FreshPatents.com Logo
stats FreshPatents Stats
3 views for this patent on FreshPatents.com
2010: 1 views
2009: 1 views
2008: 1 views
newTOP 200 Companies filing patents this week


    Free Services  

  • MONITOR KEYWORDS
  • Enter keywords & we'll notify you when a new patent matches your request (weekly update).

  • ORGANIZER
  • Save & organize patents so you can view them later.

  • RSS rss
  • Create custom RSS feeds. Track keywords without receiving email.

  • ARCHIVE
  • View the last few months of your Keyword emails.

  • COMPANY DIRECTORY
  • Patents sorted by company.

Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Exhaust processor and associated method

* PDF is temporarily not available for this patent. Please check back later. Thank you for your patience.

Title: Exhaust processor and associated method.
Abstract: An exhaust processor (12) comprises an isolated interior volume (16) that is defined in a housing (18) of the exhaust processor (12) so as to be isolated from exhaust gas in the housing (18). A motion converter (20) is positioned in the isolated interior volume (16) and is configured to convert in the isolated interior volume (16) linear movement of a linear valve actuator (22) into rotation of an exhaust valve (17). A cushioning pad (120, 122, 320, 420) can be used in a variety of exhaust processors (12, 212) to facilitate positioning of the exhaust valve (17). An associated method is disclosed. ...


- Indianapolis, IN, US
Inventors: Robin H. Willats, Anthony Morales, Joseph E. Callahan, Kenneth E. Cook, Gregory L. Ross, Glen D. Holtz, John E. Zimmer, Stephen P. Allen, Ivan S. Arbuckle, Kwin R. Abram, Aaron K. Smith
USPTO Applicaton #: #20070283680 - Class: 060273000 (USPTO) -


view organizer monitor keywords

Related Patent Categories: Power Plants, Internal Combustion Engine With Treatment Or Handling Of Exhaust Gas, Methods
The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20070283680, Exhaust processor and associated method.

Exhaust Gas   Exhaust Valve   

[0001] This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. .sctn. 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/570,250 which was filed May 12, 2004 and is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0002] The present disclosure relates generally to exhaust processors.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0003] Exhaust processors are used to process exhaust gas of an engine. One type of exhaust processor is a muffler. Mufflers may be configured in a variety of ways to attenuate sound generated as a result of combustion in the engine. Another type of exhaust processor is an emission abatement device which may be configured in a variety of ways to reduce exhaust gas emissions.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0004] According to an aspect of the present disclosure, there is provided an exhaust processor. The exhaust processor comprises an isolated interior volume that is defined in a housing of the exhaust processor so as to be isolated from exhaust gas in the housing. A motion converter is positioned in the isolated interior volume and is configured to convert in the isolated interior volume linear movement of a linear valve actuator into rotation of an exhaust valve. A method associated with this aspect of the disclosure is provided.

[0005] In an implementation, the exhaust processor is configured as a muffler. A cylinder control system is configured to selectively activate and de-activate cylinders of an engine and to act through the linear valve actuator and the motion converter to rotate the valve between different positions in response to such control of the engine cylinders. As such, the muffler can be "tuned" to attenuate different sound frequencies as the engine mode of operation is changed.

[0006] According to another aspect of the disclosure, an exhaust processor comprises an exhaust valve, an exhaust valve mover, and a first pad. The exhaust valve mover is secured to the exhaust valve and movable to move the exhaust valve relative to an exhaust passageway to control flow of exhaust gas therein. The first pad is configured to be contacted by the exhaust valve mover to stop movement of the exhaust valve mover in a cushioned manner so as to position the valve in a first valve position. There may also be a similar second pad configured to be contacted by the exhaust valve mover to stop movement of the exhaust valve mover in a cushioned manner so as to position the valve in a second valve position. The pad(s) may be positioned internally or externally to an exhaust treatment device of the exhaust processor. A method associated with this aspect of the disclosure is provided.

