Title:
SELF-CLOSING CAP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sealing lid assembly used in connection with a service port, the sealing lid assembly including a cap; a plug extending from an underside of the cap and at least partially receivable in the service port, a first seal supported on the plug and extending radially outward therefrom to sealingly engage the service port when the cap is in a closed position; and a biasing assembly adapted to urge the cap toward the closed position.



Inventors:
O'hara, Michael (Naples, FL, US)
Ostertag, Michael (Naples, FL, US)
Koonce, John (Naples, FL, US)
Steck, David (Estero, FL, US)
Application Number:
13/307419
Publication Date:
05/30/2013
Filing Date:
11/30/2011
Assignee:
Shaw Aero Development LLC (Naples, FL, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D43/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WEINERTH, GIDEON R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAHN LOESER & PARKS, LLP (Cleveland, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A sealing lid assembly used in connection with a service port, the sealing lid assembly comprising: a cap adapted to overlie the service port in a closed position; a plug extending axially inward from said cap, wherein said plugs tapers radially inwardly as it extends axially inwardly from said cap to form a frusto-conical wall terminating at an inward end; wherein said plug defines an annular recess between said cap and said inward end; a first seal received within said annular recess and extending radially outward therefrom to sealingly engage the service port when said cap is in said closed position; wherein said cap extends radially outward of said plug to form an annular flange adapted to engage the outer extremity of the service port; a second seal having a circular shape attached to said annular flange and interposed between said flange and the outer extremity of the service port to create sealing engagement between said cap and the service port; a first and second arm extending outwardly from one end of said cap, said first and second arm each defining a pin receiver aligned along a common axis; a pin received in said pin receivers and supported adjacent the service port, wherein said cap pivots on said pin; a spring supported on said pin and contacting said cap to bias said cap toward said closed position.

2. The sealing lid assembly of claim 1, wherein said cap defines a vent assembly selectively opening the service port to atmosphere.

3. A sealing lid assembly used in connection with a service port, the sealing lid assembly comprising: a cap; a plug extending from an underside of said cap terminating at an inward end, said plug having an annular recess between said cap and said inward end; a first seal received within said annular recess and extending radially outward therefrom to form a seal when said cap is in a closed position; and a biasing assembly adapted to urge said cap toward said closed position.

4. The scaling lid assembly of claim 3, wherein said cap extends radially outward of said plug to form an annular flange; and a second seal having an annular shape attached to said annular flange located radially outward of said plug.

5. The sealing lid assembly of claim 3 further comprising: a first and second arm extending outwardly from one end of said cap, said first and second arm each defining a pin receiver aligned along a common axis; a pin received in said pin receivers and supported adjacent the service port, wherein said cap pivots on said pin; and wherein said biasing assembly includes a spring supported on said pin and contacting said cap to bias said cap toward said closed position.

6. The sealing lid assembly of claim 2, wherein said plug tapers radially inwardly as it extends axially inwardly from said cap to form a frusto-conical wall.

7. The sealing lid assembly of claim 3 further comprising a vent assembly supported on said cap and adapted to selectively open the service port to atmosphere for venting of gas or vapor.

8. The sealing lid assembly of claim 3 further comprising a service port adapter including a collar attachable to the service port and a wall extending upwardly from said collar defining a bore that communicates with the service port; wherein said plug is received in said bore and said first seal engages said wall in the closed position, and wherein said biasing assembly is supported on said service port adapter.

9. The sealing lid assembly of claim 8 further comprising a mounting bracket extending outwardly from said service port adapter; a pin supported on said mounting bracket; wherein said cap is pivotally supported on said pin and said biasing assembly includes a torsion spring having a first tab received in a spring recess formed in said mounting bracket and a second tab operatively connected to said cap to apply a biasing force adapted to urge said cap toward the closed position.

10. The sealing lid assembly of claim 8 further comprising a second seal supported on said cap and located radially outward of said plug; said second seal sealingly engaging an outer extremity of said wall when said cap is in the closed position.

11. The sealing lid assembly of claim 10 wherein said collar includes threads adapted to engage corresponding threads on the service port.

12. The sealing lid assembly of claim 8, wherein said service port adaptor further comprises an insert extending axially inward from said collar and terminating at a tip, said tip of said insert being at least partially receivable within said service port; said insert defining an insert bore that communicates with said bore defined by said collar and said service port allowing fluid to pass therethrough, said tip of said insert forming a magnet housing located adjacent to said bore; and a magnet housed in said magnet housing adjacent to said bore.

