United States Patent 3568716

A device for attachment to a pressurized fluid line combining a turbine driven rotary pulsating valve and a bypass for delivering respectively a pulsating and a steady flow to an outlet, with a control valve in the deliveries of the pulsating valve and bypass for selectively controlling the flows therefrom.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
137/599.08, 137/625.32, 239/381
International Classes:
B05B1/16; B05B3/04; B05B1/18; (IPC1-7): B05B1/08; B05B1/34; B05B7/02
Field of Search:
239/99,101,380,383 137
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2878066Shower head1959-03-17Erwin
2807141Pulsator for a hydraulic system1957-09-24Strader
2556517Nozzle for producing an intermittent jet of gas or liquid1951-06-12Broussard
1844183Pilot burner for gas stoves or the like1932-02-09Scarpa

Primary Examiner:
Nilson, Robert G.
I claim

1. A pulsating device for an outlet suppliable with pressurized fluid through a supply line, comprising means in said supply line upstream of an outlet end of said outlet, said means including turbine-driven rotary valve means and bypass means bypassing said valve means, said rotary valve and bypass means having separate outlet passages leading toward said outlet end for delivering thereto respectively a pulsating and a steady flow of said fluid, and control valve means interposed in said outlet passages downstream of said rotary valve and bypass means for selectively controlling the flows therefrom to said outlet end.

2. A pulsating device according to claim 1, including a housing in which are the rotary valve, bypass and control valve means, and wherein the supply line is a supply pipe connected to an upstream end of said housing.

3. A pulsating device according to claim 2, wherein the rotary valve means is mounted in a valve chamber extending longitudinally and open to the upstream end of the housing, and said outlet passages are laterally spaced.

4. A pulsating device according to claim 3, wherein the valve chamber is cylindrical, the rotary valve means is a pulsating valve coaxial with the chamber and includes axially hollow stationary and rotatable elements having radial ports intermittently aligning during relative rotation thereof for pulsating the flow therethrough, and including a turbine coaxial with and upstream of said pulsating valve and drivably connected to said rotary element thereof.

5. A pulsating device according to claim 4, wherein the turbine runs continuously during discharge of the fluid from the outlet end, the outlet passages extend longitudinally of the housing, and the control valve means is disposed radially of the housing and includes a radially extending cylindrical bore interrupting the passages and a cylindrical valve member rotatably seated in said bore and having a plurality of ports extending radially therethrough and each alignable with and of the same area as one of the passages.

6. A pulsating device according to claim 5, wherein the ports in the control valve member are a center pulsating port alignable with the outlet passage from the pulsating valve and a side bypass port for and alignable with each bypass outlet passage, and said pulsating port is angularly disposed relative to each bypass port for selective control of the flows through the pulsating and bypass ports by rotation of the valve member.

7. A pulsating device according to claim 6, wherein there are a plurality of bypass outlet passages and on alignment therewith the outlet ports therefor through the valve member are parallel.

8. A pulsating device according to claim 4, wherein there are radially through the rotary element of the pulsating valve, a pair of diametrically opposed ports, one a primary port and the other a secondary port of relatively reduced cross-sectional area for preventing development of a water hammer in the line during pulsating discharge from the device.

9. A pulsating device according to claim 4, including means in the housing upstream of the turbine for swirling in the direction of rotation thereof fluid presented thereto.

10. A pulsating device according to claim 4, wherein the radial porting of each of the stationary and rotatable elements is by a pair of diametrically opposed ports, said ports are of substantially the same area, the stationary element has an axial outlet bore onto which the ports therein open, and a septum in the bore between the ports in the stationary element initially separates opposed streams of fluid passing through said last-named ports.

11. A pulsating device according to claim 10, wherein the septum extends radially normal to the last-named ports across and axially substantially the length of the bore and is fixed therein.

12. A pulsating device according to claim 4, wherein the turbine is fixed to the rotary element of the pulsating valve and forms therewith a rotary member, said rotary member has an axial aperture therein fixedly seating an axially bored lubricous plug, the stationary element of the pulsating valve is releasably mounted in a cross wall in the housing mounting the control valve and containing the outlet passages, and the stationary element has a closed upstream end rigidly supporting a coaxial spindle rotatably received in said plug.

13. A pulsating device according to claim 10, wherein the housing is divided longitudinally into releasably connected upstream and downstream sections, and said upstream section is open-ended and contains the valve chamber and mounts the swirling means, and said downstream section contains said cross wall.


