US20080128415A1 - Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same - Google Patents

Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080128415A1
US20080128415A1 US12029855 US2985508A US2008128415A1 US 20080128415 A1 US20080128415 A1 US 20080128415A1 US 12029855 US12029855 US 12029855 US 2985508 A US2985508 A US 2985508A US 2008128415 A1 US2008128415 A1 US 2008128415A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
filler neck
neck assembly
outlet opening
inlet opening
tubular body
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12029855
Inventor
Patrick R. O'Connell
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Stant USA Corp
Original Assignee
Shelby Enterprises Inc
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Filing date
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Family has litigation

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60KARRANGEMENT OR MOUNTING OF PROPULSION UNITS OR OF TRANSMISSIONS IN VEHICLES; ARRANGEMENT OR MOUNTING OF PLURAL DIVERSE PRIME-MOVERS IN VEHICLES; AUXILIARY DRIVES FOR VEHICLES; INSTRUMENTATION OR DASHBOARDS FOR VEHICLES; ARRANGEMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH COOLING, AIR INTAKE, GAS EXHAUST OR FUEL SUPPLY OF PROPULSION UNITS, IN VEHICLES
    • B60K15/00Arrangement in connection with fuel supply of combustion engines or other fuel consuming energy converters, e.g. fuel cells; Mounting or construction of fuel tanks
    • B60K15/03Fuel tanks
    • B60K15/04Tank inlets

