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Publication numberUS3712334 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 23, 1973
Filing dateMar 24, 1971
Priority dateMar 24, 1971
Publication numberUS 3712334 A, US 3712334A, US-A-3712334, US3712334 A, US3712334A
InventorsRolfzen A
Original AssigneePolar Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum breaker valve for shell-like tanks
US 3712334 A
Abstract
A tank having an air inlet opening adjacent the upper portion thereof and an outlet and outlet valve adjacent the lower portion thereof for draining the tank. An actuator associated with the valve and recessed within an opening so that standard tools, such as wrenches and the like, cannot be utilized to open the valve. An adapter tool, constructed to mate with the actuator and adapted for use with standard tools, forming a portion of a seal and fitting within the air inlet so that the air inlet must be opened to gain access to the adapter tool before the outlet valve can be operated.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Rolfzen 1 Jan. 23, 1973 154] VACUUM BREAKER VALVE FOR 1,098,138 5 1914 Van Tuyl ..251/292 x SHELL-LIKE TANKS Primary Examiner-Henry T. Klinksiek [75] Inventor. Arthur L. Rolfzen, St. Cloud, Minn. Atmmey Mercham & Gould [73] Assignee: Polar Manufacturing Company,

Holdingford, Minn. [57] ABSTRACT Filed? March 24, 1971 A tank having an air inlet opening adjacent the upper [21] Appl 127,716 portion thereof and an outlet and outlet valve adjacent the lower portion thereof for draining the tank. An actuator associated with the valve and recessed within [521 U.S. Cl ..l37/587, 251/292 an opening so that Standard tools, such as wrenches Int. .-F16k and the like, cannot be utilized to p the valve. An

[58] Field of Search ..137/583, 584, 585, 586, 587;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 413,216 10/1889 Weber ..251/292 X adapter tool, constructed to mate with the actuator and adapted for use with standard tools, forming a portion of a seal and fitting within the air inlet so that the air inlet must be opened to gain access to the adapter tool before the outlet valve can be operated.

6 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures VACUUM BREAKER VALVE FOR SHELL-LIKE TANKS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention In large fluid storage tanks, and especially those associated with trucks wherein the tanks are formed of relatively thin metal walls, it is imperative that an air inlet into the tank be opened before the tank is drained. If an attempt to drain the tank is made without providing an air inlet to the tank, a vacuum forms within the tank and the tank may be completely or partially crushed by the outside air pressure.

2. Description of the Prior Art In the prior art, large fluid tanks are generally provided with an air inlet adjacent the top thereof and an outlet having a valve therein adjacent the bottom thereof. During the use of these tanks the operator must open the air inlet prior to opening the valve to drain the tank or a vacuum will be formed within the tank. Some prior art devices utilize a valve having an air inlet associated therewith, however, the installation of this valve requires substantial change to the tank and is, therefore, extremely costly and unsatisfactory.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention pertains to a fluid storage tank having an outlet and outlet valve adjacent the bottom thereof for drainage and an air inlet adjacent the top and the improvement including an actuator affixed to the outlet valve and constructed for preventing the operation thereof with standard tools, an adapter tool constructed to mate with said actuator to render it operable with a preselected standard tool and further constructed to fit within the air inlet and form at least a portion of the seal or closure means for the air inlet.

It is-an object of the present invention to provide improved apparatus for preventing the formation of a vacuum in fluid storage tanks during the drainage thereof.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide apparatus for preventing the formation of a vacuum in a fluid storage tank, which apparatus is easily installed in substantially any new tank or tank presently in use.

These and other objects of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the accompanying specification, claims and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring to the drawings, wherein like characters indicate like parts throughout the figures:

FIG. 1 is a view in side elevation of a fluid tank truck having the present improvement installed thereon;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the air outlet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view in section as seen from the line 3-3 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the outlet and outlet valve of FIG. 1, illustrating the application of the adapter tool thereto; and

