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Sept. l0, 1946.4
, 2,407,622
Filed Nov. l, 1943
'Z‘snnent r
Patented Sept. 10, 1946
Merritt R. Wells, York, Pa.
Application November 1, 1943, Serial No. 508,589
2 claims. (o1. 22o-s6)
This invention relates to tanks for carrying
combustible liquids on vehicles, and more par
ticularly to gasoline tanks for trucks, tractors
and other commercial motor vehicles.
' While capable of employment in various dii
Drain plugs are indicated at I2 and may be
variously located.
The filling connection comprises anY inclined,
and preferably straight tube which `passes
through the cylindrical wall of the tank at one
side near the top and terminates near the cylin
drical wall at 'the other side` of the tankand-at
mounted with its axis normally horizontal, and
asornewhat lower level. It is located'at substan
approximately parallel with the longitudinal axis
tially midlength of the tank and is welded tothe
of the vehicle.
10 shell at -I4 to produce a _tight joint. It may be
,v This relationship is important because the tank
welded to the shell 6 at IS-if. desired. An-air
is designed to protect against discharge of liquid
vent duct I6 is formed within the upper portion
or vapor in the event that the vehicle rolls on its
o'f the tube I3, by any suitable means. and ex
side as the result of accident. The arrangement
is also such as to give reasonable protection 15 tends from the inner, nearly to the outer endfof
ferent forms the invention will be described as
embodied in a cylindrical tank intended to be
lagainst outilow when the tank is tilted in a fore
and aft direction. Since extreme tilting forward
or back rarely occurs, even in accidents, the tank
meets the actual practical requirements in this
iilling tube I3. This segregated vent. passage is
desirable but not indispensable and no noveltyis
claimed for it.
Threaded or otherwise removably lixed on the
end of tube I3 is a filling cap I1, having one or
more vents I 3, two being illustrated. >These vents
Additional protective features not claimed
are normally closed by an annulus I9 of a rub
herein are valved protection of the fuel line, a
berlike plastic of a type not harmfully affected by
vented iilling cap which seals against outiiow of
the liquid in the tank. . The_annulus I9 serves-at
liquid or vapors but will rupture or yield to pre~
outer'margin as a gasket between the Vcap Il
vent the development of extreme bursting pres~ 25 Vits
and the end of tube I3. The inner portion serves
sures; a tank shell construction which will per-l
as a valve, opening to permit inward ñow of‘air
mit considerable volume-increasing or other dis
and closing to prevent outward ñow of liquid or
tortion of the tank without seam rupture, as well
\`a»s`other features which
The annulus I9 although it closes against out
description proceeds.
flow also serves as a rupturable relief plug. Upon
An outstanding feature of commercial im~
development of high internal pressure in the tank
portance is extreme simplicity of form despite
and before dangerous pressures are developed‘the
the incorporation of important safety features.
edge of the annulus will blow through the ports
In the drawing:
I8 and gradually relieve excessive pressure.
Fig. 1 is a vertical axial section of the tank.
Fig. 2 is a transverse section on the line 2_2
of Fig. 1.
Y Fig. 3 is an enlarged axial section through the
The annulus I9 performs still another useful
function. It defines an air inlet passage to the
tank interior, so thin and so close to the metal
of the cap, that propagation of llame through the
capped end of the filling tube.
vent passage is inhibited.
Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic plan indicating a typi 40
The tube I3 is located substantiallyat mid
cal position of the tank relatively to the vehicle.
length Vof the tank and close to it is thefuel'off
lIï'ig. 5 is a view illustrating a modiñed form of
take connection. This last comprises a dip pipe
dip pipe.
2| which extends vertically downward nearly to
The tank comprises a cylindrical shell ß with
the bottom of Ithe tank. An elbow 22 sealed in
outwardly convex spheroidal heads 1. Each head
an opening in the top of the tank connects the
is flanged outward on a rather long radius at 8
dip pipe to fuel line 23 which extends to any
to form a deep ñange 9 which is welded at its
point of use, such as the fuel feed pump or the
carburetor of an engine.
margin II to the shell 6. If the tank is crushed,
and internal pressure is thus developed, the heads
On the lower end of the elbow 22 and within
may readily distort to increase the tank volume
pipe 2| is a downwardly facing valve seat 24 ‘
and thus relieve excessive internal pressures
without rupture. Distortion of the heads may
serve to relieve excessive internal pressure how~
ever developed.
which may be sealed by a ball valve 25 smaller
than the bore of pipe 2|. This valve is normally
far removed from seat 24 and rests on an upward
ly facing lower seat 26 at the lower end of pipe
2|, The function of this seat 25 is to protect
against cross flow between two tanks when two
tanks are connected to a single fuel line, an ar
rangement sometimes used.
