Mueller Industries has filed a patent for a valve assembly that includes a valve body with a cylindrical passage and inlet port, and first and second outlet ports. A cylindrical valve spool is positioned within the passage and can be moved to different positions to control fluid communication between the inlet and outlet ports. The valve assembly also includes circumferential seal arrangements for sealing engagement. GlobalData’s report on Mueller Industries gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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Mueller Industries's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Valve assembly with movable valve spool for fluid communication

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO). Credit: Mueller Industries Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230151894A1) describes a valve assembly for use in refrigeration systems. The valve assembly includes a valve body with a cylindrical passage and an inlet port at one end. The valve body also has two outlet ports, one extending radially outward from the cylindrical passage. The valve assembly features a cylindrical valve spool that can move along the longitudinal axis of the valve body. The valve spool is engaged with the valve body through circumferential seal arrangements, allowing it to seal the valve body and control fluid flow.

The valve spool can be positioned in three different states: a first position where the inlet port is connected to the first outlet port but not the second outlet port, a second position where the inlet port is connected to the second outlet port but not the first outlet port, and an intermediate position where the inlet port is connected to both outlet ports. The valve assembly also includes a linear drive, such as an axial drive stepper motor, to selectively position the valve spool.

The valve body has circumferential grooves that house the circumferential seal arrangements, which consist of O-rings and rectangular cross-section seal rings, possibly made from PTFE. The first outlet port is closer to the inlet port than the second outlet port, and the two outlet ports are positioned 180 degrees apart from each other with respect to the longitudinal axis. The valve body may have a selectively coupled end cap with a threaded connection, and the valve body and valve spool are made from different materials, such as brass and stainless steel, respectively.

The patent also mentions a refrigeration system that incorporates the described valve assembly. The refrigeration system includes the valve assembly with its cylindrical valve spool, linear drive, and circumferential seal arrangements. When the valve spool is in the first or second position, it is directly sealingly engaged with the valve body through a third circumferential seal arrangement in addition to the other seal arrangements.

Overall, this patent describes a valve assembly and its application in refrigeration systems. The valve assembly allows for precise control of fluid flow and can be used in various refrigeration applications.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies