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Publication numberUS3561724 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 9, 1971
Filing dateJan 8, 1969
Priority dateJan 8, 1969
Publication numberUS 3561724 A, US 3561724A, US-A-3561724, US3561724 A, US3561724A
InventorsTrombetta Guido P
Original AssigneeTrombetta Guido P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gate valve operator
US 3561724 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 3.030517 4/1962 Gibbons 3,294,997 lZ/l966 Shapiro Primary Examiner-Amold Rosenthal All0rney-D0nald E. Porter ABSTRACT: An electric, direct drive, lost motion operator for opening and closing a gate valve. The apparatus comprises two pairs of modified electric stator members each pair being disposed at opposite sides and overlapping a nonmagnetic metal disc, which rotates in response to forward and reverse flux fields created between the respective stator pairs upon energizing their respective windings in either of two ways. The metal disc is directly connected through an axial, hollow sleeve to a flywheel having a circular slot for receiving a driving block attached directly to the gate valve handle.

PATENTED FEB 9197: 3,5 1 724 SHEET 1 BF 3 LG v v INVENTOR GUIDO RTROMBETTA BY DONALD E. PORTER ATTORNEY PATENTEB FEB ,9I97l 356L724 SHEET 2 [IF 3 N V EN TO R GUIDOPTROMBE TTA' BY DONALD E. PORTER ATTORNEY PATENT'EUFEB 9|97| s'umauFs INV ENTOR OUIDO RTROMBETTA BY DONALD E. PORTER ATTORNEY GATE VALVE OPERATOR The invention comprises a gate valve, a gate valve handle having a driving block disposed on the outer surface thereof, and nesting in a 330 circular slot in a flywheel, rotatably disposed on a platform outwardly of the valve handle. The platform is supported by the main valve body, and also supports a rotatable nonmagnetic metal disc which is drivingly connected to the fly wheel. Two pairs of modified electric stators drive the metal disc to open and close the vale as desired. The stators develop sufficient torque in the metal disc to eliminate the need for any reduction gear, so that the electric device drives the valve operating stem directly through the valve handle driving block and flywheel.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Electric and hydraulic valve operators are well known, as evidenced by U.S. Pat. No. 77,372, issued Dec. 13, 1904, to E. G. Howard and U.S. Pat. No. Re. 20,471, reissued Aug. 17, 1937. Both of these patents show conventional electric motors which open and close valves, but both include some type of intermediate gear reduction means. Another more recent U.S. Pat. No., 2,815,922, issued Dec. 10, 1957, to L. G, L. Thomas, et al., also is directed to a power valve operating mechanism. Even this latter patent includes a gear train and a torque limiting device.

All of the above automatic valve operators are relatively complex, and because there is a direct mechanical gear connection between the motor drive shaft and the valve operating gears, there is considerable wear and maintenance. The special gears are expensive, and assembly, both initially and after repairs, requires that the gears all be adjusted and fitted properly together to avoid excessive wear problems. The mere presence of the gears creates an additional place where foreign matter can lodge and jam the vale operation.

This invention eliminates a good part of the problems associated with electric valve operators by utilizing a specially designed electromotive valve operating device. The device includes a rectilinear type electric motor and comprises two pairs of specially wound stators oppositely mounted on the periphery of a non magnetic metal disc so that the disc is subject to the electromagnetic force fields generated in the respective stator pairs. the disc is directly connected to the valve operating flywheel without any intervening gear reduction, so that the valve handle is, in effect, directly driven by the metal disc, or rotor member, of the electromotive operating device. The metal disc is preferably copper, aluminum, or brass, although other nonmagnetic metals and alloys could be used. The electric motor is an improvement on the invention described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,337,430 issued Dec. 21, I943 to Panfilo Trombetta entitled, Reciprocating Electric Motor.

The electric motor device is ideally suited for use as a valve operator in combination with a lost motion device because it is easy to start, stop and reverse. Because very little energy is required to stop the device, the possiblity of jamming it is practically eliminated.

