US 3838675 A
A combination dry element type air cleaning and purging apparatus is provided for use with an internal combustion engine for the purpose of separating foreign material from the atmospheric air prior to its being introduced into the engine. The apparatus includes an air pump for purging the material which has been separated from the air being filtered without necessitating the removal of any portion of the filtering device or the manual handling of the collected foreign material. The power-driven air pump is operably coupled with the engine in such a manner that it may be selectively actuated during operation of the engine and includes a switch control so that an operator may cause such purging to be accomplished without leaving the operator's station. Vane structure is provided in a dust collector cap portion of the filtering device and causes an air turbulence for increasing the dust transferring capabilities of the airstream to insure removal of substantially all of the foreign matter from the collector cap during operation of the air pump.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 Schaeffer 1 1 Oct. 1, 1974 AIR CLEANER WITH AIR PUMP DUST REMOVER  Filed: May 25, 1973  Appl. No.: 364,042
 U.S. Cl 55/430, 55/337, 55/439,
55/447, 55/466, 55/467, 55/DIG. 28, 55/431  Int. Cl 801d 45/18  Field of Search 55/337, 398, 399, 430,
55/431, DIG. 41, 439, 385, 394, 395, DIG. 28, 466, 447, 467; 192/84 R, 40
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,280,852 10/1918 Roots 55/DIG. 28
2,230,425 2/1941 Finnegan 55/337 UX 2,367,906 1/1945 Wallet a1. 55/430 X 2,368,699 2/1945 Arnold 55/459 X 2,974,769 3/1961 Henderson..... 192/84 R X 3,137,553 6/1964 Billey 55/DIG. 28 3,421,784 1/1969 Paterson 192/84 R 3,429,108 2/1969 Larson 55/DIG. 28 3,521,431 7/1970 Connors et a1. 55/431 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 717,324 10/1954 Great Britain 55/337 Primary Examiner-Frank W. Lutter Assistant Examiner-Kathleen J. Prunner Attorney, Agent, or FirmSchmidt, Johnson, Hovey & Williams [5 7 ABSTRACT A combination dry element type air cleaning and purging apparatus is provided for use with an internal combustion engine for the purpose of separating foreign material from the atmospheric air prior to its being introduced into the engine. The apparatus includes an air pump for purging the material which has been separated from the air being filtered without necessitating the removal of any portion of the filtering device or the manual handling of the collected foreign material. The power-driven air pump is operably coupled with the engine in such a manner that it may be selectively actuated during operation of the engine and includes a switch control so that an operator may cause such purging to be accomplished without leaving the operators station. Vane structure is provided in a dust collector cap portion of the filtering device and causes an air turbulence for increasing the dust transferring capabilities of the airstream to insure removal of substantially all of the foreign matter from the collector cap during operation of the air pump.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures AIR CLEANER WITH AIR PUMP DUST REMOVER This invention relates to an air cleaner apparatus as is commonly used in connection with an internal combustion engine and which is intended for the purpose of removing foreign particles in-the form of dust, trash and the like from the air that is normally aspirated into the engine for combustion purposes. There are numerous types of air filtering devices ranging from the simple fibrous filter elements through which unfiltered air is drawn to highly sophisticated oil bath air filters in which the unfiltered air is forced to pass through a quantity of oil during which time dirt and other matter is trapped by the oil. One of the most widely used air filtering devices is the dry element type which includes a ring of tilted fins to impart a high-speed rotation to the intake air for separating a large portion of the dust from the air by centrifugal action prior to the air passing through the filter element. Air cleaners of this type are used on many farm and industrial engines as well as on over-the-road trucks.
Dry element type air cleaners, while being relatively maintenance-free as compared to oil bath type air cleaners, nevertheless do require that the filtered dirt,-
which has been separated from the air by the centrifugal action and collected in a reservoir or collector cap portion, must be periodically removed. Depending, of course, upon the severity of the dirt condition and, therefore, the amount of foreign matter or particles in the ;air, the frequency with which the collector cap must be emptied or purged of collected material varies considerably. For example, in over-the-highway country driving, comparatively little foreign matter is present in the atmosphere; thus, the air cleaner would require less frequent servicing than when the air cleaner is used in connection with an engine to power a piece of equipment being utilized in situations where there is a considerable amount of dust and dirt in the air, such as in highway construction or certain agricultural operations. In this last-mentioned situation the frequency of servicing of the air cleaner becomes very important, both from the standpoint of the efficiency of the engine i and in regard to the .durability and life of the engine. If
material from the collector cap portion of the cleaner.
