US 3788527 A
A container chargeable with a relatively large volume of air under significant pressure and including quick-release valve means for rapidly discharging the container via a self-contained tubular outlet for suddenly releasing energy into a receptacle for the purpose of accelerating the flow of granular and like materials.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Matson  QUICK-RELEASE AERATOR FOR INTRODUCING HIGH PRESSURE AIR INTO A CONTAINER TO FACILITATE DISPENSING  Inventor: Carl G. Matson, Kawanee, Ill.
 Assignee: Martin Engineering Company,
 Filed: Jan. 2 2, 1973  Appl. No.: 325,519
 US. Cl. 222/195, 222/389  Int. Cl.....l B65g 3/12  Field of Search... 222/189, 196, 195, 334, 389,
Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Assistant Examiner-James M. Slattery Attorney, Agent, or FirmI-larold M. Knoth  ABSTRACT I A container chargeable with a relatively large volume of air under significant pressure and including quickrelease valve means for rapidly discharging the container via a self-contained tubular outlet for suddenly releasing energy into a receptacle for the purpose of  References Cited 5 accelerating the flow of granular and like materials.
UNITED STATES PATENTS I 3,169,676 2/19 65 Hanselmann 222/3 x 10 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 66 7 /4 w fi g 2 A L H 62 6 t I 46 1 QUICK-RELEASE AERATOR FOR INTRODUCING HIGH PRESSURE AIR INTO A CONTAINER TO F ACILITATE DISPENSING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The storage of granular and like materials in bins, silos, etc., creates many problems, particularly in the discharge of such materials after prolonged storage, because the material has a tendency to hang up and refuse to flow. These problems can be solved to some ex tent by the use of vibrators and other mechanical means but these have been found to be costly and apt to cause structural damage to the bin, silo, etc.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 7 According to the present invention, there is provided a quick-release aerator that stores a large volume of air under significant pressure and then releases the air instantaneously into the storage receptacle, producing substantially the equivalent of a dull explosion that causes even the most stubborn material to flow freely. It is a feature of the invention that the aerator can be constructed simply and inexpensively. It has only one moving part; e.g., a simple valve. It uses compressed air and is easily. controlled and it lends itself well'to multiple installations, having regard especially to the fact that the aerator can be charged by a relatively small compressor. Installation is simple, requiring only that the silo, bin, etc. be provided with one opening per aerator, and a flange on the aerator tube can be easily field-welded to thesilo etc., with the tube entering-the openingto conduct the sudden release of energy di- I rectly into the grain or other material. Standard size tubing may be used to construct the aerator.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the aerator.
FIG. 2 is a section on the line 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG. Sis a schematic viewillustrating the use of the aerator.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The aerator has a shell-like container 10 including a peripheral wall '12 and first and second opposite end walls 14 and 16. Preferably the container is circular; in the present example, it has a length of 22 inches and a diameter of 12 inches. The first end wall 14 has an air inlet opening 18 (to be described in greater detail later) and the second end wall has a central circular aperture An elongated tube 22-, preferably circular in crosssection, extends through the aperture 20 and is welded in place in keeping with the air-tight nature of the structure. This tube has an outer terminal discharge end 24 and an inner terminal end 26 spaced axially fromthe end wall 14 by a cylinder 28. The container 10 is of relatively large volume, and the tube 22 is of substantially smaller diameter. In the present example, thediameter of the tube is about one-third that of the container. The cylinder 28 has a slightly larger diame ter than the tube and its end proximate to the inner terminal end of the tube is related to the tube in somewhat overlapping relationship to provide an annular space, which space provides air passage means 30. For structural rigidity, the two end portions of the tube and cylinder are secured together, as by welding, by means of a plurality of spacer means 32 (FIG. 2).
The end of the cylinder 28 that lies proximate to the first end wall 14. of the container is welded concentrically to that end wall and is itself closed by a cap 34 sealed to the interior of the cylinder by annular seal means 36. A snap ring 38 and a pair of cap screws 40 complete this end of the assembly. The cap is centrally tapped to provide the air inlet means 18.
The outer terminal end of the tube 22 has means for mounting the aerator to a receptacle, such as a silo 42 (FIG. 3). This means here takes the form of a steel flange 44 welded to the tube 22. In practice, an opening is cut in the silo wall, the tube inserted and the flange 44 welded to the silo wall. A quick-release three-way valve of conventional design is provided at 46 to connect the air inlet opening 18 to a supply line 48 of an air compressor 50. The valve 46 may be solenoidoperated for remote control and is here shown as equipped with a conventional muffler 52.
