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Title:
ADJUSTABLE EXHAUST SYSTEM FOR A VEHICLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/135707
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The exhaust system for a vehicle is disclosed that comprises an adapter body defining a first passageway, a rotatable duct coupled to the adapter body defining a second passageway, an exhaust body securely attached to the rotatable duct defining a third passageway, and a channel is thus formed to direct exhaust gas emission. The exhaust system, which is provided for an amphibious vehicle, is adjustable in its positioning about the vehicle so as to prevent the intake of water into the exhaust system and the engine while the vehicle is partially or completely submerged in water.

Inventors:
WEE, Gim Leng (APT BLK 732, Jurong West Street 73 #05-32, Singapore 2, 640732, SG)
Application Number:
SG2018/050009
Publication Date:
July 11, 2019
Filing Date:
January 08, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ST ENGINEERING LAND SYSTEMS LTD. (249 Jalan Boon Lay, Singapore 3, 619523, SG)
International Classes:
F01N13/08; F01N13/12; B60K13/04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NG, Kim Tean (Nanyang Law LLC, P.O. Box 1861,Robinson Road Post Office, Singapore 1, 903711, SG)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An exhaust system for a vehicle comprising:

a) an adapter body defining a first internal passageway with an adapter body inlet portion and an adapter body outlet portion;

b) a rotatable duct defining a second internal passageway comprising a circular recess configured to house the adapter body outlet portion,

wherein the rotatable duct is coupled to the adapter by a rotatable coupling means that forms a substantially water tight seal to prevent liquid from entering the first and second internal passageways and wherein the rotatable coupling means allows the rotatable duct to rotate relative to the adapter body; and

c) an exhaust body defining a third internal passageway that is securely

attached to the rotatable end of the rotatable duct;

wherein the first, second and third internal passageways form a channel to direct gas generated by the vehicle’s engine to flow through the adapter body, rotatable duct and exhaust body and be emitted out of the exhaust body into the atmosphere.

2. The exhaust system of claim 1 , further comprising an actuator assembly that is securely attached to the rotatable duct,

wherein the actuator assembly controls the rotational movement of the rotatable duct relative to the adapter body.

3. The exhaust system of claim 2, wherein the actuator assembly comprises a hydraulic or pneumatic actuator assembly.

4. The exhaust system of claim 1 , wherein the adapter body outlet portion comprises a closed distal end with a flange mounting.

5. The exhaust system of claim 1 , wherein the rotatable coupling means comprises one or more projection members positioned on the rotatable duct configured to interlock with one or more receiver members positioned on a flange member.

6. The exhaust system of claim 5, wherein the flange member is securely attached to a flange mounting located on the adapter body.

7. The exhaust system of claim 1 , wherein the rotatable coupling means comprises one or more projection members positioned on the rotatable duct that interlock with one or more receiver members positioned on the adapter body outlet portion.

8. The exhaust system of any one of claims 5 to 7, wherein the circular recess extends through both sides of the rotatable duct to form an entrance mouth and exit mouth, and wherein the one or more projection member are positioned in concentric circles around the perimeter of both the entrance mouth and exit mouth of the circular recess.

9. The exhaust system of any one of claims 5 to 8, wherein the one or more projection members comprise teeth projections and the one or more receiver members comprise grooves complimentary to receive, engage and interlock with the teeth projections.

10. The exhaust system of any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the rotatable coupling means comprises loose mechanical tolerances between coupling interfaces.

11. The exhaust system of any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein one or more of grease, lubricant, bearings or an O-ring seal are absent in forming the rotatable coupling means.

12. The exhaust system of any one of claims 1 to 11 , wherein the exhaust body comprises a divider extending substantially from a base of the exhaust body to a roof of the exhaust body, wherein the exhaust body comprises a gap between the divider and the roof to allow exhaust gas to pass through.

13. The exhaust system of any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein the exhaust body is rotatable from a first position to a second position relative to the adapter body

14. The exhaust system of claim 13, wherein the first position comprises the exhaust body being positioned adjacent and coplanar to a vehicle surface and wherein the second position comprises the exhaust body being positioned at any acute or obtuse angle relative to the first position.

15. The exhaust system of claim 10, wherein the loose mechanical tolerance comprises the presence of a space or clearance between the one or more projection member and one or more receiver member.

Description:
ADJUSTABLE EXHAUST SYSTEM FOR A VEHICLE

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[01] The present invention relates generally to an adjustable exhaust system for a vehicle, and more specifically, to an exhaust system for an amphibious vehicle that is adjustable in its positioning about the vehicle so as to prevent the intake of water into the exhaust system and the engine of the vehicle.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[02] Exhaust systems of internal combustion engines must be able to function when exposed to varying conditions produced by the engine itself as well as the surrounding environmental conditions. This is particularly true in instances where the vehicle, and as a consequence the exhaust system, may be partially or completely submerged by water in a marine environment.

[03] In a marine environment, the conventional solution to allow a vehicle’s engine to continue functioning is to position the exhaust gas outlet above the waterline, like a submarine’s snorkel, so as to preclude the intake of water into the exhaust system and reduce any impedance on engine efficiency. However, this snorkel-like structure may cause a visual obstruction or impede movement of the vehicle in its fixed position, and while it is possible for the exhaust system to blow obstructing water clear, the energy required to clear the obstruction will likely reduce the efficiency level and power of the engine.

[04] A logical option to circumvent the above problem is for the gas outlet to be actuated and adjustable between a deployed position and a stowed position depending on the situation and environmental conditions, such as with a telescoping exhaust system. However, there exists engineering difficulties with telescoping an exhaust outlet into differing positions while maintaining a waterproof and functional exhaust system. Specifically, a conventional exhaust outlet emits gases that are at a temperature of about 400 °C, whereby this temperature precludes the use of an O-ring or gasket that are essential components for telescoping operations. Moreover, in the absence of a proper sealing, it is problematic to seal the interfaces of a telescopic exhaust system from water ingress.

