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1. (WO1991005713) FUEL SENDER LOCKING RING
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In The Claims
1. A fuel tank assembly comprising:
a hollow pressurizable tank for storing liquid fuel and having an aperture extending through a generally planar external surface;
a fuel sender unit disposed within said aperture having a first portion extending into said tank and a second portion external to said tank, said second portion including a plate-like shoulder having generally parallel planar upper and lower surfaces, said lower surface in mating contact with said external tank surface so as to enclose said tank aperture;
sealing means disposed between said lower surface of said fuel sender unit and said external surface of said tank for producing a fluid-tight seal therebetween;
a plurality of retaining lugs extending transversely relative to said external surface of said tank, said retaining lugs located around the periphery of said aperture and radially outward of said plate-like shoulder of said fuel sender unit; and
a locking member for locking said fuel sender unit to said tank, said locking member having a generally planar bottom surface matingly engaging said upper surface of said fuel sender plate-like shoulder and having means for lockingly engaging said retaining lugs, said locking member further comprising support means for inhibiting permanent deformation of said retaining lugs due to increased pressure within said tank.
2. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 1 wherein said external tank surface further comprises an annular groove located intermediate said aperture and said retaining lugs, and wherein said sealing means comprises a seal element disposed in said annular groove.
3. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 1 wherein said retaining lugs are equally spaced and are integral with said tank.
4. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 1 wherein said retaining lugs extend from a ring-like member permanently secured to said tank and wherein said retaining lugs are equally spaced around said aperture.
5. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 4 wherein said tank is fabricated from a thermoplastic material and said ringlike member is permanently encapsulated within said
thermoplastic material.
6. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 1 wherein said retaining lugs are concentric with and equally spaced around the periphery of said aperture and further comprise lug engaging means for lockingly capturing said lug means upon rotation of said locking member to a locked position relative to said retaining lugs, said lug engaging means being provided on a radially inwardly extending end portion of said retaining lugs, said end portion being generally parallel to said external tank surface.
7. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 6 wherein said lug support means comprises a slot-like opening in said lug means through which said retaining lugs are disposed upon rotation of said locking member to a locked position, said slotlike opening defining an inner flange section upon which said lug engaging means is provided and an outer flange section for inhibiting outward deformation of said retaining lug so as to withstand greater tank pressures.
8. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 7 wherein said slot-like opening is generally arcuate and of such a length to positively locate said lug means relative to said lug engaging means.
9. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 8 wherein said locking member comprises a locking ring having an aperture through which a portion of said fuel sender unit extends, wherein said lug means comprises a plurality of lug supports corresponding in number and angular positioning to said
plurality of retaining lugs, said lug supports having said slotlike opening extending from one end thereof so as to define said inner flange section and said outer flange section.
10. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 9 wherein said lug supports have a cold-deformed surface on said inner flange section, wherein said lug engaging means comprises a similarly shaped receptacle in said end portion of said retaining lugs for lockingly capturing said cold-deformed surface therein upon rotation of said locking ring to a locked position relative to said retaining lugs, and wherein said slot-like opening has a width dimension such that said outer flange section abuts an outermost transverse surface of said retaining lugs so as to inhibit permanent deformation thereof.
11. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 10 wherein said locking ring further includes a flanged support member associated with each of said lug supports, said flanged support member being provided at a radially outward edge of said locking ring and extending generally parallel to said retaining lugs and into engagement with said external tank surface to inhibit permanent radially outward deformation of said retaining lugs.
12. A locking member for use in a fuel tank assembly of the type having a pressurizable tank with an aperture extending through an external tank surface and a plurality of retaining lugs transversely extending from said external surface along the periphery of said tank aperture, a fuel sender assembly having a first portion disposed within said tank and a second portion external to said tank having a plate-like shoulder with a lower surface in mating contact with said external tank surface, a seal element disposed between said tank and said fuel sender assembly in an annular groove provided in said external tank outer surface intermediate said aperture and said retaining lugs, said locking member comprising:
a locking ring having an aperture through which a portion of said fuel sender assembly extends, said locking ring having a generally planar lower surface in mating contact with an upper surface of said second portion of said fuel sender assembly and having a plurality of lug supports corresponding to said plurality of retaining lugs, said lug supports having a locking means for lockingly engaging said retaining lugs and lug support means surrounding said retaining lugs for inhibiting permanent deformation of said retaining lugs due to greater fluid pressure within said tank.
13. A locking member according to Claim 12 wherein said retaining lugs are equally spaced around the periphery of said aperture and further comprise lug engaging means for lockingly capturing said locking means upon rotation of said locking ring to a locked position relative to said retaining lugs, said lug engaging means being provided on a radially inwardly extending end portion of said retaining lugs, said end portion being generally parallel to said external tank surface.
