US 2322902 A
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June 29, 1943. F. c. WAPPLER APPARATUS FOR MAKING TUBULAR BODIES Filed June 1, 1940 3 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. Frederick Charles wa ,1".
BY v Mr June 29, 1943. F, c. WAPPLER APPARATUS FOR MAKING TUBULAR BODIES Filed June 1, 1940 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Freolen'z/r Char/es Nap Mar,
June 29, 1943. F PPL 2,322,902
APPARATUS FOR MAKING TUBULAR BODIES Filed June- 1, 1940 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 I INVENTOR. F/cdenc/r Charles Nan p (2)- MwW A RNEY5.
Patented June 29, 1943 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE APPARATUS FOR MAKING TUBULAR- BODIES Frederick Charles Wappler, New York, N. Y. Application June 1, 1940, Serial No. 338,296
My present invention relates to apparatus for which the present invention is primarily directed are those which are at present referred to by the medical profession as radium seeds. These are minute elongated bodies intended for implantation in the human body for the purpose of producing certain beneficial effects upon can- -cerous growths and the like. Each seed may be composed, for example, of a small section of a gold tube having an outer diameter of perhaps three hundredths of an inch, and an inner diameter of about eight thousandths of an inch. The
seed may be no longer than about one-eighth of an inch or so. It is tightly sealed at each end, and it contains within it a radioactive material such as radium emanations or the like.
These small bodies may be conveniently made by exposing the interior of a relatively long tube to radium emanations or thelike, then sealing the ends of the tube, and subsequently severing this tube into separate sealed sections. The present invention is primarily intended to pro.- vide an improved method and apparatus for treating such a tube for the purpose of creating quantities of so-called radium seeds of the character mentioned.
Because of the inherently potent and dangerous nature of a tube containing radioactive material, and because of the extremely small sizes that are involved, the treatment of such a tube involves a number of unique problems which my present invention aims to solve. Moreover, in accomplishing the desired object, it is imperative, for obvious reasons, that none of the radioactive material be lost during the process of handling and treating the tube and the small sections that are produced from it. Each resultant seed must have ends which are reliably sealed against any escape of the radioactive material.
It has been found in practice that the mere pinching of the tube, by means of a shearing device or tool, for example, is not entirely reliable in properly sealing each resultant severed section; and that the resultant bodies have irregular and non-uniform ends which make them difficult to handle; More particularly, in creating radium seeds, it must be borne in mind that the ultimate implantation into the human body i best eifected by means of a surgical implanting instrument, and that proper handling and control of these minute seeds requires that they be of uniform size andshape. Moreover, to facilitate the proper control and handling of these small bodies, whether by means of a surgical implanting instrument or otherwise, it is highly desirable that they have plane blunt ends so that they are not only of fixed length, but are capable, of being maneuvered endwise in abutting relation to each other or to a plunger or the like.
These objectives, and others, are capable of achievement by means of my presentinvention. From a broad aspect, the present improved method of treatment consists in pinching the original tube into closed condition at spaced regions of the tube, and cutting transversely through each pinched region to produce a sealed end on each of the adjacent severed tube portions. Preferably, the pinched regions are formed successively, and the cutting operations are also performed successively and in timed relation to the pinching operations.
To achieve the desired result, I have found it to be of particular value to pinch the tube in such a manner that the resultant pinched region has a cross-section that is substantiallystarshaped. This is preferably'accomplished by subjecting the tube to the action of a multi-J'awed chuck or collet, the jaws being at least three in number and being so shaped that when they are moved radially they will impart a substantially star-shaped cross-section to the resultant pinched region.
I have also found that the results which I seek to,accomplish are best achieved by cutting transversely through the pinched regions by means of a saw, such as a rotating saw-toothed disc.
Preferably, the pinching means and cutting means are so arranged, positionally, that an intermittent endwise advancement of the tube may bring spaced regions successively to the pinching station and thereafter to the cutting station; and in carrying out my invention each advancement of the tube is preferably equal to the distance between the pinching and cutting stations, whereby both a pinching operation and a cutting operation may be performed each time the tube is at rest.
In accordance with my invention, I have devised a compact and efficient apparatus by means of which the procedural steps of the improved process may be advantageously carried out. Briefly, the apparatus'involves a pinching means, a cutting means, and suitable controls for bringing about predetermined movements of the tube,
and predetermined operations, in timed relationship, of the pinching and cutting means.
The radium seeds which result from the practice of the present invention are, themselves, of a novel and improved character and constitute new articles of manufacture.
