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Title:
Non-destructive media flow control valve
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A non-destructive media flow control valve (10) for regulating the consumption rate of non-destructive media in a coating removal environment wherein, the flow control valve (10) has a valve housing (20) having a longitudinal bore (21) the intermediate portion of which is enlarged to define a valve chamber (23) dimensioned to slidably receive a valve body (51) provided with a plurality of fluted grooves (54); wherein, the position of the fluted grooves relative to one end of the valve chamber (23) regulates the consumption rate of the non-destructive media flow (120) from a high pressure air hose (100) through the valve chamber (23) past the valve body (51) and the fluted grooves (54) and out a nozzle (40).


Inventors:
Caskey, Rod (Calgary, CA)
Application Number:
10/378344
Publication Date:
09/09/2004
Filing Date:
03/03/2003
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
451/101
International Classes:
B24C7/00; (IPC1-7): B24C7/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STURM & FIX LLP (206 SIXTH AVENUE, DES MOINES, IA, 50309-4076, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A non-destructive media flow control valve for regulating the consumption rate of non-destructive media in a high pressure air stream for removal of coatings; wherein, the control valve comprises: a valve housing having a longitudinal bore formed therein wherein the intermediate portion of the bore is enlarged to form a valve chamber which is intersected by an inlet port and wherein, the longitudinal bore is provided with a proximal end and a distal end defining an outlet port a valve including a generally elongated cylindrical valve body slidably received in said longitudinal bore wherein said valve body has a proximal end and a distal end provided with a plurality of grooves for permitting the flow of the non-destructive media from the inlet port through the valve chamber and out the outlet port; and, means for controlling the position of the plurality of grooves on the valve body relative to one end of the valve chamber.

2. The flow control valve as in claim 1; further comprising a hose coupler operatively associated with the inlet port of the valve housing and the outlet end of a high pressure air hose.

3. The flow control valve as in claim 2; wherein, the hose coupler includes at least in part a fluid coupling member having one end adapted to sealingly engage the outlet end of a high pressure air hose.

4. The flow control valve as in claim 3; wherein, the other end of the hose coupler is provided with a section of pipe conduit in open communication with the inlet port in the valve housing.

5. The flow control valve as in claim 3; further comprising a nozzle operatively associated with the distal end of the cylindrical bore.

6. The flow control valve as in claim 5; wherein, the distal end of the valve housing is provided with an outwardly projecting collar that is sealingly engaged with said nozzle.

7. The flow control valve as in claim 6; wherein, the plurality of grooves comprises at least in part a pair of grooves.

8. The flow control valve as in claim 7; wherein, said pair of grooves are diametrically opposed from one another.

9. The flow control valve as in claim 8; wherein, each of said grooves has a fluted end disposed proximate to but spaced from the distal end of the valve body.

10. The flow control valve as in claim 9; wherein, said means for controlling the position of said valve body relative to one end of the valve chamber comprises an elongated valve actuator shaft secured between the valve body and a reciprocating piston.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the invention

[0003] The present invention relates to the field of coating removal equipment in general and in particular to a flow control valve adapted for use in conventional sand blasting pressure pots to allow that equipment to control the consumption of expensive non-destructive coating particles.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] As can be seen by reference to the following U.S. Pat. Nos. the prior art is replete with myriad and diverse flow control valve arrangements employed for a wide variety of different specialized functions.

[0006] While all of the aforementioned prior art constructions are more than adequate for the basic purpose and function for which they have been specifically designed, they are uniformly deficient with respect to their failure to provide a simple, efficient, and practical non-destructive media flow control valve for use in the coatings removal industry.

[0007] The coatings removal industry has changed over the years. The most common blast media that has been used over the years is sand. Sand is very inexpensive and is available everywhere and the amount of media used has never been an issue. The average sand consumption is about 600 pounds per hour of operation. Today, with worker safety concerns, environmental concerns, as well as the changes in manufacturing from using steel for almost everything to using composites, fiberglass and thinner, softer materials, a dramatic change has occurred in the coatings removal industry. The development of non-destructive blast medias such as sodium bicarbonate, potassium sulphate and corn cob replace sand in many applications. These products are not as plentiful as sand and are made to meet the exact needs of the coatings removal industry. For this reason, they are between 8 and 10 times the cost of sand, and the operator needs to reduce his media consumption to between 60 and 100 pounds per hour.

[0008] As a consequence of the foregoing situation, there has existed a longstanding need in the coatings removal industry for a new and improved valve to accurately control the amount of non-destructive blast media that is consumed in a given time to maintain productivity and profit margins; and, the provision of such a non-destructive media flow control valve is the stated objective of the present invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] Briefly stated, the non-destructive media flow control valve that forms the basis of the present invention comprises the following components: a valve housing, a high pressure hose coupler, a nozzle, a valve, and a valve actuating mechanism which are arranged in such a manner as to accurately control the consumption rate of non-destructive media being formed through the flow control valve via high pressure air flow.

