US 3566910 A
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United States Patent Inventors R. Ellsworth Doremus Clifton; Richard E. Doremus, Morristown, NJ. Appl. No. 777,072 Filed Nov. 19, 1968 Patented Mar. 2, 1971 Assignee Golden Gate Manufacturing Company Delawanna, N.J.
VENTING DEVICE 6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
U.S. Cl 137/323, 137/543.2l, l37/614.2, 251/1492, 222/397 Int. Cl ..Fl6k 17/168 Field of Search 137/212,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,403,436 7/1946 Heigis 137/226 2,749,930 6/1956 Whitnall.... 137/212 3,006,364 10/1961 Osborn 137/543.l9X 3,058,486 10/1962 McDermott et a1. l37/543.l9X 3,228,413 1/1966 Stevens, Jr 137/322 Primary Examiner--William F. ODea Assistant ExaminerDavid R. Matthews AttorneyDarby & Darby ABSTRACT: A venting device for use in withdrawing fluids from kegs which is generally T-shaped having a center leg and crossarms, said center leg and crossarms having communicating passages formed therein. The lower portion of the center leg has a keyed head with outlet passages therein for engaging the keyed operating member of a valve. One crossarm has a gas source inlet nozzle and the other crossarm a safety vent. The crossarm is used as a handle for rotating the device to open and close the valve.
PATENTEDMAR 2mm 3.566310 INVENTORS R. ELLSWORTH DOREMUS RICHARD E. DOREMUS ATTORNEYS VENTING DEVICE This invention relates to apparatus for handling fluids and more particularly to. a combined vent and gas supply device used in a venting system for withdrawing beverages from kegs.
In one widely used form of system for withdrawing beverages, such as beer, from a keg, two valves are used. One valve is located at the bottom of the keg for withdrawing the beverage and a second valve is used at-the top of the keg. Air or carbon dioxide is supplied under pressure to the top valve to force the fluid out of the bottom valve. Valves for such a system are described in our prior US. Pat. No. 2,992,654which is assigned to the same assignee.
In systems of the general type described above, a vent is usually used in conjunction with the top valve to which the compressed gas is to be applied The vent performs three functions. First, it serves as a handle to open and close the valve.
Second, it serves as an inlet for the source of compressed gas.
and third, it functions as a safety release vent so that the pressure within the keg does not exceed the dangerous limits.
Prior art safety vents for beer kegs are in the form of a generally V shaped device in which one leg of the V serves as the gas inlet and the other leg the safety vent. The apex of the V contains the keying part of the device for opening and closing the valve and a handle is attached to the venting leg portion to permit turning of the device. Through such prior art venting devices are operative, they are unsatisfactory from several points of view. First of all, the V-shaped device is somewhat costly to make in that the handle for the venting leg portion must be separately formed and then welded or forged to the device. Also the V-shaped structure is rather difficult to assemble. This makes the venting device relatively expensive to produce. Further, the use :of the V-shaped configuration makes the safety venting leg portion of the device almost vertical when in use. This permits the gas under pressure in the keg to be more easily vented so that, in many cases, the system will vent below the predetermined design pressure. This means that the keg must again be charged with gas resulting in a loss of time and gas.
The present invention is directed to a simplified vent construction which is considerably simpler to produce and operates more effectively than prior art vent devices. In accordance with the invention, the vent device is generally T- shaped. The center leg of the T serves as the key for insertion into the top valve of the keg and has a passage therein which communicates with the two crossarms of the T. One of the crossarms is the inlet for the gas from the source while the other serves as the vent.
The vent device of the present invention can be constructed fairly easily by a suitable technique such as casting or forging. In addition, the vent portion operates more reliably since it is not in the direct flow path of the gas in the keg. Further the crossarm of the T, which contains two functioning parts of the device, serves as the handle and no separate handle is needed.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a simplified vent device which is generally T-shaped.
Another object is to provide a vent device for valves switches generally T-shaped the central leg of the T serving as the keying member for the valve and the crossarms respectively serving as the gas pressure inlet and the safety relief portions.
