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Publication numberUS3741519 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 26, 1973
Filing dateMar 29, 1971
Priority dateMar 29, 1971
Publication numberUS 3741519 A, US 3741519A, US-A-3741519, US3741519 A, US3741519A
InventorsC Moyer
Original AssigneeAllied Machine Works
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lock means for plug valves
US 3741519 A
Abstract
The plug valve disclosed includes a spring loaded locking detent which can be disengaged from the valve plug to unlock it, only by means not readily apparent to the layman, such means being a magnetized implement.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Moyer LOCK MEANS FOR PLUG VALVES [75] Inventor: Carl W. Moyer, Junction City, 0hio [73] Assignee: Allied Machine Works, Zanesville,

Ohio

[22] Filed: Mar. 29, 1971 [21] App]. No.: 128,829

[52] U.S. Cl 251/111, 151/24, 85/8.1,

285/9 M, 287/D1G. 12 [51] Int. Cl. F16k 35/06 [58] Field of Search 70/179, 276;

317/159; 285/9 M; 151/24; 85/8.1; 287/DIG. 12; 248/206 A; 24/201 B, 201.2, 73.15; 251/111 [56] I References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 511,167 12/1893 Shaffer ct a1. 70/276 June 26, 1973 846,257 3/1907 Stratiff 70/179 2,058,951 10/1936 Buirk 251/111 X 2,716,998 9/1955 Knasko... 251/111 X 2,928,272 3/1960 Statia 70/276 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 777,502 11/1934 France 251/111 Primary Examiner-Henry T. Klinksiek Att0rneyJ. Warren Kinney, Jr.

[5 7] ABSTRACT The plug valve disclosed includes a spring loaded locking detent which can be disengaged from the valve plug to unlock it, only by means not readily apparent to the layman, such means being a magnetized implement.

20 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures LOCK MEANS FOR PLUG VALVES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The utilities companies of large cities or areas are faced with the problem of loss of revenue in large amounts, resulting from unauthorized opening of gas cocks in buildings or locations where gas service has been legally discontinued. The locking of gas cocks by padlocks, barrel locks or the like, or with the use of various types of shields, has not been effective in the past due to the obviousness of methods or means to disable them. It appears, therefore, that a device for locking the gas cock plug against unauthorized manipulation should not yield to the employment of ordinary tools, or ordinary intelligence, and should offer no clues in aid of possible defeat of purpose.

With the foregoing problems and conditions in view, the present valve has been constructed to include a substantially concealed locking detent which may be disengaged from the valve plug to unlock it, only by means of an uncommon tool or implement in the form of a magnet, or a magnetized body. The magnet or magnetized body may be either a permanent magnet or an electromagnet.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to a spring loaded locking means for securely though releasably maintaining relatively movable parts in locked position against actuation, except by authorized personnel.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Locking means for preventing unauthorized manipulation of the rotatable valving member of gas cocks and the like, have involved theuse of devices such as, by way of example, are disclosed in Hill US. Pat. No. 835,523 which employs a key'actuated tumbler lock; the Causey US. Pat. No. 1,949,926 which employs a key-actuated bolt; Wilson US. Pat. No. 448,702 which employs a key-actuated pivotally mounted latch; and Tower US. Pat. No. 492,313 which also discloses the use of a key-actuated locking cylinder rotatable be tween operative and inoperative locking relationship with the valving member of a gas cock.

Notwithstanding the teachings of the prior art, the theft of gas to an astonishing extent persists and poses a problem of great magnitude and concern.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention employs a hard metal latching member or plunger movable toward and from the rotatable plug of a valve, to lock the plug against rotation or to release it, depending upon the position of the latching member or plunger. The latching member or plunger is spring-urged constantly toward the valve plug, and moves within the confines of a hollow boss formed integrally with the valve body. The boss and the ,valve body are formed preferably of a hard metal highly resistive to destruction by hammering, sawing, or dril ling.

