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Title:
FUEL-WATER SEPARATOR SYSTEMS AND METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/014211
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fuel-water separator includes a cartridge assembly and a bowl. The cartridge assembly receives a fuel-water mixture and provides a fuel. The cartridge assembly includes an endplate. The bowl is configured to store water separated from the fuel-water mixture. The bowl is coupled to the endplate. The endplate includes an air vent that receives air from the bowl. The air vent establishes a pressure equilibrium within the bowl and the cartridge assembly.

Inventors:
POKHARKAR, Mrinmayee Balasaheb (Flat-1, Vishwasankul Society Near Shivgiri Mangal karyalaya, A/P Manchar, Tal: Ambegaon, Pune 3, 410503, IN)
NAGARE, Nilesh Bhaskar (201 shreenath apartment, veer savarkar nagarvasai rd, wThane 2, 401202, IN)
SHOPE, Gregory D. (1014 Riverbend Drive, Cookeville, Tennessee, 38506, US)
ONKARAPPA, Bharath Siddaramanna (#290/9, 3rd cross Sahyadri Nagar, Shivamogga 4, 577204, IN)
PALMER, Brian M. (1642 North Plantation Drive, Cookeville, Tennessee, 38506, US)
Application Number:
US2018/041425
Publication Date:
January 17, 2019
Filing Date:
July 10, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CUMMINS FILTRATION IP, INC. (500 Jackson Street, Columbus, Indiana, 47201, US)
International Classes:
B01D29/21; B01D29/58; B01D35/00
Foreign References:
US20160258397A12016-09-08
US5084170A1992-01-28
US4732671A1988-03-22
US20090065419A12009-03-12
US20040164017A12004-08-26
US20160222931A12016-08-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BROWN, Marshall J. et al. (Foley & Lardner LLP, 3000 K St. NW.Suite 60, Washington District of Columbia, 20007, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A fuel-water separator, comprising:

a cartridge assembly that receives a fuel-water mixture and provides a fuel, the cartridge assembly comprising an endplate; and

a bowl configured to store water separated from the fuel-water mixture, the bowl coupled to the endplate;

wherein the endplate comprises an air vent that receives air from the bowl such that the air vent establishes a pressure equilibrium within the bowl and the cartridge assembly.

2. The fuel -water separator of claim 1 , wherein:

the cartridge assembly further comprises a coalescing tube;

the endplate further comprises an axial body, the axial body received within the coalescing tube; and

the air vent extends through the axial body.

3. The fuel -water separator of claim 2, wherein the bowl comprises:

a central body, the central body received within the axial body; and a circumferential body disposed about the central body, the circumferential body configured to cooperate with the endplate to define a circumferential cavity therebetween; and

wherein the air vent is communicable with the circumferential cavity.

4. The fuel-water separator of claim 3, wherein:

the central body defines a central cavity; and

the bowl comprises:

an outlet channel communicable with the central cavity; and an inlet channel communicable with the circumferential cavity.

5. The fuel -water separator of claim 4, further comprising a drain plug;

wherein the bowl further comprises a drain plug aperture;

wherein the drain plug is positioned within the drain plug aperture; and wherein the drain plug fluidly couples the outlet channel and the inlet channel such that the central cavity is fluidly coupled to the circumferential cavity.

6. The fuel-water separator of claim 4, further comprising a sensor;

wherein the bowl further comprises a sensor aperture; and

wherein the sensor is positioned within the sensor aperture.

7. The fuel-water separator of claim 6, wherein:

the sensor aperture is disposed proximate the circumferential cavity; and the sensor is configured to determine an amount of the water stored within the bowl.

8. The fuel-water separator of claim 4, wherein the water that is stored in the bowl is stored within the circumferential cavity.

9. The fuel-water separator of claim 2, wherein:

the endplate further comprises a plurality of radial ribs extending from the axial body; and

the air vent is disposed between an adjacent pair of the plurality of radial ribs.

10. The fuel-water separator of claim 2, wherein:

the endplate further comprises a plurality of radial ribs extending from the axial body; and

the air vent extends through the axial body between an adjacent pair of the plurality of radial ribs.