A simple piston 54 controls the communication of air among the cylinder, container and tube 22. This piston preferably first loosely within the cylinder and has an annular seal means, such as an O-ring 56 for controlling air port means 58 in the cylinder wall. The radial face of the piston that is disposed toward the inner terminal end 26 of the tube 22 has elastomer seat means in the form of a ring 60 adapted to seat on the tube end 26. An elastomer bumper 62 is provided on the inside face of the cap 34 to absorb rebound shocks of the piston 54 as container air is discharged through the tube 22.
In the position of the piston as shown, the air port means 58 are closed by the O-ring 56 and the seat 60 is spaced away from the tube end' 26. When the cylinder is charged via the air inlet means 18 and valve 46, the piston moves to the right, causing the seat 60 to seat on the tube end 26 and thus to close the tube against communication of air from the container. At the same time, the O-ring 56 moves past the air port means 58, allowing cylinder air to flow into the container, where approximately 9'cubic feet of air are accumulated at about 90 pounds per square inch. So long as the piston remains to the right under compressor pressure, no air can escape from the container to the tube 22.
When, however, the valve 46 is opened, the piston moves quickly to the left under pressure from the container flowing through the air passage means 30, because there is no longer any pressure holding the piston to the right. This sudden release of air from the container is exhausted rapidly through the tube and into the silo, etc.
This process is repeated as often as is necessary. Where several aerators are installed on a single receptacle, silo, bin, etc., many types of controls are available; e.g., timers, sequence switches, etc. Several aerators may be connected to discharge at once.
Because the device has only one moving part, maintenance is simple. The cap 34 may be easily removed for access to the piston.
opening and the second end wall having an aperture, a
tube of substantially smaller cross-section than the container and fitted within the aperture and having an outer terminal end exteriorly of the container and an inner terminal end within the container and spaced from the first end wall, said outer terminal end being adapted to communicate directly with the contents of a receptacle containing such material, a hollow cylinder also of substantially smaller cross-section than the container but of slightly larger diameter than the tube and secured to the first end wall in communication with the air inlet opening and extending toward and loosely concentric with the inner terminal end of the tube so as to provide air passage means between the container and the tube, said cylinder having air port means spaced from the inner terminal end of the tube toward said first end wall to provide communication between the cylinder and the container, a piston having port control means and passage control means and movable back and forth in the cylinder between a first position spaced away from the inner terminal end of the tube so as to open the air passage means and to close the air port means and a second position opening the air port means and closing the air passage means, said piston being movable from its first position to its second position via air under pressure through the air inlet opening whereby to charge the container with air via the air port means and said piston being returnable to its first position via a combination of release of air through said air inlet opening and air under pressure from the container flowing rapidly through the air passage means for discharge through the outer terminal end of the tube and into the receptacle.
2. The invention defined in claim 1, in which the cylinder axially overlaps the inner terminal end of the tube and means is provided to secure the tube and cylinder rigidly together in annularly spaced relation, said means including openings providing said air passage means.
3. The invention defined in claim 1, in which the port control means is an annular seal means carried by the piston.
4. The invention defined in claim 1, in which the passage control means is an elastomer seat means carried by the radial face of the piston that faces toward and seats on the inner terminal end of the tube.
5. The invention defined in claim 1, in which the port control means is an annular seal carried by the piston and the passage control means is an elastomer seat carried by the radial face of the piston that faces toward and seats on the inner terminal end of the tube.
6. The invention defined in claim 1, including flange means carried by a portion of the tube exteriorly of the container for welding to a metal receptacle.
7. The invention defined in claim 1, in which the container, tube and cylinder are circular in cross-section and are concentrically arranged.
8. The invention defined in claim 1, in which elastomer bumper means is provided within the cylinder adjacent to the first end wall to absorb rebound shocks of the piston when the piston returns to its first position.
9. A quick-release aerator for facilitating the flow of granular and like material, comprising a relatively large-volume container, a tube of substantially smaller cross-section than the container and projecting through a wall of the container so as to have an inner terminal end within the container and an outer terminal end exteriorly of the container, said outer terminal end being adapted to communicate directly with the contents of a receptacle containing such material, said container having air inlet means adjacent to the inner terminal end of the tube, valve means within the container and cooperative with the air inlet means and the inner terminal end of the tube and responsive to variations in air inlet pressure for selectively connecting the air inlet means to the container while closing the inner terminal end of the tube so as to charge the container exclusively of the tube and for opening the inner terminal end of the tube while closing the air inlet means to allow rapid escape of container air through the outer terminal end of the tube and into the receptacle.
10. The invention defined in claim 9 in which the valve means includes a cylinder and piston means associated with the inner terminal end of the tube.