The latching member or plunger is so mounted in the boss chamber, that its outer end is flush with the outer end of the boss when its inner end is in locking engagement with the valve plug. Clearance between the plunger and the boss end opening are minimal to preclude any manipulation of the plunger manually for withdrawal thereof from locking position.

The only feasible way in which the latching member or plunger may be withdrawn from the locked position, is by means of a magnet of such force as will overcome the counterforce of the loading spring, the magnet being applied to the outer exposed end of the plunger or latching member, which is of necessity a ferrous metal or magnetic material.

Means may be provided, if desired, for holding the plunger or latching member in the withdrawn or inoperative position, to permit free rotation of the valving member or plug under normal conditions of use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a vertical cross-section of a valve embodying the present invention, and showing the rotary plug thereof in locked open position.

FIG. 2 is a cross-section taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1, showing the latching member restrained to free the plug for rotation.

FIG. 3 is a fragmental side elevation taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2, and showing the valve plug locked in the closed-valve position.

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a slight modification.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the several drawing views, a tapered valve plug or valving member 10 is rotatably supported in the tapered bore or chamber 12 of a valve body 14 of any suitable type, the plug and the body being shown quite conventionally in general. The body comprises the usual inlet and outlet ports 16 and 18, through which a flow of fluid may be controlled by means of plug 10 and its diametral through port 20. The plug may be rotated to open and closed positions by means of an axial stem 22, as is usual. A stud and nut connection 24 or equivalent means may be employed to properly maintain a seated condition of the plug within the body bore.

For purposes of the present invention, the outer wall of the plug may be provided with recesses 26 and 28 spaced apart, and located at equal distances from an end of the plug. The recesses serve as stops for locating the plug in the fully open and fully closed positions, as will be explained.

At a location preferably midway between the ports 16 and 18, the valve body is provided with a laterally extended integral boss 30 having an outer end 32. The boss is drilled or otherwise furnished with an elongate bore 34 which has an inner terminus at the wall of plug bore 12. At its outer end, boss bore 34 terminates at an opening 36 of reduced diameter in the outer end wall of the boss.

Slidably supported in bore 34 is a latching member or plunger 38, against which one end of a compression spring 40 acts to urge the.plunger constantly in the direction of the valve plug'. The opposite end of the spring may bear against the inner face of end wall 32.

The inner end of plunger 38 carries an extended lock pin or detent 42 to be projected into either of the recesses 26 or 28 by the force of spring 40, depending upon the rotated position of valve plug 10. The pin or detent should be of sufficient durability to withstand any attempt to rotate the valve plug by means of its operating stem.

The reduced shank 44 of plunger 38 is to be encircled by spring 40, and should incorporate an outer end portion or head 46 which is slidable with little clearance through the terminal opening 36 of boss 30. Head or end portion 46 may be defined by an annular groove 48 formed in the shank, and adapted to accommodate a clamp 50 having resilient arms 52 to embrace the groove and maintain the plunger retracted, (FIGS. 2 and 3). When the clamp is employed for holding the plunger in the retracted position, valve plug is free to rotate.

Upon removal of clamp 50,- spring 40 will urge the plunger toward the valve plug, and if either of the depressions 26 or 28 is aligned with detent 42, the detent will enter and thereby positively lock the plug against rotation. As is readily apparent, entry of the detent into recess 28 (FIG. 2), will lock the valve plug in the open position; and, as in FIG. 4, entry of the detent into recess 26 will lock the plug in the closed-valve position, thereby foiling any attempt by unauthorized persons to open the valve.

The only feasible way to release the valve plug from locked position, is that of applying to head 46 a magnet M of such force as may overcome the counterforce of spring 40, so that the plunger or latch member and its detent 42 will be bodily shifted magnetically away from the valve plug. It will be understood of course, that the plunger or at least its head end 46, will be formed of a magnetic material, for example iron or steel, preferably hardened to discourage drilling.