A further object of the invention-is to provide a venting device for a valve used in a beer keg in which the device is generally T-shaped, the central leg of which includes a keying member for opening and closing the valve and the crossarms of which include a gas pressure inlet member and a safety relief member.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following specification and annexed drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the venting device of the present invention, taken partially in cross section and showing in phantom a valve with which it is used;
FIG. 2 is a top view taken in cross section of the venting device along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the venting device.
Referring to the drawings, a valve 10 with which the venting device 20 of the subject invention is utilized is shown in phantom. The valve 10 is of conventional construction such as described in our aforementioned patent and includes a hollow body 11 having a flange 12 which is attached to the top portion of a keg (not shown). A pair of half threads 12a are located on the inner wall of the body adjacent the flange 12. These threads accept corresponding lugs on the venting device. A valve member 13 with one or more ports 19 is rotatably fastened to the body 11 by a bolt 14 having a keyed head 15 and a pair of nuts 16. A seat which rotates with the valve member-13 is interposed between the valve member and the body. The body has a port 18 which when rotated to the proper position to align with the valve member port 19 opens the valve for gas inflow.
The venting device 20 is of generally T-shaped construction and has a central leg 22 with an enlarged diameter shoulder 24 at its lower end and a pair of lugs 25 are formed on the shoulder 24. These lugs fit into the half threads 12a on the valve body. An axial passage 23 runs the length of the central leg 22.
A nipple or exit portion 26 is located under the shoulder 24. The exit portion 26 is of a suitable diameter to fit with inside the hollow bore of the valve 10. A washer 27 of resilient material is located below the shoulder 24 to provide a seal for the venting device as it is inserted into the valve body. The in terior of the exit end 26 is diamond-shaped as shown at 28 to fit over the correspondingly keyed head 15 of the valve bolt 14. A number of radial bores 30. are also provided in the exit portion 26 to discharge the gas which flows down passage 23 into the valve body.
The vent device has a crossarm 32 with a central bore 34 which extends the entire length ofthe crossarm. The crossarm 32 is attached to the central leg 22 so that the respective passages 34 and 23 communicate with each other.
The right side of the crossarm 32, as shown in the drawing, serves as the inlet for the gas source and has athreaded inner Wall 36 at its end which accepts and holds the inlet assembly. The gas inlet assembly includes a nozzle 38' of stepped configuration for accepting a suitable flexible hose (not shown) which is clamped thereover. The nozzle 38 has a nut 40 attached thereto which serves as a stop against the end of the crossarm 32. The outlet end of the nozzle 38 includes a tube with a threaded outer wall portion 42 which mates with the threads 36 on the inner wall of the crossarm 32. The end of the nozzle outlet tube has a shoulder thereon and a rubber vent tube 44 fits over the shoulder (hidden) and is held thereto by a suitable adhesive. The vent tube 44 permits gas coming into the nozzle 38 to pass to the keg venting device outlet 30 but blocks a return flow ofgas from the keg out the nozzle.
The left end of the T crossarm is of slightly larger diameter than the right end and serves as the vent portion of the device. The portion of the central bore 34 which is formed through theleft arm of the crossarm is suitably enlarged and has a threaded end 50 which accepts and holds a threaded plug 52. The plug has a circular head 54 formed on its interior end. The exterior end of the plug is provided with a slot or hex head opening (not shown) to accept a screwdriver or wrench for turning the plug.
A coil spring 56 is held between the shoulder portion of the plug 52 and the shoulder portion ofa sealing plug 58 which fits within the enlarged diameter portion of the left section of the. cross arm. Plug 58 has a circular head 60 which faces and is similar to the head 54 ofplug 52. The other end of the plug 60 has a circular recess which accommodates a washer 62 of a suitable resilient material, such as rubber. The plug 58 normally seals a plurality of radial venting passageways 64 which are formed in the left section of the crossarm.
