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Dec. 31, 1946.
Original Filed Aug. 5, 1943
2 Sheets—Sheet 1
v13%.31, 1946.
Original Filed Aug. 5, 1945
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
Z. W‘ '
Patented Dec. 31, 1946
Richard L. Snyder, Glassboro, N. J., assignor of
one-fourth to Henrietta B. Snyder, Glassboro,
one-fourth to Richard L. Snyder, Jr., Prince
ton, and one-fourth to Christopher L. Snyder,
Metuchen, N. J.
Original application August 5, 1943, Serial No.
497,420. Divided and this application March
27, 1945, Serial No. 585,139
2 Claims. (Cl. 121—49)
This application is a division of my copending
U. S. application, Serial No. 497,420, ?led August
5, 1943, entitled “Internal combustion engines.”
This invention relates generally to internal
combustion engines and more particularly to
valveless internal combustion engines having at
least one continuous toroidal cylinder cavity in
cluding therein at least one pair of double ended
?tted thereto, and arranged to rotate within a
continuous toroidal cylinder cavity.
The invention will be described in further de
tail by reference to the accompanying draw
ings of which
Figure 1 is a cross-sectional elevational view of
one embodiment thereof taken along the section
lines I, I, of Figure 2 which is a cross-sectional
view of. the same embodiment taken along the
arcuate pistons disposed in mutually cooperative
rotary reciprocative relation.
10 section line 11, II of Figure 1;
The preferred embodiment of the invention to
be described in detail hereinafter utilizes rela
tive reciprocative motion of double ended pistons
Figure 3 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sec
tional view of a portion of the cylinder cavity
showing the ring bearing-gas seal.
Similar reference characters are applied to
combined with absolute rotary motion of said
pistons for transmitting rotary motion to a drive 15 similar elements throughout the drawings in
Power is transmitted through a trans
lating system, comprising connecting rods jour
order to illustrate better and simplify the accom
panying description thereof.
Referring to Figures 1 and 2, the preferred
naled to said pistons and to a conventional crank
embodiment of the invention is shown as a com
shaft, and crank means secured to the drive
shaft and journaled tovsaid ‘crank shaft. In 20 ponent of a four-stroke-cycle engine having
means de?ning a single toroidal cylinder cavity
operation, each “cylinder” comprises the space
having four pistons disposed therein. The means
intermediate adjacent ends of any two of the
de?ning the toroidal cylinder cavity comprise a
double-ended pistons within the continuous
?rst split casting portion I having a keyed por
toroidal cylinder cavity. An explosive mixture
is introduced into the space intermediate the 25 tion which engages a complementary keyway in a
second split casting portion 2. The two casting
ends of each of the two pistons progressing past
portions l, 2 are clamped together by means of
one or more ?xed valveless intake ports, the mix
bolts which pass through coincidental apertures
ture is then subjected to compression, and the
3 equispaced around the peripheral edges of the
compressed mixture is next subjected to an ig
nition device which explodes the compressed gas. 30 circular complementary casting faces adjacent
the keyed portions thereof. The castings I, 2 in
The exploded mixture delivers power which
clude cut-out portions for providing a water
drives the particular pair of pistons in relative
opposite directions, thereby providing recipro
jacket for cooling the cylinder cavity walls. The
castings also include intake and exhaust aper
cative piston motion with resultant rotary mo
tion of the drive shaft. 'As the rotary recipro 35 tures 4, 5, respectively, which are connected to
cative motion of the pistons again moves the ad
suitable intake and exhaust manifolds 6, ‘I, re
spectively. ’
jacent faces thereof toward each other, the rotary
motion of the pistons brings the space interme
The opposite ends of the castings l, 2 each are
diate said pistons adjacent one or more ?xed‘
journaled to a main drive shaft 8. Fixed gears
valveless exhaust ports which exhaust the ex 40 9, H! are adj'ustably secured to opposite end por
tions of the castings l, 2, respectively. Adjust
ploded gases due to the compression thereof by
the pistons. Further rotary reciprocative'motion
ment of the angular position of the gears 9, H1 is
provided by a radially extending arm H, secured
of this pair of pistons again brings the space in
to both of the gears. The gears may be clamped
termediate said pistons opposite the ?xed valve
less intake ports described heretofore. It will 45 in any predetermined angular position by means
of clamping bolts l 2 having external wing nuts l3.
