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Title:
A FLUID LINE CONNECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/026230
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fluid line connector comprising a first portion which comprises a clevis yoke, a second portion which comprises a clevis tang, a pin portion which comprises a clevis pin and which pivotally connects the first and second portions, each portion of the fluid line connector comprising a fluid passageway therethrough, and wherein the fluid passageway of the pin portion bridges the fluid passageways of the first and second portions to allow passage of a fluid through the first and second portions.

Inventors:
JAENSCH, Craig (53 Howards Road, Beverley, South Australia 5009, AU)
LOECHEL, Darren Troy (53 Howards Road, Beverley, South Australia 5009, AU)
WANG, Leo (53 Howards Road, Beverley, South Australia 5009, AU)
APPLETON, Christopher Alan (53 Howards Road, Beverley, South Australia 5009, AU)
Application Number:
AU2013/000897
Publication Date:
February 20, 2014
Filing Date:
August 15, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TORO AUSTRALIA PTY LIMITED (53 Howards Road, Beverley, South Australia 5009, AU)
International Classes:
F16L27/02; F16L27/00; F16L33/02
Foreign References:
US4626004A
US20070046024A1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MADDERNS PATENT AND TRADEMARK ATTORNEYS (GPO Box 2752, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A fluid line connector comprising a first portion comprising a fluid passageway therethrough, a second portion comprising a fluid passageway therethrough, and a pin portion pivotally connecting the first and second portions and comprising a fluid passageway bridging the passageways through the first and second portions to pass fluid between the first and second portions.

2. The fluid line connector of claim 1, wherein the first portion comprises a clevis yoke, the second portion comprises a clevis tang, and the pin portion comprises a clevis pin.

3. · The fluid line connector of claim 2, wherein the clevis yoke comprises a bifurcate end comprising a spaced apart pair of connector portions between which the tang is retained by way of the pin extending through the tang and between the connector portions of the yoke.

4. The fluid line connector as in either of claims 2 or 3, wherein the tang passageway is in fluid communication with a first port of the pin passageway.

5. The fluid line connector as in any one of claims 2 through 4, wherein the pin passageway comprises a further port, which is in fluid communication with the yoke passageway.

6. The fluid line connector of claim 5, wherein the yoke passageway extends into each of the yoke connector portions.

7. The fluid line connector of claim 6, wherein the pin passageway comprises a further pair of ports, each of which is in fluid communication with the yoke passageway in one of the yoke connector portions.

8. The fluid line connector as in any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least one of the first or second portions comprises a thread for the attachment of a threaded fitting thereto.

9. The fluid line connector as in any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least one of the first or second portions comprises a connection fitting.

10. The fluid line connector as in any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least one of the first or second portions comprises a male connection fitting.

1 1'. The fluid line connector as in any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least one of the first or second portions comprises a female connection fitting.

12. The fluid line connector as in any one of claims 9 through 1 1, wherein at least one connection fitting comprises a spigot.

13. The fluid line connector as in any one of claims 9 through 12, wherein at least one connection fitting comprises is a union or coupling.

14. The fluid line connector of claim 13, wherein this union or coupling is one which provides for quick connection and disconnection.

15. A fluid transmitting joint assembly comprising a first joint portion comprising a fluid passageway therethrough, a second joint portion comprising a fluid passageway therethrough, and a pin element effecting both a mechanical and fluid coupling of the first and second portions.

16. The fluid transmitting joint assembly of claim 15, wherein this further comprises connection means, so that the joint assembly serves as a fluid line connector.

Description:
A FLUID LINE CONNECTOR

PRIORITY DOCUMENT

[0001] The present application claims priority from:

Australian Provisional Patent Application No 2012903512 titled "A FLUID LINE

CONNECTION ELEMENT" and filed on 15 August 2012. The content of this application is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates to an apparatus for connecting elements of a fluid line. For the purpose of explanation, reference will be made herein to a connector for connecting a hose, such as a garden hose, to a tap (also known as a spigot or faucet). It will be apparent however that the invention need not be so limited in application.

BACKGROUND

[0003] It is common for a user of a garden hose connected to a tap via a connector to experience problems with kinking and twisting of the hose, resulting in any one or more of disconnection of the connector, a loss of water pressure or even a complete loss of supply, and/or potentially causing damage to the hose and/or the connector.

[0004] It is against this background that the problems and difficulties associated therewith that the present invention has been developed.

[0005] Certain objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

SUMMARY

[0006] According to a first aspect, there is provided a first portion comprising a fluid passageway therethrough, a second portion comprising a fluid passageway therethrough, and a pin portion pivotally connecting the first and second portions and comprising a fluid passageway bridging the passageways through the first and second portions to pass fluid between the first and second portions.

[0007] In one form, the first portion comprises a clevis yoke. [0008] In one form, the second portion comprises a clevis tang.

[0009] In one form, the pin comprises a clevis pin.

[0010] In one form, the clevis yoke comprises a bifurcate end comprising a spaced apart pair of connector portions between which the tang is retained by way of the pin extending through the tang and between the connector portions of the yoke.

