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Патент USA US3098178

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United States Patent 0 M
1
3,098,166
Seymour Goldberg, Lexington, Mass., assiguor to
GASEOUS RESERVOIR AND METHOD
Edgerton, Germeshausen & Grier, Inc., Boston, Mass,
a corporation of Massachusetts
Filed July 11, 1960, Ser. No. 42,018
9 Claims. (Cl. 313—1'79)
3,098,166
Patented July 16, 1963
2
Still another object is to provide a novel gas-supply ap
paratus of more general utility, as well.
Other and further objects will be explained hereinafter
and will be more particularly pointed out in the appended
claims.
The invention will now be described in connection with
the accompanying drawings, FIG. 1 of which is a graph
illustrating the before-mentioned equilibrium-dissociation
The present invention relates to gaseous-discharge de
pressure versus atomic ratio of absorbed gas characteris
vices and the like and, more particularly, to reservoirs for 10 tics; and
supplying gas in such devices.
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section of a preferred reservoir
construction embodied in a gaseous-discharge device.
When gaseous-discharge devices, such as, for example,
recti?ers and thyratrons, are operated, appreciable pres
Referring to FIG. 1, it will be observed that in the
preferred 0.1 to 1.0 millimeter pressure-limit range P of,
sure ?uctuations occur during the initial instants of opera
tion. Pressure variations also occur during subsequent 15 for example, hydrogen recti?ers and thyratrons, such as
life-time operation of such devices. The processes in
those described in United States Letters Patent No.
2,937,302, issued on May 17, 1960, to the said Seymour
volved in such variations, including variations caused by
Goldberg, a prior-art titanium reservoir containing ab
so-called “cleanup” phenomena, are imperfectly under
sorbed hydrogen gas operates on the initial steeply rising
stood at present so that resort has been had to the use of
pressure-equalizing reservoirs of gas within the gaseous 20 portion I of its equilibrium-dissociation pressure (plotted
discharge device. Ideally, by supplying additional gas to
in millimeters along the ordinate) versus atomic ratio
of absorbed gas (plotted along the abscissa) characteris
tic. This characteristic applies for an operating tempera
ture of the reservoir su?iciently high to minimize the
tube. Heretofore, in commercial practice, an approxima
tion only to such an ideal has been obtained by employ 25 eiiects of ambient temperature variations in such prior art
gaseous-discharge devices; namely, a reservoir tempera
ing, for example, a heated titanium reservoir, or a heated
ture in the neighborhood of 1000° K. The initial portion
zirconium reservoir but not in accordance with the inven
I is then followed by a horizontal plateau region I’, Where,
tion disclosed herein, containing occluded or absorbed hy
drogen gas.
as the atomic ratio of absorbed ‘gas varies, substantially
the device to replace “cleanup” losses, the reservoir
should maintain a constant equilibrium pressure in the
Unfortunately, however, the characteristics of titanium
30 no change in equilibrium dissociation pressure occurs.
and zirconium are such that, at the operating ambient
The characteristic then rapidly rises to the far right.
temperatures and pressures required in commercially
Clearly the plateau region I’ is the desirable operating
available gaseous-discharge devices, the equilibrium dis
portion of the characteristic for the purposes of the pres—
ent invention. Unfortunately, at the 1000° K. tempera
sociation pressure of the reservoir decreases rather steeply
as the absorbed or occluded gas is released and lost to the 35 ture, that plateau I’ can only ‘be obtained for a high 5.0
millimeters of pressure, entirely outside the required pres
“cleanup” process, so that a close approximation to the
sure limits P. Even if the higher pressure were useful,
ideal for supplying additional gas from the reservoir with
moreover, the plateau only exists for a very limited region
out varying the pressure in the tube has not been achieved.
of from about .05 to about .25 atomic ratio of absorbed
In addition, relatively small atomic ratios of gas are 0"
cluded in such reservoirs.
