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Publication numberUS3771624 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 13, 1973
Filing dateOct 20, 1971
Priority dateOct 20, 1971
Publication numberUS 3771624 A, US 3771624A, US-A-3771624, US3771624 A, US3771624A
InventorsForgeron E
Original AssigneeAnalysts Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Contaminant collection means for recirculating fluid system
US 3771624 A
Abstract
Apparatus for collecting contaminant samples in a recirculating fluid system, said apparatus comprising a fluid by-pass system which includes replaceable contaminant collection means on which contaminants are deposited, means to regulate flow of the fluid through the contaminant collection means, means to prevent reverse fluid flow through the contaminant collection means.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 11 3,771,624 51 Nov. 13,1973

Forgeron [54] CONTAMINANT COLLECTION MEANS 3,010,583 11/1961 Kenyon 210/446 X FOR RECIRCULATNG FLUID SYSTEM 2,842,152 7/1958 Winter et al..... 210/434 X 3,056,500 10/1962 Carter 210/434 X [75] Inventor: Edward J. Forgeron, Palos Verdes,

Calif.

Primary Examiner-Manuel A. Antonakas [73] Assignee: nfi ysts 1nc., Rolling Hills Estates, Atmmey Herbert Huebner et [22] Filed: Oct. 20, 1971 57 ABSTRACT [21] App]. No.: 190,791 1 I Apparatus for collecting contaminant samples in a recirculating fluid system, said apparatus comprising a 184/624 123/196 fluid by-pass system which includes replaceable contaminant collection means on which contaminants are [58] held of Search 5 22 9 deposited, means to regulate flow of the fluid through the contaminant collection means, means to prevent Reerences Cit-ed reverse fluid flow through the contaminant collection means. UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,806,537 5/1931 Bower 184/624 11 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures ENG/NE STE/1 l/VE/Q SUMP CONTAMINANT COLLECTION MEANS FOR RECIRCULATING FLUID SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION My US. Pat. No. 3,596,687 describes a suction sample container designed to facilitate the extraction, shipment, and testing of fluid samples, primarily lube oil, taken from recirculating fluid systems of engines, compressors, and similar machines. Fluid samples are analyzed through a series of chemical and physical tests which ascertain the nature and percentages of any contaminants such as water or microscopic metal particles.

These tests provide a positive means of identifying any part of the machine which may be wearing excessively, approaching its' fatigue point, or not functioning properly. In effect, a diagnostician can look inside an engine or machine without the necessity of a complete dismantling, thereby greatly reducing down time, the time when the equipment is out of service for maintenance and overhaul.

It has been found that the addition of make-up oil, that is, oil added to a closed lubrication system between oil changes to maintain the proper oil level within the system, may distort the test results by diluting the old oil and lowering the percentages per volume of tracev elements and contaminants in the oil. Therefore, prior to this invention, there was a need for an apparatus or method whereby the collection of contaminant samples would not be affected by the addition of make-up fluid or other factors, such as the settling of contaminants in the sump area of the system.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention is designed to correct a deficiency common to all presently known methods of extracting lube oil samples for the purpose of contaminant testing. As previously mentioned, the addition of oil (make-up oil) between oil changes can substantially alter contaminant tests by reducing the percentage of contaminants per volume of lube oil. With the contaminants dispersed in a larger volume of fluid, it may not be readily ascertainable that an abnormally high percentage of a particular contaminant is present in the system. Also, a contaminant may tend to collect in the sump area of the system, so that oil samples from the sump will show a greaterpercentage of contaminant level than is actually present in the system, whereas a sample taken from another area of the system may provide a correspondingly lower contaminant level than is in reality present in the system.