[0011] In one form, the tang passageway is in fluid communication with a first port of the pin passageway.

[0012] In one form, the pin passageway comprises a further port, which is in fluid communication with the yoke passageway.

[0013] In one form, the yoke passageway extends into each of the yoke connector portions.

[0014] In one form, the pin passageway comprises a further pair of ports, each of which is in fluid communication with the yoke passageway in one of the yoke connector portions.

[0015] In one form, at least one of the first or second portions comprises a thread for the attachment of a threaded fitting thereto.

[0016] In one form, at least one of the first or second portions comprises a connection fitting.

[0017] In one form, at least one of the first or second portions comprises a male connection fitting.

[0018] In one form, at least one of the first or second portions comprises a female connection fitting.

[0019] In one form, at least one connection fitting comprises a spigot.

[0020] In one form, at least one connection fitting comprises a union or coupling.

[0021] In one form, this union or coupling is one which provides for quick connection and

disconnection.

[0022] In a further aspect, the invention may be said to reside in a fluid transmitting joint assembly comprising a first joint portion defining a fluid passageway therethrough, a second joint portion defining a fluid passageway therethrough, and a pin element effecting both a mechanical and fluid coupling of the first and second portions.

[0023] In one form, this fluid transmitting joint assembly further comprises connection means, so that the joint assembly serves as a fluid line connector.

[0024] A detailed description of one or more embodiments of the invention is provided below along with accompanying figures that illustrate by way of example the principles of the invention. While the invention is described in connection with such embodiments, it should be understood that the invention is not limited to any embodiment. On the contrary, the scope of the invention is limited only by the appended claims and the invention encompasses numerous alternatives, modifications and equivalents. For the purpose of example, numerous specific details are set forth in the following description in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention.

[0025] The present invention may be practiced according to the claims without some or all of these specific details. For the purpose of clarity, technical material that is known in the technical fields related to the invention has not been described in detail so that the present invention is not unnecessarily obscured.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0026] Embodiments of the present invention will be discussed with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

[0027] Figures 1 and 2 are perspective views of a fluid line connector according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0028] Figures 3 through 5 are exploded assembly views of the fluid line connector illustrated in Figures 1 and 2;

[0029] Figure 6 is a plan or front view of the fluid line connector illustrated in Figures 1 and 2; and

[0030] Figures 7 through 11 illustrate variants of the fluid line connector illustrated in Figures 1 and 2.

[0031] In the following description, like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the figures. DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0032] Referring now to Figures 1 and 2, where there is illustrated a fluid line connector 1 (otherwise known as a swivel adaptor) comprising a first portion 2 defining a clevis yoke 4 with a fluid passageway 6 therethrough, a second portion 10 defining a clevis tang 12 with a fluid passageway 14 therethrough, and a pin 20 pivotally connecting the first and second portions 2 and 10.

[0033] Referring now to Figures 3 through 5, where it can be seen how the second portion 10 of the fluid line connector 1 has a hollow body comprising a circular base 1 1 from which the clevis tang 12 extends. The tang 12 is hollow, and comprises a pair of aligned circular through holes 12a for the pin 20

(hereinafter referred to as tang pin holes 12a) extending through side-walls thereof. The fluid passageway extends through the tang 12 from the base 11 to the tang pin holes 12a.

[0034] Retained captive relative to the base 11 by a retaining ring 13 is an internally (i.e. female) threaded collar 15, which is free to rotate or swivel relative to the base and clevis tang 12.

[0035] The threaded collar 15 can be screwed directly onto a 1" threaded tap outlet (not illustrated), or a tap adaptor 16 can be inserted between the collar 15 and the tap where the tap has a ¾" outlet (not illustrated).

[0036] The first portion 2 of the fluid line connector 1 has a body defining a clevis yoke 4 and comprising a bifurcate end comprising a spaced apart pair of connector portions 4a and 4b joined by a hollow junction portion 4c.

[0037] A through hole 5 for the pin (hereinafter clevis pin hole 5) extends through each of the connector portions 4a and 4b of the clevis yoke 4.

[0038] A fluid passageway extends from each clevis pin hole 5 to the hollow junction portion 4c.

[0039] The hollow junction portion 4c comprises an externally (i.e. male) threaded collar 7, to which there is threaded a connector adaptor fitting 9 having, in this case, an outlet in the form of spigot for a 'quick connector' equipped fitting.

[0040] With reference to Figures 3 and 4, it can be seen that the pin 20 of the fluid line connector 1 comprises a generally cylindrical and elongate body 22 with a fluid passageway (not visible) extending lengthwise through it. Integrally formed with one end of the pin body 22 is a non-circular (hexagonal in this case) end cap 23. A separate non-circular (hexagonal in this case) end cap 25 is adapted to be secured (such as by adhesive or ultrasonic welding) to the opposing end of the pin body 22 to secure the pin 20 in position.

[0041] Approximately midway between the ends of the pin body 22 there extends through a wall of the pin body 22 to the fluid passageway, a first pair of opposing fluid ports 24, and at or toward each end of the pin body 22 there extends through the wall of the pin body 22 to the fluid passageway a further pair of opposing fluid ports 26.