1 1. The fuel -water separator of claim 10, wherein:

the endplate further comprises:

a plurality of circumferential ribs; and

a plurality of circumferential wall segments, each of the plurality of circumferential wall segments coupled to two of the plurality of circumferential ribs such that adjacent pairs of the plurality of circumferential ribs are interspaced by one of the plurality of circumferential wall segments; and

the plurality of circumferential ribs and the plurality of circumferential wall segments cooperate to form a circumferential wall around the axial body.

12. The fuel -water separator of claim 11 , wherein:

each of the plurality of radial ribs is centered on one of the plurality of circumferential ribs;

each of the plurality of radial ribs and each of the plurality of circumferential ribs cooperate to form a respective cavity therebetween; and

each cavity is in fluid communication with the air vent.

13. A fuel-water separator, comprising:

a cartridge assembly configured to separate a fuel-water mixture, the cartridge assembly comprising:

a coalescing tube; and

an endplate comprising:

an axial body received within the coalescing tube; and an air vent extending through the axial body and in fluid communication with the coalescing tube; and

a bowl configured to store water separated from the fuel-water mixture, the bowl comprising a central body coupled to the axial body.

14. The fuel-water separator of claim 13, wherein:

the central body is received within the axial body;

the bowl further comprises a circumferential body disposed about the central body, the circumferential body cooperating with the endplate to define a circumferential cavity therebetween; and

the air vent is communicable with the circumferential cavity.

15. The fuel-water separator of claim 14, wherein:

the central body defines a central cavity; and

the bowl comprises:

an outlet channel in fluid communication with the central cavity; and an inlet channel in fluid communication with the circumferential cavity.

16. The fuel-water separator of claim 15, further comprising a drain plug;

wherein the bowl further comprises a drain plug aperture; wherein the drain plug aperture receives the drain plug; and wherein the drain plug fluidly couples the outlet channel and the inlet channel such that the central cavity is fluidly coupled to the circumferential cavity.

17. The fuel -water separator of claim 16, further comprising a sensor;

wherein the bowl further comprises a sensor aperture; and

wherein the sensor aperture receives the sensor.

18. The fuel-water separator of claim 17, wherein:

the sensor aperture is disposed proximate the circumferential cavity; and the sensor is configured to determine an amount of the water stored within the bowl.

19. The fuel-water separator of claim 13, wherein:

the endplate further comprises a plurality of radial ribs extending from the axial body; and

the air vent is disposed between an adjacent pair of the plurality of radial ribs.

20. The fuel -water separator of claim 19, wherein:

the endplate further comprises a plurality of radial ribs extending from the axial body; and

the air vent extends through the axial body between an adjacent pair of the plurality of radial ribs.

21. The fuel -water separator of claim 20, wherein:

the endplate further comprises:

a plurality of circumferential ribs; and

a plurality of circumferential wall segments, each of the plurality of circumferential wall segments coupled to two of the plurality of circumferential ribs such that adjacent pairs of the plurality of circumferential ribs are interspaced by one of the plurality of circumferential wall segments; and

the plurality of circumferential ribs and the plurality of circumferential wall segments cooperate to form a circumferential wall around the axial body.

22. The fuel-water separator of claim 21 , wherein: each of the plurality of radial ribs is centered on one of the plurality of circumferential ribs;

each of the plurality of radial ribs and each of the plurality of circumferential ribs cooperate to form a cavity therebetween; and

each cavity is in fluid communication with the air vent.

Description:
FUEL- WATER SEPARATOR SYSTEMS AND METHODS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATION

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of, and priority to, Indian Provisional Patent Application No. 201741024558, filed July 12, 2017, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present application relates generally to the field of fuel-water separator systems.

BACKGROUND

[0003] For internal combustion engines, such as diesel engines, fuel systems may accumulate water entrained (e.g., mixed, etc.) within fuel that flows within the fuel system. To remove some of the water from the fuel, these fuel systems may incorporate fuel-water separators. Back-pressure of air within conventional fuel-water separators decreases the ability of conventional fuel-water separators to store water. A number of conventional fuel- water separators utilize a central vent within an internal volume in an attempt to address this issue. However, air above this central vent becomes trapped within the internal volume. As a result, such conventional fuel-water separators are unable to utilize the entire internal volume to store water.