The invention comprises a by-pass system through which a portion of the lube oil in a recirculating lubrication system is passed. The by-pass system is preferably located between the outlet side of an oil pump and a sump area. The by-pass system includes a removable, screen supported filter, or contaminant collector, a

flow control valve which controls the velocity of lube oil passing through the collector and a check valve to prevent reverse fluid flow through the contaminant collector. Additionally, means such as a constriction or .valve in the main system lines are used to create a pressure differential so as to insure a positive flow of lube oil through the contaminant collector.

The collector filter element is designed to be quickly and easily removed from the contaminant collector and replaced by a clean filter element. The used filter element is then sent to a laboratory for analysis of any contaminants present and ,a corresponding diagnosis of the condition of the engine or machine.

These, and other advantages will become apparent from the following description and drawing wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic view of the relevant portions of.

a recirculating lubrication system illustrating the contaminant collecting by-pass system;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, cross-sectional view of the contaminant collector portion of the by-pass system;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a filter disc and filter support as shown in cross-section in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a modification of the by-pass system and contaminant collector of the DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1, a closed lubrication system is schematically illustrated, and the arrows illustrate the lubricant flow.

The system includes an engine, sump and pump as shown and the by-pass system of the present invention, generally designated 10. A lubrication intake line 14 interconnects the pump and the engine. A return line 15 returns lubricant from the engine through the sump to the pump. i

In the preferred embodiment the by-pass system 10 includes by-pass line inlet, tee elbow 12 interposed in lubrication intake line 14 between the pump and the engine. By-pass line 16 connects with tee leg 18.

A constriction 20 is formed in lubrication line 14 between tee' 12 and the engine. This constriction creates a pressure differential between lines 14 and 16 and insures a steady flow of oil into the by-pass system 10.

A flow control valve 22 located in by-pass line 16 regulates the flow of lube oil into a contaminant collector means, generally designated 24. The flow control valve 22 is necessary to insure that contaminant particles in the lube oil do not enter the contaminant collector means 24 with such force or velocity that they damage the inner components of the collector means 24 or are forced straight through the collector.

A strainer 29 may be interposed in by-pass line 16 on the outlet side of the contaminant collector means 24 as a safety precaution to insure that contaminants from the collector 24 will not be pumped into the engine. A check valve 26 is included in the by-pass system to insure that any back surges in the main lubrication system will not causea reverse flow of lube oil through the contaminant collector means 24 thereby damaging the tion 32 of by-pass line 16, and an outlet head 34 which is threadably mounted on the outlet portion 36 of the by-pass line 16. The respective heads 30 and 34 are adapted to mate as illustrated.

A filter support such as a wire mesh screen 38 mounted in the housing 25 is seated on an annular interior shoulder 40 of outlet head 34 normal to the flow of lubricant through the housing 25. The screen 38 supports a filter disc 42 which is preferably of corresponding diameter. The filter disc 42 allows passage of the lube oil through the collector but retains microscopic samples of any contaminants present in the oil. The filter disc may be made of any material such as cellulose fiber or plastic, and the composition thereof does not form a part of the present invention. However, it is preferable that the filter disc 42 be combustible since tests to ascertain what contaminants are present may require burning the used filter and analyzing the residue. After the support element or screen 38 and filter disc 42 are seated on annular shoulder 40 of outlet head 34, the inlet head 30 is rotated in a counterclockwise direction on threaded inlet portion 32 until an inner annular neck portion 44 contacts filter disc 42, thereby urging filter disc 42 and filter support screen 38 against shoulder 40 so that thefilter disc 42 and filter support screen 38 are fixedly held within the contaminant housing 25. An O-ring seal 46 between inlet head 30 and outlet head 34 is preferably provided to prevent fluid leakage between the collector heads.

FIGS. 4 through 6 illustrate a modification of the present invention, wherein the by-pass system is generally designated A by-pass line 50 branches angularly outwardly from lube line 14 and includes an oil return tube portion 54 which extends between lube line 14' and by-pass line 50. By-pass line 50 includes an exteriorly threaded extension or end portion 52 having an access opening 53.'lnterposed in by-pass line 50 is a conventional flow control valve 22.

