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Title:
DEVICES FOR PRODUCING VACUUM USING THE VENTURI EFFECT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/168261
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Devices for producing vacuum using the Venturi effect and systems, such as internal combustion engine systems, including the same are disclosed. The devices include a housing defining a suction chamber, a motive passageway converging toward the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, a discharge passageway diverging away from the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, and a suction passageway in fluid communication with the suction chamber. Within the suction chamber, a motive exit of the motive passageway is generally aligned with and spaced apart from a discharge entrance of the discharge passageway to define a Venturi gap, and the suction passageway enters the suction chamber at a position that generates about a 180 degree change in the direction of suction flow from the suction passageway to the discharge passageway.

Inventors:
FLETCHER, David, E. (1480 W. Reid Road, Flint, MI, 48507, US)
GRAICHEN, Brian, M. (890 Garland Lane, Leonard, MI, 48367, US)
MILLER, James, H. (410 Ridgewood Drive South, Ortonville, MI, 48462, US)
HAMPTON, Keith (415 Barton Drive, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105, US)
Application Number:
US2016/027229
Publication Date:
October 20, 2016
Filing Date:
April 13, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
DAYCO IP HOLDINGS, LLC (1650 Research Drive, Suite 200Troy, MI, 48083, US)
FLETCHER, David, E. (1480 W. Reid Road, Flint, MI, 48507, US)
GRAICHEN, Brian, M. (890 Garland Lane, Leonard, MI, 48367, US)
MILLER, James, H. (410 Ridgewood Drive South, Ortonville, MI, 48462, US)
HAMPTON, Keith (415 Barton Drive, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105, US)
International Classes:
A61F9/00; B05B7/30; B60K15/077; B64D33/08; B64D41/00; C08J3/12; C10G73/40
Foreign References:
US20040094848A12004-05-20
US20120080134A12012-04-05
US5087175A1992-02-11
US6254315B12001-07-03
US6132629A2000-10-17
US7926502B12011-04-19
US3239131A1966-03-08
US20110240753A12011-10-06
Other References:
See also references of EP 3283025A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OILER, Susan, M. et al. (Thompson Hine LLP, 10050 Innovation DriveSuite 40, Dayton OH, 45342-4934, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for producing vacuum using the Venturi effect comprising:

a housing defining a suction chamber, a motive passageway converging toward the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, a discharge passageway diverging away from the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, and a suction passageway in fluid communication with the suction chamber;

wherein within the suction chamber a motive exit of the motive passageway is generally aligned with and spaced apart from a discharge entrance of the discharge passageway to define a Venturi gap;

wherein the suction passageway enters the suction chamber at a position mat generates about a 180 degree change in the direction of suction flow from the suction passageway to the discharge passageway.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the motive passageway and the discharge passageway bom diverge in cross-sectional area away from the suction chamber as a hyperbolic or parabolic function.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein the motive exit has a first corner radius inside the motive passageway.

4. The device of claim 3, wherein the discharge entrance is generally flush with a wall of the suction chamber and transitions thereto with a second corner radius, the second corner radius being larger than the first corner radius.

5. The device of claim 3, wherein the cross- sectional area of the motive exit is smaller than the cross-sectional area of the discharge entrance.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein the motive passageway terminates in a spout protruding into the suction chamber and disposed spaced apart from all one or more sidewalls of the suction chamber thereby providing suction flow around the entirety of an exterior surface of the spout

7. The device of claim 6, wherein the exterior surface of the spout converges toward the outlet end of the motive passageway with one or more converging angles when viewed in a longitudinal cross-section.

8. The device of claim 6, wherein the suction chamber has a generally rounded interior bottom below the spout 9. The device of claim 1, wherein the suction chamber has about a 10 mm to about a 25 mm internal width.

10. The device of claim 1 , further comprising an electromechanical valve in the suction passageway controlling fluid flow into the suction chamber.

11. The device of claim 10, wherein the electromechanical valve is a solenoid valve in a normally closed position.

12. A device for producing vacuum using the Venturi effect comprising:

a housing defining a suction chamber, a motive passageway converging toward the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, a discharge passageway diverging away from the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, and a suction passageway in fluid communication with the suction chamber;

wherein, within the suction chamber, a motive exit of the motive passageway is generally aligned with and spaced apart from a discharge entrance of the discharge passageway to define a Venturi gap, and the motive passageway terminates in a spout protruding into the suction chamber disposed spaced apart from all one or more sidewalls of the suction chamber thereby providing suction flow around the entirety of an exterior surface of the spout

13. The device of claim 12, wherein the suction passageway is disposed parallel to the discharge passageway .

14. The device of claim 12, wherein the exterior surface of the spout converges toward the outlet end of the motive passageway.