[05] In this regard, the interfaces of a telescopic exhaust system typically have to be machined to a tight specification to allow some form of mechanical water sealing. The thermal expansion brought about by the hot and polluting conditions of the exhaust gas from the engine consort to prevent such tight mechanical tolerances as a viable option. Accordingly, there is a need to provide an actuating moveable exhaust system that does not apply typical sealing methods or materials and is designed to withstand a high degree of mechanical tolerances while remaining relatively water tight in a marine environment.

[06] As such, the present disclosure is aimed at providing an actuating moveable exhaust system that overcomes, or at least ameliorates, one or more of the disadvantages described above in order to function under hot and extremely dirty conditions within a marine environment. In particular, the present disclosure is aimed at providing an actuating moveable exhaust system that prevents amphibious vehicles from stalling and their engines going dead while the vehicle is partially or completely submerged in water.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[07] In one aspect, the present disclosure provides an exhaust system for a vehicle, comprising: an adapter body defining a first internal passageway with an adapter body inlet portion and an adapter body outlet portion; a rotatable duct defining a second internal passageway comprising a circular recess configured to house the adapter body outlet portion, wherein the rotatable duct is coupled to the adapter by a rotatable coupling means that forms a substantially water tight seal to prevent liquid from entering the first and second internal passageways and wherein the rotatable coupling means allows the rotatable duct to rotate relative to the adapter body; and an exhaust body defining a third internal passageway comprising that is securely attached to the rotatable end of the rotatable duct; wherein the first, second and third internal passageways form a channel to direct gas generated by the vehicle’s engine to flow through the adapter body, rotatable duct and exhaust body and be emitted out of the exhaust body into the atmosphere.

[08] In another aspect, the present disclosure provides an exhaust system that further comprises an actuator assembly that is securely attached to the rotatable duct, wherein the actuator assembly controls the rotational movement of the rotatable duct relative to the adapter body.

[09] In another aspect, the actuator assembly may comprise a hydraulic or pneumatic actuator assembly.

[010] In another aspect, the adapter body outlet portion may comprise a closed distal end with a flange mounting.

[011] In another aspect, the rotatable coupling means may comprise one or more projection members positioned on the rotatable duct configured to interlock with one or more receiver members positioned on a flange member.

[012] In another aspect, the flange member may be securely attached to a flange mounting located on the adapter body.

[013] In another aspect, the rotatable coupling means may comprise one or more projection members positioned on the rotatable duct that interlock with one or more receiver members positioned on the adapter body outlet portion.

[014] In another aspect, the circular recess may extend through both sides of the rotatable duct to form an entrance mouth and exit mouth, and the one or more projection member may be positioned in concentric circles around the perimeter of both the entrance mouth and exit mouth of the circular recess. [015] In another aspect, the one or more projection members may comprise teeth projections and the one or more receiver members comprise grooves complimentary to receive, engage and interlock with the teeth projections.

[016] In another aspect, the rotatable coupling means may comprises loose mechanical tolerances between coupling interfaces.

[017] In another aspect, one or more of grease, lubricant, bearings or an O-ring seal are absent in forming the rotatable coupling means.

[018] In another aspect, the exhaust body may comprise a divider extending substantially from a base of the exhaust body to a roof of the exhaust body, wherein the exhaust body comprises a gap between the divider and the roof to allow exhaust gas to pass through.

[019] In another aspect, the exhaust body may be rotatable from a first position to a second position relative to the adapter body.

[020] In another aspect, the first position may comprise the exhaust body being positioned adjacent and coplanar to a vehicle surface and wherein the second position comprises the exhaust body being positioned at any acute or obtuse angle relative to the first position.

[021] In another aspect, the loose mechanical tolerance may comprise the presence of a space between the coupling interface of the one or more projection member and one or more receiver member.

[022] Further objects of the invention will appear as the description proceeds.

[023] To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described within the scope of the appended claims.

DEFINITIONS

[024] The following words and terms used herein shall have the meaning indicated.

[025] The word“substantially” does not exclude“completely” e.g. a composition which is“substantially free” from Y may be completely free from Y. Where necessary, the word “substantially” may be omitted from the definition of the invention.

[026] Unless specified otherwise, the terms "comprising" and "comprise", and grammatical variants thereof, are intended to represent "open" or "inclusive" language such that they include recited elements but also permit inclusion of additional, unrecited elements.

[027] As used herein, the term "about", in the context of concentrations of components of the formulations, typically means +/- 5% of the stated value, more typically +/- 4% of the stated value, more typically +/- 3% of the stated value, more typically, +/- 2% of the stated value, even more typically +/- 1 % of the stated value, and even more typically +/- 0.5% of the stated value.

[028] Further, if used and unless otherwise stated, the terms“side”, “top”,“bottom”, “upper,”“lower,”“front,”“back,”“over,” under,” and similar such terms are not to be construed as limiting the invention to a particular orientation. Instead, these terms are used only on a relative basis.

[029] As used herein, the term “rotate” refers to the conventional meaning and interpretation of an object turning around an axis or center point. It will appreciated that the term“rotate” may be interchangeable with terms such as“pivot”, wherein the term “pivots” refers generally to a mechanism turning or oscillating about a central point, pin, or shaft. [030] As used herein, the term “mechanical tolerance”, in the context of engaging mechanical members disclosed herein, typically refers to the degree of clearance or tightness between mating parts. More specifically, the term refers to the acceptable degree of variation and manufacturing precision in the possible dimensions of the mating mechanical components that would not significantly affect their functioning relationship. In particular, a“loose” mechanical tolerance refers to the existence of a reasonable degree of variation in size between the mating components that still allows for their functional relationship. For example, in “loose” mechanical tolerance the mating components may interlock with one another while leaving a space or amount of clearance between the mating components without affecting their functioning relationship. Thus, the mating components may be complimentary in their shape but are sized to be loosely or tightly interlocked with one another and may be referred to as comprising a clearance fit. In contrast, a“tight” mechanical tolerance refers to a transitional or interference fit of the engaging members. This“tight” mechanical tolerance gives the mating parts the best positioning accuracy, however, they tend to be easily jammed by entry of various contaminants and are also usually much more expensive to machine out since more care has to be taken when the mating surfaces are much closer to each other than with a clearance fit.

