|Publication number||USRE42552 E1|
|Application number||US 11/844,636|
|Publication date||Jul 19, 2011|
|Filing date||Aug 24, 2007|
|Priority date||Oct 3, 2003|
|Also published as||CA2483523A1, EP1521029A1, US6945273, US20050072478|
|Publication number||11844636, 844636, US RE42552 E1, US RE42552E1, US-E1-RE42552, USRE42552 E1, USRE42552E1|
|Original Assignee||Banjo Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (12), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (2), Classifications (10), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a coupling assembly for components of a fluid handling system, and, in particular, to a dry break coupling assembly which has a minimal tendency to spill conveyed fluid when disconnected.
2. Description of the Related Art
Coupling assemblies are utilized to provide ready connection and disconnection of multiple components, such as separate hoses or a hose and a tank, of a fluid handling system. In many situations, the fluid being conveyed or retained within the fluid-handling system is potentially harmful to the environment or to the user of the coupling assembly. Such fluids include pesticides, fertilizers, gasoline or flammable fluids, and a variety of toxic substances. The coupling assemblies preferably utilized with such liquids are known as dry disconnect or dry break coupling assemblies and can be connected and disconnected with minimal or zero fluid spillage.
A variety of different types of dry disconnect coupling assemblies are already known in the art. One type of dry break coupling includes spring biased popper valves mounted in the separate coupling halves. These poppet valves are opened and closed to control fluid flow through the coupling assembly by a plunger axially shiftable within one of the coupling halves. One disadvantage of this coupling configuration is an appreciable pressure drop over the length of the coupling results from the presence of the valve elements interposed within the flow path of the fluid.
Another type of dry disconnect coupling device, such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,664,149, is automatically opened and closed when the separate coupling halves of the coupling are connected and then disconnected. While useful in some applications, these devices are complicated in design and manufacture, which may undesirably increase their cost. Furthermore, these devices may be inconvenient to use in situations where selective control or stoppage of the fluid flow during liquid transfer is desirable.
Other types of dry disconnect coupling assemblies, such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,440,946, utilize two interfitting rotary valve elements such as ball valves. While functional to provide a dry disconnect, known devices of this type are not without their shortcomings. In some prior art designs, the mechanical linkage by which the separate coupling halves can be connected, or the manner in which the sequencing of the opening and closing of the valves is controlled, is not especially user friendly or intuitive to a user. For example, some valves require that the separate valves first be axially shifted together and then rotated relative to one another such that the camming members on one of the valves engage complementary elements on the other valve. The operation of this connection system may be confusing to some users who need to experiment to determine which way the valves need to be rotated to effect connection and subsequent disconnection. In addition, in some valves an absent-minded user can accidentally turn on the valves when they are disconnected and an unfortunate spill of potentially harmful fluids may occur. Thus, it would be desirable to provide a dry break coupling assembly which overcomes shortcomings of these and other prior art systems.
The present invention involves a dry break coupling assembly for interconnecting and controlling fluid flow between first and second components in a fluid handling system using the coordinated interlocking of valve elements. The coupling assembly comprises a first valve attachable to the first fluid handling system component. The first valve includes a body having a valve connection end, and a fluid passageway. The first valve also includes a valve element rotatably supported within the body. The assembly further includes a second valve attachable to the second fluid handling system component. The second valve includes a body having a valve connection end and a fluid passageway. A second valve element is rotatably supported within the body of the second valve. Both valve elements are rotatable between an open position and a closed position when the valve bodies are connected by the over-center clamp mechanism.
The first valve and the second valve are movable relative to each other between a disconnected arrangement and a connected arrangement, wherein the valve connection ends of the first and second valves are disposed in facing relationship when the first valve and the second valve are disposed in the connected arrangement.
Also included in the coupling assembly of the present invention is an over-center clamp mechanism for interlocking the first valve to the second valve when the first valve and the second valve are disposed in the connected arrangement.
In one form of the invention, the first and second valve are rotatable with respect to one another for up to 20 degrees in either direction, when the first valve and the second valve are disposed in the connected arrangement.
In a specific embodiment, the over-center clamp mechanism comprises: a pair of projecting bars disposed on an outer surface of the body of the first valve, and a pair of clamp assemblies disposed on the body of the second valve. Each clamp assembly may include a clamp arm having a hook end for engaging one of the projecting bars, and a clamp lever for actuating the hook end to engage or disengage the projecting bar.
In another specific embodiment, the clamp assembly is operatively connected to a yoke assembly mounted on the body of the second valve for locking the clamp lever in a locking position when the second valve is in an open position. The yoke assembly comprises means for biasing the yoke assembly when the yoke assembly disengages the second valve handle as the second valve assumes a closed position.
In another form of the present invention, each of the valves comprise an automatic locking assembly. The locking components of the first and the second valves engage each other during connection of the first and second valves. The locking component comprises a locking button received within a body cavity and projecting forward of the valve connection end.
The above-mentioned and other features and advantages of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention itself will be better understood by reference to the following description of embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. Although the drawings represent embodiments of the present invention, the drawings are not necessarily to scale and certain features may be exaggerated in order to better illustrate and explain the present invention. The exemplification set out herein illustrates an embodiment of the invention, in one form, and such exemplifications are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention in any manner.
