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Title:
ASYMMETRICAL HOSE COUPLING ENDFORM FOR FLUID TRANSFER ASSEMBLIES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/142932
Kind Code:
A3
Abstract:
An endform connector having an axial bore through which a fluid is conveyed, comprising: a rigid tubular member (12) having a first end (14), a second end (16), an annular channel (18) having an inner diameter extending from the first end (14) to the second end (16) and through which a fluid is transported, a stem portion (20) extending a fixed distance from the first end (14), and at least one sealing (22) member extending outwardly from the stem portion (20) and forming a surface (30) having a tapered profile terminating in an outwardly extending rim (32), which exhibits an asymmetrical perimeter adapted to be inserted into an inner channel (24) of a fluid transport hose (26), wherein the endform connector (10) is sealed to a fluid transport hose (26); and a connector portion on the second end adapted to be coupled with a second fluid conveying structure, and a method for assembling an endform connector to a hose are described.

Inventors:
THACKER, James, Clifton (3185 SE 19th Ave, Ocala, FL, 34471, US)
COLE, Robert, W. (4551 SE 39 Court, Ocala, FL, 34480, US)
Application Number:
US2007/012679
Publication Date:
October 09, 2008
Filing Date:
May 30, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FLUID ROUTING SOLUTIONS, INC. (1955 Enterprise Drive, Rochester Hills, MI, 48309, US)
THACKER, James, Clifton (3185 SE 19th Ave, Ocala, FL, 34471, US)
COLE, Robert, W. (4551 SE 39 Court, Ocala, FL, 34480, US)
International Classes:
F16L33/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BECKER, Robert, W. (Robert W. Becker & Associates, 707 State Hwy 333Suite, Tijeras NM, 87059-7507, US)
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Claims:

CLAIMS

1. An endform connector having an axial bore through which a fluid is conveyed, said endform connector characterized by: a rigid tubular member (12) having a first end (14), a second end (16), an annular channel (18) having an inner diameter extending from said first end (14) to said second end (16) and through which a fluid is transported, a stem portion (20) extending a fixed distance from said first end (14), and at least one sealing member (22) extending outwardly from said stem portion (20) and forming a surface (30) having a tapered profile, said surface having said tapered profile terminating in an outwardly extending rim (32), said outwardly extending rim exhibiting an asymmetrical perimeter adapted to be inserted into an inner channel (24) of a fluid transport hose (26), wherein said endform connector (10) is sealed to said fluid transport hose (26); and a connector portion on said second end (16), said connector portion adapted to be coupled with a second fluid conveying structure.

2. The endform connector of claim 1, characterized I that said at least one sealing member (22) is an arrowhead barb.

3. The endform connector of claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said at least one sealing member (22) includes an annular surface opposite said tapered surface (30), said annular surface extending perpendicular relative to said rigid tubular member (12).

4. The endform connector of any one of claims 1-43 characterized in that said rim (32) exhibiting said asymmetrical perimeter has a sharp edge.

5. The endform connector of any one of claims 1-4, characterized in that said hose (26) is capable of being uniformly deformed onto and around said at least one sealing member (22) upon being subjected to high concentric pressure thereat to create a leak-free seal therebetween. 6. The endform connector of any one of claims 1-5,

characterized in that said endform connector (10) is made from a material selected from the group consisting of metal, especially steel, ceramic and plastic.

7. The endform connector of any one of claims 1-6, characterized in that said endform connector (10) is pre-coated with a protecting material, especially nylon, to protect said endform connector from environmental conditions.

8. The metal end fitting of any one of claims 1-7, characterized in that said second conveying structure is a quick connect/quick disconnect coupling.

9. A method for coupling an endform connector to a hose to provide a leak-free seal between said endform connector and said hose, wherein said coupling exhibits reduced push-on effort, said method characterized by: providing a rigid tubular member (12) having a first end

(14), a second end (16), an annular channel (18( having an inner diameter extending from said first end (14) to said second end (16) and through which a fluid is transported, a stem portion (20) extending a fixed distance from said first end (14), and at least one sealing member (22) extending outwardly from said stem portion (20) and forming a surface (30) having a tapered profile, said surface having said tapered profile terminating in an outwardly extending rim (32), said outwardly extending rim exhibiting an asymmetrical perimeter adapted to be inserted into an inner channel (24) of a fluid transport hose (26), wherein said endform connector (10) is sealed to said fluid transport hose (26); and a connector portion on said second end (16), said connector portion adapted to be coupled with a second fluid conveying structure; providing a hose (26) having an annular inner surface for transporting a fluid therethrough; providing a clamping means for clamping said hose (26) to said endform connector (10); and

subjecting said hose (26) to a clamping pressure sufficient to cause said hose to deform onto and around said endform connector (10).