[031] Throughout this disclosure, certain embodiments may be disclosed in a range format. It should be understood that the description in range format is merely for convenience and brevity and should not be construed as an inflexible limitation on the scope of the disclosed ranges. Accordingly, the description of a range should be considered to have specifically disclosed all the possible sub-ranges as well as individual numerical values within that range. For example, description of a range such as from 1 to 6 should be considered to have specifically disclosed sub-ranges such as from 1 to 3, from 1 to 4, from 1 to 5, from 2 to 4, from 2 to 6, from 3 to 6 etc., as well as individual numbers within that range, for example, 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. This applies regardless of the breadth of the range. [032] The invention illustratively described herein may suitably be practiced in the absence of any element or elements, limitation or limitations, not specifically disclosed herein. Thus, for example, the terms "comprising", "including", "containing", etc. shall be read expansively and without limitation. Additionally, the terms and expressions employed herein have been used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding any equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, but it is recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention claimed. Thus, it should be understood that although the present invention has been specifically disclosed by preferred embodiments and optional features, modification and variation of the inventions embodied therein herein disclosed may be resorted to by those skilled in the art, and that such modifications and variations are considered to be within the scope of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[033] Various other objects, features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the views, and wherein:

[034] FIG. 1 is a schematic drawing of the exhaust system illustrating the positioning and interrelationship of respective structural features, when in a flat (first) position.

[035] FIG. 2 is a schematic drawing of the exhaust system shown in Figure 1 from a different angle showing the internal structure of the exhaust outlet when elevated to an upright (second) position.

[036] FIG. 3a is a schematic drawing of the cross-section (C-C) of the rotatable coupling mechanism of the rotatable duct in an exemplified embodiment of the exhaust system

[037] FIG. 3b depicts the clearance fit of the interlocking members with loose mechanical tolerances. [038] FIG. 4a depicts the exhaust system with the rotatable duct and exhaust member adjusted in a first lower (stowed) position.

[039] FIG. 4b depicts the exhaust system with the rotatable duct and exhaust member adjusted in a second (deployed) upright position.

[040] FIG. 5 depicts the flow of the gas generated by a vehicle engine through the exhaust system shown in Figure 1.

[041] FIG. 6 depicts the flow of the gas generated by a vehicle engine through the exhaust system shown in Figure 2.

[042] FIG. 7a depicts the exhaust body of the present invention and position of the exhaust opening as well as the potential swell flow of water into the exhaust system.

[043] FIG. 7b depicts the exhaust body of the present invention and position of the exhaust opening as well as the potential swell flow of water into the exhaust system.

[044] FIG. 8 depicts the actuator assembly as a pneumatic actuator with pertinent structural features.

NUMERICAL REFERENCE FEATURES

[045] The following list of index numbers and associated features is intended for ease of reference to the FIG.1 to 6 and illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure:

(1 ) adapter body

(1 a) adapter inlet portion

(1 b) adapter outlet portion

(1c) adapter joint portion

(2) adapter opening

(3) rotatable duct

(3a) rotatable duct inlet portion (3b) rotatable duct outlet portion

(3c) rotatable duct attachment frame

(4) rotatable duct recess

(5) rotatable duct opening

(6) rotatable coupling means

(6a) receiver member

(6b) projection member

(6c) flange member

(6d) adapter body flange mounting

(6e) flange fastener

(6f) ring structure

(7) exhaust body

(7a) exhaust body inlet portion

(7b) exhaust body outlet portion

(8) exhaust body opening

(9) exhaust body base

(10) exhaust body roof

(1 1) exhaust body divider

(12) gap between the divider and wall of the exhaust body

(13) actuator assembly

(13a) bracket

(13b) spring booster and cylinder

(13c) pneumatic cylinder

(13d) support bracket

(13e) swing arm

(13f) cover

(14) plate/platform

(15) exhaust body inlet opening DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[046] In the following description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration a specific example in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.

[047] The present disclosure is directed toward an adjustable exhaust system for use in emitting gas (i.e. exhaust) generated by a vehicle’s combustion engine. The adjustable exhaust system is designed to withstand and function under the polluting and hot conditions produced by a vehicle engine, which typically includes high temperatures of around 400 °C and a large amount of dirt as a result of soot and gas production from the engine.

[048] It is contemplated that the concepts of the present invention may be applied to all types of vehicles within the spirit and scope of the invention. It will be appreciated that the adjustable exhaust system may be adapted for any suitable vehicle and vice versa any suitable vehicle may be appropriately adapted to use the adjustable exhaust system. For example, the adjustable exhaust system may be used for any vehicle including but not limited to a land or amphibious vehicle such as an automobile, car, truck, lorry, bus, van, SUV (sport utility vehicle) ATV (all-terrain vehicle), hovercraft, boat, ship or military vehicles such as landing craft and tanks.

[049] In one embodiment, the adjustable exhaust system may be used in any land, marine or amphibious vehicle that in operation may be partially or substantially submerged in a marine environment, whereby there exists a risk of water entering the exhaust system and flooding the engine.

[050] In another embodiment, the vehicle may be an amphibious vehicle, whereby the exhaust system is exposed to a corrosive marine environment, such as the sea or any body of water that may have a high alkaline or acidic pH level. [051] Marine environmental conditions paired with the hot and extremely dirty polluted conditions of the exhaust system itself may produce an extreme combination of conditions that more often than not render most or all conventional exhaust systems inoperable or at least substantially impedes the efficiency and operational capacity of the vehicle’s engine power output.