15. The device of claim 12, wherein the motive exit has a first corner radius inside the motive passageway; and wherein the discharge entrance is generally flush with an end wall of the suction chamber and transitions thereto with a second comer radius, the second corner radius being larger than the first corner radius.

16. The device of claim 12, wherein the motive passageway and the discharge passageway both diverge in cross -sectional area away from the suction chamber as a hyperbolic or parabolic function.

17. The device of claim 12, wherein the cross-sectional area of the motive exit is smaller than the cross-sectional area of the discharge entrance, and the suction chamber has a generally rounded interior bottom below the spout 18. The device of claim 12, further comprising an electromechanical valve in the suction passageway controlling fluid flow into the suction chamber.

19. The device of claim 18, wherein the electromechanical valve is a solenoid valve in a normally closed position.

20. A system comprising:

a device for producing vacuum using me Venturi effect comprising:

a housing defining a suction chamber, a motive passageway converging toward the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, a discharge passageway diverging away from the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, and a suction passageway in fluid communication with the suction chamber,

wherein, within the suction chamber, a motive exit of the motive passageway is generally aligned with and spaced apart from a discharge entrance of the discharge passageway to define a Venturi gap, and the suction passageway enters the suction chamber at a position that generates about a 180 degree change in the direction of suction flow from the suction passageway to the discharge passageway;

a source of boost pressure fluidly connected to the motive passageway;

a device requiring vacuum fluidly connected to the suction passageway, and atmospheric pressure fluidly connected to the discharge passageway;

wherein the atmospheric pressure is less man the boost pressure.

Description:
DEVICES FOR PRODUCING VACUUM USING THE VENTURI EFFECT

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No.62/146,444, filed April 13, 2015, which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] This application relates to devices for producing vacuum using the Venturi effect, more particularly to such devices having increased suction flow generated with a moderate motive flow rate.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Engines, for example vehicle engines, are being downsized and boosted, which is reducing the available vacuum from the engine. This vacuum has many potential uses, including use by the vehicle brake booster.

[0004] One solution to this vacuum shortfall is to install a vacuum pump. Vacuum pumps, however, have a significant cost and weight penalty to the engine, their electric power consumption can require additional alternator capacity, and their inefficiency can hinder fuel economy improvement actions.

[0005] Another solution is an aspirator that generates vacuum by creating an engine air flow path that is parallel to the throttle, referred to as an intake leak. This leak flow passes through a Venturi that generates a suction vacuum. The problem with the presently available aspirators is that they are limited in the amount of vacuum mass flow rate they can generate, and by the amount of engine air they consume.

[0006] A need exists for improved designs that generate an increased suction mass flow rate, in particular when the motive flow is a boosted motive flow.

SUMMARY

[0007] Devices are disclosed herein that generate increased suction mass flow rate, in particular, when the motive flow is a boosted motive flow, for example, from a turbocharger or supercharger. The devices for producing vacuum using the Venturi effect have a housing defining a suction chamber, a motive passageway converging toward the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, a discharge passageway diverging away from the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, and a suction passageway in fluid communication with the suction chamber. Within the suction chamber, a motive exit of the motive passageway is generally aligned with and spaced apart from a discharge entrance of the discharge passageway to define a Venturi gap, and the suction passageway enters the suction chamber at a position that generates about a 180 degree change in the direction of suction flow from the suction passageway to the discharge passageway. [0008] The motive passageway and the discharge passageway both diverge in cross-sectional area away from the suction chamber as a hyperbolic or parabolic function. The motive exit of the motive passageway has a first comer radius inside the motive passageway, and the discharge entrance is generally flush with a wall of the suction chamber and transitions thereto with a second corner radius. The second corner radius is preferably larger than the first comer radius, and me cross-sectional area of the motive exit is smaller man me cross-sectional area of the discharge entrance.

