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Publication numberUS1694371 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 11, 1928
Filing dateJun 5, 1926
Priority dateJun 5, 1926
Publication numberUS 1694371 A, US 1694371A, US-A-1694371, US1694371 A, US1694371A
InventorsBurdick Charles Lalor
Original AssigneeGuggenheim Brothers
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple-tube cleaner
US 1694371 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

c. L. BURDICK MULTIPLE TUBE CLEANER Filed June 5, 1926 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR (Mar/:25 Zak? Bard/ck I Z J ATTORNEYS n/ or Patented Dec. 11, 1928.



Application filed June 5,

This invention relates to tube'cleaners, and

is more particularly directed to improvements in multiple-tube cleaners.

Myinvention comprises the combination in a multiple-tube cleaner of a plurality of cleaners individually actuated by their force of gravity for simultaneously cleaning a plurality of vertically disposed tubes.

The multiple-tube cleaners heretofore employed haven number of undesirable drawbacks which are overcome by the use of my invention. I

For example, the multiple-tube cleaners generally used, are driven into the tubes to be cleaned by an artificially applied force which is frequently not to be resisted by the structure of the tubes. Thus, if the cleaners, during the progress of their trip through the tubes, meet an obstruction the force which drives the cleaners will continue to be apphed whether the obstructlonyields or not. If the obstruction fails to yield, as is frequently the case, either the cleaner or the tube must yield to the applied force. Since the cleaners are generally verystrong and durable, the tubes are consequently forced to yield. This means that the tubes will be bent or burst, which of course, is not to be desired.

7 Again, the multiple-tube cleaners gener ally employed are not adapted-to be quickly and precisely. spotted over their corresponding tubes. They must be carefully spotted--- each cleaner into each tube. This is a particularly undesirable feature when it becomes necessary to clean tubes which are constantly submerged. in liquids which are not transparent. In such instances the tube cleaner operator cannot see the tube openings. He then invariable fails to clean some of the tubes.

The use of the improved multiple-tube cleaners of my invention makes it possible to avoid injuring heavily obstructed tubes as well as to quickly and precisely spot the cleaners over their corresponding tubes,

I have found the practice of the present invention of particular advantage when e1n-, ployed in conjunction with the refrigerating or heat-interchanging apparatus disclosed in my co-pending applications: Serial No. 37,- 924e, filed June 18, 1925; and Serial No.

70,512, filed November 21, 1925. These applications describe the use of tubes through which are circulated liquids to be cooled. As

1926. Serial in). 113,852.

the liquid cools, precipitation of solids takes '7 .tach themselves to the tubes and thus form undesirable incrustations. Such obstructions decrease the rate of heat transfer, and therefore the capacity and. efficiency} of the' refrigerating equipment. In order to maintain clean tube surfaces and therefore the maximum capacity and efficiency ofa cool ing unit, periodic removal of the precipitated solids from the inside of the tubes is advisable. Isucc'essfully employ thepresent invention for that purpose. p I

The advantages of an improved multipletube cleaner constructed according to the principles of my invention will be better un-. derstood by reference to the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the following description, in which: 7 Fig. l is a side elevation partly in section of an apparatus embodying the principles of the invention Fig. 2 is a plan of thesame;

Fig. 3 's a sectional plan on the line 33 of Fig. 1;; I o

Fig. 4 is .a plan of the cleaner guide; Fig. 5 is a sectional elevation of the thrust hearings in the movable header; and V j Fig. 6 is a sectional plan on the line 6+6 ofFigl." V The multiple tube cleaner framework 10 is appropriately built upon a truck 11 which is designed to run upon the rails 12; The truck is equipped at one end with motor and gears 13, so that the forward or backward motion of the truck may be controlled by means of a lever 14. j s Suitable motor and gear equipment "15 is provided at the other end of the truck 11 in order to lower and raise the cleaners. This motor control equipment has a main power shaft 16 with which tooperate the bevel gears 17 locatedat the top of the apparatus.

'power derived from sidearms extending to I trolley brackets suspended along the walls of the building (not shown). This, of course, applies equally well to. the power supplied to the motor equipment 13 which operates the truck. i 3

The bevel gearsv 17 are in turn attached to the shafts 1 8 and 19 which operate sets of bevelv gears 20 and 21, respectivelymThe gears and 21 areassociated with the shafts 22 and 23 to which are attached the bevel gears 24 and 25.

A movable platform header 2G is sus pended on the main framework 10." This movable header is operatively connected to the screws 27 which run the full length of the cleaner apparatus. These screws are attached to the sets of gears 24: and 25, at their upper ends, and rest at their lower ends in the bearings 28. An' appropriate bearing 29, which is more fully illustrated in Fig. 5, is proivded in the movable header platform'26 for absorbing thrusts of the movable header as it is conducted up and down the screws 27.

