US 3596687 A
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United States Patent  inventor Edward J. Forgeron Paloso Verdes Peninsula, Calii. [21 Appl. No. 839,261  Filed July 7, 1969  Patented Aug. 3, 1971  Assignee Analysts, Inc.
Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.
 SUCTION SAMPLE CONTAINER 3 Clairns,6 Drawing Figs.
 0.8. Ci .Q 141/24  Int. Cl B65b 1/04  Field of Search 222/209, 211, 213, 527, 562, 563, 576, 523, 569; 141/24  References Cited UNIT ED STATES PATENTS 1,593,016 7/1926 Campbell 222/527 2,784,882 3/1957 DuBois 222/211 X 3,039,500 6/1962 Goldberg 222/209 3,154,116 10/1964 Mitchell 222/209 X 3,214,066 10/1965 Shirley et a1 222/209 3,353,724 11/1967 Johnson ZZZ/400.7 3,404,816 10/1968 Weber.. 222/562 X 3,465,925 9/1969 Bertolli. 222/563 X 3,469,748 9/1969 Meyers. 222/563 3,223,289 12/1965 Bouet... 14l/24X 3,245,587 4/1966 Brown.. 222/211 X 3,406,875 10/1968 Park 141/24 X Primary Examiner-Samuel F. Coleman Assistant Examiner-Norman L. Stack, Jr. Attorney-Huebner & Worrel ABSTRACT: A transfer and storage means adapted to draw off and retain a liquid sample, such as crankcase oil. The transfer means comprises a tube which is adapted to be removably sealed in said storage means. Said storage means includes a compressible suction means and a sealing means to receive said tube. Closure means are associated with said container including cooperating sealing means between said closure means and said container.
Patented Aug. 3, 1971 3,596,687
III/Ill I N vE/vrae Z6 EON/720 v]: FORGE/EON SUCTION SAMPLE CONTAINER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A method or technique has been developed by which oil samples taken from any closed lube oil system are carefully analyzed through a series of chemical and physical tests to determine the operating condition of the engine or machine from which the sample has been drawn.
One of these tests, spectrochemical analysis of a lube oil sample, measures the amount of trace elements present; these trace elements provide a positive means of identifying the critical parts of the engine or machine which may be wearing excessively. Other tests run on the sample indicate fuel and water dilution of the oil and the presence of suspended and nonsuspended solids, all of which aid an experienced analyst in determining what maintenance is required of the system from which the sample was taken.
Analysis of lube oil samples is especially useful in the aviation industry. Effective analysis increases flight safety by giving early warning of potential engine failures. By enabling mechanics to look inside an engine to see the exact condition of the internal components without completely dismantling the engine, downtime, the time when an airplane is out of service due to maintenance and overhaul, is greatly reduced. Similar economies are realized with other types of equipment using closed lube oil systems, such as automobile and truck internal combustion engines, transmissions, and fluid pumps and compressors.
However, for the analysis to be accurate, the sample must be entirely pure it is mandatory that no other contaminants from without the engine or machine get into the lube oil sample. Also, the oil samples usually must be mailed or otherwise transported some distance to the analysis laboratory.
Prior art devices for extracting oil samples have been cumbersome, messy, and relatively expensive. Drain cocks have to be installed on the crankcase or on an oil line, but, this is a costly procedure. Furthermore, such devices are usually in inaccessible places resulting in increased labor to remove a sample. Lacking a drain cock, it has been necessary to use several containers in the extraction operation, such as a pressure bulb to draw the liquid from the crankcase, and one or more containers to store and ship the sample. This results in loss of time and increases the possibility of contaminating the sample.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention performs three functions heretofore requiring at least two separate pieces of equipment.
The invention serves as an efficient device for withdrawing a liquid sample, such as lube oil, from any large container, such as a crankcase.
This invention serves as a spillproof storage container for the liquid sample for use in mailing or otherwise transporting and storing the sample. I
The invention enables an analyst to dispense the oil sample from the container drop-by-drop so as not to expel more liquid than is required for a particular test.
The invention is designed so as to minimize or eliminate the possibility of loss or contamination of the liquid prior to analy- SIS.
Another advantage of this invention is that the operation of withdrawing the oil sample and storage is neat and clean and does not require the person taking the sample to wear protective garments.
These and other advantages will become apparent from the following description and drawing wherein:
DESCRIPllON OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an environmental perspective view of the container and tube apparatus showing the withdrawal tube inserted into a dipstick channel of machine (not illustrated);
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, partly in cross section, of the container and a portion of the withdrawal tube, as shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational, partly cross-sectional, view of the container in its compressed configuration;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional view of the container taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 showing the tube inserted into the throat of the container;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional view of the container with the cap in place; and 1 FIG. 6 illustrates a modification of the tube fitting shown in FIG. 4.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 there is illustrated a resilient container generally designated 10 and an annular transfer tube means generally designated 12 connected thereto in a manner to be described. Both container 10 and tube 12 are preferably made of a flexible, translucent plastic material such as natural colored polypropylene The tube 12 is inserted down an oil dipstick channel 14 leading to the crankcase or oil reservoir of an engine or machine (not shown) having a closed lubrication system.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the container 10 includes a fluted, bellows lower portion 16, a frustoconical neck portion 18, and a constricted throat portion 20. Releasably associated with the container 10 is a cap means 22.
In the illustrated embodiment, the lower portion 16 of the container 10 includes bellows 24. When seen in cross section as in FIG. 2, the bellows 24 encompass annular alternately inwardly and outwardly directed sidewalls, 24a and 24 b, respectively, which intersect at approximately 45 angles forming aligned annular flutes. However, other bellows designs may also be used and it is not intended that the invention be limited to the type of bellows illustrated and described.