Abstract

A filler neck assembly includes a funnel member having a tubular body defining a transition portion between an inlet opening and an outlet opening and a nozzle receptor disposed within the tubular body. The nozzle receptor positions a nozzle relative to the transition portion to create a suctioning effect that prevents fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere during fueling.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/615,485 filed on Jul. 8, 2003, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/998,113 filed on Nov. 30, 2001 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,588,459), which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,103 filed on Dec. 3, 1999 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,330,893). The disclosures of the above applications are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to the fuel tank filler neck connected to the gas tank of an automobile.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Gas tank fuel systems with reduced gasoline vapor loss are becoming increasingly important in the automobile industry to reduce needless loss of fuel. The typical solution to this problem has been to reduce the diameter of at least a section of the fuel tank filler neck. Though this approach has been somewhat successful, it is limited because as the diameter of the filler neck is decreased, the resistance to flow of the gasoline is increased. The increased resistance causes the fill neck to become filled during vehicle refueling thereby blocking release of any pressure buildup and causing the fuel nozzle to shut off prematurely before the fuel tank is full. Another consideration in preventing the loss of fuel, is the permeability of the materials from which the fuel tank system is made. Fuel vapors escape by diffusing through the various types of mild steels of which components of fuel tank systems are typically made. This fuel escape is particularly apparent after the mild steel components have corroded to any degree.
  • Another disadvantage of the current methods of reducing gasoline vapor losses is that typically the end of the gas line filler neck is flared out in order to provide a sufficient diameter to accept the gas nozzle during refueling. These filler necks are often made by a process of repeated reductions and expansions of a seamed welded tube. Accordingly, there is an increasing tendency for the integrity of the weld to leak as thinner diameter tubes are utilized.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • A filler neck assembly includes a funnel member having a tubular body defining a transition portion between an inlet opening and an outlet opening and a nozzle receptor disposed within the tubular body. The nozzle receptor positions a nozzle relative to the transition portion to create a suctioning effect that prevents fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere during fueling.
  • The above objects and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention are readily apparent from the following detailed description of the best mode for carrying out the invention when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic of a fuel tank filler neck incorporated in a automobile fuel tank system;
  • FIG. 2 is a fragmented cross sectional view of the fuel tank filler neck and an attached elongated member in the fuel tank system of FIG. 1 according to one embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic dimensional view of the filler neck as a funnel member according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of a rolled over top modification of the fuel tank filler neck according to another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of a barbed end design of the fuel tank filler neck according to another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of a hose bead modification of the fuel tank filler neck according to another embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIGS. 7 a-7 i are schematic illustrations of the method steps for making the fuel tank filler neck of this invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • With reference to FIG. 1 a schematic of an embodiment of fuel tank filler neck 2 incorporated into automobile fuel tank system 4 is provided. Filler neck 2 for receiving fuel nozzle 6 for a motor vehicle fuel tank includes a one-piece funnel member 8 having a tubular body. One piece funnel member 8 may be made of a number of types of metals, suitable materials include but are not limited to cold rolled steel, zinc nickel, zinc galvanized, 304 stainless steel, 409 stainless steel, terne plate, tin plate, nickel plate, galvaneal, and aluminum. Funnel member 8 may also be made from injection molded plastics. Suitable injection molded plastics include, but are not limited to Acetal (25% glass fiber), PPH (40% glass fiber), Nylon 66 (33% glass fiber), Liquid Crystal Polymer (50% glass fiber) and Nylon 66 (60% glass ceramic fiber). The various grades of stainless steel are more desirable in that such materials are more efficient in preventing gasoline vapors from escaping into the environment.
  • One end of funnel member 8 is defined by inlet opening 10 which is attached to nozzle receptor 12. Gas cap 14 screws directly into nozzle receptor 12. Fuel tank system 4 attaches to automobile body 16 through opening 18. Movable cover 20 conceals gas cap 14 when the vehicle is not being refueled. The other end of funnel member 8 is defined by outlet opening 22 that is attached to elongated tube member 24. Elongated tube member 24 attaches to fuel tank 26.
  • During refueling gas cap 14 is removed and gas nozzle 6 is inserted into nozzle receptor 12. Fuel flows out of gas nozzle 6 into funnel member 8. Funnel member 8 induces a swirling motion in the fuel as the fuel proceeds to flow into elongated tube member 24. The swirling motion of the fuel continues as the fuel fills fuel tank 26. The swirling motion of the fuel created by funnel member 8, creates a suctioning effect that prevents fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere during refueling. The swirling motion of the fuel also creates a central void that allows any pressure buildups created during refueling to vent, thereby preventing premature shutoff of the fuel nozzle. Vent tube 25 connects to funnel member 8 at funnel vent hole 27 and to fuel tank 26 at fuel tank hole 29. Vent tube 27 allows displaced vapors in fuel tank 26 to be vented during refueling. The venting configuration defined by vent tube 27 may be replaced by a system that re-circulates the fuel vapor. Such system are known to individuals skilled in the art.
  • With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, funnel member 8 defines in off-set axial relation a relatively large inlet opening 10 adapted for attachment to a gas nozzle receptor 12 and a relatively small necked down outlet opening 22 adapted for attachment to inlet 28 of elongated tubular member 24. The off-set axial relation between the inlet opening 10 and outlet opening 22 causes fuel emerging from gas nozzle 6 to impinge on side 30 of funnel member 8 and thereby causes fuel to spiral as the fuel proceeds forward to elongated tube member 24. Gas cap 14 screws directly into gas nozzle receptor 6. Filler neck 2 may optionally be provided with vent opening 27 for attachment to vent tube 25. Vent opening 27 may either be drilled in funnel member 8 after it drawn or it may be incorporated in the sheet stock before funnel member 8 is drawn.
  • Funnel member 8 is drawn and is therefore seamless. Funnel member 8 is provided with an cutouts 30, 32 adjacent to inlet opening 10 for attaching the nozzle receptor 6 to funnel member 8. Cutouts 30, 32 allow nozzle receptor 6 to snap into position via wings 34, 36 that protrude out of nozzle receptor 6. Because funnel member 8 is seamless, insert section 38 of nozzle receptor 6 is able to make intimate contact with funnel member 8 thereby creating a leak-proof seal via 0-ring 40. Funnel member 8 is attached to the elongated member inlet 28 by braised joint 42. Optionally, filler neck 2 may be coated with an anti-corrosive coating 44.
  • With reference to FIG. 3, relatively large diameter section 46 forming the inlet opening 10 and the spaced-apart relatively smaller diameter tubular section 48 forming the outlet opening 22 are in an axially offset relationship. The large diameter section 46 and the small diameter tubular section 48 are connected to one another by tapered section 50 which gradually blends from the large diameter section 46 to the small diameter section 48. Tapered section 50 intersects large diameter section 46 at elliptically-shaped junction 52 which lies in a plane inclined at angle A which is 60-85 degrees from the axis of the tubular sections. The funnel inlet opening 10 has a diameter D1 of 60 mm and the tubular section has a diameter D2 of 25 mm with a coaxial offset at a distance X which is 15 mm. This offset axial relationship is sufficient to achieve fuel swirl during fuel filling.
  • With reference to FIG. 4, a modification of filler neck 2 is illustrated. Rolled over top 54 is formed at the top of large diameter section 46. In this modification, rolled over top 54 provides a sealing surface onto which gas cap 14 makes a seal. Gas cap 14 screws directly into nozzle receptor 12. Nozzle receptor 12 is held in position by crimps 56, 58 which project into indentations 60, 62 in nozzle receptor 12.
  • With reference to FIG. 5, a modification of filler neck 2 is illustrated. The surface of the smaller diameter tubular section 48 is provided with barbs 64, 66, 68. This modification allows for plastic or rubber tubing to be utilized for the formation of elongated tube member 24.
  • With reference to FIG. 6, a modification of filler neck 2 is provided. The surface of the smaller diameter tubular section 48 is provided with hose bead 70. This modification allows for plastic or rubber tubing to be utilized for the formation of elongated tube member 24.
  • The fuel tank filler neck of this invention may be made by a number of processes which includes eyelet/progressive stamping, eyelet stamping, progressive die stamping, transfer die stamping, and hydroforming. If the fuel tank filler neck is made of plastic, injection molding and compression molding are suitable methods for manufacturing the fuel tank filler neck.
  • The eyelet/progressive stamping method of manufacturing the fuel tank filler neck of this invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 7. First, the filler neck 2 for motor vehicle fuel tank system 4 is formed by deep-drawing a seamless funnel member 8 having an elongated tubular body 24 with an enlarged inlet opening 10 at one end and a relatively small outlet opening 22 at the opposite end. A length of butt-seam tubing is cut to form a tubular member 24 of desired length. An end of the tubular member is telescopically aligned with outlet opening 22 of funnel member 8 and securely joins the funnel and tubular members together. Elongated tubular member 24 is bent to a desired shape. Nozzle receptor 12 is attached to funnel member 8 adjacent funnel inlet opening 10. In a refinement of this embodiment, the configuration is then leak tested to verify the integrity of joining funnel member 8 to tubular member 24 and the attachment of nozzle receptor 12 to funnel member 8, and the integrity of the butt-seam joint 42 and the tubular member 24 subsequent to bending. The funnel member 8 is attached to the tubular member 24 by braising, adhesive bonding, or welding. In yet another refinement of this embodiment, a portion of the filler neck 2 is configured to induce a sufficient swirl to create a hollow passage for suctioning fuel vapors into the tank 26 and to allow venting of any pressure buildup during in fuel tank 26 during refueling.
  • With reference to FIG. 7, schematic illustrations of the method steps for making the fuel tank filler neck of this invention and attaching the elongated tube member are provided. In step 7a, sheet stock is preformed into a circular blank that is drawn into a funnel shape in step 7 b. The ends of the funnel shape are next trimmed in step 7 c to remove excess stock and thereby form funnel member 8. In step 7 d, pipe stock is cut to desired length to form elongated tube member 24. Elongated tube member 24 is then flared at the ends in step 7 i in order to provide an attachment mechanism to the funnel member. The elongated tube and funnel member are then aligned in step 7 f and brazed together in step 7 g. The funnel member and elongated tube combination is then bent in step 7 h. Nozzle receptor 12 is then inserted in step 7 i.
  • While embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is not intended that these embodiments illustrate and describe all possible forms of the invention. Rather, the words used in the specification are words of description rather than limitation, and it is understood that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (19)

