US 1713895 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 21, 1929. E. B. FORD TUBE CLEANER Filed March 27, 1926 I ll M711 awumtoz 37 833i I Elf t Patented May 21, 1939.
i 'r E a TTES ERNEST B. FORD, OF UN IONVILLE, NEW JERSEY.
Application filed March 27, 1926. Serial No. 97,820.
This invention relates to a tube cleaner, and while it is adaptable for use in the cleaning oi tubes of various types and kinds, it is nevertheless paticularly adapted for the cleaning of condenser tubes and the like.
An object of the present invention is to provide a tube cleaner which is of simple and inexpensive construction, but which will be easy to use and etlicient in its operation.
A further object is to provide a tube cleaner comprising parts whereby it is adjustable so as to serve with equal eiliciency in the cleaning of tubes 0i dili'erent sizes.
A further object is to provide a tube cleaner comprising one part constructed and arranged tor looseningthe sediment from the walls of the tube and another part constructed and arranged to'scavenge out the loosened material.
A further object is to provide a tube cleaner which is adapted to be driven through the tube by water pressure, and in which a suitable part of the water employed for driving the cleaner through the tube is utilized for assisting the cleaner in cleaning the tube.
A more detailed object is to provide a tube cleaner comprising a brush and a piston to provide efiicient means for connecting said two elements together and to provide means whereby the piston may be expanded to cause it to properly fit within tubes of varying sizes.
Other objects and aims of the invention, more or less specific than those referred to above, will be in part obvious and in part pointed out in the course of the following description of the elements, combinations, arrangements 0t parts and applications of principles constituting the invention; and the scope of protection contemplated will be indicated in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings which are to be taken as a part of this specification, and in which 1 have shown merely a preferred form of embodiment of the invention Fig. 1 is a combined side elevational and sectional view of a tube cleaner constructed in accordance with this invention, the cleaner being shown in association within a dotted line representation of a tube to be cleaned.
Fig. 2 is a view similar to a portion of Fig. 1 butshowing the piston in elevation.
Fig. 3 is an end view of the piston seen in Figs. 1 and 2, and
Fig. i is a View similar to Flg. 2 but showing in section a modified construction of the piston.
Referring to the drawings for describing in detail the structure therein shown the reference character L indicates the brush of the tube cleaner while the reference character G indicates the piston of the cleaner. These two elements are connected together by a central rod H.
The brush may be of any desired construction. The rod H preferably extends centrally therethrough, and in tact preferably constitutes the core or carrier for the brush bristles 1 which project radially therefrom in all directions so that a cylindrical. brush is provided which is well adapted for rubbing along the interior surface of the tube as 2 to be cleaned. The brush is preferably of slightly greater diameter than the interior of the tube so that the bristles 1 will necessarily be somewhat bent over and made thereby to generate a considerable pressure, and a consequent scrubbing action, radially against the walls of the tube.
The brush L may be of any desired length, either more or less than as illustrated.
The forward end of rod H preferably projects beyond the forward end of the bristle portion of the brush, as at 3, and serves to support a suitably rounded protector head as 4 which may be formed of any suitable ma terial but which is preferably of molded soft rubber or the like.
The rear end portion of the rod H is formed into a suitably reduced threaded extension 5 which projects through central bore 6 of the piston Gr.
The piston G maybe formed of any suitable material but tllfl'll'ltLtQllitl now thought to be best adapted for its purposes is soft rubber, preferably molded into the shape as indicated.
Thereduction in diameter o1 the rod H, for producing the threaded extensi 5 provides a conical portion 7 which engages within the forward end of bore 6 and tends to prevent or restrict the telescoping movement of the piston G forwardly over the rod. T he threads of the extension 5, being in engagement with the rubber walls of the bore 6 also tend to prevent this telescoping movement and, together with the conical portion 7, practically prevents any telescoping movement beyond a given desired point, and here. it may be noted that the forward end of the bore 6 may either be enlarged to greater Width than the. central portion, so as to receive the conical portion of rod H, or the elasticity of the material of the piston may be utilized to permit the necessary expansion of the bore, as may be found expedient."