The disconnect assembly of the present invention is designed and manufactured to provide a dry break connection, which refers to the valves having a minimal if not zero tendency to drip or spill fluid when disconnected from a connected, fluid conveying arrangement. The disconnect assembly is therefore particularly suited for liquid handling systems utilized with fluid materials for which accidental spillage or drippage should be kept to a minimum, such as with pesticides or fertilizers, flammable materials, chemicals or toxic substances.
In the shown embodiment in
As shown in
As shown in
As further illustrated in
As further shown in
The structure of the disconnect assembly of the present invention will be further understood in view of the following explanation of its use to couple together and then decouple components of a fluid handling system. In
To lock over-center clamp mechanism 150 in place, once each hook end 152 of the two lever arms 151 is in a proper position within recess 21, clamp lever 153 is pressed down against female body 112, a spring motion is created such that hook end 152 of clamp arm 151 is pressed down on projecting bar 20. The over-center clamp mechanism 150 is now locked in place.
During the mating together of valves 10, 100, locking buttons 40, 140 of the valves 10 and 100 abut each other and are each driven rearwardly within their respective body hollows. This locking button translation forces the handle engaging members of the locking assemblies into the grooves in their respective valve handles, which in turn permits handle rotation. The coupling assembly is now ready for operation to control the fluid flow between the linked handling system components.
One advantageous feature of the present disconnect assembly is that either body 12 or body 112 may be rotated in either direction at 20° in each direction, or 40° total (see
The rotatable feature of valve 10 and 100 allows either or both valves to be rotated and easily connected to or disconnected from one another, while either one or both valves are connected to a fixed fluid system.
As shown in
To disconnect valves 10 and 100, clamp lever 153 is lifted, biasing hook end 152 to be released from bar 20. Valve bodies 12 and 112 may then be pulled apart.
Within interior cavity 14 of male body 12 includes a valve element which may be rotatable to open and close valve 10 to control the flow of fluid through body cavity 14. The features and functions of the valve element of the present invention may be as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,595,217, which has been assigned to the present assignee, and herein fully and explicitly incorporated by reference. It is contemplated that other types of valve elements such as that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,050,545, assigned to the assignee of the present invention, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference, may also be used.
For example, as shown in
A fitting permitting connection to a component of a liquid handling system is provided for valve 10 opposite the forward end to which valve 100 connects. In the shown embodiment, a female threaded fitting, generally designated 66, is provided on retaining plate 42. The exemplary fitting is one type suitable for use with male valve 10 and others may be substituted within the scope of the invention. For example, the body and fitting could be integrally formed. Moreover, differently sized and shaped fittings may be substituted.
Ball valve 30 is rotationally fixed with stem 48, which upwardly extends from ball valve 30 through a transverse bore provided in body 12. A keyed lower end (not shown) of stem 48 is nested within groove 49 provided in ball 30 such that rotation of stem 48 is transferred to ball valve 30. The upper end 52 of stem 48 is shaped to fit within a keyed hole in the head 60 of handle 59 to rotationally couple handle 59 with stem 48 and ball valve 30. Handle 59 also includes a manually graspable torque arm 61 which allows easier operation of the valve. Screw 62 engages an internally threaded metal plug 63 within stem upper end 52 and cooperates with washer 67 to keep handle 59 secured to stem 48. Annular bearing 54 may be made of Teflon™ and facilitates rotation of stem 48. A stem O-ring 49, which furnishes a fluid-tight seal around stem 48 to prevent fluid from escaping from passageway 14, is held in position by a bushing that contacts the underside of handle head 60.
As best shown in
To prevent handle 59 from being rotated from a closed position to an open position when male valve 10 is not connected to a female valve 100 and thereby allowing fluid to spill out from the valve, a handle locking assembly may be provided as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,595,217, assigned to the assignee of the present invention, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference.
As best shown in
Referring now to
Due to the interlocking configuration of the handles, and as visibly apparent to a user, female valve handle 126 must be rotated prior to male valve handle 59. As female valve handle 126 is rotated to a full open position to axially align ball valve bore and open the fluid passageway, a cam (not shown) on the underside of handle arm 128 engages yoke assembly 160 and forces yoke 160 downward toward valve body 112 against the upward biasing force of an interposed spring. This locking engagement prevents clamp lever 153 from being pivoted forward to a release position, which in turn prevents a user from disconnecting valves 10, 100 when any of the valve 124 is in the open position.
After female valve handle 126 has been rotated, the male valve handle 59 is rotatable as handle recess 142 accommodates the curved exterior of handle head 60. After male valve handle 59 is rotated to rotate ball valve 30 into the full open position, valves 10 and 100 are both open to thereby allow fluid therethrough. Due to the interlocking configuration of handles 59, 126, male valve handle 59 must be closed prior to female valve handle 126 being closed.
Further provided, as shown in
While the present invention has been described as having a preferred design, the present invention can be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8539996 *||Sep 9, 2008||Sep 24, 2013||Gea Pharma Systems Ag||Docking device comprising two coupling closures for the environmentally sealed transfer of bulk material, having at least one locking unit|
|US20110088353 *||Sep 9, 2008||Apr 21, 2011||Gea Pharma Systems Ag||Docking device comprising two coupling closures for the environmentally sealed transfer of bulk material, having at least one locking unit|
|U.S. Classification||137/614.06, 285/320, 285/420, 251/149.9|
|Cooperative Classification||F16L37/373, F16L37/244, Y10T137/87973|
|European Classification||F16L37/373, F16L37/244|