Ullage Volume Patents (Class 73/290B)
  • Patent number: 6079266
    Abstract: Magnetic force from a momentarily excited coil (34) results in oscillatory flexure of a flexible diaphragm (30) loaded on one side by a liquid (10) whose level is to be measured. A strain gauge (46) detects the diaphragm flexure, and analysis circuitry (62) determines the liquid level as a function of the resultant oscillation frequency and the diaphragm's static flexure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Assignee: Starr-Johnson
    Inventor: Hubert A. Wright
  • Patent number: 6038919
    Abstract: In a process and apparatus for delivering a processing substance from a storage vessel to a processing station, the storage vessel enclosing a processing substance storage space and being coupled to conduits which communicate with the storage space, the storage vessel and the conduits enclosing a volume which includes the storage space, a method and system for determining the quantity of processing substance in the storage space by: closing the volume enclosed by the storage vessel and the conduits; performing first and second pressure measurements for measuring the gas pressure in the volume when the volume contains respectively first and second quantities of gas; determining the difference between the first and second quantities of gas; and calculating the quantity of processing substance in the storage space on the basis of the volume, the difference between the first and second quantities of gas and the gas pressures measured during the first and second pressure measurements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: Applied Materials Inc.
    Inventors: John V. Schmitt, Richard A. Marsh
  • Patent number: 5915925
    Abstract: A liquid supply system for flow cytometry apparatus including a diaphragm pump, a novel liquid accumulator providing exceptionally high volume compliance, and a control of accumulator volume within narrow limits by continuous control of power to the pump motor. The accumulator achieves high volume compliance by arranging the kinematics of a main spring loading the accumulator to have a negative spring rate equal to the sum of all other positive spring rates produces by a second spring used to adjust the accumulator pressure, by the diaphragm, and by a flexure pivot support for a sensor lever. This sensor lever moves with the accumulator diaphragm to actuate an optical sensor producing an electric signal indicative of small changes in liquid volume in the accumulator. This signal in turn continuously modulates the power to the motor driving the pump so as to maintain the accumulator liquid volume close to a datum value even during a portion of the pump delivery cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 29, 1999
    Inventor: Howard L. North, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5720324
    Abstract: Free space within a chamber is filled with a flowable material via an opening in a surface of the chamber. A delivery force is used to deliver the flowable material into the chamber via the opening. An outwardly directed force, independent of the delivery force, is applied to draw the flowable material away from the opening. The extent to which the free space within the chamber has been filled is sensed. And the delivering of the flowable material is controlled in response to the sensing. A wall of the chamber defines a longer dimension and a shorter dimension and the opening is in a portion of the wall that defines the longer dimension. The flowable material is delivered into the chamber via the opening in a manner such that, as the flowable material fills the chamber, a surface of the flowable material moves toward the opening along the longer dimension of the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Assignee: VLT Corporation
    Inventor: Patrizio Vinciarelli
  • Patent number: 5533392
    Abstract: A system for sensing the surface level of flowable material within a container, comprises a drop weight secured to a cable through a pulley for being disposed above the material and brought into contact with the surface level of the material. The cable is wound and anchored to a spool driven by a reversible motor. A transducer operably secured to the pulley provides an output responsive to the strain on the cable exerted by drop weight. A signal processor connected to the transducer generates an output signal responsive to the drop weight being supported by the material. A pulse generator for generating a plurality of pulses the number of which is proportional to the amount of rotation of the spool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1996
    Assignee: Tecnetics Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Alan K. Kira
  • Patent number: 5400376
    Abstract: Ultrasonic fuel gauging apparatus for a fuel tank having a plurality of ultrasonic fuel level sensors for sensing fuel levels at respective predetermined locations in a tank based on echo ranging; a memory means for storing sensor data; and a state device for interrogating each of the sensors by controlling the application of transmit pulses to each of the sensors and for receiving output signals corresponding to return echoes, the state device operating in response to a sequential state counter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1995
    Assignee: Simmonds Precision Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Christian L. Trudeau
  • Patent number: 5305237
    Abstract: A method and system for monitoring the level of flowable material contained in a transportable vessel that utilizes microwave gauging technology. The system includes a microwave lens/seal assembly, a microwave transceiver assembly, a controller/processor assembly and a computer. The lens/seal assembly is permanently secured to the vessel. The microwave transceiver assembly is adapted to be releasably attached to the vessel. The controller/processor assembly and the computer may be located at a loading/unloading facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 19, 1994
    Assignee: Union Tank Car Company
    Inventors: Thomas H. Dalrymple, Buford R. Jean, Tom L. Erb, Frederick L. Whitehead
  • Patent number: 5007287
    Abstract: A filler cap of a jar for a washer is provided with a stopper portion plugging filler hole of the jar, a pawl portion engaged with the filler hole and a tubular gauge for measuring residual quantity of detergent liquid in the jar which extends toward the bottom of the jar. The tubular guage communicates with an air hole in the cap opening on a finger gripped face of a knob provided on the stopper portion. In using this filler cap, it is possible to measure the residual quantity of the detergent liquid with ease and accuracy since gripping the knob to remove the stopper portion of the cap will also cover the air hole so as to retain a quantity of liquid in the guage indicative of the amount of fluid left in the jar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1991
    Assignee: Jidosha Denki Kogyo K.K.
