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Publication numberUS3606166 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1971
Filing dateMar 30, 1970
Priority dateJul 21, 1967
Publication numberUS 3606166 A, US 3606166A, US-A-3606166, US3606166 A, US3606166A
InventorsWhear Alfred L
Original AssigneeWhear Alfred L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic fire extinguishing system
US 3606166 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 20, 1971 WHEAR 3,606,166

AUTOMATIC FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEM Original Filed July 21. 1967 4: F860 L Wb'fAZ INVENTOR ArrazA/ar Umted States Patent 3,606,166 Patented Sept. 20, 1971 3,606,166 AUTOMATIC FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEM Alfred L. Whear, P.O. Box 366, Minden, Nev. 89423 Original application July 21, 1967, Ser. No. 655,152, now

Patent No. 3,512,363, dated May 19, 1970. Divided and this application Mar. 30, 1970, Ser. No. 23,847

Int. Cl. A62c 35/32 US. Cl. 239--272 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Water flow under pressure through a distribution tube in a given axial direction is discharged as a mist into the atmosphere through relatively small bores in the wall of the tube with the bores directed contrary to the axial direc tion at an angle of 6 to 14 from the axis of the tube. A thermostat to detect a fire controls the supply of pressurized water to the distribution tube.

CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a division of a co-pending application Ser. No. 655,152, filed July 21, 1967 now Pat. No. 3,512,363 and entitled Moisture Distribution System.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Conventional fire prevention water sprinkler systems employing metal pipe with conventional sprinkler heads are relatively expensive and, moreover, conventional sprinkler heads do not distribute the moisture with high efficiency. The need exists for a moisture distribution system that employs inexpensive conduits and that discharges the water into the atmosphere in a fine mist in the manner of an atomizer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A basic discovery underlying the invention is that a relatively long tube having numerous longitudinally spaced outlet bores in its wall will meet the requirement for atomized discharge of water into the atmosphere, provided that the outlet bores are inclined upstream at an angle of 6 to 14 relative to the axis of the tube and further provided that the tube wall is sufliciently thick to make the bores long enough for directional effect, i.e., to cause the discharge at each bore to be in a general direction opposite to the direction of flow through the tube.

In a fire prevention sprinkler system or in a system for humidifying the atmosphere for any purpose, water is supplied to the distribution tubes at a substantial pressure, say at a pressure of 25 to 150 p.s.i. and the water is atomized or reduced to finely divided form as it issues from each outlet bore.

In such a high pressure atomizing system, balanced distribution is desirable in the sense of uniform rates of flow among the numerous reversely directed outlets and substantially simultaneous initiation and cessation of flow at all of the outlets. In practice, such balanced flow requires that when operation of the system is initiated, the main supply pipe downstream from the master valve fill substantially to capacity before water is delivered to any of the manifolds that branch from the supply pipe and it is further required that each manifold fill to capacity before any substantial amount of water is discharged into any of the numerous distribution tubes that branch from the manifold. Finally, each distribution tube should fill to capacity before water is discharged from any of the distribution outlet bores. Thus, in the operation of such a balanced system there is an initial delay for the supply pipe to fill and then a further delay for the manifolds to fill before flow is started in the various distribution tubes. Thereafter, the discharge from the reversely directed outlets of the distribution tubes is substantially uniform along the length of each tube.

The desired initial delay in flow from a main supply pipe into its branching manifolds is accomplished by providing each manifold with a special inlet fitting that projects into the interior of the supply pipe. Each of these inlet fittings has an inlet opening which faces downstream of the main supply pipe.

In such an arrangement initial flow past each inlet fitting occurs at relatively high velocity and causes lowering of pressure, i.e., creates a suction effect at the inlet fitting which effect discourages outflow through the inlet fitting to the corresponding manifold. The reverse pres sure differential or suction effect which discourages out flow through the various inlet fittings is only temporary because when the supply pipe becomes filled substantially to capacity, the flow velocity in the supply pipe drops to terminate the reverse pressure differential or suction effect and thereby permit flow to start in all of the manifolds substantially simultaneously.

To control the flow from each manifold into the numerous distribution tubes that branch therefrom, each of the distribution tubes is provided with the same type of inlet fitting, the inlet fitting projecting into the interior of the manifold and having an inlet opening facing downstream of the manifold. Here again, the various inlet fittings resist outflow therethrough until the manifold is filled substantially to capacity whereupon outflow is initiated nearly simultaneously through the various distribution tubes.

