Browse Prior Art Database

Serviceable Refrigeration Coupling Insulator Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014667D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Oct-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is a device for insulating low temperature refrigeration couplings and/or connectors. The design allows service personnel to remove/replace the device without damage to itself , the hose insulation or the coupling. The operation of a refrigeration system within a mainframe computer requires the ability to replace the refrigeration system concurrently while the system continues to operate. Therefore, the system is designed with hoses that are terminated with self-sealing couplings to prevent refrigerant loss when disconnecting. Although the hoses for the unit can easily be insulated with commercially available elastomeric thermal insulation, the serviceability of the system requires the couplings to be insulated in a manner such that service personnel can easily remove/replace this insulator without damage to itself or the hose insulation and allow access to coupling. Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the assembled refrigeration coupling, hose insulation at the bottom, insulated bulkhead for coupling mounting at top and the Serviceable Insulator mounting over the assembled coupling. The design accomplishes this task by providing an outer housing 1 molded from a polyurethane structural foam, for the materials strength and thermal insulating properties. The housing is lined with die-cut elastomeric insulation 2 for very low temperature applications and the joints between housing halves and around the hose insulation are lined with elastomeric insulating strips 3 to minimize moisture permeation from the outside environment into the insulated couplings, thus preventing ice build-up on the couplings. The insulator halves are fastened to each other, around the coupling, using two captive screws 4 which can be fastened to a specific torque to insure a sealed insulator. These screws are then loosened and the insulator set aside while the couplings are disconnected. When service is complete, the couplings are attched and the insulator is mounted back in place. 1