US3156222A - Flathead spherical engine - Google Patents

Flathead spherical engine Download PDF

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US3156222A
US3156222A US25027263A US3156222A US 3156222 A US3156222 A US 3156222A US 25027263 A US25027263 A US 25027263A US 3156222 A US3156222 A US 3156222A
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nutator
crankshaft
cavity
chamber
crankpin
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Jr Lloyd E Miller
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Jr Lloyd E Miller
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01CROTARY-PISTON OR OSCILLATING-PISTON MACHINES OR ENGINES
    • F01C9/00Oscillating-piston machines or engines
    • F01C9/005Oscillating-piston machines or engines the piston oscillating in the space, e.g. around a fixed point
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F02COMBUSTION ENGINES; HOT-GAS OR COMBUSTION-PRODUCT ENGINE PLANTS
    • F02BINTERNAL-COMBUSTION PISTON ENGINES; COMBUSTION ENGINES IN GENERAL
    • F02B53/00Internal-combustion aspects of rotary-piston or oscillating-piston engines
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F02COMBUSTION ENGINES; HOT-GAS OR COMBUSTION-PRODUCT ENGINE PLANTS
    • F02BINTERNAL-COMBUSTION PISTON ENGINES; COMBUSTION ENGINES IN GENERAL
    • F02B2730/00Internal combustion engines with pistons rotating or oscillating with relation to the housing
    • F02B2730/01Internal combustion engines with pistons rotating or oscillating with relation to the housing with one or more pistons in the form of a disk or rotor rotating with relation to the housing; with annular working chamber
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/10Internal combustion engine [ICE] based vehicles
    • Y02T10/17Non-reciprocating piston engines, e.g. rotating motors

Description

Nov. 10, 1964 MILLER, JR 3,156,222

FLATHEAD SPHERIOAL ENGINE Filed Jan 9, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet l Fi' -l INVENT OR Nov. 10, 1964 L. E. MILLER, JR

FLATHEAD SPHERICAL ENGINE 4 Sheets- Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 9, 1963 INVENTOR LLOYD E. MILLER, JR.

Nov. 10, 1964 L. E. MILLER, JR

FLATHEAD SPHERICAL ENGINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Jan. 9, 1965 INVENTOR ATTORNEY Nov. 10, 1964 E. MILLER, JR 3,

FLATHEAD SPHERICAL ENGINE Filed Jan. 9, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 United States Patent )flice 3,156,222 Patented Nov. 10, 1964 3,156,222 FLATHEAD SPHERECAL EN GENE Lloyd E. Miller, in, Baltimore, Md. (7811 Erwin Road, Qoral Gables, Fla.) Filed Jan. 9, 1963, Ser. No. 250,272 33 Claims. (Cl. 123-3) This invention relates to a novel rotary internal combustion engine and more particularly to a simplified configuration that inherently employs improved scaling, is less expensive to manufacture and is lighter in weight than many other engines.

According to the present invention I propose a design suitable for internal combustion engine use as well as fluid pump and motor use which is relatable to my copending applications Rotary Internal Combustion Engine filed August 22, 1960, Serial No. 51,098, and Rotary Internal Combustion Engine Improvement filed March 30, 1961, Serial No. 99,546. Each of these engines involves upper and lower hemispherical housing members bolted together to form a spherical cavity in which a rotor and nutator are relatedly movable. The nutator in each instance moves within the cavity in a combined rotatingnutating motion, with one or more expansive chambers being defined between the rotor, the hingedly displaceable nutator and the cavity wall. Inlet and outlet ports appropriately located in the cavity wall, being ported and unported by the moving rotor and nutator, enabled these designs to be employed as single-chambered as well as twin-chambered devices, operable primarily as engines, but also as fluid pumps and motors.

The present invention carries forth the advantageous principles set forth in my aforementioned earlier cases, but differs in that it employs no rotor shaft and a simple flat head is utilized in lieu of the upper hemispherical housing member. This head is disposed perpendicular to the axis of the formerly used rotor shaft and assists functionally, like the rotor shaft, to prescribe and control a precise rotative relationship for the moving elements of the engine. The head is inclined at an angle to the longitudinal centerline of the engine, this angle being in agreement with the angle of the crankpin of the engines crankshaft. Rotation of the crankshaft causes the nutator, rotatably disposed upon the crankpin, to undertake a combined rotating-mutation motion within the housing while maintaining contact with the underside of the head. Such motion thus brings about volumetric changes between the working surfaces of the nutator and the underside of the inclined head. The expansive chambers thus defined are utilized in the engine embodiment, in conjunction with appropriate porting, fuel introduction and ignition systems, for supplying power to the engine crankshaft, while in the pump and motor versions, depending upon the working fluid and usage, these chambers may be charged through various known valving or porting arrangements. 7

By way of review of the aforementioned copending applications, it may be recalled that the motion of the center bar was such as to generate a plane which was perpendicular to the axis of the rotor shaft. By way of contrast, the present invention utilizes the plane defined by the underside of the flat head surface to provide the required nutator-to-crankshaft rotative relationship. g

The principal embodiment of this invention relates mainly to use as a two-stroke cycle internal combustion engine, employing in common with the earlier forms of the invention, a crankshaft and a nutator, but with the skirt of the nutator lowered for clearance purposes. By virtue of the elimination of the rotor shaft, items such as the rotor shaft bearings and rotor. shaft seals are eliminated, thus reducing friction as Well as cost, the latter being particularly true inasmuch as the flat surface of the head and of the simple rotor, if rotor is used, are inherently cheaper to manufacture than the spherical surfaces required in the earlier embodiments for both the upper housing member and the nearly hemispherical rotor.

The simplified rotor used in the flathead engine embodiment of this invention is itself an essentially flat member tending to float between the center bar of the nutator and the flat head. Having considerably less spherical surface, with a reduced length of sealing line but without sacrifice in engine displacement for comparable crank angles, the new rotor still permits all of its surfaces to form simple but highly desirable area-type seals with respective mating surfaces. Furthermore, the rotor used with this form of the invention serves as a dynamic gas seal, which means a seal that enables the confined fluid, which may be at a pressure substantially above ambient, to act upon the seal to force it into tight contact with an active surface of the device, in this case the compression and combustion pressures act upon the sides of the rotor exposed to the working chambers to wedge the shaftless rotor between the center bar and head to reduce leakage. Also, the decreased mass of the rotor reduces the velocity variation effect on the crankshaft, and the elements have less tendency to flywheel, for they can change velocity as required rather than reflecting their inertia upon the crankshaft and undesirably causing it to change velocity, as was earlier the case. A second form of the invention involves the use of a flat head where the rotor is eliminated entirely and the center bar of the nutator is allowed to directly contact the underside of the flat head, to define therewith a pair of independent chambers. Although this version is extremely simple, having but two moving parts, the inherent linecontact between the center bar and the head surface makes this version and similarly the succeeding version suited mainly for liquid pump or motor service, or gas compressor or motor service where a certain amount of leakage could be tolerated. It is possible, however, to adapt these designs by the use of appropriate porting or valving to internal combustion engine use.

It should be noted at this point that both the rotor form and the rotorless embodiments of the flathead engine as well as the engines described in my earlier-filed cases each require that for uniform rotation of the crankshaft, the nutator with respect to the crankpin must vary in angular velocity twice during each revolution of the crankshaft. Such velocity variation is of course undesirable because of the associated kinetic energy loss, but this variation is inherent to such type of mechanism. For example, for a thirty degree crank design the velocity variation amounts to plus or minus approximately 15%, which may of course be favorably compared with the variation that occurs each time the piston of a reciprocating engine reverses its direction of motion.

A third form of this invention employs a contoured head, Without rotor, to eliminate the velocity variation of the nutator. In operation the center bar of the nutator maintains direct contact with this properly generated head surface to permit the nutator to rotate at uniform velocity on the crankpin per uniform rotation of the crankshaft, thereby reducing vibration and kinetic energy losses. While the chamber geometry is very similar to the preceding flathead version, other aspects of this embodiment will hereinafter become more apparent.