The following detailed description and drawings illustrate the presently preferred embodiment of the invention.

The best mode presently contemplated of carrying out the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side plane view, partly in section of the valve and the vale operator of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is similar to FIG. 1, but rotated 90;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view, partly in phantom, of apparatus shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view, partially in section along line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged side sectional detail with parts broken ways showing the operator control of the invention; and

FIG. 7 is a simplified schematic of the operating circuit for the valve operator motor.

As shown in the drawings, a gate valve 1 includes a valve housing 2, a gate closure 3, a valve stem chamber 4 and a valve operating stem 5. Annular seating seals 6 are provided in the housing 2 for assuring that the gate closure 3 will completely seat and seal valve conduit 7.

The gate closure 3 is rotatably interconnected to the operating stem 5 by means of a knuckle 8 adapted to be slidably received in a complementary recess 9 on the top of the gate closure 3, as best shown in FIG. I. The operating stem 5 ex tends upwardly from the gate valve 1. through the housing 2, and extends through a threaded opening 10 in a wheel-shaped gate valve handle 11. Rotation of the valve handle ll raises and lowers the operating stem 5 and thereby, the gate valve closure 3 out and into sealing engagement in the valve conduit The valve handle 11 includes a lug-shaped driving block I2 disposed on the top radius thereof. When a rotational force is applied to the block 12, it is transmitted to the valve handle 1 I.

A support frame 13 is provided above the valve housing 2 and secured thereto to support the electric valve operator control 14 of the invention. The frame 13 remains stationary during the valve operation.

The valve operator control 14 includes a flywheel 15 disposed coaxially just above the valve handle II, and in a parallel horizontal plane therewith. A circular groove 16 extends around the under peripheral surface of the flywheel 15, except for a 30 sector 17, as best seen in FIG. 2.

The flywheel 15 has a central axial opening 18, into which is welded an upwardly extending axial sleeve 19. The sleeve I9 extends through and is rotatably supported by a horizontal armature support plate 20 of the support frame I3. The sleeve 19 extends through a central opening 21 in the armature support plate 20 and has an upper shoulder portion 22, which is rotatably supported on a thrust and radial bearing assembly 23 mounted on the top surface of the armature support plate 20. Radial bearings 24 are disposed on the lower surface of the support plate 20 to further stabilize the relatively friction free rotation ofthe sleeve I9.

The upper shoulder portion 22 extends to the top of the sleeve 19, and a pair of annular reinforcement plates 25 are secured thereto. A disc 26 is sandwiched between the plates 25 and held thereby. Disc 26 is the nonmagnetic rotor element of the system, and includes a central, axial opening 27 so that the valve stem 5 has clearance to be raised and lowered through the flywheel l5 and the sleeve I9.

Two pair of stator members 28 are disposed on the outer periphery of the armature support plate 20 opposite each other, and each pair includes a slotted recess 29 on the inner edge thereof to accommodate the outer periphery of disc 26.

Each stator member 28 includes three windings 30, which are connected to electrical leads 31, as best seen in FIG. 7. The electrical leads 3] are connected through a three position switch 32 to a three-phase power source 33. Operation of the switch 32 energizes the windings 30 to rotate disc 26 in either a forward or reverse direction. When not energized, as in the case of a power failure, the windings 30 and disc 26 offer no resistance to the manual operation of the valve handle 11.

Rotation of disc 26 directly drives the flywheel 15 through the sleeve 19. Initially, there is no interference to the frictionfree rotation of the flywheel 15 because of the circular groove 16. As the flywheel 15 picks up torque, wall 33a of the 30 sector l7 collides with the driving block 12, and the impact initiates movement of the valve stem 5, either towards the open position of the gate closure 3, or towards the closed position.