40 gas, providing very limited reservoir capacity. In the
region I, moreover, only a maximum of .025 atomic ratio
A ‘better approximation to the ideal has been obtained
by operating a rare-earth reservoir member within a tem
gas-absorption capacity exists, and, as before stated, as
gas is released, the pressure drops sharply.
perature range in which the equilibrium-dissociation-pres
sure lies within the required predetermined pressure limits
It has been discovered, however, that zirconium can be
as disclosed in United States Letters Patent No. 2,919,368, 45 operated in a high gaseous-discharge device temperature
range to produce plateau regions in the equilibrium-dis
issued on December 29, 1959, to Seymour Goldberg et a1.
sociation-pressure versus atomic ratio of absorbed gas
However, it has been found that said rare-earths are di?i
characteristic that lie well Within the required pressure
cult to work commercially, are expensive, and are there
limits P. Moreover, such plateau regions were never be
fore, in some cases, undesirable for use in commercial
quantities.
fore utilized, as far as can be ascertained, because, prob
ably, zirconium reservoirs were heretofore always
An object of the present invention, is to provide a new
operated outside said temperature range. More than this,
and improved method of gas supply of the above
said plateau regions are almost as extensive as those of
described character that shall not be subject to these dis
the rare-earth reservoirs disclosed in the former-men
advantages; but that shall, to the contrary, provide for
release of occluded or absorbed gas without substantial 55 tioned United States Letters Patent.
change in pressure for the required temperatures and pres
Speci?cally, in the case of hydrogen recti?ers, thyra~
sures, shall do so while permitting of greatly increased
trons and similar gaseous-discharge devices, it has been
atomic ratios of absorbed gas in the reservoir, and shall
discovered that zirconium has the property of providing
utilize a material that is easily worked in commercially
plateau regions within the preferred pressure range P
available quantities and is much less expensive. In sum 60 Within an operating temperature range of from approxi
mary, this end is achieved by operating a zirconium
mately 825° K. to 950° K. At l000° K. and 1075° K.
reservoir member within a temperature range in which
the plateaus (not shown) occur at well over 10 milli
meters of pressure. As shown in FIG. 1, ‘a horizontal
the equilibrium-dissociation-pressure as read from the
plateau region for zirconium occurs at a pressure of
plateau region of a graph of equilibrium-dissociation
pressure versus atomic ratio of absorbed gas, lies within 65 about one millimeter at approximately 925° K. and for
a range of from 0.1 to ‘approximately 0.7 atomic ratio
the required predetermined pressure limits. The term
of absorbed hydrogen gas. Similar plateau regions for
“atomic ratio” as used herein is intended to mean the
zirconium are illustrated at operating tube pressures of
number of absorbed gas atoms per atom of metal.
one-half millimeter and one-tenth of a millimeter for
A further object is to provide a new and improved
operating tube temperatures of approximately 875° K.
gaseous-discharge device employing such a novei 70 and 850° K. respectively.
reservoir.
The reservoir of the present invention is shown in FIG.
3,088,166
is
2 embodied in a ceramic-vessel thyratron-type tube hav
ing a cup-shaped anode electrode 1, an inverted cup
shaped control electrode 3 and a vane-type cathode elec
trode 5, as described in the latter-mentioned United
States Letters Patent. These three electrodes are provided Ct
with ?anges 1’, 3’, 5’ sealed between ceramic~vessel Wall
sections 2 as more fully set forth in the latter-mentioned
United States Letters Patent. The control electrode 3
may be apertured as at 7 and disposed close to the anode
1, and a grid ba?ie 9, overlying the apertures 7 may also
be provided. A cathode ba?le 11 may also be employed.
A fuller description of the tube and further details of its
construction are omitted in order not to detract from the
novel features of the present invention.
The reservoir 4 comprises a cup 6 containing the hy
drogen-gas-saturated zirconium 6'. The upper cover 8
is apertured and covered by a Wire mesh screen 10, hav~
ing a lid 18 attached by a porous weld thereto, thus pro
viding a gas diffusion outlet for the reservoir. A ‘spiral
4
pressure, having, in combination, a member comprising
zirconium containing absorbed hydrogen gas, and means
for operating the member at a temperature between 850
and 925 degrees Kelvin ‘whereby the plateau in the equi
librium-dissociation-pressure versus atomic ratio of ab
sorbed hydrogen gas characteristic thereof lies within the
said predetermined pressure limits and Within the atomic
ratio range of approximately 0.2 to 1.4.
