Title:
Heater plate stand for grease barrel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A barrel heater plate stand with internal hot fluid flow supports a lubricant grease barrel to heat the bottom of the barrel without contacting the grease inside. Heated fluid in a hose from an engine cooling system of a vehicle, to which the stand is attached, flows into the stand via an inlet and out of the stand via an outlet to a return hose to the engine cooling system.



Inventors:
Jones, Roy (San Jose, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/102140
Publication Date:
10/26/2006
Filing Date:
04/08/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
237/12
International Classes:
F24H1/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CAMPBELL, THOR S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Donald W. Meeker (Newport Beach, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A heater plate stand device for heating a barrel of lubricating grease, the device comprising: a barrel heater plate stand for supporting a grease barrel thereon, the barrel heater plate stand secured to a vehicle for transporting a grease barrel, the barrel heater plate stand having an interior passageway to admit a flow of heated liquid therethrough and a top plate above the interior passageway for transferring heat from the flow of heated liquid to an outside bottom of a barrel of lubricating grease resting on the top plate, and a raised lip around the perimeter of the barrel heater plate stand to prevent a barrel resting on the barrel heater plate stand from sliding off, an inlet into the interior passageway, the inlet communicating with a vehicle cooling system to admit a heated fluid flow from the vehicle cooling system into the interior passageway and an outlet from the interior passageway communicating with the vehicle cooling system to return a flow of heated fluid from the interior passageway back into the vehicle cooling system so that the barrel heater plate stand heats a barrel of lubricating grease from an exterior bottom of the barrel upwardly without contacting the grease in the barrel.

2. The device of claim 1 further comprising a series of baffles in the interior passageway to direct a flow of heated fluid from the inlet around the entire interior passageway in contact with the top plate and out the outlet.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein the barrel heater plate stand further comprises a bottom plate parallel to the top plate with the baffles sandwiched between the top plate and the bottom plate.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein the barrel support by existing means of barrel supports on a bed of a vehicle transporting the barrel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to heating devices for lubricants and particularly to a barrel heater plate stand that supports a barrel of lubricant grease mounted on a maintenance truck, the barrel heater plate stand comprising a flat body with barrel retaining sides, an inlet hose, an outlet hose and an internal passageway through which flows hot fluid provided from the truck's cooling system, thereby heating the grease in the barrel without contacting the grease directly to bring the grease to a proper viscosity for dispensing through a pump in the grease barrel.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Grease is highly viscous in cold weather and flows so poorly that cold weather lubrication is either not possible at all or is at best carried out slowly and with less effectiveness than is achieved in warmer weather. Often barrels of grease are stored in extremely cold rooms or are exposed to cold weather when in the cargo area of a truck. The barrels need to be moved to warm storage for several days or heated in some manner to attain proper viscosity of the grease.

Some prior art devices provide heaters which are immersed in the oil leading to contamination of the oil from the heating fluid due to leaks or corrosion of the heating element. If the heating element is piping fluid from the radiator of the vehicle, leaks may also result in contamination of the radiator and vehicle heating system.

Heating devices which are located at the top or middle of the grease barrel are not highly effective, since the grease is pumped from the bottom of the barrel.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,024,291, issued Feb. 15, 2000 to Locke, provides an auxiliary warming device for vehicles. The auxiliary warming device includes a hollow enclosed housing with an inlet and outlet port to permit the flow of fluid through the housing. At least the top surface of the housing is thermally conductive, and a baffle is provided within the housing to cause the fluid to flow throughout the entire housing before exiting the outlet port. The auxiliary warming device is installed on a vehicle, and a pair of hoses connect the housing ports to the downstream side of the primary heater in the vehicle, so as to use the warmed fluid from the heater to warm the surface of the auxiliary warming device. A valve is provided to permit the selective bypassing of the auxiliary warming device.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,732,764, issued Mar. 31, 1998 to Douglas, shows a truck mounted utility box heater. The heater warms an enclosure, such as a truck utility box, associated with a motor vehicle having a liquid coolant system for storage of materials that may damaged by freezing temperatures. The heater comprises an enclosure with an aperture in communication with the enclosure, a heat exchange means for transferring heat from coolant from the cooling system of the vehicle flowing through the heat exchange means to the air flowing adjacent to the heat exchange means, and a electrical blower means for forcing air through the heat exchange means and out of the enclosure into the enclosure through the aperture. The blower means has an electrical control means for controlling its function by a driver of the vehicle.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,736,818, issued Apr. 12, 1988 to Wolfe, claims a device for lubricating rails that is mounted on a track maintenance truck. A pair of heated grease canisters are mounted in the truck bed along with an air compressor for powering the pneumatic components of the lubricator. The canisters are contained in an enclosed compartment, and the heating system extracts heat from the engine of the truck and heats the compartment in order to keep the grease from becoming too thick to flow adequately in cold weather operation. A pair of applicator arms have nozzles which apply the grease in a bead to the rails. Valves operated by pneumatic cylinders control the flow of grease to the applicator arms. A special frame attached to the rail gear on the rear bumper of the truck rotatively supports a pair of coaxial shafts on which the arms are carried. Independent pneumatic cylinders rotate the shafts to move the applicator arms between a lowered operating position for applying grease and a raised position in which the arms extend horizontally when not in use. Each arm can be manually moved to and latched in an upright position for over the road travel of the truck.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,894,102, issued Jul. 7, 1959 to Morris, describes a portable grease heating dispensing attachment for grease barrels. The device comprises a cover detachably supported on a grease barrel, which has a pumping mechanism and electrically energized heating elements. The device enables grease to be dispensed from barrels in cold weather.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,762,570, issued Sep. 11, 1956 to Zimmerman, is for a truck cargo heater that comprises a layout of heat radiant tubing in the cargo area of a truck, which uses the heated fluid from the cooling system of the truck to provide heat for the tubing.

