US 3923013 A
A rotary engine including a housing have a chamber formed therein and a rotor member rotatably mounted within the chamber. The rotor member has a plurality of combustion chambers communicating with the housing chamber, each of the combustion chambers also contains a vane member pivotally mounted therein. The opposed ends of the vane members have laterally extending crank means connected thereto and positioned in off-set relationship relative to the pivotal axes of said vane members. Track means adjacent opposite sides of the chamber of the main housing operably engages the crank means during rotation of the rotor member causing pivotal movement of the vane members within the combustion chambers to effect the sequential functions of fuel intake, compression, combustion, power output and exhaust. Also disclosed herein are means for mounting the rotor member within the housing and for the transfer of output power therefrom. Also disclosed is an off-bearing construction suitable for use on the crank means to eliminate the problem of bearing spin reversal resulting from the alternating contact between the crank means and opposite sidewalls of the track means.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Myers 1 Dec.2,1975
[ ROTARY ENGINE  Inventor: Herman A. Myers, Masontown, Pa.
 Assignee: Innovate, 1nc., Masontown, Pa.
 Filed: Dec. 14, 1973  Appl. No.: 424,757
 US. Cl l23/8.47; 123/8.45; 123/18 R;
123/43 C  Int. Cl. F02B 53/00  Field of Search 123/8.45, 8.47, 18 R, 43 C, 123/44 E; 418/176, 261, 262, 264
Primary ExaminerC. J. Husar Assistant ExaminerMichael Koczo, Jr.
Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Webb, Burden, Robinson & Webb ABSTRACT A rotary engine including a housing have a chamber formed therein and a rotor member rotatably mounted within the chamber. The rotor member has a plurality of combustion chambers communicating with the housing chamber, each of the combustion chambers also contains a vane member pivotally mounted therein. The opposed ends of the vane members have laterally extending crank means connected thereto and positioned in off-set relationship relative to the pivotal axes of said vane members. Track means adjacent opposite sides of the chamber of the main housing operably engages the crank means during rotation of the rotor member causing pivotal movement of the vane members within the combustion chambers to effeet the sequential functions of fuel intake, compression, combustion, power output and exhaust. Also disclosed herein are means for mounting the rotor member within the housing and for the transfer of output power therefrom. Also disclosed is an off-bearing construction suitablelfor use on the crank means to eliminate the problem of bearing spin reversal resulting from the alternating contact between the crank means and opposite sidewalls of the track means.
11 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 1 of 3 3,923,013
US. Patent Dec.2, 1975 Sheet 2 of3 3,923,013
U.S. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 3 of 3 3,923,013
ROTARY ENGINE My invention relates generally to internal combustion engines and more particularly to rotary internal combustion engines.
Many prior attempts have been made to design a rotary engine which is compact, simple in design and capable of generating useful amounts of power. In the vast majority of cases, these prior attempts have proved fruitless in that the resultant engines have been quite complex in design and inefficient in operation. These prior failures are due in part to the employment of complex, non-symmetrical cam arrangements and cam followers, and like mechanical means which add, detrimentally, to the imbalance of the engine and its ultimate inability to resist wear in its moving parts.
My invention solves the problems heretofore encountered by providing a compact rotary engine which has few moving parts and yet is capable of generating high power at relatively low R.P.M.
My invention further provides a rotary engine in which the operating forces are symmetrically opposed, resulting in less wear, increased bearing life, less noise and vibration and, hence, greater engine life.
My invention still further provides a rotary engine in which two combustion cycles are completed within each combustion chamber during one revolution of the engine s rotor, in effect, increasing the driving impulse of my rotary engine by a factor of 4 over conventional piston type engines. For example, a presently preferred embodiment of my rotary engine containing four combustion chambers yields eight power strokes per revolution which is equal to the number of power strokes per crankshaft revolution delivered by a conventional sixteen cylinder four cycle engine.
My invention further provides a rotary engine which is readily adaptable to burn almost any grade of liquid or gaseous fuel, thus aiding in the current fuel-energy crisis. Likewise, there is no need for lead or other additives in the fuel, thereby drastically reducing air pollu tion problems resulting from harmful exhaust emissions.
