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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
VALVE DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/186379
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Described herein is a valve device specifically provided for being used within a hydraulic system that uses sea non-demineralised water as work fluid. The device is characterised in that it envisages a plurality of axial valves (42, 44, 46, 48) for control of the flow between the ports of the valve, the open/close elements of which are governed by cam means (82, 84, 86, 88) in a synchronised way.

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Inventors:
AZEGLIO POLITRO, Giovanni (Via Case Ghena 5, Corio, I-10070, IT)
Application Number:
IB2019/052425
Publication Date:
October 03, 2019
Filing Date:
March 26, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TECH-EUROENGINEERING S.R.L. (Strada San Francesco al campo, 109, San Carlo Canavese, I-10070, IT)
International Classes:
F15B13/04; F16K11/16; F16K31/524
Foreign References:
US2837062A1958-06-03
US3411537A1968-11-19
US20040159808A12004-08-19
US2691990A1954-10-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRONTONI, Stefano (Buzzi, Notaro & Antonielli d'Oulx S.r.l.Corso Vittorio Emanuele I, 6 Torino, I-10123, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A valve device for distributing a work fluid to an operating machine of a hydraulic system, said device comprising :

- a valve block (2) having an inlet (21) and at least a first mouth (23) and a second mouth (24);

- a first valve seat (42A), defining a passageway designed to set said first mouth (23) in communication with said inlet (21), and a first open/close element (42B) that closes said first valve seat (42A);

- a second valve seat (44A), defining a passageway designed to set said second mouth (24) in communication with said inlet (21), and a second open/close element (44B) that closes said second valve seat (44A); and

- a driving member (80) governed by an actuator, mobile between a first position and a second position, where said driving member has a first cam surface (82) and a second cam surface (84), which are designed to be engaged, respectively, by a first tappet member (42C) connected to said first open/close element (42B) and by a second tappet member (44C) connected to said second open/close element (44B),

wherein said first and second cam surfaces (82, 84) are provided in such a way that, in said first position of said driving member (80), said first open/close element (42B) is driven into the open position by said first cam surface (82) via said first tappet member (42C) so as to set said first mouth (23) in communication with said inlet (21) and, in said second position, said second open/close element (44B) is driven into the open position by said second cam surface (84) via said second tappet member (44C) so as to set said second mouth (24) in communication with said inlet (21).

2. The device according to Claim 1, wherein said valve block (2) has:

- an outlet (22) and a third mouth (25) and a fourth mouth (26);

- a third valve seat (46A), defining a passageway designed to set said third mouth (25) in communication with said outlet (22), and a third open/close element (46B) that closes said third valve seat (46A); and

- a fourth valve seat (48A), defining a passageway designed to set said fourth mouth (26) in communication with said outlet (22), and a fourth open/close element (48B) that closes said fourth valve seat (48A),

wherein said member has a third cam surface (86) and a fourth cam surface (88), which are engaged, respectively, by a third tappet member (46C), connected to said third open/close element (46B), and by a fourth tappet member (48C), connected to said fourth open/close element (48B);

wherein said third and fourth cam surfaces (86, 88) are provided in such a way that, in said first position of said driving member (80), said third open/close element (46B) is driven into the open position by said third cam surface (86) via said third tappet member (46C) so as to set said third mouth (25) in communication with said outlet (22), and, in said second position, said fourth open/close element (48B) is driven into the open position by said fourth cam surface (88) via said fourth tappet member (48C) so as to set said fourth mouth (26) in communication with said outlet ( 22 ) .

3 . The device according to Claim 2, wherein said first, second, third, and fourth cam surfaces (82, 84, 86, 88) are positioned with respect to one another in such a way that, in said first position of said driving member (80), said first and fourth open/close elements (42B, 48B) are driven into the open position by said first and fourth cam surfaces (82, 88) so as to set, simultaneously, said first mouth (23) in communication with said inlet (21) and said fourth mouth (26) in communication with said outlet (22), and, in said second position of said driving member (80), said second and third open/close elements (44B, 46B) are driven into the open position by said second and third cam surfaces (84, 86) so as to set, simultaneously, said second mouth (24) in communication with said inlet (21) and said third mouth (25) in communication with said outlet ( 22 ) .