Once the plunger has been withdrawn by the magnetic means, it may be held withdrawn by a clamp such as 50. On the other hand, locking of the valve plug by engagement of detent 42 with a recess such as 26 or 28, effectively and positively precludes any manipulation of the valve in the absence of a proper magnetic instrument M applied to head 46.

When the valve plug is locked against movement by detent 42, the plunger head 46 is to be flush with the outer end face 32 of boss 30, to preclude gripping of the head by pliers or other common tools. Prying of the head outwardly by means ofa knife or other implement is rendered impossible on account of the minimal clearance with which the head is supported in boss opening or bearing 36.

In the light of the foregoing disclosure, it should be apparent that the present valve when used in a gas supply line will greatly reduce theft of gas by unauthorized users. Moreover, use of the improved valve in gas supply lines greatly enhances safety in the vicinity of gas valves which are frequently unattended.

The force of spring 40 may advantageously be operationally related to the pulling force of any magnet chosen as an authorized implement for control of the valve plug. If the authorized magnetic implement is a portable electromagnet, spring 40 may be quite heavy as to its compressive strength.

The modification illustrated by FIG. 5 is distinguished from the valve of FIG. 1 only in that its plunger or latch member 38 moves at right angles to the plug axis, whereas in the FIG. 1 construction the axis of the plunger meets the plug axis at a lesser angle. The angled plunger bore of FIG. 1 is more easily machined than that of FIG. 1, as is obvious.

The present invention is applicable to many different types of plug valves or cocks, irrespective of whether or not the plugs are tapered, or lined with non-metallic materials to resist corrosion or leakage.

What is claimed is:

l. Magnetically retractable latching means for preventing unauthorized relative movement between a first and a second member, comprising a plunger receptive housing having a bore therein on said first member, a plunger slidably received in said bore and having inner said first member comprising a hard material highly resistant to cutting and drilling, so that said first member cannot readily be damaged to gain access to said plunger for unauthorized movement of said plunger.

2. The latching means of claim 1, wherein the length of the plunger is such that when it is in locking engagement with the second member, the outer end of the plunger is substantially flush with the outer surface of the housing in which it is housed.

3. The latching means of claim 2, wherein the clearance between the outer end of the plunger and the outer end of the bore is very small to prevent insertion of an implement between said plunger and bore and prying of said plunger out of locking engagement with said second member.

4. The latching means of claim 1, wherein the second member is provided with a recess into which the inner end of the plunger projects when in locking engagement with the second member.

5. The latching means of claim 1, wherein means is on the plunger at the outer end thereof for receiving a stop means to hold the plunger against said bias means and out of locking engagement with said second membet.

6. Magnetically retractable latching means for preventing unauthorized relative movement between a first and second member, comprising a plunger receptive housing having a bore therein on said first member, a plunger slidably received in said bore and having inner and outer ends wherein at least the outer end is magnetizable, said plunger movable relative to said first and second members into and out of locking engagement with the second member, the inner end of said plunger normally in locking engagement with said second member, the outer end of the plunger positioned within the bore and housing when the inner end of the plunger is in locking engagement with the second member, an opening in said housing in communication with said bore, the outer end of the plunger projecting through said opening when the inner end of the plunger is out of locking engagement with the second member, biasing means within said housing urging said plunger into locking engagement with the second member, said plunger movable against the biasing means out of locking engagement with the second member when the outer end of the plunger is subjected to the force of attraction of a magnet means applied thereto, and means on the plunger at the outer end thereof for receiving a stop means to hold the plunger against said bias means and out of locking engagement with said second memher.

7. A valve, comprising a valve body having inlet and outlet ports therein, a valve chamber between said inlet and outlet ports and in communication therewith, a rotatable valve member mounted for rotation in said valve chamber and having a circumferential wall sealable relative thereto, a transverse port through said valve member movable into and out of registry with said inlet and outlet ports, valve member locking means including a plunger carried in a portion of said valve body and movable relative to said valve body and into and out of locking engagement with said valve member, said plunger being responsive to the force of attraction of a magnet means placed in proximity thereto to move said plunger out of locking engagement with said valve member, at least the portion of said valve body in which said plunger is carried comprising a hard material highly resistant to cutting and drilling, so that said portion of said valve body cannot readily be damaged to gain access to said plunger for unauthorized movement of said plunger.