The rear end of bore 6 is enlarged to provide a cone shaped seat 8 in the rear end of the piston, and into this seat engages a screw threaded wedge 9 the purpose of which.
is to spread the material of the piston more or less as the wedge is screwed to, a greater or less extent into the seat. 1
The walls of the seat 8 may be molded with threads to receive the threads of the wedge if desired but. owing to the pliable and clastic character of the material from which the piston is formed such molded threads are not at present thought to be necessary, since the threads of the Wedge, being preferably of brass, will readily sink into the walls of the seat and form a sufficiently eflicient thread grip upon said walls to properly feed the wedge backwardly or forwardly whenever the wedge is rotated in one direction or the other.
wedgein any position to which it is rotated, as well as for assisting in the retention of the rod H, the wedge 9 is preferably formed wlth a central socket as 10'therein arrangedzto receive the extension 5 of the rod and said socket being screw'threaded to interengage with the threads of the extension. 7
,Thus Whenever the wedge is rotated so that its external threads, in engagement with the walls of the seat 8, feed the wedge in one direction or the other, its internal threads will follow the threads of the extension 5 in like manner. Any slight diflerence as between.
the pitches of the external and internal threads of the wedge will be readily compensated for by a negligible amount of slip page between either or both the rod H, and, or. the wedge, and the material ofth'e piston. Whenever it is desired'to enlarge the diam eter of the, rear portion of the piston'it is simply necessary to rotate the wedge 9 inwardly to thereby radially expand the re silient and elastic material of which the piston is formed. This action will be readily understood by reference to the dotted'lines 11 in' Fig. 1 which illustrate how the rear portion of the piston would be enlarged to properly fit against the wallsof the tube being cleaned. y
In order to facilitate the easy expansion of thepiston by means of the wedge 9 it may be desirable to provide a plurality of radial slits as 12 in the end of the piston so that portions ofthe piston at opposite sides of the slits may be spread away from each other to a suitable degree under the spreading influence ofthe wedge.
It is also a feature of this invention to so shape the exterior surface of the piston as to ing action. tight-as to require considerable fluid pressure behind it to drive it through the tube,
misses It is also a feature of this invention to provide the piston with suitable means, as for instancethe grooves 14-14: whereby a proper quantity of the water, or other fluid, which is used as a propellin element for driving the cleaner'through the tube, will be allowed to pass the piston for ,co-operating as a flushing medium to assist the brush L in loosening the objectionable material from the tube walls.
The, grooves l lflt are formed'upon the exteriorsurface of the piston extending between the opposite ends of said piston, and they are preferably suitably spiralled so as to insure the scavenging action of the piston without leaving any part ofthe circumference of the tube unscavenged.
The structure shown in the modification Fig. t illustrates theme of a metallic sleeve as 15 within the piston G. This sleeve may be held within the material of the piston of'the-sleevc', the wedge portion beingin this 7 case smooth and unthreaded and the interengagement of the threads 19 within the sleeve being depended upon to move the wedgeforwardly orxbackwardly upon rotation of the wedge.- r In this modification also "the piston is shown without either the slits 12, the scavenging edges 13.01 the slots 14, although it will be understood that'ifdesired these features maybe aswell employed here as in the struc tureseen in Figsl to 3. 7
As will be readily understood by those Y skilled in the art to which this invention be longs, the purpose of providing for convenient manual adjustment ofthe diameter of the piston is to enable said piston element. to be readily brought to a proper piston fit within the tube to be cleaned; Inorder to properly perform its work of cleaning the tube the piston must be suitably tight against the surface of the tube'to insure anefficient scaveng- It should also preferably be so since in this way the fluid which passes through the grooves lt-l t will be forced throughsald grooves under considerable pressure and be thus better able to flush through the brush L in assisting the brush in the performance ofits duties. [And yet the piston- I either bv frictional riior b bein v 1- As an additional means for holding the g 1 j g must notbe so tight as that an available amount of fluid pressure, Whatever it may be, would be unable to drive the cleaner through the tube.
