US 3568774 A
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United States Patent Andre Michel Meoule 72] Inventor 38 Allee Boiron, Pessae (Gironde), France  Appl. No. 780,330  Filed Dec. 2, 1968  Patented Mar. 9, 1971  Priority Apr. 25, 1968  France [31 1 149497  AUTOMATIC FIRE-EXTINGUISHING DEVICE FOR AUTOMOBILES, AMONG OTHER USES 5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 169/2, 169/11, 169/20, 169/26, 251/25 [51 Int. Cl .L A62c 3/00  Field ot'Search 169/2, 11, 19, 20, 26, 42; 251/25  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,945,284 l/l934 Lowe 169/20 3,387,662 6/1968 Molgano,Jr 3,464,497 9/1969 Globermanetal.
Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant ExaminerMichael Y. Mar Att0rneyBr0wn, Critchlow, Flick & Peckham l 69/ 42X 1 69/ 42X pressure of which is set by the pilot valve, is the extinguishing The main valve includes a piston which is displaced by the control fluid, the purpose of said piston being on the one hand to open the feeding valve of the ejection parts, and, on the other hand, to control a changeover switch placed in the electric circuit of the vehicle.
AUTOMATIC FRE-EXTINGUISHING DEVICE FOR AUTOMOBILES, AMONG OTHER USES Owing the to the fact they carry inflammable liquids required for the feeding of their engines, all automobile vehicles are particularly vulnerable in case of crash. As a matter of fact, the breaking of a gas duct close to an exhaust pipe or any other part raised to a high temperature, is enough to start a fire. Fire will spread the more quickly as the engine, placed at the front part of the vehicle for instance, is plentifully fed with gas and also because the gas tank is at the rear part. As a result of this, passengers are caught between two fires which can spread very quickly inside the body or be asphyxiated by gas such as carbon monoxide.
This is the reason why any fire breaking out must be stope stopped immediately.
Hand-operated fire extinguishers, placed in the vehicle, are in common use. However, such extinguishers are handicapped by the fact they do not start automatically. As a matter of fact, in case of a crash the driver or the passengers may not be able to use-such type of extinguishers if they are injured so that the fire breaking out at the front of the vehicle rapidly spreads to the rear part and burns the whole body.
The object of this invention is to overcome this inconvenience. It consists basically in an automatic extinguisher controls the main valve, the pressure of which is set by the pilot valve, is the extinguishing fluid itself.
One specific point of the invention is that the fluid which controls the main valve, the pressure of which is set by the valves, is the extinguishing fluid itself.
Other specific points and advantages of the invention will appear from the description of a method of achievement of the invention, said description is not restrictive and refers to the attached drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a diagram showing the whole of the device,
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section through the main valve,
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal section through the pilot valve,
FIG. 4 shows a vehicle, partly broken away, fitted with an automatic extinguishing device,
FIG. 5 is a horizontal section of the vehicle, with the body removed, according to FIG. 4. 7
On FIG. 1, a container of extinguishing fluid 1 feeds, through a sluice gate 2 and a duct 3, a main valve 4 controlled by the control fluid the pressure of which is set by a pilot valve 5. Said fluid is conveyed to the pilot-valve 5 through a duct 6 tapped on duct 3. Pilot valve 5 feeds the main valve with fluid under pressure, through duct 7. A detector 8, of expansion type, actuates pilot valve 5, through duct 9, made of a capillary tube, for instance.
- The fire extinguisher, properly so called, is made of one of or several ejection parts or nozzles 10, fed by a duct 11, connected to he the outlet of valve 4. Main valve 4 controls, besides, a changeover switch 12 placed in the electric circuit 13 of the vehicle.
As shown on FIG. 2, main valve 4 is formed of a valve body 41, preferably cylindrical, fitted with a tapping 42 for duct 3 for the feeding with extinguishing fluid from container 1 with a tapping 42 for duct 11 for the feeding of nozzle and with a tapping 44 for duct 7 from pilot valve 5, the control fluid feeder.
Besides, the upper end of valve body 41 is fitted with a screw 50 which obturates cylinder 47. Screw 50 is provided Besides, changeover switch 12 is attached to the lower edge of main valve 4. Valve body 41 comprises a cylinder 44 fitter with a piston 45. Said piston demarcates two chambers 44a and 44b. Chamber 44b is connected with control fluid duct 7, while chamber 44a communicates with the atmosphere through a boring 44c. Piston 45 is connected with two drivingrods 45a and 45b, assembled on either side of piston 45, thus improving the tightness of chamber 44b and the guiding of piston 45. The upper end of driving rod 45a bears against the lower end of a rod 46b attached to a valve 46 placed between ducts 3 and 11. Conical head valve 46 is connected with a driving rod 46a and placed in a cylinder 47 having at its lower end another cylinder 48 having a smaller diameter and connected to the first one by a conical shouldering49. Cylinders 47 and 48, as well as shoulder 49, are all three coaxial with valve body 41.
In standing-by position, valve 46 is seated against conical shoulder 49 by means of spring 52 which takes its bearing on bolt 50. Duct 3 is thus cut off from duct 11. Besides, the second driving rod 46b bears against driving rod 45a of piston 45. As a result, an increase of fluid pressure in chamber 44b moves piston 45 upwardly. Driving rod 45a'actuates driving rod 46b which lifts valve 46,the latter connects up duct 3 with duct 11.
The effective dimensions of piston 45 and valve 46 are so designed that the pressure of the control fluid on piston 45 is superior to the total pressure of the extinguishing fluid and of spring 52 on valve 46, in order to allow the opening of valve 46.