As applied to water, a pulsating fluid discharge from a spray head, nozzle, or other suitable outlet, can be beneficial therapeutically in exerting a massaging action on a person's body and also is often more effective than a steady discharge in dislodging particles from cooking or eating utensils or other surfaces. As a consequence, pulsators have been proposed for producing such a pulsating discharge for various purposes, some turbine driven and requiring no extraneous power source, as in Erwin U.S. Pat. No. 2,878,066 to Erwin and my copending application Ser. No. 600,473, filed Dec. 9, 1966, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,468,306. However, prior pulsating devices generally are capable of producing only a pulsating discharge and must be removed or another outlet used if a steady discharge is desired. A notable exception is the pulsating device of my copending application Ser. No. 667,446, filed Sept. 13, 1967, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,473,736, which not only is turbine driven but also is controllable for selectively producing either a pulsating or a steady discharge from the same outlet. It is to an improvement on such a pulsating device that the present invention is particularly directed.


The primary object of the present invention is to provide an improved pulsating device for a fluid outlet which depends for pulsating the discharge from a suitable outlet upon turbine driven valving and is selectively controllable for producing a pulsating, steady or mixed discharge, and also for regulating the volume of the discharge.

Another object of the invention is to provide a pulsating device of the character described in the first object, in which the selective control is by separate valving operative without interruption of the turbine.

A further object of the invention is to provide a pulsating device for a water outlet, which, when producing a pulsating discharge, mitigates against the development of a water hammer in the supply line.

Attaining the foregoing objects, the preferred pulsating device of this invention has a turbine driven rotary valve upstream or in advance of the outlet end of the outlet for producing a pulsating discharge therefrom, a bypass around that valve for producing a steady discharge and a separate valve operative while the turbine is running and interposed in the outlet passages from the pulsating valve and bypass to the outlet's end, to produce, as selected, a pulsating, steady or mixed discharge and also to regulate the volume of each. The vaned turbine is in line with the direction of flow of the water from the supply pipe and its operation is improved by a relatively stationary guide member which swirls the water presented to the turbine in the latter's direction of rotation. The turbine and rotating element of the pulsating valve rotate continuously during discharge from the outlet and the valve is so constructed as to minimize the possible development of a water hammer in the supply line during a pulsating discharge.

The above and other objects and features of the invention will appear hereinafter in the detailed description, be particularly pointed out in the appended claims and be illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:


FIG. 1 is a side elevation view showing a preferred embodiment of the pulsating device of the present invention combined with a shower head;

FIG. 2 is a central longitudinal sectional view of the combined pulsating device and shower head of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view on an enlarged scale, taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view on the scale of FIG. 3, taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along lines 5-14 OF FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is a view corresponding to FIG. 3, but showing a different form of pulsating valve; and

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 8-8 of FIG. 7.


Referring now in detail to the drawings in which like reference characters designate like parts, the improved pulsating device of the present invention, while generally applicable to pressurized fluid lines, is particularly designed for use in a pressurized water line with a unitary or separate shower or spray head, nozzle, faucet or other suitable outlet or outlet attachment, for controlling the character and the volume of the discharge therefrom. As typical of such usage, the improved pulsating device, designated as 1, has been illustrated as having as the related or associated outlet or outlet attachment 2, a shower head having a perforated plate or other suitable outlet or discharge end 3 and supplied with fluid under pressure, in this case water through a supply pipe or line 4 under the control of conventional mixing or other regulating valving (not shown).

The improved pulsating device or pulsator 1 is comprised essentially of a turbine driven rotary valve 5 positioned upstream of at least the outlet end 3 of the shower head or other outlet 2 for pulsating the flow thereto, a bypass 6 also upstream of the outlet end and bypassing the rotary valve for passing a steady flow to that end and control valving 7 interposed in the outlet flow paths or deliveries from the rotary valve and the bypass for selectively controlling the flows therefrom to the outlet end.

For convenience in installing and removing its essential components as a unit, the preferred pulsator 1 has a housing or casing 8 in which they are all housed or contained. Depending on the installation, the housing 8 may include or be separate or even spaced, as by intervening piping, from the housing or casing 9 of the shower head or other outlet 2, and usually will have a female coupling or fitting 10 at its upstream end 11 and a male coupling or fitting 12 at its downstream end 13 for coupling or connection to the adjoining ends of the supply pipe 4 and the outlet 2, respectively. Either of the couplings 10 and 12 may, as illustrated, be a swivel coupling, if, as in the case of the usual shower head, the supply pipe 4 is fixed and relative swiveling of the outlet 2 is needed to suit the direction of its discharge to the desires of any user.

For mounting, housing or containing the rotary valve 5, bypass 6 and control valve 7, the pulsator housing 8, while having an exterior of circular or other suitable cross section, preferably has an axially or longitudinally extending, chambered or compartmented hollow interior 14, which is circular in cross section and opens upstream onto the upstream end 11, but is partly closed downstream by a radially disposed or extending cross- or downstream end wall 15 in and integral or rigid with the housing. Of substantial thickness, the cross wall 15 terminates downstream at or adjacent the downstream end 13 of the housing 8.

