US 3858628 A
This invention relates to an apparatus for filling a catalytic converter with a granular type catalyst for use on a motor vehicle and includes a fixture to vibrate the converter during the fill operation to assure complete filling of the converter and a vacuum valve mechanism in the fill hose to shut off the flow of the catalyst material without any spillage or crushing upon the converter being filled.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Bendle Jan. 7, 1975 CATALYTIC CONVERTER FILLING APPARATUS Inventor: William J. Bendle, Flint, Mich.
General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich.
Filed: Nov. 26, 1973 Appl. No.: 418,836
US. Cl. 141/46, 141/74, 23/288 F, 222/226, 141/392 Int. Cl 1365b 31/00, B65b l/06 Field of Search 23/288 F; 141/12, 67, 68, 141/71-80, 46, 65, 66, 5,8, 392; 222/226 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1967 Van Pernis 141/68 Primary Examiner-Houston S. Bell, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Peter A, Taucher  ABSTRACT This invention relates to an apparatus for filling a catalytic converter with a granular type catalyst for use on a motor vehicle and includes a fixture to vibrate the converter during the fill operation to assure complete filling of the converter and a vacuum valve mechanism in the till hose to shut off the flow of the catalyst material without any spillage 0r crushing upon the converter being filled.
2 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures CATALYTIC CONVERTER FILLING APPARATUS The catalytic converter to function properly and efficiently must be completely filled prior to being mounted on a motor vehicle since otherwise the motion of the vehicle will compact the granules thereby reducing the bed volume and the efficiency of the converter. Also, compacting by the vehicle will allow the granules to rub against each other and thereby cause them to rapidly pulverize. In addition, after the converter is filled, some means must be used to shut off the flow of the catalyst material without spilling and without any of the material being pulverized or broken. The catalyst granules are generally covered with a platinum catalyst, an expensive metal, and therefore any catalyst spillage or breakage is costly and is to be avoided. Further, pulverized granules will pass through or be blown from the converter upon vehicle start up, causing a reduction in the converter bed volume and rapid breakdown of the material due to bed vibration.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a simply constructed filling apparatus that assures complete filling and compacting of the catalyst material in the converter.
It is a further object to provide a unique valve means to shut off the flow of catalyst granular materials without spilling upon disconnection and without the material being pulverized or broken when the valve is closed.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters refer to like parts.
FIG. 1 shows a side elevational view of the filling apparatus; and
FIG. 2 shows an enlarged vertical cross sectional view of the filler pipe and more specifically shows the details of the shutoff valve.
FIG. 1 shows the complete filling apparatus that includes a vibrator 12 supported by horizontal cross members 16. A vertical support member 18 is attached at right angles to the horizontal support members 16 to support the catalyst storage bin 20. Storage bin 20 as shown is illustrative, since a large remote central storage tank or the like could be used. All the support members are shown as substantial since they are required to withstand vibrations at 10,000 25,000 cycles per minute. Catalyst storage bin 20 is positioned on an arm 22 which extends at right angles to vertical support 18 generally above the vibrator 12. A funnel shaped hopper 24 is attached to and extends beneath the storage bin and has fill hose 26 attached at the funnel end 28.
Fill hose 26 is a flexible hose, but it is understood that the hose could be of any suitable material and shape, and is sized to easily fit into the converter fill hole 40. A shoulder is provided on the fill hose 26 at 30 to prevent the fill hose from extending any further into the converter than necessary during filling. The shoulder effectively serves as a gauge to properly position the fill hose so that it does not extend into the converter any deeper than the inner edge of the fill hole. If it is inserted any deeper in the converter, the hose will take up head space and prevent complete filling. Shoulder 30 rests on a mid-support member 32 during filling of the converter. A bellows or flexible coupling 34 is inserted or placed in the till hose to provide a degree of flexibility in the fill hose movement and thereby assure easy insertion and removal of the fill hose 26 into and out of the converter. Attachment of the flexible coupling to the fill hose can be accomplished in any convenient manner and as shown is attached to shoulder 36 on the outside of the fill hose at one end, and at the other end extends within the fill hose as at 38.
Converter 42 is held in a fixture or clamping means on vibrator 12. It is understood that a converter having a side opening or end opening could also be filled by this apparatus, with only a slight modification to the clamping or holding means 50.
As best seen in FIG. 2, a coupling 54 is secured to fill hose 26 and receives a mating coupling 56 that is attached to a flexible vacuum hose 58. Hose 58 is in turn connected to any convenient vacuum source 60. An opening 62 is provided in fill pipe 26 which is covered by a screen 66 having a mesh size that prevents the catalyst 68 from passing through the screen. It should be understood that any other means for providing a perforated wall section in fill hose 58 will enable a valve control function in accordance with the hereinafter described operation.
In operation, a converter 42 is secured in fixture 50 and fill hose 26 is placed into fill hole 40 in the converter and the vibrator turned on. Catalyst material in the storage bin flows by reason of the vibrator action and gravity through fill pipe 26 into the converter 42. The vibrating action continues until the converter is completely filled and compacting is achieved. Upon the converter being filled, and prior to removal of the fill hose, the vacuum source is turned on and vacuum is applied through hose 58 across screen 66 to thereby also directly apply a vacuum across the catalyst material that fills the fill hose 26. The action of the vacuum through the screen across the catalyst sucks up the granular material against the screen and tightly binds the material as a compacted mass blocking further flow out of the fill hose. Fill hose 26 having the compacted catalyst material therein is removed from converter 42 and the vibrator is turned off, and another converter is placed on the fixture. The vibrator is turned on and the vacuum source turned off, to once again allow the catalyst material to flow into the converter.
The apparatus shown and described is of simple construction and assures complete filling and compacting of the catalyst material, with no spilling or breaking of the granular material when the flow of catalyst material is turned off to insert another converter for filling.
While the embodiments of the invention as herein disclosed constitute a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forrns could be adopted.
1. An apparatus for filling a catalytic converter with a granular catalyst material comprising, a vibrator, means on said vibrator adapted to secure said catalytic converter in a fixed position during filling, catalyst storage means having an outlet at the bottom thereof, a fill hose connected to said outlet at one end with the other end adapted to be connected to said converter to convey the catalyst material from the storage means to the converter, valve means to control the flow of catalyst material in said fill hose comprising a plurality of perforations in a section of the wall of said fill hose adjacent said other end, the size of said perforations being smaller than the size of said catalyst material to prevent the catalyst material from spilling through the opening when the fill hose is removed from the converter after the converter is filled and avoiding crushing of the granules when shutting off flow.
2. An apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said plurality of perforations is provided by positioning a perforate member across an opening formed in said fill hose.