(19)
(11)EP 3 575 646 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
04.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/49

(21)Application number: 19175722.8

(22)Date of filing:  21.05.2019
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F16K 5/06  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 30.05.2018 DK PA201800241

(71)Applicant: Danfoss A/S
6430 Nordborg (DK)

(72)Inventor:
  • BRATKOVIC, Marjan
    6430 Nordborg (DK)

(74)Representative: Stevens, Brian 
Danfoss A/S Nordborgvej 81
6430 Nordborg
6430 Nordborg (DK)

  


(54)BALL VALVE INSERT, VALVE PART UNIT AND BALL VALVE


(57) The present invention relates to an insert element (30a) for a ball valve being a combined biasing and supporting insert element formed in one piece comprising
- an inlet section (31a) in fluid connection to an outlet section (31b) by an inner flow path,
- a supporting shape (32) towards the outlet shaped to support a sealing element, and
- a biasing section (33) of the insert element intermediate between an inlet and the supporting shape.
The present invention further relates to methods to manufacture ball valves by such insert elements.




Description

BACKGROUND



[0001] Ball valves is a commonly known regulator and includes a ball-shaped valve element with a flow path between two openings, where the ball-shaped valve element possible simply is hollow to form the flow path. The valve element is positioned within a cavity inside a valve body and aligns with two connected end tubes defining an inlet and outlet respectively for the ball valve, such that in one rotation position the openings aligns with the tubes forming a flow path from the inlet to the outlet, whereas in a second rotation the sides of the valve element aligns with the tubes, thus closing off for any flow to pass.

[0002] To ensure a sealed connection of the valve element to the tubes, sealing rings are positioned being squeezed between a supporting insert of the sealing ring, and the valve element, and where spring means is inserted pushing the sealing ring

[0003] A handle usually is attached to the valve element to induce the rotation.

[0004] The present invention introduces a simpler and easier construction of the ball valve.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0005] To solve the object of the invention the features of the claims is introduced, which includes the features of introducing a insert element for a ball valve, characterized in that said insert element is a combined biasing and supporting insert element formed in one piece comprising
  • an inlet section in fluid connection to an outlet section by an inner flow path,
  • a supporting shape towards the outlet shaped to support a sealing element, and
  • a biasing section of the insert element intermediate between an inlet and the supporting shape.


[0006] In an embodiment, the insert element is adapted to be positioned within a tube reaching between a first end with an opening and a second end with an opening and comprising an inner shape in the inner wall surface of said tube therebetween, such that said insert element is introduced through said second end opening and positioned towards said inner shape that is formed to prevent the insert element from any further movement towards a first end of said tube.

[0007] In an embodiment, a valve part unit is formed of the insert element and inserted in said tube, where said tube is formed with a widening section having an increasing internal diameter seen in the direction from the first end to the second end and where a flat section leads from the shoulder to the start of the widening section and has a thinner wall thickness than the neighbouring sections of the tube unit.

[0008] In an embodiment, a ball valve is formed of said two valve part units and positioned with their first end surfaces contacting and enclosing a ball valve element positioned between the respective two supporting shapes each supporting a sealing element that contacts said ball valve element. and where said first end surfaces are fixed together such as by welding or brazing.

[0009] In an embodiment the length of the insert elements is such that when the two valve part units are connected, then the insert elements are compressed such that biasing tension are built into the biasing section pushing the sealings and supporting shapes towards the ball valve element.

[0010] By forming the ball valve by such vale part units, the valve body will simply be replaced by tube units themselves.

[0011] In an embodiment, a valve part unit, also referred to as a ball cartridge, is formed of two insert elements each comprising extensions reaching out of the supporting shapes and connected and fixed together, such as by welding or brazing, and where a ball-shaped valve element is confined between said extensions and said outlet sections, and where the respective two supporting shapes each supports a sealing element that contacts said ball valve element. In an embodiment, when the insert elements are connected and confines the valve element between them, then the insert elements are compressed such that biasing tension are built into the biasing section pushing the sealings and supporting shapes towards the ball valve element making a sealing connection. In an embodiment, a ball valve is formed of the valve part unit and positioned within a tube reaching between a first end with an opening and a second end with an opening and comprising an inner shape in the inner wall surface of said tube therebetween, where said insert element in introduced through said second end opening and positioned towards said inner shape that is formed to prevent the insert element) from any further movement towards a first end of said tube. In an embodiment, said tube is a single tube with a pre-shaped section with a widening section having an increasing internal diameter seen in the direction from the first end to the second end, and an unshaped section. In an embodiment, said the unshaped section comprises a recessed portion formed as a recess in the inner side wall of the single tube and including the shoulder, such that when shaping the portion around the valve unit(s) the end second of the ends fits into the shoulder of the recessed portion, this then being the flat section of this single tube section.