The lost motion" action incorporated into the valve operator is particularly suited for use in combination with the valve operator system of the invention, because there is no reduction gear system to wear out, and because the direct connection of disc 26 to the flywhe l I5, and, from there, the lost motion connection to the driving block 12 avoids excessive wear by completely eliminating gears. In addition, the high torque, inertial drive is peculiarly adapted to the operation of the gate valve, in which the only substantial resistance to movement is experienced at the initiation of the opening and closing cycles.

To stop the valve operator system at the end of an opening or closing cycle, it is contemplated that electromechanical limit switches 34 be included in the circuit as indicated in FIG. 7. The mechanical actuator members for the switches 34 are disposed to sense a projection 35 on the valve stem 5. One of the limit switches 34 is positioned to open when the gate closure 3 is near the closed position, and the other switch 34 is positioned to be actuated by the projection 35 when the gate closure 3 is near the completely open position. After the windings 30 are deenergized the gate closure 3 coasts to the full open or closed position on momentum.

-The limit switches 34 can be closed manually, or in any other well known manner, to reset the circuit for the next operatingcycle. It is also contemplated that the limit switches 34 could be connected to light indicator 36 to show the position of the gate closure 3. An intermediate limit switch 34 could be included having solely the light indicating function.

The limit switches 34 can also be time operated to synchronize with the opening and closing time cycles of the gate closure 3 to deenergize windings 30, thereby stopping the disc 26 at the desired closed and open position of the gate closure 3.

Other arrangements are also contemplated for stopping the va lve operating motion. For example, the phases of the windings 30 can be momentarily reversed at the end of the opening or closing cycle to brake the inertia of the flywheel .15.

The valve operator mechanism of the invention combines the large starting torque of a three-phase electric drive with the moment of inertia of a flywheel, and the increased initial opening and closing impact through the use of a lost motion drive. In this combination, the starting torque builds up rapidly with no resistance from the valve operating handle and valve, and a sudden sharp impact is delivered to the valve handle from the flywheel after it has picked up speed to deliver a sharp, hammer" blow to the valve handle of sufficient force to initia ly crack the gate closure 3 open or closed.

The specific number, selection and disposition of stator members 28 is determined by the torque requirements for operating a particular valve. In some cases, only a single stator member 28 is required, and a degree of flexibility can also be obtained by the winding arrangement of the windings 30.

The lost motion drive can also vary considerably in construction, depending. on particular operational requirements. For example, the 30 sector 17 on the flywheel can take the form of a projecting segment extending out to the side of the flywheel 15. The driving block 12 on the valve operating handle 11 may comprise an elongated, arcuate member which provides the desired angular limits of the lost motion action and the sector 17 acts as a simple interference member for urging the elongated driving block 12 in either direction. Any combination of dimensions of the sector 17 and the driving block 12 is also contemplated, in addition to the possibility of employing a driving member 12 extending into a groove 16 formed in the outennost edge of the flywheel 15.

The invention provides an improved, automatic gate valve operator which requires no intermediate gear reductions, and which combines the advantages of a flywheel lost motion drive with the high torque characteristics of an electromagnetic rectilinear type electric motor drive. The motor includes a freely rotatable disc member which offers no resistance to manual rotation of the valve operating handle in the event of a power failure.


l. A remote control valve operator device for opening and closing a valve having a rotating stem, the device comprising:

a valve stem rotating means connected to the rotating stem;

.a driving member connected to the periphery of the valve stem rotating means;

a rotatable flywheel disposed axially adjacent the valve stem rotating means, and having a circular groove extending peripherally around a sector of the flywheel. the driving member being normally disposed in the circular groove;

a rotatable, eleetromagnetically driven disc member connected to the flywheel for rotating the flywheel and thereby the driving member and the valve stem rotating means;

and electromagnetic means for electromagnetically rotating the disc member to open and close the valve.