FIG. 5 is a sectional view as seen generally from the line 5-5 in FIG. 4, with the tool engaged.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the figures the numeral 10 generally designates a fluid tank truck ofa relatively common variety having a tank 11 thereon. While the fluid tank truck 10 is utilized to illustrate the present apparatus, it should be understood thatthe present apparatus might be utilized on a wide variety of fluid tanks. The tank 11 associated with the tank truck 10 has an outlet 12 at the rear, adjacent the lower portion thereof and an air inlet 13 adjacent the top of the tank 10, approximately in the central portion thereof. The air inlet 13 is illustrated in detail in FIGS. 2 and 3 and the outlet 12 is illustrated in detail in FIGS. 4 and 5.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the tank 11 is formed with an inner shell or barrel 15 and an outer jacket 16 spaced therefrom. The space between the inner shell 15 and outer jacket 16 is filled with an insulating material 17. The air inlet 13 is formed by providing coaxial openings through the inner shell 15, jacket 16 and insulating material 17 and fixedly engaging a tubular member 18 therein. An axially outwardly extending tubular ferrule 19 is fixedly attached to the outer surface of the jacket 16 in coaxial alignment with the tubular member 18. The ferrule 19 has threads formed in the outer surface thereof adjacent the outermost end. In the present embodiment the inner diameter of the ferrule 19 is somewhat larger than the inner diameter of the tubular member 18 so that an annular seat 20 is formed at the junction thereof. A diametrically extending pin 21 is fixedly engaged in the tubular member 18 for reasons which will be explained presently.

An adapter tool, generally designated 25, includes a short tubular portion 26 having an outer diameter slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the tubular member 18 in the air inlet 13. A flat disk 27, having a diameter larger than the diameter of the tubular member 18 but smaller than the inner diameter of the ferrule 19, is fixedly attached to one end of the tubular portion 26, by some convenient means such as welding or the like. Because the diameter of the disk 27 is somewhat larger than the outer diameter of the tubular portion 26, a flange 28 is formed therebetween, which flange 28 has a gasket 29 affixed thereto and mates with the annular seat 20 to seal the air inlet 13 when the adapter tool 25 is in position therein. The end of the tubular portion 26 opposite the end having the disk 27 attached thereto has diametrically opposed notches 30 formed therein which receive the pin 21 therein when the adapter tool 25 is correctly positioned in the air inlet 13. The pin 21 in the notches 30 prevents rotary movement of the adapter tool 25 within the air inlet 13.

In the present embodiment the adapter tool 25 further includes a rod 35 having a generally square cross section and fixedly attached to the surface of the disk 27 so as to extend axially outwardly therefrom in a direction opposite to the tubular portion 26. The outwardly extending end of the rod 35 has a disk 36 attached thereto, which disk 36 has a generally hexagonal configuration and a pair of generally radially inwardly extending notches 37 in two opposed sides thereof. Thus, the rod 35 and disk 36 provide means whereby a variety of standard tools, such as crescent wrenches, pipe wrenches, spanner wrenches, may be utilized in cooperation with the adapter tool 25. For example, a crescent or open-ended wrench might be engaged with the rod 35, a large crescent or pipe wrench might be engaged with the hexagonal disk 36, a spanner wrench might be engaged with the notches 37 in the disk 36, etc.

With the adapter tool positioned in the air inlet 13 so that the pin 21 is engaged in the notches and the gasket 29 and flange 28 are positioned on the annular seat 20, a hex-nut 40, having an annular web portion 41 extending radially inwardly a short distance from the inner threaded surface thereof, is threadedly engaged over the ferrule 19. The web portion 41 of the nut 40 engages the hexagonal disk 36 of the adapter tool 25 and forces the adapter tool 25 tightly into the air inlet 12 so that the gasket 29 is sealingly engaged between the flange 28 and the annular seat 20. The web portion 41 of the nut 40 has a central opening therein so that the air inlet 13 cannot be sealed with the nut 40 without the use of the adapter tool 25. A screen 42 is affixed in the opening through the nut 40 to prevent the ingress of foreign particles during emptying of the tank 11.

Referring to FIG. 4, an enlarged fragmentary view of the outlet 12 of tank 11 is illustrated. A conduit 45 housing an outlet valve (not shown) is affixed to the outlet 12 so that the outlet valve controls the flow of liquid through the outlet 12. ln the present embodiment the conduit 45 is affixed to the outlet 12 so that the axes thereof are perpendicular. An actuator 46, which is affixed to the outlet valve within the conduit 45 and serves to control the valve, is constructed in the following manner in the present embodiment. The actuator 46 includes a cup-shaped member 47, having an outer diameter approximately equal to the inner diameter of the conduit 45, coaxially positioned within the conduit 45 and recessed therein a substantial distance. The cup-shaped member 47 is affixed to the end of a valve stem 48 so that rotation thereof operates the valve. A rod 49 is affixed in the cup-shaped member 47 so as to extend diametrically thereacross in spaced relationship from the lower surface. The diameter of the rod 49 receive approximately equal to the depth and width of the notches 30 in the adapter tool 25. The cupshaped member 47 is recessed within the conduit 45 a sufficient distance to prevent the rod 49 from being engaged by spanner wrenches or any other standard tools. Further, a disk 50 is fixedly attached to the uppermost surface of the rod 49 in coaxial relationship with the conduit 45. The diameter of the disk 50 is less than the inner diameter of the cup-shaped member 47 so that an annular opening is formed therebetween. This annular opening is sufficiently wide to eceive the tubular portion 26 of the tool 25 therein and allow engagement of the notches 30 with the rod 49. While some tools may be inserted within the conduit 45 to engage the rod 49 of the actuator 46, it is believed that the present apparatus will render this procedure so inconvenient an operator will tend to utilize the adapter tool 25 rather than other tools.

