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Publication numberUS3780948 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 25, 1973
Filing dateApr 17, 1972
Priority dateApr 17, 1972
Publication numberUS 3780948 A, US 3780948A, US-A-3780948, US3780948 A, US3780948A
InventorsH Kumaoka
Original AssigneeH Kumaoka
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for automatically sprinkling liquids
US 3780948 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Kumaoka APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY SPRINKLING LIQUIDS [76] Inventor: Hiromu Kumaoka, 214, Tokuda,

Kibi-cho, Areta-gun, Wakayama-ken, Japan 22 Filed: Apr. 17, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 244,666

Primary Examiner-Lloyd L. King Attorney-George B. Oujevolk [4 1 Dec. 25, 1973 ABSTRACT An apparatus for automatically sprinkling a liquid comprising a liquid supply vertical tube connected at its lower end to a liquid supply source, a swivel tube connected to the upper end of the vertical tube and adapted to be swivelled about the axis of the vertical tube while guiding the liquid from the vertical tube toward a horizontal or obliquely upward direction, a sprinkler having a jet nozzle and mounted on the distal end of the swivel tube and automatically rotatable by the jet energy of the liquid, the sprinkler being so posiime! t a he 315. thereof in e sects t a of tbs vertical tube at an angle greater than 0 but smaller than 90, and swivel control means mounted on the connection of the vertical tube and the swivel tube for swivelling the swivel tube while intermittently and angularly displacing the same in a definite direction by utilizing the reaction force of the liquid jet delivered from the sprinkler.

3 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHE025|975 3.780.946 SHEET 8 [IF 8 APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY SPRINKLING LIQUIDS This invention relates to an apparatus for automatically sprinkling a liquid onto trees, such as fruit trees, positioned around the apparatus with a rotating nozzle.

Automatic sprinkling apparatuses of the abovementioned type heretofore provided generally have the disadvantage of complex construction and high manufacturing cost.

In order to apply a liquid over an area of a given width the conventional apparatus generally employs a nozzle of the diffusion type. However, if forced out and diffused, the force of the diffused liquid is low and the liquid will not reach a remote place, the diffusion and atomization further causing the effective component in the liquid to evaporate off, if any. Moreover, the liquid particles will flow away on an air stream, resulting in a great loss of the sprinkled liquid. The reach and force of the discharged liquid stream have an important bearing on the performance of the apparatus and it is of course desired to obtain the greatest possible reach and the highest force of the discharged liquid stream.

To eliminate the foregoing drawbacks experienced with the conventional apparatus, attempts have also been made to'employ a sprinkler having a nozzle of the jet type automatically rotatable by the jet energy of the liquid, but if the liquid is forced out against trees in the form of a jet, diffusion of the liquid hardly takes place and jetted liquid always strikes the trees at a constant level so that there arises a need to provide a plurality of such sprinklers in a multistage arrangement to achieve application over an area of a great vertical width as obtained with a diffusing nozzle. However, the use of a plurality of sprinklers in a multistage arrangement requires a liquid conduit of a greater diameter in proportion to the number of the sprinklers and liquid supply means and other attachments of a greater capacity. Consequently, the apparatus becomes expensive to manufacture. Further with the conventional apparatus having the above sprinkler, the liquid is always jetted symmetrically of the apparatus on its opposite sides, with the result that-if the ground is inclined or the trees on one side differ in height from those on the other side, the liquid can not always be applied effectively to the trees on both sides.

An object of this invention is to provide an apparatus for automatically sprinkling a liquid which is very simple in construction and inexpensive to manufacture.

Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus for automatically sprinkling a liquid including only one sprinkler having a jet nozzle whereby the liquid can be applied to trees in vertically and horizontally spreading fashion.

Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus for automatically sprinkling a liquid whereby the liquid can be applied effectively even in the case where the ground is inclined or trees on one side differ from those on the other side in height;-

The above and other objects of this invention will become more apparent from the following description.

