|Publication number||USRE40440 E1|
|Application number||US 11/022,428|
|Publication date||Jul 22, 2008|
|Filing date||Dec 27, 2004|
|Priority date||Nov 3, 1999|
|Also published as||DE60040009D1, EP1227893A2, EP1227893A4, EP1227893B1, US6499672, USRE42596, USRE45263, WO2001031996A2, WO2001031996A3|
|Publication number||022428, 11022428, US RE40440 E1, US RE40440E1, US-E1-RE40440, USRE40440 E1, USRE40440E1|
|Inventors||George L. Sesser|
|Original Assignee||Hunter Industries Incorporated|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (41), Non-Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (28), Classifications (19), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/433,299 filed Nov. 3, 1999, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,244,521.
This invention relates to landscape and agricultural irrigation sprinklers and, specifically, to a rotating, viscously damped sprinkler which permits adjustment of the stream pattern, throw radius and flow rate.
Sprinklers utilizing a fixed nozzle to emit a stream onto the grooves of a viscously damped rotor plate are known in the art and examples of such constructions may be found in commonly owned U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,288,022 and 5,058,806. Sprinklers of this type may be incorporated into pop-up type arrangements or they may be mounted on, for example, fixed riser pipes. In either case, it is possible to employ adjustable or interchangeable nozzles having orifices which emit a 360° stream, a 180° stream, a 90° stream, etc. so as to produce a desired sprinkling pattern, to be determined primarily by the location of the sprinkler. There is also a need, however, to be able to adjust the throw radius and flow rate of the sprinkler without varying the water pressure.
This invention provides, in one exemplary embodiment, an internal rotary valve in the base of the sprinkler mechanism which can be actuated by pressing down on the sprinkler rotor plate to thereby engage a valve drive mechanism, and then rotating the rotor plate to open or close the internal valve between maximum open or closed positions, or any position therebetween.
In another exemplary embodiment, the flow rate adjustment mechanism incorporates an axially movable flow restrictor that is configured to restrict, but not completely shut off, the flow of water to the sprinkler nozzle.
As is well known in the art, the rotor plate itself is provided with specially configured grooves which cause the rotor plate to rotate when a stream emitted from the nozzle impinges on the grooves. The plate itself is mounted for rotation about a normally fixed, i.e., non-rotating shaft. Within the rotor plate, there is a chamber adapted to be at least partially filled with a high viscosity fluid. At the same time, there is a fixed stator mounted on the shaft, located within the chamber. As the rotor plate and chamber wall rotate about the shaft and the fixed stator, shearing of the viscous fluid occurs, slowing down the rotation of the rotor plate to produce a uniform and more well defined pattern. The shaft extends out of the rotor plate and into the sprinkler body, through the center of the nozzle. The nozzle itself is interchangeable with other nozzles having various opening configurations.
In one exemplary embodiment, the nozzle and an underlying generally cylindrical core flow path component are sandwiched between a removable sprinkler body cap and a baffle fixed to the lower end of the shaft for rotation with the shaft. The baffle contains a series of spokes or lobes which can rotate relative to ports formed in the core flow path component to regulate the amount of water flowing to the nozzle.
A rotor plate cap, held in place on the rotor plate by a retainer ring, is formed with an annular array of teeth adapted to engage with a mating annular array of teeth formed in the upper surface of the stator within the fluid chamber. The rotor plate cap and rotor plate can be pressed downwardly (assuming an upright orientation for the sprinkler) on the shaft (and relative to the shaft) so as to cause the teeth on the rotor plate cap and the fixed stator to engage. With the teeth so engaged, a “drive” mechanism is established between the rotor plate and the shaft so that manual rotation of the rotor plate causes the shaft to rotate as well. This results in the baffle rotating relative to the core flow path component to thereby throttle the flow through ports in the core to achieve the desired throw radius. When the rotor plate is returned upwardly to its original position, the respective teeth on the rotor plate cap and stator are disengaged, and the rotor plate is then free to rotate relative to the shaft in a normal operating mode.