SUMMARY

[0004] In an embodiment, a fuel-water separator includes a cartridge assembly and a bowl. The cartridge assembly receives a fuel-water mixture and provides a fuel. The cartridge assembly includes an endplate. The bowl is configured to store water separated from the fuel-water mixture. The bowl is coupled to the endplate. The endplate includes an air vent that receives air from the bowl. The air vent establishes a pressure equilibrium within the bowl and the cartridge assembly.

[0005] In another embodiment, a fuel-water separator includes a cartridge assembly and a bowl. The cartridge assembly is configured to separate a fuel-water mixture. The cartridge assembly includes a coalescing tube and an endplate. The endplate includes an axial body and an air vent. The axial body is received within the coalescing tube. The air vent extends through the axial body and is in fluid communication with the coalescing tube. The bowl is configured to store water separated from the fuel-water mixture. The bowl includes a central body coupled to the axial body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] The details of one or more implementations are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, aspects, and advantages of the disclosure will become apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims, in which:

[0007] Figure 1 is a cross-sectional view of an example fuel-water separator;

[0008] Figure 2 is a detailed view of a portion of the fuel-water separator of Figure 1, taken below line A-A in Figure 1 ;

[0009] Figure 3 is a bottom perspective view of an example endplate for a fuel-water separator, such as the example fuel -water separator shown in Figure 1;

[0010] Figure 4 is a bottom view of the example endplate shown in Figure 3;

[0011] Figure 5 is a cross-sectional view of the example endplate shown in Figure 4, taken about line B-B;

[0012] Figure 6 is a bottom perspective view of another example endplate for a fuel- water separator, such as the example fuel -water separator shown in Figure 1;

[0013] Figure 7 is a top perspective view of the example endplate shown in Figure 6;

[0014] Figure 8 is a cross-sectional view of the example endplate shown in Figure 6, taken about line C-C;

[0015] Figure 9 is a detailed view of a portion of Figure 8; [0016] Figure 10 is a bottom perspective view of yet another example endplate for a fuel-water separator, such as the example fuel-water separator shown in Figure 1 ;

[0017] Figure 1 1 is a top perspective view of the example endplate shown in Figure 6;

[0018] Figure 12 is a top perspective view of an example bowl for a fuel-water separator, such as the example fuel-water separator shown in Figure 1 ;

[0019] Figure 13 is a cross-sectional view of the example bowl shown in Figure 12, taken about line D-D;

[0020] Figure 14 is another top perspective view of the example bowl shown in Figure 12, with certain portions shown as translucent for illustrative purposes only;

[0021] Figure 15 is a cross-sectional view an example bowl for a fuel -water separator, such as the example fuel -water separator shown in Figure 1 ; and

[0022] Figure 16 is a top perspective view of the example bowl shown in Figure 15.

[0023] It will be recognized that some or all of the figures are schematic representations for purposes of illustration. The figures are provided for the purpose of illustrating one or more implementations with the explicit understanding that they will not be used to limit the scope or the meaning of the claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0024] Following below are more detailed descriptions of various concepts related to, and implementations of, methods, apparatuses, and systems for separator water from fuel within a fuel system. The various concepts introduced above and discussed in greater detail below may be implemented in any of numerous ways, as the described concepts are not limited to any particular manner of implementation. Examples of specific implementations and applications are provided primarily for illustrative purposes.

I. Example Fuel-Water Separator

[0025] Figures 1 and 2 depict a fuel-water separator 100, according to an example embodiment. As will be described in more detail herein, the fuel-water separator 100 functions to separate water from fuel (e.g., diesel fuel, gasoline, petrol, ethanol, etc.) within a fuel system. The fuel -water separator 100 comprises a filter head assembly 102 and a cartridge assembly 104.