An annular constriction located in tube line 14 between the points where by-pass line 50 and return line 54 join tube 14 creates a pressure differential between by-pass line 50 and lube line ll4, thereby insuring a positive oil flow into by-pass line 50.

The contaminant collector means 24 includes a housing generally designated maintainable within the by-pass tube 50. An internally threaded cap 58 threads onto the end portion 52 of by-pass line 50. Affixed to and extending downwardly from cap 58 into by-pass tube 50 are rigid connecting rods 60 coupled to the housing 25'. The housing 25 preferably includes an inlet head and an outlet head 34'. Outlet head 34 has an external diameter corresponding to the internal diameter of tube 50, and an inner annular shoulder 64 as best seen in FIG. 6. The shoulder 64 supports a filter support screen means 38 which in turn supports a filter disc 42. As also best seen in FIG. 6, an annular externally threaded inlet head 30 threads into outlet head 34 and maintains filter disc 42 and filter support screen 38' therein.

In operation, a filter disc 42' is placed upon a support screen 38. lnlet head 30' is then threaded into outlet head 34' until it bears against filter disc 42 and thereby holds the filter disc and support screen 38' in place. The collector apparatus is then inserted into tube 50 through threaded end 52 and cap 58 is threaded onto end 52. By reversing this procedure, used filter discs 42 may be removed for analysis of contaminants prescut on the filter and for replacement with new filter discs.

It should be noted that, while this invention has been developed in conjunction with analysis of oil samples from recirculating lubrication systems, the invention is equally suitable for use in any closed fluid recirculating system, such as engine cooling systems, hydraulic systems, etc.

While the invention has been preferably illustrated with the by-pass line 16 having a return outlet 28 interposed in the intake line 14, experimentation and practical application of the system have shown that an alternative configuration is equally suitable.

The alternative configuration would allow the bypass line 16 to extend between intake line 14 and return line 15 of the system, so that by-pass line outlet 28 is interposed in return line 15 or the by-pass line 16 may terminate directly into the sump.

Although I have herein shown and described by invention in what I have conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiments it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of my invention.

I claim: I

l. A contaminant collector means for use in a closed lubrication system to measure the level of contaminants in the lubricant circulating therein, said closed lubrication system including a machine to be lubricated, a pump to move lubricant, and intake and return lines interconnecting said pump and machine whereby the lubricant may be moved to and from the machine and wherein the collector means is adapted to obtain contaminants for analysis, said contaminant collector means comprising:

a by-pass line having an inlet end and an outlet end connected at different points in communication with said closed lubrication system;

flow restriction means mountedin said closed lubrication system between the points of communication of the inlet and outlet ends of said by-pass line therewith whereby a pressure differential may be created between the'inlet and outlet ends of said by-pass line to assure a flow of lubricant through said by-pass line;

a collector housing interposed in said by-pass line between the inlet and outlet ends thereof;

replaceable filter means mounted in said collector housing, said filter means comprising a piece of thin filter material which can be removed from said collector housing after lubricant in said lubricating system has circulated therethrough for a selected period of time so that the contaminants collected on vsaid piece of filter material may be analyzed to 7 determine contaminant level in the lubricant circulating in said closed lubrication system;

support means in said housing to maintain said piece of filter material normal to the flow of said lubricant and in the path thereof, whereby contaminants in said lubricant may be collected on said piece of filter material;

said piece of filter material being of such a material as to allow the substantially unrestricted flow of said lubricant therethrough;

flow control valve means mounted in said by-pass line between the inlet end thereof and said collector housing for controlling the rate of flow through said piece of filter material to prevent damage thereto; and check valve means mounted in said by-pass line between the outlet end thereof and said collector housing for preventing back surges in said closed lubrication system from flowing through said piece of filter material. 2. A contaminant collector'means as defined in claim 1 wherein the inlet and outlet ends of said by-pass line are connected in communication with said intake line of said closed lubrication system.