[0009] The motive passageway in any of the variations of the devices disclosed herein terminates in a spout protruding into the suction chamber and disposed spaced apart from all one or more sidewalls of the suction chamber, thereby providing suction flow around the entirety of an exterior surface of the spout. The exterior surface of the spout converges toward the outlet end of the motive passageway with one or more converging angles when viewed in a lcmgitudinal cross-section, and the suction chamber has a generally rounded interior bottom below the spout

[0010] In all the various embodiments of the devices, the suction chamber has about a 10 mm to about a 25 mm internal width, and has an electromechanical valve in the suction passageway controlling fluid flow into the suction chamber. The electromechanical valve is preferably a solenoid valve in a normally closed position.

[0011] The devices for producing vacuum using the Venturi effect have a housing defining a suction chamber, a motive passageway converging toward the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, a discharge passageway diverging away from the suction chamber and in fluid communication therewith, and a suction passageway in fluid communication with the suction chamber. Within the suction chamber, a motive exit of the motive passageway is generally aligned with and spaced apart from a discharge entrance of the discharge passageway to define a Venturi gap, and the motive passageway terminates in a spout protruding into the suction chamber disposed spaced apart from all one or more sidewalls of the suction chamber thereby providing suction flow around the entirety of an exterior surface of the spout

[0012] In all the various embodiments of the devices, the suction passageway is preferably disposed parallel to the discharge passageway, and the exterior surface of the spout converges toward the outlet end of the motive passageway. Also, the motive exit has a first corner radius inside the motive passageway, and the discharge entrance is generally fiush with an end wall of the suction chamber and transitions thereto with a second comer radius. The second corner radius is larger than the first comer radius, and the motive passageway and the discharge passageway both diverge in cross-sectional area away from the suction chamber as a hyperbolic or parabolic function. The cross-sectional area of the motive exit is smaller than the cross-sectional area of the discharge entrance, and the suction chamber has a generally rounded interior bottom below the spout [0013] In all the various embodiments of the devices, an electromechanical valve is disposed in the suction passageway to control fluid flow into the suction chamber. The

electromechanical valve is preferably a solenoid valve in a normally closed position.

[0014] Also disclosed herein are systems that include any one of the devices for producing vacuum using the Venturi effect, such as those devices described above and below. Also included in the system is a source of boost pressure fhiidry connected to the motive passageway, a device requiring vacuum fhiidry connected to the suction passageway, and atmospheric pressure fhiidry connected to the discharge passageway. Atmospheric pressure is less than the boost pressure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] FIG. 1A is a side, perspective view of a device that generates vacuum using the Venturi effect

[0016] FIG. IB is a side, perspective view of just the inlet end of the motive port of an alternate embodiment of the device of FIG. 1A.

[0017] FIG.2 is a side, longitudinal, exploded cross-sectional view of the device of FIG. 1 taken along line A-A.

[0018] FIG.3 is a side, perspective view, generally from the motive exit end, of the motive port portion of the device of FIG. 1.

[0019] FIG.4 is an enlarged, side, cross-sectional perspective view of the portion of the device of FIG. 1 inside the dashed oval C.

[0020] FIG. S is a side, perspective view of a device that generates vacuum using the Venturi effect and includes a solenoid valve.

[0021] FIG.6 is a side, longitudinal cross-sectional view of the device of FIG.5.

[0022] FIG.7 is an exploded cross-sectional view of the solenoid valve found in the device of FIG.6.

[0023] FIG.8 is a top plan view of the solenoid valve found in the device of FIGS.5 and 6.

[0024] FIG.9 is a bottom plan view of the solenoid valve found in the device of FIGS.5 and 6.

[0025] FIG. 10 is a partial, side, longitudinal cross-sectional view of an alternate embodiment of a solenoid valve portion of the device of FIG.5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0026] The following detailed description will illustrate the general principles of the invention, examples of which are additionally illustrated in the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements, even when the first digit is different, for example, reference 100 and reference 200 distinguishing a first embodiment from a second embodiment

[0027] As used herein, "fluid" means any liquid, suspension, colloid, gas, plasma, or combinations thereof

[0028] FIGS. 1A-4 illustrate different views of a device 100 for producing vacuum using a Venturi effect. The device 100 may be used in an engine, for example, in a vehicle's engine (an internal combustion engine) to provide vacuum to a device requiring vacuum, such as a vehicle brake boost device, positive crankcase ventilation system, a fuel vapor canister purge device, a hydraulic and/or pneumatic valve, etc. Device 100 includes a housing 106 defining a suction chamber 107 in fluid communication with passageway 104 (FIG.2), which extends from the motive entrance 132 of the motive port 108 to die discharge exit 156 of the discharge port 112. The device 100 has at least three ports that are connectable to an engine or components connected to the engine. The ports include: (1) a motive port 108; (2) a suction port 110, which can connect via an optional check valve (not shown) to a device requiring vacuum 180; and (3) a discharge port 112. Each of these ports 108, 110, and 112 may include a connector feature 117 on an outer surface thereof for connecting the respective port to a hose or other component in the engine, as shown in FIG. IB for the motive port 108.

