US 3509904 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
SEARCH ROOM INVENTOR.
PAUL E. OLSON fw/aww? ATTORNEY BEST AVAILABLE COPY May 5, 1970 P. E. oLsoN 3,509,904
PANEL BLOCK ASSEMBLY Filed Dec. 26, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR PAUL E. OLSON BVMW-Mig.
ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,509,904 PANEL BLOCK ASSEMBLY Paul E. Olson, Lexington, Ky., assignor to Westinghouse Air Brake Company, Wilmerding, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Dec. 26, 1967, Ser. No. 693,289 Int. Cl. F16l 39/00 U.S. Cl. 137-269 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A panel block assembly in which a plurality of panel blocks, each having internally disposed longitudinal through passages, are disposed in longitudinal end-toend engagement whereby the through passages in each block register with the corresponding through passages in each adjacent block so that the registered passages extending through the assembly of blocks comprises ,a piping system for a lluid pressure system, the panel blocks being held in end-to-end uid tight engagement by a Iplurality of externally threaded tubular connectors, each connector having the ends thereof oppositely threaded and screwed into a pair of correspondingly threaded ends of an axially registered pair of longitudinal through passages of adjacent panel blocks, thereby extending across the junction `between the adjacent blocks to provide lateral support for the panel block assembly.
Background of the invention Heretofore, in assembling in longitudinal end-to-end relationship a plurality of panel blocks having internal uid passages intercommunicating from block to block to comprise a fluid passage system, it has been propoed to provide through rods extending entirely through the block assembly, the rods being inserted with lateral clearance in the supply and exhaust passages of the panel block assembly, which supply and exhaust passages are comprised of a plurality of longitudinal through passages in each block with the ends of the through passages axially registering from block to block to comprise a, supply passage, an exhaust passage and a drain passage extending entirely through the panel block assembly. Since different numbers of panel blocks can be so assembled, it is necessary for the manufacturer to either stock a large number of through rods of many different lengths or cut the rods to length in accordance with the number of blocks to be assembled in any particular panel block assembly. Moreover, since the diameter of the rods is necessarily substantially smaller than the diameter of the supply and tank passages to provide for free flow of fluid through such passages, and since the rods are centrally disposed in the supply and tank passages out of engagement with the passage walls, the rods provide no transverse support for the panel blocks to inhibit undesired sag or buckling of the assembly during handling and shipment thereof.
Summary of the invention Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide in a panel 'block assembly of the type described, light weight panel block connector means which may be constructed to short standard lengths and, which, when installed in the registering fluid passages in the blocks, effect uid sealing end-to-end abutment of adjacent blocks and also laterally cooperate with the block elements to inhibit lateral sag or buckling of the panel block assembly during handling and shipment thereof.
In the present invention, this object is achieved by disposing in each of the coaxial junctions of the longitudinal through passages in one panel block with the longitudinal BEST AVAILABLE COPY "ice uid passages in the adjacent block or blocks, a tubular connector having an externally disposed left-hand thread on one end received in a corresponding left-hand thread in the fluid passage in one panel block, and having an externally disposed right-hand thread on the other end received in a corresponding right-hand thread in the adjacent panel block, the hollow portion of the connector comprising a through passage for passing fluid from one panel block to another. In some instances, the tubular connectors include check valve means internally thereof, where applicable to the particular panel block assembly, or, in the other instances, the wall of the connector may be laterally ported to communicate the interior of the connector with lateral lpassages within one of the panel blocks being interconnected by the connector.
This and other objects will become more readily apparent in the following description, taken in conjunction with the drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a panel block assembly, showing my invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of one of the panel block connectors of FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is an end elevational view of the connector of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of another type of panel block connector;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of yet another type of connector having a check valve means therein;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of yet another connector showing a check valve means therein; and
FIG. 7 is an end elevational view of the panel block assembly of FIG. 1, taken from the Ibottom end thereof.
