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1. (US20070000671) Diaphragm latch valve
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Claims

1. A valve for controlling fluid flow, said valve comprising:
a first chamber having an inlet and an outlet;
a closure member movably mounted within said chamber, said closure member being movable between a closed position blocking said inlet, and an open position away from said inlet;
a flexible diaphragm deformable in response to fluid pressure applied against said diaphragm; and
a second chamber, wherein said diaphragm forms a fluid tight interface between said first and second chambers; wherein
a latch is movably mounted within said first chamber, said latch having a first portion in direct contact with said diaphragm and a second portion engageable with said closure member, said latch being engaged with said closure member by said diaphragm deforming in response to said fluid pressure and thereby maintaining said closure member in said closed position, said latch moving out of engagement with said closure member upon deformation of said diaphragm in response to a release of said fluid pressure thereby allowing said closure member to move into said open position.
2. A valve according to claim 1, further comprising an actuator in fluid communication with said second chamber, said actuator pressurizing and depressurizing said second chamber in response to a predetermined signal.
3. A valve for controlling fluid flow, said valve comprising:
a first chamber having an inlet and an outlet;
a closure member positioned within said first chamber, said closure member being movable between a closed position blocking said inlet, and an open position away from said inlet;
a second chamber having a flexible diaphragm, said diaphragm comprising a fluid tight interface between said first and second chambers, said diaphragm being deformable upon pressurization and depressurization of said second chamber; and
a latch movably positioned within said first chamber, said latch having a first portion engageable with said diaphragm and a second portion engageable with said closure member, said diaphragm deforming and moving said latch into engagement with said closure member and thereby maintaining said closure member in said closed position when said second chamber is pressurized, said diaphragm deforming and allowing said latch to move out of engagement with said closure member when said second chamber is depressurized thereby allowing said closure member to move into said open position.
4. A valve according to claim 3, wherein said closure member is pivotably movable between said open and said closed positions.
5. A valve according to claim 4, comprising a biasing element biasing said closure member into said closed position.
6. A valve according to claim 3, wherein said latch is pivotably movable between a first position engaging said closure member and a second position disengaged from said closure member.
7. A valve according to claim 6, comprising a biasing element biasing said latch into said position disengaged from said closure member.
8. A valve for controlling fluid flow, said valve comprising:
a first chamber having an inlet and an outlet;
a closure member pivotally mounted within said first chamber, said closure member being movable between a closed position blocking said inlet, and an open position pivoted away from said inlet;
a second chamber having a flexible diaphragm, said diaphragm being positioned between said first and second chambers, said diaphragm being deformable upon pressurization and depressurization of said second chamber; wherein said diaphragm forms a fluid tight interface between said first and second chambers; and
a latch is pivotably mounted within said first chamber, said latch having a first portion engageable with said diaphragm and a second portion engageable with said closure member, said latch engaging and maintaining said closure member in said closed position when said second chamber is pressurized, said latch moving out of engagement with said closure member when said second chamber is depressurized thereby allowing said closure member to move into said open position.
9. A valve according to claim 8, further comprising a conduit extending between said inlet and said second chamber, said conduit pressurizing said second chamber to a pressure substantially the same as pressure in said inlet.
10. A valve according to claim 8, further comprising an actuator in fluid communication with said second chamber, said actuator pressurizing and depressurizing said second chamber in response to a predetermined signal indicative of a fire condition.
11. A valve according to claim 10, wherein said signal comprises a pressure change within said actuator.
12. A valve according to claim 8, further comprising a biasing element biasing said closure member into said closed position.
13. A valve according to claim 12, wherein said biasing element comprises a spring engaging said closure member.
14. A valve according to claim 8, further comprising a biasing element biasing said latch out of engagement with said closure member.
15. A valve according to claim 14, wherein said biasing element comprises a spring engaging said latch.
16. A fire suppression sprinkler system comprising:
a plurality of sprinkler heads;
a piping network in fluid communication with said sprinkler heads;
a source of pressurized water in fluid communication with said piping network;
a valve in fluid communication with said piping network and said pressurized water source, said valve controlling fluid flow to said sprinkler heads and comprising:
a first chamber having an inlet and an outlet;
a closure member positioned within said first chamber, said closure member being movable between a closed position blocking said inlet, and an open position away from said inlet;
a flexible diaphragm deformable in response to fluid pressure applied against said diaphragm;
a second chamber, wherein said diaphragm forms a fluid tight interface between said first and second chambers;
a latch movably mounted within said first chamber, said latch having a first portion in direct contact with said diaphragm and a second portion engageable with said closure member, said latch being engaged with said closure member by said diaphragm deforming in response to said fluid pressure and thereby maintaining said closure member in said closed position, said latch moving out of engagement with said closure member upon deformation of said diaphragm in response to a release of said fluid pressure thereby allowing said closure member to move into said open position; and
an actuator controlling pressurization of said diaphragm for opening said valve in response to a parameter indicative of a fire condition.
17. A sprinkler system according to claim 16, wherein said valve further comprises a second chamber, said diaphragm forming a fluid tight interface between said first and second chambers.
18. A sprinkler system according to claim 17, further comprising a conduit providing fluid communication between said pressurized water source and said second chamber, said conduit pressurizing said second chamber with water from said pressurized water source.
19. A sprinkler system according to claim 17, further comprising a conduit extending between said piping network and said actuator, said piping network being pressurized with a gas, said actuator depressurizing said second chamber in response to a decrease in gas pressure within said piping network.