In a second exemplary embodiment, the sprinkler body is simplified by incorporating three separate component parts, i.e., the sprinkler body cap, an inner sleeve and a part of the nozzle into a single base piece. The remaining components are mounted on the shaft, including a second nozzle component and the flow rate adjustment mechanism. With regard to the latter, a collar is press fit onto the lower end of the shaft, with threads formed on its exterior surface. A sleeve-like throttle member, constrained against rotation by interaction with a spider component, is threaded onto the collar so that manual rotation of the axially stationary shaft results in the throttle member moving up or down on the shaft, depending upon the direction of rotation of the shaft. The throttle member thus moves axially toward or away from a fixed seat secured to an otherwise conventional filter device which is itself fixed to the lower end of the base. The fixed seat comprises four vertically extending ribs in an annular array so that, when the throttle member is fully engaged with the seat, water flow to the nozzle will be restricted but not shut off. The way in which the shaft is rotated manually via the rotor plate to make the desired adjustment is otherwise as described above in connection with the first embodiment.
Thus, in accordance with its broader aspects, the present invention relates to a rotating stream sprinkler comprising a rotor plate supported on one end of a shaft for rotation, in an operative mode, relative to the shaft; a nozzle located along the shaft upstream of the rotor plate; the rotor plate formed with a chamber and one end of the shaft has a stator fixed thereto within the chamber, the fluid chamber at least partially filled with a viscous fluid; and wherein the chamber is at least partially closed at an upper end thereof by a rotor cap plate; and further wherein an underside of the rotor cap plate is provided with a first plurality of teeth and an upper surface of the stator is provided with a second plurality of mating teeth adapted to engage the first plurality of teeth in an adjustment mode.
In accordance with another aspect, the present invention relates to a rotating sprinkler comprising a sprinkler body having an inlet and an outlet including a stationary nozzle; a rotatable stream distributor plate mounted on a shaft downstream of the nozzle and having stream distribution grooves adapted to receive a stream from the nozzle and to distribute the stream; and means for adjusting the flow rate of water flowing to the nozzle.
In accordance with still another aspect, the present invention relates to a rotating sprinkler comprising a sprinkler body having an inlet and an outlet including a stationary nozzle; a rotatable stream distributor plate mounted on a shaft for rotation relative to the shaft, the distributor plate located downstream of the nozzle and having stream distribution grooves adapted to receive a stream from the nozzle and to distribute the stream; a flow rate adjustment mechanism comprising a throttle member threadably mounted on the shaft for movement relative to the shaft, toward or away from an annular seat having a discontinuous edge such that the flow rate cannot be shut off by having the throttle member engage the seat.
In still another aspect, the present invention relates to a rotating stream sprinkler comprising means for delivering liquid to a nozzle; means downstream of the nozzle for distributing liquid emitted from the nozzle in a desired sprinkling pattern; means for adjusting flow rate of water to the nozzle; and means for controlling speed of rotation of the means for distributing the liquid.
In still another aspect, the present invention relates to a rotating sprinkler comprising a sprinkler body; having an inlet, an outlet including a stationary nozzle; a rotatable stream distributor plate mounted on a shaft for rotation relative to the shaft, the distributor plate located downstream of the nozzle and having stream distribution grooves adapted to receive a stream from the nozzle and to distribute the stream; the distributor plate having a chamber formed therein at least partially filled with a viscous fluid, and a stator fixed to the shaft within the chamber, wherein rotational speed of the rotatable stream distributor plate is viscously dampened; and a flow rate adjustment mechanism comprising a throttle member threadably mounted for movement relative to the shaft, toward or away from an annular seat upstream of the throttle member.
Other advantages of the subject invention will become apparent from the detailed description that follows.
With reference now to
The opposite end of the shaft 26 supports three axially aligned components within the inner sleeve 18 in the sprinkler body. The first of these components is a baffle 38 (see also
Supported above the core component is an annular nozzle 48 which has an open lower end axially aligned with the flow passages in the core component. The upper end of the nozzle has a restricted orifice 50 which may extend, e.g., 360°, about the shaft 26; 180° (see especially
With reference now also to
Turning now to
In both of the illustrated embodiments, a filter element 82 (or 84) is supported by the respective sleeves 18 and 80, but is not considered part of the invention per se.
Turning now to
A shaft 100 extends from the base 88 through the nozzle orifice and into a rotor plate 102 that, like the rotor plate 22, is formed with a plurality of off-center, circumferentially arranged grooves 104 that are configured to cause the rotor plate to rotate relative to the shaft 100 when a stream emitted form the nozzle impinges on the grooves 104.
The rotor plate 102 is formed with an internal fluid chamber 108 that is adapted to be filled (or at least partially filled) with a viscous fluid 110. The shaft 100 extends through the chamber, with the remote end 112 of the shaft seated in a recess 114 formed in the cap 116. The latter is press fit within the rotor plate, seated on an annular ledge 118 and partially closing the chamber 108. The upper end of the chamber is then sealed by a cover 120. An O-ring 121 sits on an annular shoulder 123 and also engages the cover 120 to thereby seal the chamber 108, preventing leakage around the upper end 112 of the shaft 100. Note that the shaft is loosely seated in recess 114, allowing the rotor plate to rotate about the shaft.
