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Número de publicaciónUS3548849 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación22 Dic 1970
Fecha de presentación15 Dic 1966
Fecha de prioridad15 Dic 1966
Número de publicaciónUS 3548849 A, US 3548849A, US-A-3548849, US3548849 A, US3548849A
InventoresJahnke Lance A, Purcell Edward J
Cesionario originalIte Imperial Corp
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Fluidic circuit package
US 3548849 A
Imágenes(3)
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Descripción  (El texto procesado por OCR puede contener errores)

I Unlted States Patent [111 3,543, 4

Ed "d 3,135,290 6/1964 Carls 137/608 [72] Inventors ,,,,,,,,,,f, 3,158,164 11/1964 Barton 137/608 Lance A. Jahnke, Rolling Meadows, Ill. 3,217,727 1 1 /1965 Spylopoulos l37/8l.5 {21] Appl No. 601,919 3,220,428 11/1965 W1lkerson 137/81. 5 15 9 3,226,530 12/1965 Greenblott et a1. 137/81,5 [22] Flled Dec.

22 1970 3,259,145 7/1966 Engle 137/608 [45] Patented Dec. [73] Assign Imperial Corporation 3,323,545 6/ 1967 Carls 137/608 Philadelphia p 3,384,115 5/1968 Drazan et a1 a corporation of Delawm by meme 3,407,846 10/1968 Brandenberg 137/81.5X

assignments OTHER REFERENCES Langley, R. F. and Schulz, P.B. Modular Pneumatic Logic Package IBM. Technical Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 5, [541 CIRCUIT PACKAGE October 1963, pp- 3,4. (Copy in Group 360, l37/81.5).

19 Claims, 11 Drawing Figs. P E M C N l rzmary xammerary e son 137/8l.5F, l1 531C758: Assistant Examiner wmiam Cline 50 Field ofSearch 137/81.5, wegne" Allen and Cm ABSTRACT: A fluidic circuit package in which planar fluidic [56] References c'ted elements are stacked, one upon the other, with aligned ports UNITED STATES PATENTS and passages in the fluidic components and manifolds, respec- 3,022,743 2/1962 Engholdt 137/81.5X tively, interconnected by sealing washers that selectively 3,092,141 6/ 1963 Stark 137/608 block communication between the ports and the passages to 3,122,165 2/1964 Horton 137/81 .5X achieye the desired circuit configuration.

PMENTEBuEmmc 3Q 548L849 SHEET 1 OF 3 v Ill-12mm PATENT ED DEEZZIBYG 3548;849

SHEET 2 OF 3 PATENTED 05022 I970 SHEET 3 OF 3 SUP/ 1. Y

Ex nee/ma Fave/(4 65 FLUIDIC CIRCUIT PACKAGE This invention relates generally to the art of pure fluid devices and more particularly to the packaging of fluidic devices in Circuits.

The development ofpure fluid amplifiers has stimulated the design of components operating under fluid flow principles that perform functions heretofore only effectively satisfied by electrical components. As a result of this technology, it is now possible to arrange fluidic elements, such as flow, pressure, and power amplifiers, bistable elements, logical gates, capacitors, resistors, etc. into circuits verysimilar to electronic circuits. Many of the fluidic devices now manufactured are of generally planar configuration. When these devices or components are arranged side by side into a circuit they require a considerable space envelope. This is especially true when fluid fittings and fluid conveying tubing are necessary between the fluidic elements. Furthermore, such an arrangement results in a great confused maze of fluid tubing and fittings.

Another significant problem in the development of circuit packaging of fluidic devices results from the widespread use of materials (in the manufacture of these fluidic devices) that have a high modulus of elasticity and/or other unique properties. Material such as ceramics, glass and certain plastics have been widely accepted as materials for fluidic components because of known techniques for accurately forming fluid passages in these materials. There have been difficulties in designing adequate fittings connectable with these devices for conveying fluid to and from them. That is, the fittings required have been excessively large and it has been found difficult to provide a long lasting seal between the fittings and the fluidic devices themselves. Still another problem exists with respect to these fluidic components which have a high modulus of elasticity. While some of these materials permit high accuracies in the shape of the fluid flow passages therein, it has been found impractical to remove surface nonuniformities by machining. Because of these surface nonuniformities any attempt to fasten these devices together in circuit fashion produces undesirable high stress concentrations in the components.

In accordance with the present invention a fluidic circuit package is provided in which planar fluidic components are stacked, one upon the other, to conserve space and reduce the tubing required for interconnecting one fluidic element to another. Between each of the fluidic elements a generally planar manifold is provided having passages therein which connect the desired ports of the adjacent fluidic elements, each of the manifolds having provision forreceiving external fittings which may be used to jump a fluid signal from one manifold to a remote manifold in the stack or provide a fluid connection with a signal or source external from the stack.