It is another very important object of the invention to provide an air cleaning apparatus in which the separated material may be purged without the removal of the collectorcap portion from the cleaner or the manual handling of the material.
As a corollary to the foregoing object it is yet another important object of the invention to provide an air cleaner having such a purging capability in which the air pump can be periodically actuated by the vehicle operator from the operator control station during oper ation of the engine.
Another important object of my invention is the provision of an air cleaner and purging apparatus in which the engine is utilized to power the purging mechanism.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a combination air cleaning and purging apparatus for internal combustion engines in which the ease and come nience with which the air cleaner may be periodically purged of separated material as required, with little or no inconvenience to the engine operator, aids in maintaining the efficiency of the engine at its highest level and, in so doing. minimizes the quantity of the atmospheric polluting emissions which are otherwise emitted when an engine is starved for air causing improper fuel combustion with its detrimental effects on the ecology.
Yet another important object of my invention is to provide structure interiorly of the collector cap portion of the cleaner to create an air turbulence therein to aid in the purging of foreign material from the air cleaner.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a combination air cleaning and purging apparatus made pursuant to the present invention as adapted for use with the engine of an agricultural or industrial tractor;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary, side elevational view of the air pump portion of the apparatus along with its associated drive and clutching mechanism;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, elevational view of a dry element type air filtering device used in connection with the combination air cleaning and purging apparatus, a portion of the casing being broken away to reveal details of construction;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the collector cap portion of the air filtering device showing the randomly placed, upright vane structure provided for creating an air turbulence during purging of the collector cap;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view of an operators control panel having a switch mounted thereon for selectively actuating the air pump; and
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of an alternate form of the air cleaning and purging apparatus in which the air filter device is disposed horizontally.
Referring initially to FIGS. 1-5, a combination air cleaning and purging apparatus, designated broadly by the numeral 10, is provided for an internal combustion engine (not shown) such as may be used in an agricultural or industrial tractor 12. While the tractor 12 is illustrated, it is to be understood that the apparatus 10 may also be used in conjunction with other types of vehicles, such as trucks or with engines employed for powering other types of equipment, mobile as well as stationary.
The apparatus 10 is comprised of a dry element type air filtering device 14 of the kind utilized to remove foreign matter from atmospheric air prior to the introduction of such air into the engine of the vehicle for combustion purposes, air turbulating structure 16 disposed within a collector cap portion 18 of the air filtering device 14, air moving means 20 in communication with the cap portion 18 by means of a conduit 22, and a selectively actuatable drive means 24 coupling the air moving means 20 with the engine of the vehicle 12.
The dry element type air filter device 14 may be of various types which are commercially available and include a main outer shell or casing 26 having an air inlet 28 for receiving unfiltered air from the atmosphere, and a filtered air outlet 30 adapted to be coupled in communication with the engine of the vehicle 12 as by a conduit 32. Filtering components within the casing 26 include a filter element or cartridge 34, and a baffle plate 36 having a single opening 38 adjacent the peripheral edge thereof. The cap portion 18 is preferably removably attached to the casing 26 by any suitable means and is disposed at the lower end thereof when the device 14 is in a normally upright position.
The air moving means is in the form of an air pump and may be of any one of numerous types which are adapted to move large volumes of air and rotate at relatively high speeds, such as for example, a centrifugal fan of the kind used in vacuum sweepers-or the like. The air pump or fan 20 includes a housing 40 having an air inlet 42 disposed in axial alignment with the axis of rotation of the fan rotor (not shown) and an air outlet 44 disposed substantially radially of the fan. The pump 20 is bolted to and carried by a mounting bracket 46 which, in turn, is attached to and supported by a mounting assembly 48 adapted to be conveniently attached to the vehicle 12 and carrying the drive means 24. The conduit 22, which may be in the form of a flexible hose, interconnects the pump 20 at its inlet 42 with an outlet 50 of the collector cap portion 18, thereby placing the pump 20 and the cap portion 18 in communication with one another.