It is significant to note that all ofxthe embodiments of the present invention have volumetric displacements, for comparable crank angles and cavity diameters, equal to thecarlier forms of my invention, but with considerably reduced housing'exterior dimensions, made possible by the flat or generally flat heads;

Therefore, it will be seen that the present rotary displacement device may advantageously comprise a housing whose inner walls are configured to form a generaily spherical cavity which cavity is less than fully spherical by virtue of a portion of the cavity wall defining a substantially fiat chordal plane. A crankshaft is rotatably mounted in the housing and has a crankpin axis thereon disposed at an angle to the axis of crankshaft rotation. The crankpin axis is caused to nutate within this cavity during crankshaft rotation, with the crankshaft and crankpin axes, if extended, intersecting at the geometric spherical center of the cavity, and with the crankpin axis being perpendicular to this chordal plane at a certain rotative position of the crankshaft. A nutator in the cavity is rotatably disposed about the crankpin axis, the nutator being disposed slidably in sealing contact with the cavity wall so as to define therewith at least one expansive chamber. Because of the inherent geometry, the nutator is rotatable at a mean angular velocity of one-half crankshaft angular velocity and undertakes a combined rotative-nutative movement within the cavity in concert with crankshaft rotation to cause the said expansive chamber to change volume continuously during such movement.

A portion of the nutator may be operatively disposed adjacent the surface of the chordal plane nearest the spherical center of said cavity, such portion providing a precisely controlled operative relationship between the crankshaft and nutator by virtue of interaction of said portion with the near surface of the chordal plane, so as to assure proper movement of the nutator in the cavity.

A shaftless rotor member movable with the nutator may be interposed between said nutator and said chordal plane whereas in another form of my invention the chordal plane may have a contoured surface having concavities and convexities followed by the nutator, thus to compel a uniform velocity relationship to exist between the nutator and crankshaft.

A rotatory internal combustion engine version of my invention may comprise a housing whose inner walls are configured to form a generally spherical cavity, this cavity being less than fully spherical by virtue of a portion of the cavity wall defining a substantially fiat chordal plane. A crankshaft is rotatably mounted in this housing and has a crankpin axis thereon disposed at an angle to the axis of rotation of the crankshaft, the crankshaft and crankpin axes, if extended, intersecting at the geometric spherical center of the cavity, the crankpin axis being perpendicular to the chordal plane at a certain rotative position of the crankshaft. A nutator in said cavity is rotatably disposed about the crankpin axis, being slidably disposed in sealing contact with the cavity wall so as to define therewith a combustion zone in said cavity. The nutator incorporates an intergral center bar of generally cylindrical shape whose axis is disposed substantially perpendicular to the crankpin axis of the nutator, the nutator also having an active surface on each side of the center bar serving to divide the combustion zone of the spherical cavity into two expansive chambers, one boundary of each chamber being one of the active surfaces. The center bar additionally provides a precisely controlled rotative relationship between the crankshaft and the nutator through cooperation with the chord a1 plane portion of the cavity wall, the nutator being rotatable at a mean angular velocity of one-half crankshaft angular velocity. The nutator undertakes a combined rotative-nutative movement Within the cavity in concert with crankshaft rotation to cause the expansive chambers to change volume continuously during such movement with at least one of the said chambers being a combustion chamber. Inlet and outlet means are provided in the housing for enabling respective flow of scavenge and combustion air into said chamber and exhaust products out of said chamber during volume changes. Means are also provided for bringing about periodic combustion within the chamber including fuel introduction and ignition means. Combustion in each instance commences when a charged combustible mixture has been compressed to a minimum volume and ignited, the ensuing combustion causing a sufficient release of energy to be directed against the active surface of the nutator, to cause the expansion of said chamber and the concomitant driving of the crankshaft in rotation.

Other features and advantages will be more apparent from a study of the enclosed drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a sectionalized side-elevational view of a fiat-head engine arrangement in which a flat rotor is utilized intermediate the nutator and the engine head;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the flat rotor employed in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is an exploded view revealing the nutator and its component parts;

FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the underside of the nutator, revealing the use of needle hearings in the aperture in which the crankpin is received as well as a plurality of teeth disposed on the nutator skirt to provide restraint during certain angles of engine rotation;

FIGURE 5 is a sectionalized side-elevational view similar to FIGURE 1, but eliminating the use of a rotor, with the nutator making lint-contact with the underside of the head;

FIGURE 6 is a cutaway perspective view of a uniform velocity head of the type employed in FIGURE 7;

FIGURE 7 is a fluid pump or motor embodiment in which the contoured head enables the velocity variation of the nutator during crankshaft rotation to be kept at zero;

FIGURE 8 is a view of the underside of the contoured head; and

FIGURES 9 through 12 ar related figures of the uniform velocity version showing successive positions undertaken by the nutator during crankshaft rotation.

Referring to FIGURE 1, the basic engine arrangement there illustrated comprises a housing 11. constituted principally by lower housing member 12, whose interior walls 12a are configured to form a generally spherical cavity 14 of greater extent than a hemisphere and less than a full sphere. A generally flat head 13 is tightly secured to the member 12 at an angle to the vertical centerline through this member, such as by bolts 67. The head surface 13a is a chordal plane intersecting the spherical cavity diameter to provide a plane of rotation for the nutator I7 and rotor 18 which are operable within the cavity 14.

It is to be noted that While the head 1:3, as shown in FIGURE 1, is detachable for assembly purposes, it is within the spirit of this invention that alternative constructions could employ an integral head with the housin split at another point.

Crankshaft 15 is rotatably mounted in lower housing 12, such as being disposed in double-row ball bearing 41 and single-row bearing that are secured in a lower portion of the housing member 12. The crankshaft is equipped with a shoulder 1511 that rests against the inner race of bearing 41, which effectively assumes thrust loads of the shaft. The crankshaft centerline passing coaxially through these bearings is coincident with the aforementioned vertical centeriine that exists through cavity 14. An integral crankpin 16 is disposed upon the crankshaft at an acute angle such that the centerline Of the crankpin and the centerline of the crankshaft intersect at the geometric center of the spherical cavity. The angle at which the crankpin is disposed with respect to the centerline of the crankshaft maybe an angle of 30, with it being a requirement that the crank pin angle and the head angle be in agreement so that at a certain rotative position, the crankpin is perpendicular to the piane of the underside of the head. A counter-balance it), of highdensity metal, is rigidly attached to the crankshaft to statically balance the Weight of the crankpin and supporting crank arm.

As may be seen in FIGURE 1, the nutator I7 is rotatably disposed upon the crankpin 16 by means of needle bearings 32 contained in an axial bore originating on the underside of the nutator. These bearings, as more clearly shown in FIGURE 4, a view of the underside of the nutator, assume a radial load responsibility and provide a frictionless contact with the crankpin. In addition to these bearings a thrust washer 92, annularly disposed about the crank pin and placed between the underside of the nutator and the crank arm, assumes axial loads applied by the nutator. The combination of crankshaft bearings 41, 48 and the crankpin bearings 32 thus permits the nutator to rotate on these two axes simultaneously so as to describe a rotational-nutritional movement within the housing.

Regarding geometric configuration, the nutator, in the present form of the invention, can best be characterized as a marriage of a conical form with a cylindrical bar where the longitudinal axes of each are perpendicular to the other, with the center of the bar and the apex of the cone being approximately coincident, and the peripheral surfaces of the resultant body contoured spherically of constant radius about this centrally located point of coincidence within the body.

As may thus be seen in FIGURE 1 the peripheral skirt surface 35 of the nutator, having been considerably lowered from earlier versions so as to prevent interference with the flat head during rotation, is for the full extent of its circumference in sliding yet gas-tight contact with the spherical cavity wall 12a at all times. While it is the function of the nutator skirt to separate the high pressure part of the cavity from the constant-volume relatively low pressure crankcase 36 on the underside of the nutator skirt, it is but the partial function of the center bar 19 to divide the volume above the nutator skirt into two independent working chambers 36a and 3%; the other most important function of the center bar being, through engagement with the head plane, to control precisely the rotative relationship of the nutator with respect to the crankshaft. The working chambers Stla and 3% thus defined with the underside of the head 13a are caused, by rotation of the crankshaft, as will hereinafter become more obvious, to experience alternately and oppositelya change in volume. To seal these chambers from the crankcase 36 I preferably employ sealing ring sectors 37 disposed in a circumferential groove in the skirt of the nutator which are biased radially outward by expander springs (not shown) into contact with the cavity well. So as to prevent gas leakage between chambers over the ends of the center bar, where, as it may be seen in FIGURE 1, chamber 3% is momentarily operating at high pressure with minimum volume while chamber 30a is at approximately atmospheric pressure and maximum working volume, where high pressure gases would attempt to leak from chamber 3% to chamber 39a, I desirably utilize a sealing means at these junctures which causes the center bar 19 to effectively elongate so as to contact the cavity wall in sliding yet gas-tight contact at both ends. One of several possible sealing arrangements for the ends of the center bar is shown in FIGURE 1 and more lucidly in FIGURE 3 where end cap seals 82, being of the same cross-sectional profile as the center bar, are spring-loaded into close contact with the cavity Wall by the expander springs %3. It should be noted that the contacting faces of these end caps have the same spherical curvature as the cavity wall so as to conform closely thereto, while the opposite sides of the end caps employ a tongue and groove arrangement with the center bar to restrict leakage behind the caps between chambers and to the crankcase 36. It should also be seen that the ends of the skirt rings 37 are rabbeted into the end caps 82 to reduce leakage tothe crankcase at these joints.

