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Title:
PURGE AND VENT VALVE ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/148055
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Described herein are a valve assembly, an air vent assembly, and an air release assembly, all suitable for use in connection with a wet pipe network. The valve assembly, the air vent assembly, and the air release assembly are each configured to vent gas (e.g., air) remaining in a piping system when the system is filled with a fluid, and in particular, to vent air in a fire sprinkling system.

Inventors:
MCHUGH, George J., IV (846 Forest Lane, Malvern, Pennsylvania, 19355, US)
MCHUGH, James P. (23 Dunminning Road, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, 19073, US)
GLEESON, Bentley F. (8 Yale Road, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, 19462, US)
Application Number:
US2018/015881
Publication Date:
August 16, 2018
Filing Date:
January 30, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AGF MANUFACTURING, INC. (100 Quaker Lane, Malvern, Pennsylvania, 19355, US)
International Classes:
F16K24/04; A62C35/68
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015175684A12015-11-19
Foreign References:
US20110233929A12011-09-29
US20060043204A12006-03-02
US20160129291A12016-05-12
US5660618A1997-08-26
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WIELAND, Charles F. (Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, P.O. Box 1404Alexandria, Virginia, 22313-1404, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1 . A valve assembly comprising:

a cylindrical member through which a fluid is flowed, the cylindrical member having two opposing ends, one end being an inlet through which the fluid is introduced and the other end being an outlet through which the fluid is discharged; a first valve disposed at the inlet of the cylindrical member such that the fluid in the cylindrical member is first introduced through the first valve;

a strainer configured to remove particulate matter from the fluid, the strainer being within the cylindrical member;

an angled port that extends from the cylindrical member;

an air release valve connected to the angled port;

a second valve disposed at the outlet of the cylindrical member such that the fluid in the cylindrical member is dischargeable through the second valve.

2. The valve assembly of claim 1 , wherein the first valve is an integrated bail valve.

3. The valve assembly of claim 1 , wherein the second valve is a purge valve having a hose connection.

4. The valve assembly of claim 3, further comprising a removable cap configured to close the hose connection of the purge valve.

5. The valve assembly of claim 3, wherein an orientation of the purge valve is adjustable.

6. The valve assembly of claim 1 , wherein the cylindrical member comprises forged brass.

7. The valve assembly of claim 1 , wherein the cylindrical member, the first valve, the strainer, the angled port, and the second valve are formed as a unitary structure.

8. The valve assembly of claim 1 , wherein the air release valve is connected to the angled port via a pipe nipple.

9. An air vent assembly for a fluid piping network comprising:

a cylindrical chamber through which a fluid is flowed, the cylindrical chamber having a main body possessing an enlarged cross-section and opposing first and second ends, the first end being an inlet, the second end being an outlet, the enlarged cross-section of the main body being larger than a cross-section at the first and second ends,

an angled port connected to the main body, the angled port extending from the main body to protrude beyond the main body, a portion of the angled port extending downward into an interior of the main body;

an elbow connected to the angled port;

an air release valve connected to the elbow;

wherein the portion of the angled port extending downward into the interior of the main body is configured to capture gas present in the fluid introduced through the inlet and flowing through the outlet when the piping network is filled with the fluid.

10. The air vent assembly of claim 9, wherein the opposing first and second ends comprise grooved ends.

1 1 . The air vent assembly of claim 9, wherein the portion of the angled port extending downward into the interior of the main body is formed of cast bronze.

12. An air release assembly for a wet pipe system comprising:

a cylindrical chamber through which a fluid is flowed, the cylindrical chamber having an inlet, a main body with an enlarged cross-section, and an outlet, the cylindrical chamber installed in a portion of a main line of the wet pipe system, the enlarged cross-section of the main body being larger than a cross-section at the inlet and the outlet of the cylindrical chamber;

an angled port connected to and extending vertically upward from the main body, a portion of the angled port extending downward into an interior of the main body, the portion of the angled port configured to capture air present in the fluid introduced through the inlet and flowing through the cylindrical camber and through the outlet when the piping network is filled with the fluid;

an elbow connected to the angled port; and

an air vent assembly including

a tubular member having an inlet through which the fluid is introduced and an outlet through which the fluid is discharged;

a first valve disposed at the inlet of the tubular member such that the fluid in the tubular member is first introduced through the first valve;

a strainer configured to remove particulate matter from the fluid, the strainer being within the tubular member;

an angled port that vertically extends from the tubular member;

an air release valve connected to the angled port;

a second valve disposed at the outlet of the tubular member such that the fluid in the tubular member is discharged through the second valve.

