US 3731700 A
A fluidic circuit module formed from a pack or stack of plate elements having aligned apertures for fluid communication therethrough. Some of the apertures in the plate elements form inter-connecting fluid passages between the plate elements, at least one of the plate elements also has some of its apertures intra-connected by fluid passages for programming the pack and at least one of the plate elements has intra-connected fluid passages forming a plurality of radially extending active fluidic elements supplied from a centrally located power input aperture.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ite States atent m1 Cohen  FLUIDIC INTEGRATED LOGIC CIRCUIT MODULE  Inventor: Kenneth W. Cohen, Chesterland,
 Assignee: liailey Matti-6615 5536, WElEh fi e,
22 l iledz H i/T6 24, 1969 21 Appl. No.: 809,763
52 US. Cl. 57/833  Int. Cl. ..Fl5c 1/06  Field of Search, ..235/20l, 200;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,362,421 1/1968 Schafier ..l37/8l.5 3,495,608 2/1970 OKeefe ..l37/81 5 3,384,115 5/1968 Drazan et al... 137/81.5 X 3,420,254 1/1969 Machmer ..l37/8l.5 3,461,900 8/1969 Dexter et al.... ..l37/81.5 3,465,772 9/1969 Monge et al ..l37/8 l .5 3,469,593 9/1969 OKcefe ..l37/8l.5
OTHER PUBLICATIONS Modular Pneumatic Logic Package, IBM Tech. Discl. Bull., R. F. Langley et al., Vol; 6, No. 5, Oct., 1963, pp. 3,4.
trally located power input aperture.
[ May 8, 1973 Attorney-Joseph M. Maguire  ABSTRACT The double mode NOR gate, an active fluidic element which may be used in the module, includes an interaction chamber separating an aligned input and output passage defining a path of laminar fluid flow and a control fluid inlet passage opening into the interaction chamber for establishing a control stream fluid flow which switches the power stream from laminar to turbulent flow. The interaction chamber has side walls which diverge from the input passage in the direction of the output passage, and this causes the turbulent flow to attach to one of the side walls and reduces the outlet pressure to substantially zero.
1 Claim, 7 Drawing Figures a ,J L a T ,W M.
MANIFOLD ASSMBY PROGRAMMING PLATES ELEMENT PLATES ii i i 9Q L. l A w c-.... -t-. W -M -VV FLAT PACK PATENTEDMY 81915 3.731.700
KENNETH W. COHEN FIG 3 FIG. 2 yfmxizw ATTORNEY PATENTEUW 8W SHEET 2 OF 3 mwZ: 55d
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KENNETH W COHEN V iNK PAIENTEII 81913 3.731.700
SHEET 3 OF 3 CONTROL 2|6b 2l4b FLUID souRcEs 200 222 224 2I6a I 206 K INTERACTION OUTLET CHAMBER 208 CONTINUOUS 2200 228 FLUID POWER 2|8Q 225 SUPPLY CONTROL FLUID 22010 2I8b VENTPORT INLET PASSAGES FIG. 5
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N 2.3 E .2 INVENTOR.
.I KENNETH W. COHEN NORMALIZED CONTROL PRESSURE ATTORNEY FLUIDTC INTEGRATED LOGIC CIRCUIT MODULE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION systems requiring a plurality of active elements, such as NOR gates, programmed for logic operations, and will be described with particular reference thereto although it will be appreciated that the invention has broader applications such as where a combination of various kinds of fluidic elements are to be integrated into a system.
2. Description of the Prior Art F luidic systems have heretofore comprised a plurality of fluidic elements operating from a fluid power source and programmed through a maze of tubing connected between the inputs and outputs of the respective elements.
An approach to integrated fluidic systems which has reduced the number of tubing connections has been to etch, mill, mold or cast a plurality of fluidic elements, along with fluid passages between their respective inputs and outputs, into a planer component which performs the equivalent function of the system. When the fluid passage system requires the crossing of fluid passages, the system cannot be etched, milled or made otherwise into a single geometric plane. If several planer components are used for the system, there is the necessity for connecting tubing between the respective planer components. Another problem with this approach is that design and replacement costs of each component are not minimized since there is no standardization of components.
The prior art of pure fluid amplifiers includes two basic categories: the digital type and the analog type. The digital-type amplifier is generally an on-off operated control device. The analog amplifier is generally a continuously variable control device.