    Inventor: Kazuhiko Nagai
  • Patent number: 4898030
    Abstract: Apparatus for gaging the amount of liquid propellant remaining in a spacecraft (38) tank (1). The tank (1) comprises several preferably V-shaped channels 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, hereinafter collectively referred to as "2" which communicate liquid propellant from regions within the tank (1) to an outlet port (8) that expels liquid propellant but not pressurant gas. A liquid/bubble chamber assembly (9) couples the channels (2) with the outlet port (8). The channels (2) comprise relatively open portions (11) and relatively closed portions (10). A first ultrasonic transducer (31) is positioned along the outside of the tank (1) and detects a condition of near propellant depletion by measuring the amount of liquid retained in the relatively open portions (11) of the channels (2). The liquid/bubble chamber assembly (9) comprises a liquid trap (27) and a bubble trap (28).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1988
    Date of Patent: February 6, 1990
    Assignee: Ford Aerospace Corporation
    Inventor: Tso-ping Yeh
  • Patent number: 4840064
    Abstract: An apparatus (9) is disclosed for determining the volume of liquid (18) in a container (1) which is being provided with an in flow and an out flow of liquid such that there normally remains an ullage volume (8) in the container filled with gas. A timer (13) actuated valve (11) is provided for interrupting one of the in flow and the out flow of liquid. A pressure sensor (10) detects the pressure of the gas in the ullage volume (8) of the container (1) during the interruption of the one of the in flow and out flow of the liquid, and a microprocessor (14) calculates the volume of liquid (18) in the container (1) from the detected change in pressure of the gas during the interruption.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 20, 1989
    Assignee: Sundstrand Corp.
    Inventor: Efrem V. Fudim
  • Patent number: 4770033
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for determining and indicating the quantity of a liquid or solid stored material contained in a container sealable with respect to the atmosphere or any other reference gas pressure, together with a residual volume of the gas interior representing the total volume less the stored product volume, the residual volume being increased and/or decreased after sealing the container by means of a displacer with a freely adjustable displacement size and shape arranged within the container and the resulting pressure change in the residual volume is determined as the measured value for the latter by means of the gas pressure measuring device permanently connected to the container gas zone, so that the corresponding apparatus can be produced with reduced costs and space requirements, has no special sealing problems and simultaneously satisfies at least the same requirements as regards accuracy of measurement and indication, response, adjustability and functional reliability as the known
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1986
    Date of Patent: September 13, 1988
    Inventor: Walter Nicolai
  • Patent number: 4763518
    Abstract: A method for measuring the net internal volume of test receptacles each containing an unknown but variable volume of a liquid, such as in testing automatic transmissions containing residual amounts of transmission fluid, to determine the exact volume of fluid needed to be added to fill the transmission to the correct level. The method places a pressurized reference vessel in communication with the internal spaces of a sealed transmission upon opening of a valve allowing the pressure to fall by expansion from the reference vessel into the transmission. The resulting reduced pressure is initially sensed shortly after the valve is opened, and subsequently after a more prolonged interval, allowing the pressure to be substantially stabilized. The receptacle net internal volume is then determined from the relationship between the preliminary pressure in the reference vessel and the stabilized final pressure by application of Boyle's law, and the volume of liquid to be added calculated therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1987
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1988
    Assignee: Frigo France
    Inventors: Jean-Michel Daviaud, Pascal Herbert, Patrick Loison
  • Patent number: 4676099
    Abstract: Apparatus for indicating a preselected condition of material in a vessel which includes a laid wire cable vertically suspended within the vessel so as to contact and be surrounded by material contained therein. The laid wire cable is suspended by a roller-type thrust bearing which permits free rotation of the cable and thus prevents torsional sheer stresses on the suspended cable end due to tension in the cable and consequent unraveling and reraveling of the cable lays. In a preferred embodiment of the invention wherein the upper end of the cable is selectively slackened and material level is determined as a function of weight of the slackened cable end unsupported by material, a spherical head is affixed to the cable to seat against and cooperate with a side-thrust washer slidably carried on the foot of a load cell for isolating the load cell from lateral cable forces due to material or component tolerance variations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1985
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1987
    Assignee: Berwind Corporation
    Inventor: Hugh R. McGookin
  • Patent number: 4640126
    Abstract: A device for measuring the oil level in an internal combustion engine, which enables an oil dipstick to remain in the oil filling opening to engines even during filling. At its upper end the dipstick is connected to a cap for the oil filling opening, and the dipstick is intended to be accommodated in a tube or a like device communicating with an oil container for the engine. The invention is substantially distinguished in that the dipstick is articulately connected to the cap and allows tilting of the dipstick relative the cap, enabling the cap to be hung on the upper edge of the tube during oil filling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 3, 1987