13. The air release assembly of claim 12, wherein the first valve is an integrated bail valve.

14. The air release assembly of claim 12, wherein the second valve has a hose connection, and the hose connection has a removable threaded cap.

15. The air release assembly of claim 15, wherein an orientation of the second valve is adjustable.

16. The air release assembly of claim 12, wherein the air vent assembly is a unitary structure.

Description:
TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure relates to a valve assembly for a fire suppression sprinkler system that is configured to reduce and/or eliminate gas that is present in the sprinkler system.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Fluid-based fire suppression sprinkling systems and the like often contain some amount of air in the system at some point when in service. For example, air is introduced into the piping system when the system is drained periodically to perform maintenance or when making alterations to the pipe network. Some of this air remains trapped in the pipes when the pipes are refilled with fluid. Having trapped air in the pipes is problematic because the trapped air can lead to corrosion inside of the pipes and by extension metal loss to the sprinkling system.

[0003] One predominant form of corrosion to which fire suppression sprinkling systems are susceptible is oxygen corrosion. Oxygen is typically introduced into the sprinkling system in two ways. First, oxygen may be dissolved in the fluid used to fill the sprinkler pipes, such as fresh water. And second, any trapped air in the pipes will contain oxygen. Each time the sprinkling system is drained and refilled, the likelihood that oxygen corrosion will arise increases because of the introduction of a fresh supply of air into the piping network.

[0004] One technique for reducing the likelihood and/or amount of infernal corrosion present in the piping system is to vent the piping network when the sprinkling system is filled or refilled. Venting the system may be performed manually or automatically with an air vent valve connected to the piping network. Such valves close after the air has been removed from the system to prevent the reintroduction of air into the piping system and to prevent any considerable amount of fluid in the pipes from being discharged through the air vent valve. [0005] Existing valves for the removal of air from liquid-containing piping networks generally are formed from a plurality of individual components that are subsequently assembled together. These components may include float type vents. This often has the effect of increasing the size and cost of production of the valve. Accordingly, there exists a need to develop a compact, low-cost air release assembly for a wet pipe network that minimizes and/or eliminates air present in the piping system.

SUMMARY

[0006] The present disclosure provides a description of a valve assembly, an air vent assembly, and an air release assembly, all suitable for use in connection with a wet pipe network, or more specifically, all suitable for use in a fire suppression sprinkling system. The purge and vent valve assembly disclosed here includes, but is not limited to, the PU RGENVENTĀ® valve assembly.

[0007] In one embodiment, the valve assembly includes a cylindrical member through which fluid is flowed. The fluid is introduced through an inlet of the cylindrical member and discharged through an outlet. The valve assembly includes a first valve disposed at the inlet and a second valve disposed at the outlet. A strainer may be provided in the valve assembly. An angled port extends vertically from the cylindrical member and is connected with an air release valve.

[0008] In another embodiment, an air vent assembly includes a cylindrical chamber having an inlet, a main body with an enlarged cross-section, and an outlet. An angled port is connected to the main body and extends vertically therefrom. The angled port also includes a portion which extends downwardly into an interior of the main body. The portion of the angled port captures air present in a fluid that is introduced into the cylindrical chamber when the piping network to which the air vent assembly may be attached is filled with the fluid. The air vent assembly may also include an air release valve that is connected to the angled port via an elbow.