8. The combination as defined by claim 7, wherein is included yielding means tending constantly to advance said plunger into locking engagement with said valving member; and wherein the force of said yielding means is inferior to the force of said magnet acting to reverse the movement of said plunger from said position of locking engagement.

9. The combination as defined by claim 8, wherein said transitory magnet is a permanent magnet.

10. The combination as'defined by claim 8,.wherein said transitory magnet is a portable electromagnet.

11. The combination as defined by claim 8, wherein the valve body carries a bored boss in which the plunger is supported for longitudinal reciprocation; and said boss has an outer end face which is substantially flush with an exposed end of the plunger while the plunger is in locking engagement with the valving member, said exposed end of the plunger being magnetically attractable.

12. The combination as defined by claim 11, wherein the plunger near its exposed end carries means to accommodate a stop element effective to hold the plunger in retracted restraint, in opposition to the force of said yielding means.

13. The combination as defined by claim 11, wherein the plunger includes an extended detent movable therewith toward and from the circumferential wall of the valving member, and said circumferential wall is provided with two recesses spaced approximately 90 from one another and located to receive the detent at different positions of rotation of the valving member. 14. The combination as defined by claim 13, wherein the plunger near its exposed end carries means to hold the plunger in retracted restraint, in opposition to the plunger driving force of said yielding means.

15. The combination as defined by claim 13, wherein the bored boss and the exposed end of the plunger are formed of said hard material.

16. The combination as defined by claim 11, wherein the bored boss is formed of said hard material.

17. The combination as defined by claim 16, wherein is provided means on the plunger for holding the plunger in retracted restraint, in opposition to the force of said yielding means.

18. The latching means of claim 11, wherein the clearance between the outer end of the plunger and the outer end of the bore is very small to prevent insertion of an implement between said plunger and bore and prying of said plunger out of locking engagement with said second member.

19. The combination as defined by claim 7, wherein is included a laterally extended bored boss integral with the valve body, said boss bore providing a guide in which the plunger is supported for movement.

20. A valve, comprising a valve body having inlet and outlet ports therein, a valve chamber between said inlet and outlet ports and in communication therewith, a rotatable valve member mounted for rotation in said valve chamber and sealable relative thereto, a transverse port through said valve member movable into and out of registry with said inlet and outlet ports, valve member locking means including a plunger movable relative to said valve body and into and out of locking valve member.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US511167 *Dec 21, 1892Dec 19, 1893 Label-holder
US846257 *Apr 21, 1905Mar 5, 1907James Charles StratiffSafety-cock.
US2058951 *Jul 24, 1935Oct 27, 1936William BuirkPressure control mechanism
US2716998 *Mar 2, 1949Sep 6, 1955Knasko Joseph JCombined tire inflating chuck, deflator and blow gun
US2928272 *Nov 7, 1955Mar 15, 1960Statia Sr Edwin VLock
FR777502A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4260180 *Jul 23, 1979Apr 7, 1981Hughes Aircraft CompanyMechanical coupling
US4911333 *Apr 29, 1988Mar 27, 1990Wilson J RandallBeverage dispensing valve
US5971011 *Feb 21, 1998Oct 26, 1999Price; Stephen JeffreyWater shut-off valve and leak detection system
EP0145634A2 *Oct 19, 1984Jun 19, 1985Xomox CorporationButterfly valve assembly and method of making same
Classifications
U.S. Classification251/111, 285/9.1, 411/516, 411/940
International ClassificationF16K35/06, F16K35/16
Cooperative ClassificationY10S411/94, F16K35/16, F16K35/06
European ClassificationF16K35/16, F16K35/06