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Publication numberUS3806088 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 23, 1974
Filing dateMay 1, 1972
Priority dateMay 1, 1972
Publication numberUS 3806088 A, US 3806088A, US-A-3806088, US3806088 A, US3806088A
InventorsDavis J, Futter R, Stoneman D
Original AssigneeHydro Syst Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Manifold apparatus
US 3806088 A
Abstract
A manifold apparatus comprising a rigid body having four mounting and two connecting sides and a multiplicity of selectively interconnected fluid-conducting passages therein. Predetermined ones of the passages open through predetermined ones of the sides thereby defining ports therein, the passages being arranged in discrete pressure-fluid supply and tank groups. The passages of the supply group are interconnected and define a pressure port in each of the mounting sides and a connecting port in one connecting side. The passages of the tank group are interconnected and define a tank port in each of the mounting sides and a connecting port in the other of the connecting sides. There are at least two pairs of non-connected cylinder passages, the two cylinder passages of the first pair extending between a first one of the mounting sides and different ones, respectively, of the connecting sides. The two cylinder passages of the second pair extend between a second one of the mounting sides and different ones, respectively, of the connecting sides. The cylinder passages define cylinder ports in the respective connecting sides and control ports in the mounting sides, and pressure, tank, and control ports in the mounting sides are arranged according to a predetermined geometric pattern. The mounting sides have flat surfaces with respect to the ports therein whereby separate fluid-handling devices may be mounted thereon in operative communication with the ports.
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United States Patent [191 Stoneman et al.

[ Apr. 23, 1974 MANIFOLD APPARATUS [75] Inventors: Donald C. Stoneman; Jack D. Davis,

both of Ft. Wayne; Richard E. Futter, South Bend, all of Ind.

[73] Assignee: Hydro Systems, Incorporated, Fort Wayne, lnd.

[22] Filed: May 1, 1972 [21 Appl. No.: 249,211

[52] US. Cl. 251/367 Primary Examiner-Henry T. Klinksiek Attorney, Agent, or FirmGus t, Irish, Lundy & Welch [5 7] ABSTRACT A manifold apparatus comprising a rigid body having four mounting and two connecting sides and a multiplicity of selectively interconnected fluid-conducting passages therein. redetermined ones of the passages open through predetermined ones of the sides thereby defining ports therein, the passages being arranged in discrete pressure-fluid supply and tank groups. The passages of the supply group are interconnected and define a pressure port in eachv of the mounting sides and a connecting port in one connecting side. The passages of the tank group are interconnected and define a tank port in each of the mounting sides and a connecting port in the other of the connecting sides. There are at least two pairs of non-connected cylinder passages, the two cylinder passages of the first pair extending between a first one of the mounting sides and different ones, respectively, of the connecting sides. The two cylinder passages of' the second pair extend between a second one of the mounting sides and different ones, respectively, of the connecting sides. The

cylinder passages define cylinder ports in the respective connecting sides and control ports in the mounting sides, and pressure, tank, and control ports in the mounting sides are arranged according to a predetermined geometric pattern. The mounting sides have flat surfaces with respect to the ports therein whereby separate fluid-handling devices may be mounted thereon in operative communication with the ports.

14 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures PATENTEU APR 2 3 mm SHEET 2, [1F 4 PATENTEF] APR 2 3 1914 3, 8 06; 0 88 5mm u. n? 4 PRIOR HRT I Mb 66d 7 lab MANIFOLD APPARATUS The present invention relates to a pressure-fluid control system and in particular to a universal, pressurefluid manifold apparatus which is provided with a unique fluid passage geometry which enables the apparatus to be used in groups of one or more units and enables the operative installation of a wide variety of fluid-handling devices thereon with a substantially reduced number of connections and simplified external piping.

2. Description of the Prior Art Automated machinery is widely used in modern industry. A substantial portion of this machinery utilizes pressure-fluid power cylinders to effect operation of the machines. Correspondingly, a wide variety of pressure-fluid handling devices such as flow control valves, sequencing valves, pressure regulating devices and the like, are used to effect control and sequencing of the power cylinders. In one prior art mode of installing and connecting the pressure-fluid handling devices, common pressure-fluid supply and return or tankconduits are provided and a multiplicity of individually connected conduits are coupled from the common conduits to the individual pressure-fluid handling devices and from the handling devices to the power cylinders. In this type of installation, each of the conduits from the supply conduits to the handling devices is individually formed and fitted into the system thereby necessitating a substantial amount of skilled hand labor.