[0009] In yet another embodiment, there is provided an air release assembly includes a cylindrical chamber through which a fluid is flowed. The cylindrical chamber may be installed in a portion of a main line of a wet pipe system and includes an inlet, a main body with an enlarged cross-section, and an outlet. An angled port is connected to the main body and extends downwardly into an interior of ihe main body. The portion of the angled port captures air present in a fluid that is introduced into the cylindrical chamber when the pipe network is filled with fluid. An elbow is provided to connect the angled port to an air vent assembly. The air vent assembly includes a tubular member having an inlet and an outlet. A first valve is disposed at the inlet and a second valve is disposed at the outlet. A strainer may be provided in the air vent assembly. An angled port extends vertically from the tubular member and is connected with an air release valve.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0010] FIG. 1 illustrates a side view of a valve assembly according to an

embodiment of the disclosure.

[0011] FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of an exemplary valve assembly.

[0012] FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of an inlet of an exemplary valve assembly.

[0013] F!G. 4 illustrates a side view of a valve assembly according to an

embodiment of the disclosure.

[0014] FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of an air release assembly according to an embodiment of the disclosure.

[0016] FIG. 6 illustrates a top view of an exemplary air release assembly.

[0016] FIG. 7 illustrates a front view of an air release assembly according to an embodiment of the disclosure.

[0017] FIG. 8 illustrates an isometric view of an air vent assembly according to an embodiment of the disclosure.

[0018] FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of an air scoop according to an embodiment of the disclosure.

[0019] FIG. 10 illustrates a view of the air scoop shown in Fig.9 from another perspective. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0020] The devices described herein seek to provide a way of venting a gas (e.g., air nitrogen, etc.) remaining in a piping system when the system is filled with a fluid. More specifically, the devices here seek to minimize and/or eliminate the amount of air present in the pipe network of a fire sprinkling system when the pipes are filled with a fluid. Reducing and/or eliminating the amount of air in the piping network further has the effect of preventing and/or reducing the occurrence of corrosion of the pipes.

[0021] The devices described herein conform to the requirements of National Fire Protection Association Standard 13 (NFPA 13). These devices are also UL compliant. The valve assembly, air vent assembly, and air release assembly disclosed in this application, however, are not limited to conforming with any particular standards or requirements.

[0022] Fig. 1 depicts an exemplary valve assembly 100 suitable for installation in a wet pipe system for removing residual air (or another gas) from the pipe system. Valve assembly 100 may be disposed at an end of the line in a piping network. The valve assembly may be installed at the end of the line for the purposes of flushing or purging the air contained within the pipe system.

[0023] Valve assembly 100 includes a ball valve 101. The bail valve 101 may be an integrated ball valve which facilitates access to a strainer and/or an air release valve for servicing. The bail valve 101 attaches either directly or indirectly to the end of the line of the pipe system. An exemplary ball valve may be UL 258 compliant. Valve assembly 100 may include a stainless steel strainer 102, which may be disposed directly adjacent (e.g., in the direction of fluid flow) to the integrated ball valve 101 as illustrated in Fig. 1. Strainer 102 (e.g., a stainless steel strainer screen) is designed to remove particulate matter flowing through the valve assembly 100. Strainer 102 prohibits the particulate matter from flowing into an attached air release valve, thus protecting the integrity and lifespan of the air release valve. Attached to the strainer 102 is an angled port 105 that extends from a main body portion of the valve assembly 100. As shown in Fig. 1 , for example, the angled port 105 may extend vertically from the main body portion of the valve assembly 100. The angled port may facilitate proper orientation of an attached air release valve without the need for additional fittings or connectors. In some embodiments, the angled port 105 may be formed as a right angle as shown in Figs. 1 , 4. In other embodiments, the angled port may be extend from the main body of the valve assembly 100 at another angle to vent gas (e.g., air) remaining in the piping system.

[0024] Attached to the main body portion of the valve assembly 100 is a purge valve 103. Purge valve 103 has a hose connection that permits an easy direct connect with a hose attachment. This allows the purge valve 103, and the valve assembly 100, to be easily purged of fluid in the pipe system to which the valve assembly 100 is attached. The purge valve 103 includes exterior threaded end at an outlet end, to which a threaded cap 104 (i.e., a removable cap) may be threadingiy engaged. The threaded cap 104 may be attached to the valve assembly 100 by way of a lanyard. The threaded cap 104 protects the threading of the purge valve 103 from damage. The purge valve 103 is adjustably connected to the valve assembly 100 via an adjustable connection 106 such that the orientation of the purge valve 103 may be easily adjusted during or after installation of the valve assembly 100.