[052] In conventional amphibious vehicles, the traditional solution is to make the exhaust system and outlet statically high and tall above the water line in the form of a telescopic snorkel. However, such telescopic snorkels are not suitable to cope and function under the combined conditions produced by the surrounding environment or the vehicle engine that culminates in the exhaust system being subjected to a dirty, corrosive and hot environment.

[053] Accordingly, the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein and in particular the exhaust opening that emits gas into the atmosphere may be positioned to prevent the intake of water while also being functional when subjected to a dirty, corrosive and hot environment. The adjustable exhaust system advantageously attains the required properties of being water-proof while being moveable and operating in a high temperature environment. As a consequence, the adjustable exhaust system may allow the vehicle engine to function at close to 100% despite changing marine environmental conditions, such as tidal and wave conditions. Further, the adjustable exhaust system also allows the vehicle user the flexibility to switch off the engine without water entering into the combustion chamber of the engine, thus enhancing the vehicle safety during operation in a marine environment.

[054] The adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein may be positioned and attached at any suitable position about the outer surface of the vehicle where connection to the engine is possible. Thus, the adjustable exhaust system may be positioned on the exterior of the vehicle body, for example, on the roof, bonnet, side, engine hood, or equivalent areas for other vehicles. In one embodiment, the adjustable exhaust system is positioned and attached on the top surface of the vehicle’s exterior.

[055] In order to overcome the shortcomings of conventional exhausts the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein is designed to be moveable from a substantially flat position, or stowed away position, to a substantially upright position, or deployed position, relative to the plane of the vehicle surface on which the exhaust system is attached. FIG. 1 represents the exhaust system in the substantially flat position or a first position, whereas FIG. 2 represents the exhaust system being in the substantially upright position or a second position. The positions are also depicted in FIG. 4a and FIG. 4b. FIG. 4a depicts the exhaust system in a first lower (stowed) position. FIG. 4b depicts the exhaust system in a second (deployed) upright position.

[056] In particular, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein may be rotatably or pivotally moved from a first position, where the exhaust body is positioned adjacent and coplanar to the vehicle surface, to a second position, where the exhaust body is positioned at any acute or obtuse angle relative to the first position. It is of note that the exhaust system is functional in emitting exhaust gas from the engine to the atmosphere in both the first (flat) and second (upright) positions.

[057] As shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein may generally comprise the structural components of an adapter body (1 ), a rotatable duct (3) and an exhaust body (7) each defining an internal passageway to allow gas generated by the vehicle’s engine to flow through for emission into the atmosphere. The structural components of the adapter body (1 ), a rotatable duct (3) and an exhaust body (7) are coupled to one another in the respective order, whereby each coupling forms a water-proof seal and the defined internal passageways are in fluid communication with one another to prevent gas seeping out of the exhaust system prior to the outlet or opening (8) of the exhaust body (7). [058] The adjustment and movement of the exhaust system is attributed to a rotatable coupling between the adapter body and the rotatable duct. The rotatable coupling comprises interlocking members and fasteners as illustrated in FIG. 3a. The interfaces of the interlocking members of the rotatable coupling functions to allow the exhaust duct to rotate relative to the adapter body such that both the exhaust duct and exhaust outlet move from a first position to a second position. In particular, the rotatable coupling allows the adjustable duct and exhaust body to rotate relative to the longitudinal axis of the adapter body.

[059] The exhaust system disclosed herein may optionally comprise an actuator assembly that provides a controllable means for adjusting or rotating the rotatable duct and exhaust body relative to the adapter body such that the exhaust body is moved from a first position, which may be a substantially flat position, to a second position that may be a substantially upright position.

[060] For ease of reference, each of the main structural components of the adapter body, rotatable duct, rotatable coupling means, exhaust body, actuator assembly that generally combine to form the exhaust system disclosed herein are further elaborated on separately below with regard to non-limiting embodiments of the FIG. 1 through 6.

[061] As will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art, the adjustable exhaust system may be made and manufactured out of one or more suitable materials typically used for exhaust systems. A preferred material may be metal including but not limited to aluminium, silver, gold, copper, zinc, molybdenum, magnesium, tungsten, titanium, platinum, iron, nickel, tin, and palladium. Alloys substantially based on these metals may also be used. Such alloys include those of iron, such as steel, stainless steel, cast iron, tool steel and alloy steel. In a preferred embodiment, the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein may be made of stainless steel. In one embodiment, the commercially available stainless steel AISI 304, AISI 316 or a combination may be used due to ease of procurement. However, it will be appreciated that certain parts or components may differ in their material to fulfil a specific requirement of the exhaust system. [062] The surface of the adjustable exhaust system may be treated and coated with any substance suitable and complimentary for use with the material of the exhaust system. For example, in an embodiment where stainless steel is used, a coating for ferrous materials, such as black oxide, may be applied for added resistance to corrosion, aesthetic reasons and/or minimizing light reflection.

Adapter Body

[063] The adapter body (1 ) may be directly or indirectly coupled to the vehicle engine such that the exhaust gases generated and collected from the engine flow into the adapter body and through its internal passageway. It will be appreciated that conventional means for coupling an exhaust system to a combustion engine for the purpose of emitting gas generated by the engine are readily apparent to those skilled in the art and may be readily applied to the present disclosure.

[064] For example, in one embodiment the adapter body may be coupled to the stay exhaust of the vehicle by means of a bolted band clamp. As will be readily understood by those skilled in the art, a stay exhaust refers to the interface between the exhaust muffler and the hull, wherein the exhaust muffler is connected to the combustion chamber of the vehicle’s engine.