    Assignee: Saab-Scania Aktiebolag
    Inventor: Peter A. G. Jansch
  • Patent number: 4599892
    Abstract: The apparatus consists of a mechanical acoustical driver producing sound vibrations in a fluid, such as a liquid or gas, within an enclosed space. A pickup transducer positioned within the tank measures the sound vibrations of the gas within the tank and transmits the same to a lock-in amplifier and a low pass filter. The outputs of the lock-in amplifier and low pass filters are fed to differential amplifiers which amplify the difference between the dynamic fluid pressure changes caused by the sound vibrations and the static pressure. An acoustical resistor is positioned between the pickup transducer and the wall of the enclosed space for providing a fluid passage way therethrough. The acoustic resistor in conjunction with a nonlinear circuit element mounted at the output of the differential amplifiers linearizes the output of the apparatus providing accurate measurements of the material at both extremes of either very small volume or very large volume in the enclosed space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1984
    Date of Patent: July 15, 1986
    Inventor: Navin H. Doshi
  • Patent number: 4558597
    Abstract: Apparatus for detecting failure of a surface tension screen disposed between a holding chamber and a main chamber of a tank includes a fixture for supporting the tank in desired test orientations, a drive mechanism on the fixture for rotating the tank and an ultrasonic transducer used in making a measurement with respect to the position of an interface between liquid and gas contained in the holding chamber of the tank. The holding and main chambers are tandemly arranged along a longitudinal axis of the tank and are each substantially filled by a liquid propellant with respective volumes of gas contained in each chamber. The fixture supports the tank in a first orientation with a nose of the tank pointing downwardly and tank longitudinal axis extending approximately 60.degree. above horizontal and to the right of vertical and in a second orientation with the tank nose pointing upwardly and tank longitudinal axis extending approximately 60.degree. above horizontal and to the left of vertical.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 1985
    Date of Patent: December 17, 1985
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force
    Inventors: James R. Fenwick, Yi M. Chang
  • Patent number: 4553431
    Abstract: This invention relates to a process for determining and indicating the quantity of a stored liquid or solid material, which is contained in a closed container of constant volume together with a gaseous filling medium introduced into the residual volume of the container interior, kept under a limitedly variable pressure (overpressure or underpressure) and varying from atmospheric pressure. The residual volume or a quantity constituting a measure thereof is measured and, calibrated in units of the stored product quantity, it being reproduced by means of an analog or digital indicating device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1984
    Date of Patent: November 19, 1985
    Inventor: Walter Nicolai
  • Patent number: 4535627
    Abstract: A container of known volume, such as a fuel tank of an automotive vehicle, is provided with a loudspeaker-like membrane which can be energized to produce a pressure pulse in the gas space above the liquid in the container. The oscillations of this gas space are then converted into a signal via the diaphragm and the period of the signal is determined to provide the volume of the gas space. This is subtracted from the gas volume of the container automatically to indicate the liquid volume and the liquid volume can be displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1983
    Date of Patent: August 20, 1985
    Assignee: Battelle Memorial Institute
    Inventors: Jean-Louis Prost, Daniel Gross
  • Patent number: 4531293
    Abstract: A gauge for determining the relative proportions of materials to be added to a container to achieve a desired, predetermined mixture. More precisely, the gauge of the invention measures the level of the mixture remaining in the container and indicates the amount of at least one element of the mixture to be added to the tank before filling the tank with the other element of the mixture to achieve the desired ratio of elements when the tank is full. The gauge is comprised of a cap, gasket, and calibrated stick having a hinge member and retaining feet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 1984
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1985
    Inventor: James E. Grinde
  • Patent number: 4501146
    Abstract: A method of nondestructively detecting the presence of free liquid within a sealed enclosure containing solidified waste by measuring the levels of waste at two diametrically opposite locations while slowly tilting the enclosure toward one of said locations. When the measured level remains constant at the other location, the measured level at said one location is noted and any measured difference of levels indicates the presence of liquid on the surface of the solidified waste. The absence of liquid in the enclosure is verified when the measured levels at both locations are equal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1983
    Date of Patent: February 26, 1985
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Wilbur O. Greenhalgh
  • Patent number: 4474061
    Abstract: The volume of gases in a container or the volume of liquid in the container is determined by creating cyclic pressure waves in the gases and detecting the waves by a second transducer. The signals produced by the second transducer are a function of the volume of gas in the container, and the volume of any liquid can be obtained by simple calculation. The signals can also provide detection of an open container and, when coupled to signals relating to the velocity of a vehicle, can provide other data such as a miles-per-gallon reading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 2, 1984
    Assignee: Motorola, Inc.