2. The apparatus of claim I, in which the disc member is a nonmagnetic metal and is connected to the flywheel through a sleeve, and including, a support frame secured to the valve and rotatably supporting the flywheel and the disc member at the sleeve.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, in which the valve stem rotating means comprises a generally circular valve handle. the driving member is a driving block disposed on the outer periphery of the valve handle, and the circular groove in the flywheel extends around a sector of approximately 330 of the flywheel radius.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, in which the disc member is a nonmagnetic metal member, and the electromagnetic means for rotating the disc member comprises a plurality of electrically energized, electromagnetic stator member windings disposed around the periphery of thedise member to create electromagnetic torque to rotate the disc member when the stator member windings are energized.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, including circuit means connected to the respective stator windings to energize the stator windings in both forward and reverse torque directions to thereby open and close the valve.

6. The apparatus of claim 4, in which the stator windings are generally U-shaped when viewed in radial vertical section, and the edge of the disc member nests in the central portion of the U-shaped stator windings.

7. A high torque, electromagnetic valve operator for a valve having a rotating valve stem said valve operator comprising:

a rotatable operating crank connected to the valve stem;

a flywheel member disposed adjacent the operating crank;

lost motion drive means interconnecting the flywheel member to the operating crank;

a rotatable disc member disposed axially adjacent the flywheel and connectedthereto;

support means for rotatably supporting the flywheel and disc member in a fixed position relative to said valve;

and electromagnetic drive means disposed on said support means peripherally adjacent the disc member and adapted to impart rotary driving torque to the disc member, and thereby to the flywheel member, and through the lost motion drive means to the operating crank to provide a high initial torque drive to open and close the valve.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, in which the lost motion drive means comprises:

a peripheral slot formed in the edge of the flywheel; and

a complementary drive member secured to the operating crank and extending into the peripheral slot to transmit a lost motion driving force from the flywheel member to the operating crank whenever the driving direction of the flywheel member is reversed.

9. The apparatus of claim 7, in which:

the operating crank includes a projection; and

the flywheel member has a drive transmitting projection adapted to engage either side of the operating crank projection to effect a lost motion drive action from the flywheel to the operating crank in both a forward and reverse direction.

10. The apparatus of claim 7, in which the electromagnetic means comprises: at least one electromagnetic stator adapted to be energized in forward and reverse driving directions to impart forward and reverse driving torque to the disc member.

11. An electromagnetic valve operator for automatic operation of a gate valve having a valve operating stem for opening and closing the valve comprising:

a valve operating handle connected to the operating stem;

-12. The apparatus of claim ll, in which the nonmagnetic metal member is a disc:

the movable mass is a flywheel operably connected with the disc;

the valve operating handle is connected through the lost motion drive means to the disc; and

said disc member is only electromagnetically coupled to the electromagnetic means when said means is energized but otherwise rotates freely and without resistance from the electromagnetic means when the valve operating handle is moved manually.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2815922 *Feb 28, 1955Dec 10, 1957C H Wheeler Mfg CompanyPower-operated mechanism
US3030517 *Nov 20, 1959Apr 17, 1962Allis Chalmers Mfg CoLash coupling device for an electrical apparatus
US3294997 *Sep 10, 1963Dec 27, 1966Gen Dynamics CorpAxial air gap motor
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3946984 *Jun 15, 1973Mar 30, 1976Pont-A-Mousson S.A.Motor-driven control device for a valve rod
US4687179 *Nov 29, 1985Aug 18, 1987Smith Gordon MAutomatic valve actuator and control system
US5099867 *Jan 7, 1991Mar 31, 1992Marathon Oil CompanySealed valve and control means therefor
US6354322Jun 18, 2001Mar 12, 2002Garry E. ClarkElectric valve universal retrofit configuration having misalignment correction
EP0027724A1 *Oct 16, 1980Apr 29, 1981Sureville LimitedReversible motor
U.S. Classification251/129.3, 310/268, 310/84
International ClassificationF16K31/02, H02K41/025
Cooperative ClassificationF16K31/02, H02K41/025
European ClassificationH02K41/025, F16K31/02