[065] The adapter body defines a first internal passageway and may comprise an adapter inlet portion and an adapter outlet portion. The adapter inlet portion may be securely coupled to the exhaust manifold of the vehicle engine and the adapter outlet portion may comprise an opening for gas to flow out of and into the rotatable duct. Those skilled in the art will readily appreciate suitable structures that may be used to function as an adapter body in the context of the present disclosure and dependent upon the vehicle the exhaust system is to be applied to. As such, the adapter inlet portion and adapter outlet portion represent the proximal and distal ends respectively of the adapter body, wherein the inlet portion comprises an inlet opening for gas to enter the adapter body and the outlet portion comprises an outlet opening for gas to flow out of the adapter body. [066] In one embodiment, the adapter inlet portion is securely attached to the stay exhaust of the vehicle engine to form a water tight seal.

[067] In reference to the embodiment illustrated in FIG 1 and 2, the adapter body (1 ) may comprise a joint portion (1 c) to couple the adapter inlet portion (1 a) to the adapter outlet portion (1 b). The joint portion (1 c) may be in the form of a bend or a mounting that orientates the adapter outlet portion (1 b) to extend in a perpendicular direction relative to the adapter inlet portion (1 a). Accordingly, in one embodiment, the adapter inlet portion (1 a) may extend in a vertical orientation. In another embodiment, the adapter outlet portion (1 b) may extend perpendicular relative to the adapter inlet portion (1 a). In one embodiment, the adapter inlet portion (1 a) may extend in a vertical orientation and the adapter outlet portion (1 b) may extend perpendicular relative to the adapter inlet portion (1 a).

[068] In one embodiment, the adapter body (1 ) may have a circular cross-section and comprises a pipe or tube-like structure. Accordingly, both the joint portion (1 c), adapter inlet portion (1 a) and adapter outlet portion (1 b) may have a circular cross-section and comprises a pipe or tube-like structure.

[069] To allow gas to flow out of the adapter body’s internal passageway, an opening (2) may be positioned in the adapter outlet portion (1 b). The opening (2) may be any size suitable for allowing the desired amount of gas generated by the engine to flow through and may vary to suit a desired application, as readily appreciated by the skilled artisan. In one embodiment, the opening (2) may be positioned on the side of the adapter outlet portion (1 b).

[070] In one embodiment, the distal end of the adapter outlet portion (1 b) may be closed to prevent exhaust gas out from said end. In this configuration, the opening (2) is positioned on the side of the adapter outlet portion (1 b) near to or in close proximity with the distal end. In this regard, the distal end of the adapter outlet portion (1 b) may also refer to the distal end to the adapter body (1 ), whereby the proximal end of the adapter body (1 ) is coupled to the vehicle engine. In another embodiment, the outer surface of the closed distal end may comprise mounting structures for fastening a flange member (6e) thereon. The mounting structure may comprise any suitable attachment means for fastening a flange member, for example, one or more threaded screw portions for attaching a self-locking nut or retaining ring, whereby a wave washer may also be used.

Rotatable Duct

[071] The rotatable duct (3) is coupled to the adapter body such that the exhaust gases that exit through the adapter opening flows into the rotatable duct through its internal passageway and out of the rotatable duct opening. In this regard, the adjustable duct defines a second internal passageway and may comprise a rotatable duct inlet portion and a rotatable duct outlet portion. The rotatable duct inlet portion may be rotatably coupled to the adapter body and the rotatable duct outlet portion may comprise an opening for gas to flow into the exhaust body. In respect to the rotatable coupling of the adapter body and rotatable duct, the adapter body, more specifically the adapter body outlet portion, may act as a pivot for the rotatable duct to be coupled to rotational movement around the adapter body.

[072] In reference to the embodiment illustrated in FIG 1 and FIG. 2, the rotatable duct inlet portion (3a) may comprise a recess (4) configured to house and accommodate the adapter body outlet portion (1 b). The adapter body outlet portion (1 b) may be housed within the recess (4) such that the adapter opening (2) is positioned within the second internal passageway and is in alignment with the adjustable duct opening (5) for fluid communication between the first and second passageways. The positioning of the adapter body outlet portion (1 b) and opening (2) within the recess (4) prevents exhaust gas from seeping out such that when the adapter body (1) and rotatable duct (3) are coupled the exhaust gas only flows out of the rotatable duct opening (5).

[073] Accordingly, the recess (4) may be sized and shaped to closely conform to the outer surface of the adapter outlet portion (1 b) such that the adapter outlet portion (1 b) closely-fits within the recess (4). In one embodiment, the adapter outlet portion (1 b) closely-fits within the recess (4) but loose enough to allow the rotatable duct (3) to move or adjust relative to the adapter outlet portion (1 b).

[074] In one embodiment, the adapter body outlet portion (1 b) and recess (4) may both have a circular cross-section shape and the rotatable duct (3) may rotate around the outer surface of the adapter body outlet portion (1 b) and relative to the longitudinal axis of the adapter body outlet portion (1 b).

[075] In one embodiment, the recess (4) may extend through the width of the rotatable duct (3) from one side to the opposing side of the rotatable duct inlet portion (3a) to define an entrance mouth and exit mouth that are identical in size and shape. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the length of the adapter outlet portion (1 b) may be substantially the same as the width of the recess (4), such that the opening (2) is positioned completely within recess (4) and is in alignment with the adjustable duct opening (5) for fluid communication between the first and second passageways.

[076] In one embodiment, the rotatable duct opening (5) may comprise a frame structure (3c) around the perimeter of the opening (5) for securely attaching the exhaust body (7) to the rotatable duct (3) with a water tight seal. The attachment of the exhaust body (7) to the rotatable duct (3) may be through one or more fastening fixtures such as threaded bolts and nuts. In addition, an exhaust sealant may be applied for static sealing between these parts.