The movable header 26 is preferably kept in alignment by means of a guide frame 30 fastened to the framework 10. from the movable header are a pluralityof cleanerirods 31, one for each tube to be cleaned. The cleaner heads 32 attached to i the lower ends of the cleaner rods may concleaner rods are cleaner heads through the tubes 37 and then automatically sist of a brush, or plunger scraper. The plunger motion is straight, and is solely actuated by the force of gravity of each individual cleaner. The tops of the cleaner .rods 31"are equipped with nut-like heads 32' so that the cleaner rods may remain freely suspendedfromthe movable header 26; The sufiiciently long to allow the cleaner heads to pass completely through the tubes to be cleaned. They must be sturdy enough to transmit the force applied to the.

cleaning head without undue bending or distortion. The strength of the force of gravity of each cleaner will of course depend up on the weightof the cleaner. This can be made'to vary within limits so that incrustations of a certain tenacity may be scraped from the tubes.

V .A fioating cleaner guide 33 rests directly over the cleaner heads 32 when the cleaners have been completely withdrawn from' the tubes to be cleaned. This floating guide is adaptedto register with the top of the tube container 34. Slots 35 are provided in the cleaner guide to fit over the angle lugs 36 attached to the top of the tube container. WVhen the floating cleaner guide 33 is lowcred toward the tube container 34 in such manner that the angle lugs 36 fit into the slots 35, the cleaner heads 32'will automatically be spotted directly over the centers of the tubes 37 in thetube container 34.

The movement of the movable header 26 is vcontrolled in such manner that the tube 32 will pass completely return to their normal starting position, as

indicated in Fig. 1. To that end, appropriin the path control may ate control switches 38 and 39 are provided be effected by the use of straight reversing magnetic control equipment in con at a pointintermediate Hanging heads meet any particularly large inert tion, the downward movementof that clean of the movable header 26.. Thisjunction with'traveling nut limit switches A. starting switch 40 is appropriately placed the main current supply line (not shown) and the motor equipment 15, asv well aslthe control switches 38 and 39.

v A crane il is attached to the main framework 10, This crane has a pulley T2 which may be operated in any appropriate manner.

T he ordinary tri ale chain )ulle would do b l 7 but i prefer to operate this pulley by means of appropriateconnections with the motor and gear equipment 13, so that the operator of the apparatus, who has control of the.

lever 1 may from the same pointcontrol the operation of the crane pulley. This crane device is employed to remove cover 4E3 from the tube container 34. e

The operation of the apparatus just described is as follows:

The truck-l1 is setinto motion by appropriate movement of the lever 14, so that the crane pulley 4P2 nay be directly located above the tube container cover 43 as it rests in itsposition upon the container. The cover is lifted out of position, after which the truck. is moved farther along the tracks12 so that the cleaners may be approximately located directly over the tubes 37. The

switch 40 is thrown into place, whereupon I themotor equipment 15 is set into motion and the movable header 26is loweredg The operator is careful to see that the cleaner guide 33 is fitted into the lugs36.

After the clean'er-gu1de'33 and the'container 3st have-been brought into appropriate juxtaposition to one another, determined by the insertion of the lugs 36 into the slots 35, the cleaner heads 32 will. be spotted directly over the centers of the'tubes 37. The moviii) able header 26 is allowed to continue its downward direction, as the cleaner guide 33 rests on the'container, and the tube-headers V will in due'tiine enter the'tubes37. I Unless the .incrustations within the tubes 37' are uncommonly large and obstructive,

the cleaners 31 will simultaneously move down through the entire nest of tubes; and each cleaner will be actuated by its own force of gravity. Should any of the cleaner appropriate time to replace the obstructed tube with new one.' Since-the cleaner heads are not forced down through the tubes, it is seen that no injury is done them byfollowing this procedure.

\Vhen the cleaner heads 32 have been completely passed through the tubes .37, the descending movable header 26 strikes the control switch 39, which in turn reverses the direction of rotation of the motor 15, so-

that the movable header is promptly made to ascend. When the movable header has been raised a sufficient distance to strike the control switch 38, the motor 15 is automatically stopped, and the movable header remains in that position, in readiness for operation on the next tube container.