In an alternative type of prior art system, a special manifold apparatus is provided. The manifold includes a common supply and tank passage and a multiplicity of branch passages therein. The manifold is further provided with a plurality of mounting surfaces upon which the pressure-fluid handling devices are mounted with the branch passages communicating therewith. In this type of installation, the need for the individually formed and installed conduits from the supply-and tank conduits is eliminated. However, these manifolds are made to meet the needs of a particular installation or machine. correspondingly, and because the majority of machines of this type are manufactured in small quantities, the manifolds themselves are essentially custom made in small quantities and again represent a substantial cost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is a manifold apparatus having a universal structure whereby the apparatus canbe used individually or in groups which are assembled as building blocks to form any desired manifold configuration. The apparatus comprises a rigid body having four mounting and two connecting sides and a multiconnecting port in the other of the connecting sides.

At least two pairs of non-connected cylinder passages are provided. The two cylinder passages of the first pair extend between a first one of the mounting sides and different ones, respectively, of the connecting sides, and the two cylinder'passages of the second pair extend between a second one of the mounting sides and different ones, respectively, of the connecting sides. The cylinder passages define cylinder ports in the respective connecting sides and control ports in the mounting sides and the pressure, tank, and control ports in the first and second mounting sides are arranged according to a predetermined geometric pattern and the surfaces thereof are flat whereby a fluid-handling device may be mounted on each mounting side in operative communication with the ports.

In a specific embodiment, the pressure and tank ports in the third and fourth mounting sides are arranged in complementary geometric arrays such that a second manifold apparatus may be mounted upon a first manifold apparatus with the fourth mounting side of the second being engaged with the third mounting side of the first and with the supply and tank passages thereof in operative communication. Accordingly, two or more of the manifold apparatuses can be coupled together or stacked to provide a manifold apparatus having any number of mounting sides thereby to receive and connect any desired number of pressure-fluid handling devices into the system.

In another specific embodiment of the invention, the manifold apparatus is provided with an adapter plate which enables the installation of a fluid-handling device between predetermined ones of the manifolds of a multiple unit apparatus thereby enabling the fabrication of both series and parallel connected pressure-fluid handling systems.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide an improved manifold apparatus.

It is another object of the invention to provide such an apparatus capable of universal application.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a manifold apparatus which can be used in groups of two or more with the individual units being stacked to provide a manifold apparatus having any desired configuration and capacity.

It is still another object of the invention to provide such an apparatus which enables the mounting of pressure-fluid handling devices directly thereon.

It is another object of the invention to provide such an apparatus which obviates the need for individual connections between supply and tank conduits and control devices.

It is still another object of the invention to provide such a manifold apparatus which enables the fabrication of both parallel and series connected pressurefluid handling devices.

It is still another object of the invention to provide such a manifold apparatus which includes means for securing two or more of the units together.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a manifold apparatus which is adapted for mass construction and assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The above-mentioned and other features and objects of this invention and the manner of attaining them will become more apparent and the invention itself will be best understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein;

. FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a manifold apparatus in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side plan view of the apparatus showing one of the mounting sides thereof;

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the apparatus;

FIG. 4 is an end plan view of the apparatus showing one of the connecting sides thereof;

FIG. 5 is an end plan view of the apparatus showing the opposite connecting side of the manifold apparatus;

FIG. 6 is a side plan view showing another of the mounting sides of the apparatus;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the along section line 7.7 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the along section line 8'8 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view of the along section line 99 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view of the along section line 1010 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view of the along section line ll-ll of FIG. 1;

FIG. 12 is a sectional view of the along section line 12-12 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 13 is a sectional view of the apparatus taken along section line l313 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 14 is a dimensioned layout drawing showing the geometric arrangement of the control ports in the mounting surfaces of the apparatus;

FIG. 15 is a transparent perspective view of the manifold apparatus showing the arrangement of the fluid passages thereof;

FIG. 16 is a top plan view of an adapter plate for use with the manifold apparatus in multiple unit systems;