Referring now to FIG. l of the drawing, there is shown a panel block assembly, generally indicated at 1 in which a plurality of panel blocks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are held in end-to-end tluid tight assembly by a plurality of connectors 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, with connectors 7, 8, 11 and 12 representing one ty-pe of connector as shown in hereinafter described FIG. 4, and with connectors 9 and 10 representing another type of connector as shown in hereinafter described FIGS. 2 and 3.
Aside from the connector means hereinafter described in detail, the panel blocks of the assembly of FIG. 1 are generally representative of a number of different types of panel blocks, with panel block 2 representing a cap block, panel blocks 3 and 5 representing two different types of valve mounting blocks, panel block 4 representing a circuit block, and panel block 6 representing a power entry block, all as generally shown and described in the Patent No. 3,158,164, issued Nov. 24, 1964 to B. G. Barton and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention.
All of the panel blocks 2 through 6 are similar in that each includes three end-toend transversely spaced longitudinally disposed through passages 13, 14 and 15, which, when the panel blocks are assembled in end-to-end relationship, as shown, axially register to provide three uid passages extending through the assembly, with the passages 14 combining to comprise a fluid supply passage, with the passages 15 combining to comprise a tank passage, and with passages 13 combining to comprise a drain passage. With the exception of panel block 2, the upper ends of each passage 13, 14 and 15 in each panel block is widened to provide a seat for an O-ring seal 16 to prevent leakage from the passages 13, 14 and 15- Beyond the aforementioned similarities, the panel blocks differ in length, and in the number and location of additional internal passages, depending upon the nature of the valve devices to be connected in the uid pressure system, the manner in which the valve devices are to be so con- 3 nected 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 17 opening on either or both of the front or back faces of the block with those ports opening on the front face being relatively disposed for mating with corresponding ports in a valve device, not shown, to be mounted on the front face thereof, and with those ports opening at the back of the panel block being adapted to be for connection with external piping at the back face of the panel block member. Some of the ports 17 each communicate internally ofl the block with a separate one of a plurality of end-to-end passages 18, and another of which ports communicates with drain passage 13 by way of branch passage 19.
Circuit panel block 4 cooperates with valve mounting panel block 3 to communicate selected ones of passages 18 with the pressure and tank passages 14 and 15, respectively, by way of a pair of aligned transversely disposed passages 19 and 20, each communicating at one end with the passages 14 and 15, respectively, and opening at the other end of the circuit block at selected points 21 and 22 of a plurality of points to communicate with the selected ones of passages 18, the selection depending upon the internal passages circuitry desired. For example, in using the circuit block 4 in panel block assemblies other than that shown in FIG. 1, the passages 19 and 20 may be opened alternatively or additionally at selected ones of points 23 at the lower end of the block to provide direct communication between panel blocks on opposite ends of the circuit block 4, in the manner illustrated in the aforementioned Pat. 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, respectively.
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 14 and 15 by way of transversely extending branch passages 27 and 28, respectively.
The combined power entry and power exhaust panel block 6 includes a front opening fluid pressure supply port 29, a front opening tank port 30, and a drain port 31, each port communicating internally with passages 14, and 13, respectively. Suitable plugs may be installed in the ends of passages 13, 14 and 15 at the lower end of block 6, for example, plugs 32 and 33 as installed in passages 14 and 15, respectively.
Cap panel block 2 includes no passages other than those described since it serves primarily to close the passages at the upper end of the adjacent panel block 3.
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 each 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.
Aside from the connector means, the particular panel blocks of the panel block assembly of FIG. 1 are shown and described in copending WABCO Case No. 6397 where the panel blocks are shown held in fluid tight end-toend relationship by means of a type of panel block connector means not disclosed in the present application.
In the present application, as well as in the aforementioned copending application, the particular circuitry represented by the internal passages in the panel block assembly of FIG. 1 is immaterial to the understanding of the invention, and, accordingly, a description thereof is omitted, it being understood that the panel block assembly of FIG. l is merely representative of a wide variety of such assemblies including different types of panel blocks disposed in different arrangements in accordance with the desired internal circuitry.
