US 2244735 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
u 1 A. SILVERMAN 2,244,735
PIPE CLEANING TOOL- Filed June 4, 1938 Patented June 10, 1941 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE PIPE CLEANING TOOL Abe Silverman, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Application June 4, 1938, Serial No. 211,791
My invention in general relates to flexible members such as fishing wires and other elongated implements designed to be passed through conduits, such as drain pipes, sewers and the like.
The principal object of this invention is the provision of a flexible member adapted to be forced through circuitous passageways having sharp bends and turns, and which is capable of drawing other objects therethrough or withdrawing objects therefrom.
Another object is the provision of a flexible member capable of withstanding severe tensional stresses when being worked within a circuitous passageway.
Another object is the provision of a two part flexible member for use in conduits having the characteristics of a hardened steel rod producing relatively little friction yet having ample flexibility for passing an acute angle in a conduit, and pulling a load therewith.
Another object is the provision of a dual flexible member for use in conduits, which has the property of maintaining its original set form and when flexed under force will return to its original form when the force is released.
Other objects and advantages hereinafter appear.
In the accompanying drawing, wherein I illustrate a practical embodiment of the principles of my invention,
Fig. 1 is a plan view showing the flexible member comprising this invention with a handle for operating the same.
Fig. 2 is a sectional view illustrating the preferred form of the flexible member comprising this invention.
Fig. 3- is a sectional view illustrating ano her form of the flexible member comprising this invention.
Fig. 4 represents an improved head construction that may be formed on the flexible member.
Fig. 5 represents an improved detachable head construction that may be secured to the flexible member.
Fig. 6 is a view illustrating a condition wherein part of the coiling of the auger head is in the opposite direction to the coiling of the sheath on the flexible member.
Fig. 7 is a vertical section taken on the line 1-1 of Fig. 6.
Referring to the drawing, in represents a flexible member for use in conduits for fishing purposes, or for passing other objects therethrough or withdrawing the same therefrom. In the former use the instrument is ordinarily referred to as a fishing tool and in the latter use it is commonly referred to as a pipe cleaning tool or auger. The flexible member I9 is the same irrespective of use to which it is put. However a fishing tool may be provided with a different character of head on the trailing end thereof, whereas in a pipe cleaning tool it may be preferable not to provide a trailing head.
The flexible member II! is made up of the multistrand cable core H with the coiled wire sheath l2 wound thereover. The sheath I2"is preferably formed of spring tempered wire or its equivalent. It has been found preferable to employ spring tempered wire the diameter of which is approximately one-half the diameter of the cable core. This proportion provides a flexible member having the most desirable flexing qualities for this purpose except in the case of flexible members having a total diameter of approximately one quarter of an inch or less when it may be advisable to use spring tempered wire having a diameter slightly greater than half the diameter of the cable core.
In making up these flexible members the selected cable core II is fed into a rotary lathe. The selected spring tempered wire is formed at its end into a head l3 and the wire is then wound upon and clinched to the cable core with sufficient grip to cause the wire to be pulled from a reel onto the cable. As the cable continues to rotate and the wire is fed thereto, the coil sheath I2 is formed along the perimetral surface thereof, building up a continuous sheath. As the end of the cable approaches the point of coiling another head, similar to head I3, may be formed thereon.
In producing the coiled wire sheath 12 it is necessary that a tension be placed on the wire so that it will continuously grip the cable. If this tension is not suficient the individual coil turns will permit relative movement between the sheath and the cable when the flexible member is bent in a short radius. This slippage will produce a kink in the flexible member by opening a space in a coil turn which is very diflicult if not impossible to correct. Again if the wire does not contact the cable there is no coaction and each member acts as an individual element which is undesirable in the device of this disclosure.
On the other hand, if the tension placed on the coiling wire is too great the wire will tightly bind the strands of the cable, thereby forming a relatively rigid rather than a flexible member. Under such conditions the member would assume a set position when bent and would not tend to straighten out. Kinks thus formed are also difl'icult if not impossible to remove and the member becomes useless for the purposes intended.
The proper tension to be placed on the coiling wire may vary with the character of wire and cable used; however for all practical purposes it has been found that the proper results are obtained when the tension of the wire is adjusted to produce a flexible member the total diameter of which is a few thousandths of an inch less than the sum of the diameter of the cable plus twice the diameter of the coiling wire. Thus in producing a half inch flexible member the cable is approximately twenty-five hundredths of an inch in diameter and the coiling wire is approximately one hundred and twenty-five thousandths of an inch in diameter, and the finished flexible member should be --approximately forty-eight hundredths of an inch in diameter. This tension of course will vary slightly with different kinds of core cable and wire but it may readily be determined by trial in short lengths before theflexible members are formed.
Inwinding the sheath l2 the consecutive turns forming the coil may touch one another as indicatedin Fig. 3, but care must be taken to avoid the building up of pressure between adjacent coil turns. If the pressure becomes too great the turns of thev coil sheath may tend to build up on one another and thereby stiflen the member so that it-fails tohave the proper flexibility. When the pressurebetween adjacent coil turns is toogreat the .member may take a set shape if sharply bent, creating-arkink which may render the tool .useless. lion-the other hand the adjacent coil turns merelytouch-one another without pressure therebetween, the snake-like body of the tool is strong and compact and sufficientlyflexible for long fishingjobsthrough conduitsnot having sever bends.
.For pipe cleaning tools required to pass through conduits havingmore acute angles,.a.more flexible-body member .is required. This is obtained by providing aslight space between the adjacent coil turns of the sheath, as illustrated in Figs. Land 2. The spacing employed for a small diameter tool may be as much as from twelve to fifteen thousands of an inch, and for tools of larger .diameter this spacing may be correspondingly. increased.