Change over switch 12, at the lower end'of valve 41, bears a lever 121, fitted in casing 122, through a jointed coupling 123. Said lever 121 bears a handle 121a and a stop 121b, Besides, a spring 124 urges lever 121 toward position 125 as shown in dotted lines on FIG. 2.
Lever 121 is maintained in its lower standing-by position by the lower tip of driving rod 4512 which, by its bearing on stop with a guiding device 51, placed in valve body 41, which will 121b, locks the lever in the position shown in full lines on FIG. 2.
In this position, lever 121 holds down small rod 125a which presses spring tongue 126 against stud 127, thus switching-on conducting wires 131 and 132.
The displacement of piston 45 upwardly to some extent and, consequently, the raising of the lower tip of driving rod 45b releases stop 121b and spring 124 swings lever 121 upwards, which enables spring tongue 126 to push small rod 125a upwardly and thereby switch off conducting wires 131 and 132.
The variations of tightness of bolt 50 allow modifying the pressure of spring 52 and, consequently, to adjust the passage between valve 46 and conical shoulder 49, which allows setting the delivery of the extinguishing fluid in duct 11 which feeds nozzle 10.
As shown on FIG. 3, pilot valve 3 is composed of a body 51 fitted with several cylinders. Said body 51 is connected, through a branch-pipe 52, to duct 7 which is tapped to main valve and, through tapping 53, to fluid control feeding duct 6. Connection between ducts 6 and 7 is effected by double clack 54, hearing by its conical parts 54a and 54b, on corresponding coaxial conical shoulders 55a and 55b tooled into body 51. Double valve 54 is set against said shoulders by spring 56, housed in threaded chamber 57 and bearing on bolt 58 which blocks up chamber 57. Spring 56 is intended to counterbalance the pressure of that part of fluid which is above double clack 54.
Pressure of spring 56 is adjusted by bolt 58 which is fitted with a counternut 58a. The adjustment of bolt 58 allows to set the opening point of double clack 54 according to the temperature at which the fire extinguisher must work. Chamber 57, the diameter of which is larger than that of the biggest parts of the conical units of the double valve, is intended to allow the insertion of double valve 54 into duct 59 which connects ducts 6 and 7 together.
Pilot valve 5 is, as a matter of fact, actuated by detector 8, which is composed of a container filled up with liquid. Said detector 8 is placed close to a point whose increase of temperature is to be watched. Detector 8 is connected, through duct 9- made preferable of a capillary tube to a chamber 81 which contains a monometrical cap 82. Said cap is composed of a rigid disc 82a, fastened to the bottom part of chamber 81 through a wall having an almost cylindrical shape and made of a hood, for instance.
Said hood is so designed that any increase of pressure in chamber 81 presses down disc 82a but does not cause any deformation of wall 82.
Rigid disc 82a bears on head 83a of driving rod 83, the other end 83b of which bears on double clack 54. Thus, any increase of temperature close to detector 8 expands the liquid it contains and, as a result, the volume of chamber 81 tends to expand which forces down upper wall 82a and, as a consequence, head 83a of driving rod 83. The lower end 83b of driving rod 83, by pressing down double clack 54, connects fluid control ducts 6 and 7, which fluid controls the main valve 4, as described above. Double clack 54 can move only if the fluid pressure in chamber 81 is above a limit which depends on the adjustment of spring 56. Now, as said pressure depends on the expansion of the fluid in detector 8, i.e. on the temperature detected, it is thus possible to operate the fire extinguisher at temperatures above a selected temperature.
FIGS. 4 and 5 show an automobile 90 fitted with an automatic fire extinguisher, according to the invention.
In this construction, container 1, main valve 4 and pilot valve or valves 5 are placed in a housing-box 91, which is itself placed in the vehicle s boot.
Detectors 8 are generally placed on both sides of the engine 93 and close to the petrol tank. Ducts 9, which connect these detectors separately or jointly to one or several valves 5 placed in housing-box 91, are not shown on FIGS. 4 and 5. Besides, feeding ducts 11 and nozzles are shown. Nozzles l0, placed all around the engine 93 and the body 95, must be fed, as well as many nozzles places close to tank 94.
It is possible to use only certain nozzles 10 corresponding to detectors 3 set in operation, through a separate duct 11, so as to use the extinguishing fluid without wasting it.
The extinguishing fluid to be used can be carbonic gas, for instance.
The invention is not limited to the above described assembly process. Different other designs and construction process can be used without wandering from the invention outline.
I claim: I
1. An automatic fire extinguishing device for automobiles among other uses, comprising a sealed tank for fire extinguishing fluid under pressure, nozzles, a normally closed main valve having an inlet connected with said tank and having an outlet connected with said nozzles, said valve including a piston for opening the valve, a normally closed pilot valve having an inlet connected with said tank and having an outlet, a conduit connecting the pilot valve outlet with said piston, a normally closed electric switch adapted to be connected into an automobile ignition circuit, a heat detector operatively connected with the pilot valve for opening it when the detector is exposed to a predetermined high temperature, whereupon fire extinguishing fluid from the pilot valve will flow through said conduit and move said piston to open the main valve in order to connect said tank with the nozzles, and means actuated by the moving piston for opening said switch.
2. An automatic fire extinguishing device according to claim 1, in which said switch-opening means include a pivoted lever, a rod connected with said piston and normally holding said lever in switch-closing position, and a spring urging the lever to switch-opening position when said movement of the piston retracts said rod from the lever.
3. An automatic fire extinguishing device according to claim 1, in which said detector is a sealed container filled with a heat expansible fluid, and said pilot valve includes a chamber having a movable wall for opening that valve, the fluid in said detector being connected with said chamber for moving said wall when the detector fluid expands.
4. n automatic fire extinguishing device accordmg to