US 3544237 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. l, 1970 A, wALz 3,544,237
` HYDRAULIC REGULATING DEVICE I Filed Dec. 19. 1968 ALFRED WALZ ATTORNEY Unted States Patent Olce 3,544,237 Patented Dec. 1, 1970 3,544,237 HYDRAULIC REGULATING DEVICE Alfred Walz, Emmendingen, Germany, assignor to Dornier System G.m.b.H., Friedrichshagen, Germany, a limited-liability corporation of Germany Filed Dec. 19, 1968, Ser. No. 785,193 Int. Cl. F04f 11/00; F163 3/00; F16h 21 44 U.S. Cl. 417-48 10 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A porous diaphragm is provided with electrode means on opposite sides thereof. Means is provided for applying electrical potential of varying polarity to the electrode means. A reservoir means is disposed at either side of the diaphragm and a uid lls the space within the reservoir means and the spaces deiined adjacent the diaphragm. A body means supports the diaphragm and includes grooves for distributing the uid. An output means is connected with the reservoir means for operating a suitable mechanism.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a pump utilizing electrokinetic elects and includes an output means which is operated by the pump and may be connected with a suitable mechanism to be operated.
The apparatus of the present invention may be employed for example for controlling the position of the rudder in a ship or airplane. Such rudders are remotely controlled and commonly employ mechanisms which are controlled from a remote station by means of a hydraulic system. Such hydraulic systems are disadvantageous since the hydraulic lines are under relatively high pressure and may be of considerable length. These factors coupled with the vibration encountered in ships and airplanes cause serious problems in obtaining proper sealing of the hydraulic system.
Known types of pumps employ an electrically conductive fluid which is caused to move due to an induction effect by the application of a magnetic eld. This type of pump is expensive in construction and is very heavy because of the magnetic parts required such as pole pieces, etc., as well as the necessary electrical windings and source of electrical current. Such pumps have been used as electrohydraulic control devices.
It is accordingly desirable to provide an improved pump which can be employed as a control means in the immediate area of a mechanism to be operated, and further wherein the pump can be connected to a remote control station by way of control lines that are as small as possible and Which will eliminate sealing problems. It is further advantageous to provide a compact self-contained pump unit including an output means which can be connected to an adjacent mechanism to be operated.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the present invention, a porous diaphragm is supported within a body means and has electrode means disposed on opposite sides thereof. A exible reservoir means is disposed at each side of the diaphragm, and a fluid is disposed within the reservoir means and in contact with the diaphragm means and in the spaces defined adjacent the diaphragm means. Electrical leads are connected with the electrode means and extended to a remote control station so that an electric potential of suitable polarity may be selectively applied to the electrode means at either side of the diaphragm. Upon the application of a suitable electric potential to the electrode means, electroosmosis occurs and the uid will permeate the porous diaphragm in a predetermined direction.
The flow of uid from one side of the diaphragm to the other will cause movement of the llexible reservoir means which is interconnected with a suitable output means, in turn connected with any suitable mechanism to be operated.
Pressures on the order of up to approximately 50 atmospheres and above can be produced with the arrangement of the present invention, and these pressures are created directly at the location Where pressure is required. The electrical leads connecting the apparatus with a remote control station occupy only a minimum of space and provide a considerable advantage over conventional hydraulic lines.
The structure of the present invention is quite small and compact, and provides a self-contained unit which is particularly suitable to be employed as a control device in airplanes.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a longitudinal cross-section of a rst embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross-section through a modied form of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, a rst form of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings. A body means includes a pair of flat circular plates 10 and 12 which are clamped between a pair of generally cup-shaped cover members 14 and 16, all of members 10, 12, 14 and 16 being held in operative position as illustrated by suitable nut and bolt assemblies 18.
