Title:
TIRE FILL NOZZLE AND DRYER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tire fill nozzle having an integrated dryer for drying compressed air or gas delivered to a tire. According to exemplary disclosed embodiments, the tire fill nozzle comprises a main body, an inlet connector on the main body adapted to engage an air/gas line, an outlet connector on the main body adapted to engage a tire valve stem, and a dryer in the main body adapted to dry air/gas passing through the nozzle. The dryer may comprise a drying composition, such as a desiccant, that can be permanently disposed within the main body or optionally disposed within a replaceable cartridge. Further optional features of the tire fill nozzle include (1) an integrated dryness indicator provided by a dryness indicating material, such as a color-changing desiccant, within a transparent or translucent portion of the nozzle (or an indicating cartridge) such that the dryness indicating material is visible from outside the nozzle, (2) an integrated air/gas filter, (3) a tire valve fitting at the inlet end, (4) a fitting at the outlet end adapted to threadably engage a tire valve stem, and (5) an integrated tire pressure gauge comprising an analog or digital display.



Inventors:
Arno, Michael J. (Clarence, NY, US)
Morrison, William B. (Salisbury, MD, US)
Blaszkowiak, Daniel (Cheektowaga, NY, US)
Carlin, John A. (Buffalo, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/459044
Publication Date:
01/25/2007
Filing Date:
07/21/2006
Assignee:
Arno, Michael J. (Clarence, NY, US)
Morrison, William B. (Salisbury, MD, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65B31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NIESZ, JASON KAROL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL J. ARNO (CLARENCE CENTER, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A tire fill nozzle having an integrated dryer for drying compressed air or gas delivered to a tire.

2. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said dryer comprises a drying composition.

3. An apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said drying composition comprises a desiccant.

4. An apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said drying composition is disposed within a replaceable cartridge.

5. An apparatus according to claim 1, further including an integrated dryness indicator.

6. An apparatus according to claim 5, wherein said dryness indicator comprises a dryness indicating material within a transparent or translucent portion of said nozzle such that said dryness indicating material is visible from outside said nozzle.

7. An apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said dryness indicating material comprises a color-changing desiccant and said transparent or translucent portion of said nozzle comprises a main body portion of said nozzle.

8. An apparatus according to claim 7, wherein said color-changing desiccant is disposed in an indicating cartridge.

9. An apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said dryer comprises a drying composition and said dryness indicating material is co-mingled with said drying composition.

10. An apparatus according to claim 9, wherein said co-mingled indicating material and drying composition are disposed directly in a main body portion of said nozzle or in a cartridge in said main body.

11. An apparatus according to claim 1, further including an integrated air/gas filter.

12. An apparatus according to claim 9, further including an integrated tire pressure gauge comprising one of an analog or digital display.

13. An apparatus according to claim 1, further including an inlet connector.

14. An apparatus according to claim 13, wherein said inlet connector comprises one of a quick-disconnect compressed air fitting or a tire valve fitting.

15. An apparatus according to claim 1, further including an outlet connector.

16. An apparatus according to claim 15, wherein said outlet connector comprises one of a Schrader valve actuator or a fitting adapted to threadably engage a tire valve stem fitting.

17. A method for filling a tire with a low-moisture air or gas, comprising: selecting a tire fill nozzle having an integrated dryer for drying compressed air or gas delivered to a tire, an inlet and an outlet; attaching a source of compressed air or gas to said inlet; attaching said outlet to a tire valve-stem fitting; and filling said tire with said compressed air or gas that has been dried as a result of passing through said tire fill nozzle.

18. A method according to claim 17, further including inserting a cartridge containing a drying composition into a main body portion of said tire fill nozzle.

19. A drying cartridge for a tire fill nozzle adapted to delivering dried compressed air or gas to a tire, comprising: a cartridge body having an outside diameter of not more than approximately ½ inches and a length of not more than approximately 6 inches; an inlet end on said body; an outlet end on said body; said inlet end and said outlet end being permeable to compressed air or gas and configured for filtering said compressed air or gas; and a drying composition in said body, said drying composition comprising desiccant beads having a diameter in a range of approximately 0.0625-0.25 inches.

