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Publication numberUS3587927 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 28, 1971
Filing dateJul 30, 1969
Priority dateJul 30, 1969
Publication numberUS 3587927 A, US 3587927A, US-A-3587927, US3587927 A, US3587927A
InventorsStott Reginald W
Original AssigneeBeermaster Ind Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic shutoff valve and gas trap
US 3587927 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent {72] Inventor Reginald W. Stott South Burnaby, Canada [21] Appl. No. 848,407 [22] Filed July 30, 1969 [45] Patented June 28, 1971 [73] Assignee Beer-master Industries Ltd.

British Columbia, Canada Continuation of application Ser. No. 658,745, Aug. 7, 1967. now abandoned.

[54] AUTOMATIC SHUTOFF VALVE AND GAS TRAP 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 222/66 [51] lnt.Cl B67d 5/32 [50] Field of Search 222/66, 400.7; 137/399 [56] References Cited UNlTElJ STATES PATENTS 729,679 6/1903 Schwanninger 137/399X 911,225 2/1909 Flach et a1. .i 222/4007 932,153 8/1909 Martin 222/66 1,952,790 3/1934 Dean 222/66 1,242,613 10/1917 Smith 25l/Needle Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Assistant ExaminerH. S. Lane AnorneySpencer & Kaye ABSTRACT: This invention provides an automatic shutoff valve and gas trap. A main body portion is provided with an inlet passage (preferably radial) and a valved outlet passage (preferably radial) which two passages are preferably interconnected by an axial passage. An annular valve seat is provided for the axial passage. Attached to the main body portion is a float bowl containing a float valve. The float valve is untethered and is operatively connected to the valved outlet passage. The valve is guided to oscillate vertically between two positions. The first position is a liquid-dispensing position when the valve on the valved outlet passage is open. The second position is a liquid-shutoff position when the valve is closed. In the liquid-dispensing position, the inlet and outlet passages, as well as the bowl, are filled with liquid, while in the liquid-shutoff position, the inlet passage and the bowl are emptied of liquid and the outlet passage is filled with liquid.

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ATTORNEYS AUTOMATIC SIIUTOFF VALVE AND GAS TRAP This application is a continuation of my application Ser. No. 658,745, filed Aug. 7, i967, now abandoned.

The invention also provides the combination of such automatic shutoff valve with a hollow beer-tapping rod.

The invention further provides the combination of such an automatic shutoff valve with a hollow beer-tapping rod installed on a beer barrel.

This invention relates to an automatic liquid-shutoff valve and gas trap for use in liquid-dispensing or transmission lines where a liquid is forced therethrough by a gas under pressure and it is desirable to dispense such liquid free of excessive foam. More particular, this invention relates to an automatic shutoff valve and air or carbon dioxide trap for use in draft beer dispensers in order to minimize excessive foaming in the dispensed draft beer.

Many commodities are dispensed by forcing a liquid through a conduit by a gas such as air or carbon dioxide under pressure. Among such commodities are beverages such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, carbonated beverages and beer, and other viscous edible materials such as soups. In addition other liquids, such as fuels and lubricating oils, may be dispensed in this manner. When the source of liquid to be dispensed is a finite large volume in a container, difficulties arise when the container approaches the empty condition, since the liquid being dispensed is usually in excessively foamed form. While this is not too serious for most liquids, it may bring about a reduction in taste quality in a delicate beverage, such as beer.

There are many systems for the dispensing of draft beer. One, known as the Zahm system, embodies the use of the Zahm liquid-dispensing apparatus disclosed and claimed in U.S. Pat. No. l.273,02l issued July 16, 1918. The system involves tapping two beer barrels and interconnecting the barrels by means of a two-way valve to the beer tap. A source of gas, such as air, under pressure is admitted to each barrel when it is tapped. The two-way valve is used to switch from the empty beer barrel to the full beer barrel. The beer barrels are maintained under cool storage at a temperature of about 38 F. The beer is propelled from the beer barrel to the Zahm valve situated in a cooler at a temperature of about 36 F. adjacent the bar. When the beer barrel is empty, the entire system, namely the lines in the Zahm are filled with the gas under pressure. A float valve mechanism in the Zahm then is actuated to release the pressure of air. However, when a full barrel of beer is turned on, the beer initially dispensed is excessively foamy due to the presence of the air in the system.