The present invention provides an apparatus for automatically sprinkling a liquid comprising a liquid supply vertical tube connected at its lower end to a liquid supply source, a swivel tube connected to the upper end of the vertical tube and adapted to be swiveled about the axis of the vertical tube while guiding the liquid from the vertical tube toward a horizontal or obliquely upward direction, a sprinkler having a jet nozzle and mounted on the distal end of the swivel tube and automatically rotatable by the jet energy of the liquid, the sprinkler being so positioned that the axis thereof intersects the axis of the vertical tube at an angle greater than 0 but smaller than and swivel control means mounted on the connection of the vertical tube and the swivel tube for swivelling the swivel tube while intermittently and angularly displacing the same in a definite direction by utilizing the reaction force of the liquid jet delivered from the sprinkler.

With the present apparatus, the sprinkler rotates about its own axis and at the same time revolves about the axis of the vertical tube by being displaced a suitable angle at a time as the swivel tube is swivelled. Because the axis of rotation of the sprinkler intersects the axis of its revolution at an angle of greater than 0 but smaller than 90, the position where the liquid is applied to the object to be sprinkled changes every time the sprinkler is orbitally displaced, with the result that during one turn of revolution of the sprinkler, the liquid can be applied to a wide area extending both in horizontal and vertical directions as if by a plurality of nozzles in multi-staged arrangement. Thus, in spite of the use ofajet nozzle, the present apparatus including only one such nozzle can apply a liquid onto an area of a great vertical width just as achieved by a diffusing nozzle.

According to the automatic sprinkling apparatus of this invention, the sprinkler and swivel tube are automatically rotated by the energy of the liquid to be sprinkled which is forced out from the nozzle of the sprinkler. Therefore, the apparatus need not be equipped with a special device for driving the sprinkler and the swivel tube, with the resulting advantage that the apparatus is very simple in its overall construction and is inexpensive. The simple construction serves to reduce malfunctions and assures easy repair and maintenance.

The nozzle of the present apparatus which is of the jet type enables the liquid forced out to reach over a longer distance with a greater force, ensuring very good performance. Since the liquid forced out from the nozzle is hardly atomized, the loss of sprinkled liquid can be reduced and the efficacy of component of the liquid will be fully retained.

For a better understanding of this invention, embodiments of the invention will be described below with reference to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view showing an embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a view illustrating the relation between the axis of a vertical tube and that of a sprinkler;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged plan view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front view showing an automatically rotatable sprinkler included in the apparatus shown in FIG.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a view in vertical section taken along the line II in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a view in vertical section taken along the line II in FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a front view showing the construction of the connection between a vertical tube and a swivel tube and the construction of swivel control means mounted on the connection;

FIG. 9 is a view in vertical section showing the construction of a swivel joint;

FIG. 10 is a development showing a drum of the swivel control means;

FIG. 11 is a plan view illustrating the state of the liquid jet as it is emitted from a nozzle of a sprinkler at respective positions during revolution;

FIG. 12 is a side view illustrating the state shown in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a front view showing another embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 14 is a development of a drum included in the apparatus of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a plan view illustrating the state of the liquid jet as it is emitted from a nozzle at respective positions during revolution; and

FIG. 16 is a side view illustrating the state shown in FIG. 15.

With reference to FIGS. 1 to 12, liquid supply means is indicated at A, an automatically rotatable sprinkler at B and swivel control means at C.

The liquid supply means A comprises a vertical tube 2 upstanding from the ground a for guiding a liquid upward which liquid is sent forward through a duct 1 from an 'unillustrated liquid tank equipped with a feed pump, and a swivel tube 3 mounted on the upper end of the vertical tube 2 and adapted to swivel about the axis of the tube 2. The swivel tube 3 guides the liquid from the vertical tube 2 toward a horizontal or obliquely upward direction. As seen from FIG. 9, the swivel tube 3 is connected to the vertical tube 2 by means of a swivel joint 4 and a T-joint 5. The swivel joint 4 shown comprises a stationary support tube 4a screwed on the upper end of the vertical tube 2 and a rotatable tube 4b fitted in the support tube 40 in sliding contact therewith against upward displacement and screwed at its top end into a downwardly extending tube 5a of the T-joint 5. Other swivel joints conventional in the art can be used alternatively for the joint 4 shown in FIG. 9.

The automatically rotatable sprinkler B may be of any construction insofar as it is capable of sprinkling a liquid while being rotated automatically by the jet energy of the liquid. A specific example of the sprinkler will be described below referring to FIGS. 4 to 7.