While I have herein described and illustrated the various features of my invention in so far as they relate to so-called radium seeds, nevertheless it will be understood that numerous phases of my invention are not necessarily restricted to any such specific items, nor to the specific treat ment of tubes intended for that purpose; andit will be recognized by those skilled in the art that a number of features of the present invention are of wider applicability, relating generally to the treatment of tubes and to the creation of scaled tubular bodies.
I achieve the foregoing objects, and such other objects as may hereinafter appear or be pointed out, in the manner illustratively exemplified in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is view of a typical elongated tube from which radium seeds may be made;
Figure 2 is a view of several sealed bodies produced from the left-hand end portion of the tube of Figure 1;
FigureB is an enlarged perspective view of a typical radium seed produced by means of the present invention;
Figure 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 4-4 of Figure 3;
Figure 5 is a perspective view of the present improved apparatus, with parts broken away to show elements which would otherwise be hidden;
Figure 6 is a plan View, of the present apparatus, with certain parts broken away;
Figure 7 is a detail cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line l-I of Figure 6;
Figure 8 is a front View of the apparatus shown in Figure 6;
Figure 9 is a detail cross-sectional View taken substantially along the line 9-9 of Figure 6;
Figure 10 is an enlarged view taken substantially along the line l.0iil of Figure 9;
Figure 11 is a bottom view of the present apparatus; 1
Figure 12 is an enlarged longitudinal crosssection through the operating portions of the apparatus illustrating the first step in the treatment of a tube; V I
Figure 13 is a view similarto Figure 12 showing a subsequent step; and
Figure 14 is a view similar to Figure 13 showing a subsequent step.
Referring first to Figures 3 and 4, the sealed body 20 is of substantially cylindrical shape, constituting a section of a tube which may be, for example, of gold or the like, having an outer diameter of approximately .03 inch and an inner diameter of approximately .008 inch. The end portions of the body 20 are pinched into closed condition so that the region adjacent to each end has a substantially star-shaped configuration as indicated at 21. In the illustrated body, each region 2! has six radiating fins resulting from the squeezing action of six complementary radiallymoving jaws, but it will be understood that this particular shape is shown merely by way of example and that any other similar star-shaped cross-section may be provided for. Of'course,
, the fins must be at least three in number, resulting from the squeezingaction of at least'three jaws, otherwise the end of the'bo'dy would have an undesirable attenuated wedgeshape, as dis tinguishedfrom the blunt end which I aim to produce.
The end surfaces of the body 28 are substantially flat and perpendicular to the axis of the tube. These blunt end surfaces impart a fixed length to the body 26 and greatly facilitate its handling and control during the process of implanting it, along with similar bodies, into the human body.
The squeezing action of the jaws, by means of v which the star-shaped regions iiiv are produced,
usually results in extruding the fins slightly beyond the external diameter of the original tube, and that is why the ends of these fins are visible in Figure 4:.
The sealed tubular body of Figure 3 is produced, by means of the present invention, from a relativelyL extended length of tubing 22 which has had its interior exposed to radium emanations or the like, and which has thereupon had its ends 23 and 24 pinched off or sealed in any other convenient manner to retain the radioactive material in the interior of the tubing 22, In Figure 2, the reference numeral 25 is applied to the sealed body that is first severed from theend of the tube 22. Where the pinchings 23 and 2d are of the ordinary attenuated character, as shown in Figures 1 and 2, the body 25 is not of the character shown in Figures 3 and 4. The subsequent sections cut from the tube 22 in accordance with the present invention are, however, of the character shown in Figure 3, and for this reason the reference numeral 253 has been applied to them in Figure 2.
The present apparatus is preferably mounted upon a suitable table 2E5. Referring for the moment to Figures 5 and 9, it will be observed that three blocks 2'7, 28, and 29 are secured in superposed relationship upon this table by means of the attachment bolt 39 and the aligning pins 3|. The blocks 21 and 28 have superposed projecting tongues 32 and 33 provided near their ends with aligned bores 34. A slit or space 35 is formed between the'tongues 32 and 33.
The block 29 has a portion arranged above the tongues 32 and33, and in this portion there is mounted the multi-jawed chuck or collet 36. This chuck may, for example, be formed of a single tubular element, as shown, held in a suitable opening in the block 23 by means of the set screw 31. At its free end, the element 35 may be longitudinallysplit to provide the complementary jaws 38, as shown most clearly in Figure 10. These jaws are caused to have an inherent springiness which retains them in spread relationship. They may be moved radially into closed position by any suitable means. I have illustratively shown the outer faces of the jaws 38 arranged along a conical surface 4|, and I have shown a collar 39 provided with a similar conical inner surface. The collar is screwthreaded to thethreaded portion 40 of the block 29, whereby rotation of the collar will effect a relative axial movement between it and the portion lfl. The opening and closing of the jaws 38 is effected by rotative movement of the collar 39. This rotative movement is controlled by means of a handle 42 projecting radially from the collar 39, as shown most clearly in Figure 5.
