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United States Patent 3,580,414
Ginsburgh ,   et al. May 25, 1971

FUELING DEVICE FOR AUTOMOBILES AND THE LIKE

Abstract

Our invention concerns a device adapted to be attached to the fill pipe of an automobile's gas tank and to receive the nozzle of a fuel dispenser. Its principal elements are: a cap member having means which enable said cap member to be attached to the fill pipe, a passageway through the cap member which is adapted to pass the nozzle, and a closure member connected to one end of the passageway which seals said passageway, but which opens whenever the nozzle is inserted into the passageway. The passageway has one end protruding from the fill pipe and another end extending into the fill pipe. The closure member may be attached to either end, or two closure members can be employed, one attached to each end.


Inventors: Ginsburgh; Irwin (Morton Grove, IL), Nebelsiek; Hilbert J. (Hammond, IN)
Assignee: Standard Oil Company (Chicago, IL)
Appl. No.: 04/785,562
Filed: December 20, 1968


Current U.S. Class: 220/86.2 ; 251/149.2
Current International Class: B60K 15/04 (20060101); B65d 039/02 ()
Field of Search: 251/149.2 141/348,349 220/86,35

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
2113484 April 1938 Krauss
2247509 July 1941 Lebus
2801767 August 1957 Mariani
Primary Examiner: Cline; William R.

Claims



We claim:

1. A device adapted to be attached to the fill pipe of an automobile's gas tank and to receive the nozzle of a fuel dispenser, comprising:

a cap member having means which enable said cap member to be attached to the fill pipe;

a passageway through the cap member which is adapted to pass the nozzle, said passageway having a first end protruding from the fill pipe and a second end extending into the fill pipe;

a first closure member, attached to the first end of the fill pipe, which normally covers said first end to prevent dirt from accumulating within said passageway, but which uncovers whenever the nozzle is inserted into the passageway; and

a second closure member, attached to the second end of the passageway, which seals said passageway to impede the escape of gasoline fumes, but which is pushed open by the nozzle when the nozzle is inserted into the passageway.

2. A device which, when coupled to the fill pipe of an automobile's gas tank, aids in guiding the nozzle of a fuel dispenser into said fill pipe, said device comprising:

a cap member adapted to be connected to the open, receiving end of the fill pipe so that said cap member covers said open, receiving end;

said cap member having a tapered recess terminating in an opening large enough to pass said nozzle, said opening having its center offset relative to the central longitudinal axis of the fill pipe;

an elongated tube which is smaller in diameter than the fill pipe yet able to pass said nozzle, said tube having one end connected to the cap member and another end extending into the fill pipe, and being aligned with the opening such that the tube's longitudinal axis parallels the pipe's longitudinal axis and intersects the opening's center, whereby one side of the tube will be further from the fill pipe than any other side of the tube;

said end of the tube extending into the fill pipe being truncated along an oblique plane such that the side of the tube furthest from the fill pipe is shorter than any other side of the tube; and

a closure member hingedly attached to the shorter side of said tube, said closure member being movable between an open position and a normally closed position fitting snuggly against and sealing said truncated end, said nozzle moving the closure member from a closed position to the open position by pushing against said closure member as said nozzle is inserted into the fill pipe through the opening and along the tube.

3. The device defined in claim 2 having a second closure member for the cap member which covers the cap member and opening, but which uncovers the cap member and opening when the nozzle is inserted into the device.

4. The device defined in claim 3 wherein the diameter of the tube is no greater than about three-fourths of the diameter of the fill pipe.

5. In combination:

a fill pipe of an automobile's gas tank and a gas flap spaced from the fill pipe but movable between an open position wherein the fill pipe is exposed, and a closed position wherein the fill pipe is hidden;

a cap member having means which enable said cap member to be attached to the fill pipe, said cap member including a passageway which is adapted to pass the nozzle of a fuel dispenser, and a first closure member connected to the end of the passageway terminating in the fill pipe, said first closure member including;

a. means which normally urge said first closure member into a sealing position relative to the end of the passageway terminating in the fill pipe,

b. being mounted to move to an open position which lets the nozzle pass whenever said nozzle is inserted into the passageway and pushed against said closure member; and

a second closure member at the end of the passageway terminating outside the fill pipe for preventing dirt from accumulating in the fill pipe, said second closure member including means which normally urge said second closure member into a position which exposes the end of the passageway terminating outside of the fill pipe, said second closure member being spaced relative to the gas flap so that when said gas flap is moved into the closed position which hides the fill pipe said second closure member is moved by said gas flap into a position which closes off said open end terminating outside the fill pipe, and when said gas flap is moved into the open position said second closure member is moved by the urging means into the position which exposes said end outside the fill pipe.

6. The combination with the fill pipe on an automobile or the like:

a tubular member adapted to pass a fuel nozzle, said tubular member having a first open end terminating in a frustoconical guideway which projects from the fill pipe and a second open end terminating within the fill pipe;

said first end being provided with a first movable closure member which prevents dirt from entering said tubular member;

said second end being provided with a second closure member that seals off said second end whenever the automobile is not being fueled, said second closure member including;

a. means which normally urge said second closure member into a sealing position relative to said second end, and

b. being mounted to move to an open position which lets the nozzle pass when said nozzle is inserted into the tubular member and pushed against the closure member.

7. The tubular member defined in claim 6 wherein the second closure member is attached to the tubular member by means of a hinge, and a spring coupled to said second closure member urges said second closure member into a sealing position relative to said second end.

8. The tubular member defined in claim 7 wherein the second closure member is provided with a sealing gasket and a kick plate which the nozzle engages upon insertion.

9. The tubular member defined in claim 6 wherein the diameter of the tubular member is no greater than about three-fourths the diameter of the fill pipe.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As portrayed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,364,940, it now is feasible to design a system which automatically fuels an automobile. This system uses mechanical means to remove the gas cap covering the fill pipe of the automobile's gas tank, and to insert the nozzle of a fuel dispenser into the open fill pipe. Such a system is greatly simplified if the automobile is already equipped with a device for receiving the nozzle. This eliminates the mechanism which removes the gas cap. Such a device may also be used with equal advantage in customer self-service fueling systems, because a customer never soils his hands by touching a dirty gas cap. Ideally, this device should be easily attached to conventional fill pipes, and it should stop or greatly retard emissions from the tank of air-polluting and flammable gasoline fumes. But most conventional fill pipes have a very small inside diameter. To design a device small enough to fit into such a pipe and still meet the above requirements poses a serious problem. We have solved this problem, inventing a device which is adapted to be removably attached to most fill pipes, which prevents or minimizes emission of gasoline fumes, which aids in guiding the nozzle of a fuel dispenser into the fill pipe, and which is inexpensive to manufacture.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Broadly, our device comprises: (i) a cap member having means which enable said cap member to be attached to the automobile's fill pipe, (ii) a passageway through the cap member which is adapted to pass the nozzle of fuel dispenser, and (iii) a closure member connected to one end of the passageway which seals said passageway, but which opens whenever the nozzle is inserted into the passageway. Desirably, the passageway is elongated, having one end extending into the fill pipe and the other end protruding from the fill pipe. The closure member may be attached to either end, or preferably, closure members are attached to both ends. In the latter instance, one closure member fits snuggly against an end, sealing this end so gasoline fumes and droplets cannot escape, and the other closure member merely abuts the other end, keeping dirt from entering the passageway. We prefer that the snug fitting closure member be attached to the end of the passageway which extends into the fill pipe. The reason, the internal pressure of the gasoline fumes within the tank will then act in concert with the sealing means to push this snug fitting closure member even more tightly against the end of the passageway. Thus, the gasoline fumes within the tank aid in maintaining a tight seal.

In accordance with the more detailed features of our invention, the cap member has a tapered recess terminating in an opening. The opening has its center offset relative to the central longitudinal axis of the fill pipe, and it is large enough to pass the fuel nozzle. An elongated tube, which has a diameter smaller than the fill pipe's diameter yet large enough to pass the nozzle, is connected at one end to the cap member and aligned with the opening such that the tube's longitudinal axis parallels the pipe's longitudinal axis and intersects the opening's center. The other end of the tube is truncated at an oblique angle (about 5.degree. --45.degree. ) relative to the fill pipe's longitudinal axis. A hinge attaches the closure member to the truncated end, and a spring urges this closure member against the truncated end, sealing it. If the diameter of the tube is no greater than three-fourths the diameter of the fill pipe, there will be, in most instances, enough space between the tube and the fill pipe to accommodate the hinge. When the fuel nozzle is inserted into the fill pipe through the opening and along the tube, it engages the closure member and pushes it open. When the nozzle is withdrawn, the spring returns the closure member to the sealing position. Because the end extending into the fill pipe is truncated at an oblique angle, the arc through which the closure member swings is minimized. A second closure member, which prevents dirt from accumulating within the tube, covers the cap member and opening, but uncovers the cap member and opening when the nozzle is to be inserted into the device.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows the device of our invention attached to the fill pipe of an automobile 's gas tank.