The automatically rotatable sprinkler B illustrated comprises a stationary support tube 6 screwed into the swivel tube 3 of the liquid supply means A, a rotatable tube loosely fitted in the support tube 6 and liquidtightly sealed by packings 8 and 9 under the action of a spring 7 and a head member 11 screwed on the upper end of the rotatable tube 10 and rotatable integrally therewith. The heat member 11 is provided with a nozzle 12 which is open obliquely upward of the head and a gate-shaped frame 13 at its upper end. A swing member is pivotably mounted on a fixed pivot 14 in the gate-shaped frame 13. The swing member 15 has a liquid receiver 16 on the nozzle side and a weight member 17 on the opposite side. The base portions of the receiver l6 and the weight member 17 are always forced into contact with posts 13a and 13b of the gate-shaped frame 13 by a spring 18.

A liquid forced out from the jet nozzle 12 strikes the inner face of the liquid receiver 16 to impart a torque to the swing member 15 and thereby pivotally moves the same in a counterclockwise direction in FIG. 5 against the spring 18. This movement stops when the torque comes into balance with the repellant resiliency of the spring 18, whereupon the swing member 15 is pulled backward by the spring 18. At this time, the base portions of the receiver 16 and weight member 17 strike the side faces of posts 13a and 13b of the gatelike frame 13 under the inertia of movement due to the weight of the receiver 16 and weight member 17, effecting a small angular displacement of the gate-like frame in a clockwise direction. Thus, every time the swing member 15 is pivotally moved, the head member 11 rotates a small angle, whereby the direction ofliquid jet progressively changes toward a clockwise direction. In this way, the sprinkler B is continuously moved in a clockwise direction by the jet energy of the liquid.

The automatically rotatable sprinkler B is mounted on the liquid supply means A, with its stationary support tube 6 mounted on the swivel tube 3 of the latter. It is strictly required that the sprinkler B be so mounted on the swivel tube 3 that the axis x of the sprinkler intersects the axis y of the vertical tube 2. For this purpose, the distal end of the swivel tube 3 is bent upward (see FIG. 8). The bent portion is indicated at 3a. The angle a formed by the axes x and y can be suitably determined within the range of more than 0 to less than depending upon the kind of trees and the configuration of the ground. If the angle a is 0 or 90, the liquid will be applied to the object at the same position in a planar fashion irrespective of where the sprinkler B is positioned on the orbit B of its revolution as it is angularly displaced. Particularly when the angle a is in therange of 5 to 45, very stable and reliable application of the liquid is assured to achieve improved effectiveness.

As shown in FIG. 8, the swivel control means C comprises a drum 20 formed with a guide groove 19 and a guide rod 21 having a distal hook end 21a engaged in the guide groove 19. The guide rod 21 is fixed to the rear extension 312 of swivel tube 3 of the liquid supply means A. The drum 20 is mounted externally on the stationary support tube 4a of the swivel joint 4 connecting the swivel tube 3 to the vertical tube 2.

The guide groove 19 of the drum 20 is composed of vertical grooves 19a and slanting grooves 19b which are arranged alternately in communication with each other (see FIG. 10). The lower end of each slanting groove 19b is continuous with the lower end of one vertical groove 19a and the upper end is continuous with the upper end of the other vertical groove 19a.

The swivel control means C controls the swivel of the swivel tube 3 by angularly and intermittently displacing the same in a definite direction under the reaction force of a jet given by the nozzle 12.