be'seen that the operation described provides a
The bolts extend through the gears 9, l0 and
conventional four-cyclesystem in which the same
through slots in the adjacent end portions of the
cycles are repeated by each adjacent “cylinder”
castings l, 2.
intermediate successive adjacent ends of each
A spark plug, or glow plug, l4 extends into a
pair of double-ended arcuate pistons.
spark plug port, proportioned therefor, which
An object of the invention is to provide a novel
opens into the cylinder cavity. Connections for
counterbalanced double-ended arcuate piston for
the spark plug M are made to a high tension
a toroidal engine. Another object of the inven
ignition coil I5. A battery. or other source of
tion is to provide a counterbalanced double-ended
arcuate piston having a plurality of vpiston rings 55 ignition potential I6, is connected to the primary
circuit of the ignition coil l5 through a conven
ignition contactor ll which is operated by
a earn it.
The cam i8 may be mounted on one
end of the drive shaft 8, or may be actuated in
any other known manner. If a glow plug is used,
it may be energized continuously from the battery
it, and ignition timing provided by piston posi
The drive shaft 8 extends centrally through the
castings I, 2 normal to the plane of the cylinder
cavity. An external ?ywheel l9 may, if desired,
be secured to the opposite end of the drive shaft
from the ignition cam H3. The ?ywheel i9 may
journaled on the main drive shaft 8. Similarly,
the second and fourth connecting rods 21, 29
may comprise a second unitary or rigid structure
also journaled on the main drive shaft 3 adjacent
the ?rst and third connecting rods. A pair of co
centric crank shafts 34, 35 are interposed be
tween the inner peripheral limits of the cylinder
cavity and the main drive shaft 8. The axial
portions of the ?rst and second crank shafts 34,
35, respectively terminate at their ends in pinion
gears 35, 3? which engage respectively the ?xed
gears Hi, 9, respectively. The eccentric portions
of the crank shafts 34, 35, respectively,'are each
journaled to receive two auxiliary connecting
include gear teeth 20 for drivinga load, and for
cooperation with a starter motor of conventional 15 rods which, in turn,‘-are journaled to adjacent
main connecting rods.
For example, the ?rst eccentric crank shaft 34
Four pistons 2|, 22, 23, 24 are disposed within
is journaled to a ?rst auxiliary connecting rod 38
the cylinder cavity. These pistons are arcuate
which, in turn, is journaled to the ?rst main con
in shape and double~ended to provide four cyl
inders intermediate each two adjacent piston 20 necting rod 26. Likewise, a second eccentric por
tion of the ?rst eccentric crank shaft 34% is jour
faces. The pistons include conventional .piston
naled to a second auxiliary connecting rod39
rings 25 and-a novel counterbalance arrange
which is journaled to the fourth main connecting
ment for minimizing radial thrust between the
peripheral faces of the pistons and the interior
rod 29, The wrist pin for the ?rst main connect
of the cylinder cavity. The pistons 2|, 22, 23, 24 25 ing rod 23, as shown in Figure 1, is held in a
rods 26, H, 28, 29, respectively, which as illus
bracket 48 secured by bolts 4| to the side of the
main connecting rod. The bracket to terminates
trated comprise a pair of double-ended rods
each ?oated upon the main drive shaft 8.
auxiliary connecting rod 38 and which is pivoted
are pivoted on corresponding main connecting
in a forked portion 42 which receives the ?rst
Considering the piston 2 l, for example, the pis 30 thereto by means of a wrist pin 43. The second,
third and fourth main connecting rods are simi
ton casting includes rotatable bearings 3|), 3| in
larly journaled to corresponding auxiliary con
which a piston pin 32 is journaled eccentrically.
necting rods which, in turn, are journaled to
A. counterweight 33, is secured to the rotatable
either the ?rst or second eccentric crank shafts
bearings 39, 3|. One end of the corresponding
main connecting rod 26 is journaled to the cen
ter portion of the piston pin 32 intermediate the
34, 35 as explained heretofore. As a matter of con
venience, both the main and auxiliary connect
ing rod. bearings may be of the conventional split
internal ends of the piston bearings 30, 3|. It
bearing type to facilitate assembly and replace
will be seen that normal radial thrust of the pis
ment thereof. Similarly, other bearings de
ton due to rotation thereof within the cylinder
cavity will be compensated for by means of the 40 scribed herein may be-of the split type for the
same reason.
resultant radial thrust of the counterbalance 33.