[0026] The filter head assembly 102 receives a fuel-water mixture from an upstream component (e.g., fuel tank, fuel pump, etc.) in the fuel system and provides fuel to a downstream component (e.g., fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel injector, etc.) in the fuel system. Further, the filter head assembly 102 provides the fuel -water mixture to the cartridge assembly 104 and receives the fuel (with water removed) from the cartridge assembly 104. The cartridge assembly 104 includes a coalescing tube 110 and a cartridge 112 positioned within a shell or housing 113. The coalescing tube 110 and the cartridge 112 cooperate to separate the fuel from the water. The fuel -water separator 100 also includes a biasing member 108 (e.g., a spring) positioned between the filter head assembly 102 and the cartridge assembly 104.

[0027] The cartridge assembly 104 includes an endplate 114. The endplate 114 forms a bottom end of the cartridge assembly 104. For example, the endplate 114 may be permanently attached (e.g., bonded via adhesive, bonded via polyurethane, etc.) to a portion (e.g., inner surface, etc.) of the cartridge assembly 104. The fuel-water separator 100 also includes a bowl 116 (e.g., a transparent or translucent bowl, etc.), a drain plug 118, and a sensor 120 (e.g., water-in-fuel sensor, etc.). The endplate 114, the bowl 116, and the drain plug 118 cooperate to drain water from the fuel-water separator 100. The sensor 120 functions to determine an amount (e.g., percentage, volume, etc.) of water in the bowl 116. The fuel-water separator 100 also includes a seal member 122 positioned between the endplate 114 and a portion of the cartridge assembly 104. For example, the seal member 122 (such as an o-ring) may be positioned between the housing 113 and the endplate 114. In an example manufacturing process, the seal member 122 is placed on the endplate 114, and then the endplate 114 is permanently attached to a portion of the cartridge assembly 104.

[0028] The bowl 116 includes a central body 200. The central body 200 defines a central cavity 201. The bowl 116 also includes a circumferential body 202. In operation, the central body 200 receives water from the cartridge assembly 104 through an axial body

206 in the endplate 114. The endplate 114 also includes an annular body 207. The annular body 207 is coupled to the axial body 206 and is configured to interface with the cartridge 112. The annular body 207 and the circumferential body 202 define a circumferential cavity 203 therebetween. The central body 200 directs the water into an outlet channel 208 that is communicable with the central cavity 201 and provides the water to the drain plug 118. The drain plug 118 provides the water through the circumferential body 202 into the circumferential cavity 203 via an inlet channel 209. The circumferential body 202 provides the water to the sensor 120.

[0029] The circumferential body 202 includes a drain plug aperture 119 and a sensor aperture 121. The drain plug aperture 119 is configured to receive the drain plug 118, and the sensor aperture 121 is configured to receive the sensor 120. In various embodiments, the drain plug 118 is configured to be threaded into the drain plug aperture 119, and the sensor 120 is configured to be threaded into the sensor aperture 121.

[0030] Air also accumulates within the circumferential body 202. The air is provided from the circumferential cavity 203 through an air vent 210 (e.g., a vent hole, etc.) in the endplate 114 and into the axial body 206. Because the air vent 210 is integrated within the endplate 114, the overall number of components associated with the fuel-water separator 100 is decreased. This provides cost-savings compared to conventional separators which utilize numerous components.

[0031] From the axial body 206, the air is provided into the cartridge assembly 104 such that back-pressure within the bowl 116 is eliminated or substantially mitigated. Through the use of the air vent 210, a capacity of the bowl 116 to collect and store water is increased, thereby increasing the desirability of the fuel-water separator 100. In Figure 2, the trajectory of air is shown in solid arrows while the trajectory of water is shown in dashed arrows.

[0032] The endplate 114 serves a number of distinct purposes. First, the endplate 114 receives substantially all (e.g., at least 95%, etc.) of the air from the bowl 116 and provides substantially all (e.g., at least 95%, etc.) of the air into the cartridge assembly 104, thereby increasing the amount of water that can be collected in the bowl 116 (e.g., from the outlet channel 208, the drain plug 118, and the inlet channel 209, etc.). Second, the endplate 114 permanently couples the bowl 116 to the cartridge assembly 104. Because the endplate 114 permanently couples the bowl 116 to the cartridge assembly 104, the need for a separator adaptor is eliminated and the overall number of components associated with the fuel-water separator 100 is decreased. This provides cost-savings compared to conventional separators which utilize numerous components. Additionally, this arrangement of the bowl 116 facilitates emptying of the bowl 116 because the air vent 210 is open towards a clean side (e.g., top side, etc.) of the cartridge 112, thereby facilitating venting of air from the bowl 116. Third, the endplate 114 provides a permanent sealing interface between the bowl 116 and the cartridge assembly 104, thereby preventing leakage of water therebetween.