FIG. 17 is a schematic diagram of a prior art fluid handling system; and

FIG. 18 is a plan view of a multiple unit manifold apparatus in accordance with the present invention with portions thereof being shown in schematic form.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, there is shown a manifold apparatus 10 which comprises a generally rectangular, rigid block 12 having orthogonally disposed mounting surfaces 14, l6, l8, and'20, and oppositely disposed connecting surfaces 22 and 24. As best seen in FIGS. 7, 8, 9, and 11, a first group of interconnected pressure-fluid passages includes a pressure-fluid supply passage 26 which extends inwardly of block 12 in a direction normal to'surface 22, passage 26 communicating with surface 22 and forming therein a first connecting port 28. The end 30 of passage 26 is enlarged and threaded to receive therein a conventional pipe or tubing fitting (not shown).

A second supply passage 32 extends between surfaces 16 and in a direction normal thereto. Passage 32 communicates with surfaces 16 and 20 forming therein supply ports 34, 36, respectively. Passage 32 intersects and thereby communicates with passage 26 at 33.

A supply passage 40 extends between surfaces 14 and 18 in a direction normal thereto and forms supply ports 42, 44, therein, respectively.

apparatus taken apparatus taken apparatus taken apparatus taken apparatus taken apparatus taken A second group of interconnected pressure-fluid passages includes a return or tank passage 50 which extends inwardly from surface 24 in a direction perpendicular thereto a distance less than one-half the parallel dimension of block 12. Passage 50 forms a port 52 in surface 24 having an enlarged end 54 which is threaded to receive a conventional pipe or tube fitting (not shown) therein.

Another tank passage 58 extends between sides 16 and 20 in a direction perpendicular thereto and forms in sides 16 and 20 ports 60,62, respectively. Passage 58 intersects and communicates with passage 50.

A third tank passage 64 extends between sides 14 and 18 in a direction perpendicular thereto and forms tank ports 66, 68 therein, respectively. Passage 64 intersects passage 58 at 69, communicating with passages 50 and 58.

A pair or set of non-connected cylinder passages which are best seen in FIGS. 12 and 13 includes a first cylinder passage 70 having orthogo'nally disposed connecting and fluid-handling device legs 72, 74 which extend perpendicular to sides 24 and 14, respectively. Legs 72 and 74 intersect and communicate at their respective ends 78 and 80 (FIG. 13) and leg 72 has an enlarged threaded portion 76 at the end thereof proximal side 24 so as to receive therein a conventional pipe fitting (not shown). Legs 72 and 74"form connecting and control ports 82, 84 in sides 24 and 14, respectively.

The first pair of cylinder passages also includes a second cylinder passage 86, passage 86 similarly including orthogonally disposed connecting and device legs 88 and 90 which extend inwardly of block 12 in a direction perpendicular to surfaces 22 and 14, respectively. The end 92 of leg 88 proximal surface 22 is enlarged and threaded to receive a conventional pipe fitting therein, and legs 88 and 90 form control ports 94. and 96 in sides 22 and 14, respectively.

A second pair of orthogonal cylinder passages 98 and 100 have oppositely extending connecting legs 102 and 104, respectively, and device legs 106' and 108, respectively. Device legs 106 and 108 form-respective control ports 1'10 and 112 in mounting surface 18 and connecting legs 102, 104 form connecting ports 114 and 116 in connecting sides 24, 22, respectively. The ends 118, 120 of legs 102, 104, in proximal surfaces 24, 22 are enlarged and threaded to receive conventional pipe fittings (not shown).

A third pair of orthogonal cylinder passages 122, 124 have oppositely extending connecting legs 126, 128, respectively, (FIG. 12) and device legs 130, 132, re spectively, intersecting therewith. Device legs 130, 132 form ports 134, 136 in mounting surface 16 and connecting legs 126, 128 form ports 140, 138 in connecting surfaces 24, 22, respectively. The ends of legs 126, 128 proximal surfaces 24, 22, 'are enlarged and threaded to receive conventional pipe fittings.