In accordancewith' a first embodiment, and as illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2, a rotor 18 may be disposed on the underside of the head 13, being supported for rotation by the cylindrically-shaped center bar 19. Unlike the combined rotating-nutating motion of the nutator, the rotor undertakes only rotary motion on the underside of the head, serving not only to provide desirable area sea ing between the center bar and head surface 1301 but acting also as a rotary exhaust valve. To serve these purposes the rotor is machined fiat on its upper surface to contact the fiat head surface 13a, cylindrically concave on its lower surface to interfit closely with the center bar 19 which is of opposite gender, and spherical on the ends so as to contact the spherical cavity wall 12a. Acting as a dynamic gas seal, the new rotor in the absence of a rotor shaft constrained in bearings, is permitted a predetermined amount of radial play in the housing. This, accomplished in manufacture by reducing the spherical diameter of the rotor (at the ends) several thousandths of an inch below the spherical cavity diameter, allows the rotor to deviate as required from its theoretical axis of rotation to effect sealing. Therefore, when gas pressure acts on the face 22a or 22b of the rotor exposed to the expansive chamber at the greater pressure, the rotor is wedged between the center bar and head such that the reaction of the curved underside of the rotor against the curved center bar causes the rotor to be raised slightly, thus causing the upper fiat surface of the rotor to be pressed very tightly and effectively against the underside of the head. Not only does this improve sealing between chambers but also serves to prevent leakage past the disc-like rotary valve portion of the rotor and into the exhaust port 26 in the head 13, the operation of which, including the function of the rotor exhaust passages 25a and 25b shown in FIGURE 2, will be described hereinafter more fully. To reduce leakage past the spherical ends of the rotor which are, as explained, of slightly smaller diameter than the mating cavity wall, I preferably employ simple slot seals of the type shown in FIGURE 2, where a seal element 33 is disposed in each end of the rotor and is spring-loaded into close contact with the cavity wall by compression spring 33a, contained in a drilled hole in the rotor body.

As to the assembled configuration of the hereinbefore described components, as depicted by FIGURE 1, it should be observed that the nutator is constrained axially on the crankpin in one direction by the thrust washer $2 and by skirt 35 being in contact with the cavity wall, in the opposite direction by center bar contact with the rotor, and in both axial directions, to some extent, by

' virtue of contact of the end cap seals 82 with the cavity wall. Conversely, the rotor is constrained axially by contact with the center bar and head surface 13a, while being denied radial translation from its theoretical center of rotation, except as required to effect scaling, by the saddle-like confinement on the center bar, and perpendicularly thereto by the cavity wall 12a. The interconnection of rotor and nutator in the present invention as in my earlier-filed related applications may be likened unto a hinge, where, during rotation the nutator relatively oscillates with respect to the rotor about the longitudinal axis of the center bar, While the rotor and center bar remaining closely interfitted at all times rotate together in a plane paralleled with the head surface 130. Though no actual oscillation takes place as such, because the rotor is rotating about its own center and the nutator is merely a rotating element disposed upon another rotating member, the relative oscillation between the working faces 21a, 21b of the nutator and the rotor faces 22a, 22b, or expressed another way, the relative oscillation between the working faces of the nutator and the head surface 13a is utilized to effect a volumetric displacement in the working chambers 31%: and Silb of the invention.

To understand the rotational relationship of the rotor, nutator and crankshaft consider for the moment that the output end of the crankshaft in FIGURE 1 is hand-held in the position shown so as to prevent rotation. It may be seen that the nutator rotatably disposed upon the cranlrpin, is deprived of any free rotation in either direction by virtue of contact of the integral center bar with the frat head surface 13a, indirectly of course, through the intermediate rotor. Therefore, if the crankshaft is slowly rotated by hand in either direction the nutator, in being compelled to remain in center bar contact with the head, is thereby effectively subjected to an applied force couple, of varying magnitude with respect to rotative angle, which cause the nutator to rotate at a non-uniform angular velocity with respect to the crankpin per uniform angular velocity rotation of the crankshaft. Rotation of the crankshaft at uniform annular velocity thus causes the nutator to rotate on the crankpin at a mean aug l= velocity of one-half crankshaft angular velocity, wh upon the nutator simultaneously experiences a nutritive motion so that the working faces 21a, 21b of the nutator alternately approach and recede from the respective rotor faces and underside of the head. Chamber whit at maximum volume, upon rotation of the crank trait, diminishes in volume and changes position throu h the combined rotation and mutation of the nutator until it has the same location and size as that shown by chamber 3% in FIGURE 1; contemporaneously, chamber Bill) at minimum volume is expanding and changing location to that of chamber 30a. It should be obvious, therefore, that a gas in the diminishing chamber Sada would be compressed while a high pressure gas in expanding chamber would apply a useful rotative torque to the crankshaft.

For chamber 30a to rotate 180 to the position shown by chamber 36b in FIGURE 1 it is required that the nutator make a half-revolution on the crankpin, while the crankshaft rotating in the same direction make a full revolution, therefore, a view taken after chambers 39:: and 3% exchange positions rotatively, would be the same in all respects as FIGURE 1.

It is to be understood that the pressure load applied to the working faces of the nutator is related sinusoidally to crankshaft torque where no torque can be applied when the working faces are in the bottom-dead-center (BBC) and top-dead-center (TDC) positions as are the nutator faces in FIGURE 1; this may be compared with the s lar sinusoidal relationship in position and crank e gi It is significant to note that during most of the rota positions of the crankshaft the orientation of the nutator is rotatively dependent upon the crankpin position with respect to the head surface 13a. An exception to this self-induced nutator-to-crank relationshi occurs. in the crankshaft position where the cranlzpin is substantially perpendicular to the ead surface. In this positio may be said that the nutator lacks inherent res-tn. nt, wherein it would be possible with the cranlrpin so aimed to continuously rotate the nutator on the cranlrpin wit 1, producing a proportional volumetric displacement in the working chambers 3th! and 3%, during whic time the crankshaft would become locked in position. i o avoid this undesirable condition 1 employ gear sectors 2 29 peripherally and oppositely disposed on the uno of the nutator skirt, being in the same plane as the longitudinal axis of the center bar, and arranged to n esh w n a fixed gear sector 31, disposed aoout the crankshaft in the lower housing member 12. Each nutator sector, shown in FIGURE 4, meshes alternately with the sector 31, as in FIGURE 1, during cranl; rotation, to

by the crankpin l6 and head surface engage and disengage'noiselessly and without that natural and gear restraint functi what to insure reliable operation without bin nutator in the housing. Additional clarity v after be afforded these restraining gears.

Regarding engine operat on, 1 illustrates a twin combustion chamber version requiring blower scav enging, with optional fuel injection. Scavenging air, as supplied from a vane, roots or centrifugal extrinsic blower (not shown) driven off the engine crankshaft supplies air pressurized at 5 to 10 p.s.i. to the intake conductor $8, thence through duct 39 to inlet port holes 39. These holes, which be 5 in number, though I am not to be limited to this quantity, are disposed in the cavity wall so as to be unported by each skirt 35 of the nutator, alternately, when the chambers 39a, 39b are of maximum volume, as is chamber 39a in FIGURE 1.