20. A tire fill nozzle, comprising: a main body; an inlet connector on said main body adapted to engage an air/gas line; an outlet connector on said main body adapted to engage a tire valve stem; a dryer in said main body adapted to dry air or gas passing through said nozzle, said dryer comprising a desiccant drying composition; an integrated dryness indicator comprising a color-changing desiccant dryness indicating material within a transparent or translucent portion of said nozzle such that said dryness indicating material is visible from outside said nozzle; and an integrated air/gas filter.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/701,704, filed on Jul. 23, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the field of compressed air and gas systems, and more particularly to tire fill nozzles and tire gauges.

2. Description of Prior Art

Typical compressed air or gas produced by a compressor apparatus is saturated with 50% to 100% relative humidity, and also contains contaminants such as dirt, dust, oil, line debris and other matter. Filters and traps remove liquid water and other contaminants but do nothing to eliminate the 50% to 100% moisture vapor still remaining in the compressed air or gas. The removal of this moisture vapor requires that an air/gas dryer system be used, such as a refrigerated dryer or an adsorbent type of dryer. Such systems are generally very effective, the latter being typically capable of drying compressed air or gas to below-zero dew point levels. However, even basic dryer systems are relatively expensive, can be difficult to install due to their large and bulky nature, and require regular maintenance to ensure proper operation. Individuals and other entities with limited financial resources, or who do not use compressed air/gas on a regular basis, may elect not to install drying equipment in their compressed air/gas systems, and instead use compressed air or gas that has not been treated to remove moisture vapor. Even if a dryer system is installed, there is no guarantee that the compressed air or gas will have the desired dryness by the time it arrives through an air/gas feed system to a downstream point of use. Compressed air lines, various fitting and regulation devices, or improper operation of the dryer system all represent sources of residual moisture vapor in the air/gas feed system. This means that compressed air or gas that has been moisture-treated may not have the desired dryness characteristics by the time it goes into use as an application. This can cause problems in applications such as automotive maintenance where compressed air or gas is used to pressurize tires to a proper pressure level. If moisture-laden ambient air is delivered through the air/gas line, it will feed into the tires, and may cause unwanted pressure variations as the tires heat up during use.

It is to solving the foregoing problems that the present invention is directed. What is particularly needed is an improved air/gas dryer that is easy to install and use for tire filling and pressure monitoring, is simple and inexpensive, and requires no maintenance. The dryer should be suitable for use as the primary or sole air/gas moisture vapor treatment apparatus in a compressed air/gas system, but should also be usable with existing dryer systems. Adding a filtering function to such a dryer would be further desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The foregoing problems are solved and an advance in the art is achieved by a tire fill nozzle having an integrated dryer for drying compressed air or gas delivered to a tire. According to exemplary embodiments disclosed herein, the tire fill nozzle may comprise a main body, an inlet connector on the main body adapted to engage an air/gas line, an outlet connector on the main body adapted to engage a tire valve stem, and a dryer in the main body adapted to dry air/gas passing through the nozzle. The dryer can be provided by a drying composition, such as a desiccant, and can be permanently disposed within the main body or optionally disposed within a replaceable cartridge. The tire fill nozzle may optionally include an integrated dryness indicator. The dryness indicator can be provided by a dryness indicating material, such as a color-changing desiccant. If the dryness indicating material is a color-changing desiccant, it may also serve as the drying composition. The color-changing desiccant may be viewed by providing a transparent or translucent window in the nozzle, or by forming all or a portion of the nozzle with a transparent or translucent material such that the dryness indicating material is visible from outside the nozzle. The dryness indicating material may also be separate from the drying composition, such as by placing the dryness indicating material in a portion of the nozzle that is separate from where the drying composition is situated. The dryness indicating material may also be disposed in a replaceable cartridge that is removably disposed within the main body. The tire fill nozzle may further optionally include an integrated air/gas filter. The inlet connector may optionally comprise a tire valve fitting. The outlet connector may optionally comprise a fitting adapted to threadably engage a tire valve stem. The tire fill nozzle may further optionally include an integrated tire pressure gauge. The tire gauge may comprise an analog or digital display.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of preferred embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying Drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a tire fill nozzle constructed in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view showing an exemplary construction of the tire fill nozzle of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective showing a tire fill nozzle constructed in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view showing the dryer of FIGS. 1-2 with alternative inlet and outlet connector attachments;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the tire fill nozzle of FIGS. 1-2 with an integrated analog tire gauge in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5a is a perspective view showing a digital tire gauge that may be integrated with the tire fill nozzle of FIGS. 1-2 in lieu of the analog tire gauge of FIG. 5;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing a tire fill nozzle constructed in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing a tire fill nozzle constructed in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of a main body portion of the tire fill nozzle of FIG. 7;