If desired, these manifold members may be standardized to some extent by providing each with the same number of vertical passages therethrough e.g. six when there are six or less ports in the fluidic elements, or eight if there are eight or less ports in the fluidic elements. Removable washers are provided, some with and some without passages therethrough for selectively blocking or providing communication between the ports in the adjacent fluidic elements. Thus, when a circuit is assembled either a solid or an open washer is placed adjacent each port or passage depending upon the desired circuit connections. The arrangement, together with the capability of jumping signals from one component to another pennits almost an unlimited flexibility of circuit design with the present packaging arrangement.

Furthermore, the manifolds may, if desired, be provided with cross-passages interconnecting the vertical passages so that a signal from one stage (such as an output signal from the output leg port of one fluidic element) may be delivered to a nonaligned port in the adjacent fluidic element (such as one of the control ports) without the necessity of any external connections or tubing.

The washers, described above, in addition to providing the function of selectively blocking ports and passages, are resilient and serve to space the fluidic elements from their adjacent manifolds. The resiliency in the washers prevents undesired stress concentrations in nonuniform fluidic devices. The manifolding arrangement, moreover, eliminates the necessity for any external fittings on the fluidic devices themselves, thus eliminating a prior art problem described above.

It is, therefore, a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and improved circuit arrangement for fluidic components.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved circuit arrangement for fluidic elements in which they are stacked one upon the other with planar manifolds between them for reducing the number of required external connections between the fluidic elements.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved circuit package for fluidic elements of the type described generally above in which resilient means are provided between the manifolds and the fluidic elements for reducing stress concenu'ations in the elements.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved circuit packaging arrangement for fluidic elements of the type described generally above in which the manifold members are standardized with a plurality of vertical passages therethrough corresponding and aligned with ports in the fluidic elements, there being provided means for selectively blocking certain passages and ports in the manifold members during assembly of the circuit so that circuit connections may be made as desired and the manifolds are to some extent interchangeable.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved fluidic package of the type described above in which the manifold members have cross-passages as desired, interconnecting the through passages (the ones aligned with the fluidic element ports) so that a fluid signal may be jogged from one port on one fluidic element to a port at a different location on the adjacent fluidic element without the need for any external connections.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved fluidic package of the type described above having alternate fluidic elements and manifold members which permit easy assembly and disassembly in building block fashion through the provision of threaded fasteners which extend freely through one manifold, freely through the adjacent fluidic element, and thread into the opposite manifold, thereby permitting removal of a single fluidic element at a time without requiring the disassembly of the entire stack. Each manifold has at least two threaded bores and at least two larger unthreaded bores with the threaded bores in one manifold being aligned with the unthreaded bores in the adjacent manifold to permit the threading of each fastener in only one manifold.

Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the ac companying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevation of a fluidic circuit according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of one form of a fluidic component;

FIG. 3 is a subassembly perspective view showing one of the manifold members;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged elevation view of one of the resilient washers;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary section taken generally along line 5-5 of FIG. 1 showing the passage location in the respective members;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary section taken generally along line 6-6 of FIG. 5 illustrating the fastening arrangement for the components; v

FIG. 7 is a circuit diagram of an exemplary fluidic control circuit;

FIG. 8 is an elevation view of a fluidic element of the OR- NOR gate type;

FIG. 9 is an exploded diagrammatic view of the components shown in FIG. 1 illustrating the passage interconnection between components;

FIG. is an exploded perspective view of a somewhat modified form of the present invention; and

FIG. 11 is a plan view of a bistable fluidic amplifier.