In another system known as a Golden Gate Hook-up" a plurality of beer barrels located in the previously mentioned primary cool storage location and at a temperature of about 38 F., are interconnected in series and are then connected by a single line to a secondary cooler, which may be, as described above, a Zahm valve. The same problems outlined above for the Zahm system are present when the Golden Gate Hook-up" is used.

In yet another system, the secondary cooler, in a Golden Gate Hook-up is either of the systems known by the Trade Mark of Heatex or a Tempright. In such alternative systems, a canister is used in which is disposed two coils, one containing refrigerant and the other containing the beer, the both coils being immersed in a suitable liquid coolant, such as water. In this system also, when the last barrel is empty the entire system is full of air.

A still further system is the Beer Master automatic draft beer dispenser system, described and claimed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,257,033 issued June 21, 1966 to R. W. Stott. In this automatic dispensing system, the same secondary coolers as described above are used and consequently similar problems, attendant solely with the Zahm, Heatex or Tempright systems exists. Thus, both time and beer are wasted before the system is cleared of gaseous pockets and the drawing of drafts of beer devoid of excessive foaming can take place.

An object of one aspect of the present invention is to provide an automatic liquid-shutoff valve and gas trap for liquiddispensing lines which minimizes excessive foaming of the dispensed liquids.

An object of a particular aspect of this invention is the provision of an automatic combined beer-shutoff valve and air or carbon dioxide trap, so that when beer is being dispensed from a beer barrel under air or carbon dioxide pressure, excessive foaming of the dispensed beer is minimized both when a barrel is almost empty and when a full barrel is placed in the dispensing line.

An object of yet another aspect of this invention is the provision of a novel draft beer-dispensing system incorporating the novel shutoff vale of a primary aspect of this invention.

By one broad aspect of this invention, an automatic shutoff valve is provided comprising: a main body portion including i. an inlet passage, and ii. a valved outlet passage; a float ibowl upstanding from said main body portion; an untethered float valve disposed within said flat bowl and operatively connected to said valved outlet passage, said float valve being guided to oscillate vertically between i. a liquid-dispensing position when said valve on the valved outlet passage is open and when said inlet passage, said bowl and said outlet passage are filled with liquid, and ii. a liquid-shutoff position when said valve on the valved outlet passage is closed, and when said inlet passage and said bowl are emptied of liquid, and said outlet passage is filled with liquid.

By another aspect of this invention, there is provided, in combination with a hollow beer-tapping rod including means for securing the rod to a beer barrel, means for supplying a gas under pressure to the barrel and valved outlet means, the particular automatic shutoff valve recited hereinabove.

By yet another aspect of this invention, there is provided, in combination: at least one beer barrel containing beer; a hollow beer-tapping rod including means for securing the rod to a beer barrel, means for supplying a gas under r pressure to the barrel and a valved outlet means; the particularly recited automatic shutoff valve disclosed hereinabove; and a beer tap operatively connected to the outlet of the automatic shutoff valve.

In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a general elevational view of the automatic liquid shutoff valve of one aspect of the present invention;

, FIG. 2 is a central longitudinal section showing the valve in its liquid-dispensing position;

FIG. 3 is a central longitudinal section showing the valve in its liquid-shutoff position;

FIG. 4 is a section along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a vertical section partially in elevation showing a combination according to a further aspect of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is an elevational view in partially diagrammatic form showing a combination according to a still further aspect of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, it is seen that the automatic shutoff valve of one aspect of the present invention indicated generally at 10 consists ofa base 11, a bowl 12, a relief valve 13 and a blowout mechanism 14.