With a spacing between the adjacent coil turns of the sheath the tool is substantially as flexible asa coil of wire without a core. It is adapt- -able'for sharp bends in the conduit and is very difi'iciiltto kink; more so than either the wire coil or the cable when handled alone. The uniformly distributed pressure created by the wire coil on the cable .core and the spacing coact to produce a flexible yet reenforced member. With this arrangement the strands of wire forming thecable do not shift under the pressure of the wire sheath, yet they are not confined to such an extent that the cable loses its flexibility. When the flexible member is bent sharply the spacing onthe'inside of the bend closes; however the contact of adjacent coil turns is beyond the points defining the lines of greatest diameter of the coil wire, which lines are parallel with the axis of the core "when the flexible member is straight.
With these advantages the flexible member is materially stronger than either the coil or the cable when taken alone or when made up without contact therebetween. The spacing between the adjacent turns is not-sufficient to catch any foreign material therebetween. There is no noticeable'diflference in the action of the spaced coil turns and the close wound coil turns aside from the superior flexible quality of the former. The
spacing of the coil turns of the sheath support the core in its flexing action and the core in turn is not permitted to kink while it provides additional strength to the tool.
A flexible member of either form as disclosed in Figs. 2 and 3 does not break into two parts as most fishing and auger tools have been found to do. Under severe test it has been found that the coil sheath of the flexible member of the character described will break first, and such a break is readily detectable by the operator. The wire cable core, however, not having been strained beyond its capacity permits the whole of -the-tool to be withdrawn without leaving parts thereof Within the passageway. This is particu larly-advantageous in this art since the accidental breakage-of a tool of this character, when being used in a passageway, ordinarily requires the digging up or removal of the conduit to retrieve the broken part of the tool.
In Fig. 4 a head I5 for a flexible member is illustrated wherein thespacing between adjacent coil turns, from the flexible body portion I 6 to the extremity of the member, becomes progressively greater. A head of this character may be formed on the end of the flexible member or detachably secured thereto by'screwing the body .portion [6 in or over theend of a flexible member.
The increased space between the adjacent coil turns of the head permit it easily to enterand become tightly aflixed tc.foreign material in a passageway when thetool is used as an auger. When used as a fishing tool this type of'head readily adapts itself to receive the end of a wire or cable which is screwed therein preparatory to drawing it through .a conduit.
The head I! illustrated in'Fig. 5 is of the detachable type. The head is provided with .a shank portion l8 arranged to be screwed into or over the end of a flexiblemember indicated at l0. Intermediate of the head and the shank a single half coil turn I9 is formed to'provide a limit to the interengagement of the shank with a flexible member.
At 28 I illustrate the use with my invention of a tubular handle of angular form through which the flexible member is inserted and in which it is held as by means of the set screw 2|. The angular nature of the handle enables it to be used as a crank for rotating the flexible member.
The surface of a multi-strand cable provides an ideal core for this service. The cable itself is flexible and the surface formed by the sev eral strands of wire produces a myriad of closely spaced contacts between the continuous sheath coil and the cable core. This character of surface contributes to the superior flexing quality of the tool as does the spacing between the individual wires and strands of the cable.
Owing to the comparatively light pressure employed in wrapping the sheath on the core it has been found that in pipe cleaning tools of this character employed for heavy duty service the sheath should be wound in the opposite direction to that of the auger head so that the force employed to screw the head into the object that is being removed from a passageway will not have a tendency to uncoil the sheath from the core but will have the tendency to coil the sheath tighter around the core. Thus if a right-hand coiled sheath is employed as illustrated in Fig. 1 a portion of the coil turns forming the head may he formed in the opposite direction to produce a left-hand tip or auger bit. This tool would then have to be rotated in a counterclockwise ma uqm direction and any overloading force would have the tendency of tightening the coil sheath on the core.
In like manner a left-hand coil is indicated in Figs. 6 and '7 wherein the flexible member 10 is wound in a direction opposite to that illustrated in Fig. 1 and the turns forming the outer end of the head 13 are reversed by forming an intermediate 8 turn as indicated at 22. This pipe cleaning tool would have to be rotated in a clockwise direction to advance the head into an object in a conduit and any overloading force would have the effect of tightening the sheath on the cable core.
1. A flexible member of the character described comprising a helix of spring steel wire and provided with an enlarged head at the end thereof consisting of turns spaced apart at progressively greater intervals whereby the head may enter and tightly grasp an obstruction.
2. In a sewer auger, the combination of a longitudinal core formed of twisted multi-strand cable and an outer sheath for said core consisting of a helix of spring steel wire of circular cross section having spaced turns in continuous contact with the core, the sheath frictionally gripping the core throughout the length of the latter with a force sufiicient to prevent material relative movement between the sheath and the core and hold the sheath from breaking apart under the tensional load but insufficient to prevent relative movement between the strands of the cable or to deaden the resiliency of the memer, and an integral head at one extremity of the sheath consisting ofturns of the spring steel wire disposed in a direction opposite to the direction of the turns of the body of the sheath and of greater spacing than the spacing of the turns of the body of the sheath.
3. In a flexible sewer auger, the combination of a longitudinal core formed of a twisted multi strand cable and an outer sheath therefor consisting of a helix of spring steel wire of circular cross section havin spaced turns and frictionally gripping the core throughout the length of the latter with a force suflicient to produce a unitary member which holds the sheath from breaking apart under tensional load but insuflicient to prevent movement between the strands of the cable or to deaden the resiliency of the member, and an enlarged head formed of wire supported by the sheath and consisting of turns of the wire spaced more widely apart than the turns of the body of the sheath.