[0026] A hose may be connected to the purge valve 103, which is already connected with the pipe network, for venting an amount of air in the pipes. Upon opening the purge valve 103, air is pushed out through the end of the line as a fluid fills the system. The purge valve 103 is typically only opened to purge air via the hose connection when the piping system is being initially filled with the fluid or when the strainer 102 needs to be flushed. After the fluid fills the system, the purge valve 103 is closed and residual gas (e.g., air) is vented through the air release valve 109. More specifically, any air remaining in the pipe system that is not purged via the hose connection with the purge valve 103 may be vented from the valve assembly 100 through the angled port 105 and into the air release valve 109 (described below) for venting.

[0026] Fig. 2 illustrates a top view of the valve assembly illustrated in Fig. 1 .

[0027] Fig. 3 is another view of the valve assembly illustrated in Fig. 1 . Fig. 3 depicts an inlet 107 of the valve assembly, which may be formed as a portion of the ball valve 101 . In one exemplary embodiment, inlet 107 may have a 1 " thread taper (1 " [0028] Fig. 4 illustrates another embodiment of an exemplary valve assembly in accordance with the present disclosure. In this example, a pipe nipple 108 is connected to the angled port of valve assembly 100. Attached to the other end of the pipe nipple 108 is an exemplary air release valve 109.

[0029] The purge valve 103, the strainer 102, the angled port 105, and the bail valve 101 preferably form a unitary valve assembly structure (e.g., the housing or body of the valve assembly 100 may include/house all four of these components). Forming the valve assembly as a unitary structure permits the overall sizing of the valve assembly to be reduced as compared with existing valve assemblies that are assembled from a combination of individual components. The valve assembly body preferably is corrosion resistant and may be manufactured from forged brass rated for 300 PSI service.

[0030] Fig. 5 depicts an exemplary air release assembly 500 suitable for installation in a main line of a wet pipe system. Fig. 6 depicts a top view of the air release assembly of Fig. 5, and Fig. 7 depicts a front view of the air release assembly (e.g., when viewed from the inlet side 201 ).

[0031] As illustrated in Fig. 5, air release assembly 500 may include valve assembly 100 and air vent assembly 200. It is contemplated that the air release assembly 500 may be positioned at any point along the pipe line. In one embodiment, the air release assembly 500 is positioned at the beginning of the pipe line, in proximity or adjacent to an inspector's test valve. The air release assembly 500 permits the purging of air during an initial fluid fill of the system (e.g. , via purge valve 103) and includes a small inner diameter conduit/path from, for example, a high point in the main body of the air vent assembly 200 for air to migrate for venting following the system fill. As described hereafter, the air release assembly 500 provides an enlarged chamber in the piping system to effectuate a small pressure drop resulting from an increased area followed by a restriction which pushes a fluid in the system forward yet keeps air in the chamber.

[0032] Air vent assembly 200 includes a cylindrical chamber having a main body and opposing first and second ends. The first end may be an inlet 201 of the air vent assembly 200, and the second end may be an outlet 202 of the air vent assembly 200. Alternatively, the first end may be an inlet 202 of the air vent assembly 200 and the second end may be an outlet 201 of the air vent assembly 200. One or both of the first and second ends of the air vent assembly may include grooved ends 203 that facilitate a simple and quick connection with a line of the pipe network,

[0033] An angled port 204 is connected to the main body of the air vent assembly 200 and extends vertically therefrom. As shown in Fig. 8, the angled port 204 includes a portion 205 (hereinafter referred to as an air scoop 205) that extends downwardly into the interior of the main body of the air vent assembly 200. The air scoop 205 forms a separation chamber 208 with the main body of the air vent assembly 200. The separation chamber 206 may capture air (or other gas) present in the fluid introduced through the air vent assembly when the piping network is filled with a fluid. The separation chamber 206 creates a natural high spot for air to collect and be directed through to the attached valve assembly 100 for subsequent venting therefrom.