In a high pressure atomizing system the phenomenon of equalized outlet flow along the length of a distribution tube is complex and apparently is the result of conflicting factors. One factor, of course, is that in any conduit having numerous outlets spaced along its length the pressure progressively drops along its length, and if pressure alone were the only factor more water would be released from the outlets at the upstream end of the conduit than at the downstream end. An opposing factor, however, in a high pressure atomizing system is that each of the reversely directed outlet bores of a distribution tube tends to set up a flow-resisting reverse pressure differential or suction effect. Since the tendency to create a reverse pressure differential or suction effect varies with the velocity of flow through the tube and since the velocity progressively lowers along the length of the tube, both the flow promoting effect and the flow resisting effect drop progressively along the length of the tube and apparently the difference between the two effects is substantially constant along the length of the tube to result in the desired uniform rate of outflow.

Apparently, additional factors also oppose the flow promoting effect of the water pressure at the outlet bores of a distribution tube in a high pressure system. One of these additional factors is that since the outlet bores of the distribution tube are inclined upstream, the direction of outflow is locally reversed and the momentum of the flowing water in the tube makes it difficult for the change in direction to occur. This conflict inherent in the change of direction of flow creates relatively violent turbulence at the inlet end of each of the outlets. Another additional factor is that turbulence is further promoted by the impingement of the stream in the tube against the inclined shoulders that are formed by the various reversely directed outlet bores. It is these opposing factors that account for the atomized discharge from the reversely directed outlets of a distribution tube in a high pressure system. Thus, the invention teaches a new means for atomized discharge of water.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a moisture distribution system wherein a plurality of spaced distribution tubes branch from a common manifold, the view representing a high pressure atomization system;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross section of the manifold taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing various inlet fittings projecting from the distribution tubes into the interior of the manifold;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary longitudinal section along the line 33 of FIG. 2 showing one of the inlet fittings;

FIG. 4 is a section along the line 44 of FIG. 2 showing how each of the inlet fittings may be provided With-an exterior flange that indicates the orientation of the fitting and also indicates the direction of flow through the manifold; and

FIG. 5 is a greatly enlarged longitudinal sectional view of a distribution tube showing the reversely directed bores that constitute the outlets of the distribution tube.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIGS. 1-5 show the essential structure of a moisture distribution system that may be supplied with water under high pressure for discharge of the water in the form of a mist.

FIG. 1 shows a single manifold with numerous lateral distribution tubes 12. The manifold 10 may be made of a suitable plastic such as polyvinylchloride and the distribution tubes may be made of a suitable plastic such as a polyethylene. The manifold 10 is supplied with water from a pressurized source by a master valve 14 which may have a suitable control 15. The rate at which the water enters the manifold 10 may be varied by manual adjustment of a choke valve 16 but the choke valve may be omitted if the master valve 14 incorporates an adjustment for this purpose.

The control may take various forms in various systems. For example, the control 15 may be simply a handle for manual operation of the master valve or may be a push button for electrical actuation of the master valve by remote control. For a fire prevention system, the control 15 may be a thermally responsive means such as a thermostat or a control utilizing a low melting material in a well known manner. For a humidifying system the control 15 may incorporate a suitable humidity detector.

The simplified system shown in FIG. 1 has a single manifold 10 with provision for balanced flow to the various branching distribution tubes 12. In a more elaborate system having a number of manifolds 10 branching from a common supply pipe, provision would be made for balanced flow to the various manifolds as will be explained hereafter. The distribution tubes 12 are spaced apart in accord with the particular purpose of the system and while the distribution tubes are shown as parallel they are not necessarily parallel.

Each distribution tube 12 has numerous outlets 18 which, as shown in FIG. 5, are bores in the wall of the tube with each bore inclined upstream towards its outer end at an angle to the axis of the tube within the range of 6 to 14. An angle of approximately 10 i preferred. It will be noted in FIG. 5 that each inclined outlet bore forms a sloping shoulder 20 inside the distribution tube which shoulder is exposed to the flowing stream of water.

The outlet bores 18 may be at any desired spacing along the length of the distribution tube, for example, a spacing of six inches, such spacing for any given installation being within the skill expected in the art. If desired, groups of the outlet bores may be spaced apart six inches longitudinally of the tube with the bores in each group spaced apart circumferentially of the tube.

The inside diameter of a distribution tube 12 will vary with the length of the tube. For example, a distribution tube 50 feet long may have an inside diameter of V16 inch with a wall thickness of /32 inch and the diameter of the outlet bores may be .021 inch. With the tube wall of the stated thickness and with an outlet bore of the specified diameter and with the outlet bore inclined approximately 10", the length of the outlet bore will be several times its thickness so that the outlet bore will have a definite directional effect. The directional effect is important because it is contemplated that liquid may escape through an outlet bore only by reversing its direction with respect to the direction of main flow through the tube.

