded bottom bore in the corresponding lateral protrusion of the other end block. Each lateral protrusion on the intermediate panel block also includes a through bore aligned with the corresponding through bore in one end block and the corresponding bottom bore in the other end block so as to provide on each side of the assembled panel blocks a set of aligned bores. A tie rod inserted in each of the sets of aligned bores is threadedly received in the bottom bore in one end block and protrudes through the through bore in the other end block to receive on the threaded end thereof a nut which is tightened to hold the panel blocks in end to end fluid tight assembly, with each tie rod extending through the corresponding throughbore on the lateral protrusion of the intermediate block providing lateral support for the intermediate portion of the panel block assembly. Each tie rod passes through the through bore on the corresponding protrusion of the intermediate block with minimum clearance suflicient to provide axial insertion of the tie rod in the through bore and at the same time provide minimum lateral movement of the intermediate block relative to the tie rod.
This andother objects will become readily apparent in the following description, taken with the drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view, taken partly in section, of a panel block assembly showing my invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational View thereof;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of one type of panel block.
Referring now to the drawing, there is shown a panel block assembly, generally indicated at 1, and comprised of a plurality of panel blocks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 tightly held in end to end relationship by a pair of tie rods 7 and 8 interconnecting the end blocks 2 and 6.
The panel blocks 2 through 6 are representative of several d ifl erent types of panel blocks, with panel block 2 comprising a cap block, panel blocks 3 and 5 comprising dilferent types of valve mounting blocks, panel block comprising a circuit block and panel block 6 comprising a power entry block, all of which types of panel blocks are shown and described in the aforementioned Patent No. 3,158,164.
With the exception of cap panel block 2, all of the remaining panel blocks 3 through 6 are similar in that each includes a pair of end to end equally spaced through passages 9 and 10, which, when the panel blocks are assembled in end to end relationship in any order, axially register to provide two passages extending through the assembly, with the passages 9 combining to comprise a pressure passage and with the passages 10 combining to comprise a tank passage. To assure axial registration of the through passages 9 and 10, the panel blocks are laterally located relative to each other by means of a plurality of, dowels 11, only one being shown, each dowel having its ends disposed in opposing bottom bores 12 in adjacent panel blocks. The upper end of each passage 9 and 10 is widened at 13 to provide a seat for an O-ring seal 14 to prevent leakage from the passages 9 and 10. In the panel block assembly shown, the pressure medium is hydraulic, therefore, each of the panel blocks 2 through 6 includes an additional end to end passage 15 each of which axially registers with the others from block to block to comprise a drain passage extending through the panel block assembly.
Beyond the aforementioned similarities, the panel blocks differ in the number and location of additional internal passages, depending upon the nature Of the valve devices to be connected in the fluid pressure system, the manner in which the valve devices are to be so connected in the pressure system, and the particular function of the different types of panel blocks.
Valve mounting panel block 3 includes a plurality of ports 16 opening at least on the front face of the block for mating with corresponding ports in a valve device, not shown, to be mounted on the face thereof, some of which ports each communicate internally of the block with a separate one of a plurality of end to end passages 17, and another of which ports communicates with drain passage 15 via branch passage 18.
Circuit panel block 4 cooperates with valve mounting panel block 3 to communicate selected ones of passages 17 with the pressure and tank passages 9 and 10, respectively, by way of a pair of aligned transversely disposed passages 19 and 20, each communicating at one end with the passages 9 and 10, respectively, and opening at the upper end of the circuit block at selected points 21 and 22 of a plurality of points to communicate with the selected ones of passages 17, the selection depending upon the internal passage circuitry desired. For example, in using the circuit block 4 in panel block assemblies other than that shown, the passages 19 and 20 may be opened at selected ones of points 23 at the lower end of the block, alternatively or additionally, to provide direct communication between panel blocks on the opposite ends of the circuit block 4, in the manner illustrated in the aforementioned Patent No. 3,158,164, with suitable plug means, not shown, inserted in one or both plug receptacles 24, 25 at the ends of passages 21 and 22.
Valve mounting panel block is similar to the abovedescribed valve mounting panel block 3, and includes a plurality of ports 26 opening at least on the front face of the block for mating with corresponding blocks in a valve device, not shown, to be mounted thereon, some of which ports are individually communicated with the passages 9 and via transversely extending branch passages 27, 28.
The combined power entry and exhaust panel block 6 includes a front opening fluid pressure supply inlet 29, a front opening tank port 30, and a drain port 31, communicating internally with passages 9, 10 and 15, respectively. Suitable plugs may be installed in the ends of passages 9, 10 and at the lower end of block 6, for example, plugs 32, 33 installed in passages 9 and 10, respectively.
Cap panel block 2 includes a drain passage 15, but otherwise includes no internal passages since the block serves primarily to close the ports at the upper end of the panel block assembly.
From the foregoing it is apparent that the panel blocks 2 through 6 are merely generally representative of a wide variety of panel block types including internal passages which, when the blocks are disposed in end to end relationship, intercommunicate with each other from block to block to provide a piping circuit for a fluid pressure operated system. Thus, any assembly of panel blocks may comprise a wide variety of panel blocks having different internal passage structure interconnecting from block to block in a wide variety of ways depending upon the desired fluid circuitry and the particular blocks to be assembled in a particular panel block assembly.