The axial portions of the ?rst and second crank
Radial thrust of the counterbalance 33 will ro
shafts 34, 35 are also journaled in cylindrical
tate the piston bearings 38, 3| counterclockwise,
cranks 44, 45 which are disposed intermediate
thereby increasing the radial thrust of the pis
ton pin 32 in its bearing in the end of the con- = the main connecting rod bearings and the ?xed
gears 9, i ii. The two cylindrical cranks 413, 45 are
necting rod 25. ‘The connecting rod 26 may be
both keyed by means of keys 4B, 47, respectively,
?oated on the main drive shaft 8, thereby pre
to the main drive shaft 8.
venting radial movement thereof. Since the con
It will be seen that relative reciprooative mo
necting rod 2t and piston pin 32 cannot move ra
dially, the resultant compensation provides an 50 tion of the four pistons 2 I, 22, 23, 24 will provide‘
similar reciprocative motion of the correspond
inward thrust on the piston 2| which tends to
ing main connecting rods 26, 28 with respect to
make it travel centrally of the toroidal cylinder
the remaining pair of connecting rods 21’, 29.
Considering only the main connecting rods 26, 29;
The inner peripheral side of the cylinder cav
ity includes a continuous slot adapted to receive 55 relative reciprocative motion thereof will pro
vide rotary motion of the ?rst crank shaft 34 due
the four connecting rods 26, 21, 28, 29 to permit
to the coupling provided between the main con
the journaling thereof to the main drive shaft 8.
necting rod and the eccentric‘ crank shaft by
A gas seal for the inner peripheral slot comprises‘
means of the auxiliary connecting rods 38, 39,
a split-ring hearing which extends into the slot
and includes apertures having ?exible faces 10
for receiving the corresponding connecting rods.
The split ring bearings include two separate sets
of ball'bearings ‘H, ‘l2 which contact raceways
on the sides of a cylinder slot. The two portions
'13, ‘M of the cylinder bearing are adapted to re
ciprocate with respect to each other while at the
same time providing an effective gas seal be
tween the reciprocating portions and around the
sides having the ball bearings in contact with the
cylinder’ cavity bearing raceways.
respectively. Since the rotary motion delivered
to the eccentric crank shaft 34 will be transmit
ted-to the corresponding pinion gears secured to
the axial ends thereof, the pinion gear will rotate
‘ about the ?xed gears 9, Hi. The rotation of the
pinion gears about the ?xed gears will thereby
provide rotary motion of the cylindrical cranks
44, 45 keyed to the main drive shaft 8, and of the
corresponding eccentric crank shaft ‘about the;
_main drive shaft 8, with resultant rotary motion~
70 of the mainconnecting rods 25, 29 coupled there
As explained. heretofore, thefour pistons 2 I, 22,.
to.- Since the ?rst and fourth main. connecting
25, respectively, are pivoted on corresponding
rods 26., '29, and the thirdand second connecting.
rods 28;, 27 rigidly coupled respectively thereto,
main connecting rods.v 26, 21., 2d, 29, respectively.’
are caused to rotate about the axis of the main
The ?rst andth-ird connecting rods 26, 28 may
comprise a unitary or rigid structure which is 75 drive shaft 8, the corresponding pistons 2|, 22,
23, 24 will also rotate about the axis of the cen
ter shaft 8. It therefore will be seen that the pis
tons have relative reciprocative motion with re
spect to each other-and, in addition, have rotary
motion along the toroidal cylinder cavity due to
gears 36, 3'! and the ?xed‘ gears l9, 9 respectively,
drive shaft will be turned by the cylindrical
cranks 44, 45, through one complete revolution
the travel of the pinion gears around the comple
plete revolution, thereby providing four explo
mentary ?xed gears secured to the cavity struc
sions of the gaseous mixture for each complete
revolution of the main drive shaft.