The rotary valve 5 and its driving turbine or impeller 16 are mounted within the hollow interior 14 in a cylindrical valve chamber 17 having a downstream end adjoining and confronting the cross wall 15 and extending upstream therefrom, axially or longitudinally of the housing 8, toward the latter's upstream end 11. The preferred rotary valve is formed of relatively rotatable annular or hollow, outer and inner elements concentric with each other and the valve chamber 17, the former a cylindrical sleeve or hollow stem 18 and the latter an externally cylindrical hollow hub or core 19 received in the sleeve, of which, preferably, the sleeve is the rotary element or rotor and the hub the stationary element or stator. Radial porting in these elements, aligning intermittently, periodically or at intervals during their relative rotation and alternately passing and blocking flow from the valve chamber 17 to the axial bore 20 in the hub 19, produce corresponding pulsations in that flow. In the case of the hub 19, the porting may be a pair of diametrically opposed radial ports 21, and one or a diametrically opposed pair of radial ports 22, of corresponding diameter or area, may be drilled or otherwise formed in the sleeve 18. However, the head-on contact of the consequent opposed radial streams entering the bore 20 and consequent interference with flow into the bore, has a tendency to produce a water hammer in the line upstream of the pulsating device. Conversely, a single port in the sleeve 18 appears so to unbalance the forces thereon as to dampen the rotation thereof practically to the point of stoppage. By contrast, the preferred portion of the sleeve, in which the main or primary inlet port 22 is paired with a diametrically opposed supplementary or secondary port 23 of substantially smaller or relatively reduced area and rectangular or other suitable cross section, has been found effective to minimize both dampening and to prevent the development of a water hammer during pulsating flow through the device. An alternate form, of at least comparable effectiveness is minimizing dampening and the development of a water hammer, is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. In this form the rotary element 18 has a diametrically opposed pair of the main inlet ports 22 corresponding in area to and intermittently opening onto or aligning with the preferred diametrically opposed pair of ports 21 in the hub 19, with the objectionable head-on contact of the opposed radial streams entering the bore 20 prevented by initially separating the streams by laterally or radially dividing the bore by a septum or divider plate 20a fixed in and centered radially on and extending axially preferably the full length of the bore and positioned or disposed between and normal to the ports 21.

The turbine, turbine wheel or impeller 16 responsible for turning the radially ported sleeve or other rotary element 18 of the pulsating valve 5, is mounted in the valve chamber 17 upstream or in advance of the valve. Concentric or coaxial with the sleeve 18 and rotating or turning therewith in line with the direction of flow of water into the housing 5, the turbine 16 is driven or powered by a tangential force derived from directing or passing the entering water longitudinally of the chamber between circumferentially spaced, radially projecting, preferably helical, peripheral blades or vanes 24, angled or inclined or sloping opposite the direction of rotation of the turbine, with the blades suitably formed by longitudinally slotting the turbine's otherwise cylindrical periphery 25. As either the unequally ported rotary element or septum-divided hub bore form of the rotary valve 5 is most effective with the rotor turning at a low speed in a range of 400--600 r.p.m., the inclination of the turbine blades 24 preferably is predetermined to produce a speed within that range under the line pressure or pressures for which the particular pulsating device is designed.

The driving connection between the turbine 16 and the sleeve 18 preferably is direct for turning or rotating in unison, with the turbine for that purpose fixed to the sleeve, as by making the turbine hollow and swedging or sweating it onto the upstream end portion of the sleeve to form therewith a unitary headed rotary member 26 having the turbine as its head and the sleeve as its stem and an axial aperture 27 extending therethrough. So formed, the rotary member 26 is rotatably mounted on the hub or stator element 19 of the rotary valve 5, which in turn is screwed into or otherwise stationarily or fixedly mounted in or on and concentric with the cross wall 15 and upstands therefrom into the valve chamber 17. For such mounting, the upstream end of the hub 19 is closed by an end wall 28 and the latter has integral or rigid therewith or fixed thereto a concentric spindle or shaft 29, upstanding therefrom toward the inlet end of the valve chamber 17 and concentric with and of reduced diameter relative to the hub. An antifriction bearing or bushing 30, suitably in the form of a Teflon or like lubricous plug swedged or otherwise held in the upper portion of the axial aperture 27 in the rotary member 26 and axially bored to rotatably receive the spindle 29, not only mounts the rotary member on the spindle but applies any end thrust therefrom to the hub's end wall 28 against which it bears.

