|Title of Invention||
"DEVICE FOR THE QUICK-COUPLING OF A PIPE FITTING TO A FLANGED PIPE"
|Abstract||A device for the quick coupling of a pipe fitting (50) to a flanged pipe is described. The device comprises a coupling plate (13) that is rigidly fastened to one end of the fitting so as to be axially approachable to the front of a terminal flange (12) of the flanged pipe, at least three locking wheels (15) rotatable around their own axes and projecting frontally from said plate (13) in circumferentially spaced positions and remotely controllable means (19) for controlling the rotation of said rollers (15) around their own axes. Each locking wheel (15) has round shape with a cut (24) along a circle chord in order to allow in one angular position with the chord facing the axis, and to prevent in all the other angular positions, the passage of the flange (12) of the flanged pipe among said wheels (15) for the reciprocal approach and the movement away of the plate (13) and the flange (12). Each locking wheel (15) has in addition, toward said plate (13) a helical neck (25) that is capable to cause, as a result of the rotation of the wheel (15) from said one angular position to said other angular positions, the front abutment engagement and the locking of said flange (12) against said plate (13).|
|Full Text||The present invention concerns a device for the quick-coupling of a pipe fitting to a flanged pipe.
By the term "coupling" a connector for flanges is meant that is capable to easily couple and uncouple the same flanges in a secure and quick way, both in normal conditions and in emergency conditions.
There are known pipe fittings that are utilized to join to each other in quickly separable way pipings destined to the transport of oil products, in particular from a ship to land and vice-versa or from an extraction platform to a ship or from ship to ship or from a ship or platform to the extraction wells at the bottom of the sea and so on. One of these is described for instance in EP-A-0153773 and it comprises two fitting parts attachable to respective pipings and quick-coupling and quick-release means that are suitable to couple to each other the two fitting parts, each one of which is provided with a respective interception valve.
Such fittings are usually attached in permanent way to a pipe, whereas it is necessary to couple them each time to the other pipe. The two pipes are usually on locations that are in motion as regards one the other, in particular one on the land or on an offshore extraction platform and the other one on a ship. The adverse conditions of the sea can make the coupling of the fitting to the other pipe extremely complicated.
Coupling devices usable in order to provide in a secure and quick way the coupling of a fitting to a flanged pipe are already known. One of these is described for instance in IT-B-844387.
GB-A-842542 discloses a pipe coupling according to the preamble of claim 1. EP-A-0773398 discloses a further pipe coupling comprising rotatable locking elements and a manually rotated ring for rotating the locking elements between locking and unlocking positions.
Object of the present invention has been to provide a simple, safe, small volume, remotely controllable device that can be used in a fitting of the aforesaid type in order to allow the quick coupling of the same fitting to a flanged pipe that is movable with respect to the fitting (or vice-versa).
According to the invention such object has been attained with a device as defined in claim 1.
In addition it is preferably provided that the helical neck of each wheel terminates
away from the wheel with a flat terminal portion that, with the wheel in locking
position, is perpendicular to the axis of the fitting. In that way between said
terminal portion of the helical neck and the flange with which it is in abutment a
plane engagement perpendicular to the axis of the fitting is provided, that prevents
the flange from transmitting to the wheels stresses/strains capable to determine
the inverse rotation of the wheels and the consequent loosening of their abutment
engagement against the flange.
The characteristics of the present invention will be made evident by the
following detailed description of an embodiment thereof that is illustrated as a non
limiting example in the enclosed drawings, in which:
Figure 1 shows in top plan a pipe fitting provided with a quick coupling
device according to the present invention;
Figure 2 shows the aforesaid fitting in axial section along the line ll-ll of Figure 1;
Figure 3 shows the aforesaid fitting as seen frontally from the right of Figure 2;
Figure 4 shows the quick coupling device of the aforesaid fitting as seen frontally
as in Figure 3 but with the locking wheels rotated in an angular position suitable
for the passage of the flange of the pipe to be coupled;
Figure 5 shows the degree of inclination of said locking wheels with respect to the
plate that supports them;
Figures 6 and 7 show, respectively in lateral view and from the right, the magnified
detail of one of the locking wheels comprised in the coupling device in the
The coupling shown in the drawings, where it is indicated as a whole by the
numerical reference 50, comprises (Figures 1 and 2) a first fitting part 1 and
second fitting part 2, passed through by respective aligned axial passages 22 and
23 and coupled to each other by a quick-release coupling device 3, for instance of
the type described in EP-A-0153773 or in the Italian patent application No.
MI2002 A 002196 of 16.10.02, currently pending. The two fitting parts 1 and 2 are
provided with their own closing valves 4 and 5 that are set in action by a single
hydraulic motor 6 and coupled to each other by levers 7 and 8 and connecting
rods 9 and 10 (Figure 1). A hydraulic cylinder 11 (Figures 1-3) provides for the
operation of the coupling device 3.
While the first fitting part 1 is destined to being coupled in permanent way to a first
pipe that therefore forms a single body with the fitting (or better with its part 1), the
second fitting part 2 is destined to be coupled, when requested, to the flange 12 of
a second pipe (rendered in dotted line in Figure 2), that is in continuous and
unforeseeable movement with respect to the coupling.
