Патент USA US2106750код для вставки
Feb. 1, 1938. ‘N, E, KOCH SAFETY APPARATUS FOR LIQUID FUEL CONTAINERS ' Filed May 31, 1934 2,106,750 2,106,750 Patented Feb. 1, 1938 , UNITED STATES PATENT-'OFFICE 2,106,750 SAFETY APPARATUS FOR LIQUID FUEL CONTAINERS Nicholas E. Koch, Los Angeles, Calif. Application May 31, 1934, Serial No. 728,459 13 Claims. .(Cl. 220—85) My invention relates, in one respect, to an ap paratus assembly by which an inert gas may be contained in the upper part of a fuel tank in which the fuel or gases from the fuel are apt to 5 develop with air, an explosive mixture. A use for my invention is in connection with fuel tanks used to supply internal combustion engines in which usually, as the liquid fuel is used from the tank, the upper portion of the tank )0‘ becomes ?lled with air. This air with the vapors given off by the fuel, frequently forms an ex plosive mixture, which, if it explodes, will not only destroy the tank and ignite the vapor, vbut also probably ignite the fuel spread in the ex plosion. Usually such tanks have an air vent to allow in?ow of air as the liquid fuel is drawn out of the tank. ‘ An object and feature of my invention as re gar-(ls the fuel tanks for supply of internal com 00 bustion engines is in ?owing part of the exhaust gases of the engine into and through the fuel 7 tank adjacent the top in order to prevent entry of air. This provides an inert gas in the top of the fuel tank. When using my invention, the ?ller opening should have an air-tight cap. Another feature of my invention in order to prevent any ?ames from the exhaust gases from reaching the tank is the employment of screens preferably of ?ne mesh wire which will stop any 30 ?amesfrom reaching the contents of the tank. Another use of my invention is‘ in preparing fuel tanks for welding operations, or the like. It has been found that even if the liquid fuel is at ‘the tank discharge. When this test ?ame dies out or the torch ?ame is blown out by the non combustible gases from the tank, the tank may be considered as safe for welding or similar oper ations in which a ?ame or an electric arc is Ol I applied to the tank. My invention is illustrated in the accompany ing drawing, in which: > Fig. 1 is a perspective drawing somewhat in diagram of the use of my invention in connection 10 with a fuel tank for maintaining an incombus tible gas in the tank. Fig. 2 is a perspective drawing in diagram showing the application of my invention to an empty fuel tank to be welded or the like in 15 which an inert gas is blown through the tank. Fig. 3 is a longitudinal section on the line 37-3 of Fig. 1 through the ?ame trap. Fig. 4 is a longitudinal section through the by pass to the fuel tank of Fig. 1. 20 Referring first to the construction of Fig. 1, a fuel tank is indicated by the numeral II. This may be of an ordinary type used in connection with supplying fuel for internal combustion en gines and is illustrated as having a filler cap l2 which forms an air tight seal at the ?ller open ing. The upper portion of the tank is provided with a pipe ?tting I3, this being preferably at one end and in the top and adjacent the other end there is an outlet pipe ?tting I4. The ex haust pipe from an internal combustion engine is indicated at l5 having an open exhaust end 16. To this pipe there is connected a by-pass apparently completely drawn out of the fuel tank pipe ll, the connection being by means of a T _ 35 ‘that it is still dangerous to attempt to weld a . type of ?tting l8. In‘this T ?tting a by-pass 35 tank while there is air in such tank, as this air mixing with any residual vapors or vapors aris ing from fuel absorbed in the pores of the metal of the tank, sometimes causes explosions. There? fore, a further use of my ‘invention is in ?lling empty fuel tanks with an inert gas and passing this inert gas through the tank a su?cient pe riod of time to form a non-combustible mixture in the tank. I ?nd a ready means to supply the 45 inert gas is by using the explosion products of combustion of an internal combustion engine, forcing such exhaust gases in the tank through the ?ller opening and driving the waste gases through a discharge on another portion of the 50 tank. In this case, I preferably use screens of a wire mesh fabric on the infeeding pipes and the pipe provided for the out?ow. The screen on the out?ow pipe is provided so that a test of the gas to determine if it has combustible matter is made by a torch, or the like, or a test ?ame valve I9 is used. This valve has a seat 20 and a valve ?ap 2| pivoted at 22 and having an oper ating handle 23 for turning the flap to a desired position to secure the amount of by-pass products of combustion required. . . 