From the foregoing description of the various types of panel blocks, it will be apparent that, with the exception of cap block 2, which is always disposed on one end of any panel block assembly, different numbers of the same or different types of panel blocks may be disposed in a variety of relative positions throughout the length of the panel block assembly, depending upon the particular internal uid lcircuitry desired. For example, in some panel block assemblies, the power entry block 6 could be disposed intermediate the ends of the assembly, in which event an additional cap block would be disposed on the lower end of the assembly. However, each of the panel blocks is end-to-end directionally orientated with respect to the ends of any panel block assembly in which it may be installed, that is, each block has a predetermined upper end and a predetermined lower end to provide end-to-end registration of each pressure supply passage 14, tank passage 15, and drain passage 13 with the ends of each adjacent supply passage, tank passage, and drain passage, respectively, and to assure that appropriate valve mounting ports 17 and 26 in valve mounting blocks 3 and 5, respectively, are communicated with the tank, supply and drain passages, as desired in accordance with the planned circuitry.
In accordance with the present invention, connector means 7 through 12 are disposed within the tank passage 15 and supply passage 14 to hold adjacent blocks in fluid tight end-to-end relationship with the appropriate longitudinal through passages disposed in block-to-block registration, and to simultaneously provide lateral support for the entire panel block assembly.
To adapt the panel blocks for cooperation with the connectors to effect the aforementioned results, the upper ends of the supply passages 14 and tank passages 15 in all the valve mounting blocks, such as blocks 3 and 5, and alSo the power entry block 6 are provided with a right-hand thread 34, and the lower ends of the same passages in the same panel blocks are provided with left-hand threads 35, so as to provide a plurality of pairs of oppositely threaded passages, each pair comprising coaxially disposed oppositely extending left-hand and right-hand threads.
Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown an enlarged v1ew of the short threaded connector 11 disposed in the supply passage 1-4 and extending across the junction between valve mounting block 5 and power entry block 6, which connector comprises a tubular member having exteriorly disposed left-hand threads 36 on one end screwed in the left-hand threaded end 35 of supply passage 15 in valve mounting block 5, and externally disposed right-hand threads 37 on the other end thereof screwed1 into the right-hand threads 34 in the supply passage14 of power entry block 6. The interior diameter of the connector passes tluid from the power entry block 6 to the valve mounting block 5 and includes a plurality of equally spaced axially extending grooves 38 providing a polygonal cross-sectional configuration for axially receiving a correspondingly shaped conventional hex nut, not shown, which, when inserted through passage 14 of power entry block 6 and axially inserted in connector 38, is rotated to simultaneously screw both ends of the connector into the corresponding left-hand and righthand threads, as above-described, thus disposing power entry block 6 in end-to-end uid tight engagement with valve mounting block 5. Similarlyy short threaded connector 12, identical to the above-described short threaded connector 11, is installed in tank passage 15 between the power entry block 6 and valve mounting block 5.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and'3 of the drawing, there is shown on an enlarged scale one of the long threaded connectors 9 of the two long threaded connectors 9 and 10 of FIG. 1 for interconnecting in fluid tight end-to-end engagement valve mounting block 3, circuit block 4, and valve mounting block 5, with the circuit block 4 disposed therebetween. Long threaded connector 9 is basically similar to the above-described short threaded connector 11 in that it comprises a tubular member having an externally disposed left-hand thread on the upper end 39, an externally disposed right-hand thread 40 on the lower end thereof, and a plurality of internally disposed axially extending grooves 41 suitable for engagement with the correspondingly shaped hex nut, not: shown, axially insertable therein to install the connector in the panel block assembly in the manner above-described, and to facilitate passage of fluid from circuit block passage 20. However, since the circuit block 4 is relatively short in the longitudinal direction of the panel block assembly, thus limiting longitudinal through passages 14 and 15 to a length insuflicient to accommodate an adequate number of threads in the ends thereof necessary to provide adequate lateral support, the passages 14 and 15 are unthreaded and of sutlicient diameter to axially freely receive therein the long threaded connector having a length greater than that of the short threaded connectors 11 and 12, so that the left-hand threads 39 and the right-hand threads 40 are received into left-hand threads 35 and right-hand threads 34 in blocks 3 and 5, respectively, thus disposing valve mounting blocks 3 and 5 in end-to-end tiuid tight engagement with the opposite ends of circuit block 4.