[0033] Figures 3-5 illustrate an example endplate 114 in greater detail. The endplate 114 includes a plurality of radial ribs 400, a plurality of circumferential wall segments 401, and a plurality of circumferential ribs 402. Each of the circumferential wall segments 401 is coupled to an adjacent pair of the circumferential ribs 402 such that adjacent pairs of the circumferential ribs 402 are interspaced by a circumferential wall segment 401. The circumferential wall segments 401 and the circumferential ribs 402 cooperate to form a circumferential wall around the axial body 206, thereby defining a circumferential cavity therebetween. The number of radial ribs 400 is equal to the number of circumferential ribs 402. The radial ribs 400 extend from the axial body 206 and are each centered on one of the plurality of circumferential ribs 402. The circumferential ribs 402 are positioned about a periphery of one side of the endplate 114. Each of the circumferential ribs 402 is positioned about one of the radial ribs 400, such that each radial rib 400 is associated with a single circumferential rib 402. Because of this configuration, and the relative circumferential length of the circumferential ribs 402, pockets (e.g., cavities, voids, etc.) are formed between adjacent radial ribs 400.

[0034] A gap is formed between each radial rib 400 and the associated circumferential rib 402. The air flows between these gaps and into the air vent 210 such that air is directed towards the air vent 210 from three-hundred and sixty degrees relative to the axial body 206. As shown in Figure 5, the air vent 210 is angled relative to the axial body 206. In this way, the air vent 210 can be constructed by inserting an angular core into the endplate 114.

[0035] Figures 6-9 illustrate an endplate 600 according to another example

embodiment. The endplate 600 is similar to the endplate 114 as described herein. In this embodiment, the endplate 600 is manufactured using two cores, one positioned within the axial body 206, and another positioned between the axial body 206 and the circumferential ribs 402. In this way, the endplate 600 may be manufactured by cross-over shutoff. Rather than including the plurality of circumferential wall segments 401 , the endplate 600 includes a continuous circumferential wall 602. The continuous circumferential wall 602 extends around each of the plurality of circumferential ribs 402. Each of the plurality of circumferential ribs 402 is coupled to the continuous circumferential wall 602.

[0036] Figures 10 and 11 illustrate an endplate 1000 according to yet another example embodiment. The endplate 1000 is similar to the endplate 114 as described herein. In this embodiment, the endplate 1000 includes multiple air vents 210, and each of the radial ribs 400 is integrated within one of the circumferential ribs 402 such that no gap exists between each pair of radial ribs 400 and circumferential ribs 402. Each of the air vents 210 is positioned along the axial body 206 between adjacent radial ribs 400. For example, the endplate 1000 may include eight air vents 210, eight radial ribs 400, and eight

circumferential ribs 402. Similar to the endplate 600 illustrated in Figures 6-9, the endplate 1000 illustrated in Figures 10 and 11 may be manufactured by cross-over shutoff.

[0037] Figures 12-14 illustrate the bowl 1 16 according to an example embodiment. The bowl 116 includes a slot 1200 positioned along the central body 200 such that air and fuel and/or water may travel between the central body 200 and the circumferential body 202 via the slot 1200. Specifically, fuel and/or water flows from the central body 200 into the circumferential body 202 via the slot 1200, and air flows from the circumferential body 202 into the central body 200 via the slot 1200.

[0038] Upon initial startup on an internal combustion engine associated with the fuel- water separator 100, air is contained within the bowl 116. As fuel and/or water enters the bowl 116 enters the bowl 116 through the central body 200, any air trapped in the bowl 1 16 is evacuated through the slot 1200. The bowl 116 shown in Figures 12-14 continues to utilize the endplate 114, including the air vent 210, as previously described. In this way, when the level of fuel and/or water within the bowl 116 rises, air can also be evacuated via the air vents 210.