Referring now to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, it is noted that the base is generally hollow, cylindrical in shape and it includes a radial aperture 20 in which is threaded an inlet nozzle 21 provided with a female coupling 22 at the end thereof, wherein to provide a radial inlet passage 23. The base 11 is also provided with a second radial aperture 24 in which is threadedly engaged an outlet nozzle 25 provided with a male coupling 26 thereon, wherein to provide a radial outlet passage 27. The radial outlet passage 27 is connected to an axial outlet passage 28 provided by a coaxial cylindrical wall 29 terminating in an upper valve seat 30. The axial outlet passage 28 is connected to a passage 31 wifich is of annular configuration surrounding said axial passage and which is, in turn, connected to the radial inlet passage 23.

The bowl I2 is secured to the upper aperture of the base in liquidtight engagement therewith by means of a threaded -interconnection 32 in associated with an O-ring 33. The upper part of the bowl is provided with a coupling head 34 provided with sealing washers 35 in which is disposed a manually actuated relief valve 36 of the needle type, including a threaded needle 37 in a tapped bore 372. The coupling is provided with apertures 38 communicating the float chamber P to a valve chamber 39. The needle 37 may be unscrewed and raised from its seating 371 and gas may be permitted to escape through a vent 40.

Depending from the lower portion of the coupling 34 is a float guide stem 41 surrounded by a hollow cylindrical float core 42 which is adapted to slide freely therealong. The float core is provided with a lower flanged support shelf 43 for the float. The lower portion of the float core has threadedly engaged thereon a valve head 44 with a cup-type rubber seal 45 disposed between the valve head 44 and the flanged shelf 43. The float 46 is retained on the float core 42 by resting on the lower flanged shelf 43 an is secured thereon by means of an annular retaining ring 47.

The lower portion of the axial outlet passage 28 is provided with an aperture 48 in which is threadedly engaged a hollow coupling 49 provided with a male connector 50. Slidable within the hollow coupling 49 is a pushrod 51 to which a screw 52 is threadedly engaged, in a tapped axial opening 53, therein. Sealing is provided by means of an O-ring 54 between the head of the screw 52 and the upper part of the coupling 49. Sealing is also provided by an O-ring 55 disposed in an annular cavity within the coupling, the O-ring 55 being adapted to engage the pushrod 51.

At the other lower end of the pushrod is a knurled knob 56 provided with an annular tapped opening 57 adapted to engage the male coupling 50 of the connector 49. The pushrod 51 is maintained normally in its lower position by means of a compression spring 58,

Referring now to FIG. 5, there is provided a conventional beer barrel 100 containing beer 101 in which is inserted a conventional tapping rod 102. The tapping rod 102 is provided with an annular coupling 103 surrounding the rod which is adapted to be inserted in the bung opening 104 of the beer barrel. The annular coupling is adapted to provide access to a regulated pressure of gas such as air or carbon dioxide by means of conduit 105. The tapping rod 102 is provided with a spigot 106 which controls the flow of beer H through a male nozzle coupling 107 for providing coupling engagement with the automatic shutoff valve 10 of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 shows in combination another embodiment of the present invention in which the plurality of beer barrels 100 in a primary cooling zone are interconnected in series by lines 110; this depicts a Golden Gate Hood-up." 112 The last barrel is connected in the same manner as shown in FIG. 5, and the outlet to the automatic shutoff valve of one aspect of the present invention is connected to the inlet of a secondary cooler 111 which may be of the Zahm, Heatex, or Tempright type. The outlet from the secondary cooler 112 leads to a dispensing tap (not shown) which may be conventional manually operated tap or the automatically operated dispensing tap known by the name of Beer Master.

in operation, when the beer barrel or keg is empty, the gas under pressure will enter the bowl. As the gas enters the bowl the float will drop and the valve will seat via a combination of lack of buoyancy in the falling liquid and the pressure of the gas forcing the seal to seat and close off the outlet. The needle valve preferably remains closed in order to effect more firm seal between the valve head and the valve seat. Alternatively, excess gas under pressure may be vented through the vent. Since the air vent is a restricted opening, a whistle sound will be provided to signal that the beer barrel is empty.