4. A gaseous-discharge device comprising a closed ves
10 sel containing a plurality of electrodes and a hydrogen
gaseous medium of predetermined pressure, a gas reser
voir member within the vessel comprising zirconium con
taining absorbed hydrogen gas, and means ‘for operating
the member at a temperature at which the plateau in the
equilibrium-dissociation-pressure versus atomic ratio of
absorbed gas characteristic thereof occurs at substan
tially the said predetermined pressure and within the
atomic ratio range of approximately 0.2 to 1.4.
5. A gaseous-discharge device comprising a closed ves
heater l2, energizable by conductors 14 and 16 (the 20 sel containing a plurality of electrodes and a gaseous
medium of predetermined pressure, a gas reservoir within
latter of which communicates with the cathode-cup ?ange
the vessel comprising zirconium containing absorbed gas
5’ and the former of which may extend outside the base
of the tube), will heat the reservoir to the required tem
perature. The height of the reservoir chamber 6 is in
tentionally made small so that the length of the diffusion
path from any point of the chamber is short. The short
diffusion path and the proximity of the heater winding
12 provide improved thermal e?iciency and warmup. A
heat-retaining ba?ie 20 may also be employed.
While the invention has been described in connection
with a particular type of gaseous-discharge device, it is
to be understood that it is also useful ‘with other types
of tubes and devices, and, from a more broad point of
view, is useful in general as a source of gas that can
supply gas without changing the equilibrium dissociation
pressure.
Further modi?cations will occur to those skilled in the
art and all such are considered to fall within the spirit
and scope of the invention as de?ned in the appended
claims.
What is claimed is:
and disposed within a container having a diffusion outlet,
and means for heating the reservoir to a temperature at
which the plateau in the equilibrium-dissociation-pressure
versus atomic ratio of absorbed gas characteristic thereof
occurs at substantially the said predetermined pressure
and within the atomic ratio range of approximately 0.2
to 1.4.
6. A device as claimed in claim 4 and in which the pre
determined pressure is within the range of from substan
tially one-tenth to substantially one millimeter of pressure.
7. A device as claimed in claim 6- and in which the said
temperature is between 850 and 925 degrees Kelvin.
8. A hydrogen discharge device comprising a closed
vessel containing at least an anode and a cathode and
‘?lled with hydrogen gas of predetermined pressure, a
gas reservoir disposed within the vessel on the opposite
side of the cathode from the anode and comprising zir
40 conium containing absorbed hydrogen gas, and means
for heating the reservoir at a temperature at which the
plateau in the zirconium equilibrium-dissociation-pres
‘1. A gas reservoir for a closed vessel that is to remain
pressurized within predetermined pressure limits, having,
sure versus atomic ratio of absorbed gas characteristic
occurs at substantially the said predetermined pressure
in ‘combination, a member comprising zirconium con
taining absorbed gas, and means for operating the mem 45 and within the atomic ratio range of approximately 0.2
to 1.4.
ber within a range of temperature in which the plateau
9. A hydrogen discharge device comprising a closed
in the equilibrium~dissociation-pressure versus atomic
vessel containing at least an anode and a cathode and
ratio of ‘absorbed gas characteristic thereof lies within
?lled with hydrogen gas of ‘predetermined pressure, a gas
the said predetermined pressure limits and within the
reservoir disposed within the vessel and comprising zir
atomic ratio range of approximately 0.2 to 1.4.
conium containing absorbed hydrogen gas, and means
2. A gas reservoir for a closed vessel that is to remain
for heating the reservoir at a temperature at which the
pressurized within predetermined pressure limits, having,
plateau in the zirconium equilibrium-dissociation-pressure
in combination, a member comprising zirconium con
versus atomic ratio of absorbed ‘gas characteristic occurs
t-aining absorbed hydrogen gas, and means for operating
at substantially the said predetermined pressure and with
the ‘member within a range of temperature in which the
in the atomic ratio range of approximately 0.2 to 1.4.
plateau in the equilibrium-dissociation-pressure versus
atomic ratio of absorbed hydrogen ‘gas characteristic
thereof lies within the said predetermined pressure limits
and within the atomic ratio range of approximately 0.2
to 1.4.
3. A gas reservoir for a closed vessel that is to remain
pressurized within predetermined pressure limits of from
substantially one-tenth to substantially one millimeter of
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
60
2,804,563
Palmer _____________ __ Aug. 27, 1957
2,890,319
Watrous _____________ __ June 9, 1959
2,919,368
Goldberg et a1. _______ __ Dec. 29, 1959
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