The distinguishing feature of the digital-type fluid amplifier from the analog-type amplifier is the provision of an interaction chamber defined by a pair of side walls diverging one from the other along at least a portion thereof in the direction of power stream fluid flow. The side walls may be designed to obtain momentum exchange or boundary layer action in the digital-type fluid amplifier; while in the analog-type of amplifier only momentum exchange action is obtainable.
The momentum exchange action in both types of amplifiers is the deflection ofa power stream by imparting a sideways momentum thereto by a control stream positioned in a generally perpendicular direction to the control stream. The boundary layer action, a characteristic of only the digital-type fluid amplifiers, is the deflection of the power stream to an outlet channel by the pressure distribution in the boundary layer region of the power stream which is controlled in part by the wall configuration of the interaction chamber and a flow of control fluid into the boundary layer region. A distinguishing characteristic of boundary layer action and, therefore, of digital-type fluid amplifiers of previous designs, is single mode turbulent fluid flow with hysteresis side wall attachment.
The change of mode from laminar to turbulent flow has been used in previously designed flow transition amplifiers having a momentum exchange action. A continuously variable output pressure characteristic is present which categorizes this type of device an analog-type amplifier rather than a digital-type amplifier. The continuously variable output characteristic results from a residual pressure collected at the outlet channel from which the power stream has been deflected. This residual pressure reduces the noise insensitivity of the device, causes problems in fanning out to similar devices, including impedance matching problems, and reduces the effectiveness of the device as a digital-type amplifier. Applicants invention overcomes all of these problems by reducing the outlet pressure to substantially zero in the turbulent mode of operation. This results from the introduction of boundary layer action with associated hysteresis side wall attachment.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an integrated fluidic circuit module including a plurality of plates formed into a stack, at least one of the plates being removable and having apertures intraconnected by fluid passages from programming the stack and at least one of the plates forming an active fluidic element inter-connected with the programming plate.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the active element plate includes a plurality of active fluidic elements formed from fluid passages disposed in wheel-spoke fashion about the plate, each active fluidic element includes a power stream input passage communicating with a centrally located aperture in the plate, an outlet passage communicating with the power stream input passage through an interaction chamber having diverging side walls and a control fluid inlet passage opening into the interaction chamber for establishing a control stream fluid flow cooperative with the power stream. Another of the plates in the stack has a plurality of peripheral notches, each notch forming a vent port communicating with each respective interaction chamber and the atmosphere through the edge of the stack so that the control stream cooperative with the power stream attaches to one of the side walls of the interaction chamber and exhausts through the vent port reducing the outlet pressure to substantially zero.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided an integrated fluidic system comprising a central fluid programming unit in combination with a plurality of integrated fluidic circuit modules as set forth above. The central fluid programming unit includes a core having a plurality of fluid passages communicating with a like plurality of fluid passages in the integrated fluidic circuit modules.
The principal object of the present invention is to provide an integrated fluidic circuit module including a plurality of active fluidic elements which may be programmed within the module by a removable program core element.
Another object of this invention is to provide a dual mode NOR gate which can be used in an integrated fluidic system and which has a more nearly digital operating characteristic as compared with previously known turbulence amplifiers.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a fluidic system with a plurality of integrated fluidic modules.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view illustrating the profile of one of the integrated fluidic modules.
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view illustrating one of the integrated fluidic modules.
FIG. 4 is an exploded view illustrating the relative circumferential alignment of a plurality of plate elements forming the integrated fluidic module.
FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram ofa double mode NOR gate amplifier element constructed in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 6 is a graphic representation showing a representative characteristic of a typical turbulence amplifier element.
FIG. 7 is a graphic representation showing a representative characteristic of an amplifier element constructed in accordance with the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIG. 1, a fluidic system is illustrated and includes a system programming unit 10, a plurality of integrated fluidic modules 12a, 12b and 120, input buffer 14 and output interface 16. The system programming unit includes a removable programming core 18 having a plurality of internal fluid passages communicating with the integrated fluidic modules 12, the input buffer 14 and output interface 16 through the mounting plates 22 and respectively. Input tubing 24 is shown connected to the input buffer 14, and output tubing 26 is shown connected to the output interface 16 for connecting other fluidic devices into the system.