When the seat 26 is not needed, a cross pin 21
may be used to retain the valve as indicated in
Fig. 5. The seat 26 does no harm even when not
required to lift the ball 25. If the tank is tipped
to an angle of more than ninety degrees in any
direction, the ball valve willV roll to seat 24 irre
spective of any flow that might occur. The im- `
portant thing however is the design of the ball
in such a way that rate of flow is the controlling
needed, and is commonly provided.
Functional characteristics
factor in its motion towards the seat 24.
In thedrawingthe maximum liquid level is in
dicated at ’~A-A.
This of course is thelevel- at
which the liquid seals the vent passage I6. The
effect is to maintain an air space in the tank-`
above the liquid. This affords some cushioning
action in the event that the tank is crushed even
when nearly full. This and the fact thatV the..
head 1 may be greatly deformed or dístended as ,
above described affords protection against rup
ture of the tank by crushing.
tion has the effect of lowering the rate of flow
If the filling cap I1 is‘in place the annulus I9
serves as a valve andprevents >escape of liquid
or vapor through the filling connection. This `is
effective against. gravity flow and ,even against
moderate internal pressures regardless of the po
sition of the tank. The filling tube I3 gives effec
tive protection against escape of liquid from the
tank even if the cap I1 ‘be left off.
If the vehicle rolls to either side one or the
other end of the tube I3 will be abovethe liquid
level in the tank so >that little or no liquid will 30
will` thus be minimized.
It is not intended thatthe cap I1 be left off, but
- escape and the fire hazard
that isl a contingency which mustbe considered
The action of the sealing annulus I9 as an inlet
air valve and as a combined check and relief valve
has already‘been explained.
The construction illustrated has outstanding
advantages. The tank has a simple cylindrical
shell with spheroidal heads of stable form. De
spite their stability these heads are capable of
yielding'in case of the development of dangerous
internal ypressures without entailing rupture of
the tank. The filling tube is a simple straight
tubewhich can be manufacturing inexpensively.
The same is true of the dip pipe. Thus careful
location and coordination of the filling tube and
the dip pipe give substantial protection _inthe
event of accident .without requiring complicated
forms or difficult manufacturing procedures.
While the invention is intended for use as a
fuel tank designed to carry volatile fuels, it can
be used for other purposes, particularly on ve
hicles, and in such use will offer some or all of
the, advantages above outlined.
What is claimed is:
l. The combination of anelongated fuel> tank
adapted to be mounted on a vehicle with its lon
gitudinal axis extending substantially horizon
tally; and a filling tube projecting into the in
terior of said tank, the tube being mounted in
Quite marked tilting ofthe tank either in a 35 an inclined position with its axis substantially in
forward or rearward directionwith reference to
the vertical plane which bisects said longitudi
the vehicle will not cause escapeA ofr the fuel
nal axis at right angles thereto, said tube wheny
through the filling tube I3 even if the cap I1 be
viewed in plan extending substantially from side
left off and even though'the tank be substan
to side of the tank, and the lower inner end
tially filled. This effect is even more marked as 40
thereof lying in said plane. and opening into the
the liquid level lowers, and when the tank is
tank ata height such as to trap. a substantial
slightly less than half full, no liquid` at all would
air volume in the upper- portion of the tank when
escape if the tank were stood on end.
the latter is filled with liquid fuel supplied
Figure _il is a plan viewof a tractor‘vehicle
through the tube.
showing a possible location Yof the tank.- Others
2. A safety. filling connection forgvehicle fuel
may be used, and will afford the maximum pro
tanks,v comprising in combination.A with such> a
tection which the tank is designed' to afford if
tank adapted for mounting on a vehicle ina fixed
the axis extends horizontally and in a‘fore and
position, an inclined filling tubelocated'in a sub
aft direction.
The normal rate of outflow of fuelV through the 5 stantially vertical plane at right angles to and.- ap_- '
. proximately bisecting Ythe»fore-arnhait(dimension
fuel line 23 is small and is insufficient to lift‘the
of the tank, said tube entering throughv and being f
ball'check valve 25 tothe upper seat 24. It is
sealed to the upper wall of the tank, and extend
desirable that the mass and dimensionof the ball
ing'thence with a moderate downward inclination
be such relatively to the normal rate of outflow
that the ball will be lifted to the upper seat by an è nearly to a side wall of the tank, the lower end of
said' tube opening into the-tank in said vertical
outflow rate only moderately in excessl of nor
planeand at a height such as to'tr'ap a substan
mal. With the part so designed even a momen
tial air volume vin the upper portion ofthe tank
tary excess-flow caused by a broken fuel line or
when the »latter is filled with liquid fuel supplied
any other abnormal condition will ‘carry the ball
to the seat 24 where it will close the fuel line 60 through the tube.
against further outflow.
Any tipping of the tank from its normal posi
as possible.
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