[0029] Referring now to FIGS. 1A and 2, the housing 106 (lefining the suction chamber 107 includes a first end wall 120 proximate the motive port 108, a second end wall 122 proximate the discharge port 112 and at least one side wall 124 extending between the first and second end walls 120, 122. The suction chamber when viewed in a transverse cross-section may be generally pear-shaped, i.e., having a rounded top 148 and rounded bottom 149 where the rounded top is narrower than the rounded bottom. As shown in FIG.2, the suction chamber 107 may be a two-part construction having a container 118a and a lid 118b, where the lid 118b seats within or against a rim 119 of the container 118a with a fluid-tight seaL Here, the container 118b includes the suction port 110 and the discharge port 112 and the lid 118b includes the motive port 108, but is not limited thereto. In another embodiment, the container could include the motive port and the lid could include the suction port and the discharge port

[0030] StiU referring to FIG.2, the motive port 108 defines a motive passageway 109 converging toward the suction chamber 107 and in fluid communication therewith, the discharge port 112 defines a discharge passageway 113 diverging away from the suction chamber 107 and in fhiidcommum'cation therewith, and the suction port 110 defines a suction passageway 111 in fluid communication with the suction chamber 107. These converging and diverging sections gradually, continuously taper along the length of at least a portion of the interior passageway 109, 111, or 113. The motive port 108 includes an inlet end 130 having a motive entrance 132 and an outlet end 134 having a motive exit 136. Similarly, the suction port 110 includes an inlet end 140 having a suction entrance 142 and an outlet end 144 having a suction exit 146, wherein both the motive exit 136 and the suction exit 146 exit into the suction chamber 107. The discharge port 112 includes an inlet end ISO, proximate the suction chamber 107, having a discharge entrance 152, and an outlet end 154, distal from the suction chamber 107, having a discharge exit 156. As illustrated in FIG.2, the suction passageway 111 enters the suction chamber 107 at a position that generates about a 180 degree change in the direction of the suction flow from the suction passageway 111 to the discharge passageway 113. Accordingly, the suction port 110 is generally parallel to the discharge port 112.

[0031] In the assembled device 100, in particular, within the suction chamber 107, as shown in FIG.4, the outlet end 134 of the motive passageway 109, more specifically, the motive exit 136, is generally aligned with and spaced apart from the discharge entrance 152 at the inlet end 150 of the discharge passageway 113 to define a Venturi gap 160. The Venturi gap 160, as used herein, means the lineal distance VD between the motive exit 136 and the discharge entrance 152. The motive exit 136 has a first corner radius 162 inside the motive passageway 109, and the discharge entrance 152 is generally flush with the second end wall 122 of the suction chamber 107 and transitions thereto with a second corner radius 164 that is larger than the first comer radius 162. These comer radii 162, 164 are advantageous because not only does the curvature influence the direction of flow, it also helps to maximize the overall entrance and exit dimensions.

[0032] Referring to FIGS.2-4, the motive passageway 109 terminates in a spout 170 protruding into the suction chamber 107, which has an internal width Wi as labeled in FIG.4 of about a 10 mm to about a 25 mm, or more preferably about 15 mm to about 20 mm The spout 170 is disposed spaced apart from all one or more sidewalls 124 of the suction chamber 107, thereby providing suction flow around the entirety of an exterior surface 172 of the spout 170. The exterior surface 172 is generally frustoconical and converges toward the outlet end 134 of the motive passageway 109 with a first converging angle θι (labeled in FIG.3). The exterior surface 172 may transition into a chamfer 174 more proximate the outlet end 134 man the first end wall 120. The chamfer 174 has a second converging angle ¾ that is greater than the first converging angle θι. The chamber 174 as shown in FIG.3 changes the generally circular frustoconical exterior surface 172 to a generally more rounded-rectangular or elliptical frustoconical shape. The bottom of the suction chamber 107 below the spout 170 may have a generally rounded interior bottom. The shape of the exterior surface 172, and/or the chamfer 174, and the interior bottom of the suction chamber 107 is advantageous to direct suction flow toward the discharge entrance 152 and do so with minimal disturbance/interference in the flow.