40 ‘ In order to prevent a ?ame from the exhaust of an internal combustion engine reaching the tank I utilize a ?ame trap designated by the as sembly numeral 24. This trap is connected in the by-pass pipe‘ i1 and comprises a shell 25 held 45 between a pair of collars 26, these collars being secured to the pipe 11, and in this shell there is a holder tube 21 with a plurality of transverse screens 28. These screens are preferably-made of a wire mesh fabric. In order to cool the ?ame trap a series of fins 29 are secured to the outside of a shell. The exhaust gases, after passing through the tank, are discharged through the exv haust pipe l4’ connected to the pipe ?tting I 4. In the operation of my invention to supply a 55 2 2,106,750 ‘ noncombustible, that is, an inert gas, in the upper buretor the engine will cease operation, thus portion of the fuel tank instead of allowing air to showing that the vtank is?lled with an inert gas. ?ll in this tank as.-the fuel is exhausted, a small A test of the gas discharged at 35 may also amount only of the exhaust gases need be passed be made by means of a torch which, when held through the tank and the connection should be close to the waste gas outlet, will be blown out through the upper portion of the tank above the when the inert‘ gases blow through the tank, 5 fuel level. a ' and when the tank is properly“v ?lled with inert Ordinarily, a liquid fuel tank is provided with ‘gases it is safe to perform a welding ‘operation a small air inlet opening, usually in the closure 10 cap, to allow entry of air, as the liquid fuel is used, but this air with the vapors from the oil fuel are apt to form an explosive mixture. This .is prevented by my invention. The by-pass ?ap valve 2| may be regulated so that the desired 16 portion of the exhaust from the internal combus tion engine exhausting through the pipe l5'may be forced into the top of the tank through the ?tting l3 and the surplus inert gas over that nec essary to take the place of the fuel used by the engine is exhausted through the pipe ?tting l4 and outlet pipe M’, j . The ?ame trap 24, as shown in detail in Fig. 3, prevents any ?ame which may be blown through the'pipe l5 and by-pass pipe I1 enter , ' Various changes may be made in the details 10 of construction without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as de?ned in the ap pended claims. - l ' vI claim: » 1. In a device as described, a fuel tank having 15 a ?ller opening with a closure means therefor, an inlet pipe connected to an upper portion of the tank, said tank having an outlet adjacent an upper portion and remote from the inlet pipe, an exhaust pipe adapted for connection to 20 an internal combustion engine and‘ having a dis charge opening, the inlet pipe being connected to the exhaust pipe, and a by-pass valve to by-pass a portion of the exhaust gases from the exhaust ing the fuel tank; and in order to .maintain pipe through the inlet pipe to the tank. 25 the screens cool, and also to cool the exhaust' .2. In a device as claimed in claim 1, a closure gases entering the tank I employ the cooling ?ns plug for. the tank forming a closure after re 29 or an equivalent cooling mechanism. <moval of the inlet pipe, a pipe insertable through In Fig. 2 I illustrate my invention as applied 80 to ?lling a tank designated ‘by the numeral 30 which is to have a welding or other job per formed thereon. As above mentioned, it is sometimes difficult even after emptying a liquid ‘ fuel tank or a tank which has had'a combusti-' ble fuel to thoroughly exhaust the explosive gas or vapors in the tank and,_therefore, it is dan gerous to weld such tanks until there is assur ance that there is nojexplosive mixture in the _ tank. (I found that a simple manner of ?lling the tank withan inert gas is to use a ?lling '40 pipe 3| which receives the exhaust of an internal combustion engine. This pipe has a discharge end 32 which is inserted through the ?lling ‘opening 33 of the tank after removal of the clo 451 sure cap. The same ?ame arresteror ?ame trap 24 is used as in connection with Fig. 1 although in this case, as it is immaterial whether or not the gas is hot, the cooling ?ns would be omitted. At the exhaust end I also preferably use a ?ame 50 arrester 34 which may be of the same construc- ' tion as the ?ame trap 24 but the cooling ?ns may be omitted. “ ' . ' In the operation of the construction of Fig. 2, as /on the tank. after the' fuel tank is ‘emptied of all fuel the ex haust gases from an internal combustion engine are blown through the tank for a period of time until it is judged that the air and any explosive gas or vapors in the tank have been exhausted. A test may be made by initially ignitingthe air 60 and vapors blown from the ?ame, trap. 34 at its outlet end 35 and this» gas and ?ame will burn as long as a combustible mixture is being forced out of the tank but when the exhaust gases com mence to ?ow through the pipe l4’ and the ?ame arrester 34 'the ?ame is extinguished. The object of the ?ame‘ trap on the outlet is to prevent the test ?ame from working into the tank and causing an explosion. ' Another wayrof testing to ?nd if» the tank‘ has 70 an inert mixture therein is by connecting a hose on the outlet 35 and-taking this to the air inlet of the carburetor of a gasoline or equivalent engine. While air is being drawn from the ' tank ‘the engine will keep going but when the inert used gases enter the air intake of ‘the car the ?ller opening of the tank, said pipe being connected to the exhaust of an internal corn, bustion engine. 