The chuck 36, as will be observed, is in alignment with the bores 3:2. Accordingly, the tube 22 may pass downwardly through the chuck and This abutment is mounted upon a lever 44 pivoted tothe table as at 45 and provided at its opposite end with an upwardly projecting pin 46 and a downwardly projecting pin 41. The spring 48, anchored to the post 49, serves normally to hold theabutment 43 in the operative position shown in Figures and 9. When the lever 44 is in this position, its rear portion strikes against the post 49, thus limiting the action of the spring 48. In the table 26, beneath the bores 34 and hence beneath the abutment 43 when the latter is in normal position, there is an opening 50 through which the sealed bodies are intended to be discharged as :they are produced. Beneath the opening 56 it maybe desirable to provide a discharge chute 5I which can deliver the bodies to any suitable receptacle (not shown).
- On the underside of the table 26 I provide an electric motor. 52. This motor may be of any desired kind or size, but very little power is needed because this motor serves only to rotate the circular saw 53. Referring forthe moment to Figures 7, and 8, it will be observed that the motor is mounted upon a bracket or plate 54. This plate is secured as at 55 to a pivot pin 56 mounted in a suitable bearing 51. provided for this purpose in the table 26. The bracket 54 is adapted to swing through a slight are around the pivot 56 asan axis. 1
The shaft 58 of the motor extends upwardly through the table 26, the opening 59 being suitably enlarged to allow for the swinging movement of the motor. At its upper end the shaft 58 is secured to a member 60 upon which the circular saw 53 is mounted. This saw is arranged in the plane of the space 35 (Figure 9) and'proj ects into this space. In the normal position of the motor, the edge of the saw is out of alignment with the bores 34, but when the motor is swung around the pivot 56 the edge ofthe rotating saw is caused to sweep across the axis of the bores 34. It may thus be said that-the saw 53, though continuously rotating, is normally inoperative as a cutting means, but becomes operative when the motor is swung through a predetermined are.
In its normal inoperative position, the plate or bracket 54 strikes against the abutmentscrew 6| (see Figure 11) which is mounted in an adjustable manner on the underside of the table 26. A tension spring 62 holds the plate 54 in this normal position. When the plate is swung around the pivot 56, it strikes against the abutment screw 63 which is similarly mounted in an adjustable manner on the underside of the table 26. The movement of the plate 54 between these end positions, though slight, is sufficient to sweep the, ro-, tating saw into and out of ,a cutting range with respect to the axis ofthe bores 34. a
This swinging movement of the bracket 54 may be accomplished in. any desired manner. For example, a handle 64 may be secured on'the motor 52 or onthe bracket or plate 54, this handle projecting forwardly into an accessible position as shown in Figured This handle may be grasped by the operator so that he may, by hand, swing the bracket 54 against the action of the spring 62, as indicated by dot-and dash lines in Figure 11,, I have also shown alink65 pivoted as at 66 to the plate 54and provided with the slotted end 6.1;into which thepin 41 extends. Movement of the pin 41 from" the full line positionof Figure 11 to ,the doteand-gdash position of this figure will also cause a. swinging movement of the bracket it may be pointed out that, if desired, a suitable 1ead:shield 68 may be mounted on the block 29,
above the chuck 36, as shown in Figure 5; a similar lead shield 69 may be arranged across the front ofthe table 26; and other protective shields, either of lead or any other material, may be provided wherever desired to shield the operator from exposure to the radioactivity within the tubes that are being treated. Also, a safety shield 76 is preferably mounted over the rotating saw.