Briefly, my invention provides a rotary engine comprising a main housing having a chamber preferably cylindrical shape formed therein. A rotor member also preferably cylindrical is rotatably mounted in the chamber of the main housing, said rotor member having a plurality of combustion chambers formed therein and in communication with the chamber of the main housing. A plurality of vane members are pivotally mounted within the combustion chambers of the rotor, said vanes adapted to pivotally move in a radial direction inwardly and outwardly within the combustion chambers. The pivotal axes of the vane members are aligned in substantially parallel relationship relative to the longitudinal axes of the rotor member and the housing chamber. The opposed ends of the vane members have crank means connected thereto and laterally extending therefrom. The crank means is positioned in parallel off-set relationship relative to the pivotal axes of said vane members. Track means is associated with the main housing adjacent opposite ends of the housing chamber to receive the crank means therein, whereby, during rotation of the rotor member, the crank means operably engages the track means causing pivotal movement of the vane members within the combustion chambers to effect the functions of fuel intake, compression, combustion, power output and exhaust. An explosion of compressed fuel mixture exerts pressure on the vanes pivotally driving them radially inward toward the bottom of thecombustion chamber and con currently transmitting a power impulse through the crank means to the track means urging the rotor in a clockwise direction. Interaction between the crank means and track means causes the vanes to move radially outward to force the burned gases through exhaust ports of the housing chamber. Further rotor rotation forces the vanes to move radially inward drawing fuel mixture through intake ports of the housing chamber whereupon the vanes then move radially outward to compress the fuel mixture in the next position along the track means, at which time the combustion cycle again transmits power to the rotor by way of interaction between the crank means and track means.
Various other features, objects, and advantages of my rotary engine will either be specifically pointed out or become apparent when reference is made to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings illustrating a presently preferred embodiment of my invention.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of one presently preferred embodiment of my rotary engine with the housing end plate removed in order to show the rotor and vanes positioned as they would appear at the termination of the intake or combustion strokes;
FIG. 2 is a partial cut-away view in side elevation of my rotary engine showing the housing end plates in place and an exposed vane member;
FIG. 3 is a front elevation similar to FIG. 1 showing a pair of vanes in the firing position and a pair of vanes in the exhaust position;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the housing end plate showing the track way thereon; and
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the housing end plate of FIG. 4.
Referring now to the specific details of the drawings, specifically FIGS. 1-3, my invention comprises a main housing, generally designated 10, which may include an appropriate supporting base 14 or other conventional supporting member. Main housing 10 has a chamber 1 1 formed therein, preferably cylindrical in shape. In the presently preferred embodiment shown in the drawings, housing 10 includes two fuel intake ports 18 communicating with chamber 11. Main housing 10 also has exhaust port 19 formed therethrough communicating with chamber 11 and ignition means in the form of spark plugs 20 positioned in housing 10 and in communication with chamber 11.
A rotor member 12, also preferably cylindrical in shape, is rotatably mounted within chamber 11. The outer sidewalls of rotor 12 rotatably and sealably engage the wall of chamber 11. If additional sealing is required, conventional sealing means, such as steel bars, carried by the wall of chamber 11 or by rotor 12 may be employed in order to maintain a gas-tight seal between the various segments around rotor 12. Rotor 12 has a plurality of combustion chambers 13 formed therein. In the presently preferred embodiment depicted in the drawings, rotor member 12 contains four such combustion chambers; however, any number of combustion chambers in multiples of two can be employed, for example two, four, six, eight, etc. It is preferable to employ pairs of combustion chambers in order that the forces generated during operation are equalized. Combustion chambers 13 extend the entire length of rotor 12. Combustion chambers 13 are generally pie-shaped and are positioned in communication with chamber 11 of housing 10.
A plurality of vane members 15 are each pivotally positioned within each of combustion chambers 13. Vane members 15 include a cylindrically shaped mounting section 16 and a generally flat, plate-like section 37 integrally attached to mounting section 16. Mounting section 16 pivotally engage rotor 12 to permit pivotal movement of vane member 15 within combustion chambers 13. In operation, vane member 15 moves in a flapping mode, radially inwardly and outwardly within combustion chambers 13. Due to the tight sliding fit between vane members 15 and combustion chambers 13, a vacuum is created when vane members 15 move radially-inward, thus effecting fuel intake. This tight fit, likewise, causes a compression of the fuel when vane members 15 move radially outward so as to achieve proper combustion of the fuel mixture. The-longitudinal, pivotal axes 29 of mounting sections 16 of vanes 15 are aligned in substantially parallel relationship with the longitudinal axes of rotor member 12 and chamber 11.