[0042] On each side of the first (hereinafter central) pair of opposing fluid ports 24 there are three spaced apart ribs 28 extending circumferentially around the pin body 22 so as to define two grooves 30 and 32 in which elastomeric o-rings (not illustrated) are nested. That is to say, there are four O-rings disposed on the pin body 22, with two O-rings each to either side of the central pair of opposing fluid ports 24, and between the central pair of opposing fluid ports 24 and the further (hereinafter outer) pairs of opposing fluid ports 26 to either side of the central pair of opposing fluid ports 24.

[0043] In use, the pin extends through the aligned tang pin holes 12a and clevis pin holes 5 providing relative pivotable movement between portions 2 and 10 in conjunction with a high degree of mechanical strength. Moreover, when so assembled, the innermost pair of O-rings (i.e. those nested in grooves 30) form a fluid seal between the pin body 22 and the tang 12, and the outermost pair of O-rings (i.e. those nested in grooves 32) form a fluid seal between the pin body 22 and the connector portions 4a and 4b of the clevis yoke 4. In this way effective water sealing is provided without any substantial impediment to the relative pivotable movement.

[0044] At its outermost end, each clevis pin hole 5 is shaped to nest one of the non-circular end caps 23 or 25 of the pin body 22 to prevent the pin 20 from rotating. At its innermost ends, each pin hole 5 is circular, and sized to create a fluid-tight seal with the outermost pair of O-rings disposed on the pin body 22.

[0045] In use, the fluid line connector 1 is screwed onto a tap via tap adaptor 16 and/or threaded collar 15.

[0046] In this embodiment then, the clevis yoke 4 is free to pivot about the clevis pin 20 and relative to the clevis tang 12, and the clevis tang 12 is free to swivel relative to the threaded collar 15 which secures the fluid line connector 1 to the tap. These combined movements will serve to prevent twisting and kinking of any hose attached to a tap via the fluid line connector 1. Similarly the line connector 1 will prevent twisting and kinking of any hose attached to trigger nozzle thereby. [0047] When the tap is switched on, water flows from the outlet of the tap and through the tap adaptor and/or threaded collar, retaining ring 13 and into the hollow body of the clevis tang 12 surrounding the pin 20.

[0048] From the clevis tang 12 the water enters the clevis pin 20 via the central pair of opposing fluid ports 24, travels along the passageway through the pin 20 and leaves the clevis pin 20 via the further (or outer) pairs of opposing fluid ports 26.

[0049] Water leaving the outer pairs of opposing fluid ports 26 is passed to the yoke connector portions 4a and 4b and on to a chamber bounded by the junction portion 4c comprising threaded collar 5 before being released by the outlet of the connector adaptor 9 and to any hose further connected thereto.

[0050] Whilst the clevis 12 equipped portion 10 is the upstream portion in the above described embodiment, it will be apparent that water flow can be directed in the opposite direction to that described above.

[0051] Referring now to Figure 7, where there is illustrated a further embodiment of a fluid line connector 50 according to the present invention, this fluid line connector 50 comprising a connector adaptor fitting 9 fitted to one end, but differing from connector 1 in that a quick connector coupling 52 (which connects to a spigot of the type possessed by fitting 9) is fitted to the other end.

[0052] Referring now to Figure 8 where there is illustrated is a further embodiment of a fluid line connector 60 according to the present invention, this fluid line connector 60 comprising a quick connector coupling 52 at each end thereof.

[0053] Referring now to Figure 9 where there is illustrated is a further embodiment of a fluid line connector 70 according to the present invention, this fluid line connector 70 comprising a quick connector coupling 52 at one end, and a hose end connector 72 at its further end.

[0054] Referring now to Figure 10 where there is illustrated is a further embodiment of a fluid line connector 80 according to the present invention, this fluid line connector 80 comprising a hose end connector 72 at each end thereof.

[0055] Referring now to Figure 1 1 where there is illustrated is a further embodiment of a fluid line connector 90 according to the present invention, this fluid line connector comprising a connector adaptor fitting 9 at each end thereof. [0056] While all of the parts and portions of the connectors described and illustrated herein are manufactured by molding engineering plastics, the invention is not so limited to either this material or manufacturing process.

[0057] The fluid line connector of the present invention provides both relative pivotable movement and fluid flow between the major portions 2 and 10 thereof, in conjunction with a high degree of mechanical strength, by virtue of the pin connection.

[0058] Throughout the specification and the claims that follow, unless the context requires otherwise, the words "comprise" and "include" and variations such as "comprising" and "including" will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or group of integers, but not the exclusion of any other integer or group of integers.

[0059] The reference to any prior art in this specification is not, and should not be taken as, an acknowledgement of any form of suggestion that such prior art forms part of the common general knowledge.

[0060] It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention is not restricted in its use to the particular application described. Neither is the present invention restricted in its preferred embodiment with regard to the particular elements and/or features described or depicted herein. It will be appreciated that the invention is not limited to the embodiment or embodiments disclosed, but is capable of numerous rearrangements, modifications and substitutions without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth and defined by the following claims.