FIG. 2 is a plane view of our device.

FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of our device.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view along line 4-4 of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

As shown in FIGS. 1 through 3, our device 10 includes cap member 12 having coupling neck 14, tube 16 attached at one end 18 to neck 14, and closure member 20 attached to the other end 22 of tube 16. Protrusions 24 and 26 on neck 14 fit through a pair of slots (not shown) in the inwardly curled lip 28 of fill pipe 30. To connect device 10 to fill pipe 30, first insert device 10 into fill pipe 30 so that protrusions 24 and 26 pass through the slots in lip 28, and then turn device 10. With turning, protrusions 24 and 26 ride along the inside tip of lip 28, pressing underside 32 of cap member 12 tightly against lip 28. Spring loaded seal 34, lodged in underside 32, and closure member 20 retard or completely eliminate the escape of gasoline fumes from the automobile's gas tank (not shown).

With device 10 connected to fill pipe 30, cap member 12 protrudes from fill pipe 30, and tube 16 extends into fill pipe 30. Tube 16 serves as a passageway which enables fuel nozzle 36 to be inserted into fill pipe 30, and frustoconical recess 38 within cap member 12 serves as a guideway and entrance into the passageway. Recess 38 terminates in an opening 40 (FIG. 2) having its center offset relative to the central longitudinal axis of fill pipe 30. The diameters of tube 16 and opening 40 are smaller then the fill pipe's diameter, yet they are large enough to pass nozzle 36. As mentioned, the tube's diameter preferably is no greater than about three-fourths the pipe's diameter.

To provide the maximum amount of room for mounting closure member 20 and enabling member 20 to open and close, tube 16, as best illustrated in FIG. 4, is off center relative to the fill pipe's center, and end 22 is truncated at an oblique angle relative to the fill pipe's longitudinal axis. Tube 16 is aligned with opening 40 so that the tube's longitudinal axis parallels the fill pipe's longitudinal axis and intersects the center of opening 40. Consequently, side 42 of tube 16 is further from fill pipe 30 than any other side of tube 16. The truncation of end 22 occurs along an oblique plane moving away from this far side 42 towards side 44 of tube 16, the side nearest fill pipe 30. Thus, side 42 is the tube's shortest side, and side 44 is the tube's longest side. Closure member 20, hingedly attached to short side 42, seals the passageway along tube 16 but swings open when nozzle 36 engages it. Because end 22 is truncated in this manner, the arc through which member 20 swings is minimized.

The preferred closure member 20 includes hinge 46 secured to short side 42, gate 48 attached to hinge 46, and circular kick plate 50 secured to the inside of gate 48. Springs 52 and 54, connected to opposite sides of gate 48 and tube 16, bias gate 48 in a direction towards truncated end 22. When springs 52 and 54 pull gate 48 into contact with truncated end 22, kick plate 50 fits snuggly into end 22, and annular rubber gasket 56 secured to gate 48 and surrounding kick plate 50 seals off end 22. With gate 48 closing off end 22, gasoline fumes within the gas tank press against the back of gate 48, reinforcing the seal between gasket 56 and truncated end 22.

In addition to closure member 20, we also employ a second closure member 58 in order to prevent accumulation of dirt in tube 16. This closure member 58 includes cover 70 and sponge rubber cushion 72 glued to the exterior of cover 70, and it is attached to cap member 12 by means of spring hinge 74. When the automobile's gas flap 76 is open, as shown in solid lines, spring hinge 74 pushes cover 70 away from the entrance of the passageway along tube 16. When gas flap 76 is closed, as indicated in dotted lines, cover 70 moves into registration with the top of cap member 12, covering the entrance to the passageway along tube 16.

To fill a gas tank equipped with device 10, either manually or automatically, first open flap 76, and then push nozzle 36 into the passageway along tube 16. With flap 76 open, spring hinge 74 swing cover 70 away from the top of cap member 12. This allows nozzle 36 to enter the passageway. If nozzle 36 is not in exact alignment with opening 40, recess 38 directs nozzle 36 into this opening 40. When nozzle 36 reaches truncated end 22, it strikes kick plate 50 and pushes gate 48 open. Upon withdrawing nozzle 36, springs 52 and 54 pull gate 48 open. Upon withdrawing nozzle 36, springs 52 and 54 pull gate 48 into the closed position, and upon shutting flap 76, the inside of flap 76 pushes against cushion 72 to move cover 70 into registration with the top of cap member 12.

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