By suitably adjusting the initial position of threaded plug 52 and selecting the spring constant of the spring 56, the amount of pressure needed to move the sealing plug 58 to he left, as shown in FIG. 1, can be predetermined. As should be apparent, as the sealing plug 58 moves to the left, the venting passages 64 are opened up to the atmosphere. When the keg is vented to the safe pressure, the plug moves to the right to reseat itself to seal the venting passages 64. In a typical application, the spring 56 is adjusted to cause the vent to open at a pressure in a range of between 55-60 psi.
The operation of the venting device on the subject invention is relatively simple. First, the keyed end of shoulder 24 is inserted into the body of valve 10. The lugs 25 mate with the half threads 12a and the washer 27 engages a shoulder or step llaon the inside of the valve body and is compressed. This forms a seal between the venting device and the valve body.
Next, the gas source hose (not shown) is attached to the nozzle 38. The crossarm serves as a handle so that a person can grasp the crossarm and rotate the venting device the amount needed to open the valve 10. When the valve is opened, the pressurized gas supplied through the radial outlet passages 30 of the venting device passes through the valve ports 18 and 19 into the keg.
The gas pressure within the keg communicates with the sealing plug 58 through the passage 23 in the central arm and the passage 32 in the left section of the crossarm. If this pressure exceeds a predetermined quantity it moves the plug 58 to the left to open the holes 64 and thereby vents the keg. The plug operates to maintain a predetermined safe pressure with the keg.
As should be apparent, the venting device of the subject invention is relatively simple to construct. It can be made of a casting or forging or, alternatively, by several pieces of cylindrical tubing of the appropriate diameters which form the center leg and the two crossarms of the T.
As should also be clear, the gas in the keg does not have a direct vertical path to the venting plug 58 as in prior art devices. Instead, it must make a right angle turn before it can move the venting plug 58 to the venting position. However, unlike prior art V-shaped devices, the gas from the source flows directly onto the spring loaded plug 58. It has been found that this arrangement permits reliable operation of the venting device over a relatively narrow range of pressures, e.g. 5560p.s.i., with a considerable amount of accuracy and reliability which was not possible with prior art devices.
1. A combined venting and keg tapping device for use with a valve on a keg, comprising a generally T-shaped member having a center leg and crossarms branching out from the upper end to the center leg, said member being formed with communicating passages in the center leg and crossarms which passages meet at the juncture of the center leg and crossarms, there being a substantially straight passage through said crossarms, means at the free end of one of the crossarms for providing an inlet to a gas pressure source, venting means at the free end of the other crossarm in direct communication with the gas introduced into the device through said inlet means through said substantially straight passage, said venting means set to open to vent the gas introduced through said inlet means when the pressure of said gas exceeds a predetermined limit, means at the lower end of the center leg for engaging a portion of the valve for opening and closing the valve as said device is rotated, and means also located at the lower end of said center arm providing an outlet passage for the gas in troduced through said inlet into the keg.
2. A venting device as in claim 1 wherein said crossarm having said venting means is formed with at least one venting passage in the wall thereof, said venting means comprising a sealing plug located within said crossarm and means for normally holding said sealing plug in a position to close said venting passage until said sealing plug receives pressure in excess of a predetermined quantity.
3. A venting device as in claim 1 wherein said inlet means comprises a nozzle having an end exterior of said device to which a conduit from agas pressure source is adapted to be attached and an outlet en portion interior of said crossarm, and
a bladder attached to said outlet end portion of said nozzle.
4. A venting device as in claim 2 wherein said means for holding said sealing plug comprises a resilient biasing means and means for adjusting the biasing force provided by said resilient biasing means.
5. A venting device as in claim 3 wherein said adjusting means comprises a first plug, mating threads formed on said first plug and the inner wall of the crossarm to accept and hold said first plug, said first plug having a head formed on the interior face thereof, said sealing plug having a head on one face thereof which faces the head on said first plug, and said biasing means comprises a spring located between the opposing faces ofsaid first and said sealing plugs.
6. A venting device as in claim 5 wherein said inlet means comprises a nozzle having an end exterior of said device to which a conduit from a gas pressure source is adapted to be attached and an outlet end portion interior ofsaid crossarm, and a bladder attached to said outlet end portion ofsaid nozzle.