When tapping a new barrel the air pressure is released through the needle valve at the top of the bowl. As the liquid level rises in the bowl the float is raised and the beer can pass from the inlet through the annular inlet passage down through the axial outlet passage and out through the radial outlet passage to the beer tap. The needle valve is then closed and any gas remaining in the bowl will be compressed until there is an equilibrium reached between the level of the beer in the bowl, dependent upon the pressure of the beer. This automatically provides a reserve of kinetic energy for shutting off the valve when the beer barrel is empty.

ln order to empty the system for cleaning purposes, the pushrod is pushed up against the action of the compression spring and knurled knob is threadedly engaged on the male coupling. Gas may then flow unencumbered through the entire system.

In order to tap a new barrel, when the combination of a second aspect of this invention is used, namely the combination of the tapping rod and the automatic shutoff valve, the barrel is tapped and spigot valve is turned on. The air pressure in the barrel forces the air up the tapping rod and into the bowl of the automatic shutoff valve. If desired, the needle valve may be opened to release the air pressure in order to fill the bowl with beer, and then the needle valve is turned off. On the other hand, the needle valve may remain closed in order to build up a reserve of kinetic energy in compressed air to assist in the shutting off of the valve when the beer barrel is empty. Thus, the float remains in the liquid beer until the beer barrel is empty.

When the beer barrel is empty the air will enter the bowl and the float will drop. As soon as the float valve is close to the seat the excess air pressure within the bowl will ram the valve head home to the valve seat and the valve will then remain closed. The pressure of air in the empty tapping rod will be compressed on top of the bowl on the automatic shutoff valve ofone aspect of the present invention in order to effect further sealing action.

lclaim: 1. An automatic shutoff valve comprising: a. a main body portion including i. an inlet passage, and ii. a valved outlet passage said inlet passage (a) (i) and said outlet passage (a) (ii) each being radial with respect to said body, said valved outlet passage including a generally frustoconical valve seat, said main body portion also including iii. an axial passage connecting said inlet passage (a) (i) to said outlet passage (a) (ii), and (iv) an annular inlet chamber interconnecting said radial inlet passage (a) (i) to said axial passage (a) (iii); b. a float bowl upstanding from said main body portion, said float bowl being provided with a downwardly projecting guide stem; c. an untethered float valve having a hollow core disposed within said float bowl and operatively connected to said valved outlet passage, the lower portion of said float valve including a frustoconical valve head fitted with a frustoconical resilient sealing ring, thereby to cooperate with said frustoconical valve seat to seal said valved outlet passage, said guide stem being coaxial with, and surrounded by, said hollow core of said float valve, thereby to provide guide means for the vertical oscillation of said untethered float valve between i. a liquid-dispensing position when said valve on the valved outlet passage is open and when said inlet passage, said bowl and said outlet passage are filled with liquid, and

ii. a liquid-shutoff position when said valve on the valved outlet passage is closed, and when said inlet passage and said bowl are emptied of liquid, and said outlet passage is filled with liquid.

2. The shutoff valve of claim 1 including means manually operative to connect the interior of the float bowl to atmospheric pressure, said means comprising a needle valve.

3, The automatic shutoff valve of claim 1 including manually operable means for maintaining said float valve in a liquid-dispensing position when no liquid is to be dispensed, whereby to assist in cleaning said automatic shutoff valve.

4. The automatic shutoff valve of claim 1 including an annular inlet chamber interconnecting said radial inlet passage to said axial outlet passage, including means manually operative to connect the interior of the float bowl to atmospheric pressure, said means comprising a needle valve and further including manually operable means for maintaining said float valve in a liquid-dispensing position when no liquid is to be dispensed, whereby to assist in cleaning said automatic shutoff valve.