Rotatable Coupling Means

[077] It will be appreciated that the adjustment and movement of an exhaust system, and specifically the movement of the rotatable duct relative to the adapter body, is designed and configured to account for inhibiting factors caused by the polluted environment of the exhaust gases while retaining a water-proof seal between such moving and mating structural interfaces. In this regard, such inhibiting factors preclude the use of conventional tight mechanical tolerances between moving structural interfaces, however, looser mechanical tolerances may also be detrimental to the water-proofing of the coupling. As such, a balance is necessary between these two conflicting requirements in order for the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein to rotatably function under hot, polluting and corrosive environments while remaining water-proof and retaining a water tight seal.

[078] Accordingly, in one embodiment the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein may comprise a rotatable coupling means (6) for rotatably coupling the rotatable duct and adapter body and functions under hot, polluting and corrosive environment while remaining water-proof.

[079] In particular, the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein may comprise the coupling of structural interfaces with loose mechanical tolerances, whereby the coupling comprises interlocking and overlapping members to allow the rotatable movement of the rotatable duct while guarding out the intake of water and remaining functional within the polluted and hot environment of an exhaust system. The rotatable coupling means has the further advantage of preventing soot from choking up the coupling interfaces and jamming one another that impedes rotatable movement. Thus, the structural and mechanical design of the rotatable coupling of the present disclosure has the advantage of being simple yet reliable when functioning in a hostile environment.

[080] In one embodiment, the rotatable coupling means (6) does not require the use of grease to lubricate the coupling interfaces for moving interlocking members or require the use of mechanical bearings for its adjustment and movement, or require the use of‘soft’ seals or O-rings for water-proofing of the interlocking coupling, whereby such soft seals and O-rings may melt due to the high temperature of the exhaust. Since there is no requirement to use grease or lubricant, no use of bearings, no O-rings and no tight tolerances between the coupling interfaces of the rotatable coupling means, the exhaust system described herein is easy to assembly and to maintain.

[081] Accordingly, in one embodiment, the rotatable duct (3a) may be coupled to the adapter body (1 ) by a rotatable coupling means without one or more of grease, lubricant, a soft seal or an O-ring being present. In another embodiment, the rotatable duct (3) may be coupled to the adapter body (1) by a rotatable coupling means without grease, lubricant, a soft seal and an O-ring being present. As such, the rotatable duct (3) may be coupled to the adapter body (1) by a rotatable coupling means with the proviso that one or more of grease, lubricant, a soft seal or an O-ring are absent.

[082] The rotatable coupling means (6) will be described herein by reference to the nonlimiting illustrative embodiment shown in FIG. 1 , FIG. 2 and FIG. 3a. In one embodiment, the rotatable duct (3) may be coupled to the adapter body (1 ) by a rotatable coupling means that comprises interlocking members with loose mechanical tolerances between their engaging interfaces. The engaging interfaces between the interlocking members are configured to be loose enough to accommodate a high amount of soot build-up while still allowing movement of the interlocking members between one another. Specifically, the rotatable coupling means will allow for the rotational movement of the rotatable duct (3) around the adapter body (1 ) surface. In addition, the rotatable coupling means may comprise interlocking members with loose mechanical tolerances between their engaging interfaces to form a water tight seal between the adapter body (1) and rotatable duct (3) to prevent liquid from entering the first and second internal passageways while permitting the rotatable duct (3) to rotate relative to the adapter body (1) and more specifically rotate relative to the longitudinal axis of the adapter body outlet portion (1 b). In one embodiment, the loose mechanical tolerance comprises a space, gap or a clearance between the interfaces of the interlocking members. In one embodiment, the interlocking members may engage with one another to form a clearance fit with loose mechanical tolerances, as illustrated in FIG. 3b.

[083] In this regard, a clearance fit of a loose mechanical tolerance may comprise the interlocking members being designed with a clearance space between the interlocking members. In one embodiment, the clearance space may be in the range of 0.2 mm to 5 cm, 0.2mm to 2 cm, 0.2mm to 1 cm, 0.2mm to 0.8mm, 0.3mm to 0.8mm, 0.4mm to 0.8mm, 0.4mm to 0.6mm. In a preferred embodiment the clearance space may be 0.4 mm. [084] The size of the clearance space between the interlocking members allows some build-up of soot there between from the exhaust without ceasing the rotational function of the exhaust system described herein and while still allowing acceptable water-proofing. For example, for water to ingress into the exhaust system via the rotatable coupling means it will have to squeeze through the small clearance spaces between the interlocking members that are filled with positive pressure exhaust before being able to enter the exhaust system itself.

[085] In one embodiment, the interlocking members may comprise one or more projection member (6b) that interlocks with one or more complimentary receiver member (6a) and a flange member (6c) that is securely attached to the adapter body (1) by the flange mounting (6d) located on the distal closed end of the adapter body (1 ).

[086] In one embodiment, the one or more projection member (6b) may be positioned in concentric circles, squares, ovals or hexagonal shaped grooves/trenches extending radially outward from the perimeter of both the entrance mouth and exit mouth of the recess (4). In this regard, the one or more projection member (6b) may comprise at least 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 projection members, or may comprise a range of 1 to 10 projection members. The number of the one or more projection member (6b) may depend upon the user preference in consideration of the vehicle type, size of the component parts and water pressure experienced by the interlocking members of the rotatable coupling means. In a preferred embodiment, the one or more projection member (6b) may be positioned in concentric circles extending radially outward from the perimeter of both the entrance mouth and exit mouth of the recess (4).

[087] The one or more projection member (6b) may be any suitable projection form and shape that may interlock with a complimentary one or more receiver member (6a) that is shaped to loosely engage with the one or more projection member (6b). For example, the one or more projection member (6b) may comprise teeth like projections with a top flat surface and the one or more receiver members may comprise grooves that are complimentary in size and shape to loosely receive, engage and interlock with the one or more teeth projections. [088] In one embodiment, the one or more receiver member (6a) may be positioned on the adapter outlet portion (1b) and on the flange member (6c) to loosely receive, engage and interlock with the one or more projection members (6b) on the respective interface of the entrance mouth and exit mouth of the recess (4). In this regard, the one or more receiver member (6a) may comprise at least 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 receiver members, or may comprise a range of 1 to 10 receiver members. The number of the one or more receiver member (6a) may depend upon the user preference in consideration of the vehicle type, size of the component parts and water pressure experienced by the interlocking members of the rotatable coupling means.