10. In a method of assembling an endform connector to a hose in a fluid transport assembly, the improvement characterized by: providing a steel tubular member (16) having a first end

(14), a second end (16), an annular channel (18) having an inner diameter extending from said first end (14) to said second end (16) and through which a fluid is transported, a stem portion (20) extending a fixed distance from said first end (14), and at least one sealing member (22) extending outwardly from said stem portion (20) and forming a surface (30) having a tapered profile, said surface having said tapered profile terminating in an outwardly extending rim (32), said outwardly extending rim exhibiting an asymmetrical perimeter having a sharp edge, said tapered surface (30) being adapted to be inserted into an inner channel (24) of a fluid transport hose (26), wherein said endform connector (10) is sealed to said fluid transport hose (26); and a connector portion on said second end (16), said connector portion adapted to be coupled with a second fluid conveying structure; providing a hose (26) having an annular inner surface for transporting a fluid therethrough; providing a clamping means for clamping said hose (26) to said endform connector (10); and subjecting said hose (26) to a clamping pressure sufficient to cause said hose to deform onto and around said endform connector (10).

Description:

ASYMMETRICAL HOSE COUPLING ENDFORM FOR FLUID TRANSFER ASSEMBLIES

Technical Field

The present invention relates to a coupler device for hose connections and to a method for connecting such endform to a hose. More particularly, the present invention relates to a coupling endform device including a barb having an asymmetrical barb profile which provides improved coupling retention and sealing properties while requiring no additional coupling effort during assembly of the coupling device to a hose, compared to a conventional coupling device having a symmetrical circular barb profile. Background Art

Hose coupling endform devices are known. For example, commonly assigned U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 10/410,973 to Mobley teaches a coupling device for connecting a polymeric tubing having a first conductive inner surface to the open end of a hose having a second conductive surface such that conductive continuity is maintained between the polymeric tube and the hose. U.S. Patent No. 3,653,692 to Henson describes an elastomeric hose connected to a nipple having a circumferential barb. The hose is stretched allowing a ring member to slide down the hose and over the barbed nipple where it creates a compression on the hose when the hose is no longer stretched. U.S. Patent Nos. 6,733,047 to Stieler; 6,637,779 to Andre; 6,634,679 to Stieler; 6,568,714 to Stripe; 6,412,826 to Kulevsky, et al; 6,378,908 to Walker, et al.; 6,1 13,151 to Beans; 5,711,549 to Beans; 5,707,087 to Ridenour et al; 5,516,157 to Williamson; 5,516,156 Williamson;

5,423,581 to Saylers; 4,114,930 to Perkins et al; and 3,689,111 to Osmun, all teach coupling devices for connecting tubing to a fitting assembly to prevent leaks in a fluid transport system.

It is essential that fluid transfer hoses such as those employed in fluid transfer assemblies on power steering pressure and return lines exhibit

tight tolerances and high strength to prevent the fluid from leaking from the assembly. Current practice in the hose connector art requires that a heavy clamping or crimping force be applied about a collar around the hose and the fitting to provide a fluid-tight seal and to provide pull-off resistance to the assembly. In such cases, the hose is compressed radially inwardly to make a seal. However, it is difficult to make a leak-tight seal, because the tube, even though malleable, tends to have enough elasticity to relax and deform upon release of the clamping or crimping pressure sufficient to compromise the fluid-tight seal, particularly when the fluid is under high pressure for an extended period of time. Therefore, while conventional connectors generally are able to achieve the required tolerances or the strength required to provide good sealing and hose retention properties, these properties are generally accompanied by undesirable high assembly effort. For example, a fluid transfer assembly designed to achieve low push-on force throughout its dimensional tolerance, will have a high probability of poor to mediocre coupling tensile, burst and impulse performance.

Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide a hose endform connector that would increase coupling retention using both clamped and crimped assembly design while requiring reduced assembly effort force. Disclosure of the Invention

It is an object of the present invention to provide a hose coupling endform having improved coupling retention and sealing properties with no effect on assembly effort.

It is another object of the invention to provide a method of assembling a hose endform connector to a hose whereby coupling retention is improved and assembly effort is unaffected.

In accordance with the present invention, a hose endform connector is described for use in connecting a fluid transfer hose thereto in a manner which provides a leak-free fluid transfer assembly having increased coupling retention while not increasing the assembly effort force required in

prior art hose endform connection assemblies. The hose endform connector comprises a rigid tubular member having a first end and a second end. The ' hose endform connector has an annular channel extending from the first end to the second end. The annular channel exhibits an inner diameter extending along its longitudinal axis for transporting a fluid therethrough. The rigid tubular member further comprises a stem portion defining the first end of the rigid tubular member. The stem portion has a uniform annular outer surface diameter extending a predetermined distance from the end of the hose endform connector, wherein the uniform annular surface is adapted to be inserted into an open ended channel of a hose. The stem portion further includes at least one sealing member extending outwardly from the outer surface diameter of the stem portion in a direction toward the second end to form a radially increasing surface having a tapered profile. The tapered surface terminates in an outward rim having an asymmetrical shape. The opposite side of the tapered surface of the sealing means exhibits an annular surface which is perpendicular or nearly perpendicular to the rigid tubular member. The asymmetrical shape of the outer perimeter of the sealing member increases coupling tensile (axial force) by as much as 92% leaving assembly effort unaffected. The second end portion includes a tubular structure which may include an annular ridge or ring suitable for connecting the second end to another tubular structure, such as by a quick-connect/disconnect device.

In accordance with the present invention, the metal fitting is loosely inserted into the open end of the hose where it is joined to the tube in a fluid-tight seal created by crimping, swaging, rolling or other means of securing the hose around the metal barbed fitting. The fluid-tight seal is created by the high pressure of the metal annular barbs pressed against the inner diameter of the hose. Brief Description of the Drawings The features of the invention, and its technical advantages, can

be seen from the following description of the preferred embodiments together with the claims and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal side view of an endform tube connector of the prior art ready for assembly with a hose; FIG. 2a is a cross-sectional end view of the endform tube connector of FIG. 1 according to the present invention;

FIG. 2b is a cross-sectional end view of an endform tube connector of the prior art;

FIG. 3a is a graph illustrating the coupling tensile force of an endform connector of the present invention;

FIG. 3b is a graph illustrating the coupling tensile force of an endform connector of the prior art. Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments

It has been found that a hose endform connector having an arrowhead barb configured to exhibit an asymmetrical perimeter rather than a symmetrical circular perimeter provides significantly improved tensile values. Furthermore the asymmetrical barb exhibits significantly less sensitivity (more robust) to crimp diameter variability, hose dimensional variability, etc., while maintaining an overall equivalent performance with respect to both inside and outside diameter of the hose to which the coupler is assembled as well as exhibiting no increase in push-on force in assembling the endform connector to a hose.

The basic concept of the present invention is to change the shape of the outer perimeter of the arrowhead barb from a symmetrical circular shape to an asymmetrical shape by offsetting the shape of the arrowhead barb and creating a larger interference between the stem land diameter and the arrowhead barb diameter. More specifically, the coupling retention is increased using both clamped and crimped assembly design formats, while maintaining equivalent assembly effort force. The advantage of the asymmetrical arrowhead barb design over

the conventional symmetrical circular arrowhead barb is as follows:

Push-on force is not increased.

Coupling tensile (axial force) is enhanced up to about 92%. - Peak coupling tensile (axial force) is maintained over a wider tolerance.