[0033] The spout 170 has a wall thickness T mat may be about 0.5 mm to about 5 mm, or about 0.5 to about 3 mm, or about 1.0 mm to about 2.0 mm depending upon the material selected for the construction of the device 100.

[0034] Also, as best seen in FIG.4, the cross- sectional area of the motive exit 136 is smaller than the cross-sectional area of the discharge entrance 152, this difference is referred to as the offset The offset of the cross-sectional areas may vary depending upon the parameters of the system into which the device 100 is to be incorporated. In one embodiment, the offset may be in the range of about 0.1 mm to about 2.0 mm, or more preferably in a range of about 0.3 mm to about 1.5 mm. In another embodiment, the offset may be in the range of about 0.5 m to about 1.7. mm, or more preferably in a range of about 0.7 to about 1.0 mm.

[0035] When device 100 is for use in a vehicle engine, the vehicle manufacturer typically selects the size of bom the motive port 108 and discharge port 112 based on the tubing/hose size available for connection of the aspirator to the engine or components thereof

Additionally, the vehicle manufacturer typically selects the n-axirnimi motive flow rate available for use in the system, which in turn will dictate the area of the interior opening defined at the motive outlet end 134, i.e., the motive exit 136. Working within these constraints, the disclosed devices 100 significantly reduce the compromise between the desire to produce high suction flow rates at moderate motive flow rates provided under boost conditions of an engine. This reduction in the compromise is accomplished by changing the configuration of the orientation of the suction port 110, the suction chamber 107, including its internal width and shape, the spout of the motive port 108, the offset of the motive exit and the discharge entrance, adding the corner radii to the motive exit and/or the discharge entrance, and varying the Venturi gap Vn.

[0036] In operation, the device 100, in particular the suction port 110, is connected to a device requiring vacuum (see FIG. 1), and the device 100 creates vacuum for said device by the flow of fluid, typically air, through passageway 104, extending generally the length of the device, and the Venturi gap 152 (labeled in FIG.4) defined thereby within the suction chamber 107. In one embodiment, the motive port 108 is connected for fluid communication of its motive passageway with a source of boost pressure and the discharge passageway is connected for fluid communication of its discharge passageway with atmospheric pressure, which is less than the boost pressure. In such an embodiment, the device 100 may be referred to as an "ejector." In another embodiment, the motive port 108 may be connected to atmospheric pressure and the discharge port may be connected to a source of pressure that is less than atmospheric pressure. In such an embodiment, the device 100 may be referred to as an "aspirator." The flow of fluid (e.g., air) from the motive port to the discharge port draws the fluid down the motive passageway, which can be a straight cone, a parabolic profile, or a hyperbolic profile, as described herein. The reduction in area causes the velocity ofthe air to increase. Because this is an enclosed space the laws of fluid mechanics state that the static pressure must decrease when the fluid velocity increases. The minimum cross sectional area ofthe converging motive passageway abuts the Venturi gap. As air continues to travel to the discharge port, it travels through the discharge entrance and diverging discharge passageway, which is either a straight cone, a parabolic profile, or a hyperbolic profile. Optionally, the discharge passageway can continue as a straight, parabolic profile, or hyperbolic profile cone until it joins the discharge exit, or it can transition to a simple cylindrical or tapered passage before reaching the discharge exit

[0037] In a desire to increase the flow rate of air from the suction port 110 into the Venturi gap 160, the area ofthe Venturi gap is increased by increasing the perimeter ofthe discharge entrance 152 without increasing the overall inner dimension ofthe first motive passageway 109 (preferably with no increase in the mass flow rate). In particular, the motive exit 136 and the discharge entrance 152 are non-circular as explained in co-owned U.S. Patent Application No. 14/294,727, filed on June 3, 2014 because a non-circular shaped having the same area as a passageway with a circular cross-section is an increase in the ratio of perimeter to area. There are an infinite number of possible shapes mat are not circular, each with a perimeter and a cross sectional area. These include polygons, or straight line segments connected to each other, mm-circular curves, and even fractal curves. To minimize cost a curve is simpler and easy to manufacture and inspect, and has a desirable perimeter length. In particular, elliptical- or polygonal-shaped embodiments for the internal cross-sections of the motive and discharge passageways are discussed in the co-owned application referred to above. This increase in perimeter, which is further enhanced by the first comer radius of the motive exit and the second corner radius of the discharge entrance disclosed herein, will again provide the advantage of increasing the intersection area between the Venturi gap and the suction port, resulting in an increase in suction flow.