FIG. 8a is an inlet end view of the tire fill nozzle of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of the tire fill nozzle of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10a is an exploded perspective view of a first alternative dryness indicator for use in the tire fill nozzle of FIG. 7; and

FIG. 10b is an exploded perspective view of a second alternative dryness indicator for use in the tire fill nozzle of FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Turning now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals indicate like elements in all of the several views, FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views showing a tire fill nozzle 2 constructed with an integrated dryer in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The nozzle 2 comprises a main body 4, an inlet connector 6 on the main body adapted to engage an air/gas line (not shown), an outlet connector 8 on the main body adapted to engage a tire valve stem (not shown), and a dryer 10 in the main body that preferably comprises a drying material 11 adapted to dry air/gas passing through the nozzle. Also shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is an optional integrated dryness indicator 12 that preferably comprises a dryness indicating material 14. The dryness indicator 12 provides an indication of the dryness of the air/gas passing through the nozzle 2. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, the dryness-indicating material 14 is disposed within a transparent or translucent viewing portion 16 of the main body 4 such that the material is visible from outside the nozzle 2. Although not shown, it would also be possible to form a viewing window or site glass through which the dryness indicating material 14 could be viewed. The dryness indicator 12 could potentially also be implemented as a moisture sensor or the like. In that case, a dryness-indicating gauge or display could be mounted on the nozzle 2 to provide an analog or digital dryness indication.

The main body 4 is generally tubular in shape and is sized so that it can be comfortably grasped with one hand during use. The dimensions of the main body 4 may correspond to those of conventional tire fill nozzles. For example, the main body 4 may have a shaft length of approximately 6 inches, an outside diameter of approximately ¾ inches and an inside diameter of approximately ½ inches. Other shapes and sizes could also be used. The main body 4 can be constructed using any suitable material capable of safely withstanding the operational pressures normally delivered during tire pressurization, for example, up to approximately 150 psi. Although the main body 4 could be made from brass or other types of metal, a plastic material, such as polyethylene, is preferred. Transparent or translucent plastic is preferred because the transparency or translucency of the material will inherently provide the viewing portion 16 of the main body 4. The remaining portion of the main body 4 may then be coated with a pigment to provide opacity. Alternatively, the entire main body 4 could be left transparent or translucent. Another way to provide the viewing portion 16 would be to mount a transparent or translucent tubular extension onto an opaque member. In that case, the tubular extension could be formed from transparent or translucent plastic and the opaque member could be formed from opaque metal or plastic.

The inlet connector 6 may be provided by a conventional compressed air line fitting made from brass or the like. As shown in FIG. 2, the inlet connector 6 has a base portion 18 that is male threaded, a terminal portion 20 formed as a conventional “quick-disconnect” air hose connection fitting, and a medial portion 22 having conventional wrench receiving surfaces or the like to facilitate attachment of the inlet connector 6 to the main body 4. The base portion 18 of the inlet connector 6 is received at an air inlet end 21 of the main body 2. Although not shown, the air inlet end 21 has a central air passage that comprises female threads for engaging the corresponding threads on the base portion 18. All such threads preferably comply with NPT (National Pipe Thread) standards. It will be appreciated that the thread configuration could be reversed, such that the base portion 18 of the inlet connector 6 is female threaded and the air inlet end 21 of the main body 2 is male threaded.

The outlet connector 8 may be provided by a conventional Schrader valve actuator fitting made from brass or the like. As shown in FIG. 2, the outlet connector 8 has a base portion 24 that is male threaded, a terminal portion 26 formed as a conventional Schrader valve actuator, and a medial portion 28 that may have conventional wrench receiving surfaces or the like (not shown). The base portion 24 of the outlet connector 8 is received at an air outlet end 30 of the main body 2. The air outlet end 30 has a central air/gas passage that comprises female threads 32 for engaging the corresponding threads on the base portion 24. All such threads preferably comply with NPT (National Pipe Thread) standards. It will be appreciated that the thread configuration could be reversed, such that the base portion 24 of the outlet connector 8 is female threaded and the air outlet end 30 of the main body 2 is male threaded.