What is needed is a heating element at the bottom of the grease barrel, which heating element is not positioned within the barrel.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a barrel heating stand underneath a grease barrel at the bottom of the barrel where the pump element is located so that the grease being pumped is sufficiently heated to flow easily through the pumping system.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a grease barrel heating stand which is outside of the grease barrel to prevent any intermixing of the heating fluid and the grease.

One more object of the present invention is to provide a grease barrel heating stand having flow paths over the entire interior of the plate to receive heating fluid to heat the entire surface of a top heating plate on the stand to provide optimum heat for the grease barrel.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide a grease barrel heating stand through which heater fluid from the vehicle cooling system is piped with one inlet opening into the stand and one outlet opening spaced side by side with interior baffles to direct the flow of heating fluid from the inlet and around the entire interior of the stand and out the outlet for a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-fabricate grease heating stand to which the inlet and outlet hoses are connected side-by-side and then connected to the vehicle heating system for minimum piping and hosing requirements.

In brief, a barrel heater plate stand supports a barrel of lubricant grease mounted on a maintenance truck. The barrel heater plate stand comprises a flat body with barrel retaining sides, an inlet hose, an outlet hose and an internal passageway through which flows hot fluid provided from the truck's cooling system, thereby heating the grease in the barrel without contacting the grease directly to bring the grease to a proper viscosity for dispensing through a pump in the grease barrel. Hoses transmit the heated fluid to and from the truck's cooling system.

An advantage of the present invention is that it heats the bottom of a grease barrel where the pump element is located so that the grease being pumped flows easily through the pumping system.

Another advantage of the present invention is that the heating fluid conduit does not contact the grease.

One more advantage of the present invention is that it provides optimum heat for the grease barrel.

An additional advantage of the present invention is that it provides a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-fabricate grease heating stand using existing heated fluid from the vehicle cooling system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view in partial section of the grease barrel heater plate stand of the present invention showing an internal flow path of the heated fluid inside the barrel heater plate stand;

FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the stand of FIG. 1 showing inlet and outlet hose connections;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the barrel heater plate stand of FIG. 1 with a grease barrel and grease pump supported by the stand.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

In FIGS. 1-3, a device for heating a barrel 30 of lubricating grease comprises a barrel heater plate stand 20 for supporting a grease barrel 30 thereon. The barrel heater plate stand is secured to a maintenance truck vehicle for transporting a grease barrel.

The barrel heater plate stand 20 has an interior passageway 24A, 24B, 24C, and 24D to admit a flow of heated liquid therethrough and a top plate 27 above the interior passageway for transferring heat from the flow of heated liquid to an outside bottom of a barrel 30 of lubricating grease resting on the top plate 27. A raised lip 28 around the perimeter of the barrel heater plate stand 20 prevents a barrel 30 resting on the barrel heater plate stand 20 from sliding off.

An inlet 26A into the interior passageway communicates with a vehicle cooling system via a first hose 29A from the vehicle cooling system to admit a heated fluid flow from the vehicle cooling system into the interior passageway. An outlet 26B from the interior passageway communicates with the vehicle cooling system via a second hose 29B to return a flow of heated fluid from the interior passageway back into the vehicle cooling system, so that the barrel heater plate stand heats a barrel 30 of lubricating grease from an exterior bottom of the barrel upwardly without contacting the grease in the barrel.

A series of baffles 22B, 22C, and 23 with baffle supports 25 in the interior passageway bounded by the exterior wall 22A of the barrel heater plate stand direct the flow of heated fluid from the inlet 26A around the entire interior passageway indicated by the arrows 24A, 24B, 24C, and 24D in contact with the top plate and out the outlet 26B.

The barrel heater plate stand 20 further comprises a bottom plate 17 parallel to the top plate with the baffles 22B, 22C, and 23 sandwiched between the top plate 27 and the bottom plate 17.

The device of claim 1 wherein the barrel support fits in the existing barrel retaining elements on a bed of a vehicle 40 transporting the barrel 30.

The barrel heater plate stand 20 is preferably fabricated from structural metal components to support a heavy grease barrel, the metal coated with a corrosion resistant coating.

It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.