[0038] So, as shown in FIG.2, the motive passageway 109 and the discharge passageway 113 both converge in cross-sectional area toward the suction chamber 107 as a hyperbolic or parabolic function. The motive entrance 132 and the discharge exit 156 may be the same shape or different and may be generally rectangular, elliptical or circular. In FIGS. 1 A and 2, motive entrance 132 and the discharge exit 156 are depicted as circular, but the motive exit 136 and the discharge entrance 152, i.e., the interior shape of each opening, are rectangularly- or ellipticaUy-shaped. Other polygonal shapes are also possible, and the devices should not be interpreted to be limited to rectangular or elliptical interior shapes.

[0039] The interior of the motive passageway 109 and/or the discharge passageway may be constructed to have the same general shape. For example, the shape illustrated in FIG.7 of the co-pending application identified above, begins at the motive inlet end 130 as a circular opening having an area Ai and gradually, continuously transitions, as a hyperbolic function, to an ellipse opening at the motive exit 136 that has an area Aj, which is smaller than Ai. The circular opening at the motive inlet end 130 is connected to the ellipse-shaped motive exit 136 by hyperbola lines that provide the advantage of flow lines at the motive exit 136 being parallel to one another.

[0040] The suction passageway 111 defined by the suction port 110 may be a generally cylindrical passage of constant dimension(s) as shown in FIG. 1, or it may gradually, continuously taper as a cone or according to a hyperbolic or parabolic function along its length converging toward the suction chamber 107.

[0041] Referring now to FIGS.5-9, a second device for producing vacuum using a Venturi effect, generally designated 200, is illustrated that has the same or similar features as described above for the embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 1A-4. Device 200 differs from device 100 in the inclusion of a solenoid valve 260 to control the flow of fluid through the suction port 210. Features described above mat are repeated in FIGS.5-9 have the same numbers other than they begin with a "2," and as such, an explanation of these features is not duplicated below. [0042] The solenoid valve 260 is seated within the suction passageway 211 to control the flow of fluid therethrough. The solenoid valve 260 may be seated in a receptacle 258 defined in the lid 218b, in the container 218a, or in a portion of both thereof and includes a spring 2S9 seated within the chamber 207, in particular against the interior surface of the second end wall 222, and connected to a sealing member 266 of the solenoid valve 260. la FIG.6, the solenoid valve 260 is seated in a receptacle 2S8 defined in the lid 218b. The receptacle 258 has a seal seat integral therewith or a seal seat 262 mounted therein to mate a sealing member 266 of the solenoid valve 260 therewith in a fluid-tight engagement. The seal seat 262 defines a bore 274 (see FIG.7) therethrough in fluid alignment with the suction passageway 211. The bore 274 is smaller than the bore 278 in a first core 264 of the solenoid valve 260 to seal the suction passageway 211 when the solenoid valve is in a closed position. The seal seat 262 may also include a contoured or beveled face 276 that the sealing member 266 seats against

[0043] The solenoid valve 260, from left to right in FIG. 7, includes a first core 264, the sealing member 266, a coil 270 wound on a bobbin 268, and a second core 272. The first core 264, the second core 272, and the sealing member 266 are all made from materials that readily conduct magnetic flux. The first core 264 is generally cup-shaped having a bottom 277 defining a bore 278 therethrough. The bore 278 includes a sealing member-receiving portion 278 having a diameter larger than an outer dimension or outer diameter of the sealing member 266, such that the sealing member 266 is translatable at least partially therethrough into and out of engagement with the seal seat 262, and a plurality of flow channels 280 radiating radially outward from the sealing member-receiving portion 278, which may be best illustrated in FIG. 8. The flow channels 280 enable fluid flow around the sealing member 266 and into the chamber 207 defined by the housing 206. The second core 272 is generally a planar disk mateable to the first core 264 to define a housing for the sealing member 266 and the coil 270 wound on the bobbin 268. In another embodiment, the first core may be a generally planar disk and the second core may be generally cup-shaped. In another embodiment, the first and second cores may each be generally cup-shaped and mate together to define a housing. In another embodiment, there may be two generally flat cores, one made as 272, the other made as the bottom of 264, and a third member being a generally cylindrical part shaped like the axial portion of 264.