The present invention concerns itself with the circuit integration of fluidic elements generally known in the prior art. As shown in FIG. 2, these fluidic elements oftentimes include three laminated layers 10, 11 and 12 joined together forming a single fluidic element 14. The central plate 11 has the shaped fluid passages therein and the cover plates 10 and 11 have ports 15 providing the necessary manifolding with the shaped passages in plate 11. The fluidic component 14, shown also in FIG. 8, is an OR-NOR gate. The port 17 is a supply port and is defined by a passage extending completely through the component 14 as do the other ports. Further, control ports 18, 19 and 20 are provided along with outlet ports 22 and 23. As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the passages in the fluidic component 14 are shaped such that with supply fluid being delivered to port 17, the fluid stream issuing from nozzle will exit from the outlet port 23 due to a well known wall attachment effect on wall'27. Thus, withno fluid input signal at either port 18 or 19 fluid flow will issue from outlet 23, which thus provides the NOR logic. Now, if a signal is applied toeither port 18 or port 19, the stream issuing from nozzle 25 will be deflected from wall 27 and will issue through outlet port 22, thus providing the OR gate logic. While the specific shape and function of the passages of the component 14 form no part of .the present invention, the location of the ports 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, and 23 are of importance. That is, the ports in the fluidic elements according to the present invention are uniformly disposed so that they may be aligned when the fluidic elements are stacked one upon another. While the control ports 19 and 20 as shown in FIG. 8 are somewhat asymmetrical with respect to the periphery of the fluidic device, it is possible to arrange the porting as shown in the embodiment in FIG. 10 so that the ports are symmetrical permitting a reversal of the elements if desired. In any event, the uniform location of the ports, whether symmetrical or not, provides alinto a stack. The location of the ports inthe fluidic elements according to the present invention is, of course, not limited to OR-NORv gate shown in FIGS. 2 and8, but extends to any other type of fluidic component, such as that shown in FIG.

.11. The ports 30 are arranged in the same location with respect to the periphery of the amplifier. as are the ports 15 in the OR NOR. gate 14. The ports 30, however, are defined in a bistable fluidic component 31, generally of well known configuration, except for the port location and .the location of the fastening holes 33 which are the same size and in the same location as holes 28 in the fluidic gate 14.

Having described generally the fluidic elements themselves, reference will now be made to FIGS. 1 and 3 to 6 for a description of the present arrangement for stacking these fluidic elements into a unitary circuit package.

As shown in FIG. 1, a circuit package 35 according to the present invention is seen to includea generally U-shaped plate 37 defining a base member with a capacitor 39, a manifold 40, a fluidic element 42, another manifold 44, another fluidic element 45, and a manifold-cover 47, all in a single generally rectangular stack.

' The manifold members 40, 44 and 47 serve to convey fluid from one fluidic element port to the appropriate port in another fluidic element and also permit external fluid connections (through suitable fittings) to fluid control signals, a fluid pressure supply, a fluid load and. even to other fluidic elements being rectangularand have been found to perform acceptably when constructed of aluminum, although other materials may be used. These internal members preferably have vertical passages 50 extending completely therethrough, equal in number and location with the ports 15 (or 30) in the fluidic elements. If it is desired that fluidic elements having more ports be used, such as the fluidic elements shown in FIG. 10, the manifold members may be provided with additional vertical passages corresponding with these ports. In some instances, it may be desirable not to provide one or more of the passages 50, or to simply dead end one or more of the passages 50 in the manifold member. This will, of course, depend upon the desired degree of standardization of the manifolds compared with the advantages of specializing" them.

If no passage 50 is provided at a specific location, then the ports inthe adjacent fluidic elements aligned therewith will be vented to atmosphere due to the spacing between the fluidic elements and the manifold. As will appear hereinbelow all of the passages 50 in manifold member 40 do not extend completely therethrough, although this is a function of the specific circuit (described below) which is employed herein to illustrate the present invention. However, it is desirable to standardize the manifold members as much as possible so that they are interchangeable.

The cover manifold 47 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5 has vertical passages 52 which are aligned with the ports 15' as well as the corresponding ports in theother fluidic elements and manifold. The passages 52, however, do not extend completely through the manifold member 47 and fluid is conducted to and from the passages 52 through cross-passages such as shown at 54 in FIG. 5. The end of passage 54 is threaded as at 56 for receiving a suitable fitting. All of the external connections relative to the circuit 35 are made at locations such as 56 on the sides of the manifold members rather than directly in any of the fluidic elements 40, 45. Furthermore, the'transverse or cross-passages, such as at 54-, and the threaded fitting receiver in the sides of-the manifold such as at 56, permit not only external connections but through the use of external tubing permit one manifold to be connected to any desired vertical passage in another manifold remote therefrom.

Open sealing washers 60 andclosed sealing washers 61 are provided, respectively, for either connecting a vertical passage 50, 52 in a manifold with the aligned port 15, 30 in the adjacent fluidic element, or blocking communication between a passage 50, 52 and the adjacent aligned fluidic element port. Both washers 60 and 61 have a reduced conical portion 63 flared outwardly from an enlarged flange portion 65. The sealing washers 60, 61 are constructed of an elastomeric or other readily deflectable material. The largest diameter of the conical portion 63 is larger than the aligned vertical passages 50, 52 in the manifold members so that when pressed in these passages provides a tight sealing engagement therewith. The upper surface 67 of the flange 65 provides a sealing engagement with the planar side surfaces of the fluidic elements. Sealing washers 60 and 61 are identical except that washers 60 have a passage 68 therethrough. The internal manifold members, such as 40 and 44 have sealing washers inserted in both the top and bottom surfaces thereof to control communication with both of the adjacent fluidic elements.