The potential applications for the endform connectors having the asymmetrical configuration of the present invention include assemblies for automotive and other mechanical applications, such as in power steering, transmission, oil cooler, and other fluid transport assemblies requiring high pressures.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a hose endform connector of the present invention used to connect an end form connector to a polymeric hose. As shown in FIG. 1, the endform connector 10 includes a tubular body 12 having a first end 14 and a second end 16. An annular channel 18 extends along longitudinal axis X from the first end 14 to the second end 16. The tubular body 12 includes a stem portion 20 and a sealing member 22 adjacent the first end 14 of the tubular body 12. The stem portion 20 and the sealing member 22 are adapted to be inserted into an open channel 24 of a hose 26 to secure the hose 26 to the endform connector 10 to provide a leak-free connection. The stem portion 20 has a uniform outer annular surface 28 extending a fixed distance from the first end 14 of the tubular body 12. The sealing member 22 extends outwardly from the outer annular surface 28 of the stem portion 20 to form a radially increasing surface 30 having a tapered profile. The radially increasing surface 30 of the sealing member 22 terminates in a rim 32 exhibiting an asymmetrical perimeter. The sealing member 22 includes a rearward surface 34 lying in a plane perpendicular to or nearly perpendicular to the orientation of the tubular body 12. The rearward surface 34 of the sealing member 22 extends radially outwardly from the tubular body 12 and terminates with the rim 32 exhibiting an asymmetrical

perinieter. Typically, the rearward surface 34 may be tapered at an angle of up to about 5°, preferably, about 0 to 3° and most preferably, about 0 to 2°, with respect to the vertical orientation of the rearward surface 34. The stem portion 20 is adapted to be inserted into an open end 24 of a hose 26 to provide a leak- free Fitting. FIG. 2A shows a cross-sectional view of the endform connector of FIG. 1, wherein the rim 32 of the sealing member 22 is shown as having an asymmetrical configuration while the annular channel 18 of the tubular body has a circular configuration.

When the metal endform connector 10 is inserted into the open end of the hose 26, sufficient pressure is exerted upon the hose 26 to radially compress the hose 26 inwardly around the stem portion 20 of the end fitting 10 such that the open channel 24 of the hose 26 engages the sealing member 22, providing a leak-free seal in the fuel transport assembly. The sealing members 22 not only provide leak-free seals but they also increase or maintain the pull-off resistance of the hose 26 from the endform connector 10.

The number of sealing members on the endform connector is not critical. One sealing member in the form of an arrowhead barb is sufficient in most applications; however, it may be desirable to include more than one sealing member at fixed intervals along the stem portion of the endform connector. In those instances where more than one sealing member is employed, It may be desirable to alter the rotational position of the more than one sealing members to exhibit a non-linear orientation of the asymmetrical rims so that the symmetry of the more than one arrowhead barbs are not in a linear relationship. The materials used to form the endform connector should be of a low corrosion tolerance material. In one embodiment the endform connector is formed from a metal, such as steel or the like, or it is formed from a ceramic material or a rigid plastic. Such materials should be high quality and free from voids, pits, laps, cracks, folds, seams and other defects. It is within the context of the present invention to treat the metal or ceramic endform

connectors, especially the arrowhead barbs, to protect them from the environment. The endform members may be coated with a polymeric material 36 (Fig. 1) such as nylon, or it may be electroplated, painted or similarly treated. In another embodiment, the endform may be formed completely from a plastic material.

EXAMPLE 1

SAMPLE 1 - A first endform connector having an asymmetrical shaped arrowhead barb in accordance with the present invention, and a fluid transport hose were assembled to determine coupling tensile values, robust characteristics, and push-on force.

COMPARATIVE SAMPLE 2 - A second endform connector having a circular shaped arrowhead barb in accordance with the prior art, and a fluid transport hose were assembled to determine coupling tensile, robust characteristics, and push-on force. Regarding SAMPLE 1, the prediction trace yields the following insight with respect to coupling tensile performance:

Hose 3209 yields higher tensile values than hose 3039. Coupling tensile values drop as hose ID increases. Coupling tensile values drop significantly as the "% compression" of the crimped assembly decreases.

Asymmetrical stem and symmetrical stem yield approximately equal tensile values at high compression.

Symmetrical barb is very sensitive to crimp compression as evidenced by the slope of the "% compression" factor traces. Regarding SAMPLE 2, the prediction trace yields the following insight with regard to the asymmetrical coupling tensile performance:

Overall equivalent performance of each stem with respect to the following factors: Hose, OD, and ID.

The slope of the "% compression" factor is near zero, indicating that the asymmetrical stem is much less sensitive (more robust) to

crimp diameter variability, hose dimensional variability, etc.

Although the present invention has been fully described in connection with a preferred embodiment thereof and with reference to the accompanying drawings, various changes and modifications will occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, such changes and modifications are to be understood as being within the scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.