[0039] Figures 15 and 16 illustrate an endplate 1500 and a bowl 1502 according to another example embodiment. The endplate 1500 is similar to the endplate 1 14 as described herein. The bowl 1502 is similar to the bowl 116 as described herein. It is understood that the endplate 1500 and the bowl 1502 are configured to be coupled together and utilized in a fuel-water separator similar to the fuel water separator 100 as described herein.

[0040] The endplate 1500 includes a plurality of radial ribs 400, a plurality of circumferential wall segments 401 , and a plurality of circumferential ribs 402 as well as a plurality of air vents 210. Unlike the other endplates described herein, the endplate 1500 includes a plurality of interior ribs 1504 positioned within the axial body 206. The plurality of interior ribs 1504 define a plurality of flow channels 1506, each of the plurality of flow channels 1506 located between adjacent interior ribs 1504. Each of the plurality of flow channels 1506 is in fluid communication with one of the plurality of air vents 210 such that the air and water from the bowl 1502 flow through at least one of the plurality of air vents 210, into at least one of the plurality of flow channels 1506, and into the axial body 206.

[0041] Rather than including the central cavity 201 , the bowl 1502 includes a central protrusion 1508. The central protrusion 1508 does not store air or water, and instead is configured to be received within the axial body 206 such that a central face 1510 of the central protrusion 1508 contacts the plurality of interior ribs 1504. In an example embodiment, each of the plurality of air vents 210 is not formed as an aperture in the endplate 1500. Instead, each of the plurality of air vents 210 is defined by the shape of the axial body 206 and the central protrusion 1508.

[0042] The endplate 1500 and the bowl 1502 cooperate to store air and water in the bowl 1502 and to route air and water from the bowl 1502 into the endplate 1500 through the plurality of air vents 210 and the plurality of flow channels 1506. Air is carried upward through the endplate 1500 and into the coalescing tube 1 10 and/or the cartridge 1 12. Water, however, is substantially maintained in the endplate 1500 and/or the bowl 1502 due to the weight of the water. Specifically, the water drains from the endplate 1500 into the bowl 1502 via the plurality of flow channels 1506 and the air vents 210. In this way, while some water may be carried with the air through the air vents 210 and the flow channels 1506, the fuel water separator is configured such that the water is directed back into the bowl 1502 where it can be drained. II. Construction of Example Embodiments

[0043] While this specification contains many specific implementation details, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of what may be claimed but rather as descriptions of features specific to particular implementations. Certain features described in this specification in the context of separate implementations can also be implemented in combination in a single implementation. Conversely, various features described in the context of a single implementation can also be implemented in multiple implementations separately or in any suitable subcombination. Moreover, although features may be described as acting in certain combinations and even initially claimed as such, one or more features from a claimed combination can, in some cases, be excised from the combination, and the claimed combination may be directed to a subcombination or variation of a subcombination.

[0044] As utilized herein, the terms "substantially" and similar terms are intended to have a broad meaning in harmony with the common and accepted usage by those of ordinary skill in the art to which the subject matter of this disclosure pertains. It should be understood by those of skill in the art who review this disclosure that these terms are intended to allow a description of certain features described and claimed without restricting the scope of these features to the precise numerical ranges provided. Accordingly, these terms should be interpreted as indicating that insubstantial or inconsequential modifications or alterations of the subject matter described and claimed are considered to be within the scope of the invention as recited in the appended claims.

[0045] The terms "coupled" and the like, as used herein, mean the joining of two components directly or indirectly to one another. Such joining may be stationary (e.g., permanent) or moveable (e.g., removable or releasable). Such joining may be achieved with the two components or the two components and any additional intermediate components being integrally formed as a single unitary body with one another, with the two components, or with the two components and any additional intermediate components being attached to one another.

[0046] It is important to note that the construction and arrangement of the system shown in the various example implementations is illustrative only and not restrictive in character. All changes and modifications that come within the spirit and/or scope of the described implementations are desired to be protected. It should be understood that some features may not be necessary, and implementations lacking the various features may be contemplated as within the scope of the application, the scope being defined by the claims that follow. When the language "a portion" is used, the item can include a portion and/or the entire item, unless specifically stated to the contrary.