[0044] The second core 272 defines a bore 295 therethrough. The bore 29S includes a sealing member-seat portion 296 having a diameter similar to the outer dimension of the sealing member 266 and larger man an outer diameter of a spring 259, and a plurality of flow channels 298 radiating radially outward from the sealing member-seat portion 296, which may be best illustrated in FIG.9. The sealing member-seat portion 296 may be contoured or beveled to receive a mating portion of the sealing member 266 thereagainst In one embodiment, the sealing member-seat portion 296 defines a generally conical receptacle. The spring 259 is connected to the sealing member 266 and biases the sealing member 266 into engagement with the seal seat 262 for the closed position. As shown in FIG.6, the sealing member 266 is a solid body with a first end of the spring 259 seated against an end of the sealing member 266. However, as shown in an alternate embodiment in FIG. 10, the sealing member 266' is hollow inside (i.e., defines a hollow core 267) and receives the first end of the spring 259 in the hollow core 267. In both embodiments, the flow channels 298 enable fluid flow around the sealing member 266, 266* into the chamber 207 defined by the housing 206. For maximum fluid flow through the solenoid valve 260, the flow channels 280 in the first core 264 and the flow channels 298 in the second core 272 are aligned with one another.

[0045] The bobbin 268 defines a core 271 in which the sealing member 266 is disposed and is translatable. The core 271 may define flow channels 293 between spaced apart guide members 294 defining the core of the bobbin. The guide members 294 are oriented parallel to the longitudinal axis of the sealing member 266 and guide the scaling member 266 as it is translated between the open position and the closed position. Hereto, for maximum fluid flow through the solenoid valve 260, the flow channels 293 are aligned with the flow channels 280 in the first core 264 and with the flow channels 298 in the second core 272. The coil 270 wound on the bobbin 268 is connected to electrical connectors (not shown) that are connectable to a source of electric current to activate the solenoid valve 260. The electrical connectors provide engine designers a plethora of options for control of the suction flow (vacuum) generated by the device 200.

[0046] With reference to the sealing member 266 of FIGS.6-9, it has a generally elongate body 289 with a contoured first end 290 and a contoured second end 292. The elongate body 289 is cylindrical and the first end 290 has a generally conically-shaped exterior surface that seats against the contoured or beveled face 276 of the seal seat 262. The second end 292 is also a generally conically-shaped exterior surface. The second end 292 seats against the sealing member-seat portion 296 of the second core 272. In one embodiment, the sealing member 266 may be referred to as a pintle. The sealing member 266 is composed of one or more materials providing it with magnetic properties, so that it can be translated to an open position in response to a magnetic flux created by the first and second cores 264, 272.

[0047] The solenoid valve 260 ofFIG.6 is normally closed based on the position of the spring 259. When an electrical current is applied to the coil 270, the activated state, a magnetic flux is generated through the first and second cores 264, 272, which moves the sealing member 262 toward and into engagement with the second core 272, in particular with the sealing member-seat portion 296 thereof, which defines the open position.

[0048] The addition of the solenoid valve 260 in the device 200 provides the advantage of a simple, inexpensive, compact electrically activated valve to control the suction flow based on selected engine conditions through the use of a controller, such as an automobile's engine computer. This is advantageous over check valves that open and close merely in reaction to pressure changes in the system.

[0049] While the solenoid valve 260 as shown in FIG.6 is a normally closed valve, it is appreciated that the position of the spring could be changed to make this a normally open valve that is closed in response to an electrical signal from a controller. [0050] The devices disclosed herein may be made of a plastic material, except as noted above for component parts of the solenoid valve, or other suitable materials) for use in a vehicle engine, one mat can withstand engine and road conditions, including temperature, moisture, pressures, vibration, and dirt and debris, and may be made by injection molding or other casting or molding processes.

[0051] Although the invention is shown and described with respect to certain embodiments, it is obvious that modifications will occur to those skilled in the art upon reading and understanding the specification, and the present invention includes all such modifications.