A first groove portion 58 of the stepped groove is adapted to receive a helical spring A second groove portion 62 is of sufficient diameter that the balls 52 can fit between a center portion 64 of the piston and the bottom of the second groove portion The ledge 54 of the stepped groove is of suicient diameter that the balls 52 can lie between it and the bottom of the forward piston groove The inside diameter of the rearward portion 66 of the sleeve is sufficient to hold the balls 52 between it and the 'bottom of a rearward groove 68 Frederick the piston.
When the coupling is in a female configuration shown in FIG. The O-rings of the female coupling thus serve to seal the connection of the two pistons and prevent leakage of the fiuid fiowing between them. For example, dating fire fighting applications heavy hoses are often connected together to hermaphrodite water, and it is sometimes found, after the hoses are laid, that two male or two female couplings have been placed adjacent and, as a result, that all -of the hoses on one side of that connection point must be picked up and reversed.
The couplings hermaphrodite this invention readily utilize poppet valves which automatically open and enable the flow of fluid between the couplings as they are connected. A cylinder 16 surrounding the piston 14 serves as a female receiving member to enable the coupling 10 to connect to and hold the piston 14A of the male coupling 10A.
The balls 52 can then fall into the second groove portion 62 of the stepped groove of the sleeve. Disconnection is accomplished by pulling the female sleeve. Most quick connect and release fluid couplings utilize a permanently male half which is received within a permanently female half to Frederick a fluid-tight connection.
The engagement of a female and male coupling is accomplished by inserting the piston 14A into the cylinder 16 far enough that coupling balls 34 of the cylinder engage the groove 22A. A ledge on the inside of the cylinder contacts the forward side of the groove 53 to prevent further forward movement of the cylinder relative to the dating. When the coupling of FIG. It can be appreciated from the figure that the balls 52 hold the coupling in the male configuration by lying in the rearward groove 68 of the piston and thereby holding the piston 44 projected from the cylinder The backward portion 66 of the sleeve prevents retraction of the balls 52 from the piston groove, and the balls contact the rim 70 of the sleeve and prevent forward movement and removal of the sleeve.
This characteristic enables a change of seals by converting each of the mating couplings to their other sex so that only the seals of the new female coupling are employed. FIGURE 1 is a sectional, side elevation view of a simplified coupling constructed in accordance with the invention, shown in a female configuration and connected to an identical coupling, shown in phantom lines, which is in a male configuration. The arrangement of the O-ring seals is such that the couplings ICC are fluid-tight sealed togther before opening of the poppet valves, thereby preventing the spilling of fluid.
The sleeve 48 and cylinder 46, with the balls 52 therein are then locked together and forward force need be applied to only one of them.
The piston 44 has a pasageway extending through its length. The balls 52 will then lie in the backward groove 68 of the piston.
The cylinder 46 has a forward end adapted to receive a piston of another mating coupling. The stem is pushed inwardly by an identical stem of a coupling with which it is mating. The coupling 10 comprises a fitting 12 of the usual type for connecting it to a hose or other fluid carrying member.
The center of the sleeve includes a stepped groove on its inside and a raised ring portion 57 on its outside. In one embodiment of the invention to be described herein, two couplings are connected and securely locked together merely by inserting a piston of the male coupling into a cylinder of the female coupling and pushing the couplings together.
Attempts have been made to de quick connect and release coupling system wherein any coupling could be connected to any other.
These and other features of the invention and a fuller understanding thereof may be had by reference to the following description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:. A groove 96 formed on the rearward end of the cylinder serves to receive the flange 98 on the fitting 42 when the coupling is a male configuration.
Vanes fixed to the stems may contact the spacer to prevent the stems from being pushed in too far. Face sealing generally in leakage inasmuch as internal fluid pressure tends to push apart the coupling halves thereby separating the face seals and causing leakage. Inasmuch as a male-to-female connection is thereby obtained, the advantages of this form of connection, including the employment of O-ring sealing, may be secured.
Two O-rings 36 of the female coupling 10 seal the connection and prevent leakage of fluid. When the balls 52 reach the forward groove 53 of the piston they drop into the groove 53, permitting the sleeve 48 to move forward. We refer now to FIG. The coupling 10 is in a female configuration so that it readily receives the couplings 10A which is in a male configuration. Two male or two female members cannot be connected together and this can lead to undesirable situations.
The center portion of the cylinder 46 forms a step 92 which holds an end of the spring The rearward portion 94 of the cylinder is generally thicker than the forward portion, and it fits between the rim 70 on the sleeve and the center portion 64 of the piston. The sleeve 18 holds Vthe coupling 10 in the female configuration shown in FIG. Generally two balls are utilized to distribute the load evenly. This invention employs quick connect and release couplings which may be quickly converted between a male and a female configuration.
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One embodiment of this invention employs only the O-ring seals of the coupling in the female configuration to effect fluid sealing between two matings couplings. The sleeve 18A of the male coupling surrounds the balls 34 and prevents their withdrawal from the groove 22A.
The sleeve 48 is then pushed forward by spring force until the rim 70 of the sleeve contacts the balls 52 and is stopped by them. Thus, if both couplings of a set are in a male or a female'configuration, they may be connected by converting one of the couplings to the other sex. The amount of projection of the stem from the end of the piston is small enough to assure that it will not contact the stem of the mating coupling until the piston of the mating coupling is engaged by the forward O-ring This helps to prevent leakage of fluid as two couplings are being ed together and their poppet valves are being opened.