[089] In this regard, the adapter outlet portion (1 b) may comprise a ring structure (6f) that extends outwards from the surface of the adapter outlet portion (1 b). The ring (6f) may comprise the one or more receiver member (6a) positioned in concentric circles extending radially outward relative to the outer surface of the adapter outlet portion (1 b). The ring structure (6f) and one or more receiver member (6a) may be positioned at the proximal end of the adapter outlet portion (1 b), whereby the opening (2) is positioned in- between the coupling receiver member (6a) and the distal closed end. In one embodiment the ring structure (6f) and one or more receiver member (6a) may be positioned after the adapter body joint portion (1c) and before the adapter body opening (2).

[090] The flange member (6c) may be in the form of a disc structure comprising the one or more receiver member (6a) positioned in concentric circles around the rim of the flange member (6c). In one embodiment, the flange member (6c) may be securely fastened to the mounting structure (6d) positioned on the distal closed end of adapter body (1 ) via a suitable coupling means such as a threaded screw portion and locknut or retaining ring, whereby a wave washer may also be used. Exhaust Body

[091] The exhaust body may be securely coupled to the rotatable duct such that the exhaust gases that exit through the adjustable duct opening flows into the exhaust body through its internal passageway and out of the exhaust body opening.

[092] As shown in relation to FIG.1 and FIG. 2, the exhaust body (7) defines a third internal passageway and may comprise an exhaust body inlet portion (7a) and an exhaust body outlet portion (7b). The exhaust body inlet portion (7a) may comprise an inlet opening (15) where exhaust gas from the rotatable duct flows into the exhaust body. The exhaust body outlet portion (7b) may comprise one or more outlet openings (8) for emitting the exhaust gas into the surrounding environment. The one or more openings (8) may be sized and configured in any suitable manner to function in allowing gas to be emitted into the atmosphere. For example, the exhaust body outlet portion (7b) may comprise a grill with one or more openings (8).

[093] The exhaust body opening (8) may be configured to protect against water swell and the ingress of water by the design of the opening (8) and/or the positioning of the opening about the exhaust body. In this regard, the exhaust body opening (8) may be positioned to direct the exhaust gas at a designed-for angle, for proper channelling and comprise a multi-grill that prevents water from entering the exhaust system by functioning as a breakwater without impeding the flow of exhaust gas.

[094] In one embodiment, the exhaust body (7) may be in the form of a housing that comprises a base (9) and a roof (10), whereby the base is securely coupled to the adjustable duct (3) and the roof (10) is formed by the walls of the exhaust body (7) that define the housing and the third internal passageway that extend from the base. In one embodiment, the roof may be shaped as an arch.

[095] In one embodiment, the exhaust body (7) may comprise a divider (1 1 ) within the third internal passageway that substantially extends from the base of the exhaust body (7) to the roof with a space (12) between the divider and the wall of the roof to allow exhaust gas to pass through. Accordingly, in one embodiment the exhaust body (7) may comprise a divider that partitions the third internal passageway into to two further internal passageways that are in fluid communication with one another via the space or gap (12) left between the divider and the inner wall surface of the roof (10)

[096] It will be appreciated that the exhaust body inlet portion (7a) and exhaust body outlet portion (7b) may be positioned at any suitable location in relation to one another along the third internal passageway of the exhaust body (7) to function in emitting the exhaust gases. However, in one embodiment, the exhaust body inlet portion (7a) and exhaust body outlet portion (7b) are both positioned adjacent to the base of the exhaust body (7) and proximal to one another. In such a configuration the divider may separate the exhaust body inlet portion (7a) and exhaust body outlet portion (7b) from one another such that exhaust gas flows from the exhaust body inlet portion (7a) around the divider (1 1) before exiting via the exhaust body outlet portion (7b).

[097] In this regard, the inclusion of the divider (11) acts as a guide for the exhaust gas but also functions as a flood wall preventing water swell flow in to the exhaust system. In combination with the divider (1 1), the exhaust body opening (8) may comprise a multi-grill and be positioned at the lowest point of the exhaust body when deployed in the second position so that water must first be broken apart by the multi-grill then with its remaining energies surmount the divider (1 1 ) in order to enter the exhaust system, see FIG. 7a and the swell flow illustrated. In contrast, it will be appreciated that if the opening (8) is placed closer to the top of the divider and nearer the roof of the exhaust body the water will require less energy to surmount the divider (1 1), see FIG. 7b.

[098] In one embodiment, the exhaust body inlet portion (7a) is securely attached to the rotatable duct outlet portion (3b). The secure attachment of the exhaust body inlet portion (7a) may be via the frame structure (3c) formed around the perimeter of the rotatable duct opening (5). In this regard, to aid in the secure attachment of these components, the exhaust body inlet portion (7a) may comprise a platform or plate (14) positioned at its base for securely coupling with the rotatable duct (3). The plate (14) may comprise an inlet opening (15) that is positioned to be in alignment with the rotatable duct opening (5) for fluid communication between the second and third passageways.

Actuator Assembly

[099] It will be appreciated that the movement and adjustment of the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein may be controlled either manually by a user or automatically by an automated system. In one embodiment, the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein may comprise an actuator assembly that controls the rotational movement of the rotatable duct relative to the adapter body such that both the rotatable duct and exhaust body move from a first position to a second position.