13. A combination tank and sealing lid assembly, the tank comprising a service port extending outward from said tank and defining an opening for receiving a diesel emissions fluid; the sealing lid assembly comprising a service port adaptor having a collar that attaches to the service port and defines a bore that communicates with said opening, said collar including an upstanding wall that surrounds the opening; a cap pivotally attached to said collar and adapted to overlie the upstanding wall in a closed position; a plug extending axially inward from said cap, said plug having a diameter corresponding to the opening such that said plug is at least partially received in the opening, wherein said plug defines an annular recess between said cap and said inward end; a first seal received within said annular recess and extending radially outward therefrom to sealingly engage an inner surface of the upstanding wall when said cap is in said closed position; wherein said cap extends radially outward of said plug to form an annular flange adapted to engage an outer extremity of the upstanding wall; a second seal attached to said annular flange and interposed between said flange and the outer extremity of the upstanding wall to create sealing engagement between said cap and the upstanding wall when said cap is in said closed position; and a biasing assembly supported on said service port adapter and engagable with said cap to urge said cap toward the closed position.

14. The sealing lid assembly of claim 13, wherein said plug tapers radially inward as it extends axially inward.

15. The sealing lid assembly of claim 13, wherein said cap includes a vent assembly having a valve providing selective fluid communication between the service port and atmosphere.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to fluid filling ports, and more particularly to an apparatus for automatically sealing a Diesel Exhaust Fluid Port after filling.

BACKGROUND

Tanks for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) are becoming the standard for heavy-duty diesel engines, particularly those found in trucks and other fleet vehicles. DEF is an Aqueous Urea Solution used in diesel emissions systems. DEF is sprayed directly into the exhaust stream to chemically neutralize harmful nitrogen oxide emissions. DEF is replenished using fill bottles or service station pumps by first removing the DEF service port caps and dispensing the agent in the DEF service port. Operators are required to manually remove and reseal DEF port caps after replenishing the DEF. Newer operators and service personnel often mistakenly forget to reseal the service port with the cap. Additionally, operators who remember to reseal the cap may fail to reseal it properly. This results in a loss of DEF or unwanted debris entering into the service port. Both of these results will prove harmful to the engines. Therefore, there remains a need for an automatic sealing port cap to eliminate the need for operators to replace the port cap. There is also a need for a multiple seal cap for eliminating the possibility of DEF being lost and debris entering the DEF service port.

BRIEF SUMMARY

An embodiment of the present invention comprises a sealing lid assembly for use with a service port. The sealing lid assembly includes a cap adapted to overlie the service port. The sealing lid assembly further includes a plug extending axially inward from the cap, the plug having a diameter corresponding to the service port such that the plug is at least partially received in the service port, wherein the plug tapers radially inwardly as it extends axially inwardly from the cap to form a frusto-conical wall terminating at an inward end. The cap extends radially outward of the plug to form an annular flange adapted to engage the outer extremity of the service port. The sealing lid assembly further includes a first seal having a circular shape attached to the annular flange and interposed between the flange and the outer extremity of the service port to create a sealing engagement between the cap and the service port. The plug defines an annular recess between the cap and the inward end. The sealing lid assembly also includes a second seal received within the annular recess and extending radially outward therefrom to sealingly engage the service port when the cap a in a closed position. The sealing lid assembly further includes a first and second arm extending outwardly from one end of the cap. The first and second arm each defining a pin receiver aligned along a common axis. The sealing lid assembly further includes a pin received in the pin receivers and supported adjacent the service port, wherein the cap pivots on the pin. The sealing lid assembly also includes a spring supported on the pin and contacting the cap to bias the cap towards the closed position.

A further embodiment of the present invention includes a sealing lid assembly used in connection with a service port of a diesel emissions fluid tank, the sealing lid assembly comprising a cap adapted to overlie the service port, a plug extending from an underside of said cap and adapted to be received at least partially within the service port, the cap extending radially outward of the plug to form an annular flange, and a first seal supported on the plug extending radially outward therefrom to sealingly engage the interior of the service port when the sealing lid is in a closed position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 illustrates a side view of a Diesel Exhaust Fluid sealing lid assembly and a service port with a fill nozzle according to an embodiment of the subject invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of the sealing lid assembly and a service port according to an embodiment of the subject invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an bottom view of the sealing lid assembly according to an embodiment of the subject invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a top view of the sealing lid according to an embodiment of the subject invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of a sealing lid assembly according to another embodiment of the subject invention.

FIG. 5a illustrates a sectional side elevation view as might be seen along line A-A of FIG. 5.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exploded view of the sealing lid assembly of Fig.

FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of the sealing lid assembly of Fig.

FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of the sealing lid assembly of FIG. 5 with the cap in an open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to a tank T for holding a urea based Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) for reducing oxides of nitrogen emissions in diesel fuel engines. DEF is poured into a DEF tank T or a DEF service port 600 that is in fluid communication with the tank T, then later dispensed into the engine's exhaust stream. The DEF service port 600 may be made from any material used to form containers including, but not limited to, polymers or stainless steel materials. The DEAF service port 600 typically includes a wall or rim that defines an opening into which a fill nozzle for dispensing the DEF is received, and a lid or cap for keeping the contents therein and contaminants out. The service port 600 may form part of the DEF tank or be located remotely from the tank T and connected by tubing or other suitable conduit for conveying the DEF to the tank T.

The sealing lid assembly of the DEF service port 600 keeps contaminants out of the service port 600 and maintains a fully functional and compliant emissions system. To that end, the present invention incorporates an automatic or self-sealing lid assembly for use with a service port 600 to effectively keep the DEF from escaping in the service port 600, and to prevent contaminants from entering.

An exemplary service port 600 having an automatic or self-sealing lid assembly, generally identified by reference numeral 10, is shown in the figures. The sealing lid assembly 10, as illustrated in FIG. 1, may include a cap 100. The cap 100 may have any shape and generally conforms to the shape of the service port 600 For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the sealing lid assembly 10 may have a substantially circular shape that conforms to the circular service port 600. Cap 100 may be pivotally attached to a supporting surface near service port 600, and may, for example, be pivotally attached to DEF tank. In the example shown, cap 100 includes at least one arm 200 extending therefrom to pivotally attach cap 100 to a supporting surface via a pin extending though the arm, to allow it to pivot between an open position (FIG. 1) and a closed position (FIG. 2) as discussed in more detail below.

Cap 100 may include a plug 300 extending from an underside of the cap 100 and adapted to fit within the opening defined by service port 600. The plug 300 may be solid or hollow. With reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the plug 300 may extend axially inward from the underside of the cap 100 tapering radially inward to form a frusto-conical wall terminating at an inward end of the plug 300. The plug 300 may have a diameter corresponding with an interior Wall 610 of the service port 600 such that the plug 300 is at least partially received within the service port 600.

In the example shown, service port 600 defines a corresponding frusto-conical entrance. The plug 300 may further include an annular recess 425 (FIG. 1) positioned approximately between the cap 100 and the inward end of the plug 300. As shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the annular recess may be adapted to receive at least a portion of a first seal 400 as will be described in further detail below.

A first seal 400 may be provided on cap 100 to engage the interior 610 of service port 600 and establish sealing contact between the cap 100 and service port 600. First seal 400 may be of any configuration, shape, or material suitable to form a seal between the cap 100 and service port 600. For example, first seal 400 may be an o-ring or other annular seal that fits over plug 300 and extends radially outward from plug 300 to engage the interior 610 of the service port 600. Plug 300 may include a seal receiver 305 within which first seal 400 may be seated to locate the first seal 400 and prevent it from slipping or becoming dislodged from plug 300. Seal receiver 305 may be formed by raised a projection on the surface of plug 300 that impedes movement of first seal 400. Alternatively, as shown, seal receiver 305 may include an annular notch defined within the surface of plug 300.

While in the example shown, first seal 400 is seated within seal receiver 305, as an alternative, first seal 400 may be attached to plug 300 as by an adhesive or other known fastener. In the example shown, first seal 400 is constructed of an elastic material and stretched to fit over plug 300 causing the elastic forces within first seal 400 to hold the first seal 400 within seal receiver 305.

To further seal the sealing lid assembly 10 and provide a redundant seal, sealing lid assembly 10 may be provided with a second seal 450. Second seal 450 may be provided at any location to provide an additional seal. In the example shown, second seal 450 is provided on cap 100 and is located radially outward of plug 300 to engage an exterior surface service port 600. To that end, second seal 450 may engage rim 605 of service port 600 when cap 100 is in the closed position. In this way, second seal 450 is compressed against rim 605 to form the seal.

With continued reference to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the second seal 450 may have any shape that fits on the cap 100 and provides sealing contact with the service port 600. As shown in FIG. 3, the second seal 450 has a substantially circular shape that conforms to the annular flange formed by the circular cap 100 shown. The second seal 450 may be selectively attached to the underside of the cap 100 using a fastener, such as an adhesive. However, any fasteners capable of attaching a seal to the plug 300 known to a person having ordinary skill in the art may be used.