Concomitantly with the admission of scavenging air to a combustion chamber, the rotor 13 opens the exhaust port 26 in the head 13 to provide egress to the atmosphere for gaseous products of combustion from the previous power stroke. As shown in FIGURE 2 the disc-like valve portion of the rotor is slotted in two places so as to form the exhaust passages a and 2512. These passages are diametrically opposed on the disc, and being approximately at right angles to the hinge axis of the rotor, are timed to coincide with the kidney-shaped exhaust port 26 in the head. Therefore, during that part of the rotative cycle when each chamber is alternately at the position of chamber 30a, FIGURE 1, scavenging air from inlet holes 39, uncovered by the nutator skirt 35, is forcibly admitted to sweep burnt gases from the chamber through the open exhaust port 26. It is to be noted that this scheme desirably and inherently permits simple openings at essentially opposite ends of the chambers so that exhaust may be elliciently removed. Known to those skilled in the art as straight scavenging, the advantages are distinct as compared to loop scavenging employed in some reciprocating engines, and to exhaust poppet valves used in other reciprocating engines to attain straight scavenging.

Succeeding the scavenging process, the exhaust port 26 is closed by virtue of rotation of the rotor, a blank portion of the rotor disc being now in alignment with the said port. The inlet holes 39' still slightly open, but with the exhaust valve closed, permit the chamber to be supercharged to the delivery pressure of the extrinsic blower. By virtue of the subsequent combined rotation and nutation of the nutator, the inlet holes 39' become no longer common with the chamber 30a, as they were in FIGURE 1, instead becoming common with the constant-volume crankcase 36, to which there are no other openings. The air thus confined to the chamber 30a is caused to be compressed as the working face 21a of the nutator begins its relative approach to the face 220: of the rotor and to the head surface 13a. With all seals functioning as previously described, chamber 39:: rotates to the position formerly occupied by chamber 3% such that the air becomes highly compressed.

It is to be noted that a practical compression ratio of 7:1 to 24:1 may be had from a design standpoint merely by altering the working faces 21a, 21b of the nutator so that the final volume, as shown by chamber 306, is as desired; the compression ratio required being related to the fuel ard ignition means utilized.

In continuation of the rotative sequence, at a predetermined angle, say (though I am not to be limited thereto) before the chamber 30a is in the T DC position of chamber 31%, a fuel injector hi threaded into a tapped hole in the head 13 becomes exposed to the chamber undertaking compression by virtue of the exhaust passage ro ting into alignment with the recessed nozzle of the said injector. The injector w is therefore disposed so as to inject through the passage 25a, and later of course 25b, into the air of the chamber experiencing compression, the injection being appropriately timed by an injection pump (not shown) driven off the engine crankshaft. As a means of igniting this highly compressed fuel and air mixture, a spark plug 24, FIGURE 1, is also threaded into the head so as to be common to the chamber or her" re TDC by exposure of the recessed spark plug tip similarly through passage 25a, and later of course through passage 25b. It is to be understood that the spark plug as well as the exhaust port 26 and injector 90 are disposed approximately equidistant about the axis of rotor rotation so as to be in alignment sequentially during rotation with the proper exhaust passage 25a, 25b and proper respective chamber 30a, 30b. The plug is timed to fire optimumly into the compressed charge by a conventional electrical ignition system (not shown) which may include breaker points operated by a singlelobe cam on the engine crankshaft in conjunction with the usual condenser and high-voltage coil, the cam permitting the plug to fire once per revolution of the crankshaft thus twice per revolution of the nutator so as to fire each chamber.

The ensuing combustion arising from ignition produces a considerable increase in pressure which acts upon the working face 21a of the nutator, forcing that face relatively downward and so imparting a torque to the crankshaft. As previously said, the force relationship being sinusoidal, prevents any torque application during TDC, the nutator being carried past this point by the inertia of the rotating components. A flywheel (not shown) attached to the engine crankshaft provides inertia for the compression part of the cycle, while the opposite chamber, undergoing expansion, augments this function.

Near the end of the power stroke the exhaust port 26 is again opened by the rotating passage 25a, the exhaust port being non-symmetrically lengthened on the power side to allow opening prior to opening of the inlet ports 39 by the nutator skirt 35, to prevent high pressure exhaust gases from backing into the intake system. Finally, as the inlet ports 39' are opened the spent gases of combustion are forced out through the open exhaust port into the atmosphere to complete the cycle.

It should be very obvious that all functions applying to chamber 30a also apply similarly to chamber 30b except that the two chambers operate at a 180 phase relationship to one another.

The finned air-cooled housing in FIGURE 1, while being desirable because of simplicity for small engines in the low horsepower class, may be supplanted by a liquid-cooled housing for larger engines.

As to lubrication the engine may utilize a hollow crankshaft to carry lubricant to the needle bearings of the nutator with overflow spilling onto the cavity wall and crankshaft bearings and then to a return sump in a lower portion of the engine for recirculation by an external pump (not shown). Alternatively, oil may be mixed with the fuel for lubrication.

While the end cap seals 82 and the skirt sealing ring sectors 37 shown in the engine embodiment as well as the other embodiments of this invention represent but one method of sealing the junctures of the nutator, other constructions could employ a two-piece nutator split diametrically perpendicular to the center bar so as to expandably contact the cavity wall, or a design where the ring sectors 37 and thrust washer 92 are eliminated entirely so that the nutator skirt may seat and function on the cavity wall like a dynamic gas seal. The arrangement as shown, however, lends itself to a unique method of engine disassembly. As may be observed in FIGURE 1, the nutator appears to be trapped in the spherical cavity due to the fact that the cavity is slightly more than hemispherical, whereby the nutator could not be removed or even installed initially. To facilitate removal it is necessary that the nutator be reduced by disassembly to a diameter which will pass through the cavity opening at the head flange .64. This is accomplished by first removing the end seals 82, such that the remaining skirt diameter is small enough to pass through the cavity opening at the head flange. The complete disassembh procedure is thus: Remove head bolts 67 and head 13; rotate crankshaft 15 until. crankpin 16 is in position shown in FIGURE 1; with crankshaft held stationary rotate nutator 90 from position shown so that end cap seal 82 is fully out of cavity; remove rotor (which was also 10 confined by spherical draft of cavity wall) as well as said end cap seal; rotate nutator 180 and remove opposite end cap seal; rotate crankshaft 180 so that crankpin is perpendicular to head flange 64 and withdraw nutator through cavity opening; rotate crankshaft back to position shown and withdraw through cavity opening.

It is within the purview of this invention to provide a single combustion chamber engine, the object being to eliminate the scavenging blower, though at a sacrifice in power. It is .to be noted that this form may be related to my pending application, Ser. No. 51,098, whereas the aforementioned twin combustion chamber design may be similarly associated with my pending application Ser. No. 99,546. In the present single combustion chamber version one working face of the nutator, such as 2112, FIGURE 1, is either perforated or removed, including the respective skirt, so that the chamber becomes common at all times with crankcase 36. Thus, the combined chamber and crankcase is utilized for scavenging purposes to clear the singular working chamber 30a of spent combustion gases. It is required that the exhaust passage 25b, FIG- URE 2, be omitted as shown by the dotted line, to prevent gas leakage from the crankcase, while it is also necessary to provide a transfer channel in the cavity wall between the inlet holes 39 and the crankcase 36. This channel serves as in my earlier-filed application to allow scavenging gas to pass from the crankcase to the working chamber 30a. in operational sequence, air is drawn in through a reed valve or rotary valve (driven of the crankshaft) into the expanding crankcase. After the crank case reaches full volume and begins to compress the gas contained therein the inlet valve closes, the compression continues to a pressure of about 5 p.s.i. whereupon the nutator skirt uncovers the transfer channel and the compressed crankcase gas escapes into the combustion chamber 36a purging same of exhaust gases through the already opened exhaust valve. Continued rotation, as in the twin version, causes the exhaust port and transfer channel feeding inlet holes 39' to be closed so that the gas trapped in the chamber 3% be compressed. Appropriately timed during compression, the fuel injector and spark plug 24 function to cause force to be applied to the working face 21a of the nutator thus imparting useful torque to the crankshaft.