[0007] The above and other features of the present disclosure will become apparent from the following description and the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 is a simplified block diagram showing an exhaust processor for processing exhaust gas of an engine;

[0009] FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the exhaust processor;

[0010] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a valve module of the exhaust processor;

[0011] FIG. 4 is a sectional view showing internal components of the valve module;

[0012] FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 2 when a valve of the valve module is in a flow-enabling position;

[0013] FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 2 showing the valve in the flow-enabling position;

[0014] FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 5 when the valve is in a flow-restricting position;

[0015] FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 6 showing the valve in the flow-restricting position;

[0016] FIG. 9 is a sectional view of another exhaust processor;

[0017] FIG. 10 is an elevation view of a motion limiter; and

[0018] FIG. 11 is a fragmentary perspective view of yet another exhaust processor.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] While the concepts of the present disclosure are susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific exemplary embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and will herein be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intent to limit the disclosure to the particular forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives following within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

[0020] Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown an apparatus 10 comprising an exhaust processor 12 for processing exhaust gas ("EG" in FIG. 1) of an engine 14. The exhaust processor 12 has an isolated interior volume 16 that is defined in a housing 18 of the processor 12 so as to be isolated from exhaust gas in the housing 18. An exhaust valve 17 is mounted in the housing 18 for rotation relative thereto. A motion converter 20 is positioned in the isolated interior volume 16 and is configured to convert in the isolated interior volume 16 linear movement of a linear valve actuator 22 into rotation of the valve 17. Such an arrangement provides a relatively compact design while avoiding exposure of the motion converter 20 to hot exhaust gas, thereby promoting the useful life of the motion converter 20 and thus the useful life of the exhaust processor 12.

[0021] The exhaust processor 12 may be configured to include a variety of exhaust treatment devices. Exemplarily, the exhaust processor 12 is configured as a muffler for use with the engine 14 in a cylinder de-activation scheme. In such a case, the engine 14 is operable in a first engine mode in which a first number of engine cylinders is active (e.g., all eight cylinders of an eight-cylinder engine) and a second engine mode in a which a different second number of engine cylinders is active (e.g., only four cylinders of an eight-cylinder engine).

[0022] A cylinder control system 24 is configured to control in which mode the engine 14 operates via an electrical connection 26 and is configured to control operation of the linear valve actuator 22 via an electrical connection 28. In particular, the system 24 is responsive to changes of the engine mode to selectively energize and de-energize the actuator 22 (e.g., a linear solenoid actuator) to cause operation of the motion converter 20 in the isolated interior volume 16 to rotate the valve 17 between a first valve position associated with the first engine mode and a second valve position associated with the second engine mode.

[0023] A sound attenuation arrangement 30 provides an example of an exhaust treatment device positioned in the housing 18. In such a case, the sound attenuation arrangement 30 is configured to attenuate sound frequencies associated with the different engine modes. In other examples, the exhaust treatment device located in the housing 18 may be an emission abatement device [e.g., catalyst(s), selective catalytic reduction device(s), NOx trap(s), catalyzed or uncatalyzed particulate filter(s), oxidation catalyst(s), to name just a few].

[0024] Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown a non-limiting example of the exhaust processor 12. In this example, the processor 10 includes the sound attenuation arrangement 30 so as to be configured as a muffler.

[0025] Flow of exhaust gas into the processor 10 through an exhaust inlet port 32 is controlled by the position of the valve 17 which may be in a flow-enabling position as in FIGS. 2 and 4-6 or a flow-restricting position as in FIGS. 7 and 8. Exhaust gas then flows through the sound attenuation arrangement 30 which may take a variety of forms, one such non-limiting exemplary form being shown mounted in the housing 18 in FIG. 2.

[0026] Illustratively, exhaust gas flows through an inlet passageway 34 having a perforation field 36 for attenuation of sound waves by sound absorbent material 38 captured between baffles 40, 42. The inlet passageway 34 is provided by a valve tube 44 containing the valve 17 and an elongate tube 46 extending from the valve tube 44 to a transfer chamber 48 defined between the baffle 42 and a baffle 50. A Helmholtz chamber 52 is defined between the baffle 50 and an end cap 54 for attenuation of sound waves that enter through a tube 56. The exhaust gas then flows through a curved tube 58 to an exhaust outlet port 60. The curved tube 58 has two more perforation fields 62, 64 for attenuation of sound waves by the sound absorbent material 38.

[0027] Referring to FIGS. 2, 3, and 4, there is shown an internal valve module 66 of the exhaust processor 12. It is "internal" in the sense that portions of the module 66 are to be positioned inside the housing 18.