The input buffer 14 is of a conventional type and is used for converting input fluid pressure to system fluid pressure for use in the integrated fluidic module 12. The output interface 16 is also conventional and is used to convert system fluid pressure to output fluid pressure for control purposes. If several stages of integrated fluidic modules are to be used, the output interface may be obviated in all stages except the last.
The Integrated Fluidic Module Each integrated fluidic module 12 includes a manifold base plate 28, a manifold cover plate 34, a flat pack of plates 36 and a cover plate 38.
A boss 29, centrally located in the base plate 28, is provided with interior threads for receiving a bolt used to compress the cover plate 38 and flat pack 36 to the face of the manifold cover plate 34. The base plate 28 is also provided with mounting feet for securing the integrated fluidic modules 12 to the face of mounting plate 22 by means of screws 32.
Referring now to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, a side elevational view and a front elevational view of an integrated fluidic module 12 are respectively illustrated. FIG. 2 shows a plurality of plug-in apertures 42 located in the mounting plane of base plate 28. A centrally located power input aperture 44, a plurality of input apertures 46 and a plurality of output apertures 48 are mated with a corresponding plurality of fittings which project outwardly from the plane of mounting plate 22 and communicate therethrough to the programming core I8.
The power input aperture 44 communicates with a power input passage 50 which is etched, milled, molded or cast in the base plate 28 and terminates in a power input aperture 55 centrally located in cover plate 34. A plurality of input passages 52 and output passages 54 are also formed in base plate 28 and terminate in input and output apertures 57 and 59 respectively in cover plate 34.
Referring now to FIG. 4, the flat pack 36 includes a group of programming plates 64 and a group of element plates 66. It should be understood that the showing of programming plates 64 and element plates 66 in this arrangement is merely typical of one of the many combinations that may be formed. For example, a flat pack with two groups of programming plates and two groups of element plates may be used. A first sealing plate 70 having a central power input aperture aligned with the central power input aperture 55 in cover plate 34 is proximate to the cover plate 34 The plate 70 also has input apertures 77 and output apertures 79 aligned with the respective input and output apertures in cover plate 34. Alignment apertures 73 are provided near the periphery of plate 70 and are used for properly aligning the plate with respect to the other plates in the module by passing a pair of rods 53 through the similarly numbered (last digit) apertures in the remaining plates.
The plate next most proximate to the manifold cover plate 34 is the module programming plate 80. The module programming plate 80 includes a central power input aperture 85, a plurality of input apertures 87 and a plurality of output apertures 89, and these apertures are aligned with the correspondingly numbered apertures in plate 70. The module programming plate 80 also includes a first plurality of concentric control fluid apertures 82 and a second plurality of control fluid apertures 84. Programming plate 80 also has a third additional plurality of apertures, outlet apertures 86, which are concentrically disposed about the plate 80. Each outlet aperture 86 is disposed on a radially extending line bisecting the distance between alternate pairs of control fluid apertures 82 or 84.
A plurality of programming passages 88, formed through plate 80, are used to connect the input apertures 87 with the control fluid apertures 82, 84, and similar programming passages are used to connect the associated outlet apertures 86 with other control fluid apertures or with output apertures 89, depending on the particular system to be programmed. This arrangement provides for fanning out the outlet apertures 86 to control a plurality of active elements.
A second sealing plate 90, having a central power input aperture 95, control fluid apertures 92, 94 and outlet apertures 96, is aligned with the module programming plate 80 having similarly numbered apertures. Module programming plate 80 is interposed between the first sealing plate 70 and second sealing plate in order to confine the fluid flow to the apertures and programming passages 88.
The group of element plates 66 includes a vent plate 190, a vent cover plate 1 10, an element plate 130 and a control element plate 150. The vent plate is provided with a central power input aperture 105, concentrically disposed control fluid apertures 102, 104 and outlet apertures 106. These apertures are aligned with the correspondingly numbered apertures in the second sealing plate 90. A plurality of peripheral notches 41 are formed in plate 100 which are circumferentially spaced from each other to form vent separators 40 in which the outlet apertures 106 are located.