4. The device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said driving member (80) can be positioned in a third position, intermediate between said first and second positions, where said cam surfaces (82, 84, 86 88) are all inactive and said open/close elements (42B, 44B, 46B, 48B) are all in a closed position.

5. The device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein, for each valve seat (60C) and the corresponding open/close element (62), said open/close element is mobile in a direction orthogonal to the section of flow defined by said valve seat.

6. The device according to Claim 5, wherein said open/close element has opposite surfaces (62A, 62A' ) , designed to be subjected to the pressure of the work fluid on the side upstream of the valve seat, which are sized with respect to one another in such a way that, as a result of the pressure acting on said surfaces, said open/close element is normally kept in the closed position, in the absence of any action by said driving member .

7. The device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said cam surfaces (82, 84,

86, 88) have a ramp profile.

8. A hydraulic system comprising:

- a device for supplying a work fluid;

- an operating machine designed to operate with said work fluid, which comprises a first chamber (100A), or first passageway, and a second chamber (100B), or second passageway, which are designed, selectively and in a way alternating with one another, to receive or supply a flow of said work fluid; and

- a valve device according to any one of the preceding claims,

wherein said inlet (21) of said valve device (10) is connected to said supply device, and wherein said first and second mouths (23, 24) are connected to said first and second chambers (100A, 100B) , respectively, and said third and fourth mouths (25 and 26) are connected to said first and second chambers (100A, 100B) , respectively.

9. The hydraulic system according to Claim 8, which is located in the vicinity of a stretch of natural water, wherein said supply device is designed to take the water from said stretch for use of said water as work fluid.

10. The system according to Claim 8 or Claim 9, wherein said outlet (22) of said device is set in communication with a drain provided for draining off said work fluid from said system.

Description:
"Valve device"

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The present invention relates to a valve device, in particular a distribution device for control of an operating machine of a hydraulic system.

The valve device described herein has been specifically built for hydraulic systems that use as work fluid non-demineralised sea water.

For this specific application, there is the need to adopt a valve device that will be able to operate in a precise way, for prolonged times, and without any interruption, notwithstanding the impurities and aggressiveness that characterise sea water.

Valve devices known in the art are unable to operate in these conditions. The valve device described herein has been produced precisely in the perspective of obtaining the performance referred to above.

In particular, the valve device described herein is characterised by the features specified in Claim 1. The present invention moreover regards a hydraulic system according to Claim 8.

The claims set forth hereinafter form an integral part of the technical teaching provided herein.

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will emerge clearly from the ensuing description with reference to the annexed drawings, which are provided purely by way of non-limiting example and in which:

- Figure 1 illustrates an embodiment of the device described herein, according to an axonometric view;

- Figure 2A is a rear view of the device illustrated in Figure 1;

- Figure 2B is a front view of the device of Figure 1;

- Figure 2C is a lateral view, from the left-hand side, of the device illustrated in Figure 1;

- Figure 3A is a cross-sectional view of the device sectioned according to the plane III-III of Figure 2C;

- Figure 3B is a cross-sectional view of the device sectioned according to the plane IV-IV of Figure 3A;

- Figure 3C is a cross-sectional view of the device sectioned according to the plane V-V of Figure 3A;

- Figure 4 illustrates a component of the device described herein, according to a cross-sectional view; and

- Figure 5 is a schematic illustration of the device described herein within a hydraulic system for driving a hydraulic cylinder.

In the ensuing description, various specific details are illustrated aimed at enabling an in-depth understanding of the embodiments. The embodiments may be implemented without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, or materials, etc. In other cases, known structures, materials, or operations are not illustrated or described in detail so that various aspects of the embodiment will not be obscured.

The references used herein are provided merely for convenience and hence do not define the sphere of protection or the scope of the embodiments.

As mentioned above, the valve device described herein is a distribution device designed for applications in hydraulic systems that use sea water as work fluid.