With continued reference to FIGS. 1-3, the first seal 400 and second seal 450 may be made from any material capable of sealing the contents within the service port 600 known to a person of ordinary skill in the art including but not limited to elastomer, polymer, thermoplastic, thermoset and silicone materials. In the depicted embodiment, the first seal 400 and second seal 450 are made from a rubber material. In operation, when the sealing lid assembly 10 is in the closed position, the first seal 400 may engage the inner walls of the service port 600 thereby providing an initial barrier. Since first seal 400 is located on plug 300, it provides a seal even if cap 100 is not fully closed. Second seal 450 engages rim 605 of service port 600 and provides an additional barrier to contaminants and further prevents the contents of tank T from escaping from service port 600.

In operation, when the sealing lid assembly 10 is in a closed position, as shown in FIG. 2, the second seal 450 engages at least a portion of the rim 605 of the service port 600 and is compressed between cap 100 and service port 600 to further seal the contents within the service port 600.

With continued reference to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and now FIG. 4, the sealing lid assembly 10 may be pivotally attached to the service port 600 for moving the sealing lid assembly 10 into the closed position. Pivoting attachment of sealing lid assembly 10 may be accomplished in any known manner including but not limited to a hinge, a flexible connection, such as a flap, or other suitable joint. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, a hinge assembly 500 is used and may include a first arm 510 and a second arm 520 extending outwardly from the cap 100, as shown in FIG. 3. The first arm 510 and second arm 520 may share a common axis and be substantially parallel to each other. The first arm 510 and the second arm 520 may each include at least one aperture 530 for receiving a pin 540 or other member(s) about which cap 100 pivots.

With continued reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, a biasing assembly, generally indicated by the number 550, is provided to automatically close the cap 100. Biasing assembly 550 urges the cap 100 toward the closed position. In one embodiment the biasing assembly 550 may be a magnet. In the embodiment shown, biasing assembly 550 includes a spring 555. Spring 555 may be of any type and have any configuration suitable for urging the cap 100 toward the closed position. For example, spring 555 may include a coil spring, leaf spring, torsion spring, or combinations thereof. Additionally, with reference to FIG. 5a, the biasing assembly 550 may include a spring spacer 560 selectively situated within the spring 555. In this embodiment, the pin 540 is received within the spring spacer 560. The pin 540 may allow for the spring spacer 560 to pivot on the pin 540 such that the spring 555 may urge the cap 100 into a closed position.

The spring 555 may be made from a material capable of creating the biasing force, for example, suitable metals, plastics or elastomeric materials. In operation, the spring 555 may engage at least a portion of cap 100 to facilitate moving the cap 100 from the open position to the closed position.

Spring 555 may include a biasing adapter 560, as shown in FIG. 4, that overlies and engages a portion of cap 100 and is connected to or formed as part of spring 555 to apply force from spring 555 to cap 100 urging cap 100 toward the closed position. It will be appreciated that the biasing adapter 560 may be formed by the end of the spring 555.

In operation, the biasing assembly 550 urges the cap 100 and accordingly plug 300 toward the closed position, such that, when the user goes to fill or otherwise service the DEF tank T, the biasing force of biasing assembly 550 must be overcome to perform the service. Then when service is complete, biasing assembly 550 automatically closes the service port 600 by moving the cap 100 to the closed position. In the closed position, at least a portion of first seal 400, which resides on plug 300 will engage the interior 610 of service port 600 to seal tank T. In the embodiment shown, the biasing force provided by biasing assembly 550 is sufficient to cause second seal 450 to engage the rim 605 of service port 600 providing an additional seal for tank T.

With reference to FIGS. 5-8, an alternative sealing lid assembly generally indicated by the number 10′ is shown. This sealing lid assembly includes similar components to the previously described embodiment and therefore, like numbers will be used to refer to parts common to both embodiments. The sealing lid assembly 10′ in general, sealing lid assembly 10′ includes a cap 100 that has a plug 300 extending inward from the cap for receipt within a service port 600.

In some instances, thermal expansion of the fluid and the generation of positive or negative internal pressure within the DEF tank T is a concern. To that end, the sealing lid assembly 10′ may be vented. For example, as shown in FIG. 5a, a venting assembly, generally indicated by the number 150, may be provided to allow selective communication between the service port 600 and tank T and atmosphere. In the example shown, the venting assembly 150 is carried within cap 100 and may extend into the plug 300. To that end, plug 300 and cap 100 may define a hollow interior for receipt of venting 150. Venting assembly 150 may include a relief valve 152 that is biased toward a closed position where pressure build up within the tank T must overcome a certain threshold before the valve opens. In the example shown, a spring 154 is provided to bias a cup valve 156 toward a normally closed position. Pressure acting on the cup valve 156 may eventually overcome the force of the spring 154 to allow gas from within the tank T to escape through relief valve 152.