3. In the method of rendering a fuel tank n0}: so_ explosive, comprising exhausting the major por tion of the exhaust gases of ‘an internal come bustion engine'to atmosphere and by-passing a 85 minor portion of said gases through the upper part of a fuel tank to' atmosphere to thereby ex haust the explosive gases in the tank or to dilute such gases a sufficient amount to prevent an ex plosion. ,. . 40 4. In the method as claimed in claim 3, cooling the by-pass exhaust gases prior to ?owing such gases into the tank. 5. In the method of rendering a fuel tank non explosive, comprising emptying the fuel tank of 45 fuel, then ?owing an inert non-explosive gas non condensable at ordinary temperatures and pres sures into one portion of the tank and out of a remote portion to thereby fill the tank with a non-explosive gas. ’ 50 6. In the method of preparing fuel'tanks for welding, a'preliminary step of rendering such fuel tank non-explosive, comprising, emptying the fuel, tank of fuel then ?owing an inert non-explosive gas which is non-condensable at ordinary tem 55 peraturesand pressures into one portion of the tank and out of a remote portion thereof, and continuing ?owing such inertgas until all of the combustible vapors have either been 'removed from the tank or so diluted as to render the mix- '30 ture in the tank non-explosive. 7. In the method of preparing liquid fuel tanks . for welding, the preliminary step of emptying such tank of liquid fuel then ?owing non-ex-‘ plosive gases resulting from combustion into the 65 tank at one portion thereof, and exhausting the vapors of the tank and the products of combus tion gasat' a remote portion of the tank to there by fill the tank with non-explosive gases derived from_ the products of combustion or by such gases, to dilute the fuel vapors ‘in the tank to ‘render the same non-explosive. 8. In a device as described, a fuel tank having an outlet for vapors located above the high level of fuel in the tank when the tank has its maximum 73 2,106,750 supply of fuel, said outlet having a ?ame ex tinguisher incorporated therein, means to dis charge the exhaust gases of an internal combus tion engine in one portion of the tank and cir culate such gases and discharging the exhaust gases with residual vapors or fuel through the outlet and thereby through the ?ame extin guisher. 9. In a device as described, a fuel tank having a ?ller opening with a closure cap, an opening in the tank having an exhaust pipe from an in- _ ternal combustion engine ?tted therein, an out let from the tank located above the normal high level of fuel, whereby exhaust gases may be cir culated through the tank above the level of the fuel therein and such exhaust gases with vapors from the fuel discharged through the said outlet. 10. ‘In a device as claimed in claim 9, the ex haust pipe from the internal combustion engine having a ?ame arrester therein and cooling ?ns on the outside of the pipe to arrest any?ame in the exhaust gases and to cool such gases prior to entrance into the tank. _ 11. In a device as claimed in claim 9, a sealing B5 plug attached to the tank opening in place of the 3 exhaust pipe, the ?ller cap being removed and the exhaust pipe from the engine inserted there in, the outlet from the tank having a ?ame ex tinguisher whereby exhaust gases may be cir culated through the tankand carry the residual fuel vapors through the outlet and the ?ame extinguisher at the outlet. . 12. In a device as described, a liquid fuel tank having a gas outlet with a ?ame extinguisher thereon, and means to ?ow the exhaust gases 10 from an internal combustion engine into another portion of the tank to circulate such gases through the tank and discharge at the said outlet. 13. In the method of preparing liquid fuel tanks for welding as claimed in claim 7, cooling the products of ‘combustion gases prior to their en tering into the tank to increase their density thereby causing the entering gases to flow to the bottom of the tank and displace Vapors of the 20 liquid fuel in the tank upwardly, the vapors from the tank and the products of combustion being exhausted from an upper portion of the tank. 26 NICHOLAS E. KOCH.