A porous disc-like diaphragm 30 is clamped within suitable recesses provided in plates 10 and 12 and is retained thereby in the operative position illustrated. Electrode means 32 and 34 are clamped between plates 10 and 12 and on opposite sides of the diaphragm and are suitably insulated from one another by conventional insulating means (not shown). Electrical leads 36 and 38 extending through suitable holes provided in plates 10 and 12 are connected with the electrode means 32 and 34 respectively. Diaphragm 30 is formed of a porous electrical insulating material having capillaries and pores formed therethrough. The pores have a radius which is no greater than about 10'i millimeters. A substance which is particularly suitable for use as a diaphragm material is pure quartz produced by sintering quartz or by etching out the glass constituents from a pure quartz-glass melt. The electrode means are preferably in the form of networks and may for example comprise metal wires or carbon lilaments.
The electrode means is illustrated as being directly in Contact with the diaphragm, but it is also possible and even desirable to mount the electrode means in spaced relationship to the adjacent surfaces of diaphragm. The advantage of spacing the electrode means from the diaphragm. The advantage of spacing the electrode means from the diaphragm is that the fluid means of the apparatus can readily reach all of the capillaries and pores of the associated diaphragm.
A pair of separate and independent reservoir means 40 and `42 are provided at opposite sides of the diaphragm. Each of these reservoir means is of a exible construction and may comprise a bellows arrangement as illustratedwhe're'bythe two reservoir means can expand and contract in an axial direction along the longitudinal axes thereof. Reservoir means 40 and 42 include neck portions 44 and 46 which are received within central holes formed in the plates and 12 respectively, these neck portions being iiared outwardly at the inner ends thereof so as to retain the neck portions of the reservoir means in placewith respect to the associated plates.
The faces of plates 10 and 12 adjacent to the diaphragm are provided with a plurality of annular grooves 50 and 52 respectively, grooves 50 having annular tapered ridges 50' disposed therebetween, and grooves 52 having annular tapered ridges 52 formed therebetween. Ridges 50 have line lcontact with electrode means 32, and ridges 52 have line contact with electrode means 34. This arrangement minimizes the area of contact between the plates and the electrodes, and the effective surface of the diaphragm remains large. A plurality of substantially radially extending grooves 54 are provided in plate 10 to provide a communication between adjacent grooves 50 so that the fluid means can readily circulate between the diiferent grooves and over the surface of the diaphragm. Similar radial grooves 56 are provided in plate 12 to provide communication between adjacent grooves 52. In an arrangement wherein the electrodes are spaced from the diaphragm, the radial grooves may be omitted.
A fluid means is provided and may comprise a suitable liquid such as highly pure distilled water which has been degassed to free it from carbonio acid and which has a specific resistance of at least 106 ohms cm., and preferably at least 107 ohms cm. The body of liquid is indicated by reference numeral 60 and iills the space defined within the two reservoir -means 40 and 42 and also iills the spaces defined between opposite sides of the diaphragm and the adjacent portions of the plates 10 and 12. It is apparent that the radial and annular grooves provided in the faces of plates 10 and 12 will serve to distribute the liquid over the face of the diaphragm while at the same time enabling the diaphragm to be held in place by the plates 10 and 12.
All of the portions of theapparatus which are in contact with the iiuid means must be chemically inert thereto. A platinum coating over the metallic parts has been found to provide good results. Rhodium, palladium and gold may be also employed for coating those portions of the apparatus in contact with the liquid. Among organic substances, polytetrauoroethylene (Teon) is suitable.
Reservoir means 40 and 42 are connected respectively with members 64 and 66 aligned with the longitudinal axes thereof and slidably extending through suita'bleholes provided in the outer ends of cover members 14 and 16.
Members 64 and 66 carry pins 68 and `70 which are slidably positioned within slots 72 and 74 of levers 76 and 78 respectively. Levers 76 and 78 are pivotally supported by pins 80 and 82, and the outer ends of these levers are connected by pins 84 and 86 with spacedportions of an output member 90. 1t will be noted that the two levers 76 and 78 along with output member 20 define a parallelogram linkage. Output member 90 may be connected with any suitable mechanism which it is desired to operate.