Thus, as shown in FIG. 5, the open washer 60 providescommunication between passage 52 in manifold 47 and port 15' in element 45, and closed washer 61 in manifold 44 prevents communication between port 15 in element 45 and passage 50a in manifold 44. During assembly of the fluidic circuit, the washers 60 and 61 are inserted into the aligned passages in the manifold members, as desired, to provide the proper fluid circuit connections.

Moreover, sealing washers 60, 61 provide a somewhat resilient spacing for the manifold members and the fluidic elements. As described above, when the fluidic elements are constructed of a material havinga high modulus of elasticity, such as ceramics, it is highly desirable to reduce the deflection of the element to avoid unduly high unit stress. The resilient washers reduce the bending of the fluidic elements when joined together into a stack and thus minimize the stresses that would be otherwise present. Moreover, the resilient mounting of each of the components provides a more durable unit. The

, sealing members 60, 61 may be visualized as low spring-rate devices installed in opposing pairs around the fluidic elements. Any out of flat mismatch between manifold member and fluidic element will thus impose a desirably low force at chosen points, and there will be acceptable compressive loading across the element.

An additional advantage in the function of the flange 65 of the washers is that they space the fluidic elements from the associated manifolds making venting of the fluidic device to atmosphere much simpler in that no additional passages are required. However, as noted below with respect to FIG. 10, it is possible to provide a closed venting circuit when the unit is operated in a noncompatible ambient environment.

The fluidic elements and manifolds according to the present invention are fastened together in a stack as a unit in a manner which permits the stack to be assembled and disassembled in building block fashion. The fastening means provided also effect a relatively equal load distribution on the fluidic elements with bending minimization. Toward this end and as described above with reference to FIG. 3, each of the manifold members, including the cover manifold 47, has four uniformly spaced vertical passages 70 therethrough. These passages are aligned with the larger passages 28 in the fluidic elements. Diagonally opposed passages 70a and 70b are tapped while the other two diagonally opposed passages 70c and 70d are unthreaded and slightly larger than passages 70a and 70b.

As shown more clearly in FIG. 6, the manifold members 40, 44 and 47 are arranged so that the unthreaded passages 70c and 70d in each are aligned with the threaded passages 70a and 70b in the adjacent manifold, and the threaded passages 70a and 70b in each are aligned with the unthreaded passages 70c and 70d in the adjacent manifold. Note that while only two of the passages 70 are shown in each manifold in the section of FIG. 6, it should be understood that each manifold has four passages 70 as shown in FIG. 3. This alternate relationship of threaded and unthreaded fastening passages through the stack may be obtained by (1) special machining, (2) flipping alternate manifolds 180 about a horizontal axis if all or some of the manifolds are identical, (3) providing two sets of manifolds, one set similar to the FIG. 3 passage arrangement and another set with the passages 70a, 70b and 70c, 70d reversed, or (4) rotating alternate manifolds 180 about a vertical axis, the latter being possible when the vertical passages 50 are uniformly and symmetrically spaced in the manifold as shown in the FIG. embodiment.

During assembly, and as shown in FIG. 6, the sealing washers 60, 61 are placed as desired in the vertical passages 50 in the manifold 40. The fluidic element 42 is then placed on the washers 60, 61. The friction between the washers and the fluidic elements assist in maintaining alignment of the elements during assembly. Washers 60, 61 are then inserted into the lower surface of manifold member 44 (then unassembled) and it is placed on the upper surface of the fluidic element 42. The unthreaded, larger passages 70c and 70d in manifold 44 are then aligned with the threaded passages 70a and 70b in the manifold member 40. Two threaded fasteners 75 are inserted into passages 70c and 70d, passing freely through the larger holes 28 in the fluidic element 42 and are threaded into the threaded passages 70a and 70b in the manifold member 40. After the sealing washers are inserted into the vertical passages in the upper surface of the manifold 44, the fluidic element 45 is placed and aligned thereon. After the sealing washers are inserted in manifold 47, fasteners 75 are inserted into the passages 70c and 70d therein, extended through the holes 28 in element 45 and are threaded into the bores 70a and 70b in fluidic element 44.