The particular fluid pressure system represented by the panel block assembly of FIGS. 1 and 2 is immaterial to the invention, as merely representative of one of a wide variety of panel block assemblies. For the purposes of this invention, it is only necessary to note that the several panel blocks each include passage segments connecting with passage segments in the other blocks so that the panel block assembly comprises a complete fluid circuit, and that the individual panel blocks must be collectively held in end to end fluid tight relationship to seal the system and maintain operation of the assembled device.
In accordance with the present invention, both end blocks 2 and 6 and the circuit block 4 are wider than the other blocks 3 and 5 so that the wider blocks are each provided with a pair of oppositely extending side portions 34, 35 which laterally protrude relative to the sides of the other blocks when all the blocks are disposed in end to end relationship and laterally located by dowels 11. Each of the lateral protrusions 34 are provided with a bore 36, which bores are aligned with one another to provide for insertion of a tie rod 7 therethrough, the upper end of the tie rod being threadedly received in the threaded interior of bottom bore 36 in end block 2, and the lower end of the tie rod extending through bore 36 and protruding beyond the lower end of end block 6 to receive thereon a nut 37 which is tightened to effect end to end fluid tight assembly of the panel blocks 2 through 6. Similarly, the rod 8 is inserted in aligned bores 38 in protrusions 35 on the other side of the panel block assembly.
Ideally, the circuit block is disposed in the panei block assembly midway between the ends thereof to provide for maximum lateral support for the midsection of the stacked blocks. Since most panel block assemblies include at least one circuit block associated with one or a pair of valve mounting blocks, the circuit block and associated valve mounting block or blocks are arranged in the stack relative to the other panel blocks so as to be disposed centrally of the stack if no particular order of the panel blocks in the assembly is required. If the particular panel block assembly includes more than one circuit block, the circuit blocks and associated valve mounting blocks are spaced, where possible, equally along the length of the assembled panel blocks to thereby equally distribute the lateral support periodically along the length of the panel block assembly.
In those instances in which a particular panel block assembly does not include a circuit block, or includes circuit blocks in insuflicient number to provide adequate lateral support for the particular length of the panel block assembly, or where the required circuitry prevents proper location or spacing of a circuit block or blocks to provide adequate lateral support, there is provided a panel block 39 as illustrated in FIG. 3 comprising a blank type panel block, which blank type panel block may be inserted in a panel assembly at any point along its length between valve mounting blocks which do not require the presence of an associated circuit block.
The blank type panel block 39 is similar to the abovedescribed circuit panel block 4 in that it has the same dimensions and includes similarly located tie rod passages 36 and 38, drain passage 15, pressure passage 9 and tank passage 10, but is otherwise devoid of internal passages.
Alternatively, if desired, an undrilled circuit block 4 could be substituted for the blank panel block 36, it being understood that circuit block 4, if undrilled, would be similar to that shown in FIG. 1, except points 21 and 22 would be undrilled and, therefore, unopened so that such a circuit block would comprise a blank panel block with only passages 9', 10 and 15 being functional.
Having now described the invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A panel block assembly, comprising:
(a) a plurality of panel blocks disposed in end to end relationship; each of said panel blocks including end to end fluid passage means registering with the end to end fluid passage means in each adjacent panel block and comprising fluid passage means extending from one end of said panel block assembly to the o h r;
(b) means at each junction between adjacent panel blocks for laterally registering theadjacent panel blocks;
(0) the end panel blocks and one panel block intermediate the end panel blocks each having a width greater than that of the other panel blocks providing oppositely disposed lateral protrusions thereon;
(d) tie rod means interconnecting the lateral protrusions on one of said end blocks with the lateral protrusions on the other of said end blocks; and
(c) said tie rod means extending through said lateral protrusions on said one intermediate panel block.
2. A panel block assembly, as recited in claim 1, in which, said means at each junction between adjacent panel blocks comprises dowel means.
3. A panel block assembly as recited in claim 1, in which, said tie rod means extends through end to end through bore means in said lateral protrusions on said one intermediate panel block.
4. A panel block assembly, as recited in claim 1, in which, said tie rod means comprises a pair of tie rods disposed externally of said other panel block, each tie rod interconnecting a different one of said protrusions on said one end block with a different one of said protrusions on the other end block, each tie rod extending through a difierent one of said protrusions on said one intermediate panel block.
5. A panel block assembly, as recited in claim 1, in which, said one intermediate block is substantially shorter in end to end length than the others of said plurality of panel blocks.
6. A panel block assembly, as recited in claim 1, in which:
(a) said panel blocks include end to end fluid passage means registering with the end to end passage means in each adjacent panel block;
(b) one of said panel blocks including additional end to end passage means;-
(c) said one of said intermediate panel blocks comprising a circuit block disposed adjacent said one of said panel blocks and having additional passage means therein communicating with the end of said circuit block adjacent the end of said one panel block in registration with selected ones of said additional through passage means.
7. A panel block assembly, as recited in claim 6, in which, said additional passage means communicates with at least the front surface of said one panel block for mating with corresponding ports in a valve device.
8. A panel block assembly, as recited in claim 7, in which, the end to end length of said circuit block is substantially less than the end to end length of said one panel block.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,025,878 3/1962 Hupp 137608 XR 3,039,489 6/ 1962 BOtkin 137-60'8 3,111,139 11/1963 Beckett et a1. 137--608 3,158,164 11/1964 Barton 13760-8 3,219,053 11/1965 Hupp 132269 3,234,963 2/ 1966 Lyon 137608 3,386,463 6/1968 Flick et al. 137-270 SAMUEL SCOTT, Primary Examiner