Referring to FIG. 2, it will be noted that the drive means 24 is comprised of a jackshaft 52 rotatably carried by a pair of bearing assemblies 54 affixed to the assembly 48; a conventional automotive type magnetic clutch mechanism 56 at one end of the shaft 52, attached to the mounting assembly 48 and operably interconnected with the engine of the vehicle 12 through the use of a drive belt 58; and a cogged drive belt assembly 60 at that end of the shaft 52 opposite the clutch mechanism 56 positively coupling the drive means 24 with the air pump 20. The drive assembly 60 includes a notched pulley 62 affixed to the shaft 52, and a notched pulley 64 affixed to a rotor shaft 66 of the pump 20 with a notched belt 68 interconnecting the pulleys 62 and 64. The diameters of the pulleys 62 and 64 are of sufficient relative diameters to cause the rotor shaft 66 to turn at 10,000 to 15,000 rpm when taking into consideration the normal operating speed of the vehicle engine and the diameter of the driven pulley 70 of the magnetic clutch 56. The positive power transmission of the cogged belt assembly is highly desirable in view of the relative high power requirements of the fan 20 and inorder to achieve the high rotational speed of the rotor in the shortest possible time.
The air turbulating structure 16 located within the collector cap portion 18 defines a vortex generator and is comprised of a plurality of generally upright vanes 72 disposed on the inclined section of the normally lower wall 74 outwardly from the central portion thereof and near the sidewall of the cap portion 18. At least certain ofthe vanes 72 are paired to present a plurality of generally V-shaped arrangements that are randomly or non symetrically in a circular pattern as best seen in FIG. 4.
In use, the air filtering device 14 is receiving atmospheric air, with its foreign matter, through the inlet 28 and separating the foreign matter from the air as the latter is forced into a high-speed centrifugal motion by an arrangement of tilted fins (not shown) such that this centrifugal action tends to force a large percent (around 90 percent) of the dirt toward the casing 26 for subsequent passage through the opening 38 and be received in the collector cap portion 18. Depending upon the severity of the dirt conditions. the collector cap 18 then needs to be emptied of this separated foreign matter periodically. Inasmuch as the air filtering device 14 is frequently mounted in a rather inaccessible location of the vehicle 12, an operator will not always remember to remove the separated material from the collector cap 18 as frequently as should be done or will have a tendency to neglect to do so because of its outof-the-way location. Prolonged neglect of this maintenance chore will eventually restrict the separating and filtering capabilities of the device 14 to the point that the air is not properly cleaned and a relatively large amount of foreign matter will then be introduced into the engine along with the air as it exits the device 14 at the outlet 30. Damage will ultimately occur to the em gine in addition to a noticeable lowering of its efficiency, symptoms of which are increased fuel and oil consumption, lowered horsepower, and inefficient fuel combustion that is readily recognized by excessive smoking of the engine through its exhaust system.
The tendency for these undesirable and harmful results of maintenance neglect are eliminated with the present invention in that the operator need not stop the vehicle 12 or resort to any disassembly to periodically purge the collector cap 18 of the separated foreign matter that has been collected therein, but has simply to actuate the air pump 20by engaging the magnetic clutch 56 of the drive means 24 through the use of an on-off switch 76 located on the operators instrument panel 78 of the vehicle 12. This may be done while the vehicle is in motion and at such time as the operator feels that the atmospheric dust conditions are such that the dust or other foreign matter in the collector cap 18 is of sufficient quantity that purging is necessary. A reasonably skilled operator can readily observe when such conditions exist in the collector cap by the increased smoking of the engine exhaust, or by a noticeable rise in the operating temperature of the engine.
The fact that the operator need not shutdown the vehicle but may perform this purging operation on the go" rather than to dismount and disassemble the device 14, is very significant when considering the loss of time that would otherwise occur, to say nothing of the possible damage to the engine if this simple maintenance function would be neglected for a prolonged period of time.
The simple manner in which the drive means 24 is coupled to the engine for powering the pump 20, along with the relatively inexpensive maintenance-free magnetic clutch mechanism 56, provides a comparatively low cost air cleaning and purging apparatus which can be readily adapted to an internal combustion engine, regardless of its use or application, whether it be in a mobile vehicle as here described, or used in connection with the stationary engine. Additionally, the discharge 44 of the pump 20 is so located relative to the intake 28 of the filtering device 14 that there is virtually no chance for the foreign matter, which is being removed from the collector cap 18 through the conduit 22 and the pump 20 for subsequent discharge from the outlet 44, to be drawn back into the device 14.
Provision of the air turbulence structure 16 in the bottom of the collector cap .18 prevents the air being drawn from the cap 18 by the pump 20 from flowing in a smooth, relatively un-agitated stream, the turbulence created by the vanes 72 enhancing the material conveying capabilities of the airstream to afford a quicker and more efficient exiting of the foreign matter. The generally V-shaped arrangement of certain pairs of the vanes 72 causes the air to travel in a number of whirling or circular motions as it moves through the cap 18 toward the outlet 50 thereby causing the aforementioned turbulence. This action insures that all of the dust or other foreign matter is removed from the cap 18 and not only that matter which would otherwise be in the direct line of draft.