To achieve balanced initiation of flow among the various distribution tubes 12, each distribution tube is provided with an inlet fitting 22 which may be made of a suitable plastic. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, each inlet fitting 22 is of tubular configuration and may be cemented into a corresponding radial bore in the tube wall. In the construction shown, each inlet fitting 22. is provided with a radial flange 24 which abuts the outer surface of the tube and serves as a stop to determine the extent to which the fitting protrudes into the interior of the manifold 10. Each of the tubular inlet fittings 22 is cut off at an acute angle as indicated in FIG. 3 to provide an elliptical inlet opening 25 as may be seen in FIG. 2 and the inlet fitting is so oriented that the elliptical inlet opening faces downstream.

A feature of the invention is that the radial flange 24 of an inlet fitting 2 2 not only serves as a stop when the inlet fitting is being installed in a manifold 10, but also serves as means toindicate the orientation of the inlet fitting. For this purpose the radial flange 24 is formed with a point 26 as shown in FIG. 4, the point indicating the direction in which the inlet opening faces. The pointed flange not only provides guidance for orientation of an inlet fitting in a manifold 10, but also provides guidance in the orientation of a manifold in a system.

As heretofore noted, it is preferred that a manifold 10 be at least nearly empty when the system is not in operation. With a manifold nearly empty, initial flow through the manifold is relatively rapid but the pressure in the manifold does not rise until the manifold is filled to its normal capacity. It is this preliminary delay period that provides balanced starting flow in the sense that overflow starts through all of the distribution tubes substantially simultaneously.

It is apparent that the plastic tubing is relatively inexpensive and it is further apparent that, if desired, the tubing may be made of relatively flexible plastic.

My description in specific detail of the presently preferred practices of the invention will suggest various substitutions, changes and other departures from my disclosure within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a system for distributing liquid in finely divided form into the atmosphere at spaced points in a given region, the combination of:

means to supply the liquid under pressure including a manifold;

a plurality of conduits branching from said manifold at spaced points along its length and extending into the given region for flow therethrough in a given longitudinal direction;

an inlet fitting for each conduit projecting into the interior of said manifold, the inlet fittings having inlet openings facing downstream with respect to said given longitudinal direction whereby reduction of pressure at the inlet fittings caused by flow of the liquid past the inlet openings substantially retards flow from the manifold into the respective conduits until initial flow into the manifold accumulates sufficient liquid in the manifold to cause a substantial drop in the velocity of fiow through the manifold;

each of said conduits having a plurality of spaced peripheral discharge passages of alength substantially greater than its cross dimension for directional effect on the show therethrough, and being directed contrary to said given direction at an acute angle to the axis of the conduit; and

thermal responsive means to control said means to supply the liquid to the conduits.

2. A combination as set forth in claim 1 which includes means on the exterior of the manifold to indicate the directions in which said openings of the fittings face for guidance in the installation of the fittings in the manifold as well as for guidance in the installation of the manifold with respect to the direction of flow through the manifold.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS LLOYD L. IQING, Primary Examiner R. W. T HIEME, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3819118 *Oct 17, 1972Jun 25, 1974A BrockDrip irrigation
US3917166 *Dec 11, 1974Nov 4, 1975Andco IncDrip irrigation method
US3917174 *Jun 17, 1974Nov 4, 1975Andco IncDrip irrigation system
US4100940 *Feb 21, 1975Jul 18, 1978Robert Wayne SpearsTrickle emitter for subterranean irrigation
US4132364 *Aug 23, 1976Jan 2, 1979Harmony Emitter Company, Inc.Casing mounted emitter
US4246936 *Jun 25, 1979Jan 27, 1981Luz EphraimPipe for trickle irrigation
US5292073 *Jul 27, 1992Mar 8, 1994David ZemanIrrigation tubes with thickened wall sections
US6637731 *Oct 11, 2002Oct 28, 2003Tomco2 Equipment CompanyDiffuser for use in a carbonic acid control system
US6971451 *Jul 8, 2003Dec 6, 2005Schmieg Joel TFirefighting penetration tool
US7137569 *Apr 5, 2005Nov 21, 2006Kenco International, Inc.Chemical injector
US20050006108 *Jul 8, 2003Jan 13, 2005Schmieg Joel T.Firefighting penetration tool
DE102014203398A1 *Feb 25, 2014Aug 27, 2015Fiwarec Valves & Regulators Gmbh & Co. KgDruckreduzier-Ventil für eine Löschanlage sowie Löschanlage mit einem derartigen Druckreduzier-Ventil
U.S. Classification239/272, 239/542, 239/567, 169/54, 239/450, 239/598, 169/16
International ClassificationA62C35/60, A01G25/02, A62C35/58
Cooperative ClassificationA01G25/023, A62C35/605
European ClassificationA01G25/02B, A62C35/60B