5. In combination:

A. a hollow beer tapping rod including 1. means for securing said rod to a beer barrel,

2. means for supplying a gas under pressure to said barrel,

and

3. valved outlet means; and

B. an automatic shutoff valve comprising:

a. a main body portion including i. an inlet passage, and

ii. a valved outlet passage said inlet passage (a) (i) and said outlet passage (a) (ii) each being radial with respect to said body, said valved outlet passage including a generally frustoconical valve seat, said main body portion also including (iii) an axial passage connecting said inlet passage (a) (i) to said outlet passage (a) (ii), and

iv. an annular inlet chamber interconnecting said radial inlet passage (a) (i) to said axial passage (a) (iii);

b. a float bowl upstanding from said main body portion,

said float bowl being provided with a downwardly projecting guide stem;

c. an untethered float valve having a hollow core disposed within said float bowl and operatively connected to said valved outlet passage, the lower portion of said float valve including a frustoconical valve head fitted with a frustoconical resilient sealing ring, thereby to cooperate with said frustoconical valve seat to seal said valved outlet passage said guide stem being coaxial with, and surrounded by, said hollow core of said float valve, thereby .to provide guide means for the vertical oscillation of said untethered float valvebetween i. a liquid-dispensing position when said valve on the valved outlet passage is open and when said inlet passage, said bowl and said outlet passage are filled with liquid, and

ii. a liquid-shutoff position when said valve on the valved outlet passage is closed, and when said inlet passage and said bowl are emptied of liquid, and said outlet passage is filled with liquid.

6. in combination:

A. at least one beer barrel containing beer;

B. a hollow beer-tapping rod including 1. means for securing said rod to said beer barrel,

2. means for supplying a gas under pressure to said barrel,

and

3. valved outlet means;

C. an automatic shutoff valve comprising:

a. a main body portion including:

i. an inlet passage, and

ii. a valved outlet passage said inlet passage (a) (i) and said outlet passage (a) (ii) each being radial with respect to said body, said valved outlet passage including a generally frustoconical valve seat, said main body portion also including iii. an axial passage connecting said inlet passage (a) (i) to said outlet passage (a) (ii), and

iv. an annular inlet chamber interconnecting said radial inlet passage (a) (i) to said axial passage (a) (iii);

b. a float bowl upstanding from said main body portion,

said float bowl being provided with a downwardly projecting guide stem;

c. an untethered float valve having a hollow core disposed within said float bowl and operatively connected to said valved outlet passage, the lower portion of said float valve including a frustoconical valve head fitted with a frustoconical resilient sealing ring, thereby to cooperate with said frustoconical valve seat to seal said valved outlet passage said guide stem being coaxial with, and surrounded by, said hollow core of said float valve, thereby to provide guide means for the vertical oscillation of said untethered float valve between i. a liquid-dispensing position when said valve on the valved outlet passage is open and when said inlet passage, said bowl and said outlet passage are filled with liquid, and ii. a liquid-shutoff position when said valve on the valved outlet passage is closed, and when saidinlet passage and said bowl are emptied of liquid, and .said outlet passage is filled with liquid; and D. a beer tap operatively connected to the outlet said auto matic shutoff valve. 7. An automatic shutoff valve comprising:

a, a main body portion including i. an inlet passage, and ii. a valved outlet passage said inlet passage (a) (i) and said outlet passage (a)-(ii)-each being radial with respect to said body, iii. an axial passage connecting said inlet passage to said outlet passage; and

' iv. an annular inlet chamber interconnecting said radial inlet passage to said axial passage (a) (iii), the inlet to said axial passage (a) (iii) comprising a generally frustoconical valve seat; b. a float bowl upstanding from said main body portion,

said float bowl being provided with a downwardly projecting guide stem; c. an untethered float valve having a hollow core disposed within said float bowl and operatively connected to said valved outlet passage, the lower portion of said float valve including a frustoconical valve head fitted with a frustoconical resilient sealing ring thereby to cooperate with said frustoconical valve seat to seal said valved outlet passage; said guide stem being coaxial with, and surrounded by, said hollow core of said float valve, thereby to provide guide means for the vertical oscillation of said untethered float valve between i. a liquid-dispensing position when said valve on the valved outlet passage is open and when said inlet passage, said bowl and said outlet passage are filled with liquid, and

ii. a liquid-shutoff position when said valve on the valved outlet passage is closed, and when said inlet passage and said bowl are emptied of liquid, and said outlet passage is filled with liquid.