Within the main body 2, the drying composition 11 occupies a majority of the internal volume. The drying composition 11 can be selected from any suitable material having the required drying characteristics, including but not limited to (1) moisture adsorbing desiccants such as silica gel beads, activated alumina beads, clays and molecular sieves, and (2) moisture absorbing fibers such as cotton, paper, wood particles or the like. Due to their superior moisture removal properties, silica gel desiccant beads of the type commonly used in compressed air/gas drying systems represent the preferred material used for the drying composition 11. The size of the desiccant beads is selected to minimize unwanted pressure drop within the nozzle 2. The average silica gel bead diameter will preferably lie in a range of about 0.0625-0.25 inches, with a diameter of 0.125 being most preferred. It will be appreciated that increasing the diameter of the silica gel beads tends to reduce the resistance to air/gas flow through the nozzle 2, thereby reducing pressure drop, but also reduces the amount of effective adsorbing surface area. On the other hand, decreasing the size of the silica gel beads increases the amount of adsorbing surface area, but also increases the resistance to air/gas flow, so as to increase the pressure drop through the nozzle 2. The 0.0625-0.25 inch silica gel desiccant beads, when carried within the main body 4 configured with a size of ½ inches inside diameter by 6 inches in length, is capable of delivering a relative humidity of as low as ½% (−40 degree F. dew point) at a flow rate of 20 SCFM, with an inlet pressure of 100 psi and an outlet pressure of 60 psi. As an alternative to desiccant beads, a desiccant block made from silica gel or other desiccant material could also be used. The diameter of the desiccant block may be sized to substantially match the inside diameter of the main body 4, thereby preventing air from passing around the outside of the block.

The drying composition 11 is preferably maintained in a densely packed condition within the main body 4. Proximate to the air inlet end 21 of the main body 4, the drying composition is trapped by an inlet filter 34 that is supported on an internal shoulder 36. The shoulder 36 is formed at the point where the air inlet end 21 connects to the remainder of the main body. The shoulder 36 represents the transition between the smaller diameter of the air inlet end 21 and the larger diameter of the main body proper. It will be seen that the air inlet end 21 is immediately upstream of the inlet filter 34. The central air/gas passage within the air inlet end 21 will thus act as a plenum that distributes the incoming air/gas stream across the face of the inlet filter 34 and the drying composition 11 on the other side thereof, which improves drying efficiency. The inlet filter 34 may be formed from a metal screen or the like and may have an exemplary mesh size of approximately 20 mesh. The opposite end of the drying composition 11 is trapped by an intermediate filter 37. The intermediate filter 37 can be formed by any suitable filtering media, such as a pad filter made from loosely interwoven fibers.

The dryness indicating material 14 may be provided by a suitable color-changing desiccant, including cobalt-based material. This material will have a deep blue color when the air or gas nozzle 2 is dry, thus signifying that the dryer 10 is fully functional. When the dryer 10 is spent and the air or gas loses its dryness, the color of the desiccant will change. For example, a cobalt-based color-changing desiccant will change from its initial deep blue color to light pink or clear, thereby indicating that the filter/dryer needs to be replaced. Other moisture-sensitive visual indicating materials, such as moisture-sensitive paper that turns color according to the surrounding moisture level, could also be used as the dryness indicating material 14.

The dryness indicating material 14 is preferably maintained in a densely packed condition within the viewing portion 16 of the main body 4. One end of the dryness indicating material 14 is trapped by the intermediate filter 37. The other end of the dryness indicating material 14, which is proximate to the air outlet end 30 of the main body 4, is trapped by an outlet filter 38. The outlet filter 38 may be formed from a metal screen or the like and may have an exemplary mesh size of approximately 120 mesh. Alternatively, a double mesh screen having respective mesh sizes of 20 and 120 mesh, could be used. The smaller mesh size of the outlet filter 38 is designed to trap small particulates, such as desiccant dust, and prevent such contaminants from exiting the nozzle 2. As can be seen in FIG. 2, the outlet screen 38 is trapped in position by the base end 24 of the outlet connector 8.