As can be seen in FIG. 2, plate-like member 37 of vane 15 is of a width equal to that of rotor member 12. Mounting members 16 of vanes 15 are positioned on opposed ends thereof. Crank means in the form of cylindrically shaped post members 17 are each rigidly secured to opposed ends of cylindrical mounting section 16 of vane member 15. The longitudinal axis 30 of post member 17 of the crank means is positioned in parallel off-set relationship relative to the pivotal axis 29 of the vane member 15. This off-set relationship between the crank means and the pivotal axis 29 of vane members 15 aids in achieving the desired flapping action of the vanes 15 during rotation of rotor 12.
Referring to FIG. 2, a pair of cover members 21 generally plate-like in shape, are rigidly attached to rotor member 12 at opposite ends thereof for rotation with the rotor 12. The attachment of cover members 21 to rotor 12 may be accomplished by way of threaded bolts 24 and bolt holes 25, FIGS. 2-3. Cover members 21, likewise, have a plurality of bores 23 formed therethrough which are adapted to receive the cylindrically shaped mounting sections 16 of vane members 15 therethrough. During operation mounting sections 16 of vanes 15 will pivotally move within bores 23 and, although it is not shown in the accompanying drawings, it can be nonetheless appreciated that bearings at this pivotal point would be desirable if not an absolute necessity. Cover members 21 also each include an outwardly extending power output shaft 22 integrally attached to members 21 such that shaft 22 and cover members 21 rotate with rotor 12.
Referring now to FIGS. 2, 4 and 5, a pair of housing end plates 26 are boltably secured to main housing 10 positioned adjacent cover members 21. Housing end plates 26 contain-track means in the form of track way 34 formed therein. Track way 34 is ofa modified annular shape and radially varies inwardly and outwardly at fixed intervals therearound, FIG. 4. In the embodiment shown in the drawings in which four vane members are employed, track way 34 would radially vary inward and outward at 45 intervals therearound. Track way 34 is defined by a pair of sidewalls 35 which are generally perpendicular to the plane of end plates 26 and a floor 35 which is generally parallel to the plane of end plates 26, FIG. 5. Sidewalls 36 of track way 34 are formed in parallel spaced apart relationship defining a distance slightly greater than the diameter of post member 17 whereby post member 17 engages the sidewalls 36 during rotation of rotor member 12. A snug sliding fit between post member 17 and sidewalls 36 is desirable so as to reduce the wear of these parts during operation. The interaction between post member 17 and sidewalls 36 and the further off-set relationship between post member 17 and mounting member 16 contributes to the pivotal movement of vanes 15 within combustion chambers 13 during rotation of rotor 12.
In order to accommodate the continuous contact between post member 17 and sidewalls 36 of track way 34, it is preferable to include bearing member 37 on post member 17. I have further found that in order to overcome the problems resulting from bearing spin reversal it is preferable to employ a split off-set bearing arrangement utilizing a first bearing 32 and an adjacent second bearing 33 laterally off-set from first bearing 32, FIG. 2. In this manner, bearing 32 contacts the outer side of sidewalls 36 and, hence, spins in one direction while second bearing member 33 contacts the inner side of sidewalls 36 and spins in a direction opposite to that of bearing32. Hence, bearing members 32 and 33, when operably connected to post member 17 effect a significant reduction in the frictional forces between the post member 17 and track way 34 during rotation of rotor member 12. If bearings 32 and 33 are employed, it is understood that the diameter of post members 17 should be reduced so that the overall diameter of post members 17 with bearings 32 and 33 operably affixed thereto is of a dimension slightly less than the distance between sidewalls 36 of track way 34 in order to achieve a snug slidable fit between bearings 32 and 33 and track way 34.
Housing end plates 26 also have a bore 27 formed therethrough to receive shaft bearings 28 and power output shaft 22 therethrough. Hence, in the presently preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 2, rotor 12 is supported within housing by way of power output shaft 22 rotatably mounted within bore 27 of housing end plate 26.
Since the fuel combustion function takes place within combustion chambers 13 of rotor member 12, it will, in most applications, be necessary to cool rotor 12. This cooling may be accomplished by mounting seals (not shown in the drawings) preferably carbon seals, in housing end plates 26 inside track way 34 and immediately adjacent power output shafts 22 so as to permit the coolant liquid to circulate directly against the outer faces of rotor member 12 as it spins. The hot coolant could then be circulated directly to a conventional radiator. Slight ribbing on the outer faces of rotor 12 (not shown) could be employed as pump means to circulate the coolant within the system thus eliminating the need of a water pump. Rotor 12 could be further modified with appropriate ducting which would cause the spinning rotor to act as a fan. In this manner housing 10 and rotor 12 could be air cooled. It is also understood that housing 10 would include conventional coolant chambers 40.