The external ?ywheel l9 may, if desired, be
are selected to be of one to two ratio, the main
as each of the pistons turn through one com
Similarly, the ring bearings providing the gas
seal within the slotted inner periphery of the cyl 10 omitted, since considerable inertia is provided by
the relatively heavy cylindrical cranks 44, 45
?nder cavity will rotate as the corresponding con
which are keyed to the main drive shaft 8.
necting rods passing therethrough rotate about
Oiling of the various bearings and moving sur
the. main drive shaft 8. Also, the two portions of
the split bearing-gas seal will reciprocate with
faces described heretofore is provided by a cen
tral oil pump 54 of conventional design. The
respect to each other in the same manner and at
oil under pressure from the pump 54 is intro
the same time as the adjacent connecting rods
and pistons reciprocate with respect to each
duced, for example, into the end of the main
casting i and passes therethrough through an
oil duct 55, The bearing 55 in the end of the
The locations of the intake and exhaust ports
main casting l includes a slotted portion 51
4, 5, respectively, with respect to the location of
which coincides with a hole 58 extending into
the ignition plug Hi, are clearly illustrated in Fig
the main drive shaft 8. The hole 58 terminates
ure 2. If we consider a typical four-stroke
cycle insofar as the “cylinder” intermediate the
in a longitudinal hole 59 which extends substan
third and fourth pistons 23, 24 is concerned,
clockwise rotation of the pistons, as indicated by
the arrow, will provide gas intake to the cylinder
from the intake manifold ii through the intake
ports fl, since in this position the third and
fourth pistons 23, 26, respectively, are moving
tially the full length of the main drive shaft 8.
Radial holes, connecting the interior hole 59 of
the main drive shaft to the periphery thereof, are
provided at each of the bearings 56, 6| of the
main connecting rods. The main connecting rod
bearings Gil, 6! each include slotted portions 62,
away from each other. As the clockwise rotation 30 63, respectively, which connect to radial oil ducts
of the pistons progresses, the pistons commence
to move toward each other, due to the reciproca
tive motion thereof, and at ‘a point substantially
coincidental with the ignition plug E4 the com-
55, within the corresponding main connecting
The radial oil duct 64 in the main con
necting rod 26 extends the full length thereof
to supply oil to the piston pin 32 of the piston 2|.
pression of the explosive mixture between the
The wrist pins 43, between the auxiliary con
necting rods and the forked bracket bearings 42,
pistons reaches a maximum value, The ignition
provided by the ignition device 84 explodes the
are lubricated through the duct 65 in the cylin
compressed gases, delivering power to the pis
drical crank 44 and the longitudinal duct 66 in
the crank shaft 35, and thence through longitu
tons tends to drive them farther apart, thereby
delivering energy to the corresponding main con 4.0 dinal ducts in the auxiliary rods. Similarly, a
portion of the oil circulating through the radial
necting rods 28, 29. When the pistons 23, 211,
reach a position approximately coincidental with
duct Ell is diverted within the piston 2| to lubri
cate the surface faces thereof adjacent the pis
the illustrated position of the piston 22, as shown
ton rings 25. Lubrication for the eccentric crank
in Figure 2, they commence to move toward each
other again, thereby providing pressure for ex- - " shaft bearings is provided by a radial duct 65
extending through the cylindrical crank 44 to the
haustion of the exploded gases through the ex
haust ports 5 and the exhaust manifold 7. After
axial portion of the eccentric crank shaft 35
the “cylinder” has passed, the exhaust ports 5,
journaled thereto, as explained heretofore with
the pistons 23, 2:! again begin to move apartand
respect to the wrist pins. Lubrication for the
bearing in the end of the auxiliary connecting
pass the intake ports 4 for a repetition of the
four-stroke-cycle thus described.