3. A contaminant collector means as defined in claim 1 wherein the inlet and outlet ends of said by-pass line are connected in communication with, respectively, said intake line and said return line of said closed lubri cation system.

4. A contaminant collector means as defined in claim ll wherein said collector housing comprises an internally threaded inlet head and an internally threaded outlet head, said inlet and outlet heads being mateable to form the housing and including means for forming a fluid seal between said heads, and said heads threadably interposed in said by-pass line.

5. A contaminant collector means as defined in claim 1 wherein said support means comprises a wire mesh screen of a diameter corresponding to said piece of filter material.

6. A contaminant collector means as defined in claim 4 wherein said outlet head includes aninner annular shoulder for maintaining said support means and said piece of filter material normal to the flow of lubricant through said collector housing.

7. A contaminant collector means as defined in claim 1 wherein said by-pass line includes an extension having an access opening therein communicating with said by-pass line, a cap adapted to close said opening, a connecting rod affixed to said cap and extending through said access opening into said by-pass line, said collector housing affixed tosaid connecting rod remote from said cap and maintainable in said by-pass line in the path of said lubricant.

8. A collector housing as defined in claim 1 wherein said housing comprises an externally threaded annular inlet head and an internally threaded outlet head whereby said inlet head may be threadably mated with said outlet head so as to maintain therebetween said piece of contaminant filter material and said filter support means. i

9. A contaminant collector means interposed in a closed lubrication system including a machine to be lubricated, a pump to move lubricant, and intake and return lines interconnecting said pump and said machine whereby lubricant may be moved to and from the machine and wherein the collector means is adapted to obtain contaminants for analysis comprising:

a by-pass line connected in parallel with said intake line including a tee elbow inlet and a tee elbow outlet connected at different points in said intake line;

a flow restricting constriction in said intake line between said inlet and said outlet;

a collector housing interposed in said by-pass line, said housing comprising internally threaded, mateable inlet and outlet heads and means for forming a fluid seal therebetween;

said outlet head including an inner annular shoulder;

support means mounted on said shoulder having a bearint surface normal to the flow of lubricant;

filter means for collecting contaminants seated on said bearing surface, said filter means comprising a piece of thin filter material which can be removed from said collector housing after lubricant in said lubricating system has circulated therethro ugh for a selected period of time so that the contaminants collected on said piece of filter material may be analyzed to determine contaminant level in the lubricant circulating in said closed lubrication system, and said piece of filter material being of such a material as to allow substantially unrestricted flow of said lubricant therethrough;

a flow control valve interposed in said by-pass line between said inlet and said housing whereby lubricant flow through said housing can be regulated; and

a check valve interposed in said by-pass line between said housing and said outlet whereby back surges in the intake line can be prevented from flowing through said housing.

10. A contaminant collector means for use in a closed lubrication system including a machine to be lubricated, a pump to move lubricant, and intake and return lines interconnecting said pump and machine whereby the lubricant may be moved to and from the machine and wherein the collector means is'adapted to obtain contaminants for analysis, said means comprising:

a by-pass line having an inlet end and an outlet end connected at different points in communication with said closed lubrication system; said by-pass line having its inlet end connected to said intake line and its outlet end connected to said return line; 7

flow restriction means in said intake line between the inlet end of said by-pass line and said machine, whereby a pressure differential may be created between the inlet and outlet ends of said by-pass line to assure a flow of lubricant through said by-pass line; a collector housing interposed in said by-pass line; said collector housing comprising an internally threaded inlet head and an internally threaded outlet head, said inlet and outlet heads beingmateable to form the housing and including means for forming fluid seal between said heads, and said heads threadably interposed in said by-pass line;

replaceable filter means mounted in said collector housing; support means in said housing to maintain said filter means normal to the flow of said lubricant and in the path thereof, whereby contaminants ib said lubrication may be collected on said filter means;

