Liquid sampler having an in-line valve

  • US 6,792,818 B2
  • Filed: 04/08/2002
  • Issued: 09/21/2004
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/08/2002
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A sampling apparatus, comprising:

  • a sampler operable to obtain discrete samples of liquid product from an interior of a vessel, said sampler including a plunger having a sample receiving recess;

    a connecting device for coupling said sampler to the vessel, wherein said sampler is attached to said connecting device and said connecting device is movable between a first position placing said sampler into communication with the interior of the vessel and product therein and a second position taking said sampler out of communication with the interior of the vessel and product therein, said sampler being detachable from said connecting device, without escape of product from the vessel, when said connecting device is in said second position, means for reciprocating said sampler plunger, when said connecting device is in said first position, to extend said plunger and recess through said connecting device and into the product in the vessel interior to receive in said recess a predetermined volume sample of product, and to then retract said plunger and recess from the vessel interior and through said connecting device to deliver the predetermined volume product sample in said recess to a sample collection point in said sampler; and

    means for continuously maintaining a seal between the interior of the vessel and said sample collection point during reciprocation of said plunger, wherein said sampler remains stationary during movement of said connecting device between said first and second positions and said connecting device includes a valve member having a passage, said valve member being movable between said first and second positions and said valve member passage extending between said sampler and the vessel interior when said valve member is moved to said first position for reciprocation of said sampler plunger and recess through said passage into the product in the vessel interior, and said valve member passage being out of communication with said sampler and the vessel interior when said valve member is moved to said second position, said means for continuously maintaining a seal sealing said sampler plunger with said valve member passage upon reciprocation of said plunger through said passage, said connecting device including a shell, said connecting device valve member comprising a ball valve within said shell and said passage extending diametrically through said ball valve, and further including means for rotating said ball valve in said shell between said first and second positions, wherein said connecting device includes seal means in said shell for maintaining isolation between said ball valve passage, said sampler and the vessel interior when said ball valve is rotated to said second position, and wherein said sampler is attached to said connecting device shell, and including first valve means operable when said ball valve is rotated to said second position for venting any pressure of product within said shell and for checking the integrity of said seal means, and second valve means operable when said ball valve is rotated to said second position for venting any pressure of product within said sampler and for checking the integrity of said seal means.

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