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Publication numberUS2637056 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 5, 1953
Filing dateMar 7, 1949
Priority dateMar 7, 1949
Publication numberUS 2637056 A, US 2637056A, US-A-2637056, US2637056 A, US2637056A
InventorsClifford F Morain
Original AssigneeClifford F Morain
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pipe brushing apparatus
US 2637056 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 5, 1953 c. F. MoRAlN 2,637,056

PIPEBRUSHING APPARATUS me/Mom CLIFFORD F. MORAIN May 5, 1953 c. F. MORAIN PIPE BRUSHING APPARATUS 2 SHEETS--SHEET 2 Filed March '7, 1949 CLIFFORD F. MORAIN w Patented May 5, 1953 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE PIPE BRUSHING APPARATUS Clifford F. Morain, Youngstown, Ohio ApplicationMarc'h 7, 1949, Serial No. 80,074

7 Claims.

This invention relates to pipe cleaning .apparatus and more particularly to a power driven brushing assembly which is adapted to have longitudinally relative movement with respect to a pipe length or a pipe line to remove rust, scale and other debris from the exterior 4surta/ce of the pipe. The invention seeks to provide .a 'more practical apparatus for the stated purposes yand more particularly, apparatus of this nature which is simple in design yet rugged and durable .in operation and which is operative 4to applyto ythe exterior surface of the pipe a more intense and rapid brushing action than has heretofore been obtained in apparatus heretofore proposed .for the stated purpose.

.Another and more specific object of the invention is the .provisionof an improved pipe brushing machine or the type .applicable to `aneaisting vcontinuous pipe line, of .an .improved arrangement for ailixing Athe apparatus .on the pipe line and detaching the vsan-le therefrom, and of an improved b-rush construction .therefor 'whereby the brushes 4employed will have arnuch greater total contacting area and consequently a much longer life as compared with the useful lite oi the brushes now employed in similar apparatus.

The above general objects are attained by the present invention primarily `by employing a plurality of circumferentially spaced elongated but flexible power driven .brushing elements, each of which assumes espiral position about 'thefeirterior surface of the pipe being cleaned when the apparatus is set up i'or operation. The spiral'positions assumed by the brushes are sufficiently tight 'that the trailing ends `of the respective .brushes overlap the leading ends of the brushes ln a ilongitu dinal direction so that all the ysurface oi the pipe is erlectively cleaned by a single longitudinal pass of the apparatus over the pipe. .Since the brushes rotate at high speed about their own `curved axes, e-iective and `rapid cleaning yaction is .attained even While the apparatus traverses the pipe line at a fairly vhigh .rate of speed.

By varying the angle of twist or tightness of the spiral positions oi the respective brushes `the apparatus may be readily adjusted for 4operation on pipe lines of different diameters, particularly if the longitudinal spacing of the ends of the flexible brushes is maintained substantially constant. ln this regard another valuable feature of the apparatus of the invention is. that by yieldingly anchoring the trailing ends of the brushes against movement in a iorward longitudinal ydi rection the flexible brushes may readily yield in a radially outward direction to `pass over common al couplings and other Vminor protrusions Which may appear on the outer'surface of the pipe line.

The above and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon lconsideration of thefollowing detailed specinca-tion and .the accompanying drawing wherein there is disclosed .a preferred embodiment ol' the invention.

In the drawing:

Figure 1 is a side elevation of .a pipe brushing machine rconstructed in accordance with the principles .of my invention;

Figure 2 is va front elevation of the apparatus of Figure l;

Figure 3 is a transverse section taken along the line III- III of Figure l;

Figure 4 is a .fragmentary section taken along the line IV-IV of Figure 3;

Figure 5 isa fragmentary detailed View showing the Ystructure of .one lof the assemblies .of the apparatus;

Figure 6 is a transverse section taken along the line VI-VI lof .Figure 5; and

Figure '7 is `a sectional view illustrating the anchoring of one endof one of the brush supporting cables of the apparatus.

Referring to the drawing in detail the .refers ence numeral lll designates a rigid frame adapted to be supported in longitudinal alignment `above a pipe line -ll by means of serrated ,mounting rollers l2 which are journaled in .blocks depending from the frame l0. Supported on the frame lil vis an .engine I3 which is preferably of the automotive type and as such is provided with an attached speed changing transmission lil and a clutch. For actuating the latter I provide an operating lever l5. Extending rearwardly of the transmission i4 is a drive shaft on which smounted asprocket i6 and a clutch ll operable by :a lever i8. A second speed changing transmission i9 is adapted to be driven by a chain from the sprocket i6 and the output of .the transmission lll is coupled with the longitudinally .extending drive shaft 29 by means of a chain 2l. A shaft 26 is arranged to drive a pair oi worm gear reducers 22 and 23, the slow speed output shafts of which are coupled to the rollers l2 for propell ing the lapparatus along the pipe line Il as will be readily understood.

A shaft 2li which is driven by the transmission i4 through the clutch ll is coupled with the input of a speed-reducing unit 23, the .output shaft of which is shown at 26 and as mounting a number of driving sprockets 2l. Journaled in bearings provided in 'spaced brackets .rigidly secured to and depending below the .frame l0 is a longitudithe pipe line to position the center of the pipe atv the geometric centers of the circular apertures mentioned.

Rotatably mounted in the circular aperture in the plate is a yoke 33 which has a grooved outer periphery as shown in Figure 4 to prevent longitudinal movement of the yoke 33 relative to the l plate 30 and to maintain the geometric center of the yoke 33 at the geometric center of the circular opening through the plate 30. To rotate the yoke 33 about the axis or geometric center of the circular opening in the plate 30 I provide a cable 34 which ts in a small peripheral groove formed in the yoke 33 and which is arranged to be moved by a small hand operated windlass 35 having an operating crank 36. For a purpose to be later described the cable 34 is provided with a quick make and break connection, not shown, but it should -be-obvious that when the parts are properly assembled rotation of the crank 36 in one direction will rotate the yoke 33 in one direction while rotation of the crank 36 in the opposite direction will rotate the yoke 33 oppositely.

The lapparatus of my invention utilizes a pluvrality of flexible brushing elements, each consisting of a multiplicity of circular wire bristle brushes 31 mounted on a flexible steel cable assembly preferably constructed of three separate steel cables 38 arranged triangularly as shown in Figure 6. Each of the brush units 31 is formed with a core or hub of lead or other suitable material for retaining the steel bristles and such brushes are commonly made with sheet steel end plates 39 (Figure 6). -In accordance with the present invention such hubs and end plates, if any, are apertured complementarily to the outer peripheral contour of the triangular cable assembly formed of the steel cables 39 so that the various brushes 31 of each brush assembly may be easily strung over the cable assembly and so that rotation of the cable assembly will result in positive driving of each of the brushes. The opposite ends of each of the cable assemblies are terminated by exteriorly threaded cap Ymembers 40 and it will be understood that in the manufacture of a brushing assembly a cap 40 is rst brazed or soldered onto one end of the multiple cable assembly, after which the brushes 31 are strung onto the cable assembly from the free end thereof, after which said free end is capped by brazing or soldering-on one of the elements 4|).

In the specific embodiment illustrated three of the-flexible brushing shafts, each consisting of the parts 31 through 40, are employed, but for the' forward .end of eachofthe shafts 4.| is attached one end of a brushing assembly by means of a universal joint 42. The opposite ends of the flexible brushing shafts are secured to splined shafts 43 by means of the universal joints 44 and the shafts 43 are slidably received in spindles 45 which are journaled in the yoke 33 carried by the plate 30. The spindles 45 are circumferentially spaced about the yoke 33 and are oriented for rotation about axes parallel with the principal axis of the pipe The shafts 43 project through and forwardly of the spindles 45 and to Abias the shafts 43 in a forward direction coil springs 46 are interposed between nuts 41 threaded onto the forward extremities of the shafts 43 and the forward ends of the spindles 45.