said filter means comprising a piece of thin filter material which can be removed from said collector housing after lubricant in said lubricating system has circulated therethrough for a selected period of time so that the contaminants collected on said piece of filter material may be analyzed to determine contaminant level in the lubricant circulating in said closed lubrication system, said piece of filter material being of such a material as to allow the substantially unrestricted flow of said lubricant therethrough;

flow control valve means mounted in said by-pass line between the inlet end thereof and said collector housing for controlling the rate of flow through said piece of filter material to prevent damage thereto; and

check valve means mounted in said by-pass line between the outlet end thereof and said collector housing for preventing back surges in said closed lubrication system from flowing through said piece of filter material.

11. Apparatus for collecting contaminant samples from a fluid recirculating system, comprising:

a by-pass line having an inlet end and an outlet end connected at different points in communication with said fluid recirculating system;

a piece of filter material for collecting contaminants;

means for removably mounting and supporting said piece of filter material in said by-pass line between the inlet and outlet ends thereof so that said piece of filter material may be removed from said by-pass line after fluid in said recirculating system has circulated therethrough for a selected period of time whereby the contaminants collected on said piece of filter material may be analyzed to determine the average contaminant level in the fluid circulating in said recirculating system;

flow control valve means mounted in said by-pass line between the inlet end thereof and said piece of filter material for controlling the rate of flow through said piece of filter material to prevent damage thereto;

check valve means mounted in said by-pass line between the outlet end thereof and said piece of filter material for preventing back surges in said fluid recirculating system from flowing through said piece of filter material; and

including flow restriction means mounted in said fluid recirculating system between the points of communication of the inlet and outlet ends of said by-pass line therethrough.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1806537 *Aug 22, 1927May 19, 1931General Motors CorOil filter installation
US2842152 *Mar 21, 1956Jul 8, 1958Shell DevPipe line flow control
US3010583 *Oct 23, 1959Nov 28, 1961Millipore Filter CorpFluid sampling device
US3056500 *Apr 4, 1960Oct 2, 1962Denis Carter FrederickTreatment of fluid flows
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4231861 *Mar 26, 1979Nov 4, 1980Parsons Manufacturing, IncorporatedGrain cleaning apparatus
US4615413 *Apr 24, 1984Oct 7, 1986Westland PlcRecirculating lubricating system with monitor filter unit
US4655914 *Nov 26, 1984Apr 7, 1987Origin Company LimitedMethod and apparatus for filtering impurities out of fluid
US4905644 *Apr 10, 1989Mar 6, 1990Societe Nationale D'etude Et De Construction De Moteurs D'aviation "S.N.E.C.M.A"In a fluid feed system
US5074381 *Sep 24, 1990Dec 24, 1991Westinghouse Electric Corp.Apparatus for removing solid particulates from oil
US5139673 *Dec 24, 1990Aug 18, 1992Westinghouse Electric Corp.Strainer assembly for removing solid particulates from oil
US7513937 *Jul 8, 2005Apr 7, 2009Refined Global Solutions, Inc.Oil reconditioning device and associated methods
US8720499 *Jan 16, 2008May 13, 2014Fuel Guard Systems CorporationAutomated fuel quality detection and dispenser control system and method, particularly for aviation fueling applications
US20080230146 *Jan 16, 2008Sep 25, 2008Veeder-Root CompanyAutomated Fuel Quality Detection and Dispenser Control System and Method, Particularly for Aviation Fueling Applications
EP0126554A2 *Apr 24, 1984Nov 28, 1984Westland Group plcRecirculating lubricating system
WO2002087726A1 *Apr 24, 2002Nov 7, 2002David J AllenAuxiliary filtration system and filtering method
Classifications
U.S. Classification184/6.24, 123/196.00A, 210/434
International ClassificationF16N39/06, F16N29/00, F16N39/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16N29/00, F16N39/06
European ClassificationF16N39/06, F16N29/00