When a suitable potential is applied to the electrode means on diaphragm 30, the fluid medium permeates the diaphragm in a particular direction depending on the polarity vapplied to the electrode means. As shown, a potential of suitable polarity has been applied to the diaphragm means to cause the iiuid to flow from reservoir liow is `provided due to the provision of the grooves in means 42 through the diaphragm means to cause the uid `to flow from reservoir means 42 through the diaphragm into reservoir means 40 whereby the pressure in reservoii means l42 deceases while the pressure in reservoir means 40 increases. Reservoir means 40 accordingly expands to the left as seen inthe drawings to move member 64 later- `ally outwardly of the body means. The diaphragm means is retained in the clamped operative position by the plates 10 and 12 and relatively uniform distribution of the fluid the two plates 10 and 12.
Outward movement of member 64 as aforedescribed will cause lever 76 to pivot so that the output member 90 moves in the direction of the arrow as seen in` FIG. 1 whereby the mechanism connected with output member is operated.
As member moves from left to right as seen in FIG. 1, lever 78 will be pivoted so as to move member 66 inwardly or from right to left thereby reducing the volume of reservoir means 42. Accordingly, the volume of reservoir means 42 is decreased as the volume of reservoir means 40 increases so that no negative pressure is created and no evaporation of the fluid means will occur. It is apparent that in order to move the output member in the opposite direction, the electrical polarity applied to the electrode means is simply reversed.`
Referring now to FIG. 3 of the drawings, a modiiied form of the invention is illustrated. This arrangement is similar in many respects to that shown in FIG. 1, and similar components have been given the same reference numerals primed. It will be noted that only a single output lever 78 corresponding to the output lever 78 of the previously described structure is provided, lever 78' being in turn directly connected with a suitable output member or mechanism to be operated.
Instead of providing the reservoir means 40 to the left of the diaphragm as in the previous embodiment, a reservoir means in the form of an elastic container is provided including a neck portion 102 which is ared inwardly so as to secure it in a central hole provided in plate 10. This elastic container as well as` reservoir means 42' and the spaces defined between the diaphragm and adjacent parts 10' and 12' are all tilled with a suitable fluid means as in the previously described arrangement.
When it is desired to operate lever 78', an electrical potential is applied to the electrodes carried by the diaphragm so that the -uid means will permeate the diaphragm from the elastic container 100 into reservoir means 42f causing the reservoir means to expand in an axial direction thereby swinging lever 78' in the direction indicated by the arrow.
When the electrical polarity is reversed so that the uid medium flows from reservoir means `42' into elastic container 100, Vthere is a tendency to develop a negative pressure of fractions of an atmosphere which will cause a fluid means such as water to evaporate. Accordingly, strong return springs may be provided to ensure that reservoir Vmeans 42' will be reduced in volume concurrently with ow of fluid therefrom through the diaphragm.
It Will be obvious to those skilled in the art that many modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention Without departing from the spirit thereof, and the invention includes all such modiiications.
What is claimed is:
1.A hydraulic regulating device comprising a porous diaphragm, support means for holding said diaphragm in position, said support means comprising relatively rigid body means and including groove means formed in said `body means adjacent said diaphragm for distributing fluid along the surfaces of the diaphragm, said groove means in said body means including annular groove means and radial groove means in communication with said annular groove means, electrode means disposed on opposite sides of said diaphragm, means for applying an electrical potential to said electrode means, reservoir means at opposite sides of said diaphragm, and fluid means in said reservoir means and in contact with said diaphragm, said iiuid means permeating said diaphragm upon application of a suitable electrical potential to said electrode means.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim I1 wherein said electrode means is mounted adjacent opposite faces of said diaphragm.
3. Apparatus as dened in claim 4 wherein said electrode means comprise network electrodes.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said reservoir means is of flexible construction and is adapted to expand and contract.
S. Apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein said reservoir means comprises a bellows construction whereby the reservoir means can expand and contracting along a longitudinal axis thereof.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 including output means operatively connected with said reservoir means.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said reservoir means includes a separate and independent movable reservoir at each side of said diaphragm, and output means including a pair of movable members each of which is connected with one of said reservoirs.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 7 including an output member interconnected with said pair of movable members to form a parallelogram arrangement.
9. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 including output means comprising an output member interconnected only with the reservoir means at one side of said diaphragm. 10. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein the interior of said reservoir means in contact with said fluid means is covered with a layer of material which is chemically inert to said uid means.
References Cited WILLIAM L. FREEH, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 92-37; 74-104