To such purpose, and in view of the need to provide such coupling in a secure
and quick way and regardless of the aforesaid reciprocal movement, the fitting
part 2 has a quick coupling device 60, that comprises a double end plate 13 and
14, the first one of which rotatably supports three locking wheels 15, which axially
project from the front of the plate 13 in circumferentially spaced positions, with
axes A slightly inclined with respect to the respective perpendicular B to the plate
13, as shown in Figures 1 and 5. The second plate 14 instead revolvingly and
coaxially support a toothed rim 16 (Figures 1-4), that meshes with pinions 17
splined to shafts 18 of the wheels 15. A remotely controllable hydraulic cylinder 19
provides for the rotation of the toothed rim 16, when desired, through arms 20 and
21 respectively fastened to the plate 14 and to the rim 16 (Figures 3 and 4).
As shown in Figures 3, 4 and 7, every locking wheel 15 has a round frontal
conformation with a cut 24 along a chord of circle. The cut 24 is made so that,
when the wheels are in the angular position of Figure 4, that is with all the cuts 24
toward the axis of the fitting, the terminal flange 12 of the second pipe can pass
among the wheels 15 in order to frontally get near to the plate 13 and to get away
from it. When the wheels 15 are instead in any other angular position (Figure 3),
this is not possible.
As well shown in Figures 1, 5 and 6, each locking wheel has a helical neck 25
capable to cause, as a consequence of the rotation of the wheel 15 from the
angular position of Figure 4 to said other angular positions, in particular to the one
in Figures 2 and 3, the front abutment engagement and the locking of the flange
12 against the plate 13. More precisely, when the helixes are in the locking
position of Figures 2 and 3, their terminal portions (36) distant from the bases of
the wheels are in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the fitting, so as to provide a
corresponding flat engagement with the back of the flange to be coupled.
Finally the fitting part 2 is provided with an elliptic double profile 26 of rubber, that
has functions of bumper in order to prevent the damaging of the fitting as a
consequence of crashes against fixed obstacles.
The way in which the quick coupling device 60 with which the fitting 50 is provided
works is quickly explained.
While the hydraulic cylinder 19 keeps the locking wheels 15 in the angular position
of Figure 4, the flange 12 of the pipe to be coupled can be drawn near the plate 13
by overcoming the cuts 24 of the wheels 15, and this also in the presence of
relative movements of the fitting and the pipe to be coupled.
Once the flange 12 has reached the plate 13, the cylinder 19 is remotely
manoeuvred in order to shorten itself and thus to determine through the toothed
rim 16 and the pinions 17 the rotation of the wheels 15 toward the angular position
of figure 3.
Due to the effect of such rotation the helixes 25 of the wheels 15 get engaged with
the flange 12 in such a way as to force the flange 12 to lean against the plate 13
and to firmly lock against it (Figure 2).
The flat engagement, perpendicular to the axis of the fitting, that is thus provided
between the terminal portions (36) of the helixes 25 and the back of the flange 12
prevents the stresses being exerted onto the flange 12 from determining inverse
rotations of the wheels 15 and the consequent loosening of the locking
engagement between the two flanges 12 and 13.
In a simple, quick and secure way the stable and long-lasting coupling of the fitting
to the flange 12 and to the relative pipe is thus obtained.
1. A device for quick coupling of a pipe fitting (50) to a flanged pipe, said device comprising:
a coupling plate (13) that is rigidly fastened to one end of the pipe fitting (50) so as to be axially approachable to a front of a terminal flange (12) of the flanged pipe;
at least three locking wheels (15) rotatable around their respective axes and projecting axially from said coupling plate (13) in circumferentially spaced positions;
characterised in that remotely controllable means (19) for controlling the rotation of said locking wheels (15) around their respective axes;
wherein each of the locking wheels (15) has a chord truncated circular shape that allows passage of the terminal flange (12) among said locking wheels (15) for reciprocal approach to and movement away from the coupling plate (13) when said locking wheels (15) rotate to one angular position that chords of the locking wheels (15) where the locking wheels (15) are truncated face an axis of the pipe fitting (50);
wherein all other angular positions of said locking wheels (15) prevent passage of the terminal flange (12) among said locking wheels (15);
wherein each of said locking wheels (15) has a helical shoulder member surrounding a shaft of the locking wheel (15), said helical shoulder member causing front abutment engagement and locking of said terminal flange (12) against said flanged plate as a result of rotation of the locking wheels (15) from said one angular position to said other angular positions;
wherein said helical shoulder member of each of the locking wheels (15) has a flat terminal portion at a distal end of the locking wheel (15), and said terminal portion is perpendicular to the axis of the pipe fitting (50) when the locking wheel is rotated to said one angular position;
wherein each of said locking wheels (15) has an axis that is inclined with respect to an axis of the coupling plate (13); and
wherein said remotely controllable means (19) comprise a hydraulic cylinder that causes rotation of a toothed rim (16) around the axis of said coupling
plate (13), said toothed rim (16) being in engagement with respective pinions (17) splined to shafts (18) of said locking wheels (15).
2. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said toothed rim (16) is rotatably held by an additional plate (14) integral and coaxial with said coupling plate (13) and said hydraulic cylinder (19) interacts between said additional plate (14) and toothed rim (16).
|Indian Patent Application Number||3691/DELNP/2005|
|PG Journal Number||36/2008|
|Date of Filing||19-Aug-2005|
|Name of Patentee||BORMIOLI, LORENZO|
|Applicant Address||VIA CARLO CERATO, 14, 35100 PADOVA- ITALY.|
|PCT International Classification Number||F16L 23/02|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/EP2003/014996|
|PCT International Filing date||2003-12-29|