In order to describe the operation of my rotary engine, reference is now made to FIGS. 1 and 3. FIG. 1 shows vane members positioned radially inward wherein two opposed vane members are positioned at the climax of the fuel intake function as their respective combustion chambers 13 are incommunication with the intake ports 18. The remaining two oppo'sed vanes are positioned at the climax-of thec'ombus'tion function. FIG. 3 shows vane members 15 pos'itiohed radially outward wherein two opposed vane members adjacent spark plugs have effected the compression function and the combustion function has just'begun. The I'B-e maining two opposed vanes of FIG. 3:are positioned at the climax of theexhaust function as their. respective combustion chambersl3 are in communication with the exhaust ports 19. Hence, it can be seen that each vane member 15 completes two combustion outputs in one revolution of rotor'member 12. The four cycles of fuel input, compression, combustion and exhaust are', therefore, completed in one-half revolution of rotor member 12. Due to the fact that pairsof vane members 15 are opposed to one another at 180 and further, due to the fact that these opposed pairs of vanes-are identi-v cally positioned and performing identiealfunctions at the same time, the balance of .rotor 12 is maintained in equilibrium. This improved balance.reducesvibration and stress and results in increased enginelifeand efficiency.
The fiapping mode of. travel of vane members 15 can best be understood by referring to FIG. .4. .Aspreviouslydescribed, track way .34 is of a modified annular shape, varying radially outward and inward. at 45 intervals therearound ahd having sidewalls 36 of afixed dimensional spacing- At, a point vduring operation, post member 17 of a given-vane member v:15 is positioned at 6. do not preclude the possible necessity of using a supercharger to attain maximur'n delivery of air to the intake of theengine to obtain optimum results at high speeds'f Likewise, it is understood that the contour of vane members 15 can be modified so as to increase the compression'within combustion chambers 13. In this'man ner, plate-"like portion 37of vanes 15 would be modi-' fied to a convex shape assuming th'e co nt our of ho'using chamber'l l. t a
'While I'have described a preferred embodiment of theinvention, it should be understood thatthe inven' tion may be otherwise embodied within the scope of f1. A rotary engine comprising:
a main housinghavi'ng an inner chamb'ei" therein,
an outward most segment of track way 34 and the given 17 into forceable engagement with track way 34 as member 17 moves from the outward segment to the subsequent inward segment in a clockwise direction along track way 34. This forceable movement of post member 17 effects the power output transfer from post member 17 to rotor member 12. Next, post member 17 moves from the preceding inward segment to a subsequent outward segment of track way 34 causing radially outward movement of vane member 15 to effect the exhaust function as shown in FIG. 3. Next, post member 17 moves from the preceding outward segment to a subsequent inward segment of track way 34 causing radially inward movement of vane member 15 to effect the fuel intake function, as shown in FIG. 1. Post member 17 then moves from the preceding inward segment to a subsequent outward segment of track way 34 to effect the compression function whereupon vane member 15 is again positioned for the combustion function as in FIG. 3 and the foregoing cycle is again repeated.
The vacuum and pressures created in combustion chambers 13 below vane members 15 can be metered and vectored so that by introducing an oil vapor into housing 10, full lubrication can be accomplished without the need of an oil pump.
Ignition can be accomplished by a standard time spark either using a distributor or electronic ignition or by the use of a glow plug such as is employed in a common diesel engine. I do not preclude the use of multiple ignition systems within each firing position. I, likewise,
said housingialso having fuel intake means, exhaust I 'imeans, and ignition means communicating'with the flf am e gf 1 f h f If I3. a 'ro't or'member, rotatable about its longitudinal I axis and mounted in the chamber of the main housing, said rotor member having a plurality of combustionChambers formed therein communicating with the chamber of the main housing; I aplu rality of vane 'members e'achihaving a cylindrically shaped mounting section for pivotal movement radially inward and outward within a combustion-chamber, the pivotal axes of the cylindrical mounting sectionsaligned in substantially parallel relationshipswith t he longitudinalaxisof the rotor ie'mbe i;
crank means extending outwardly from opposed ends of each of said cylindrical mounting sections and positioned .in parallel, spaced apart relationtobthle pivotal axis of each of said, mounting section s; I 4 i E. track means associated with the main housing adjacent opposed ends of the housing chamber, said means including a trackway having a modified annular shape, varying radially inwardly and outwardly a uniform distance with respect to the longitudinal axis of the rotor, said uniform radial variation occuring at a fixed interval around said trackway, said track means having a shape to operably engage and guide the crank means causing simultaneous pivotal movement and identical positioning of all of the vane members within their respective combustion chambers to effect two combustion cycles in each combustion chamber during one revolution of said rotor member, whereby, opposed pairs of vane members perform identical functions in the cycle operation of the engine at the same time; and F. means associated with the rotor member for transfer of output power therefrom. 2. The rotary engine of claim 1 including bearing means operably connected to the crank means to effect a reduction of frictional forces between the crank jacently positioned second ring-shaped bearing, said second bearing being laterally off-set from said first bearing, whereby, said first and second bearings engage the outer and inner sidewalls respectively of the track way during rotation of the rotor.