It is to be understood that the adaption of a fuel injector in both the single as well as twin chamber engines is optional, that in lieu of an injector, a carburetor could be used, though, with less economical operation; in which case the carburetor would be located at the blower inlet for the twin, and in the single chamber version the reed Valve or rotary valve would be located between carburetor and engine. It is to be noted also that the spark plug is optional in diesel versions with high compression ratios where the fuel is ignited by the elevated air temperature and may or may not rely on the plug for supplementary ignition. Similarly, the spark plug may be replaced by a glow plug to augment ignition or facilitate starting. Generally, a carburetor would be used with a single-chamber self-scavenged engine for small applications while larger versions would operate with twin chambers, fuel injec- Illustrated in FIGURE 5 is a progeny of the principal embodiment of the invention, wherein it may be seen that, significantly, the rotor has been eliminated. In this form of the invention the head 113 has been lowered so as to permit the center bar 119 to directly contact the head surface 113a. The nutator 117, therefore, experiences the identical rotation-nutation, including the velocity variation, of the previous embodiment, wherein the flat head surface 113:: confines the center bar to rotation in a plane.

Two expansive chambers a and 1369b are similarly defined as in the first embodiment'but the porting and valving details have, as in the succeeding embodiment, been purposely omitted, where according to the use and type of fluid employed, many known means of valving may be adapted including head surface or wall ports, poppet valves or rotary valves operated by the crankshaft. In pump operation, it should be obvious that a fluid could be drawn into an expanding chamber and forcibly exhausted from a contracting chamber, through the use of appropriate valving, while in motor operation a high pressure fluid may be admitted to a chamber of increasing volume so as to impart rotation to the crankshaft and be discharged from a diminishing chamber.

It may be desirable in some pump and motor configurations to alter the working faces of the nutator so that the chambers compress to zero volume rather than effect a certain compression ratio as in the engine embodiment.

It is important to note that though this form of the invention is very simple, because of having only two moving parts, the rotor embodiment can be adapted more advantageously to pump or motor use because of the inherent valve action of the rotor. If the engine version in FIGURE 1 were used for such service the inlet holes 3Q would be omitted and the exhaust port 26 used as an inlet with the spark plug hole as a discharge port.

The third embodiment of the invention may be seen in FIGURE 7 where the design objective has been to eliminate the velocity variation of the nutator through the use of a contoured head 213.

Basically, the contoured or uniform velocity head has a contoured surface 213a of concave and convex curvature whose mean curvature is a plane equal in slope and location to the flat head surface of the rotorless version in FIGURE 5. The concavities and convexities of the head surface are generated in accordance with the theoretical motion of the center bar when the nutator and the crankshaft both rotate at uniform velocity. Conversely, a properly generated head in contact with the center bar compels a uniform velocity relationship to exist between the nutator and crankshaft. In other words, the curvature of the contoured head is the locus generated by the center bar when the nutator is driven at a uniform angular velocity of exactly one-half the uniform angular velocity of the crankshaft.

The curvature of head surface is therefore utilized to provide a uniform velocity rotative relationship between nutator and crankshaft at all degrees of rotation except that point where the crankpin is substantially perpendicular to the mean head plane, FIGURE 9, where a uniform velocity gear restraint system as shown in FIGURE 7, is sectorially employed to provide rotational control.

The advantages of uniform motion, as previously stated, reduce vibration and the associated kinetic energy losses, lessen bearing wear and permit the attainment of higher speeds.

In FIGURE 6 a contoured head is shown as a view projected from FIGURE 7, tilted back somewhat for clarity, and similarly sectionalized at the centerline of bilateral symmetry. In FIGURE 8 the head, as sh0wn,-has been tilted back on the centerline of symmetry (RR axis) even further so as to be in full plan view. It is to be noted that the contoured head has two flush Zones, at the RR axis and perpendicular thereto along the P-P axis. In these zones the contour is flush wit. the head flange 263, having slope attitude comparable to the flathead versions. On either side of the flush Zone at R (relating to and being coincident with the gear restraint point of rotation) it can be seen that the head surface is concave, while on either side of the point R the contour becomes convex. Thus, a straightedge in contact with the contoured surface of the head, so as to pass diametrically through its center, would form a straight line-contact at any point of azimuth, as would the center bar during operation.

In FIGURES 9 through 12 four positions of the uniform velocity nutator may be seen, Where in FIGURE 9 the center bar is in contact with the flush zone of the head along the R--R axis, this also being the gear restraint position. In FIGURE 10 the nutator has left the gear restraint position, while the center bar deviates from the mean theoretical plane to enter the concavity on one side of R and engage the convexity on the opposite side of point R. FIGURE 11 shows the center bar engaging the flush zone along the P-P axis where it may be seen that one expansive chamber is at maximum volume while the other is at a minimum volume. FIGURE 12 is a reverse view of FIGURE 10 where the nutator is on the opposite side of the gear restraint position, with the near end of the center bar in a concavity and the far end engaging convex head curvature.

So as to understand how the contoured head surface is generated initially, assume that the sectorial gear restraint system employed in FIGURE 7 be replaced by full 360 bevel gears; in such case the nutator gear is fully circular and concentrically disposed on the underside of the nutator skirt so as to engage a fully circular fixed gear concentrically disposed about the crankshaft axis in the lower housing. If the nutator gear is twice the diameter of the fixed gear, rotation of the crankshaft at uniform velocity will impart a uniform rotation to the nutator gear and thus to the nutator with nutator rotating on the crankpin at exactly one-half crankshaft speed. This assembly may then be likened unto a planetary bevel gear transmission where a bevel gear on an angled drive shaft revolves about a fixed bevel gear.

The center bar, when the nutator is driven by 1:2 circular bevel gearing as described, generates a contoured head surface as illustrated in the drawings. Conversely, in the absence of full gearing a head generated by this method can be utilized like a cam to force the center bar and thus the nutator into the proper rotational relationship with the crankshaft. In such case only partial gear sectors, removed from the fully circular gears of constant radius, are required to provide a uniform velocity restraint during that part of rotation where the crankpin is normal to the mean head plane. Though full gearing could be used if desired, it is not actually necessary for complete rotation of the system, however, an advantage would be a reduction in the line-contact wear or seizure that could possibly develop between the center bar and head; in which case the gearing would assume the synchronizing load responsibility at all times rather than the center bar and head assuming these loads. For the partial gear system it is therefore practical, in this and more so in the preceding embodiment because of higher synchronizing loads due to the velocity variation, to harden the center bar and head surfaces.

Full gearing, if used for the flathead versions or earlier rotor shaft types of non-uniform angular velocity, requires the nutator gear to be elliptical as well as saddleshaped, while the fixed gear becomes circular, eccentric to the crankshaft axis and curving upward from the partial sector area involved with restraint, toward the head. The eccentricity of the fixed gear is minimum near the restraint sector area and maximum at a point 186 away therefrom, while the nutator gear becomes of greater r..- dius at the restraint sector areas and of minimum radius at points 96 away. Because of complexity of manufacture of full elliptical bevel gears, the partial elliptical gear sectors for the non-uniform velocity versions become the more desirable expedient. Also, in the versions using a rotor, the loads at the center bar area of less consequence because of the adequate area-contact employed.

It should be obvious that in the uniform velocity version of my invention it is not practical to employ an areacontact rotor between the center bar and head because of the reversing curvature of the head surface. Therefore, no rotor is use and the configuration is best adapted to iiuid pump or motor utilization, as is the tiathead version without rotor.

It is to be noted that it is possible to construct a uniform velocity area-contact configuration with rotor where the center bar or a secondary element of the rotor has an additional degree of oscillatory freedom to permit 13 the rotor to operate in a plane, but such is not practical because the resultant oscillating motion is just as undesirable as velocity variation of the entire nutator, the sealing problem being more acute.

In conclusion, the engine embodiment of this invention offers considerable simplification and increased performance in comparison to my earlier related engines, while the rotorless versions provide the extreme minimum in complexity with but two moving parts for fluid pump and motor applications.

I claim:

1. A rotary displacement device comprising a housing whose inner walls are configured to form a generally spherical cavity, said cavity being less than fully spherical by virtue of a portion of the cavity wall defining a substantially flat chordal plane, a crankshaft rotatably mounted in said housing and having a crankpin axis thereon disposed at an angle to the axis of rotation of said crankshaft, said crankpin axis being caused to nutate within said cavity during crankshaft rotation, said crankshaft and crankpin axe-s, if extended, intersecting at the geometric spherical center of said cavity, said crankpin axis being perpendicular to said chordal plane at a certain rotative position of said crankshaft, a nutator in said cavity rotatably disposed about said crankpin axis, said nutator disposed slidably in sealing contact with said cavity Wall so as to define therewith at least one expansive chamber, said nutator being rotatable at a mean angular velocity of one-half crankshaft angular velocity and undertaking a combined rotative-nutative movement within said cavity in concert with crankshaft rotation to cause said expansive chamber to change volume continuously during such movement.

2. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 1 in which a portion of said nutator is operatively disposed adjacent the surface of said chordal plane nearest the spherical center of said cavity, such portion providing a precisely controlled operative relationship between said crankshaft and nutator, by virtue of interaction of said portion with the near surface of said chordal plane, as to assure proper movement of said nutator in said cavity.

3. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 1 in which restraining means are utilized for providing rotational control of the relationship of said nutator with respect to said housing during that part of the operative cycle of said device when said crankpin axis is generally perpendicular to the plane of said chordal plane, and no natural restraint is present.

4. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 1 in which a shaftless rotor member movable with said nutator is interposed between said nutator and said chordal plane.

5. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 1 in which said chordal plane has a contoured surface directly contacted by a surface of said nutator, said contoured surface having concavities and convexities followed by said nutator, thus to compel a uniform velocity relationship to exist between said nutator and said crankshaft.

6. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 1 in which inlet and outlet means are provided in said housing for enabling the flow of fluid through said chamber as the volume thereof changes, and means for operating said device as an engine by selectively bringing about periodic combustion in said chamber, thereby to develop power that is delivered to said crankshaft.

7. The engine as defined in claim 6 in which a portion of said nutator in conjunction with said housing defines a crankcase at a location in said housing remote from said c'hamber,'the volume changes of said crankcase being in opposite phase with the volume changes of said chamber during nutator movement, said inlet means supplying scavenge air to said engine and being disposed in contact with said crankcase so as the volume of said crankcase.

increases, such air will be drawn therein, to be slightly compressed during subsequent decrease in crankcase volume, means for supplying such precompressed air to said combustion chamber for scavenging and combustion purposes, so that as the volume of said chamber decreases, such air confined therein becomes highly compressed, fuel introduction means for admitting sufficient fuel into said chamber as to render the mixture of air and fuel combustible, ignition means for igniting the highly compressed charge within the said chamber, the subsequently occurring combustion causing the release of energy in said chamber, thus applying force to a surface of said nutator so as to deliver power to said crankshaft.

8. The engine as defined in claim 6 in which two combustion chambers are defined in said housing, whose volumetric changes as a result of nutator movement are in opposite phase, and means associated with said inlet for supplying scavenge and combustion air to said engine.

9. A rotary displacement device comprising a housing whose inner walls are configured to form a generally spherical cavity, said cavity being less than fully spherical by virtue of a portion of the cavity wall defining a substantially fiat chordal plane, a crankshaft rotatably mounted in said housing and having a crankpin axis thereon disposed at an angle to the axis of rotation of said crankshaft, said crankshaft and crankpin axes, if extended, intersecting at the geometric spherical center of said cavity, said crankpin axis being perpendicular to said chordal plane at a certain rotative position of said crankshaft, a nutator in said cavity rotatably disposed about said crankpin axis, said nutator disposed slidably in sealing contact with said cavity wall so as to define therewith at least one expansive chamber, said nutator being rotatable at a mean angular velocity of one-half crankshaft angular velocity and undertaking a combined rotativenutative movement within said cavity in concert with crankshaft rotation to cause said expansive chamber to change volume continuously during such movement, a surface of said flat chordal plane providing for said nutator a precisely controlled rotative relationship of said nutator with said crankshaft, and restraint means for providing rotational controlof the relationship of said nutator with respect to said housing during that part of the operative cycle of said device when said crankpin axis is generally perpendicular to said chordal plane.

10. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 9 in which a portion of said nutator is operatively disposed adjacent the surface of said chordal plane nearest the spherical center of said cavity, such portion providing a precisely controlled operative relationship between said crankshaft and nutator, by virtue of interaction of said portion with the near surface of said chordal plane, as to assure proper movement of said nutator in said cavity.

11. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 9 in which a shaftless rotor member movable with said nutator is interposed between said nutator and said chordal plane.

12. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 9 in which said chordal plane has a contoured surface directly contacted by a surface of said nutator, said contoured surface having concavities and convexities followed by said nutator, thus to compel a uniform velocity relationship to exist between said nutator and said crankshaft.

13. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 9 in which inlet and outlet means are provided in said housing for enabling the flow of fluid through said chamber as the volume thereof changes, and means for operating said device as an engine by selectively bringing about periodic combustion in said chamber, thereby to develop power that is delivered to said crankshaft.

14. The engine as defined in claim 13 in which a portion of said nutator in conjunction with said housing de fines a crankcase at a location in said housing remote from said chordal plane, the volume changes of said crank:

case being in opposite phase with the volume changes of said chamber during nutator movement, said inlet means 15 supplying scavenge air to said engine and being disposed in contact with said crankcase so as the volume of said crankcase increases, such air will be drawn therein, to be slightly compressed during subsequent decrease in crankcase volume, and means for supplying such precompressed air to said combustion chamber for scavenging and combustion purposes wherein as the volume of said chamber decreases, such air confined therein becomes highly compressed, fuel introduction means for admitting sufficient fuel into said chamber as to render the mixture of air and fuel combustible, ignition means for igniting the highly compressed charge within the said chamber, the subsequently occurring combustion causing the release of energy in said chamber, thus applying force to a surface of said nutator so as to deliver power to said crankshaft.

15. The engine as defined in claim 13 in which two combustion chambers are defined in said housing, whose volumetric changes as a result of nutator movement are in opposite phase, and means associated with said inlet for supplying scavenging air to said engine.

16. A rotary displacement device comprising a housing whose inner walls are configured to form a generally spherical cavity, said cavity being less than fully spherical by virtue of a portion of the cavity Wall defining a substantially flat chordal plane, a crankshaft rotatably mounted in said housing and having a crankpin axis established thereon at an angle to the axis of rotation of said crankshaft, the axes of said crankshaft and crankpin, if extended, intersecting at the spherical center of said cavity, said crankpin axis being perpendicular to said chordal plane at a certain rotative position of said crankshaft, a nutator rotatably disposed about said crankpin axis and having an encircling skirt portion slidably disposed in substantially continuous sealing contact with the spherical contour of said cavity wall, thus to sealably separate said spherical cavity into chamber and crankcase volumes, said nutator undertaking a combined rotative-nutative movement within said cavity in concert with crankshaft rotation, said nutator incorporating a center bar portion of generally cylindrical shape, the longitudinal axis of latter portion being disposed substantially perpendicularly to the rotative axis of said nutator and generally parallel to said chordal plane, said center bar portion being disposed adjacent the surface of said chordal plane nearest the spherical center of said cavity, and thus serving to divide said chamber portion of said spherical cavity into two expansive chambers, said center bar portion additionally providing a precisely controlled operative relationship between said crankshaft and nutator, by virtue of the interaction of said center bar portion with said near surface of said chordal plane, as to assure proper movement of said nutator in said cavity as said crankshaft and nutator move relatedly together in their respective manners of movement, and inlet and outlet means in said housing for enabling fluid to flow through said chamber at selected times, whereby during such movement of said crankshaft and nutator, the volumes of said expansive chambers change continuously and in opposite phase relationship.

17. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 16 in which restraining means are utilized for providing rotational control of the relationship of said nutator with espect to said housing during that part of the operative cycle of said device when said crankpin axis is generally perpendicular to the plane of said chordal plane, and no natural restraint is present.

18. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 16 in which a shaftless rotor member movable with said nutator is interposed between said nutator and said chordal plane, said rotor controlling the ingress and egress of laid to and from said chambers through said inlet and outlet means. i

19. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 16 in which said chords plane has a contoured surface directly contacted by a surface of said nutator, said contoured surface having concavities and convexities followed by said nutator, thus to compel a uniform velocity relationship to exist between said nutator and said crankshaft.

20. The rotary displacement device as defined in claim 16 in which said inlet means is disposed in the portion of said housing in communication with said crankcase volume, and means provided for operating said device as an engine by selectively bringing about periodic combustion in at least one of said expansive chambers.