  1. 1. A filler neck assembly comprising:
    a funnel member having a tubular body defining a transition portion between an inlet opening and an outlet opening; and
    a nozzle receptor disposed within the tubular body and operable to position a nozzle relative to the transition portion to create a suctioning effect that prevents fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere during fueling.
  2. 2. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, wherein the fuel from the nozzle is directed toward the transition portion.
  3. 3. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, wherein the inlet opening is larger than the outlet opening and the transition portion is disposed between the inlet opening and the outlet opening.
  4. 4. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, wherein the funnel member induces a swirling motion to fuel from the nozzle during fueling.
  5. 5. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, further comprising a sealing surface formed of the tubular body about the inlet opening.
  6. 6. The filler neck assembly of claim 5, wherein the inlet opening is rolled over to create the sealing surface.
  7. 7. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, wherein the outlet opening is barbed.
  8. 8. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, further comprising a hose bead formed about the outlet opening.
  9. 9. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, further comprising a hose, wherein the outlet opening is attached to the hose.
  10. 10. The filler neck assembly of claim 9, further comprising a vent hole formed on the tubular body.
  11. 11. The filler neck assembly of claim 1 0, further comprising a vent tube connected to the tubular body about the vent hole.
  12. 12. The filler neck assembly of claim 11, further comprising a fuel tank, the vent tube and the hose connecting the tubular body and the fuel tank.
  13. 13. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, wherein the nozzle receptor is disposed proximate to the inlet opening.
  14. 14. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, further comprising a hose and a fuel tank, the hose connecting the outlet opening and the fuel tank.
  15. 15. The filler neck assembly of claim 14, wherein the transition portion includes an elliptically-shaped junction between a first portion of the tubular body including the inlet opening and a second portion of the tubular body includes the outlet opening.
  16. 16. The filler neck assembly of claim 15, wherein the elliptically-shaped junction lies on a plane inclined at an angle to an axis of at least one of the inlet opening and outlet opening.
  17. 17. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, wherein the inlet opening has a diameter D1, the outlet opening has a diameter D2, and D1 is at least one and a half times D2.
  18. 18. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, wherein the funnel member is seamless and is formed from a single piece of material.
  19. 19. The filler neck assembly of claim 1, wherein the inlet opening and outlet opening are axially offset.
US12029855 1999-12-03 2008-02-12 Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same Abandoned US20080128415A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09454103 US6330893B1 (en) 1999-12-03 1999-12-03 Fuel tank filter neck and method of manufacturing same
US09998113 US6588459B2 (en) 1999-12-03 2001-11-30 Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same
US10615485 US7343942B2 (en) 1999-12-03 2003-07-08 Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same
US12029855 US20080128415A1 (en) 1999-12-03 2008-02-12 Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same