8. An automatic shutoff valve comprising:

a. a main body portion including i. an inlet passage, and ii. a valved outlet passage, said inlet passage (a) (i) and said outlet passage (a) (ii) each being radial with respect to said body;

iii an axial passage connecting said inlet passage to said outlet passage; and

iv. an annular inlet chamber interconnecting said radial inlet passage to said axial passage (a) (iii), the inlet to said axial passage (a) (iii) comprising a generally frustoconical valve seat;

b. a float bowl upstanding from said main body portion,

said float bowl being provided with a downwardly projecting guide stem, said float bowl including:

i. a needle valve manually operative to connect the interior of the float bowl to atmospheric pressure;

0. an untethered float valve having a hollow core disposed within said float bowl and operatively connected to said valved outlet passage, the lower portion of said float valve including a frustoconical'valve head fitted with a frustoconical resilient sealing ring thereby to cooperate with said frustoconical valve seat to seal said valved outlet passage said float bowl (b) further including (ii) manually operable means for maintaining said float valve in a liquid-dispensing position when no liquid is to be dispensed, whereby to assist in cleaning said automatic shutoff valve, said manually operable means comprising a captive, vertically oscillatable pushrod extending through an aperture in said annular inlet chamber but normally biased to seal said aperture, said pushrod being manually movable to engage the valve head of said float valve to urge said float valve to a fluid-dispensing position each when said inlet passage and said bowl are emptied of liquid, said guide stern being coaxial with, and surrounded by, said hollow core UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 587 927 Dated June 28th 1971 Inventor(s) Reginald W. StOtt It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In the heading of the patent, after line 9, insert -Priority Nov. 23, 1966 Canada 976,205. Column 1, line 40, change "38-F" to 3842F; line 51, change "38-F" to --3842F. Column 2, line 12, change "vale" to -valve-; line 17, change "flat" to ---float-; line 35 after "under" delete "1:"; line 75, change "associated" to -association. Column 3, line 17, change "an" (first occurrence) to and--; line 50, change "Hood-up" to Hook-up-; same line, delete "1.12"

Signed and sealed this 11th day of January 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.F'LEI'CHER, JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Acting Commissioner of Patents FORM PO-IOSO (10-69] USCOMM-DC 60376-0 69 e n.5, covnuuzrn wmmmrorncp I959 o-sec-aan

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5615802 *Sep 20, 1994Apr 1, 1997Kirin Beer Kabushiki KaishaFlow passage closing mechanism of beverage pouring apparatus
US5692643 *Dec 4, 1996Dec 2, 1997Kirin Beer Kabushiki KaishaFlow passage closing mechanism of a beverage pouring apparatus
US6003542 *Apr 26, 1994Dec 21, 1999Pizzacalla; DominicAutomatic shutoff valve
US8276784 *Dec 11, 2008Oct 2, 2012Gojo Industries, Inc.Pressure activated automatic source switching dispenser system
US8561842 *May 13, 2009Oct 22, 2013Keg Switch Technologies, LLCValve apparatus for selectively dispensing liquid from a plurality of sources
US20100147881 *Dec 11, 2008Jun 17, 2010Ciavarella Nick EPressure activated automatic source switching dispenser system
US20120048888 *May 13, 2009Mar 1, 2012Switch Technologies LLCValve apparatus for selectively dispensing liquid from a plurality of sources
EP0735000A1 *Mar 21, 1996Oct 2, 1996Selector, Ltd.A self-closing liquid/gas control valve
WO1994025393A1 *Apr 26, 1994Nov 10, 1994Alastair KnottAutomatic shutoff valve
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/66
International ClassificationB67D1/00, B67D1/12
Cooperative ClassificationB67D1/1247
European ClassificationB67D1/12E