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Precision material filling systems

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #4450981.

The filling systems according to the invention utilize pneumatic pressure maintained within closely held tolerance limits to impose a constant dispensing force upon the material being dispensed. The invention in one embodiment utilizes a buffer tank system in which the product to be dispensed is transferred from a supply tank (11) to the buffer tank (12) where the desired pressure is induced through a pneumatic head which is introduced above the product level. The product level in the buffer tank (12) is allowed to fluctuate within a relatively narrow band of depth so as to negate the effect of changes in gravity head pressure. The closed and pressurized system is refilled by forcing the incoming product into the tank (12) under a higher pressure than that in the buffer tank (12). The air within the tank (12) that is displaced as a result of introducing the new product is automatically vented to atmosphere through a precision regulation system (45).The pressure balancing system incorporates either a piston or diaphragm balancing member controller device (81) which controls a three-way pneumatic valve (72) for charging or venting the dispensing tank (58). The desired product set point pressure is applied to one side of the balancing member (80) and the actual product pressure is applied to the other side. As the level in the tank (58) drops, the gravity head pressure drops, and this is sensed at the bottom of the tank. The balancing member (80) favors the side with the lower pressure causing the three-way valve (72) to open and pneumatically charge the tank (58) until the set point pressure and the actual prodcut pressure are equal. If the actual product pressure becomes greater than the set point pressure (72) to exhaust the excess pressure to atmosphere. The response time and sensitivity of the system are adjusted by a flow control valve (68) in the charging circuit, and by increasing or decreasing the pressure differential between the charging pressure and the set point pressure.

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