4. The rotary engine of claim 1 wherein said vane members each include a generally flat plate-like section integrally attached to said cylindrical mounting section and outwardly extending therefrom for pivotal movement within the combustion chambers of said rotor member, said crank means including a plurality of cylindrically shaped post members each rigidly secured to opposed ends of the cylindrical mounting sections of the vane members, the longitudinal axes of said post members positioned in parallel off-set relationship relative to the pivotal axes of the cylindrical sections of said vane members.
5. The rotary engine of claim 4 wherein the power output means includes a pair of plate-like, cover members rigidly attached to the rotor member at opposite ends thereof for rotation with said rotor member, said cover members having a plurality of bores formed therethrough to receive the ends of the cylindrically shaped mounting sections of the vane members therethrough, said cover members also including an outwardly extending power output shaft integrally attached thereto for rotation therewith.
6. The rotary engine of claim 5 wherein the track means includes:
A pair of housing end plates rigidly secured to the main housing adjacent the cover members, each of said end plates defined by a pair of sidewalls, generally perpendicular to the plane of the end plates formed in parallel relationship and spaced apart by a distance slightly greater than the diameter of the post members of the vane members whereby, said post members slidably engage the outer sidewall and inner sidewall of said track way during rotation of said rotor member, said plate members also having a bore formed therein to rotatably and supportably receive the power output shafts of the cover members therethrough.
7. The rotary engine of claim 6 including bearing means operably connected to the cylindrically shaped post members to effect a reduction in frictional forces between the post members and the track way during rotation of the rotor member.
8. The rotary engine of claim 7 wherein the bearing means comprises a first ring-shaped bearing and an adjacently positioned second ring-shaped bearing, said second bearing being laterally off-set from said first bearing whereby said first and second bearings engage outer and inner sidewalls respectively of the track way during rotation of the rotor.
9. The rotary engine of claim 8 wherein the chamber of the main housing and the rotor member are cylindrical in shape.
10. The rotary engine of claim 1 wherein the fuel intake means of the main housing includes a pair of intake ports, the exhaust means of said housing, likewise, including a pair of exhaust ports positioned in spaced apart relationship to each other and to said intake ports, the ignition means including a pair of spark emitting means positioned in spaced apart relationship to each other and to said fuel intake and exhaust ports, said rotor member including four combustion chambers radially disposed in spaced apart relationship therein, the rotary engine, likewise, including four vane members, and said track way varying a fixed distance, radially inward and outward, at substantially 45 intervals therearound.
"11. The rotary engine of claim 1 including sealing means positioned between the rotor and the cylindrical chamber of the housing to effect a seal between adjacent combustion chambers.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION O PATENT NO. 3 3, 923, 013
DATED 2 December 2, 1975 INVENTORQQ I Herman A. Myers It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
In the Abstract Line 19 off-bearing" should read --off-set--. Column 1 Line 45 Before "shape" insert --in--. Column 3 Line 11 "engage" should read --engages--. Column 3 Line 67 "35" should read --36--.
Column 5 Line 30 "ahd" should read --and--. Column 5 Line 63 "time" should read -timed--.
Claim 1 Column 6 Line 52 "cycle" should read --cyclic--. Q Claim 2 Column 6 Line 58 "of" should read --in--.
Claim 6 Column 7 Line 27 After "plates" insert --havin-g a track way formed therein-- r V I Engncd and Scaled thus twenty-fourth Day Of February 1976 [SEAL] I Attest: O
RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Arlesling Officer Commissioner ufParents and Trademarks