With the above described fastening arrangement, the fluidic elements may be added one at a time to the unit in building block fashion and may be disassembled in a similar manner. An additional advantage in the specific fastening arrangement is that it permits a uniform compressive loading over each fluidic element. When larger fluidic elements are employed, as in the eight port type shown in FIG. 10, it may be desirable to provide eight passages 70 in each manifold, four being threaded and four beingunthreaded. Other fastening means may be employed in place of the threaded type of fastener shown as will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

While the construction and mode of assembly and disassembly of the present fluidic circuit package is believed apparent from the above description, it will be helpful to illustrate the operation of the present circuit package with reference to a specific control circuit shown in FIG. 7. However, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the specific circuit shown, and in fact the specific circuit shown in FIG. 7 forms no part of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 7, a control circuit is shown for initiating the operation of a machine only when the operator closes two switches within a predetermined time period, so that the operator's hands are out of the way of moving machinery. The circuit forms no part of the present invention and reference should be made to the copending application of Edward J. Purcell, Ser. No. 655,429 filed Jul. 24, 1967 entitled Safety Control" for a more detailed description of the details and operation of the circuit. It will be described herein only briefly for purposes of illustrating the manner of incorporation into the present circuit stacking arrangement.

As shown in FIG. 7, an exemplary control circuit consists generally of a sensor 45 for sensing the closure by the operator of switches S, and S within a predetermined time period, and a driver 42 which in response to the sensor 45 initiates the driving of the load shown (which may be for example a press platen). Both the sensor 45 and the driver 42 may be NOR-OR gates similar to gate 14 shown in FIG. 8. Supply flow is delivered to the supply port 81 of the sensor 45 through resistor R and capacitor C, which serve to assure the initial OR output from the sensor 45 and thereby guarantee that the machine will not initially stroke when the system is turned on. Control or input ports 82 and 83 receive control fluid through resistors R, and R, when switches S, and 8 are open as shown. In this condition flow in the control ports 82 and 83 causes supply flow to be diverted to OR output port 85 (NOR output port 86 being the preferred outlet.)

Since the anticontrol port 84 in gate 45 may be vacuumswitched to a continuous off (fail-safe) state, no washer 60 or 61 is provided above or below this port allowing it to breathe.

If either switch S, and S is closed, there will be an associated pressure drop at the associated control port 82, 83 until the pressure in capacitor C, builds up at which time the pressure again increases at the control port even though the associated switch remains closed. If during this'period of pressure decay with one switch closed the other switch is also closed, the pressure drop at control nozzle 84 will drop sufficiently so that the supply flow switches to NOR output leg 86.

A signal from NOR leg port 86 to driver control port 88 causes driver 42 to be switched from flow through NOR output 90 to OR output 91' thereby initiating operation of the machine. A feedback loop through R, to control port 91 holds the driver 42 in the OR state even though the signal from the sensor 45 is discrete rather than continuous. Further, a reset circuit through resistor R and capacitor C to control port 93 provides a signal at that port a predetermined time after switching to OR output 91' for resetting the driver .42 to the NOR output 90. This latter features is described desirable when the machine requires a mechanical control to be reset prior to the completion of a single cycle.

Incorporating the circuit of FIG. 7 into a circuit package arrangement as shown in FIGS..1 to 6 and 9 all of the circuit elements and passages to the right of the vertical dashed line in FIG. 8 are incorporated into the circuit package, while those to the left of the line, including the switches S, and S are external to the circuit package and therefore do not appear in the other FIGS.

It should be understood that the circuit package shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 and 9 incorporates the circuit shown in FIG. 7.

Referring to FIGS. 1,5 and 9 supply fitting 100 is threaded into a supply bore 101 in cover manifold member 47 and connected to a source of fluid under pressure (not shown). A vertically disposed restricted passage communicating with passage 101 defines the resistor R Supply flow through resistor R passes through an open seal 60a seated in the associated vertical passage in member 47, through supply port 81, through open seal 60b seated in manifold member 44 and into a cross-passage in manifold 44 defining the capacitor C Closed seals 61a and 61b seated in the lower surface of manifold member 44 prevent the egress of fluid from capacitor C except via the supply port 81. Thus, the supply line to port 81 contains a fluid resistor R and a fluid capacitor C, for the purpose of delaying the supply flow to fluidic element 45.

Supply flow is also delivered from supply passage 101 to the control port 82 through a restricted passage intersecting passage 101 defining resistor R through port 52 and open seal member 60 which is adjacent port 82. Seal 61d in the upper surface of manifoldmember 44 closes the lower end of port82.

Supply flow also communicates with control port 83 in NOR-OR gate 45 through another restricted passage intersecting bore 101 and defining the resistor R, parallel to resistor R Supply flow to this resitor passes through port 500, open w'asher 60c which communicates directly with the upper surface of fluidic element 45, and control port 83. The lower end of control port 83 is closed by closed washer 61e seated in the upper surface of manifold member 44.