' The spindles 45 are so disposed on the yoke 33 that when the yoke is oriented to align its opening with the vertically downward opening in the plate 30 one of the shafts 43 is aligned with one of the shafts 4| and as is apparent from Figures 2 and 3 the shafts 43 are all circumferentially outward of the downward opening in the yoke 33 and plate 30, thereby permitting the entire machine assembly to be moved vertically down onto the pipe line Of course, when the yoke 33 is so oriented the shafts 4| and 43 supporting the respective brushing shafts are substantially aligned.

I provide means to drive both ends of each of the flexible brushing shafts, and as shown in Figure l one of the shafts 4| is driven from the shaft 28 by means of a chain 46. Interconnecting this shaft 4| and a second of the shafts 4| is a sprocket and chain assembly 41', while the third of the shafts 4| is driven directly from the shaft 28 by means of the chain 48. At the forward end of the machine one of the spindles 45 is driven directly from shaft 28 by means of chain 49, while this one spindle is interconnected with the other two spindles on the yoke 33 by means of the chain and sprocket assemblies 50. In order that the chains may gyrate well outside of the space taken by the pipe guide rollers 5| are journaled on the yoke 33 substantially as shown in Figures 2 and 3. The chain 49 is of the kind which can be readily adjusted as to length or, if desired, a suitable idling take-up sprocket, not shown, may be employed in the assembly, as will be understood. One or the other of these expedients is required since the distance between the centers of rotation of the shaft 28 and the spindle 45 to which the chain 49 is connected will vary, depending on the extent of rotation of the yoke 33 and the consequent extent of twisting of the brushing cables 31-40. It should be observed, however, that both ends of each of the iiexible brushing shafts 31-40 are positively driven in the same direction and at the same speed and, further, that coil springs 46 allow the shafts 43 to slide rearwardly, thereby permitting the brushes 31 to bow outwardly to pass over the common pipe joints or other reasonable projections which may protrude radially outward of the general cylindrical outer surface of the pipe The springs 46 perform the further important function of maintaining each of the brushes 31 in resilient pressure contact with the outer surface of the pipe whereby an effective brushing action is attained.

To suport the machine when not in use and to facilitate the handling thereof I provide a pair of spaced parallel pipe skids 5| which extend longitudinally of the machine well below the lowermost portions of the plates 30, 3| and the yoke 33. To brace the plate 30 I provide the side gusset plates 52 and similar plates 53 rigidly brace the plate 3l. To balance the machine on the pipe line Il a long laterally extending boom, not shown, is rigidly adapted to a fixed part of the apparatus as the frame I0, for example, all in accordance with usual practice.

It should now be apparent that l have provided an improved machine for cleaning and brushing the exterior surface of pipes and pipe lines, which accomplishes the objects initially set out. The apparatus is simple in design, easily constructed and maintained and dependable and durable in service, while yet being of minimum Weight and highly efiicient in operation. The apparatus may be quickly and easily applied onto an unbroken pipe line and is readily adjustable for operation on pipes or pipe lines of different diameters.

By constructing the apparatus with four of the flexible brushing shafts rather than with three as herein shown, the apparatus may be made shorter in over-all length, which is of advantage when a scale breaking attachment (commonly termed a rattler) is mounted ahead of the brushing machine and/ or when a coating apy plying attachment is to be mounted at the rear end of the brushing machine.

It should now be apparent that the above specically described embodiment of the invention should be considered as illustrative only as 5 obviously many changes may be made therein Without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Reference should therefore be had to the appended claims in determining the scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. Pipe brushing apparatus comprising a frame supporting a pair of longitudinally spaced fixed yokes adapted to be positioned over a pipe line, a movable yoke rotatably mounted on one of said xed yokes for rotation about the longitudinal axis of said pipe line, a plurality of circumferentially spaced but longitudinally extending shafts journaled in the other of said fixed yokels, a plurality of circumferentially spaced but longitudinally extending shafts journaled in saldmovable yoke, flexible elongated brush shafts interconnecting the shafts journaled in said fixed and movable yokes and adapted to be driven thereby,

a plurality of contiguous brush wheels fixed on l each said brush shaft throughout substantially the whole of the length of said brush shaft, said exible brush shafts and said wheels forming elongated flexible rope-like brushing units adapted to have intimate spiral engagement with the pipe to be cleaned, and p-ower means 'on said frame to drive the shafts journaled in said fixed yoke.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 further characterized in that each of said brush shafts comprises a exible cable, said brush wheels being strung on said cable, and universal joints interconnecting the ends of said cables to said shaf ts journaied in said fixed and movable yokes.