A stator 122 is fixed to the shaft 100 and located within the chamber 108. Stator 122 engages a bearing 124, loosely fit on the shaft. An annular seal 126 is captured between the bearing 124 and a lower edge 128 of the rotor plate to thereby seal the lower end of the rotor plate against leakage from the chamber 108. Thus, in a manner similar to the earlier described embodiment, rotation of the rotor plate will be slowed by the viscous shearing of fluid between the stator 122 and the rotor plate wall forming the chamber 108.
A deflector 130, is press fit onto the shaft 100 so as to be located adjacent the nozzle outer edge 98. The deflector 130 is formed with an inwardly and downwardly tapering (as viewed in
An elastomeric shield 131 is seated in a groove 133 formed at the upper end of the deflector 130, with an angled flange 135 extending upwardly and radially outwardly toward the apex of the rotor plate. This shield serves to insure that water will not impinge upon the seal 126, and it prevents said particles from becoming jammed between the rotor plate 86 and the sprinkler body cap portion 92. This arrangement, along with the deflector 130 itself, facilitates keeping the nozzle orifice close to the shaft axis while at the same time insuring that the stream is directed to the grooves in the rotor plate.
Within the sprinkler base component 88, a spider component 138 is located on the shaft, below the deflector 130. The spider 138, best seen in
Thus, for adjustment of the flow rate, the user presses downwardly on the rotor plate, causing the teeth 164 on the inside of the rotor body cap to engage with the teeth 166 on the upper surface of the stator establishing a drive mechanism by which the shaft will rotate with the rotor plate, causing the throttle member 150 to move upwardly or downwardly on the shaft 100 depending on the direction of rotation of the rotor plate. In this manner, the flow rate of water to the nozzle may be adjusted as desired.
While the invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
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|1||Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment of Patent Non-Infringement and Invalidity; U.S. District Court-Central District of California, Case No. CV 07-2811 GPS (JTLx); Rain Bird Corporation v. Nelson Irrigation Corporation; Filed Jun. 29, 2007.|
|2||Answer and Counterclaim of Hunter Industries Incorporated and Demand for Jury Trial; U.S. District Court-Central District of California, Case No. CV 07-2811 GPS (JTLx); Rain Bird Corporation v. Nelson Irrigation Corporation; Filed Sep. 07, 2007.|
|3||Complaint for Declaratory Judgment of Paten Non-Infringement and Invalidity; U.S. District Court-Central District of California, Case No.: CV 07-2811 GPS (JTLx); Rain Bird Corporation v. Nelson Irrigation Corporation; Filed: Apr. 27, 2007.|
|4||Reply of Rain Bird to Hunter's Counterclaims; U.S. District Court-Central District of California, Case No. CV 07-2811 GPS (JTLx); Rain Bird Corporation v. Nelson Irrigation Corporation; Filed Sep. 28, 2007.|
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|US20100090024 *||Oct 9, 2008||Apr 15, 2010||Steven Brian Hunnicutt||Sprinkler with variable arc and flow rate|
|US20100301135 *||Mar 9, 2010||Dec 2, 2010||Steven Brian Hunnicutt||Sprinkler with Variable Arc and Flow Rate and Method|
|US20110121097 *||Nov 23, 2010||May 26, 2011||Walker Samuel C||Sprinkler with variable arc and flow rate and method|
|USRE42596 *||Oct 12, 2007||Aug 9, 2011||Hunter Industries, Inc.||Micro-stream rotator with adjustment of throw radius and flow rate|
|USRE45263||Aug 8, 2011||Dec 2, 2014||Hunter Industries Incorporated||Micro-stream rotator with adjustment of throw radius and flow rate|
|U.S. Classification||239/222.11, 239/514, 239/484, 239/443, 239/252, 239/518, 239/262, 239/232|
|International Classification||B05B3/00, B05B1/30, B05B3/04|
|Cooperative Classification||B05B1/304, B05B3/005, G02B6/3898, B05B1/3026, B05B3/0486|
|European Classification||B05B1/30C, B05B3/00E2, B05B3/04P|
|Aug 15, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HUNTER INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NELSON IRRIGATION CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:019699/0442
Effective date: 20070622
|May 3, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|May 6, 2014||CC||Certificate of correction|