    Inventor: Norman W. Parker
  • Patent number: 4450721
    Abstract: Apparatus for indicating quantity of liquified gas contained in a storage container for supplying gas to a consuming appliance, the apparatus including a pressure sensor for sensing gas pressure within the container and being arranged to operate an indicator which gives a desired indication, the indicator being calibrated to indicate the quantity by weight or volume of liquified gas contained in the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1981
    Date of Patent: May 29, 1984
    Assignee: Energy Innovation Enterprises, Ltd.
    Inventors: John Gaunt, Kenneth E. Gregory
  • Patent number: 4445370
    Abstract: This invention relates to a proportional measuring device for determining the amount of oil that should be added to any quantity of gasoline that is added to the fuel tank of a two cycle engine to maintain the proper proportions of oil to gasoline for efficient operation of the engine. In the operation of internal combustion engines of the two-cycle type it is customary to add oil to the gasoline in the approximate proportions of one pint of oil per six gallons of gasoline to insure proper lubrication of the movable engine parts. Difficulties have heretofore been encountered in determining the amount of oil to add when a quantity of gasoline is added to a partially filled tank having the correct proportions of oil to gasoline. With my "Exact-Oil" measuring device it is possible to add any desired quantity of gasoline to a partially filled tank and then to determine accurately the amount of oil that should be added to that quantity of gasoline to maintain the proper proportions of oil to gasoline in the tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1982
    Date of Patent: May 1, 1984
    Inventor: William E. Whitmire
  • Patent number: 4354383
    Abstract: To measure the amount of liquid fuel in a ventilated fuel tank (1), the ventilation of the tank is stopped temporarily by a valve (7) and gas is removed from or fed into the unventilated tank through a device (12). A quantity indicative of the change in the gas state in the tank is measured after feeding in or removal of the gas to provide an indirect measurement of the amount of fuel in the tank. The gas may be removed from or fed into the tank at a constant volumetric flow rate, in which case the quantity measured will be the time taken for a predetermined alteration in the pressure of gas in the tank to occur. Alternatively, gas may be removed until a predetermined reduced pressure in the space in the tank is reached and the volume of gas removed can provide a direct or indirect measure of the amount of fuel in the tank. As a second alternative a predetermined volume of gas is removed and the alteration in pressure of the gas in the tank is measured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1980
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1982
    Assignee: Bosch & Pierburg System oHG
    Inventor: Gunter Hartel
  • Patent number: 4276774
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for measuring the level of containerized or free standing semi-solid material is disclosed. A substantially smooth uniform cable is suspended above and into the semi-solid material. A predetermined amount of slack is introduced into the cable. The slackened portion of the cable above the level of the semi-solid material is coupled to a weighing apparatus. The weighing apparatus weighs the slackened portion of the cable, the weight of such a portion being related to the amount of cable above the level of the material and thus an indication of the level of the material. Subsequent to a measurement, the cable is raised for uncoupling the cable from the weighing apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1979
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1981
    Assignee: Hugh R. McGookin
    Inventor: Hugh R. McGookin
  • Patent number: 4167874
    Abstract: A device for indicating the volume of liquid in a fuel tank or like container includes a linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) mounted within the tank, which is divided into a liquid containing section and a gas containing section by a longitudinally movable piston. Pressure gas is provided to the gas containing section of the tank through a port in a tank wall, and urges the piston to follow the liquid level in the tank. The LVDT has a fixed coil housing with a fixed electrical input and a rotatable core actuator. The core actuator is coupled for rotation in response to movement of the piston. Rotation of the actuator effects translational movement of the core within the coil, thereby producing a variable electrical output in response to changes in liquid volume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1978
    Date of Patent: September 18, 1979
    Assignee: Sundstrand Corporation
    Inventor: John D. Grant
  • Patent number: 3962916
    Abstract: In a system for measuring the volume of a closed air space as for example the volume of the air space above the liquid in a container, a regulated gas supply provides a source of predetermined pressure which is used to charge a small vessel of known volume to the same pressure. A fluidic sensing system detects when the pressure in the vessel is equal to the pressure of the regulated supply and then automatically interrupts the connection between the gas supply and the vessel and then connects the vessel to discharge into the volume being measured. The resulting pressure in the volume will be inversely proportional to the volume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1974
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1976
    Assignee: McNay Equipment Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Jean C. Bouchy, Theodore J. Hardman