The operation of the apparatus, by means of which the novel procedural steps of the present invention may be expeditiously carried out, is shown most clearly in Figures 12-14.
g The jaws 38 being open, the operator first shifts the handle '64 into a position which brings the saw 53 into the position shown in Figure 12. The tube 22 is then inserted downwardlythrough the chuck 36 and through the upper one of the bores 34 until the end 24 rests upon the saw 53. The handle 42 is then swung in the direction of the arrow shown in Figure 6. This causes a tightening of the jaws 38 around the region of the, tube 22 which is exposed to their action. This region, it will beobserved, is spaced from the end of the tube. The squeezing action of the jaws serves to provide a pinched region on the tube 22, thereby closing the tube at this region and imparting a substantially star-:shaped crosssection to it.
the pin 46. This serves not only to swing the abutment 43 out of its normal position, but serves also to move the pin 41 into the dot-and-dash position of Figure 11. During the start of the process, as just described, this movement of the pin 41 has no effect upon the saw 53, since this saw is already being held in the dot-and-dash position of Figure 11, i. e., the position shown in Figure 12, by means of the handle 64.) When thehandle 42 has been swung to its extreme position, the handle 64 may be released, since the pin 41 is by this time functioning to control the swinging movements of the motor. a
As the handle 42 i now released and swung backto the position of Figure 5, the spring 62 swings themotor back to its normal position, and the spring 48 swings the abutment 43 back to its normal position. At the same time, the jaws 38 are loosened, and the tube 22 drops by gravity to the position-shown in Figure 13. It will be observed that the'tube now has a pinched region H which it did not have before, this pinching being the result of the action of thejaws 38 wzhile the tube was held in theposition of. Figure It will also be observed that the parts are so arranged that when the tube strikes the abutment 43, as shown in Figure 13, the pinched region II is directly in the line of action of the pinched region lL. As a result, the end portion.
of the tube (designated by the reference numeral 25 in Figure 2) fallsdownwardly through the opening 50into the delivery chute 5|.
As the lever- 42 is releasedagain, and is-swung the portion H is now-resting uponthe abutment- 43. As the lever 42 is again swung: around and then released, the first of theblunt ended-:radium seeds 20 is-severed fromthe tube and allowed, to
drop through the opening 58-.
This procedure is then repeated again and again, and-each operation serves to produce: and deliver another sealed body 20-.
When the opposite end of the tube is reached,- an oddly-shaped body, such as that shown at '25 in-=Figure 2, may again result, as will be understood.- These oddly-shaped end bodies may be separately collected and used for special implanting purposes or they may be treated in any desired manner for recovery of the gold tubing-and of the radioactive material enclosed thereby.
From the foregoing it will be understood that the handle 64- is manipulated only at the start of the operation of the apparatus, to prevent the saw 53 from-cutting through an unpinched region of the tube 22.
It" will thus be observed that, by the-practice of my present invention; the valuable and inherently dangerous content-of the tube is at all times safeguarded against escape. pinched region is transversely cut it produces a sealed end on each of the adjacent severed tube portions. Each of these endsis blunt and perpendicular to the tube axis. Each resultant body is the same as every other body, having the same I length and shape. All these desirable results are accomplished with simplicity, speed, eificiency, and reliability.
In general, it will be understood that the details herein described an'dillustrated may be readily modified by those skilled-in the art without departing'from the 'spiritand scope'of the 111- vention as expressed in the appended claims. For this reason, it is intended that these details be interpreted as illustrative; and not ina limiting sense. 7
Having thus described my invention and illus trated its use, what I claim'as new and desire to secure'b'y Letters Patent is:
1. In an apparatus for treating a tube of the character described, operable means for pinching the'tube into closed condition at a region spaced from the-end ofthe tube, and movable means'for cutting through saidv pinched region toprovide a sealed end on each ofethe adjacent severed tube portions, said pinching-means comprising a multi-jawed chuck through Whichzlihfi tube maypass, a handle connected withsaid jawsfor opening and closing of said jaws, and means connected with the cutting means in positionto be actuated by 'thehandle to movesa-id cutting-means to a cuttingposition.
2. In an apparatus for treating a tube of the character described; operable means for pinching the tube into closed condition at a region spaced from the end-of. the tube, and movable means for cutting throughsaidpinched regiona-to provideasealed end on eachoftheadjacent severed tube portions, said". pinching meansrcomprising a multi-jawed chuck through which vthe :tube may pass, said cutting means comprisingarotatablc sawimounted for. swingingmovement into and. out
of tube-cutting position, a common means .for-
controlling. the. opening and 1 closing of said jaws, andgmeansiconnected .witligthe; cutting-gmeans in As each position to .beactuatediby tlie commomcontrol ling: means to' -move said fcutting-imeanstto' a. cut tingposition'...