The turbine 16 desirably is of substantially the same diameter as the valve chamber 17 and the outside diameter of the sleeve 18 relatively reduced, so that substantially the full volume of the water discharged from the outlet 2 will flow between and act on the blades and, therebeyond, flow freely in the annular space between the sleeve and the chamber. While the turbine can be exposed directly to the stream of water entering the housing 8, the drive or powering of the turbine by the water is more efficient, if, as in the illustrated device, the water is given a swirling motion in the direction of rotation of the turbine before being presented thereto. Rather than inbuilt guides, the improved device 1 preferably employs for the purpose a guide member 31 of cylindrical or other suitable cross section, removably but substantially nonrotatably seated in a guide chamber 32 of corresponding cross section in the inlet portion of the housing 5 in advance of and of larger diameter than the valve chamber 17. Resting or supported on the annular shoulder or abutment 32a between the chambers, the guide member 31 is peripherally interrupted by substantially radial guide slots 33 extending longitudinally therethrough and angled or sloped, longitudinally thereof, counter or opposite the angling of the blades 24 and in the direction of rotation of the turbine.

The axial bore 20 in the hub 19 opens downstream onto and forms an upstream extension of an axial outlet passage 34 extending through the balance of the cross wall 15, through which a pulsating flow is delivered from the pulsating valve 5 to the shower head or other outlet 2. For alternate delivery of a steady flow to the outlet, the cross wall 15 also is perforated longitudinally by one or more bypass passages 35. Eccentric of the cross wall and offset radially outwardly of the rotary sleeve 18, the illustrated bypass passages 35 open upstream toward the valve chamber 17 but directly onto a relatively enlarged bypass chamber 36 formed in the downstream portion of the housing 5 and open to or communicating with and at the downstream end of the valve chamber.

For selectively varying the discharge from the outlet 2 to suit the user without either removing the pulsating device from the line or interrupting the running of its turbine, the improved device has as a particular feature the control valve 7 for selectively controlling or regulating the relative flows through the pulsating and steady flow outlet passages 34 and 35. The preferred control valve is a rotary valve extending through and having a cylindrical body or valve member 38 rotatably seated or received in a cylindrical cross bore or seat 39 extending radially or diametrically through the cross wall 15 intermediate ends thereof and intercepting or interrupting the passages 34 and 35. In turn, the body 38 is interrupted by a plurality of ports or apertures extending radially or diametrically therethrough and spaced laterally in correspondence with the spacing of the passages 34 and 35 and each alignable with and of the same area as one of the passages. However, as opposed to the parallel relationship obtaining between the passages, the central pulsating port 40 for the axial pulsating passage is angularly disposed or oblique to the bypass port or ports 41 for the bypass passage or passages 35, while, if a plurality, the bypass ports are parallel to each other. By predetermining this relative angularity of the ports, selective rotation of the body 38 can cut off or block all flow to the outlet 2, cut off either of the pulsating and steady flows and regulate the other, or intermix and relatively vary the two types of flow.

To prevent leakage from the housing 5 around the valve body 38, the joint between the body and the bore or seat 39 is sealed adjacent the ends of the bore by a pair of O-rings or other suitable gaskets 42 bracketing or straddling the passages 34 and 35 and, for convenience in maintenance, inset in and carried by the body rather than its seat. If desired, like gaskets can separate the openings of the passages 34 and 35 onto the bore 39 but the minimal leakage around the body will usually render such additional sealing unnecessary. Turnable or rotatable manually by a suitable handle 43 removably attached to one end beyond the housing 5, the valve body 38 is held in place, conveniently by forming an enlarged head 44 on its opposite end and applying a collar 45 to it between the handle and the housing, for seating which the housing is suitably socketed at opposite ends of the bore 39.

Not only does the removable mounting of the valve body 38 afford ready access to the control valve 37, but, by dividing or sectioning the housing 5 longitudinally into an open-ended tubular upstream section 46 containing the several intercommunicating axial chambers or compartments 17, 32 and 36, and a downstream section 47 containing the cross wall 15 and screwed or otherwise releasably end-connected to the upstream section, the housing's interior 14 is readily accessible as are the passages 34 and 35. With the rotary member 26, the hub 19 and guide member 31, as well as the control valve body 38, all preferably removably mounted in the housing 5, it thus is a simple matter to repair or replace any of these parts of the improved device 1 whenever need arises.

In using the improved device 1 it is possible to dispense with conventional mixing or other regulating valving in the line 4 in advance of the device for regulating the volume and, if appropriate, the temperature of the water flowing thereto. However, the usual preference will be to retain such valving and use the improved device for selective discharge from the outlet's outlet end 3 of a volume-regulated pulsating or steady flow or mixture thereof.

It should be understood that the described and disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention and that all modifications are intended to be included that do not depart from the appended claims.