rods journaled on the eccentric portion of the
crank shaft is provided by a longitudinal oil duct
If desired, a scavenging blower 50 may be con
nected to one or more of the exhaust ports to
86 through the center of the eccentric crank
facilitate scavenging of the “cylinder” during the
exhaust stroke. Any conventional type of car 55
Figure 3 shows, in cross-section, the double
sealing rings 13, ‘M, which provide a gas seal
buretor 5l' and intake manifold connection 52
for the slot on theinner peripheral surface of the
may be provided which will furnish a suitable ex
toroidal cylinder cavity. Each of the rings are
plosive mixture to the intake ports 5. Similarly,
apertured to receive di?erent ones of the several
forced intake of the explosive gaseous mixture
main connecting rods, as shown in Fig. 1. The
may be provided by applying pressure to force
sealing rings include polished complementary
the mixture from the carburetor through the in
surfaces ‘i5, 'e’i‘, which provide a satisfactory gas
take ports 4 when they are uncovered by the
seal for the cylinder cavity while permitting rela
several pistons.
tive reciprocative motion of the two rings. The
It will be seen that the “cylinder” intermediate
sealing rings are arranged to revolve with respect
each pair of double-ended pistons will follow the
to the cylinder cavity as the main connecting
same four-stroke-cycle as that described hereto
rods which pass therethrough revolve about the
fore, and that a single set of intake ports, ex
main drive shaft 8. The sealing rings are ac
haust ports and a single ignition plug will pro
curately centered adjacent the cylinder cavity
vide similar operation for each of the successive
“cylinders” passing these points. Therefore, it 70 slot by means of the ball or roller bearings ‘ll, 12
disposed in bearing guide channels TI, 18. One
will be seen that each complete revolution of a
sealing ring ‘M is split and is provided with an
particular piston about the main drive shaft 8
expanding spring member 19 disposed inter
will occur during four complete four-stroke-cycles
mediate the sealing ring and the split ring por
of the “cylinders” intermediate the various pis
tons. Since the gear ratio between the pinion 75 tion 80. The expanding spring member is mor
tised'to~the main portion of. the sealing ring ‘HIV
Thus the invention disclosed herein comprises
a toroidal type internal combustion engine includ~
in any convenient manner to prevent substantial
gas leakage. The continuous pressure provided
, by the spring member 79 provides uniform con
tact between the complementary surfaces of the
reciprocating sealing rings, and also constitutes
a simple and effective means for compensating
for incidental wear of either of the reciprocating
rings, or the cylinder cavity guides therefor.
ing one or more toroidal cylinder cavities each
having a plurality of arcuate double-ended pis
tons disposed therein in mutual rotary recipro
cative relation. A novel piston counterbalancing
arrangement reduces cylinder and piston wear.
I claim as my invention:
1. A counterbalanced piston for a rotary engine
Additional springs 8|, 82 are interposed in slots 10 comprising a double-ended arcuate piston shell
portion, a pair of eccentrically apertured bear
in the cavity wall to exert pressure on the bearing
ings having their outer surfaces journalled in
portions ‘it, till, respectively. The split sealing
said shell portion, at least one counterweight
ring is preferably constructed so that internal
pivoted on said outer surfaces of said bearings
pressure aids the spring member ‘H to improve
the gas seal.
15 and disposed to rotate with said bearings within
said shell portion, a piston pin journalled in said
It should be understood that these reciprocat
eccentric bearing apertures, and journal means
ing sealing rings may be employed to provide the
for connecting said piston pin to an external
actual power transmission means between the
utilization device.
rotary reciprocating pistons and the eccentric
2. A counterbalanced piston for a rotary engine
crank shafts. It will be seen that the ball bear 20
comprising a double-ended arcuate piston shell
ing arrangement for ?oating the sealing rings
portion, piston rings on the periphery of said shell
upon the inner peripheral wall of the cylinder
portion, a pair of eccentrically apertured bear
cavity provides a bearing surface which effectively
ings having their outer surfaces journalled in
prevents radial thrust of short connecting rod
members which may be provided to connect the 25 diametrically opposite sides of said shell portion,
at least one counterweight disposed within said
individual pistons to corresponding ones of the
shell portion and pivoted to rotate with said dia
sealing rings. This arrangement saves the space
metrically disposed bearings, a piston pin jour
ordinarily required for the main connecting rods
nalled in said eccentric bearing apertures, and
which, as shown in Figs. land 2, are journaled
to the main drive shaft, and thereby permits rela 30 means for connecting said piston pin to an
external utilization device.
tively heavier main drive shafts and eccentric
crank shafts to be employed in engines of prede
termined cross-sectional dimensions.
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