3. In an apparatus for treating a tube of the character described; an operable. multijawed chuck through which the-tube may-p'ass,tsaid jaws being adapted to=pinch the engaged region. of the tube into closed condition, a movable abut mentarranged so as to be encounteredbythe end'ofth-e tube, said abutmentbeing so. spaced from the-chuck thatthe pinched-region: of the tube is a predetermined distance from-the endof' the tube, a cutting'means betweenithe chuck and the abutment in positionfor cutting through a previously closed region I of 5 the: tube; a :handlefor closingthe jaws to pinchthe tube: at one point thereof during said cutting actlon'at ana other point thereof and means actuated iby said handle f0r:movingitheabutment aside;
4. In- -an:apparatus for treating a tube :of: the character described; a multi-jaw'ed chuck through which the tube may'pass, saidjaws being-adapted;- when mo'ved radially inwardly, to pinch the engaged region of the tube into closed-condition,- a-movable abutment? arranged so as to be encountered by the end of the tube,'said abutment being so spaced fromthe chuck that th'epinched region is a predetermined distance: from-= the end of the tube, a cutting means between. the chuck-and' the abutment for cuttingthrough a previously pinched region of the tube, said outtingmean comprising a rotatable sawmounted. for swinging movement into and out oia p sition: for' cutting through a previously pinchedregion of the. tube, and a common rmeans :for. controlling the operation .of said jaws, .and. means connected with the cuttingmeans imposition to :beiactuated. by the. common means towmove SaidTCutti-ng means to abutting, position, andsaidi commona-means having means of connection with. the abutment for moving the abutment aside-as:thescuttim means severs the end portion of the tube.
5. In an apparatusfor treatingatube of the character described, a pinching means for squeezing a region of. thetube mtoclosed-conditiom a the tube'end is simultaneouely.positionedwithin the range of actionof thepinching means.
6. In. an apparatus for treating atub'e of the character described, a pinching means for squeez-. ing a region of the tube into closed condition, a
cutting. means, for cutting through .a previously sealed region of the tube, and an abutment adapted to be encountered by the tube end and so positioned'withrespect to'the pinching means and thecuttingmeans that one closed'region'of the tube at a" predetermined 'distancefrom the tube end is positioned within the range of action '01" the cutting means while another 1 region of" the tube at a predetermined greater distance --from the tube end is simultaneouslypositioned within the --range of" action-of the pinchingmeans, the distance between the-pinching meansand the cuttingim'eans being-substantially equal to- -thedistance between the cutting means and theabut mentisothatreach endwise advancement oi -the tubeapresentsai to;thezcuttingam'eansz thearegioni previously subjected to the actionof the pinching means.
7. In an apparatus for treating a tube of the character described, an operable pinching means for squeezing a region of the tube into closed condition, a movable cutting means for cutting through a previously sealed region of the tube, an abutment adapted to be'encountered by the tube end and so positioned with respect to the pinching means and the cutting means that one region of the tube at a predetermined distance from the tube end is positioned within the range of action of the cutting means while another region of the tube at a predetermined reater distance from the tube end is simultaneously positioned within the range of action of the pinching means, a common control means for actuating the pinching means, and means connected with the movable cutting means in position to be actuated by the common control means for moving the cutting means to an operative position.
8. In an apparatus for treating a tube of the character described, an operable pinching means for squeezing a region of the tube into closed condition, a movable cutting means for cutting through a previously sealed region of the tube, a movable abutment adapted to be encountered by the tube end and so positioned with respect to the pinching means and the cutting means that one region of the tube at a predetermined distance from the tube end is positioned within the range of action of the cutting means while another region of the tube at a predetermined greater distance from the tube end is simultaneously positloned within the range of action of the pinching means, a common control means for actuating the pinching means and for moving the abutment aside as the pinching means becomes effective, and means connected with the movable cutting means in position to be actuated by the common control means for moving said cutting means to a cutting position.
9. In an apparatus of the character described, the combination of elements set forth in claim 5, said pinching means comprising a, multi-jawed chuck through which the tube passes, and means for moving said jaws radially.
10. In an apparatus of the character described, the combination of, elements set forth in claim 5, said pinching means comprising a multi-jawed chuck through which the tube passes, and means for moving said jaws radially, said jaws being at least three in number and having shapes which impart a substantially star-shaped cross-section to the resultant pinched region of the tube.
11. In an apparatus of the character described, the combination of elements set forth in claim 5, said cutting means comprising a circular saw, and means for rotating said saw.
12. In an apparatus of the character described, the combination of elements set forth in claim 5, said cutting means comprising a circular saw, means for rotating said saw, a swinging bracket supporting said saw, and means for swinging said bracket into and out of a position in which said rotating saw becomes effective.
FREDERICK C. WAPPIER.