In the example illustrated, the valve device represented is a distributor for controlling a double acting hydraulic cylinder 100. With reference to a device of a conventional type, for the same application this would be a 4/3 (four-way three-position) distributor .

As will emerge from what follows, the distributor described herein has, instead, a configuration altogether different from a 4/3 distributor of a conventional type.

It is in any case clear that the teachings that will be provided in what follows can be used for obtaining valve devices homologous - from the standpoint of operation - with respect to any conventional distributor.

In general, the device described herein is characterised in that it envisages a plurality of axial valves for control of the flow between the ports of the valve, the open/close elements of which are governed by cam means in a synchronised way.

The above configuration makes it possible to obtain a valve device that is provided with a structure and members that are particularly strong from the mechanical standpoint, and that is at the same time able to operate in a precise and reliable way.

In particular, the choice, as type of valve, of an axial valve and the provision of a plurality of axial valves that are structurally independent of one another, associated to the different mouths of the device, constitute aspects that are of determining importance to achieve the aforesaid results.

With reference now to the example represented in the figures, the valve device illustrated, designated as a whole by the reference number 10, comprises a block 2 on which an inlet 21, an outlet 22, and the plurality of mouths 23, 24, 25, and 26 are provided.

In the installed condition of the device, the inlet 21 is connected to the delivery branch of the hydraulic circuit, whereas the outlet 22 is connected to the discharge branch.

The mouths 23 and 24 are both connected to the inlet 21 via ducts 28 provided in the block 2; on the other hand, the mouths 25 and 26 are both connected to the outlet 22 via further ducts 32 provided in the block 2.

It should now be noted that the mouths 23 and 24 constitute two delivery mouths of the device, which, within the hydraulic system illustrated in Figure 5, are each connected to one of the two chambers 100a and 100b of the cylinder 100.

Likewise, the two mouths 25 and 26 both constitute mouths for return of the work fluid to the device 10, which, within the system illustrated in Figure 5, are also each connected to one of the two chambers 100a and 100b of the cylinder 100.

The device 10 comprises a first valve 42 and a second valve 44, which are provided for controlling communication, respectively, between the mouth 23 and the inlet 21 and between the mouth 24 and the inlet 21. Moreover, the device 10 comprises a third valve 46 and a fourth valve 48, which are provided for controlling communication, respectively, between the mouth 25 and the outlet 22 and between the mouth 26 and the outlet 22. The valves in question are valves of an axial type, i.e., provided with an open/close element mobile in a direction orthogonal to the section of passage defined by the valve seat.

Figure 4 illustrates in detail one of such valves, according to a preferred embodiment.

This comprises an axially perforated valve body 60 and an open/close element 62 slidably mounted within the body 60. The body 60 identifies an axial port 60A and a series of radial ports 60B. In the space comprised between the axial port 60A and the radial ports 60B, provided on the valve body 60 is the conical valve seat 60C, aligned with the main axis of the valve body 60. The open/close element 62 has a corresponding conical portion designed to engage the valve seat 60C, in this condition closing communication between the ports 60A and 60B.

In various preferred embodiments, as in the one illustrated, the open/close element 62 has opposite active surfaces 62A and 62A' on which the work fluid comes to act on the side upstream of the valve and which are sized with respect to one another in such a way that the open/close element 62 is kept by the work fluid in the closed position. Visible in the cross- sectional views of Figures 3B and 3C are the ducts 34 that are designed to carry the work fluid to the surfaces 62A' of the open/close elements, which are located in the opposite position with respect to the axial port 60A of the valve body. The difference between the surfaces 62A and 62A' is in any case minimal, this in order to facilitate driving of the open/close elements 62, which will be described in what follows .

Incidentally, it should be noted that, for simplicity of representation, in Figures 3A-3C and 5, the open/close elements and the valve seats of the valves 42, 44, 46, and 48, are designated by the references 42A, 44A, 46A, 48A and the references 42B, 44B, 46B, 48B, respectively.

In view of the foregoing, it will be understood that the valves 42 and 44, like the valves 46 and 48, will operate in an alternating way on the basis of the command that is to be transmitted to the cylinder 100. On the other hand, the valves 42 and 48, on one side, and the valves 44 and 46, on the other side, will have to operate in a synchronised way, to enable driving of the cylinder 100.