[0034] The air scoop 205 may act as a bubble collector. The air scoop 205 may assist to help ensure that the maximum amount of air present in the fluid in the air vent assembly 200 is captured/vented when the piping system is flushed with the fluid. The air scoop 205 may also be configured to minimize the amount of fluid head loss during a fire suppression event. The air scoop 205 is preferably formed of cast bronze for increased durability. As shown in Fig. 8, the air scoop 205 may be a semi-cylindrical body (e.g., a half-cylinder) that includes a concave surface facing the inlet 201 of the air vent assembly 200 and a convex surface facing the outlet 202 of the air vent assembly 200. The air scoop 205 is discussed in more detail below in reference to Figs. 9 and 10.

[0035] The air vent assembly 200 may also include an elbow 207 that connects to the angled port 204. A pipe nipple 208 may connect the other end of the elbow 207 to the valve assembly 100.

[0036] Fig. 7 shows another view of the air release assembly illustrated in Fig. 5. Fig. 7 depicts an inlet 201 of the air vent assembly.

[0037] The main body and the angled port 204 of the air vent assembly 200 are preferably formed as a unitary structure. Forming the air vent assembly as a unitary structure permits the overall sizing of the vent assembly to be reduced as compared with existing air vent structures that are typically assembled from a combination of individual components. The main body of the air vent assembly 200 has an enlarged cross-section relative to the cross-section of the inlet 201 and outlet 202 of the air vent assembly 200 (i.e., the inner diameter of the main body of the air vent assembly 200 is greater than the inner diameter at the inlet 201 and the outlet 202 of the air vent assembly 200), As stated above, the enlarged chamber results in a small pressure drop that pushes the fluid in the system forward while keeping air in the chamber.

[0038] The air vent assembly cylindrical chamber is preferably powder coated safety red. This facilitates corrosion resistant and easy visibility.

[0039] Additionally, the air vent assembly may be provided in varying sizes. For example, the air vent assembly may be 2-inches, 2.5-inches, 3-inches, or 4-inches in nominal pipe diameter for inlet 201 and/or outlet 202.

[0040] An embodiment of the air scoop 205 is shown in Figs. 9 and 10. As illustrated in Figs. 9 and 10, the air scoop 205 may include a vertical channel 900 on the convex surface which faces the outlet 202 (i.e., the outer surface downstream in the fluid flow path) when the air scoop 205 is installed in the air vent assembly 200. The vertical channel 900 may extend from the bottom edge of the convex surface upwards to a horizontal channel 901 at the top portion of the convex surface. The horizontal channel 901 is located immediately beneath to the pipe threads 902 of the air scoop 205. The vertical channel 900 and/or horizontal channel 901 are positioned on the downstream convex surface of the air scoop 205 in order to aid in faster elimination of air bubbles that form immediately downstream of the air scoop 205. The vertical channel 900 and the horizontal channel 901 thus provide a pathway for the small amount of air which may collect downstream of the air scoop 205 to help ensure that all air bubbles are removed from the air vent assembly 200.

[0041] The vertical channel 900 and the horizontal channel 901 could also be configured in other ways than the configuration shown in Figs. 9 and 10. For example, multiple vertical channels 900 and/or horizontal channels 901 could be included, and the channels 900 and 901 could be configured to extend at a different orientation or for a different length. Although multiple vertical channels would not typically be necessary, it is possible that additional vertical channels 900 would be beneficial if the air scoop 205 was improperly installed (e.g., if the air scoop 205 were over-roiated or under-rotated relative to the main body of the air vent assembly 200 during installation).

[0042] Fig. 9 also illustrates that one embodiment of the air scoop 205 includes a flow directional indicator 903. The flow directional indicator 903 may include arrows to illustrate the intended direction of gas (e.g., air) flow, for example, to facilitate proper installation of the air scoop 205. The flow directional indicator 903 may be, for example, stamped or cast into the top of the air scoop 205. Other types of flow directional indicators 903 may also be utilized in the system.

[0043] While various exemplary embodiments of the disclosed system and method have been described above it should be understood that they have been presented for purposes of example only, not limitations. It is not exhaustive and does not limit the disclosure to the precise form disclosed. Modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings or may be acquired from practicing of the disclosure, without departing from the breadth or scope.