In the operation of the present apparatus, when the trucker wants to drain the fluid from the tank 11, he

must climb onto the tank 11 and remove the hex-nut 40 from the air inlet 13. He then removes the adapter tool from the air inlet 13 and loosely threads the nut 40 back onto the ferrule 19. The trucker than carries the adapter tool 25 to the rear of the truck 10 and inserts it into the conduit 45 so that the notches 30 engage the rod 49. ln this position, the rod 35 is sufficiently long so that a portion thereof extends axially outwardly from the conduit 45 and the hexagonal disk 36 is positioned external of the conduit 45. A standard tool can then be engaged with the adapter tool 25 and the actuator 46 operated to open the outlet'valve and allow the fluid in the tank 11 to drain through the outlet 12. After the desired amount of fluid is drained from the tank 11 the actuator 46 is operated through the adapter tool 25 .to close the valve and the adapter tool 25 is returned to the air inlet 13. Thus, the operator cannot drain the tank 11 while inadvertently forgetting toopen the air inlet 13. The present apparatus is relatively simple to install in new tanks or tanks which are presently in use. Further, the present apparatus is simple to utilize and economical to install.

While I have shown and described a specific embodiment of this invention, further modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art. I

desire it to be understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular form shown and I intend in the appended claims to cover all modifications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In a liquid storage tank having an outlet and outlet valve for drainage thereof and an air inlet opening, the improvement comprising:

a. an actuator affixed to the outlet valve for operating the outlet valve, said actuator having a configuration for preventing the operation thereof with standard tools;

. an adapter tool having means for mating with said actuator and rendering said actuator operable with a preselected standard tool, said adapter tool having means to form at least a portion of means for closing the air inlet opening; and

c. means affixed to and cooperating with said adapter tool for sealing the air inlet opening when said adapter tool is fixedly engaged therein.

2. In a fluid tank having an outlet and outlet valve adjacent the bottom of the tank for drainage thereof and an air inlet opening adjacent the top of the tank; the im-' provement set forth in claim 1 wherein the actuator is recessed within an opening sufficiently to substantially prevent the access of standard tools within the opening and operation of the actuator thereby.

3. In a liquid storage tank having an outlet and outlet valve adjacent the bottom of the tank for drainage thereof and an air inlet opening adjacent the top of the tank, the improvement set forth in claim 2 wherein the actuator includes a cup-shaped member coaxially mounted in the opening, having a rod extending diametrically thereacross and a flat disk coaxially affixed to the upper surface of the rod to provide an annular recess opening between the cup-shaped member and the disk.

4. In a liquid storage tank having an outlet and outlet valve adjacent the bottom of the tank for drainage thereof and an air inlet opening adjacent the top of. the tank, the improvement set forth in claim 3 wherein the adapter tool includes a tubular portion having an outer diameter smaller than the inner diameter of the open-,

ing and a diametrically extending slot in the end to be engaged with the actuator ridge.

5. in a liquid storage tank having an outlet and outlet valve adjacent the bottom of the tank for drainage thereof and an air inlet opening adjacent the top of the tank, the improvement set forth in claim 4 wherein the adapter tool further includes a portion having a substantially reduced cross section for receiving a wrench in operative engagement therewith.

6. A method of preventing damage to a liquid storage tank, having an air inlet and a fluid outlet therein, due to the formation of a vacuum therein during the removal of fluids from the tank comprising the steps of:

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US413216 *Apr 24, 1889Oct 22, 1889F OneLiam l
US1098138 *Dec 19, 1910May 26, 1914Albert E CookSupply and feed system for hydrocarbon-engines.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4924897 *Apr 29, 1985May 15, 1990Ashland Oil, Inc.Vent system
US20070034577 *Aug 10, 2005Feb 15, 2007Bestweld Inc.Self-locking grate for deck drain fitting
Classifications
U.S. Classification137/587, 251/292
International ClassificationF16K27/07, F16K27/00, F16K24/00, F16K24/06
Cooperative ClassificationF16K24/06, F16K27/07
European ClassificationF16K27/07, F16K24/06