This movement will be described below as follows. More specifically, when the liquid is forced out from the jet nozzle 12 of the sprinkler B, the sprinkler B is rotated by the jet energy of the liquid as illustrated before. At the same time the reaction force of the jet acts on the swivel tube 3 as a torque to cause the swivel tube 3 to swivel in direction of the reaction force. Supposing that the reaction force of the liquid jet acts on the swivel tube 3 as a clockwise torque in FIG. 8, the torque is immediately delivered to the distal hook end 21a of the guide rod 21 by way of the swivel tube 3. Accordingly, the hook end 21a located at the lower end of the vertical groove 19a moves up to the upper end of the slanting groove 19b and comes into pressing contact with the side wall of the upper end. The hook end 21a thereafter remains in this position until the direction of the torque is reversed. This means that the swivel tube 3 is displaced by an angle corresponding to the horizontal length of theslanting groove 19b and is thereafter retained at the displaced position. When the direction of the nozzle 12 has passed the axis f of the swivel tube 3 whereupon the direction of the torque is reversed, the distal hook end 21a, now freed from the pressing contact, drops onto the lower end of the vertical groove 19a due to gravity, where it is subjected to a counterclockwise torque. At the lower end of the vertical groove 19a, however, there is the side wall of the vertical groove 19a counterclockwisely of the hook end 21a, which prevents any movement of the hook end 21a even if it is subjected to the counterclockwise torque. Thus, the swivel tube 3 is also held in the stationary position. When the direction of the torque changes again to a clockwise direction, the distal hook end 21a moves along the slanting groove 19b, permitting the swivel tube 3 to revolve for displacement. In this way, the swivel tube 3 is revolved intermittently through an angle corresponding to the horizontal length of the slanting groove 19b every time the nozzle 12 makes one turn of rotation on its own axis.

With the apparatus of this invention having the foregoing construction, the liquid forced into the lower end of the vertical tube 2 from the liquid supply means (not shown) by way of the conduit 1 flows into the swivel tube 3 through the upper end of the vertical tube 2 and is jetted from the jet nozzle 12 of the sprinkler B. The liquid jet causes the sprinkler B to rotate about its own axis 1: while being revolved about the axis y of the vertical tube 2 by the swivel tube 3 which is permitted to intermittently swivel in a definite direction for a suitable angular displacement at a time under the action of the swivel control means C. As a result, the sprinkler B jets the liquid while making a turn of rotation about its own axis at each of the angularly displaced positions i to xii on the orbit B of its revolution (see FIG. 11). Now the mode of application of liquid by the sprinkler B will be studied with respect to intersectionj of the center line h of the nozzle 12 and a vertical reference line g on the object to be sprinkled. Since the axis x about which the sprinkler B rotates intersects the axis y about which it revolves at an angle of 0 to 90, the intersectionj will be displaced vertically in multistage manner every time the sprinkler B is angularly displaced on the orbit B of its revolution (see FIG. 12).

The embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 12 is such that the sprinkler B revolves by an angular displacement of 30 at a time. As apparent from FIG. 12, seven intersections j will be formed on the vertical reference line g. The range of liquid application thus provided is equiva lent to that achieved by seven jet nozzles arranged in multistage fashion.

Each angular displacement of the sprinkler B as it revolves along its orbit is not limited to 30 as above and 'is preferably about 2 0 to 60.

angle can be adjusted as desired by varying the angle a formed by the axis x of the sprinkler B and the axis y of the vertical tube 2. More specifically, the distance between the intersections on the vertical line g in FIG. 12 varies proportionally to the angle a between the axes x and y, so that the greater the angle a the greater will be the distance between the intersections j, resulting in a three-dimensional sprinkling of the liquid. Conversely, the smaller the angle a, the smaller will be the distance to result in more planar mode of liquid application. If the angle a increases to result in markedly three-dimensional sprinkling, the intersections will be spaced apart by too great a distance and there arises the tendency that no liquid will be applied between the intersections. For this reason, it is most preferable that the angle a be about 5 to 45.

In this invention the angle of elevation of nozzle '12 of the sprinkler B can vary over a wide range. Nozzles with an angle of 0 to 45 is particularly serviceable. The angle may of course be more than 45, but such angle will not produce hardly any merit in practice. By varying the angle of the nozzle 12, the direction of the liquid jet can be varied in vertical direction as desired. The length and the inclination angle of the swivel tube 3 is not critical and give hardly any influence on the state of liquid jet.

As described above, the apparatus of this invention equipped with only one jet nozzle is capable of sprinkling a liquid over a very wide area, eliminating all the drawbacks heretofore experienced with an apparatus including a diffusing nozzle or multistaged jet nozzles.