To prevent vacuum lock within the tank T caused by the withdrawal of fluid from the tank T, vent assembly 150 may also allow atmospheric air to be drawn into the tank T, as by an umbrella valve 159. A filter 158 may be provided as part of venting assembly 150 and generally lies upstream of umbrella valve 159 to reduce the likelihood of containments within the atmospheric air from being drawn into the tank T. Venting assembly 150 may further include additional seals, such as o-rings 161,162 shown, to prevent liquid from escaping through the venting assembly 150 in a roll over situation. In the example shown, venting assembly 150 further includes an umbrella valve 159 that regulates the flow of air into the tank T. As will be appreciated, the umbrella valve 159 is bias toward a closed position such that sufficient vacuum within the tank T must be present to open umbrella valve 159 allowing air drawn through the vent assembly 150 to enter that tank T from the atmosphere.

As demonstrated in the previous embodiment, sealing lid assembly may be used as part of a replacement tank such that the sealing lid assembly 10 is provided on the tank T. Also, in accordance with the concepts of the present invention, a sealing lid assembly may be retrofit to an existing system. To that end, the sealing lid assembly 10′ may include a service port adapter 700, which allows the self-closing cap 100 to be mounted on an existing service port. The service port adapter 700 may be configured to mount the cap 100 to tank T or service port 600 such that the sealing lid assembly 10′ is operable with service port 600. In the example shown in FIG. 5a, the service port adapter 700 may include a female thread that mates with a male thread used to secure a prior art cap to an existing service port of the tank T. In the example shown in FIG. 5a, service port adapter 700 includes a collar 710 that defines internal threads 712 adapted to engage the male threads found on an existing service port. In this example, the service port 600 is provided on the service port adapter 700. In particular, service port adapter 700 includes a wall 612 extending upwardly from collar 710 defining the service port opening through which fluid may be directed into the tank T. As in the previous example, the plug 300 extending from cap 100 includes a first seal 400 that engages an interior of wall 612 to form a first seal between the cap 100 and service port 600. A second seal 450 residing on cap 100 engages an upper surface of wall 612 to form a second seal between the cap 100 and service port 600.

Cap 100 is hingedly supported on service port adapter 700. For example, as best shown in FIG. 6, service port adapter 700 may include a mounting bracket generally indicated by the number 720 that supports a pin 540 upon which the cap 100 is pivotally mounted. As in the previous embodiment, a biasing assembly 550 is provided to bias the cap 100 toward a closed position. In the example shown, a torsion spring may be supported on pin 540 to apply a biasing force to the cap 100. Torsion spring 555 includes a first tab 556 that engages service port adapter 700 and a second tab 557 that engages the cap 100. As best shown in FIG. 5a, first tab 556 may reside within a spring recess 558 defined within mounting bracket 720. For example, mounting brackets 720 may include a pair of tabs 722 that extend outward from service port adapter 700 and define openings 723 that receive the pin 540. As best shown in FIGS. 5a and 6, a cylindrical spacer 725 may be journaled on pin 540 and provide a supporting surface for spring 555. As shown in FIG. 5a, spacer 725 is sized to reside within the barrel defined by spring 555. Similar to the previous embodiment, cap 100 includes arms 510 and 520 that define openings for receipt of pin 540 allowing the tab to rotate about pin 540. The second tab 557 of spring 555 engages the cap 100 such that a movement of the cap 100 toward an open position (FIG. 1) generates a biasing force within the spring 555 that tends to resist this opening force and bias the cap 100 toward a close position.

To accommodate magnetically actuated nozzles, which are used in the industry, service port adapter 700 may further include an insert generally indicated by the number 730 that extends downwardly from the base 731 of wall 612 and into the opening 732 defined by collar 710. The insert 730 is sized to be received within an existing service port (not shown) and defines an insert bore 735 that allows DEF fluid to pass through the insert 730 into tank T.

With continued reference to FIG. 5a, the service port adapter 700 may further include a hollow recess or a magnet housing 740 formed at the tip 741 of insert 730. Magnet housing 740 is generally an annular recessed formed exteriorly of insert bore 735 allowing a magnet to be housed within the tip 741 of insert 730 without being in contact with the DEF fluid passing through the bore 735. To that end, an annular chamber 742 is formed between an exterior wall 743 of insert 730 and an interior wall 744 that defines a portion of the bore 735. A magnet 745 is housed within the annular chamber and surrounds the bore 735 at the tip 741 of insert 730. As will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill, magnet 745 is provided for releasing an interlock (not shown) in the DEF nozzle 620.

While the invention has been described with reference to certain embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from its scope. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.