In order to facilitate passage of uid from supply passage 14 to transverse passage 19 in the circuit block 4, and to facilitate flow of fluid from circuit block passage 20 to tank passage 15, the long threaded connector is ported at ports 42, 43, 44 and 45, with ports 43 and 44 being oppositely disposed on one axis transverse to the connector axis, and with ports 44 and 45 oppositely disposed on a second axis transversely disposed relative to the connector axis, the second axis being axially displaced along the connector axis relative to the rst axis and rotated 90 relative to the first axis. This porting arrangement provides for direct communication of the interior of connector 9 with the circuit block passage 19 regardless of the axial position of the connector when iinally installed as shown in FIG. 1.
Referring now to the plug connectors 7 and 8 for connecting the cap block 2 to the valve mounting block 3, it is seen that each connector comprises a left-hand threaded shaft having a widened head 46 on one end thereof carrying an O-ring seal 47 in a groove on the under side thereof, which shaft is of such length as to be inserted through smooth passage 14 of the cap block 2 in and screwed into left-hand threaded passage end 34 of valve mounting block 3. It is to be noted that if desired, each of the passages 14 and 15 in cap block 2 could be appropriately threaded to receive a separate connector and a separate plug similar to connector 11 and plug 32 in the power entry block 6.
From the foregoing, it is apparent that since each panel block, with the possible exception of the cap block 2 as above-described, is provided with identical left-hand threaded and right-hand threaded passages at the lower and upper ends thereof, respectively, any group of panel blocks of the same or different types may be assembled in end-to-end fluid tight relationship in any desired order by use of connectors 11 if no circuit blocks are in the particular assembly, or by connectors 11 and 9 if circuit blocks are so included.
Referring now to FIG. 5 of the drawing, there is shown a tubular connector 48 exteriorly identical to the previously described connector 11, but interiorly including a check valve means operable, when the connector is disposed in the tank passage '15 of a panel block assembly, to pass fluid unidirectionally.
BEST AVAILABLE COPY The ends of the connector 48 include thereon lefthand and right-hand threads 49, 50, respectively, to facilitate direct substitution of connector 48 for a short threaded connector, such as previously described connector 12. The lower end of the through passage includes a plurality of spaced axial grooves 51 terminating substantially centrally of the connector, while the upper end of the through passage comprises a check valve chamber including an axially tapered end 52 serving as a seat for the check valve. A snap ring 53 disposed in the through passage at the ends of the grooves 51 serves as an axial seat for a cylindrical valve guide member 54 having an axially offset through passge 55 to pass uid from the upper end of the through passage to the lower end thereof, and having an axially disposed throughbore 56 slidably receiving therein one end of valve stem 57 having a check valve member 58 attached to the other end thereof. The check valve is biased into seating engagement with the tapered passage 52 via a spring encircling stem 57 and compressed between the check valve 58 and the guide member 54.
Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a combined tubular connector 59 and check valve assembly identical to that of FIG. 5, except that the check valve assembly and associated check valve chamber are both reversed end for end to provide for direct substitution of the connector 59 for a connector 11 disposed in the pressure supply passage, the reversed position of the check valve member being effected to provide uni-directional ow in the power supply direction in supply passage 14.
Having now described the invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In a panel block assembly:
(a) a rst panel block having a pair of iluid passages therein, each passage opening at one end of said rst panel block;
(b) a second panel block having one end abutting said one end of said first panel block and having a pair of through passages therein, each registering at one end with a different one of said pair of Huid passages in said rst panel block;
(c) a third panel block having one end abutting the other end of said second panel block and having a pair of uid passages therein opening at the abutting end in registration with the other end of each of said pair of through passages in said second block;
(d) a pair of tubular connectors, each extending through a different one of said pair of through passages in said second block with radial clearance and having one end screwed in a left-hand manner in a different one of said pair of fluid passages in said rst panel block, and having the other end screwed in a righthand manner in a different one of said pair of fluid passages in said third panel block; and
(e) means on each said pair of tubular connectors engageable by a tool to effect axial rotation of the connector.