14. A locking member according to Claim 13 wherein said lug support means comprise a slot-like opening in said lug supports through which said retaining lugs are disposed upon rotation of said locking ring to a locked position, said slotlike opening defining an inner flange section upon which said locking means are provided and an outer flange section
surrounding said retaining lugs for inhibiting outward
deformation of said retaining lugs upon greater pressure within said tank.
15. A locking member according to Claim 14 wherein said lug supports have a cold-deformed surface on said inner flange section, wherein said lug engaging means comprises a similarly shaped receptacle in said end portion of said retaining lugs for lockingly capturing said cold-deformed surface therein upon rotation of said locking ring to a locked position, and wherein said lug support means further comprises an edge surface of said outer flange section abutting an outermost transverse surface of said retaining lug so as to inhibit permanent deformation thereof.
16. A locking member according to Claim 15 wherein said locking ring includes a flanged support member associated with each of said lug supports, said flanged support member being located at a radially outward edge of said locking ring and extending generally parallel to said retaining lugs and into engagement with said external tank surface to inhibit permanent deformation of said retaining lugs.
17. A fuel tank assembly comprising:
a hollow pressurizable tank for storing liquid fuel and having an aperture;
a fuel sender disposed within said aperture having a first portion extending into said tank and a second portion external to said tank and configured to enclose said aperture;
sealing means disposed between said second portion of said fuel sender and said tank for producing a fluid-tight seal therebetween;
a plurality of retaining lugs transversely extending from said tank and concentric with said aperture, said retaining lugs generally surrounding said second portion of said fuel sender unit; and
locking means for locking said fuel sender to said tank, said locking means engaging said second portion of said fuel sender and having lug means for lockingly engaging said retaining luc said locking means further comprising lug support means surrounding said retaining lugs for inhibiting deformation of said retaining lugs upon an increase in fluid pressure within said tank.
18. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 17 wherein said tank has a generally planar external tank surface including an annular groove located intermediate said aperture and said retaining lugs, and wherein said sealing means comprises a seal element disposed in said annular groove.
19. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 17 wherein said retaining lugs extend from a ring-like insert permanently secured to said tank and wherein said retaining lugs are equally spaced around said aperture.
20. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 18 wherein said tank is fabricated from a thermoplastic material and said ring-like insert is permanently encapsulated within said thermoplastic material.
21. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 17 wherein said locking means comprises a locking ring having an aperture through which a portion of said fuel sender extends, wherein said lug means comprises a plurality of lug supports
corresponding in number and angular positioning to said
plurality of retaining lugs, said lug supports having a slotlike opening extending from one end thereof so as to define an inner flange section and an outer flange section, and wherein said lug support means comprises said outer flange section surrounding an outermost transverse surface of said retaining lugs so as to inhibit permanent deformation thereof.
22. A fuel tank assembly according to Claim 18 wherein said locking ring further includes a flanged support member associated with each of said lug supports, said flanged support member extending generally parallel to said retaining lugs and into engagement with said external tank surface to inhibit permanent radially outward deformation of said retaining lugs.
23. A pressurizable vessel assembly comprising:
a hollow pressurizable tank for storing fluid and having an aperture;
an intermediate member configured to enclose said aperture;
sealing means disposed between of said intermediate member and said tank for producing a fluid-tight seal
therebetween;
a plurality of retaining lugs transversely extending from said tank and concentric with said aperture, said retaining lugs generally surrounding said intermediate member; and
locking means for locking said intermediate member to said tank, said locking means engaging said intermediate member and having lug means for lockingly engaging said retaining lugs, said locking means further comprising lug support means
surrounding said retaining lugs for inhibiting deformation of said retaining lugs upon an increase in fluid pressure within said tank.
24. A pressurizable vessel assembly according to Claim 23 wherein said retaining lugs extend from a ring-like insert permanently secured to said tank and wherein said retaining lugs are equally spaced around said aperture.
25. A pressurizable vessel assembly according to Claim 24 wherein said tank is fabricated from a thermoplastic material and said ring-like insert is permanently bonded with said thermoplastic material.
26. A pressurizable vessel assembly according to Claim 23 wherein said locking means comprises a locking ring having an aperture through which a portion of said intermediate member extends, wherein said lug means comprises a plurality of lug supports corresponding in number and angular positioning to said plurality of retaining lugs, said lug supports having a slotlike opening extending from one end thereof so as to define an inner flange section and an outer flange section, and wherein said lug support means comprises said outer flange section surrounding an outermost transverse surface of said retaining lugs so as to inhibit permanent deformation thereof.
27. A pressurizable vessel assembly according to Claim 26 wherein said locking ring further includes a flanged support member associated with each of said lug supports, said flanged support member extending generally parallel to said retaining lugs and into engagement with said external tank surface to inhibit permanent radially outward deformation of said retaining lugs.