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US12029855 US20080128415A1 (en) 1999-12-03 2008-02-12 Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same

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US20080128415A1 true true US20080128415A1 (en) 2008-06-05

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US09998113 Active US6588459B2 (en) 1999-12-03 2001-11-30 Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same
US10615485 Active US7343942B2 (en) 1999-12-03 2003-07-08 Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same
US12029855 Abandoned US20080128415A1 (en) 1999-12-03 2008-02-12 Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same

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US09998113 Active US6588459B2 (en) 1999-12-03 2001-11-30 Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same
US10615485 Active US7343942B2 (en) 1999-12-03 2003-07-08 Fuel tank filler neck and method of manufacturing same

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US20120074028A1 (en) * 2009-06-08 2012-03-29 Inergy Automotive Systems Research (Societe Anonyme) Fuel tank or filler pipe for this tank
US20130306631A1 (en) * 2012-04-27 2013-11-21 GM Global Technology Operations LLC Adapter for an oil filler neck and assembly method for the adapter
US9731596B1 (en) 2016-09-08 2017-08-15 Underway Marine Llc Nonspill fuel filler adapter

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JP4535682B2 (en) * 2003-01-30 2010-09-01 株式会社ベステックスキョーエイ Method for producing a fuel inlet
US7905168B2 (en) * 2003-04-02 2011-03-15 Lawrence Livermore National Security, Llc Portable convertible blast effects shield
US7048019B2 (en) * 2003-09-30 2006-05-23 Shelby Enterprises, Inc. Fuel filler tube assembly and manufacturing method
US7549443B2 (en) * 2003-12-09 2009-06-23 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Fuel shut-off valve assembly with associated components and methods of making and assembling the same
US20060163243A1 (en) * 2005-01-25 2006-07-27 Stieler David C Method of coupling fuel system components
US7263975B2 (en) * 2005-01-25 2007-09-04 Dana Corporation Plastic coated metal fuel rail
US20060162144A1 (en) * 2005-01-25 2006-07-27 Stieler David C Method of coupling fuel system components
JP4941054B2 (en) * 2007-03-30 2012-05-30 住友金属工業株式会社 Preparation and welded joint and a manufacturing method thereof seamless bent pipe
KR100786535B1 (en) * 2007-05-07 2007-12-17 정호순 Filler tube assembly
US20080295915A1 (en) * 2007-06-01 2008-12-04 Yong Pom Kim Smart oil cap with adaptive plug
US20100032054A1 (en) * 2008-08-11 2010-02-11 Mu-Chen Hung Fuel tank of motor vehicle
US20140319134A1 (en) * 2011-12-07 2014-10-30 Toledo Molding & Die, Inc. Filler Neck for an Automotive Fluid Container
US9409218B2 (en) * 2013-05-01 2016-08-09 Tesla Motors, Inc. Extrusion piece with dissimilar ends
DE102013211958A1 (en) * 2013-06-24 2014-12-24 Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft Component for filling a liquid into a liquid container
DE102014214556A1 (en) * 2014-07-24 2016-01-28 Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft Tank System and method for refueling
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US20120074028A1 (en) * 2009-06-08 2012-03-29 Inergy Automotive Systems Research (Societe Anonyme) Fuel tank or filler pipe for this tank
US20130306631A1 (en) * 2012-04-27 2013-11-21 GM Global Technology Operations LLC Adapter for an oil filler neck and assembly method for the adapter
US9016499B2 (en) * 2012-04-27 2015-04-28 GM Global Technology Operations LLC Adapter for an oil filler neck and assembly method for the adapter
US9731596B1 (en) 2016-09-08 2017-08-15 Underway Marine Llc Nonspill fuel filler adapter
US9776503B1 (en) 2016-09-08 2017-10-03 Underway Marine Llc Nonspill fuel filler adapter

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
US20060065325A1 (en) 2006-03-30 application
US6588459B2 (en) 2003-07-08 grant
US7343942B2 (en) 2008-03-18 grant
US20020083997A1 (en) 2002-07-04 application

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