[0012] In any of the ball valve cartridge embodiments, it is possible to leak test this single unit, before being assembled into a full ball valve. This it would be easier and cheaper to replace a malfunctional part.

[0013] An embodiment relates to a method of manufacturing a ball valve, such as indicated in the claims. In an embodiment this includes providing an insert element formed as one part as a combined biasing and supporting insert element with an inlet section and outlet section, a supporting shape towards the outlet shaped to support a sealing element, and a biasing section of the insert element intermediate between an inlet and the supporting shape, then inserting it within a tube by a second end such that the outer surface of said inlet is positioned towards an inner shape in the inner wall surface of said tube preventing the insert element from any further movement towards a first end of said tube.

[0014] An embodiment relate to a method of manufacturing a ball valve by providing an insert element formed as one part as a combined biasing and supporting insert element with an inlet section and outlet section, a supporting shape towards the outlet shaped to support a sealing element and a biasing section of the insert element intermediate between an inlet and the supporting shape, then providing two valve part units, each formed by inserting an insert element into a tube by a second end such that the outer surface of said inlet is positioned towards an inner shape in the inner wall surface of said tube preventing the insert element from any further movement towards a first end of said tube, and subsequently position the two valve parts together by connecting their second end surfaces and fixing them together, such as by welding or brazing.

[0015] An embodiment relates to a method of manufacturing a ball valve by providing an insert element formed as one part as a combined biasing and supporting insert element with an inlet section and outlet section, a supporting shape towards the outlet shaped to support a sealing element, and a biasing section of the insert element intermediate between an inlet and the supporting shape, then providing a valve part unit formed of two insert element connected to a ball-shaped valve element, said two insert elements comprising extensions reaching out of the supporting shapes and adapted to confine the valve element between them, and subsequently inserting it into a tube by a second end such that the outer surface of said inlet is positioned towards an inner shape in the inner wall surface of said tube preventing the insert element from any further movement towards a first end of said tube. In an embodiment, said be is a single tube with a pre-shaped section with a widening section having an increasing internal diameter seen in the direction from the first end to the second end, and an unshaped section, and subsequent shaping the unshaped section.

[0016] Advantages to any of the embodiments includes there to be less assembly parts to purchase, to transport, to hold on stock etc.

[0017] Further, each of the insert and vale part units could apply to a range of different valves to be produced.

[0018] Further less welding etc is required, thus reducing the production time and cost, but also the possible weak area, thus making it more resistant to internal pressure, this increasing the possible load force.

[0019] Further it enables the production of a more compact valve body,

FIGURES



[0020] 
Fig. 1
An example of a ball valve according to prior art.
Fig. 2
An embodiment of a valve part unit formed of a tube and an insert element according to an embodiment.
Fig. 3
An embodiment showing two such valve part units connected with a ball-shaped valve element positioned between the two insertion units.
Fig. 4
An embodiment showing a ball valve constructed by such two valve part units.
Fig. 5
An embodiment of a valve part unit formed as a valve cartridge with two insert elements connected and enclosing a ball-shaped valve element.
Fig. 6
A single tube with a shaped section and an unshaped section.
Figs. 7a,b
A ball valve cartridge inserted into a single tube and where an unshaped section subsequently is shaped to confine the ball valve cartridge within.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



[0021] It should be understood, that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the detailed description.

[0022] Fig. 1 illustrate a ball valve (1) from prior art, where a ball-shaped valve element (2) having a through bore (3) is retained within the valve cavity (4) of the valve body (11) by the end tubes (5), or welding ends (5), that retain internal fluid pressure and give support to internal parts like the valve element (2) in open and close position

[0023] A sealing ring (6) supported by support ring (7) and a disc spring (8) is positioned between end tubes (5) and valve element (2), such that the disc spring (8) biases the sealing ring (6) against the valve element (2) in a sealing manner. Further, when in closes position, the fluid forces acting on the valve element (2) pushes it against the sealing ring (6) ensuring further sealing.