It will be observed that there are two non-connected legs 72,88; 102, 104, and 126,128 in each set of orthogonal cylinder passages 70, 86; 98, 100 and 122, 124 and that each set of cylinder passages provides one fluid path from a respective mounting surface (14 through 18) to one of connecting surfaces 22 and 24 and a second fluid path from the same mounting surface to the opposite one of connecting surfaces 22 and 24.

It will further be observed that the geometry of the supply passages 26, 32, and 40 and tank passages 50,

58 and 64, respectively, provides a first fluid path from each of the mounting surfaces 14 through 18 to one of the connecting surfaces 22 and 24 and a second fluid path from each of the mounting surfaces 14 through 18 to the opposite one of connecting surfaces 22 and 24. Stated otherwise, there are one supply 32, 40, one tank 58, 64, and two cylinder. passages 70,86, 98,100, or 122,124 communicating with each of the mounting surfaces 14, 16 and 18. One 72, 102, 122 of each pair of cylinder passages 70,86, 98,100, 122,124 communicates with one 24 of the connecting surfaces 22 or 24 and the other 88, 104, 124 of each pair of cylinder passages 70,86, 98,100, 122,124 communicates with the opposite one 22 of connecting surfaces 22 and 24. The supply 26, 32, 40 and tank 50, 58, 64 passages also communicate with opposite ones of connecting surfaces 22 and 24, respectively.

It will further be seen that the supply port, tank port, and two control ports in each of the mounting surfaces 14 through 18, for example, supply port 42, tank port 66 and control ports 84 and 96 in mounting surface 14, are arranged in the same opometrical pattern. This geometrical pattern, which may be either right handed, as in FIGS. 1 and 2, or left handed as in FIG. 6, is identical to the standardized geometrical of the supply, tank, and cylinder ports arrangement of conventional fluidhandling devices such as flow control valves, servo valves, directional control valves, sequencing valves and the like. For reference purposes, the dimensions of this standardized port array are shown in FIG. 17. Connecting ports 28, 52, 82, 94, 114, 116, 138,-and 140 do not conform to this geometrical arrangement and the fluidpassages associated therewith may be offset as at 139 (FIG. 13) with respect to the associated fluid passages which intersect mounting surfaces to allow adequate clearance between the passages.

Referring to FIG. 3, it will be observed that only one supply and one tank port 36 and.62 are provided in mounting surface 20. It will further be observed that the geometric positioning of the supply and tank ports 36 and 62 in surface 20 is complementary to the geometric arrangement of the supply and tank ports 34 and 60 in mounting surface 16. Therefore, it will be apparent that if two of the manifold apparatuses are placed together with mounting surface of one in registry and abutting engagement with mounting surface 16 of the other, the supply and tank ports 36 and 62 of surface 20 of one apparatus will be in registry and operative communication with tank ports 34 and 60, respectively, of surface 16 of the other.

As best seen in FIGS. 1, 2, and 6, each of mounting surfaces l4, l6, and 18 is provided with a rectangular array of threaded holes 149, which provide a means for securing standard fluid-handling devices to each of the mounting surfaces 14, 16, and 18. Holes l49-are arranged according to a predetermined, standardized geometry relative to the supply, tank, and cylinder port groups in each of the four mentioned mounting surfaces.

Referring now to FIGS. 2, 4, 5, and 6, connecting surfaces 22 and 24 each have formed therein a laterally extending recess 142 of rectangular cross-section. Recesses 142 are located adjacent mounting surface 20 and extend parallel thereto to form a pair of flanges 144, 146 as shown.

Adjacent the ends 148, 150 and 152, 1540f flanges 144, 146 are formed circular clearance holes as at 160.

A second rectangular array of threaded holes 162 are formed in mounting surface 16 adjacent the corners .thereof, holes 162 being positioned in vertically spaced-apart and coaxial alignment with the clearance holes 160.

As shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 18, a threaded stud 166 is threadingly received in each of holes 162,. It will now be apparent that when two of the apparatuses 10 are placed together such as for example apparatuses 10a and 10b (FIG. 18) with their respective surfaces 16 and 20 in abutting engagement (as shown in FIG. 18), studs 166 will pass through clearance holes 160. Correspondingly, suitable threaded fasteners, such as nuts 168 (FIG. 18 only) are threadingly secured to studs 166 to thereby secure two of the apparatuses 10, such as 10a and 10b, together.