The throat portion 20 has two annular spaced-apart parallel beads 26 and 28 around its outer surface 29.
A restraining strap 30 connects cap 22 to the throat 20. The restraining strap 30 is formed with a ring portion 32, seen best in FIG. 5, said ring portion 32 having a center hole 33 therein slightly larger in circumference than the outer circumference of throat 20 but smaller than the outer circumference of beads 26 and 28. The cap 22, retaining strap 30, and ring 32 are preferably molded in one piece of the same flexible plastic as the container and tube. Therefore, the ring can be stretchably extended to flt over beads 26 and 28, and yet will remain in place about the throat 20 between annular bead 26 and the top 34 of the frustoconical neck portion 18, so that the cap will not be lost or misplaced during the various fillings and emptyings of the container.
The cap 22 is designed to form a liquidtight seal when fitted onto throat 20. To this end the cap has a sealing means or internal plug 36 having a circumference corresponding to the interior circumference of throat 20. An annular groove 38 fonned in the internal wall 39 of the cap is designed to receive upper bead 28. When the cap 22 is press fitted onto the throat 20, plug 36 will fit tightly into the throat 20. The open ended portion 40 of the cap 22 will expand outwardly as it passes over head 28 and then contract about the throat when annular bead 28 mates with annular groove 38. Thus, a liquidtight seal is formed between the cap 22, plug 36 and throat 20 and liquid will not leak out during transit and storage of the filled container.
FIG. 4 illustrates the manner in which delivery tube 12 is fitted into throat 20. When the delivery tube 12 of an exterior diameter corresponding to the interior diameter of throat 20 is inserted into throat 20 the end portion 42 of tube 12 will be compressed by the resistance offered by an annular head 44 inside throat 20 as the tube is pressed down into the throat. The end 42 of tube 12 may expand slightly after passing over bead 44. An airtight seal is thus formed between tube 12 and the interior of throat 20.
in operation, end 42 of delivery tube 12 is placed in throat 20 of the container, as just described. The other end 43 of the tube 12 is inserted down the dipstick channel 14 of the equipment from which an oil sample is to be taken. The bellows portion 16 of the container 10 is then compressed, as shown in FIG. 3. When released the bellows 16 will expand because of the resilient nature of the material used in making the container. The expansion will create a vacuum inside the container l0, drawing lube oil 45 through the tube 12 and into the container 10. The airtight seal between the delivery tube 12 and the throat 20 prevents air from being drawn into the container 10 which would destroy any vacuum created by the expanding of the container 10 to its normal shape, as shown in FIG. 2. Such a loss of vacuum pressure would mean little or no oil could be drawn from the machine or engine from which the sample is being taken. Optimum suction and delivery is obtained when the container is held in the horizontal position illustrated in FIG. 1, but naturally the vacuum action works in whatever position the container is held.
After the container 10 has returned to its normal position the delivery tube 12 is withdrawn from the dipstick channel 14 and held above the container to allow any oil remaining in the tube to drain into the container. When this is accomplished,
the delivery tube 12 is pulled out of the throat 20 of the container l and discarded. (Both the delivery tube and the storage container are disposable. They are used once and discarded to eliminate the chance of residue from one sample contaminating a new, fresh sample.) The cap 22 is then pressfitted onto the container as previously described and the oil sample may be airmailed or otherwise shipped to a lab for analysis.
Test samples may be taken from the container drop-bydrop. When the filled container is inverted no oil will drain or run out of it until the container is squeezed because of the surface tension of the relatively viscous lube oil across the relatively narrow opening of the throat 20.
In certain relatively small engines the dipstick channel 14 through which an oil sample is taken may have a restricted passageway requiring the use of slightly modified extraction equipment. The modification illustrated in FIG. 6 accommodates such narrow dipstick channels. An adapter 48, preferably of the same material as tube 12 and of a corresponding outer diameter therewith, is inserted into throat 20 in the manner previously described. A tube 50 is inserted into adapted 48 as shown. Tube 50 has an outer diameter equal to the inner diameter of adapted 48, to assure proper sealing.
While the invention has herein been discussed with respect to its utility for drawing lube oil samples, it is equally adaptable for use in any application where liquid samples are to be drawn and stored.
What i claim ls:
l. in a transfer and storage means for obtaining and preserving liquid samples wherein said storage means includes a compressible resilient container having a throat which includes an annular interior wall and wherein an annular flexible transfer tube means is removably maintainable within said throat to convey liquid into said container when said container is compressed and during return to normal configuration creates a vacuum therein drawing liquid through said tube means into said container, the combination with said transfer and storage means of a reuseable annular sealing means between said throat and said transfer tube means adapted to prevent the intake of air therearound during the creation of said vacuum upon the filling of said container, and wherein said seal is adapted to be broken upon removal of said transfer tube means from said throat without impairing the use of said container for preserving liquid samples.
2. in a transfer and storage means as defined in claim 1 said reuseable annular sealing means includes an annular bead projecting from said annular interior wall end of a circumference less than the exterior circumference of said transfer tube means wherein when said tube means engages said head, said transfer tube means is circumferentially compressed creating an annular airti ht seal therebetween.
3. in a trans er and storage means as defined in claim 1 wherein said annular flexible transfer tube means includes a transfer tube of relatively consistent exterior annular circumference and an annular tubular adapter of less length than said transfer tube having an interior circumference complementary with the exterior circumference of said tube and fitted over an end thereof, and wherein said reuseable sealing means includes an annular bead projecting from said annular interior wall and of a circumference less than the exterior annular circumference of said adapter wherein when said adapter engages said bead said adapter and said tube in the area of engagement are circumferentially compressed creating an annular airtight seal therebetween.