It is thus seen that if a multiple-tube cleaner apparatus constructed according to the principles ofthis invention is used, a

tube cleaner is provided which can be oper- 1 ated in such manner as to make it impossible to bend ,or burst the tubes to be cleaned. Since each tube cleaner is actuated solely by its own force of gravity, any undue incrustation within the tube would be a sufficient obstacle to prevent the downward movement of the cleaner. 7 7

'Such an apparatus affords an easy means whereby the operator can detect which tubes are heavily obstructed. Since the tube cleaners are constantlyin a floating position, it follows that they cannot burst the tubes and thus stop a cooling operation,

when the tube-container is used as a heat-- interchanger. Since it is readily determined which tubes are thus unduly obstructed, a notation of the tubes obstructed may be made by the operator, and when good opportunity later affords time, these tubes may be replaced by new ones. In this responding tubes, none of the tubes will be missed in-the cleaning operation as is frequently the case when the cleaners are indi vidually conducted into the tubes by an operator.

This is ac- Even though the tubes Werenot" thus submerged, considerable time 1s saved by simultaneously spotting the cleaners di rectly over the tubesto be cleaned. Practically any number of tubes may be simultaneously subjected to such acleaningoperation. It is only necessary that the 1 number of cleaners bemade to correspond wvith the same number of tubes, and that they likewise be similarly spaced in respect to one another.

I claim:

1. The combination in multiple-tube cleaner and a nest of vertically disposedtubes of a pluralityot' cleaner rods, means supporting said rods'allowing them to be individually actuated by their force of gravity, and means for simultaneously spotting said cleaner rods directly over their. corresponding tubes.

2. Amultipleetube cleaner comprising, a plurality of vertically disposed floating cleaners adapted to beindividually actuated by their force of gravity, means for. lowering said cleaners apredetermined distance and automatically returning them to their original position. f

3.1%. multiple-tube cleaner comprising, a plurality of vertically disposed individually floating cleaner rods adapted to fit into a and raising the cleaner rods.

4. A multiple-tube cleaning apparatus comprising, a movable carriage, a movable header operatively associated with said carriage, said header containing a plurality of loosely fitting cleaners, a cleaner guide, and means for lowering and raising said movable header a predetermined distance.

5. In a device of the class described, 'a; Q 100 support, a plurality of cleaners mounted on nest of vertically disposed tubes, means for 7 simultaneously spotting said cleaner rods over said tubes, andmeans for lowerlng' sald support, and a guide member mounted a on said cleaners; said support, guide mem ber and cleaners being. movable relatively to one another. c

6. In a device of the classdescribed, a

.support, a plurality of cleaners depending from said support, and a guide member mounted on said cleaners; said support, guide member, and cleaners being independently movable relativelyto one another.

7. In a device of the class described, an apertured header, a plurality of cleaners loosely mounted within the apertures in said header anddepending from said header, and an aperturedgulde member mounted on said" cleaners.

In testimony whereof I aiiix mysignature. i


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2746535 *Aug 12, 1954May 22, 1956Barroso Alberto MorinApparatus for cleaning the evaporators used in the sugar industry
US2812531 *Jun 1, 1953Nov 12, 1957Carrier CorpNozzle cleaners
US4805653 *Sep 9, 1985Feb 21, 1989Serv-Tech, Inc.Mobile articulatable tube bundle cleaner
US4856545 *Nov 7, 1988Aug 15, 1989Serv-Tech, Inc.Multi-lange tube bundle cleaner
US5002120 *Mar 8, 1990Mar 26, 1991Boisture Thomas BMulti-lance tube cleaning system
US5022463 *Nov 1, 1990Jun 11, 1991Ohmstede Mechanical Services, Inc.Multi-hose flexible lance tube cleaning system
US5031691 *Oct 19, 1990Jul 16, 1991Ohmstede Mechanical Services, Inc.Multi-lance tube cleaning system having sliding plate
US5067558 *Oct 19, 1990Nov 26, 1991Ohmstede Mechanical Services, Inc.Multi-lance tube cleaning system
US5129455 *Oct 19, 1990Jul 14, 1992Ohmstede Mechanical Services, Inc.Multi-lance tube cleaning system having flexible portions
US5261600 *Nov 30, 1992Nov 16, 1993Serv-Tech, Inc.Vertical tube bundle cleaner
US5659915 *Oct 13, 1995Aug 26, 1997United States Department Of EnergyOff gas film cooler cleaner
EP0215396A2 *Sep 5, 1986Mar 25, 1987Serv-Tech, Inc.Mobile articulatable tube bundle cleaner
EP0430306A1 *Sep 5, 1986Jun 5, 1991Serv-Tech, Inc.Mobile articulatable tube bundle cleaner
U.S. Classification15/104.5, 15/104.3, 15/104.95, 159/27.1, 159/DIG.130
International ClassificationB08B9/02
Cooperative ClassificationB08B9/0323, Y10S159/13, B08B9/027
European ClassificationB08B9/032B4, B08B9/027