21. A rotary internal combustion engine comprising a housing whose inner walls are configured to form a generally spherical cavity, said cavity being less than fully spherical by virtue of a portion of the cavity wall defining a substantially flat chordal plane, a crankshaft rotatably mounted in said housing and having a crankpin axis thereon disposed at an angle to the axis of rotation of said crankshaft, said crankshaft and crankpin axes, if extended, intersecting at the geometric spherical center of said cavity, said crankpin axis being perpendicular to said chordal plane at a certain rotative position of said crankshaft, a nutator in said cavity rotatably disposed about said crankpin axis and being slidably disposed in sealing contact with said cavity wall so as to define therewith a combustion zone in said cavity, said nutator incorporating an integral center bar of generally cylindrical shape whose axis is disposed substantially perpendicularly to the crankpin axis of said nutator, said nutator also having an active surface on each side of said center bar, said center bar serving to divide said combustion zone of said spherical cavity into two expansive chambers, one boundary of each chamber being one of said active surfaces, said center bar additionally providing a precisely controlled rotative relationship between said crankshaft and nutator through cooperation with said chordal plane portion of said cavity wall, said nutator being rotatable at a mean angular velocity of one half crankshaft angular velocity and undertaking a combined rotative-nutative movement within said cavity in concert with crankshaft rotation to cause said expansive chambers to change volumes continuously during such movement, at least one of said chambers being a combustion chamber, inlet and outlet means in said housing for enabling respectively the flow of scavenge and combustion air into said chamber, and the flow of exhaust products out of said chamber during volume changes, and means for bringing about periodic combustion in said chamber including fuel introduction means and ignition means, said combustion in each instance commencing when a charged combustible mixture has been compressed to a minimum volume, and ignited, the ensuing combustion causing a suflicient release of energy to be directed against the respective acive surface of said nutator, to cause the expansion of said chamber and the concomitant driving of said crankshaft in rotation.

22. The rotary internal combustion engine as defined in claim 21 in which restraining means are utilized for providing rotational control of the relationship of said nutator with respect to said housing during that part of the operative cycle of said device when said crankpin axis is generally perpendicular to the plane of said chordal plane, and no natural restraint is present.

23. The rotary internal combustion engine as defined in claim 21 in which a shaftless rotor member movable with said nutator is interposed between said nutator and said chordal plane.

24. The rotary internal combustion engine as defined in claim 21 in which said chordal plane has a contoured surface directly contacted by a surface of said nutator, said contoured surface having concavities and convexities followed by said nutator, thus to compel a uniform velocity relationship to exist between said nutator and said crankshaft.

25. The rotary internal combustion engine as defined 'in claim 21 in which a crankcase is defined in a portion of said housing that includes the expansive chamber opposite said combustion chamber, the volume changes of said crankcase being in opposite phase with the volume changes of said combustion chamber during nutator movement, said inlet meanssupplying scavenge air to said engine and being disposed in contact with said crankcase so as the volume of said crankcase increases, a charge of such air will be drawn therein, to be slightly compressed during subsequent decrease in crankcase volume, and means for supplying such pre-compressed air to said combustion chamber for scavenging and combustion purposes so that as the volumeof said chamber decreases such air confined therein becomes highly compressed, fuel introduction means for admitting sufiicient fuel into said chamber as to render the mixture of air and fuel combustible, ignition means for igniting the highly compressed charge within the said chamber, the subsequently occurring combustion causing the release of energy in said chamber, thus causing an increase of temperature and pressure creating a force which acts on a working surface of said nutator so as to impart torque and power to said crankshaft.

26. The rotary internal combustion engine as defined in claim 21 in which both of said expansive chambers are combustion chambers, in which the combustion in each occurs sequentially.

27. A rotary displacement device comprising a housing whose inner walls are configured to form a generally spherical cavity, said cavity being less than fully spherical by virtue of a portion of the cavity wall defining a substantially flat chordal plane, a crankshaft rotatably mounted in said housing and having a crankpin axis disposed thereon at an angle to the axis of rotation of said crankshaft, said crankshaft and crankpin axes, if extended, intersecting at the geometric spherical center of said cavity, said crankpin axis being perpendicular to said chordal plane at a certain rotative position of said crankshaft, a nutator in said cavity rotatably disposed about said crankpin axis, said nutator disposed slidably in sealing contact with said cavity Wall so as to define therewith at least one expansive chamber, said nutator being rotatable at a mean angular velocity of one-half crankshaft angular velocity and undertaking a combined rotative-nutative movement within said cavity in concert with crankshaft rotation to cause said expansive chamber to change volume continuously during. such movement, inlet means in said cavity wall for selectively admitting fluid into said expansive chamber, the opening and closing of said inlet means being controlled by nutator movements, a shaftless rotor member movable with said nutator and interposed between said nutator and said chordal plane, and outlet means in said chordal plane for enabling the egress of fluid from said expansive chamber, said rotor member by its movements controlling such egress of fluid through said outlet means. 7

28. A rotary displacement device comprising a housing whose inner walls are configured to form a generally spherical cavity, said cavity being less than fully spherical by virtue of'a portion of the cavity wall defining a substantially flat chordal plane, a crankshaft rotatably mounted in said housing and having a crankpin axis established thereon at an angle to the axis of rotation of said crankshaft, the axes of said crankshaft and crank pin, if extended, intersecting at the spherical center of said cavity, said crankpin axis being perpendicular to said chordal plane at a certain rotative position of said crankshaft, a nutator rotatably disposed about said crankpin axis and having an encircling skirt portion slidably disposed in substantially continuous sealing contact with the spherical contour of said cavityrwall, thus to sealably separate said spherical cavity into chamber and crankcase volumes, said nutator undertaking a combined rotative-nutative movement within said cavity in concert with crank shaftshaft rotation, said nutator incorporating a center bar portion of generally cylindrical shape, the longitudinal axis of latter portion being disposed substantially perpendicularly to the rotative axis of said nutator and generally parallel to said chordal plane, a shaftless rotor member interfitting with said center bar portion and interposed between latter portion and the surface of said chordal plane nearest the spherical center of said cavity, to move with said nutator, said center bar portion thus serving to sealably divide said spherical cavity into two expansive chambers in which pressure changes occur, said center bar portion additionally providing a precisely controlled operative relationship between said crankshaft and nutator, by virtue of the interaction of said center bar portion and rotor member with said near surface of said chordal plane, as to assure proper movement of said nutator in said cavity as said crankshaft and nutator move relatedly together in their respective manners of movement, said rotor member having a curved surface where it interfits with said center bar portion, said rotor member tending, during the buildup of pressure in one of said expansive chambers, to move slightly with respect to said center bar portion and in a somewhat wedging relationship between center bar portion and said near surface of said chordal plane, thus to provide improved sealing between said chambers during such buildup of pressure, and inlet and outlet means in said housing for enabling fluid to flow through said chambers' at selected times.

29. The device as defined in claim 28 in which restraining means are utilized for providing rotational control of the relationship of said nutator with respect to said housing during that part of the operative cycle of said device when said crankpin axis is generally perpendicular to the plane of said chordal plane and no natural restraint is present.

30. The device as defined in claim 9 in which said retraint means includes a fixed gear sector disposed in said housing, and gear sectors of elliptical bevel gears disposed in opposed relation on the underside of said nutator and comprising at least one gear tooth for periodically engaging said fixed gear sector, said fixed gear sector being eccentrically disposed about said crankshaft axis, said restraint means providing a precise non-uniform angular velocity nutator-to-crankshaft relationship during those portions of the rotative cycle when said crankpin axis is substantially perpendicular to said chordal plane and no natural restraint is present.

31. The device as defined in claim 9 in which said restraint means includes full continuous gears, an elliptical bevel gear disposed on the underside of the said nutator, a fixed circular bevel gear disposed in said housing eccentrically about said crankshaft axis and engaged by said elliptical bevel gear, said gears remaining in constant engagement during operation of said device to providea precise non-uniform angular velocity nutator-to-crankshaft relationship during all portions of the rotative cycle.

32. The device as defined in claim 19 in which said restraint means includes a fixed gear sector disposed in said housing, and gear sectors of circular bevel gears disposed in opposed relationon the underside of said nutator and comprising at least one gear tooth for periodically engaging said fixed gear sector, said fixed gear sector being circumferentially disposed about said crankshaft axis, said restraint means to provide a precise uniform angular velocity relationship of nutator-to-crankshaft during those portions of the rotative cycle of said device when said crankpin axis is substantially perpendicular to the mean chordal plane.