The vent cover plate 110 has a central power input aperture 115, a plurality of control fluid apertures 112, 114, a plurality of outlet apertures 1 16, and these apertures are aligned with the correspondingly numbered apertures in vent plate 100. A pair of vent apertures 122, 124, associated with each of the plurality of output apertures 116, are also provided. Apertures 122 is circumferentially positioned so as to communicate with the atmosphere through one of the peripheral notches 41, associated with vent plate 100, and vent aperture 124 is positioned to communicate with the atmosphere through the peripheral notch 41 adjacent to the first notch 41.
The active element plate 130 includes a central power input aperture 135, a plurality of circumferentially disposed control fluid transition apertures 132a, 132b, 1340 and 134k and a plurality of output apertures 136, and these apertures are aligned with the correspondingly numbered apertures in vent cover plate 110. The active element plate 130 also includes a plurality of power stream input passages 144 radially extending from the central power input aperture 135 and communicating with a respective plurality of interaction chambers 145. The power stream input passages 144 are radially aligned with the respective outlet apertures 136, and a plurality of outlet passages 146 are provided between the respective interaction chambers 145 and outlet apertures 136.
The control element plate 150 includes a central power input aperture 155, a plurality of circumferentially disposed control fluid passages 152a, 152b, 1540 and 154b and an associated plurality of outlet apertures 156. The control element plate 150 also includes a plurality of radially extending power stream input passages 164 which are aligned with power stream input passages 144 in active element plate 130, a like plurality of interaction chambers 165 aligned with interaction chambers 145 of active element plate 130 and a plurality of outlet passages 166 aligned with the outlet passages 146 of active element plate 130. The interaction chambers 165 of control element plate 150 are aligned with the interaction chambers 145 in active element plate 130 and communicate with the atmosphere through associated vent apertures 122 and 124 in vent cover plate 110 and the peripheral notches 41 in plate 100.
The cover plate 38, provided with a centrally located aperture 35, is used to compress the flat pack of elements 36, and a bolt 37, having a diameter slightly less than the diameter of the central power input apertures in all of the plate elements, is threaded into the internally threaded boss 29 in base plate 28. A sealing washer 39 is used to prevent the leakage of fluid through the aperture 35 of cover plate 38. The programming plates 64 are bonded together with a suitable substance to confine the fluid flow to the apertures and passages. The same bonding technique is used for plates 66.
Operation of Integrated Fluidic Module The operation of the integrated fluidic module shown in FIG. 4 has the following fluid flow pattern. Supply fluid, such as air, is introduced into the power input aperture 44 of the manifold base plate 28 and flows through the power input passage 50 into the annular chamber formed between the bolt 37 and the centrally located apertures in each of the plates of the flat pack 36. When the power stream reaches plates 130 and 150, it is divided among the power stream input passages 144 aligned with passages 164, and the power stream passes through the interaction chambers 145, 165, through the outlet passages 146, 166 and through the outlet apertures 136, 156. The fluid flows through the correspondingly numbered outlet apertures in plates 110, 100, 90, to plate 80. The outlet apertures in plate 80 may be communicated through programming passages 88 to control fluid apertures 82, 84 or to the outlet apertures 89 and through the output apertures in the first sealing plate and out of the system. If the output apertures in plate are not programmed through any other apertures, then the fluid is exhausted through vent apertures 122, 124 in vent cover plate 110, through the peripheral notches 41 in vent plate where it passes to the atmosphere.
If any of the outlet apertures in programming plate 80 communicate with either the output apertures 89 or with the control fluid apertures 82, 84, the fluid may be used to perform a work function after passing out of the system. The input apertures 87 in plate 80 may be programmed to communicate through passages 88 with any of the control fluid apertures 82, 84. The control fluid is directed through the aligned control fluid apertures in plates 90, 100, 110, to control element plate where it is introduced into the interaction chamber and is used to switch the power stream input fluid from the outlet aperture 156. When the power stream is diverted by the control stream flow in this way, it will leave the interaction chamber through the vent apertures 122, 124 in vent cover plate 110 and through the peripheral notches in vent plate 100 to the atmosphere.
Double Mode NOR Gate One of the pure fluid logic devices in control element plate 150 of FIG. 4 is illustrated in FIG. 5 as a fluid flow configuration of a pattern of passages etched, milled, molded or cast in a suitable plate material. This configuration is a double mode NOR gate and includes a power stream input passage 202 opening into an interaction chamber 204 and exiting into an outlet passage 206. The power stream input passage 202 is connected to a source of continuous power stream 200, and the supply stream is maintained at a pressure level sufficient to produce a laminar fluid flow through the input passage 202, through the interaction chamber 204 and exiting through the outlet passage 206 into the outlet 208.