A typical multiple unit fluid-handling control system utilizing a plurality of manifold apparatuses of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 18. The system 170 includes three of the manifold apparatuses 10a, 10b,

and 10c.

Apparatuses 10a, 10b, and 10c are each identical to apparatus 10 of FIGS. 1 through 13 and like reference numerals followed by suffixes a, b, and c, respectively, are used to indicate like features thereof.

A first fluid-handling device 172 is mounted on mounting surface 14a whereby its supply and tank ports (not shown) communicate with the supply and tank ports 42, 66 (not shown in FIG. 18) of mounting surface 14a and the cylinder ports thereof register with control ports 84a, 960, respectively. A second fluidhandling device 174 is similarly connected to mounting surface 18a such that its cylinderports (not shown) communicate with control ports 110a and 112a.

A pair of conventional fluid-power cylinders 178 and 176 are operatively coupled to connecting ports 114a, 116a and connecting ports 82a and 94a, respectively, via conduits 180. A conventional hydraulic pump, air compressor, or the like 182 is coupled to supply passage 26a by a conduit 184. Tank passage is coupled to a conventional sump or tank 186 via a conduit 188 connected to port 520. A rectangular plate or cap 190 is secured to mounting surface 20a by means of a plurality of threaded fasteners 192 thereby closing and sealing ports 36a, 62a.

Second manifold apparatus 10b has its mounting surface 20b secured in abutting engagement with mounting surface 16a of manifold apparatus 10a by means of studs 166a and nuts 168a. As explained above, this will place passages 32b and 58b of apparatus 10b in operative communication with passages 32a and 58a of apparatus 10a. A third fluid-handling device 198 is mounted to surface 14b of apparatus 10b and a third fluid power cylinder 200 is coupled thereto via connecting ports 82b and 94b-and conduits 205, 203.

Mounted to mounting surface 18b of apparatus 10b is a conventional pressure relief module 202. Module 202 does not include cylinder ports whereby the mounting surface 204 thereof engaging mounting surface l8b closes the respective control ports 1 10b, 112b communicating with mounting surface 18b. Pressure relief unit 202 is coupled to tank 186 via a conduit 208 in conventional manner. A conventional pressure indicating guage 210 is coupled to supply passage 26b and tank passage 50b (shown in dashed lines) is closed with a suitable pipe plug (not shown).

7 Secured to the mounting surface 16b is a conventional pressure reducing module 212. As is well known to those skilled in the art, reducing module 212 includes supply and tank ports in its bottom (as viewed in FIG. 18) mounting surface 214 which are arranged in the same geometric array as the supply and tank ports of fluid-handling devices 172, 174, and 198 and which therefore communicate with the supply and tank passages 32b and 58b of apparatus b. Also provided is an array of clearance holes (not shown) for securing adapter plate 218 to module 212. Module 212 does not include any cylinder ports and therefore the cylinder ports 134 and 1361) associated with mounting surface 16b are inoperative and closed at connecting ports 134b, 1362;.

Secured to the upper mounting surface 216 of module 212 are adapter plate 218 and third manifold apparatus10c. Adapter plate 218, shown in FIGS. 16 and 18, comprises a simple rectangular plate having therein straight-through 'ports 220 and 222 disposed in registry with supply and tank passages 32c and 580 of manifold apparatus 10c when adapter plate 218 is placed in abutting engagement with mounting surface c thereof.

Adapter plate 218 further includes a plurality of through holes 224'disposed in registry with holes 1600 (not shown in FIG. 18) of apparatus 100. A plurality of threaded fasteners 228 secure apparatus 100 and adapter plate 218 to module 212. It will now be apparent thatthe supply and tank passages 32c and 580 of apparatus 10c will be in operative communication with the supply and tank passsges 32a, 32b, and 58a, and 58b of apparatus 10a and 10b via module 212. Mounted to mounting surfaces 14c and 18c are two more fluid-handling devices 230 and 232, respectively, to which are operatively coupled fluid-power cylinders 234 and 236, respectively, via connecting ports 82c, 94c, l14c, 116C. Supply and tank ports 28c and 520 are plugged with conventional pipe plugs (not shown). The ports 34c, 600, 134C, and 136C, in mounting surface 200 are closed by means of a rectangular plate 240 essentially identical to plate 190 which is secured to mounting surface 200 by means of studs 166c and nuts 1686. Plate 240 may be provided with a single threaded port (not shown) therethrough in registry with supply port 320 and a conventional pressure-indicating guage 244 fitted thereto.