33. The device as defined in claim 19 in which said restraint means includes full continuous gears in which a circular bevel gear is disposed on the underside of said nutator, a fixed circular bevel gear in said housing concentrically disposed about said crankshaft axis and engaged by said circular bevel gear, said fixed gear being exactly one-half the pitch diameter of said gear on the underside of said nut'ator, said gears remaining in constant engagement t6 provide a precise uniform angular velocity relationship of nutator-to-crankshaft during all portions of the rotative cycle of said device.

2% References Cited in the file of this patent FOREIGN PATENTS 5,100 Great Britain 1898 102,180 Germany Apr. 4, 1899 762,174 France Jan. 18, 1934

Claims (1)

1. A ROTARY DISPLACEMENT DEVICE COMPRISING A HOUSING WHOSE INNER WALLS ARE CONFIGURED TO FORM A GENERALLY SPHERICAL CAVITY, SAID CAVITY BEING LESS THAN FULLY SPHERICAL BY VIRTUE OF A PORTION OF THE CAVITY WALL DEFINING A SUBSTANTIALLY FLAT CHORDAL PLANE, A CRANKSHAFT ROTATABLY MOUNTED IN SAID HOUSING AND HAVING A CRANKPIN AXIS THEREON DISPOSED AT AN ANGLE TO THE AXIS OF ROTATION OF SAID CRANKSHAFT, SAID CRANKPIN AXIS BEING CAUSED TO NUTATE WITHIN SAID CAVITY DURING CRANKSHAFT ROTATION, SAID CRANKSHAFT AND CRANKPIN AXES, IF EXTENDED, INTERSECTING AT THE GEOMETRIC SPHERICAL CENTER OF SAID CAVITY, SAID CRANKPIN AXIS BEING PERPENDICULAR TO SAID CHORDAL PLANE AT A CERTAIN ROTATIVE POSITION OF SAID CRANKSHAFT, A NUTATOR IN SAID CAVITY ROTATABLY DISPOSED ABOUT SAID CRANKPIN AXIS, SAID NUTATOR DISPOSED SLIDABLY IN SEALING CONTACT WITH SAID CAVITY WALL SO AS TO DEFINE THEREWITH AT LEAST ONE EXPANSIVE CHAMBER, SAID NUTATOR BEING ROTATABLE AT A MEAN ANGULAR VELOCITY OF ONE-HALF CRANKSHAFT ANGULAR VELOCITY AND UNDERTAKING A COMBINED ROTATIVE-NUTATIVE MOVEMENT WITHIN SAID CAVITY IN CONCERT WITH CRANKSHAFT ROTATION TO CAUSE SAID EXPANSIVE CHAMBER TO CHANGE VOLUME CONTINUOUSLY DURING SUCH MOVEMENT.
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Cited By (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3753631A (en) * 1970-10-12 1973-08-21 A Stelzer Piston machine
US3981639A (en) * 1974-09-24 1976-09-21 Wahl Robert H Nutating engine
WO1982003106A1 (en) * 1981-03-02 1982-09-16 Thor Larsen Power conversion machine having a piston which can effect a combined turning and rocking movement
US4589388A (en) * 1985-05-17 1986-05-20 Fenton John W Internal combustion engine
US5755196A (en) * 1995-03-09 1998-05-26 Outland Design Technologies, Inc. Rotary positive displacement engine
US6497564B2 (en) 2000-01-07 2002-12-24 James B. Klassen Balanced rotors positive displacement engine and pump method and apparatus
US6634873B2 (en) * 1995-03-09 2003-10-21 Outland Technologies, Inc. Method for determining engagement surface contours for a rotor of an engine
US20030231971A1 (en) * 2001-01-30 2003-12-18 Klassen James B. Minimal contact seal positive displacement device method and apparatus
US6705161B1 (en) 2000-08-08 2004-03-16 Outland Technologies (Usa), Inc. Positive displacement flow meter method and apparatus
US6941900B1 (en) * 2004-03-10 2005-09-13 Valentin Malinov VAL rotary engine
WO2008110155A1 (en) * 2007-03-13 2008-09-18 Cor Pumps + Compressors Ag Pump or motor
US20100074786A1 (en) * 2008-09-17 2010-03-25 Alejandro Juan Indexed positive displacement rotary motion device
US8562318B1 (en) 2009-08-20 2013-10-22 Exponential Technologies, Inc. Multiphase pump with high compression ratio
US8807975B2 (en) 2007-09-26 2014-08-19 Torad Engineering, Llc Rotary compressor having gate axially movable with respect to rotor
US9777729B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2017-10-03 Exponential Technologies, Inc. Dual axis rotor

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GB189805100A (en) * 1897-09-30 1899-01-14 Andre Bonnard De Bouvand Improvements in Steam, Gas, Petroleum, Acetylene, or the like Rotary Motors for Motor Carriages and for other Uses.
FR762174A (en) * 1933-09-06 1934-04-05 advanced rotary engine

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE102180C (en) *
GB189805100A (en) * 1897-09-30 1899-01-14 Andre Bonnard De Bouvand Improvements in Steam, Gas, Petroleum, Acetylene, or the like Rotary Motors for Motor Carriages and for other Uses.
FR762174A (en) * 1933-09-06 1934-04-05 advanced rotary engine

Cited By (25)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3753631A (en) * 1970-10-12 1973-08-21 A Stelzer Piston machine
US3981639A (en) * 1974-09-24 1976-09-21 Wahl Robert H Nutating engine
WO1982003106A1 (en) * 1981-03-02 1982-09-16 Thor Larsen Power conversion machine having a piston which can effect a combined turning and rocking movement
US4589388A (en) * 1985-05-17 1986-05-20 Fenton John W Internal combustion engine
US5755196A (en) * 1995-03-09 1998-05-26 Outland Design Technologies, Inc. Rotary positive displacement engine
US6036463A (en) * 1995-03-09 2000-03-14 Outland Technologies (Usa), Inc. Rotary positive displacement engine
US6634873B2 (en) * 1995-03-09 2003-10-21 Outland Technologies, Inc. Method for determining engagement surface contours for a rotor of an engine
US6497564B2 (en) 2000-01-07 2002-12-24 James B. Klassen Balanced rotors positive displacement engine and pump method and apparatus
US20040250617A1 (en) * 2000-08-08 2004-12-16 Klassen James B. Positive displacement flow meter method and apparatus
US6705161B1 (en) 2000-08-08 2004-03-16 Outland Technologies (Usa), Inc. Positive displacement flow meter method and apparatus
US6923055B2 (en) 2000-08-08 2005-08-02 Outland Technologies (Usa) Inc. Positive displacement flow meter method and apparatus
US6887057B2 (en) 2001-01-30 2005-05-03 Outland Technologies (Usa) Inc. Minimal contact seal positive displacement device method and apparatus
US20030231971A1 (en) * 2001-01-30 2003-12-18 Klassen James B. Minimal contact seal positive displacement device method and apparatus
US6941900B1 (en) * 2004-03-10 2005-09-13 Valentin Malinov VAL rotary engine
US20050199189A1 (en) * 2004-03-10 2005-09-15 Valentin Malinov Val rotary engine
WO2008110155A1 (en) * 2007-03-13 2008-09-18 Cor Pumps + Compressors Ag Pump or motor
US8821142B2 (en) 2007-03-13 2014-09-02 Robert Bosch Gmbh Pump or motor for liquid or gaseous media having an increased diameter shaft toward a slanted sliding plane
US20100104462A1 (en) * 2007-03-13 2010-04-29 Cor Pumps + Compressors Ag Pump or motor
RU2494261C2 (en) * 2007-03-13 2013-09-27 Роберт Бош Гмбх Volumetric machine to be used as pump or motor
US8807975B2 (en) 2007-09-26 2014-08-19 Torad Engineering, Llc Rotary compressor having gate axially movable with respect to rotor
US8602758B2 (en) 2008-09-17 2013-12-10 Exponential Technologies, Inc. Indexed positive displacement rotary motion device
US20100074786A1 (en) * 2008-09-17 2010-03-25 Alejandro Juan Indexed positive displacement rotary motion device
US9447688B2 (en) 2008-09-17 2016-09-20 Exponential Technologies, Inc. Indexed positive displacement rotary motion device
US8562318B1 (en) 2009-08-20 2013-10-22 Exponential Technologies, Inc. Multiphase pump with high compression ratio
US9777729B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2017-10-03 Exponential Technologies, Inc. Dual axis rotor

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