During use, the inlet connector 6 is attached to the end of a compressed air line delivering compressed air or gas. The outlet connector 8 is attached to a tire valve stem to introduce compressed air or gas into a tire in the normal manner. As the compressed air or gas passes through the tire fill nozzle 2, it will contact the surfaces of the drying composition 11. At least some of the moisture carried within the air/gas stream will be adsorbed (or absorbed) by the drying composition 11 and will thereby be removed from the air/gas stream as it exits the intermediate filter 37. The air/gas stream will then pass through the dryness indicating material 14, where its residual moisture level will cause the dryness indicating material to assume a characteristic color. In addition to the air/gas stream being dried, the filters 34, 37 and 38 will serve will provide an integrated filtering function whereby the air/gas stream is filtered and unwanted contaminants are removed therefrom. At the beginning of service of the nozzle 2, the color of the dryness indicating material 14 should indicate that the air or gas passing therethrough is relatively dry. As service life advances, the drying composition 11 will typically tend to lose its drying capability (e.g., if it is a desiccant) due to moisture being adsorbed (or absorbed) thereby. This will result in the moisture level of the air/gas stream gradually increasing, and will cause the dryness indicating material 14 to change color. The changing color of the dryness indicating material 14 will visually indicate the loss of drying capability of the nozzle 2. The tire fill nozzle 2 can be designed to be disposable after the drying composition 11 has been spent, or can be designed so that the dryer 10 can be readily renewed, as described for example in connection with FIG. 6.

Turning now to FIG. 3, a tire fill nozzle 102 illustrates an alternative exemplary embodiment of the invention that does not include a dryness indicator. The nozzle 102 comprises a main body 104, an inlet connector 106 on the main body adapted to engage an air/gas line (not shown), an outlet connector 108 on the main body adapted to engage a tire valve stem (not shown), and a dryer 110 in the main body that preferably comprises a drying material 111 adapted to dry air/gas passing through the nozzle. The internal construction of the nozzle 102 is the same as that of the nozzle 2 except that there is no dryness indicating composition and no intermediate filter. Instead, the drying composition 111 will fill the area that would have been occupied by the dryness indicating composition 14 of FIGS. 1 and 2. The remaining illustrated components of the nozzle 102 are identical to those of the nozzle 2, as shown by the use of corresponding reference numerals incremented by 100.

Turning now to FIG. 4, a tire fill nozzle 202 illustrates another alternative exemplary embodiment of the invention wherein the inlet connector 206 and the outlet connector 208 are different than the corresponding components shown in FIGS. 1-2. This design allows the nozzle 202 to be connected to the end of a conventional tire fill nozzle rather than a compressed air/gas line fitting. The terminal portion 220 of the inlet connector 206 is formed as a Schrader valve instead of a quick-disconnect fitting. The terminal portion 226 of the outlet connector 208 is formed as a threaded knurled end connector designed to thread onto a conventional tire valve stem. The medial portion 228 of the outlet connector 208 is formed as a short length of compressed air/gas line that results in the outlet connector 208 being a flexible fitting. The medial portion 228 is also provided with wrench-receiving surfaces 228a to facilitate attachment of the outlet connector 208 onto the main body 204. During use, the terminal portion 226 of the outlet connector 208 is attached to a tire valve stem. The end of a conventional tire fill nozzle is pressed onto the terminal portion 220 (the Schrader valve) of the inlet connector 206. The remaining illustrated components of the nozzle 202 are identical to those of the nozzle 2, as shown by the use of corresponding reference numerals incremented by 200.

Turning now to FIG. 5, a tire fill nozzle 302 illustrates another alternative exemplary embodiment of the invention wherein the nozzle is combined with an integrated tire pressure gauge 303. The gauge 303 in FIG. 5 is implemented with an analog display, namely, a dial gauge. Other types of analog display could also be used. Moreover, as shown in FIG. 5a, a 303a having a digital display could be used. The remaining illustrated components of the nozzle 202 are identical to those of the nozzle 2, as shown by the use of corresponding reference numerals incremented by 300.