Ports 104 and 105 (FIG. 9) in the cover manifold member 47 provide the proper connections between switches S, and S (not in the circuit package) and the resistors R, and R,'. The cross-passages in the various manifolds may be formed by drilling, and where desired, the ends of these passages may be blocked with suitable plugs such as plugs 106 and 107 closing the ends of resistors R, and R respectively.

Flow from the OR outlet port 85 is not utilized as a control signal so that both ends of this port are closed by closed washers 61f and 61g seated respectively in the lower surface of manifold member 47 and the upper surface of manifold member 44. Of course, provision may be made for venting the flow under these conditions.

The flow or signal from NOR outlet port 86 is delivered to control port 88 in the driver 42 through open washer 60d, vertical passage 502 in manifold 44, cross-passages 110 and 111 in manifold 44, passage 50f, and open washer 60f which is directly adjacent port 88. The lower end of port 88 is closed by closed washer 61g and egress from the passages 110 and 111 through the lower ends of ports 50c and 50h is prevented 7 the adjacent lower end of supply port 89. The upper end of the supply port 89 is closed by closed seal 6112 thereby isolating the supply flow to the driver 42 from the capacitor resistor coupled supply flow to the sensor 45.

Flow from the NOR outlet 90 of driver 42 is blocked by washer 61h and 61] as this flow is not utilized as an output signal.

The utilized machine start signal from the OR gate port 91' flows upwardly through open washer 60j, through port 50j in manifold 44 and out cross-passage 95 which is adapted to be connected to the load or machine actuating mechanism. The feedback hold circuit from the outlet of driver 42 to control port 91 is defined by the open seal 60k, vertical passage 50k in manifold 40, a restricted passage 117 in capacitor 39, vertical bore 118, passage SW and open seal 60m which is adjacent trol port 93 through resistor R and capacitor C is defined by the passage 118, capacitor 39, a restricted cross-passage 120 ,in the capacitor which opens into a capacitive chamber 121,

upwardly through hole 123 which communicates with chamber 121, through passage 50n in manifold 40, and through open washer 60p which is adjacent the lower end of port 93. The upper end of port 93 is closed by washer 610.

Thus, it is apparent from the above description that the entire circuit shown to the right of the dotted line in FIG. 7 is contained within the fluidic package without the necessity of any external connections except for supply, control and output signals. In some instances, however, it may be desirable to provide external connections. Such a connection is shown in dotted lines at the top of FIG. 9, having a resistor 131 therein. This would connect passage 101 and vertical passage 52 in manifold 47 without the necessity of the restricted passage defining resistor R A somewhat modified form of the present invention is shown in FIG. 10, with the basic difference that the manifold members 201 and 202 are provided with eight vertical passages, rather than six, for matching the eight ports in the fluidic elements 207 and 208. Again, however, the ports in the fluidic elements 207 and 208 are located and aligned with respect to the manifold ports. Furthermore, the passages 210 in the manifold members are symmetrical with respect to its center lines so that the manifolds can be, if desired, made identical and rotated about either a horizontal or vertical axis to achieve the correct relationship between threaded and unthreaded fastener holes described above. In this regard while only two holes 213 are shown in each member, in actual practice it is preferable to use the four hole arrangement (or even eight) described above with reference to FIGS. 1 to 7.

The FIG. 10 embodiment does illustrate the further capability of the present fluidic package of providing fluid connections, external to the device itself for connecting one fluidic element to a remote fluidic element without passing directly through any intermediate element. Output port 212 in fluidic element 207 is connected to control port 215 of fluidic element 208 through open seal 260a, passage 210, external conduit 215, (which communicates with passage 210 through a cross-passage in manifold 201) passage 2100 in manifold 202, and through an open washer (not shown) in the lower end of passage 210a which is adjacent and communicates with port 215.

Note that all of the connections in the embodiments shown might have been made by external connections (although less desirably) from one manifold to another with the use of threaded transverse passages for receiving fittings and tubing. In the case of a very simple circuit such an arrangement may be desired.

It is apparent from the above that the present elemental packaging concept permits simple, reliable mounting and connection of fluidic elements through the use of standarized components readily manufactured by accepted forming techniques. Furthermore, protection of the elements and components is provided, and increased package density is obtained.

While the discrete sealing washer 60, 61 have been found to have many desirable advantages, they may be replaced by a continuous gasket washer extending completely across each manifold. Another alternative is a strip gasket with raised sealing bosses adjacent the ports and passages. This latter modification presents some handling ease. However, greater installation flexibility is achieved with the separate washers described above, because of the infinite variations in porting patterns for optimum system assembly. A further modification would be in the use of strip gaskets (in place of the washers) with semipunched holes to be removed as desired at the time of assembly.