2. In a panel block assembly, as recited in claim 1, in which said means is disposed interiorly of each of said pair of connectors.
3. In a panel block assembly, as recited in claim 2, in which said means comprises a plurality of axially extending grooves in the interior wall of each of said pair of connectors.
4. In a panel block assembly, as recited in claim 1, in which:
(a) said second panel kblock includes an additional passage therein communicating with one of said pair of through passages; and
(b) the one connector disposed in said one of said pair of through passages includes port means through the wall thereof communicating the interior of said one connector with said additional passage.
BEST AVAILABLE COPY 5. In a panel block assembly, as recited in claim 4, in which said port means includes a pair of oppositely disposed ports.
6. In a panel block assembly, as recited in claim 4, in which:
(a) said port means includes a pair of ports displaced axially of said one connector.
7. In a panel block assembly, as recited in claim 4, in which said port means includes a plurality of ports equally spaced around the circumference of said one connector.
8. In a panel block assembly, as recited in claim 4, in which said port means includes a rst pair of oppositely disclosed ports on a first axis disposed transversely of the axis of said one connector, and a second pair of oppositely disposed ports disposed on an axis in a plane disposed perpendicularly to said first axis.
9. In a panel block assembly, as recited in claim 8, in which:
(a) said second axis is displaced relative to said first axis along the axis of said connector.
10. In a panel block assembly, as recited in claim 1, in which:
(a) the end of each said through passage in said second panel block includes a counterbore; and
(b) an O-ring seal is disposed in each counterbore.
11. In a panel block assembly:
(a) a plurality of panel blocks and an additional panel block disposed in end-to-end abutting relationship, with said additional panel block disposed intermediately of a pair of said plurality of panel blocks;
(b) each of said plurality of panel blocks having an upper end and a lower end;
(c) a pair of laterally spaced through passages in each of said plurality of panel blocks and said additional panel block, each pair of through passages in each panel block disposed to axially register with the pair of uid passages in each adjacent panel block to comprise a pair of tluid passages extending entirely through said plurality of panel blocks and said additional panel block;
(d) the ends of each said pair of fluid passages at the lower end of each of said plurality of panel blocks having left-hand threads;
(e) the ends of each said pair of fluid passages at the upper end of each of said plurality of panel blocks having right-hand threads, forming with said lefthand threads a plurality of pairs of axially aligned oppositely threaded Huid passage ends;
(f) said pair of uid passages in said additional panel block being smooth and having a diameter larger than the maximum diameter of the left-hand and right-hand threads;
(g) two of said plurality of pairs of axially aligned oppositely threaded fluid passage ends each comprising the lower end of a different one of said pair of Huid passages in one of said pair of said plurality of panel blocks, and the upper end of a different in which:
(a) each of said connectors includes thereon means engageable by a tool to axially rotate the connector. 13. In a panel block assembly, as recited in claim 11,
(a) said additional panel block includes an additional passage therein communicating with one of said pair of through passages in said additional panel block; and
(b) the one connector in said one of said pair of cndto-end fluid passages in said additional panel block inclues port means through the wall thereof communicating the interior of said one connector with said additional passage.
14. A uid conduit coupling, comprising:
(a) three conduit members disposed in end-to-end abutting relationship, each conduit member having a through passage axially registering with the uid passage in the adjacent conduit member;
(b) a tubular connector extending axially through the conduit in the intermediate one of said conduit members with radial clearance and having oppositely disposed threads on its ends, each end screwed into corresponing threads in a different one of the other two of said three conduit members on the opposite sides of the intermediate member;
(c) an additional fluid passage in said intermediate member communicating with said through passage therein; and
(d) port means in said tubular connector communicating the interior thereof with said additional passage means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 346,600 8/1886 Messinger 137-5l5.7 1,297,312 3/1919 Barker IS7-543.13 1,167,391 l/1916 Elger 165-130 FOREIGN PATENTS 6705925 4/1967 Netherlands 743,346 1/1956 Great Britain.
M. CARY NELSON, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.