3. Apparatus according to claim l further including means to rotate said movable yoke about the longitudinal axis of said pipe line whereby said flexible brush shafts may be twisted about the pipe to assume varying spiraling positions.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1 further including transmission means interconnecting said power means and said shafts journaled in said movable yoke to drive said last mentioned shafts.

5. Apparatus according to claim 1 further including a pair of spaced parallel skids secured to the lower free ends of the legs of said yokes and extending substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis of said pipe line.

6. Pipe brushing apparatus comprising a frame supporting a pair of longitudinally spaced fixed yokes adapted to be positioned over a pipe length, a movable yoke rotatably mounted on one of said fixed yolies for rotation about the longitudinal axis of said pipe length, a plurality of circumferentially spaced flexible elongated brush shafts journaled at one end in one of said fixed yokes and at the other end in said movable yoke, a plurality of contiguous brush Wheels fixed on each said brush shaft throughout substantially the Whole of the length of said brush shaft, said ilexible brush shafts and said Wheels forming elongated iiexible rope-like brushing units adapted to have intimate spiral engagement with the pipe to be cleaned, and power means on said frame to rotate each of said brush shafts about their own respective axes.

7. Apparatus according to claim 6 further including yielding means to maintain said flexible brush shafts in a taut condition in a longitudinal direction.


References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,218,005 Schlemmer Mar. 6, 1917 1,809,725 Roe June 9, 1931 2,050,036 Boax Aug. 4, 1936 2,178,912 Leahey Nov. 7, 1939 2,238,720 Duaei Apr. 15, 1941 2,427,129 Fields Sept. 9, 1947 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 277,801 Great Britain Sept. 29, 1927

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1218005 *Jun 19, 1915Mar 6, 1917George SchlemmerConduit-cleaning device.
US1809725 *Dec 9, 1927Jun 9, 1931Roe Joseph HenryBrush for cleaning pipes and tubes
US2050036 *Mar 26, 1935Aug 4, 1936Nat Tube CoCoating apparatus
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US2238720 *Feb 7, 1938Apr 15, 1941DuaeiCleaning machine
US2427129 *Jul 10, 1943Sep 9, 1947Albert Fields DonaldExterior pipe surface brushing machine
GB277801A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2858555 *Jun 9, 1955Nov 4, 1958Medovick GeorgeSelf-propelled cleaning or painting device
US2989113 *Oct 14, 1955Jun 20, 1961Hermorian LtdDevice for making continuous overlapping joints
US3045268 *Mar 28, 1961Jul 24, 1962Cerro CorpMachine for deburring the ends of tubes and the like
US3273190 *Oct 23, 1962Sep 20, 1966Bethlehem Steel CorpWire polisher
US4510639 *May 10, 1983Apr 16, 1985Roncaglione James WVehicle washing apparatus having flexible brushes
US4597128 *May 10, 1983Jul 1, 1986Roncaglione James WFlexible vehicle washing brush and coupling therefor
US4628562 *May 8, 1984Dec 16, 1986Roncaglione James WVehicle washing apparatus
US4734950 *Mar 31, 1987Apr 5, 1988Schenke Tool Co.Cleaning apparatus for exterior of elongated members
EP0285288A1 *Mar 17, 1988Oct 5, 1988Schenke Tool CoCleaning apparatus for exterior of elongated members
U.S. Classification15/88, 118/DIG.110, 15/179
International ClassificationB08B9/023, B08B9/02
Cooperative ClassificationF16L2101/12, B08B9/023, Y10S118/11
European ClassificationB08B9/023