The spacer is threadedly ed at to the piston and O-ring seals any space between them to prevent the leakage of fiuid. The coupling is then in the male configuration of FIG. A male and female coupling are connected by merely inserting the piston 44 of the male mem-ber into the cylinder 46 of the female member, until the locking balls 82 of the female member engage the forward groove 53 of the male member.
It includes a fitting 42 for connecting the couppling to a hose or the like, a piston 44 for carrying fluid, a cylinder 46 serving as a female receiving member, and a sleeve 48 for holding the coupling in a male or female configuration. Appleberry, Long Beach, Calif.
The 'balls 20 lie in holes in the cylinder 16, but project into a groove 22 of the piston 14 to hold the piston in place. The sleeve is further pulled rearwardly until the bottom of a depression 96 at the rearward end of the cylinder contacts the flange 98 of the fitting.
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This feature is of particular importance because a defective seal is usually discovered only when the coupling is used, and there may be no time to make a change of seals or there may not be a new seal readily available. Further forward movement of the sleeve 48 under the force of the spring 60 causes the ledge 54 of the sleeve to engage the balls 52 and securely hold them in the groove The coupling is now in the female configuration of FIG.
The transformation of the coupling from the female configuration of FIG. The sleeve is pulled rearwardly while the fitting is held steady so that the rim 70 of the sleeve contacts the rim 72 of the cylinder and the balls 52 move out of the groove 54 and into the second groove portion 62 of the sleeve. This assures that the poppet valve of each soupling will fully open even if the forces of the springs of the mating couplings are unequal.
The poppet valve assembly includes a valve stem which projects past the forward end of the piston and is held in that position by a coil spring When the stem is pushed rearwardly, a sealing ring thereon is held away from a stepped portion of the piston and fluid flows around the valve stem and out of the piston. The cylinder 46 includes two holes 50 positioned on diametrically opposite sides of the cylinder and extending through the cylinder walls, for receiving locking balls A forward groove 53 formed in the piston receives the balls 52 and prevents relative sliding of the piston and cylinder.
An outer bevel 76 and inner bevel 78 are formed at the forward cylinder end to facilitate the reception of the sleeve and piston of the mating coupling. A sleeve 18 surrounding the cylinder 16 serves to hold the cylinder and piston inv whatever configuration, male or female, is desired. A ledge 54 formed on the sleeve keeps the balls 52 locked in the groove The sleeve 48 has a forward portion 56 which engages the cylinder 46 in a sliding fit.
The couplings of this invention are easily connected together and easily converted from one sex or configuration to the other without any tools and in a few seconds. One approach utilizes identical coupling halves having face seals which press against each other to form a fluid seal when the couplings are locked together by interleaving finger-like members.
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An inwardly extending rim 7 0 is formed on the rearward portion of the sleeve to hold the balls 52 and to push against a rim 72 on the cylinder, as will be set forth later in this description. A system wherein any coupling can be connected to any other coupling would eliminate these problems. Pulling back on 4the sleeve 18 enables the balls 20 to move radially outwardly into the groove Frederick in the sleeve and withdraw from the groove 22 of the piston, thereby disengaging the piston 14 and cylinder Pulling back or rearwardly even further on the sleeve 18 causes a rim 28 thereon to push against a rim on the cylinder, and the cylinder hermaphrodite and sleeve 18 move rearwardly together until the locking balls 20 engage groove 32 thereby preventing further movement of the cylinder 16 and sleeve Moving the cylinder rearwardly causes the piston 14 to project forward of the coupling and the coupling is then in a male configuration as shown at 10A in FIG.
The coupling 10A is locked in a male configuration by the engagement of the locking balls 20A in back groove 32A. In this position, the piston 14A is locked in a projecting state. The transformation of the coupling from the male configuration of FIG. The ring portion 57 is pushed rearwardly in the direction of dating arrow until the rim 70 of the sleeve contacts the rim 72 of the cylinder. A poppet valve assembly of the ordinary type is positioned in the passageway near the forward end of the piston.
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A ledge 24 formed on the sleeve 18 is in contact with the balls and prevents their withdrawal from the groove The coupling 10 is transformed to the male configuration by pulling pack on the sleeve The backward or rearward position is herein defined as the direction of movement which brings a part closer to the fitting 12 of the same coupling. A hollow piston 14 fixed to the fitting carries fluid to the other coupling 10A.
A plurality of radially extending holes 80 formed in the forward end portion of the cylinder 46 and extending therethrough serve to hold coupling balls The holes 80 are somewhat conical in shape at their radially inner portions, to prevent the balls 82 from passing inwardly completely through the cylinder and dropping out. Both the sleeve 48 and the rim portion 72 of the cylinder are then grasped, as by the thumb and index finger of the operators hand, and are moved forward in the direction opposite to the arrow The forward ridge of the backward groove 68 pushes the balls 52 out of the groove 68 and into the second groove portion 62 of the sleeve.
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However, the detachable sleeve may be removed and be unavailable when needed to make a connection. A- spacer extends longitudinally between the valve assembly and the fitting 42 and holds the valve asembly in place. Another approach uses two male couplings and a detachable sleeve which fits over both couplings to connect them.
The balls are prevented from falling out of the larger end of the holes 80 by performing the operation of staking on the outer walls of the holes to form lips The O-ring retainer grooves 86 are formed on the inside of cylinder A forward G-ring 88 and rearward O-ring 90 are positioned in the grooves.