FIGS. 13 to 16 show another embodiment of this invention wherein the swivel control means C is provided with five vertical grooves 19a communicating with each other through slanting grooves 19b at their lower and upper ends in part of the peripheral face of drum 20 of the swivel control means C subtending for example the vertical grooves being spaced apart by 30. The swivel control means is further provided with an elongated slanting groove 19b in other part of the peripheral face thereof. One end of the elongated slanting groove 19b is connected to the lower end of the vertical groove 19a positioned at one end and the other end of the elongated groove 1% is connected to the upper end of the vertical groove 19a positioned at the other end. This embodiment is different from the foregoing embodiment only in the construction of the guide groove 19, with the other parts constructed identically thereto.

According to this embodiment, the sprinkler B, revolves quickly when the hooked end passes through the elongated slanting groove 19b where no vertical grooves 19a are formed, immediately after the hooked end leaves vertical groove 19a at the end of the groove 19b and, only while the hooked end is located where the vertical grooves 19a are formed, the sprinkler B is intermittently displaced through 30 every time it makes one turn of rotation about its own axis. Accordingly, while passing through the part of the orbit corresponding to the elongated slanting groove 1%, the sprinkler B performs hardly any substantial sprinkling and, only while moving along the other part of the orbit corresponding to the portion formed with the vertical grooves 19a, the sprinkler conducts application of the liquid. More specifically with reference to FIGS. 15 and 16, the sprinkler B forces out the liquid while making one turn of rotation at each of points i, 11, iii, iv'

and v on the orbit of its revolution, whereas no sprinkling will be performed at the other part of the orbit. As seen in FIG. 16, therefore, the liquid is applied to higher positions on the right of the axis y than on the left, this assuring very useful application in the case where the ground is inclined or the height of the fruit trees on one side differs from that of the trees on the other side.

Although the guide groove 19 in the drum 20 of the above embodiment has an effective length subtending 120, with five vertical grooves 190 formed with a pitch of 30, the effective length of the guide groove 19 can be determined as desired within the range of 90 to 180. The pitch of the vertical groove 19a, which may depend on the effective length, should be such that at least three vertical grooves 19a will be formed within the effective length. Less than three vertical grooves 19a are not desirable inasmuch as the range of liquid application becomes too small.

I claim: a

1. In an apparatus for automatically sprinkling a liquid having a. a liquid supply vertical tube (2) connected at its lower end to a liquid supply source,

b. a swivel tube (3) connected to the upper end of the vertical tube (2) and adapted to be swivelled about the axis of the vertical tube while guiding the liquid from the vertical tube toward a horizontal or obliquely upward direction,

c. a sprinkler (B) having ajet nozzle and mounted on the distal end of the swivel tube and automatically rotatable by the jet energy of the liquid; the improvement therein wherein d. the sprinkler is so positioned that the axis thereof intersects the axis of the vertical tube at an angle greater than 0 but smaller than and e. swivel control means are mounted on the connection of the vertical tube and the swivel tube for swivelling the swivel tube while intermittently and angularly displacing the same in a definite direction by utilizing the reaction force of the liquid jet delivered from the sprinkler, said swivel control means comprising: a drum (20) formed with a guide groove (19), said guide groove being at least partially composed of slanting grooves (19b) and vertical grooves arranged alternately in communication with each other, the lower end of each slanting groove being continuous with the lower end of one of the vertical grooves; a rear extension (3b) to the swivel tube; a guide rod (21) affixed to said rear extension (3b) with a distal hook (21a) engaged in said guide groove- (19) so that the swivel control means controls the swivel of the swivel tube (3) by angularly and intermittently displacing the same in a predetermined direction under the reaction force of a jet escaping from the nozzle.

2. The apparatus for automatically sprinkling a liquid as claimed in claim 1 including in said drum at least one elongated slanting groove (19b) imparting additional movement to the swivel tube.

3. The apparatus for automatically sprinkling a liquid as claimed in claim 1 wherein the axis of the vertical tube intersects the axis of the sprinkler at an angle of 5 to 45.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6834814 *Jun 16, 2003Dec 28, 2004Alfred James BeckmanAdjustable pattern irrigation system
Classifications
U.S. Classification239/236
International ClassificationB05B3/04, B05B15/06, B05B3/02, B05B15/00
Cooperative ClassificationB05B15/06, B05B3/0472
European ClassificationB05B15/06, B05B3/04C8