Slight adjustn'ient of the diameter of the piston will thus determine the elliciency, or lack of eliiciency, of the cleaner.
It may be here noted also that although the drawings Figs. 1 to 8 suggest the use of radial slits to facilitate the adjustment of the diameter of the piston, these slits are not intended to provide passages for fluid past the piston. As a matter of tact the outer ends of the slits will be elticiently closed during the operation of the device, this due to the pressure of the piston against the walls of the tube, and the consequent spreading action oi the material of the piston.
As many changes could be made in this construction without departing from the scope of the invention as delined in the following claims, it is intended that all matter contained in. the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings, shall be interpreted as illustrative only and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, what it claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is j l. A. tube cleaner comprising a brush and a rubber piston connected together, and means mamially adjustable to utilize the yielding and elastic quality of the rubber to alter the diameter of the piston.
2. A. tube cleaner comprising in part a piston formed of rubber, and means manually adjustable to utilize the yielding and elastic quality oi said rubber for altering the diameter of the piston.
3. A tube cleaner comprising in part a piston formed of elastic material, and a wedge carried by said piston manually adjustable to alter the diameter of the piston at 'ill.
.l:. A tube cleaner comprising in part a piston termed ct elastic material, and a screw threaded wedge carried by said piston manually rotate c with respect to the piston to thereby utilize the screw threads in effecting an alteration in the diameter of the piston.
it tube cleaner comprising brush and a piston, means connecting said brush and piston together, the piston being of alterable diameter, and a part engaging said connecting means and said piston manually adjustable relatively thereto to thereby alter the diameter of the piston.
3. A tube cleaner comprising a brush and a piston, a member :arried by the brush exte ing into a central bore ot the piston, the piston being of alter-able diameter, and a part engaging said member and said piston serving to hold said member connected with the piston and being manually operable to alter the diameter of the piston at will.
7. A tube cleaner comprising in part a piston formed of rubber, said piston having radial slits therein, and a wedge member manually operable to utilize said slits in altering the diameter of the piston at will.
8. A tube cleaner comprising a brush and a piston arranged in co-axial alignment and adapted to be driven through a tube by fluid pressure applied against the piston, the piston being formed of rubber and having a groove extending longitudinally along its surface to constitute a passage-way through which a portion of the fluid may pass the pisten for reaching the brush to assist the brush 1 in cleaning the tube.
9. A tube cleaner comprising in part a piston, said piston being of rubber and being formed with a plurality of annular rubber scavenging edges thereon, and means whereby the diameter of the piston is manually adjustable at will to cause said scavenging edges to engage more or less tightly against the walls of the tube being cleaned.
10. A tube cleaner comprising a brush and a piston, the piston being formed of soft rubher and having a central bore therethrough, the brush having a rod connected therewith extending into the bore of the piston, and a wedge arranged upon said rod within the iiston rotatably adjustable thereon to alter the diameter of the piston and to serve in holding the piston connected with the rod.
11. A tube cleaner comprising a cylindrical piece of soft rubber having a central bore therethrough, a plurality of annular scavenging edges formed eateriorly upon said piece of rubber, means by which to expand said piece of rubber to alter the external diameter thereof, and the external surface of said piece of rubber having a groove extending longitudinally thereof for the purpose de scribed.
12. In a tube cleaner, the combination with a brush, of a rubber piston separably connected therewith, and means manually adjustable to utilize the yielding and elastic quality of the rubber to alter the diameter of the piston.
13. A tube cleaner comprising a brush and a piston arranged in co-axial alignment and adapted to be driven througha tube by fluid pressure applied against the piston, and the piston having a longitudinally extending groove formed spirally along its outer surface through which a portion or the fluid may pass the piston for reaching the brush to assist the brush in cleaning the tube.
In testimony whereof I a'lfix my signature.
ERNEST B. FORD.