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Dry break valve assembly

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Lee A Krywitsky

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A valve assembly with an automatic check valve feature and automatic disassembly feature. The valve assembly includes an actuating mechanism which keeps the valve gates open, establishing fluid communication. The fluid checking feature operates when the valve assembly is disassembled. When the valve assembly disassembles, the check valves automatically close. The valve assembly can be disassembled manually or automatically. The automatic disassembly feature includes a collar and breakable link assembly, which keep the valve assembly in sealing engagement. Upon a predetermined force, the breakable link assembly fails, releasing the collar from the valve assembly and effecting disassembly of the valve assembly.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the manner in which the above-recited and other advantages and features of the invention are obtained, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It will be appreciated that the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale and that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not to be considered to be limiting of the scope of the invention.

FIG. 1 depicts an exemplary operating environment for the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the dry break valve assembly where a source housing and a destination housing may be releasably connected using a sleeve;

FIG. 3 depicts one embodiment of a sleeve which releasably seals and connects a source housing with a destination housing;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view indicating various details of a breakable link assembly that is an integral portion of a collar;

FIG. 5 is a perspective cutaway view of an embodiment of the present invention, illustrating various features of an actuating mechanism;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of a sealing interface within the dry valve assembly;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view illustrating an actuating mechanism disposed within the valve assembly;

FIG. 7A is a side view of the actuating mechanism, illustrating the actuating mechanism in a position that allows fluid transfer according to one embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 7B illustrates a side view of the actuating mechanism, illustrating the actuating mechanism in a position that prevents fluid transfer through the dry valve in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

Claims

1. In a system including a fluid source and a fluid destination, a valve assembly disposed between the fluid source and the fluid destination for facilitating a transfer of fluid between the fluid source and the fluid destination such that leakage of the fluid is minimized when the valve assembly is disassembled, the valve assembly comprising:

2. A valve assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein the source flow control assembly and the destination flow control assembly close at substantially the same time when the retention force is removed.

3. A valve assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein the coupler further comprises a collar mechanism and a breakable link assembly, wherein the collar mechanism releasably joins a first portion of the coupler with a second portion of the coupler.

4. A valve assembly as defined in claim 3, wherein the breakable link assembly connects a first end of the collar mechanism with a second end of the collar mechanism such that the collar mechanism is securely engaged with the coupler.

5. A valve assembly as defined in claim 4, wherein an application of a force exceeding a predetermined force causes the breakable link assembly to fail, wherein the collar mechanism is released from the coupler and wherein the source housing separates from the destination housing.

6. In a system including a fluid source and a fluid destination, a valve assembly disposed between the fluid source and the fluid destination for facilitating a transfer of fluid between the fluid source and the fluid destination such that leakage of the fluid is minimized when the valve assembly is disassembled, the valve assembly comprising:

7. The valve assembly as recited in claim 6, wherein the actuating mechanism is substantially disposed within a fluid flow passage cooperatively defined by the source housing and the destination housing when the source housing and destination housing are joined to each other.

8. In a system including a fluid source and a fluid destination, a valve assembly disposed between the fluid source and the fluid destination for facilitating a transfer of fluid between the fluid source and the fluid destination such that leakage of the fluid is minimized when the valve assembly is disassembled, the valve assembly comprising:

9. The valve assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the actuating mechanism is substantially disposed within a fluid flow passage cooperatively defined by the source housing and the destination housing when the source housing and destination housing are joined to each other.

10. A valve assembly for use in managing flow between a fluid source and a fluid destination, the valve assembly comprising:

11. A valve assembly as defined in claim 10, wherein the destination flow control assembly exerts a retention force on the actuating mechanism when the source flow control assembly and the destination flow control assembly are displaced in the open position, the retention force causing the actuating mechanism to automatically lock in the open position.

12. A valve assembly as defined in claim 11, wherein the source flow control assembly and the destination flow control assembly automatically close at substantially the same time when the retention force is removed.

13. A valve assembly as defined in claim 10, further comprising means for automatically separating the source housing and the destination housing.

14. A valve assembly as defined in claim 13, wherein the automatic separation of the source housing and the destination housing occurs at substantially the same time as the closing of the source flow control assembly and the destination flow control assembly.

15. A valve assembly as defined in claim 13, wherein said means for activating said actuating mechanism comprises an actuating lever operably connected to said actuating mechanism.

16. A valve assembly as defined in claims

10, wherein said means for releasably joining the source housing and the destination housing comprises a coupler.

17. A valve assembly as defined in claim 16, wherein the coupler further comprises a collar having a breakable link assembly which maintains the collar securely engaged about the coupler so as to assist the coupler in releasably joining the source housing and the destination housing.

18. A valve assembly as defined in claim 17, wherein the breakable link assembly is configured to support a predetermined force, whereupon application of a force that exceeds the predetermined force causes the breakable link assembly to fail, wherein the collar is released from secure engagement from the coupler when the breakable link assembly fails and the source housing separates from the destination housing.

19. A valve assembly for use in managing flow between a fluid source and a fluid destination, the valve assembly comprising:

20. The valve assembly as recited in claim 19, wherein the actuating mechanism is substantially disposed within a fluid flow passage cooperatively defined by the source housing and the destination housing when the source housing and destination housing are joined to each other.