The invention present invention also provides the capability of incorporating resistances and capacitors in the fluidic element stack as required. Since a resistance in a fluid circuit may be obtained through an orifice in a flow stream, the present device takes advantage of this by providing restricted passages in the manifold members themselves. In situations that require variable resistance, cross-drilling and threading of .the. manifoldmembers at desired locations allows the insertion of a basic needle-throttling valve without requiring any external circuitry.

I claim:

1. A fluidic circuit package, comprising: a plurality of generally planar fluidic elements, each of said fluidic elements having opposed generally planar surfaces and at least one inlet and one outlet port and at least one control port opening to said surfaces, a plurality of generally planar manifold members between said fluidic elements, said manifold members each having a plurality of passages therethrough aligned with said inlet, outlet and control ports, and passage means in at least one of saidmanifold member extending generally transverse to said aligned passages and communicating with at least one of said passages, said passage means interconnecting two of said aligned passages to define a functional circuit between the adjacent fluidic elements.

2. A fluidic circuit package as defined in claim 1, including a port in the side of .atleast one of said manifold member,

means connecting said one aligned passage with said manifold port.

3. A fluidic circuit package comprising: a plurality of generally planar fluidic elements, each of said fluidic elements having opposed generally planar surfaces and at least one inlet and oneoutlet port opening to at least one of said surfaces,

and at least one generally planar manifold member between said fluidic elements, said manifold member having a plurality of passages therethrough aligned with said inlet and outlet ports, and means between said manifold passages and said fluidic element ports for selectively blocking communication -.therebetween, said selective blocking means including a plurality of sealing washers insertable in said manifold passages,

at least one of said :washers. havinga passage therethrough connecting one of said fluidic element ports and one of said 'manifold passages, another of said washers being blocked preventing communication between the associated fluidic element port and manifold passage.

4. A fluidic circuit package as defined in claim 3, wherein said washers each have an enlarged flange portion separating the manifold member from the'fiuidic elements, and an out- .wardly tapered portion insertable in said manifold passages, said washers being resilient, and means for attaching said manifold member and said fluidic elements together as a unit.

5. A fluidic circuit packagecomprising: a plurality of generally planar fluidic elements, each of said fluidic elements having opposed generally planar surfaces and at least one inlet and one outlet port opening to atleast one of said surfaces, :and at least one generally planar manifold member between :isaid fluidic elements, said manifoldmember having a plurality of passages therethrough aligned with said inlet and outlet -ports, and means between said manifold passages and said fluidic element ports for selectively blocking communication therebetween, said selective blocking means spacing the -manifoldand fluidic elements, at least one of said fluidic elements having vent passage means therein opening to at least g-one of said planar surfaces, saidselective blocking and spacing .means being constructed to permit communication between said-fluidic elements, said manifold member having a plurality :of passages therethrough aligned with said inlet and outlet H ports, passage means ,in-,said manifold member extending generally transverse to said aligned passages and communicating with at least'one'of said passages, there being provided a pluralityof manifoldymembers each adjacent at least one of ,said element surfaces, atleast two or said manifold members having saidtransversexpassage means therein opening to the .side of theassociated manifoldvmember, and external conduit means interconnecting said passage means in said two manifold members whereby fluid connections may bypass the fluidic elements as desired passing directly from one manifold member to another.

7. A fluidic circuit package as defined, in claim 1, wherein said'transverse passage means in at least one of said manifold has fluid resistor means therein. l

8. A fluidic circuit package as defined in claim 1, wherein said aligned passage means has fluid resistor means therein.

9. A fluidic circuit package as defined in claim 1, wherein said transverse passage means in at least one of said manifold member has an enlarged portion defining a fluid capacitor.

10. A fluidic circuit package asdefined in claim 1, including a fluid capacitor separate from said fluidic elements and said manifold member, and means for-attaching said manifold members, fluidic elements and capacitor together as a unit.

11. A fluidic circuit package as defined in claim 1, including a plurality of fluid input means for the circuit, a plurality of fluid output means for the circuit, all of said input and output means being connected to said manifold members rather than to said fluidic elements.