[0100] In one embodiment, the actuator assembly (13) functions to control the rotational movement of the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein from a substantially flat position to a substantially upright position relative to the plane of the vehicle surface the exhaust system is attached to, whereby any position in-between is also envisioned within the moveable range of the actuator assembly (12).

[0101] Actuator assemblies and mechanisms suitable for use in combination with the exhaust system disclosed herein and that satisfy the functional movement requirements will be readily apparent and known to those skilled in the art.

[0102] With particular reference to the exemplified actuator assembly illustrated in Figure 1 and 2, the actuator assembly (13) may be securely attached to the rotatable duct (3) and adapter body (1 ). The secure attachment of the actuator assembly to structural components of the exhaust system disclosed herein enables the movement of the actuator assembly (13) components to be transferred to the exhaust duct (4) such that the actuator assembly (13) rotates the exhaust duct (3) relative to the longitudinal axis of the adapter body outlet portion (1 b). In particular, the actuation and operation of the actuator assembly (13) causes both the rotatable duct (3) and exhaust body (7) to rotate from a first position to a second position. [0103] In one embodiment, the first position comprises the roof of the exhaust body (10) being positioned adjacent and coplanar to vehicle surface and the second position comprises the roof of the exhaust body (10) being positioned at any acute or obtuse angle relative to the first position.

[0104] In one embodiment, the actuator assembly (13) may comprise a pneumatic, hydraulic or electronic actuation assembly or a combination thereof. In one embodiment, the actuator assembly (13) may comprise a pneumatic or hydraulic actuation assembly whereby the positioning of the exhaust system may be locked by virtue of the fluid within the pneumatic or hydraulic actuation assembly. As will be appreciated, the operation of these actuation assemblies may be performed and controlled by an individual person.

[0105] For example, in a pneumatic assembly the individual may toggle (i.e. switch on) the pneumatic assembly to rotate the exhaust body (7) to the desired position through the action of an extending pneumatic cylinder. A relief valve ensures that when the pneumatic cylinder is fully extended, fluid may be vented to prevent damage to the cylinder. FIG. 8 shows a representative example of a pneumatic assembly that may be used with the exhaust system disclosed herein. In this regard, the a pneumatic assembly may comprise a bracket (13a) for secure attachment to the vehicle, a spring booster and dampener cylinder (13b), a pneumatic cylinder (13c), a support bracket (13d) for securing the swing arm (13e) to both the adapter body and vehicle, and a cover (13e) for protection of the moving parts. The spring booster and dampener cylinder (13b) may comprise a mechanical spring housed in a cylinder and designed to be always in an extended position. The spring booster and dampener cylinder (13b) assists the pneumatic cylinder (13c) in rotating the exhaust body (7) to an elevated position through the swing arm (13e). The cylinder (13b) may also comprise a dampener at the end of the extension, to help cushion the end stop.

[0106] In one embodiment, the actuator assembly (13) and its operation may be controlled or influenced by one or more sensors positioned around the vehicle and/or exhaust system such that the actuation of the assembly (13) may be automated to prevent over- rotating or to allow the exhaust body to be rotated to multiple specific desired angles. The one or more sensors may relate to those for monitoring the positioning of the exhaust system relative to the vehicle, r monitoring the environmental conditions and/or monitoring the conditions within the exhaust system itself.

Operation of Use

[0107] The exhaust system disclosed herein is preferably adapted and configured for use with an amphibious vehicle such as a military tank that in operation is partially or substantially submerged in a corrosive marine environment, whereby there exists a risk of water entering the exhaust system and flooding the engine.

[0108] Accordingly, the exhaust system disclosed herein advantageously allows the vehicle user to rotate and elevate the exhaust system to a position that prevents or drastically reduces the amount of water that may enter the exhaust outlet.

[0109] FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 illustrate the flow of exhaust gas through the adjustable exhaust system disclosed herein and the fluid communication of each internal passageway. FIG. 5 represents the flow of exhaust gas through the system disclosed herein when positioned in a substantially flat position or a first position. In contrast, FIG. 6 represents the flow of exhaust gas through the system disclosed herein when positioned in a substantially upright position or a second position.

[0110] In particular, as denoted by FIG. 5 and FIG. 6, the structural components of an adapter body (1), adjustable duct (3) and exhaust body (7) each defining an internal passageway allow gas generated by the vehicle’s engine to flow through for emission into the atmosphere. The structural components of the an adapter body (1 ), adjustable duct (3) and exhaust body (7) are attached or coupled to one another in the respective order, whereby each attachment and coupling forms a seal that prevents gas from seeping out as well as water from seeping within the defined internal passageways. In this regard, the defined internal passageways are in fluid communication with one another to prevent gas seeping out of the exhaust system prior to the exhaust body opening (8) of the exhaust body (7).

[0111] As to a further discussion of the manner of use and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.

[0112] With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

[0113] Moreover, it will be appreciated that the manufacture and construction of the adjustable exhaust system described herein may be through the use of any typical machining, bending and welding processes involving metal materials such as stainless steel. For example, a welding process applied may be gas metal arc welding, shielded metal arc wielding, flux cored arc wielding or gas tungsten arc welding.

[0114] Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.

[0115] The foregoing has described the principles, embodiments and modes of operation of the present invention. Flowever, the invention should not be construed as being limited to the particular embodiments discussed. The above described embodiments should be regarded as illustrative rather than restrictive, and it should be appreciated that variations may be made in those embodiments by workers skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the present invention as defined by the following claims. [0116] The invention has been described broadly and generically herein. Each of the narrower species and subgeneric groupings falling within the generic disclosure also form part of the invention. This includes the generic description of the invention with a proviso or negative limitation removing any subject matter from the genus, regardless of whether or not the excised material is specifically recited herein.

[0117] Other embodiments are within the following claims and non- limiting examples. In addition, where features or aspects of the invention are described in terms of Markush groups, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention is also thereby described in terms of any individual member or subgroup of members of the Markush group.