For instance, with reference to Figure 5, for a command to the cylinder 100 designed to extract the stem, it will be necessary to drive the valves 42 and 48 simultaneously into the open position. For a command designed to retract the stem, it will instead be necessary to drive the two valves 44 and 46 simultaneously into the open position.

To carry out the driving actions referred to above, the device 10 comprises a driving member 80 provided with a series of cam surfaces 82, 84, 86, 88, which are designed to co-operate with respective tappet members 42C, 44C, 46C, and 48C arranged so as to engage with the open/close elements of the valves 42, 44, 46,

48. Preferably, the open/close elements 62 are pushed against the tappet members by elastic elements (not illustrated) housed in the cavities provided on the ends of the open/close elements opposite to the respective conical portions designed to engage the valve seats 60C. Preferably, the cam surfaces 82, 84,

86, 88 have a ramp profile.

The member 80 is driven in a movement of translation, by an actuator assembly 92, between a first position, in which the cam surfaces 82 and 88 drive the open/close elements of the valves 42 and 48 into the open position, via the tappet members of the open/close elements themselves, and a second position, in which the cam surfaces 84 and 86 drive the open/close elements of the valves 44 and 46 into the open position, once again via the tappet members carried by the open/close elements themselves.

Clearly, the cam surfaces 82, 84, 86, and 88 are set with respect to one another in such a way that, when the portions 82 and 88 or 84 and 86 govern the respective open/close elements, the other two surfaces remain, instead, inactive.

With reference to Figure 4, it will be noted that, preferably, each tappet member - designated in the figure by the reference 64 - is provided in the same body that defines the open/close element 62 itself.

In various preferred embodiments, as in the one illustrated, for the driving member 80 a third working position is moreover envisaged, which is intermediate between the two positions referred to above, where all the cam surfaces are inactive and the valves 42, 44, 46, 48 are all kept closed.

The actuator assembly 92, which is designed to drive the member 80, comprises a stepper motor, connected to which is a screw transmission member. In various preferred embodiments, as in the one illustrated, the device 10 further comprises a position sensor 96, for example a linear transducer, which is designed to measure the position of a control element 98, which is located outside the block 2 and is connected in a fixed way with respect to the driving member 80 (Figure 2A) .

The control unit of the device may be configured for governing the actuator assembly 92 on the basis of the data coming from the position sensor 96 so as to ensure correct positioning of the driving member 80 in the various working positions, for any condition of the device and in a way constant in time.

This system enables precise control of the position of the member 80, which is able to follow with precise dynamics an analog reference, proportional to the desired position, coming from the control-system controller .

The control unit may moreover be provided with an enable input (in the absence of which it brings the driving member 80 into a central position, irrespective of the value of the analog input) , and two further inputs for selection of the direction of movement.

The above architecture facilitates control of the device, which may also be operated directly by a proportional joystick or by a remote control, which typically supplies an analog signal and two direction signals .

The position of the member 80 may be made available on an analog output for the control-system controller or for diagnostic purposes. The control unit of the device may also be interfaced with telemonitoring/remote-diagnostics systems .

On the other hand, it will be noted that, thanks to the configuration described above, the valve device 10 is able to provide a condition of simultaneous closing both of the delivery passageways and of the return passageways, as a result of simultaneous closing of the valves 42 and 44, which are located on the delivery side, and of the valves 46 and 48, which are located on the return side. This condition provides safety in regard to possible malfunctioning of the hydraulic system.

Furthermore, the device described herein is provided for enabling a proportional opening of the passageways, thanks to the ramp cams, which bring about rising of the open/close elements 42B, 44B, 46B, 48B. This device is consequently able to carry out a precise and reliable control of the hydraulic machine referred to herein.

Of course, without prejudice to the principle of the invention, the details of construction and the embodiments may vary, even significantly, with respect to what has been illustrated herein purely by way of non-limiting example, without thereby departing from the scope of the invention, as defined by the annexed claims .