' It can now be seen that the assembly 170 of FIG. 18 provides all of the required connections between pump 182 and tank 186 and the five fluid-handling devices 172, 174, 198, 230, and 232 as well as pressure relief module 202 and pressure reducing module 212. All of these connections are effected by means of two conduits 184 and 188, one bypass conduit 208, all other remaining connections being effected by simply stacking and securing together three of the manifold apparatuses 10. All of the fluid-power cylinders 176, 178, 200, 202, 234, and 236 are connected directly to the connecting surfaces 22a, 22b, 22c, and 24a, 24b, and 24c. The economies effected by this manifold assembly will be readily apparent when the system 170 of FIG. 18 is compared with a prior art system, shown in FIG. 17, wherein all of the connections from the pump and tank to the respective fluid handling devices are effected by conventional prior art methods, Specifically, the assembly 170 eliminates two Tee" connects A and two conduits B for each fluid handling device, pressure relief module, pressure reducing module or the like used in the system. ln the specific example shown in FIG. 18, a total of 20 fittings and/or individually fitted conduits are eliminated.

It will further be apparent that, because each manifold apparatus 10 is identical, they can be mass produced thereby substantially reducing the cost thereof as compared with the manufacturing cost of custom made'manifolds heretofore used in the prior art. Further, large and complex fluid-handling systems can be assembled as desired by simple ?stacking of the manifold apparatuses 10.'Both series and parallel connected units can be effected by direct coupling of the apparatuses in the manner of the coupling between apparatuses 10a and 10b. Similarly, parallel coupling is effected by interposing suitable pressure reducing modules such as pressure reducing module 212 between adjacent ones of the units, this interposition requiring only the use of a simple adapter plate 218. v

The manifold assemblies of the type shown in FIG. 18 fu'r-ther result in all of the fluid-handling devices being grouped together at a single location for convenient servicing thereof.

All of the ports and fluid passages are formed by simple straight drilling-or boring techniques and the required fluid-handling devices may be assembled with the manifold apparatus 10 in a production line type operation;

While there have been described above the principles of this invention in connection with specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A manifold apparatus comprising a rigid body having four mounting and two connecting sides and a mu]- tiplicity of selectively interconnected fluid-conducting passages therein, predetermined ones of said passages opening through predetermined ones of said sides thereby defining ports therein, said passages being arranged in discrete pressure-fluid supply and tank groups, the passages of, the supply group being interconnected and defining a pressure port in each of said mounting sides and a connecting port in one connecting side, the passages of the tank group being interconnectedand defining a tank port in each of said mounting sides and a connecting port in the other of said connecting sides, at least two pairs of non-connected cylinder passages, the two cylinder passages of the first pair extending between a first one of said mounting sides and different ones, respectively, of said connecting sides, the two cylinder passages of the second pair extending between a second one of said mounting sides and different ones, respectively, of said connecting sides, said cylinder passages defining cylinder ports in the respective connecting sides and control ports in said mounting sides, the pressure, tank, and control ports in said first and second mounting sides being arranged according to a predetermined geometric pattern, said mounting sides having flat surfaces with the respective ports therein for mounting separate fluidhandling devices thereon in operative communication with said ports.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein there are three pairs of said cylinder passages, the third pair including two cylinder passages extending between a third one of said mounting sides and different ones, respectively, of said connecting sides and defining control ports in said third mounting side, the pressure, tank, and control ports in said third side being arranged in said geometric pattern. v

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said geometric pattern is complementary to the standardized geometric pattern of the pressure, tank, and control ports of a standardized fluid power control device.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 further comprising a second rigid body having four mounting and two connecting sides and a multiplicity of selectively intercon-.