[0010] As will be explained in greater detail further on in the specification, the valve housing is provided with an elongated longitudinal bore that extends from the distal end to the proximal end of the housing member wherein the intermediate portion of the bore is enlarged to define a valve chamber that is intersected by a transverse fluid inlet port that is in open fluid communication with the high pressure hose coupler.

[0011] In addition, the valve includes a generally cylindrical valve body having a plurality of fluted grooves and which is axially reciprocable within the valve chamber under the influence of a valve actuating mechanism extending outwardly from the proximal end of the longitudinal bore; wherein, the distal end of the cylindrical bore defines an outlet port connected to the nozzle; and, wherein the consumption rate of non-destructive media flowing from the nozzle is regulated by the position of the fluted grooves on the valve body relative to the outlet end of the valve chamber.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] These and other attributes of the invention will become more clear upon a thorough study of the following description of the best mode for carrying out the invention, particularly when reviewed in conjunction with the drawings, wherein:

[0013] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a coatings removal pressure pot gun equipped with the media flow control valve of this invention;

[0014] FIG. 2 is an isolated perspective view of the media flow control valve;

[0015] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the media flow control valve;

[0016] FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the various components of the media flow control valve; and,

[0017] FIG. 5 is an isolated perspective view of the valve head and a portion of the valve stem.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] As can be seen by reference to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1, the non-destructive media flow control valve that forms the basis of the present invention is designated generally by the reference number 10. As was mentioned previously, the control valve 10 of this invention is specifically designed for use in the field of coating removal wherein a pressurized stream of airborne particles is delivered by a pressure pot 100 to direct the stream of particles 120 against an object (not shown) the external coating of which is sought to be removed in a non-destructive fashion.

[0019] As can best be appreciated by reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, the control valve 10 includes a valve housing 20, a hose coupler 30, a nozzle 40, a valve head 50, and a valve actuating mechanism 60.

[0020] The valve housing 20 has a generally hollow cylindrical configuration including a contoured bore 21 aligned along its longitudinal axis; wherein, the intermediate portion of the valve housing 20 is provided with a transversely aligned inlet port 22 disposed in open communication with an enlarged valve head chamber 23 the opposite ends of which are defined by a pair of conventional sealing o-rings or gaskets 24.

[0021] In addition, the distal end of the housing member 20 is provided with an outwardly projecting collar 24 that defines an enlarged outlet port 25; and, the proximal end of the valve housing 20 is operatively connected to the valve actuating mechanism 60 as will be explained in greater detail further on in the specification.

[0022] As shown in FIGS. 2 through 4, the hose coupler 30 includes a fluid coupling member 31 having one end 32 adapted to sealingly engage the outlet end of a high pressure air hose 100 wherein, the other end 33 of the coupling member is adapted to sealingly engage a short section of pipe conduit 34 that is disposed in open fluid communication with the inlet port 22 of the valve housing member 20 such that mixed high pressure air and non-destructive media particles 120 can be introduced into the valve head chamber 23 of the valve housing member 20.

[0023] Still referring to FIGS. 2 through 4, it can be seen that the nozzle 40 has a proximal end 41 that is adapted to be sealingly engaged to the collar 24 of the valve housing member 20 such that the pressurized air and particles 120 can pass through the valve head chamber 23 and the outlet port 25 of the housing member 20 for distribution from the nozzle 40 in a well recognized manner.

[0024] Turning now to FIGS. 3 through 5, it can be seen that the valve 50 comprises an elongated cylindrical valve body 51 which is dimensioned to be slidably received in a fluid tight manner within the valve chamber 23 by virtue of the sealing effect provided by the gaskets 24. In addition, the valve body has a proximal end 52 having a shaft 57 operatively connected to the valve actuating mechanism 60 and a distal end 53 provided with a pair of diametrically opposed fluted fluid grooves 54 54 the purpose and function of which will be described in greater detail further on in the specification.

[0025] As can best be appreciated by reference to FIGS. 2 through 4, the valve actuator mechanism 60 comprises a reciprocating piston 61 operatively connected to the shaft 57 disposed within a housing 62 having a pair of pressure supply/exhaust posts 63 64 which will cause the piston 61 to reciprocate within the housing 62 to control the forward and rearward movement of the valve body 51 and the fluted grooves 54 within the valve chamber 23 of the housing 20.

[0026] Still referring to FIG. 4, it can be seen that the housing 62 is further provided with an auxiliary chamber 65 containing an adjustable stop element 66 that limits the travel of the reciprocating piston 61 and valve body shaft 57 in one direction.

[0027] At this juncture, it should be appreciated that the position of the fluted ends of the grooves 54 relative to the distal end of the valve chamber 23 dictates the consumption rate of the non-destructive media that passes through the nozzle outlet.

[0028] It should further be noted that the valve housing 20 is further provided with a pressure relief poppet 28 that communicates with the proximal end of the central bore 22 of the valve housing 20 via a suitable discrete fluted port 29.

[0029] Although only an exemplary embodiment of the invention has been described in detail above, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this invention as defined in the following claims.

[0030] Having thereby described the subject matter of the present invention, it should be apparent that many substitutions, modifications, and variations of the invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that the invention as taught and described herein is only to be limited to the extent of the breadth and scope of the appended claims.