21. A valve assembly for use in managing flow between a fluid source and a fluid destination, the valve assembly comprising:

22. The valve assembly as recited in claim 21, wherein the actuating mechanism is substantially disposed within a fluid flow passage cooperatively defined by the source housing and the destination housing when the source housing and destination housing are joined to each other.

23. In a fluid transfer system including a fluid source and a fluid destination, a valve assembly being disposed between the fluid source and fluid destination, the valve assembly comprising:

24. A valve assembly as defined in claim 23, wherein the collar further comprises a breakable link assembly connecting a first end of the collar with a second end of the collar such that the first portion and the second portion of the coupler are partially contained within the collar such that the first portion and the second portion are securely connected by the collar.

25. A valve assembly as defined in claim 24 wherein said breakable link assembly is configured to support a predetermined force, wherein application of force that exceeds the predetermined force causes the breakable link assembly to fail, wherein the collar is released from secure engagement from the coupler such that the source housing is no longer connected with the destination housing, and wherein the source flow control assembly and the destination flow control assembly close the source housing and the destination housing such that the fluid does not leak.

26. A valve assembly as defined in claim 23, wherein the actuating mechanism is operably configured to displace the source flow control assembly and the destination flow control assembly in an open position at substantially the same time, establishing fluid communication between the fluid source and fluid destination.

27. A valve assembly as defined in claim 23, wherein the destination flow control assembly exerts a retention force on the actuating mechanism when the source flow control assembly and the destination flow control assembly are displaced in the open position, the retention force causing the actuating mechanism to automatically lock in the open position.

28. A valve assembly as defined in claim 23, wherein the source flow control assembly and the destination flow control assembly automatically close at substantially the same time when the retention force is removed.

29. A valve assembly for use in managing fluid flow between a fluid source and a fluid destination, the valve assembly comprising:

30. A valve assembly suitable for use in facilitating fluid flow management, the valve assembly comprising:

31. The valve assembly as recited in claim 30, wherein the actuating mechanism comprises a cam mechanism.

32. The valve assembly as recited in claim 30, wherein the actuating mechanism is substantially disposed within the first housing portion.

33. The valve assembly as recited in claim 30, further comprising a coupling configured to releasably join the first and second housing portions together.

34. The valve assembly as recited in claim 33, wherein the coupling comprises at least one sacrificial element configured to fail in response to exertion of a predetermined force on at least one of the first and second housings.

35. The valve assembly as recited in claim 33, further comprising a compensating washer arranged so as to be interposed between the coupling and the first housing portion when the first housing portion is received within the coupling.

36. A valve assembly suitable for use in facilitating fluid flow management, the valve assembly comprising:

37. A valve assembly suitable for use in facilitating fluid flow management, the valve assembly comprising:

38. A valve assembly suitable for use in managing fluid flow, the valve assembly comprising:

39. The valve assembly as recited in claim 38, wherein the at least one displacement shaft comprises two displacement shafts.

40. The valve assembly as recited in claim 38, wherein the at least one displacement shaft and the driver are configured and arranged for substantially simultaneous motion in opposite directions.

41. The valve assembly as recited in claim 38, wherein each of the first and second flow control assemblies comprises a valve gate, the valve gate of the first flow control assembly being operably connected with the at least one displacement shaft, and the valve gate of the second flow control assembly being operably connected with the driver.

42. The valve assembly as recited in claim 41, further comprising first and second resilient members, the first resilient member being configured and arranged to bias the valve gate of the first flow control assembly in a first predetermined direction, and the second resilient member being configured and arranged to bias the valve gate of the second flow control assembly in a second predetermined direction.

43. The valve assembly as recited in claim 42, wherein the first and second predetermined directions are the opposite of each other.

44. The valve assembly as recited in claim 38, wherein the first flow control assembly further comprises a fitting member, and the second flow control assembly further comprises a sealing member configured to substantially receive the fitting member when the first and second housing portions are joined to each other.

45. The valve assembly as recited in claim 44, wherein the fitting member comprises a substantially annular ridge and the sealing member comprises a substantially annular channel.

46. The valve assembly as recited in claim 38, wherein the collar comprises at least one sacrificial element configured to fail in response to exertion of a predetermined force on at least one of the first and second housings.

47. The valve assembly as recited in claim 38, wherein the first and second flow control assemblies are each biased into a closed position at least when the first and second housing portions are not joined together by the coupling.

48. The valve assembly as recited in claim 38, wherein the driver passes through a bore defined by the first flow control assembly.

49. A valve assembly suitable for use in managing fluid flow, the valve assembly comprising:

50. The valve assembly as recited in claim 49, wherein the actuating mechanism converts a torque input by way of the actuating lever into motion of the first and second flow control assemblies.

51. The valve assembly as recited in claim 49, wherein the actuating mechanism causes the first and second flow control assemblies to move toward each other when assuming a closed position, and away from each other when assuming an open position.

52. The valve assembly as recited in claim 49, wherein the actuating mechanism causes the first and second flow control assemblies to open at substantially the same time.

53. The valve assembly as recited in claim 49, wherein the actuating mechanism causes the first and second flow control assemblies to close at substantially the same time.

54. A valve assembly suitable for use in managing fluid flow, the valve assembly comprising:

55. The valve assembly as recited in claim 54, wherein the retention force facilitates maintenance of the first and second flow control assemblies in the open position.