nected fluid-conducting passages therein, said mounting and connecting sides and said fluid-conducting'passages of said second apparatus being identical to said mounting and connecting sides and said fluidconducting passages of said manifold apparatus, the fourth mounting surface of said second body being complementary to said third side of said first and second apparatuses and said supply and tank passages in said fourth side being arranged in a second predetermined geometric pattern complementary to saidgeometric pattern, whereby, when said second body is positioned with its said fourth mounting surface contiguous with said third mounting surface of said first body, said supplyand tank passages thereof communicate with said supply and tank passages of said first body.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein each said body includes means for securing same to another of said bodies.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said securing means includes a pair of recesses in said connecting sides which extend parallel to and adjacent said fourth mounting side, said recesses defining therebetween and said fourth mounting side a pair of flanges, a plurality of mounting holes extending normally through said flanges adjacent the corners thereof, a plurality of threaded holes in said third mounting side, the axes of said threaded holes being collinear with the axes of said mounting holes, and a plurality of threaded studs threadingly received in said threaded holes.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein said studs are dimensioned to be slidably receivable through said mounting holes, and a nut threadingly received on the distal end of each said stud.

8. The apparatus of claim 3 further including a rigid closure plate secured to said fourth mounting surface and closing said supply and tank ports therein.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said closure plate includes a second plurality of mounting holes therein disposed in registry with said first mentioned mounting holes.

10. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said supply passages include a first passage extending normally between said first and second mounting surfaces and a second passage extending normally between said third and fourth mounting surfaces and communicating with said first supply passage, said tank passages including a first passage extending normally between said first and second mounting surfaces and a second passage extending normally to said third and fourth mounting surfaces, and intersecting and communicating with said first tank passage.

11. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein said body is a generally rectangular block, said mounting surfaces being the sides of said block, said connecting surfaces being the ends thereof, each said control passage including a connecting leg extending normal to a predetermined ,one of said connecting surfaces and a device leg extending normal to a predetermined one of said mounting surfaces, said legs normal to said connecting surfaces being dimensioned and threaded to receive standard fluid couplings therein.

12. The apparatus of claim 3 further including a plurality of said bodies each having four mounting and two connecting sides and a multiplicity of selectively interconnected fluid-conducting passages therein, the dimensions and geometric array of said passages in each said body being identical, the tank ports in each said third mounting side being arranged in an array complementary to the tank passages in each said fourth mounting side whereby, when one of said bodies is positioned with its fourth mounting side in abutting engagement with the third mountingside of another of said bodies, the pressure and tank ports of said fourth and third surfaces are in registry, and further including means for securing each of 'said bodies to another of said bodies with the fourth mounting surface thereof in abutting engagement with the third mounting surfaceof said other body.

13. A manifold apparatus comprising a rigid body having four mounting and two connecting sides and a multiplicity of selectively interconnected fluidconducting passages therein, predetermined ones of said passages opening through predetermined ones of said sides thereby defining ports therein, said passages being arranged in discrete pressure-fluid supply and tank groups, the passages of the supply group being interconnected and defining a pressure port in each of said mounting sides and a connecting port in a connecting side, the passages of the tank group being interconnected and defining a tank port in each of said mounting sides and a connecting port in a connecting side, at least two pairs of non-connected cylinder passages, two of said cylinder passages extending from a connecting side to two of said mounting sides, respectively, the other two of said cylinder passages extending from a connecting side to said two mounting sides, respectively, each said cylinder passage defining a cylinder port in the respective connecting side and a control port in said respective mounting side, the pressure, tank, and control ports in said first and second mounting sides being arranged according to a predetermined geometric pattern, said mounting sides having flat surfaces with the respective ports therein for mounting separate fluid-handling devices thereon in operative communication with said ports.

14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein there are three pairs of said cylinder passages, the third pair including two cylinder passages, one of the lastmentioned cylinder passages extending between a third one of said mounting sides and a connecting side, the other of said last-mentioned cylinder passages extending between said third mounting side and a connecting side, the pressure, tank and control ports in said third mounting side being arranged in said geometric pattern.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification251/367, 137/884
International ClassificationF16L39/00, F15B13/00, F16K27/00, F15B13/08
Cooperative ClassificationF15B13/0896, F15B13/0814, F16K27/003, F15B13/0821, F16L39/00, F15B13/0892
European ClassificationF15B13/08B4, F15B13/08B16F, F16L39/00, F15B13/08B16D4, F16K27/00B, F15B13/08B2D