[0028] The valve module 66 includes an isolating enclosure 68 that defines therein the isolated interior volume 16. The module 66 further includes the valve 17 in the valve tube 17, the linear valve actuator 22, and the motion converter 20 in the isolated interior volume 16. During construction of the exhaust processor 12, the valve module 66 is constructed before securement in a shell 70 of the housing 18. A first portion 72 of the isolating enclosure 68 along with its contents is then inserted into the shell 70 (as suggested by arrow 74 in FIG. 2) and an end cap 76 secured to a second portion 78 of the isolating enclosure 68 is secured to the shell 70.

[0029] The first portion 72 of the isolating enclosure 68 comprises a can 80 and a datum plate 82 secured to a surrounding side wall of the can 80. The can 80 and the datum plate 82 cooperate to define therebetween a first chamber 84 of the isolated interior volume 16. The valve tube 44 extends through and is secured to the can 80 and datum plate 82.

[0030] The second portion 78 of the isolating enclosure 68 comprises a link tube 86 and a cap 88 secured to and covering an end of the link tube 86. The link tube 86 extends into an opening formed in the datum plate 82 and is secured to the datum plate 82. The link tube 86 also extends through an opening formed in the end cap 76 to a location outside the shell 70. The link tube 86 and cap 88 thus cooperate to provide a portion of the housing 18. The link tube 86 defines therein a second chamber 90 of the isolated interior volume 16 in communication with the first chamber 84. The link tube 86 and the cap 88 cooperate with the shell 70 and the end caps 54, 76 to provide the housing 18 of the exhaust processor 12.

[0031] An actuator power supply 89 (e.g., pulse-width modulation unit) is secured to an external surface of the link tube 86. The power supply 89 receives electrical signals on electrical wiring 91 from the cylinder control system 24 and transmits electrical signals on electrical wiring 93 to the actuator 22 to control operation of the actuator 22.

[0032] Referring to FIG. 5, the linear valve actuator 22 is secured to the cap 88. In particular, bolts 92 are used to secure a flange 94 of an actuator housing 96 of the actuator 22 to the cap 88. A sound abatement pad 98 is positioned between and in contact with the flange 94 and the cap 88 to reduce generation of sound during movement of a piston 100 in and out of the housing 96 due to energization and de-energization of the actuator 22. Smaller sound abatement pads 102 may also be placed between the heads of the bolts 92 and the flange 94. In such an arrangement, bolts 92 extend through the flange 94, pads 102, pad 98, and the cap 88 and are retained by corresponding nuts. It is within the scope of this disclosure to omit the pads 102.

[0033] Referring to FIGS. 2, 5, and 6, the motion converter 20 is configured to convert linear movement of the piston 100 along an actuator axis 101 to rotation of the valve 17 about a valve axis 103 transverse to the actuator axis 101. Such motion conversion occurs in the isolated interior volume 16.

[0034] The motion converter 20 comprises a link 104, a lever 106, and a rotatable shaft 108, which extend in the isolated interior volume 16. The link 104 connects the piston 100 and the lever 106 and extends in the second chamber 90 defined in the link tube 86. The link 104 moves along the actuator axis 101 to rotate the lever 106 and thus the shaft 108 and valve 17 in response to linear movement of the piston 100 along the actuator axis 101 due to energization and de-energization of the actuator 22.

[0035] The shaft 108 connects the lever 106 and the valve 17 and, along with the lever 106, extends in the first chamber 84. The shaft 108 is configured to be rotated by the lever 106 about the valve axis 103 to cause rotation of the valve 17 about the valve axis 103 between its flow-enabling position shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 and its flow-restricting position shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. The shaft 108 is mounted for rotation in a shaft tube 112 secured to the datum plate 82, the valve tube 44, and a stop mounting plate 114 and mounted for rotation in a pair of bushings 113 (e.g., wire mesh bushings) secured to valve tube 44.

[0036] A spring 116 surrounding the piston 100 acts against a spring retainer 118 on the piston 100 to bias the lever 106 against a first stop 120 secured to the stop mounting plate 114 so as to position the valve 17 in the flow-enabling position. Thus, when the actuator 22 is de-energized as in FIGS. 2, 5, and 6, the spring 116 causes the valve 17 to assume its flow-enabling position.