Turning now to FIG. 6, a tire fill nozzle 402 illustrates another alternative exemplary embodiment of the invention wherein the dryer 410 is implemented as a replaceable cartridge 410a with a drying composition 411 being disposed therein. The dryer 410 is thus readily renewable to prolong the useful life of the nozzle 402. The cartridge 410a can be constructed as a closed ended tubular member that contains silica gel desiccant beads (or other suitable drying material) as the drying composition 411. The cartridge 410a includes a cartridge body having an outside diameter of not more than approximately ½ inches and a length of not more than approximately 6 inches. At least the inlet and outlet ends of the cartridge 410 are permeable to compressed air or gas. Constructing the cartridge 410 from a screen material having a mesh size of approximate 20 mesh at the inlet end and 20/120 mesh (double screen) at the outlet end will provide the required permeability. Although not shown, an intermediate filter, such as the filter 37 of FIGS. 1-2, may be disposed between the cartridge 410a and the dryness indicating material 414, although this filter is optional insofar as it is not required to contain the drying composition 411. Moreover, the ends of the cartridge 410a will typically provide a filtering function. The inlet connector 406 is also modified for this embodiment by providing an air plenum 406a for distributing incoming compressed air or gas across the face of the inlet side of the cartridge 410a. The remaining illustrated components of the nozzle 402 are identical to those of the nozzle 2, as shown by the use of corresponding reference numerals incremented by 400.

Turning now to FIGS. 7-10, a tire fill nozzle 502 illustrates another alternative exemplary embodiment of the invention wherein the dryness indicator 512 may be implemented as an indicating cartridge 512a with a dryness indicating composition 514 being disposed therein. The dryness indicator 512 is thus easy to insert during manufacture of the nozzle 502. The cartridge 512a can be constructed as a closed ended tubular member that contains color-changing desiccant beads (or other suitable dryness indicating material) as the dryness indicating material 514. At least the ends of the cartridge 512a are permeable to compressed air or gas. For example, as shown in FIGS. 10a and 10b, the cartridge 512a may be constructed from a tube 540 made from plastic or the like having an open inlet end 542 and an open outlet end 544. An inlet filter 546 can be mounted to the cartridge 542 so as to close the inlet end 542. Similarly, an outlet filter 548 can be mounted to the cartridge 542 so as to close the outlet end 544. The filters 546 and 548 can be implemented as screens wherein the inlet filter 546 is a single screen having a mesh size of 20 and the outlet filter 548 is a double screen having a mesh size of 20/120 in order to trap contaminants such as desiccant dust. In FIG. 10a, the filters 546 and 548 are mounted to the cartridge 542 using a suitable bonding technique (e.g., adhesive bonding). FIG. 10b shows an alternative configuration wherein the filters 546 and 548 are captured in slots 550 formed in the tube 540. Another alternative would be to construct the entire cartridge 512a, including the ends 542 and 544, from screen material. As shown in FIG. 8, the main body 504, which can be constructed from molded plastic, is formed with a shoulder 552 proximate to the air outlet end 530 that supports the cartridge 512a. It will also be seen that the air inlet end 521 of the main body 504 has an enlarged diameter. This enlargement provides adequate wall thickness in the vicinity of the female threads that receive the inlet connector (not shown). If desired, tool-receiving surfaces 521a may be provided to facilitate connection of the nozzle 502 to a compressed air/gas line fitting.

Additional manufacturing efficiency may be obtained by placing the drying composition 511 of the dryer 512 within its own cartridge (not shown) which may be constructed in the same fashion as the cartridge 410a shown in FIG. 6. Alternatively, both the dryness indicating composition 514 and the drying composition 511 could be placed in a single cartridge. This cartridge could have dual chambers that respectively carry the two compositions, or the compositions could simply be packed against each other. The remaining illustrated components of the nozzle 502 are identical to those of the nozzle 2, as shown by the use of corresponding reference numerals incremented by 500.

Accordingly, a tire fill nozzle having an integrated dryer has been disclosed for effectively delivering dry and filtered air or gas to a tire filling application. It should, of course, be understood that the description and the drawings herein are merely illustrative, and it will be apparent that various modifications, combinations and changes can be made in accordance with the invention. For example, although the drying composition has been shown in various embodiments to be located separately from the dryness indicating composition, it would be possible to co-mingle these materials to produce a composite dryer/dryness indicator. For example, the dryness indicating composition could be interspersed with the drying composition at a suitable ratio (e.g., four parts drying composition to one part dryness indicating composition), and visa versa. The co-mingled materials could be disposed directly in the main body or in a cartridge that is insertable in the main body. All or a portion of the main body that houses the co-mingled materials could be transparent or translucent to allow observation of the dryness indicating material. As such, the invention is not to be in any way limited except in accordance with the spirit of the appended claims and their equivalents.