The interaction chamber 204 includes a pair of parallel side walls 210, 212 which extend a fraction of the length of the interaction chamber and a pair of diverging side walls 222, 226 which open into vent ports 224, 228 respectively. At the end of the interaction chamber 204 in which the power stream input passage 202 opens, control fluid inlet passages 216a and 216b open into the interaction chamber through one of the parallel side walls 210. Control fluid sources 214a and 214b supply control fluid to control fluid inlet passages 216a, 216b respectively. A similar arrangement of control fluid inlet passages 220a, 220b open into the interaction chamber 204 through the other parallel side wall 212. The control fluid inlet passages 220a, 220b are similarly supplied by control fluid sources 218a, 21812 respectively.
lnitially, let us assume that there is no control fluid flowing into the interaction chamber through the control fluid inlet passages. The continuous fluid power supply 200, communicating with the power stream input passage 202, causes a laminar fluid flow through the input passage 202 and into the outlet passage 206 causing a positive pressure at the outlet 208. Let us now assume that control fluid source 214a causes a fluid to flow through control fluid inlet passage 216a and into the interaction chamber 204 at a sufficient angle to deflect the power stream toward the parallel side wall 212. This control fluid changes the mode of the power stream from laminar to turbulent flow. The flow of control fluid into the boundary layer region of the power stream and the effect of the diverging side wall 226 is such that the turbulent power stream becomes locked to side wall 226 during the time that control fluid is being injected into the interaction chamber 204. The turbulent fluid flow is then exhausted to the atmosphere through vent port 228. The effect of the change of mode from laminar to turbulent flow with side wall attachment of the turbulent flow, along with the venting of the turbulent flow, causes the pressure in outlet 208 to be reduced to substantially zero.
The operation is similar when a control fluid is injected into the interaction chamber from control fluid inlet passage 2161;. When control fluid is injected into the interaction chamber 204 from either of control fluid inlet passages 220a, 220b, the control stream is directed against the side of the power stream and deflects the power stream toward the parallel side wall 210. Assuming that the initial power stream fluid flow was laminar, the effect of the control fluid causes the power stream flow to become turbulent, and this turbulent stream attaches to the divergent side wall 222 and passes out of the interaction chamber through vent port 224 thereby reducing the pressure in outlet 224 to substantially zero.
Referring now to FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, a comparison may be made between a turbulence amplifier relying only on the change of mode from laminar to turbulent flow for its on-off indication and the dual mode amplifier of the present invention. The ordinates in graphs FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 are graduated in normalized units of output pressure (P,, divided by maximum output pressure P max), and the abscissas are graduated in units of normalized control pressure (P divided by max imum output pressure P, max). Referring to FIG. 6, there is little change in the normalized output pressure for increased control pressure in the range of O.l-0.3 and the output pressure remains positive for even greater values of control pressure, but FIG. 7 shows that the present invention has an output pressure that is reduced to substantially zero within this range of control pressure. Another advantage that the curves lllUS- trate is that the dual mode NOR gate of the present invention has a sharp turn-on characteristic in changing from turbulent to laminar flow, while this is not true for the presently known turbulence amplifiers. This characteristic is represented by the dashed curves in FIGS. 6 and 7.
It will be apparent that the embodiments shown are by way of example only and that various modifications can be made in construction and arrangement within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. An integrated fluidic circuit module comprising:
a plurality of plate elements compressed together to form a pack, at least one of said plate elements having a plurality of apertures intraconnected by fluid passages for programming said stack;
at least one of said plate elements having a plurality of fluid passages forming an active fluidic element and an aperture forming a power stream input to said active fluidic element, said active element passages also communicating with the apertures in said programming plate element to perform a logic function, said active fluidic element including an input passage and an axially aligned outlet passage spaced therefrom by an interaction chamber, said interaction chamber including a pair of side walls which are spaced apart more nearly near said input passage and diverge toward said outlet passage, said interaction chamber terminating in a vent port offset from said outlet passage in substantial alignment with the first side wall; and
at least one of said plate elements having means for venting said fluidic element to the atmosphere through a peripheral notch in said stack.