[0037] Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, energization of the actuator 22 causes rotation of the valve 17 to its flow-restricting position. In particular, actuator energization causes linear retraction of the piston 100 into the actuator housing 96 against a biasing force of the spring 116. The link 104 is thus moved to the right (in FIG. 7) along the actuator axis 101 causing the lever 106 to rotate into contact with a second stop 122 secured to the stop mounting plate 114 and causing the shaft 108 to rotate the valve 17 about the valve axis 103 to the flow-restricting position. When the actuator 22 is again de-energized, the spring 116 will cause the piston 100 to withdraw from the actuator housing 96 so that the link 104 moves to the left (in FIG. 7) and rotates the lever 106 into contact with the first stop 120 to cause the shaft 108 to rotate the valve 17 back to the flow-enabling position.

[0038] The motion converter 20 and the linear valve actuator 22 cooperate to provide an exhaust valve mover of the exhaust processor 12. As such, the exhaust valve mover is secured to the exhaust valve 17 and is movable to move the valve 17 relative to an exhaust passageway (e.g., defined in valve tube 44) to control flow of exhaust gas therein.

[0039] The stops 120, 122 and mounting plate 114 cooperate to provide a motion limiter 124 for limiting motion of the exhaust valve mover. Each stop 120, 122 may be configured as a pad configured to be contacted by the exhaust valve mover to stop movement of the exhaust valve mover in a cushioned manner so as to position the valve 17 in the respective valve position. In such a case, each stop 120, 122 is configured to be contacted by the lever 106 of the motion converter 20 to stop rotation of the lever 106 in a cushioned manner so as to position the valve 17 in the respective valve position. Each stop 120, 122 may be, for example, as a wire mesh pad, an elastomeric (e.g., rubber) pad, or other pad that is sufficiently compliant for cushioning stoppage of rotation of the lever 106. Such a configuration promotes noise abatement and component wear reduction.

[0040] Referring back to FIG. 2, as alluded to above, a number of components of the valve module 66 is secured to the datum plate 82. In particular, the can 80, the valve tube 44, the link tube 86, and the shaft tube 112 are all secured directly to the datum plate 82 such as, for example, by welding. In this way, component tolerance variation and component thermal variation (due, for example, to heat encountered from welding during assembly) are accommodated.

[0041] Referring to FIG. 9, there is shown an apparatus 210 comprising an external valve module 266 fluidly coupled to an exhaust treatment device 230 (e.g., muffler, emission abatement device) to control flow of exhaust gas of the engine 14 to the device 230. The module 266 is "external" in the sense that it is configured to be secured to the device 230 so as to be mounted primarily externally thereto. Together, the valve module 266 and the exhaust treatment 230 provide an exhaust processor 212 for use in the aforementioned cylinder de-activation scheme or other exhaust applications.

[0042] Several components of the valve module 266 are similar in structure and function to components of the valve module 66 so that identical reference numbers refer to similar structures. A valve tube 244 of the module 266 contains the valve 17 for rotation therein and is secured to the exhaust treatment device 230. The motion converter 20, the linear valve actuator 22, and the motion limiter 124 provided by the stops 120, 122 and plate 114 are mounted externally to the exhaust treatment device 230. As such, the can 80 and the datum plate 82 can be omitted from the valve module 266. As with the module 66, the shaft tube 112 is secured to and interconnects the stop mounting plate 114 and the valve tube 266. The link tube 86 and valve actuator 22 may be mounted by securement of the link tube 86 to the shaft tube 112 or some other connector (not shown) secured to the link tube 86 and the valve tube 244.

[0043] Referring to FIG. 10, there is shown a motion limiter 324 for use in place of the motion limiter 124. The motion limiter 324 has a single stop 320 secured to a mounting plate 314 secured to the shaft tube 112. A curved plate 326 is secured to the lever 106 for rotation therewith. In so doing, the curved plate 326 rolls against the stop 320 throughout the range of motion of the lever 106. The curved plate 326 thus serves to dampen impact forces of the lever 106 against the stop 320 which is, for example, configured as a pad. The stop 320 may be a wire mesh pad, an elastomeric (e.g., rubber) pad, or other pad sufficiently compliant to cushion stoppage of rotation of the lever 106. As such, the stop 320 and the curved plate 326 promote noise abatement and component wear reduction.

[0044] Referring to FIG. 11, there is shown an external valve module 466 for use in the exhaust processor 212 in place of the valve module 266. As with the valve module 266, the valve module 466 is "external" in the sense that it is configured to be secured to the device 230 so as to be mounted primarily externally thereto. Several components are similar in structure and function as to what has been disclosed above so that identical reference numbers refer to similar components.