[0024] The end tubes (5) is fixed such as by welding to the valve body (1) and a handle (9) is connected to a stem (10) fixed to the valve element (2) to make it rotate between open and close positions by the handle (9).

[0025] Fig. 2 illustrate a construction element according to the present invention showing an end tube unit (21) formed with a widening section (22) having an increasing internal diameter seen in the direction from the first end (23) to the second end (24). In the illustration this is a gradual linear increase, but could alternatively be abrupt, curved etc., and changes from a first inner diameter d1 to a second inner diameter d2, where d2 is larger than d1.

[0026] The inner diameter of the tube unit (21) at the first section seen from the first end (23) to the start of the widening section (22) (where it's inner diameter is smallest) may be constant and like the first inner diameter d1, just as the inner diameter seen from the end of the widening section (where it's inner diameter is largest) to the second end (24) may be constant and like the second inner diameter d2.

[0027] In another embodiment as illustrated, the inner walls of the tube unit (21) in the area around the start of the widening section (22) (where it's at the smallest), a disruption is formed with an inner shoulder (26), or inner step or simply inner shape, in the inner wall forming an enlarged diameter, and where a section (25) leading from the shoulder to the start of the widening section (22) is 'flat' with the first inner diameter d1, thus being slightly larger than the section from the first end (23) to the inner shoulder (26). The tube unit (21) disruption (25) over this section thus has a thinner wall thickness than the neighbouring sections of the tube unit (21), such as by forming a recess in the unshaped pre-tube that subsequently is shaped according to the tube unit (21), and connects the section from the first end (23) to the widening section (22).

[0028] A combined biasing and supporting insert element (30a) is inserted into the end tube unit (21), the insert element (30a) forming a passage from its inlet (31a) to outlet (31b), and where the outer diameter at the inlet may be slightly larger than the inner diameter of at least the first end (23) of the tube unit (21). In the illustrated embodiment with the inner shoulder (26) the outer diameter is such that it is larger than the inner diameter of the inner diameter of the tube unit in the section from the first end (23) to the shoulder (26), but fits into the section from the shoulder (26) to the start of the widening section (22), thus having an outer diameter being roughly d1.

[0029] In more general terms, the inner wall is the tube unit (21) and the first end of the insert element (30a) is shaped such that an inner shape (26) in the tube unit (21) inner wall is formed to match the outer shape of the inlet (31a) end of the insert element (30a), such that when the insert element (30a) is inserted into the tube unit (21) it is securely positioned with its inlet (31a) end at the inner shape (26), being prevented in any further movement in the direction towards the first end (23) of the tube element (21).

[0030] The section of the insert element (30a) towards the inlet (31a) may be formed such that when inserted into the tube unit (21) it is being slightly compressed.

[0031] A section of the insert element (30a) towards the outlet (31b) is shaped (32) to support a sealing element (6), such as a sealing ring (6), and thus replaces the support ring (7) with the same role.

[0032] A section (33) of the insert element (30a) between the inlet (31a) and the shape (32) is a biasing form (33) defined as having a build in biasing, or spring, ability.

[0033] The tube unit (21) in an area towards the second end (24) may be formed with a recess (29) in its wall.

[0034] Fig. 2 shows a first embodiment of a part valve unit (50a) according to the present invention formed of the insert element (30a) inserted into the tube unit (21).

[0035] Figs. 3 and 4 illustrate how a ball valve (1) is constructed by two such part valve units (50a) positioned to enclose the (ball-shaped) valve element (2). The sealing elements (6) is positioned in the support shapes (32) and contacts the valve element (2) for sealing. The length of the insert elements (30a) is such that the part valve units (50a) are connected, then tension is stored in their biasing forms (33), such that they are pushing the sealing elements (6) towards and squeezing it against the valve element (2).

[0036] When connected at the second end (24) surfaces the part valve units (50a) are fixed together such as by brazing, welding (51) etc. at the circumference, and as seen in fig. 4, through the opening formed by the connected two recesses (29) the handle (9) is connected to a stem (10) being fixed to the valve element (2). Further included may be is a packing box and sealing elements.

[0037] Illustrated is further an embodiment flanges (52) connected to the end tubes (21), which may or may not be connected to any of the embodiments according to the present invention.