12. A fluidic circuit package comprising: a plurality of generally planar fluidic elements, each of said fluidic elements having opposed generally planar surfaces and at least one inlet and one outlet port opening to atleast'one of said surfaces,

and at least one generally planar'manifold member between said fluidic elements, said manifold member having a plurality of passages therethrough aligned with said inlet and outlet ports, passage means in said manifold member extending generally transverse to said aligned passages and communicating with at least one of .said passages, each of said fluidic elements having at least a supply port, a control port and an out let port, all of saidports extending completely through said fluidic elements, the location of the ports in said fluidic elements being substantially ,the same, there being at least two manifold members eachdisposed between the planar surfaces of adjacent fluidic elements, each of said manifold members having at least three of said aligned passages corresponding with and aligned with respect to each of said fluidic element ports, said passages extending completely through said manifold members,-whereby said fluidic elements and said manifold members define a stack, one of said fluidic elements being at one end of said stack, a cover member for closing the ports in .the exposed side of said one fluidic element, removable means for selectively blocking fluid communication between the ports and the aligned passages, and meansfor fastening said fluidicelements, manifold members and cover together as a unit.

l3..A fluidic circuit package as defined in claim 12, wherein saidfastening means includes a plurality of threaded fasteners each adapted to extend through one manifold member, pass freely through one fluidic element and threadedly engage another manifold member whereby said unit may be assembled and disassembled in building block fashion.

14. A fluidic circuit package, comprising: a plurality of fluidic elements .each having a generally planar configuration and planar side surfaces,-said fluidic elements each having'a plurality of ports extending therein, at least two generally planar manifold members having passages therein substantially aligned with the ports'in said fluidic elements, at least one of .saidmanifold members being disposed between adjacent fluidic elements, and means for fastening said fluidic elements andmanifold members together as a unit including removable means forfasteningeach fluidic element toan adjacent manifold member without fastening any other fluidic element thereto, whereby the unit may be assembled'and disassembled in building block fashion.

15. A fluidic circuit package comprising: a plurality of fluidic elements each having a generally planar configuration and planar side surfaces, said fluidic elements each having a plurality of ports extending therein, at least twogenerally planar manifold'members having passages therein substantially aligned with the ports in said fluidic elements atleast oneof said manifold members being disposed betweenadjacent fluidic elements, and means for fastening said fluidic elements and manifold members together as a unit including removable means for fastening each fluidic element to an adjacent manifold member whereby the unit may be assembled and disassembled in building block fashion, said fastening means including a fastening member in each manifold member extending through an adjacent fluidic element and fixed in the manifold member on the other side of said adjacent fluidic element.

16. A fluidic circuit package as defined in claim 15, wherein one of said fluidic elements is disposed at each end of said unit, a cover member on the side of each of said one fluidic elements on the side thereof opposite the adjacent manifold members, said fastening means including at least two threaded bores in each of said manifold members in one of said cover members, the larger bores in said other cover member being aligned with the threaded bores in the adjacent manifold member, the larger bores in said adjacent manifold member being aligned with the threaded bores in the following adjacent manifold member, and the larger bores in said following adjacent manifold member being aligned with the threaded bores in said one cover member, each of said fluidic elements having holes therethrough larger than said threaded bores, and a plurality of threaded fasteners each passing through one of said larger bores, one of said holes and threadedly engaging one of said threaded bores.

17. A fluidic circuit package comprising: a plurality of fluidic elements each having a generally planar configuration and planar side surfaces, said fluidic elements each having a plurality of ports extending therein, said fluidic elements being arranged side by side so that their planar side surfaces face one another, and means for fastening said fluidic elements together as a unit including individual fastening means for each fluidic element which permit the fluidic elements to be removed one at a time without unfastening any of the other fluidic elements whereby the unit may be assembled and disassembled in building block fashion.

18. A fluidic circuit package comprising: at least one planar fluidic element, said fluidic element having opposed generally planar surfaces and at least one inlet, one outlet, and one control port opening to at least one of said surfaces, at least one generally planar fluidic manifold member adjacent said fluidic element, said manifold member having a plurality of passages therethrough aligned with said inlet, outlet, and control ports, sealing means interconnecting said manifold passages and said fluidic element ports for providing communication therebetween, said sealing means being resilient and spacing said fluidic element from said manifold member to compensate for surface irregularities in either the fluidic element or the manifold member and means for attaching said manifold member and said fluidic element together as a unit.

19. A fluidic package comprising: at least one planar fluidic element, said fluidic element having opposed generally planar surfaces, and at least one inlet, one outlet, one control port and one vent port opening to at least one of said surfaces, at least one generally planar manifold member adjacent said fluidic element, said manifold member having a plurality of passages therethrough aligned with said inlet, outlet and control ports, and sealing means between said manifold passages and said fluidic element ports for selectively blocking or providing communication between the desired aligned ports and passages, said sealing means spacing said fluidic element from said manifold member to permit venting flow relative to said vent port.

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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.137/815, 137/884, 137/833
Clasificación internacionalF15C5/00
Clasificación cooperativaF15C5/00
Clasificación europeaF15C5/00