By way of illustration as to the importance of maintaining a properly purged air cleaner, such as the instant invention teaches, it has been shown in various tests and studies that the servicing of malfunctioning air cleaners has increased horsepower of tractors and other machinery by 7.6 percent and decreased fuel consumption by as much as 11.4 percent. Under normal conditions, a tractor is subjected to about 70 pounds of dirt being drawn into the air intake within a season. It has been shown that modern air cleaners, if well maintained, can trap 99 percent of this dirt. As long as the air cleaner is maintained, very little of this dirt gets past the air cleaner to mix with the oil on the cylinder walls of the engine to form an abrasive paste which scores and grinds the internal working parts of the engine. It is for this reason that every effort must be made to continually insure that unnecessary damage does not occur to the engine as a result of dirty air being drawn thereinto and the novel air cleaning and purging apparatus as herein disclosed fully and completely meets the need for an air cleaner that is, for all practical purposes, maintenance-free as far as the periodic purging of the dust collector cap is concerned, the only requirement being the occasional flipping of the switch 76 to actuate the drive means 24.
Referring to FIG. 6, there is shown, in a modified form, a combination air cleaning and purging apparatus 110 in which an air filtering device 114 is disposed in a normally horizontal manner as opposed to the vertical disposition shown in FIG. 1. In order that the components common to both forms of the invention might be readily recognized, like numerals are shown for those common elements, it being pointed out that the only differences are in the air filtering device 114. When the device 114 is employed, the air inlet and filtered air outlet are reversed with correspondingly modified internal structure such that an air inlet 128 remains upwardly disposed while an air outlet (not shown), with its conduit 132 to the engine, is disposed laterally. The opening (not shown) corresponding to the opening 38 in the baffle plate 36 of the device shown in the first form of the invention, is located at the upper point of the plate which is now in a vertical position, and the collector cap 118 would be so positioned as to have its outlet 150 projecting downwardly. Of course, in this situation, there would be no need for the air turbulating structure 16 as earlier shown, in that gravity would automatically orient the separated material in the direction of the outlet 150. In all other respects, the operation, as well as the highly desirable advantages of the combination air cleaning and purging apparatus, are the same as that earlier described.
The evacuation of the foreign material from the collector cap portion through the use of a selectively actuatable forced air conveying means makes it possible to take advantage of the already available large volume of air being drawn into the air cleaning device for combustion purposes, thus precluding the need for supplying an additional air source or inlet. While it might normally be expected that such a forced air system drawing its air through the same inlet as that used for supplying air to the engine would tend to deprive the same of an adequate volume of air, the increased air velocity induced by the action of the fan insures that a sufficient supply of air for both needs is continually available.
It should be apparent to those skilled in the art that various minor modifications and substitutions of equivalents could be made in the structure described for purposes of illustration without departing from the spirit and gist of the invention. Accordingly, the invention should be deemed limited only by the fair scope of the claims that follow.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A combination air cleaning and purging apparatus for an internal combustion engine comprising:
a dry element type air filter device adapted for use with said engine and having a main casing provided with an air inlet communicating with the atmosphere and a filtered air outlet adapted for coupling with said engine, means disposed within said casing for separating and filtering foreign matter from the air passing through said device, and a collector cap portion on said casing and having a mattercollecting zone therein in communication with said separating means for receiving and collecting said foreign matter removed from the air by said means;
means providing an outlet on said collector cap in communication with the matter-collecting zone;
selectively actuatable air moving means adapted to pneumatically convey said foreign matter and having an inlet and an outlet;
conduit means coupling the outlet on said collector cap portion with. the inlet of said air moving means; and
selectively actuatable drive means operably interconnecting said air moving means with said engine for powering the air moving means at selected times to periodically draw the foreign matter from said collector cap via said conduit means for purging said device of said foreign matter and discharging the same to the atmosphere without removal of said cap or manual handling of said matter,
there being provided structure defining a vortex generator interiorly of said cap portion whereby an air turbulence is created therein when said air moving means is actuated by said drive means,
said vortex generator being comprised of a plurality of generally upright vanes disposed on the normally lower wall of said cap portion for generating said vortex.
2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least certain of said vanes are paired in a plurality of generally V-shaped relative arrangements randomly disposed in a circular pattern.