[0038] Fig. 5 illustrate an alternative embodiment of a part valve unit (50b), which includes insert elements (30b) connected to the ball-shaped valve element (2), the part valve unit (50b) could also be referred to as a ball cartridge (50b). The two insert elements (30b) in the illustrated embodiment comprise extensions (34) reaching out of the supporting shapes (32) of the sealing elements (6) and adapted to confine the valve element (2) between them. The extensions (34) of the two insert elements (30b) may be fixed together (e.g. by welding, brazing etc) thus forming a stable ball cartridge (50b) that thus could can be tested for leakage before assembling into final ball valve product.

[0039] The final ball valve (1) then could be formed by positioning the ball cartridge (50b) within two tube units (21) in the same manner as explained in relation to figures 2-4.

[0040] An alternative assembly of the ball cartridge (50b) could be forming the insert element (30b) as one tubular piece, possible pre-shaped according to the description of fig. 5 at the one half, positioning the ball-shaped valve element (2) within it, and then subsequently shaping either both halves or the unshaped half around the valve element (2) to the shape of fig. 5.

[0041] Fig. 6 shows an alternative embodiment to the construction of two tube units (21) only a single tube (60) pre-shaped at the one section (61a) (the pre-shaped section, possible being a first half of the tube (60)) in the same manner as described in relation to figure 2, but unshaped at the second section (61b) (the unshaped section, possible being a second half of the tube (60)). The ball cartridge (50b) of the embodiment of fig. 5, or the individual pieces (30a, 6, 2, 6, 30a) of the embodiment of figures 2 and 3 is introduced into the one opening of the un-shaped single tube (60) until the end (23) reaches the shoulder (26) of the pre-shaped section (61a).

[0042] In the illustrated embodiment, the unshaped section (61b) then comprises a disruption portion (62) including the shoulder (26) of this second section, where said disruption portion (62) is formed as a recess in the inner side wall of the single tube (60). When shaping the portion around the valve unit(s) (50a, 50b) the end second of the ends (23) fits into the shoulder (26) of the disruption portion (62).

[0043] Fig. 7a illustrate said tube (60) being a single tube (60) where a part valve unit being ball cartridge (50b) is inserted into the opening of the unshaped section (61b), which subsequently is shaped according to the shaped section (61a), thus fixing the ball cartridge (50b), the single tube (60) thus forming the valve body.


Claims

1. Insert element (30a, 30b) for a ball valve (1), characterized in that said insert element (30a, 30b) is a combined biasing and supporting insert element (30a, 30b) formed in one piece comprising

- an inlet section (31a) in fluid connection to an outlet section (31b) by an inner flow path,

- a supporting shape (32) towards the outlet (31b) shaped to support a sealing element (6), and

- a biasing section (33) of the insert element (30a) intermediate between an inlet (31a) and the supporting shape (32).


 
2. Insert element (30a, 30b) according to claim 1, wherein it is adapted to be positioned within a tube (21, 60) reaching between a first end (23) with an opening and a second end (24) with an opening and comprising an inner shape (26) in the inner wall surface of said tube (21, 60) therebetween, such that said insert element (30a, 30b) is introduced through said second end (24) opening and positioned towards said inner shape (26) that is formed to prevent the insert element (30a, 30b) from any further movement towards a first end (23) of said tube (21, 60).
 
3. Valve part unit (50a) formed of the insert element (30a, 30b) according to claim 1 and inserted in said tube (21) of claim 2, where said tube (21) is formed with a widening section (22) having an increasing internal diameter seen in the direction from the first end (23) to the second end (24) and where a flat section (25) leads from the shoulder (26) to the start of the widening section (22) and has a thinner wall thickness than the neighbouring sections of the tube unit (21).
 
4. Ball valve (1) formed of two valve part units (50a) according to claim 3 positioned with their first end (23) surfaces contacting and enclosing a ball valve element (2) positioned between the respective two supporting shapes (32) each supporting a sealing element (6) that contacts said ball valve element (2), and where said first end surfaces (23) are fixed together such as by welding or brazing.
 
5. Ball valve (1) according to claim 4, wherein the length of the insert elements (30a) is such that when the two valve part units (50a) are connected, then the insert elements (30a) are compressed such that biasing tension are built into the biasing section (33) pushing the sealings (6) and supporting shapes (32) towards the ball valve element (2).
 
6. Valve part unit (50b) formed of two insert element (30b) according to claim 1 each comprising extensions (34) reaching out of the supporting shapes (32) and connected and fixed together, such as by welding or brazing, and where a ball-shaped valve element (2) is confined between said extensions (34) and said outlet sections (31b), and where the respective two supporting shapes (32) each supports a sealing element (6) that contacts said ball valve element (2).
 
7. Valve part unit (50b) according to claim 6, wherein when the insert elements (30b) connected and confines the valve element (2) between them, then the insert elements (30b) are compressed such that biasing tension are built into the biasing section (33) pushing the sealings (6) and supporting shapes (32) towards the ball valve element (2).
 
8. Ball valve (1) formed of the valve part unit (50b) according to claim 6 or 7, and positioned within a tube (21, 60) reaching between a first end (23) with an opening and a second end (24) with an opening and comprising an inner shape (26) in the inner wall surface of said tube (21, 60) therebetween, where said insert element (30a, 30b) in introduced through said second end (24) opening and positioned towards said inner shape (26) that is formed to prevent the insert element (30a, 30b) from any further movement towards a first end (23) of said tube (21, 60).
 
9. Ball valve (1) according to claim 8, wherein said tube is a single tube (60) with a pre-shaped section (61a) with a widening section (22) having an increasing internal diameter seen in the direction from the first end (23) to the second end (24), and an unshaped section (61b).
 
10. Ball valve (1) according to claim 9, wherein the unshaped section (61b) comprises a recessed portion (62) formed as a recess in the inner side wall of the single tube (60) and including the shoulder (26), such that when shaping the portion around the valve unit(s) (50a, 50b) the end second of the ends (23) fits into the shoulder (26) of the recessed portion (62), this then being the flat section (25) of this single tube (60) section.
 
11. Method of manufacturing a ball valve (1) by providing an insert element (30a, 30b) formed as one part as a combined biasing and supporting insert element (30a, 30a) with an inlet section (31a) and outlet section (31b), a supporting shape (32) towards the outlet (31b) shaped to support a sealing element (6), and a biasing section (33) of the insert element (30a) intermediate between an inlet (31a) and the supporting shape (32), then inserting it within a tube (21, 60) by a second end (24) such that the outer surface of said inlet (31a) is positioned towards an inner shape (26) in the inner wall surface of said tube (21, 60) preventing the insert element (30a, 39b) from any further movement towards a first end (23) of said tube (21, 60).
 
12. Method of manufacturing a ball valve (1) by providing an insert element (30a, 30b) formed as one part as a combined biasing and supporting insert element (30a, 30a) with an inlet section (31a) and outlet section (31b), a supporting shape (32) towards the outlet (31b) shaped to support a sealing element (6), and a biasing section (33) of the insert element (30a) intermediate between an inlet (31a) and the supporting shape (32), then providing two valve part units (50a), each formed by inserting an insert element (30a) into a tube (21) by a second end (24) such that the outer surface of said inlet (31a) is positioned towards an inner shape (26) in the inner wall surface of said tube (21) preventing the insert element (30a) from any further movement towards a first end (23) of said tube (21), and subsequently position the two valve parts (50a) together by connecting their second end (24) surfaces and fixing them together, such as by welding or brazing.
 
13. Method of manufacturing a ball valve (1) by providing an insert element (30b) formed as one part as a combined biasing and supporting insert element (30b) with an inlet section (31a) and outlet section (31b), a supporting shape (32) towards the outlet (31b) shaped to support a sealing element (6), and a biasing section (33) of the insert element (30b) intermediate between an inlet (31a) and the supporting shape (32), then providing a valve part unit (50b) formed of two insert element (30b) connected to a ball-shaped valve element (2), said two insert elements (30b) comprising extensions (34) reaching out of the supporting shapes (32) and adapted to confine the valve element (2) between them, and subsequently inserting it into a tube (21, 60) by a second end (24) such that the outer surface of said inlet (31a) is positioned towards an inner shape (26) in the inner wall surface of said tube (21, 60) preventing the insert element (30a) from any further movement towards a first end (23) of said tube (21).
 
14. Method according to claim 13, where said tube (60) is a single tube (60) with a pre-shaped section (61a) with a widening section (22) having an increasing internal diameter seen in the direction from the first end (23) to the second end (24), and an unshaped section (61b), and subsequent shaping the unshaped section (61b).
 




Drawing