[0045] The valve module 466 comprises the exhaust valve 17 to control flow of exhaust gas to the exhaust treatment device 230 and an exhaust valve mover for moving the valve 17 between its valve positions. The linear valve actuator 22 and a motion converter 420 cooperate to provide the exhaust valve mover. The motion converter 420 is configured to convert linear movement of the linear valve actuator 22 into rotation of the exhaust valve 17.

[0046] The motion converter 420 comprises a link 404, a lever 406, and a shaft 408. The link 404 connects the lever 406 and the plunger 100 to cause rotation of the lever 406 in response to linear movement of the plunger 100. The shaft 408 connects the lever 406 and the valve 17 to rotate the valve 17 in response to rotation of the lever 406. A cable 409 included in the link 404 extends between the plunger 100 and the lever 406 and is secured to the lever 406. A torsion spring 416 extending around the shaft 408 biases the lever 406 so as to cause the plunger 100 to normally assume a retracted position and the valve 17 to normally assume its flow-enabling position. The link 404 and the lever 406 are positioned in link tubes 486a, 486b. The shaft 408, a shaft tube 412 containing the shaft 408, and the torsion spring 416 are positioned in a connector tube 417 connecting the link tube 486b and a valve tube 444 containing the valve 17. A connector bar 419 further facilitates connection of the link tubes 486a, 486b to the valve tube 444.

[0047] A motion limiter 424 for limiting motion of the lever 406 includes a stop 420, a platform 414, and a platform retainer 415. The stop 420 is secured to the platform 414 which, in turn, is secured to the platform retainer 415 fixed to the link tube 486a. The platform 414 and the platform retainer 415 cooperate to provide a stop mount 420 for mounting the stop 420. The stop 420 is configured, for example, as a pad configured to be contacted by the lever 406 to stop rotation of the lever 406 in a cushioned manner to position the valve 17 in its flow-restricting position. The stop 420 may be a wire mesh pad, an elastomeric (e.g., rubber) pad, or other pad sufficiently compliant to cushion stoppage of rotation of the lever. As such, the stop 420 promotes noise abatement and component wear reduction.

[0048] While the concepts of the present disclosure have been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, such illustration and description is to be considered as exemplary and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only illustrative embodiments have been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the disclosure are desired to be protected.

[0049] There are a plurality of advantages of the concepts of the present disclosure arising from the various features of the systems described herein. It will be noted that alternative embodiments of each of the systems of the present disclosure may not include all of the features described yet still benefit from at least some of the advantages of such features. Those of ordinary skill in the art may readily devise their own implementations of a system that incorporate one or more of the features of the present disclosure and fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

Advertise on FreshPatents.com - Rates & Info


You can also Monitor Keywords and Search for tracking patents relating to this Exhaust processor and associated method patent application.
###
monitor keywords



Keyword Monitor How KEYWORD MONITOR works... a FREE service from FreshPatents
1. Sign up (takes 30 seconds). 2. Fill in the keywords to be monitored.
3. Each week you receive an email with patent applications related to your keywords.  
Start now! - Receive info on patent apps like Exhaust processor and associated method or other areas of interest.
###



Thank you for viewing the Exhaust processor and associated method patent info.
- - - Apple patents, Boeing patents, Google patents, IBM patents, Jabil patents, Coca Cola patents, Motorola patents

Results in 0.62366 seconds


Other interesting Freshpatents.com categories:
Novartis , Pfizer , Philips , Procter & Gamble ,

###

Data source: patent applications published in the public domain by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Information published here is for research/educational purposes only. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the USPTO, assignee companies, inventors, law firms or other assignees. Patent applications, documents and images may contain trademarks of the respective companies/authors. FreshPatents is not responsible for the accuracy, validity or otherwise contents of these public document patent application filings. When possible a complete PDF is provided, however, in some cases the presented document/images is an abstract or sampling of the full patent application for display purposes. FreshPatents.com Terms/Support
-g1-0.1638
     SHARE
  
           

FreshNews promo


stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20070283680 A1
Publish Date
12/13/2007
Document #
11568836
File Date
05/12/2005
USPTO Class
060273000
Other USPTO Classes
060324000
International Class
01N7/10
Drawings
11


Exhaust Gas
Exhaust Valve


Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents