US 2640213 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 2, 1953 K. I. ROBINSON 2,640,213 I HYDRAULIC PROPELLING UNIT FOR PIPE CLEANERS Filed Sept. 8, 1948 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig.4.
' Fi .40. Fig.5 9
' Kyle Robinson.
AT 0R June 1953 K. I. ROBINSON HYDRAULIC PROPELLING UNIT FOR PIPE CLEANERS Filed Sept. 8, 1948 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig.8.
INVENTOR. Kyle LR binson.
Patented June 2, 1953 'PWGPELLING F03- RIPE 'GDEANERS Kyle Irwin Robinson, Glenshaw, Pan, asslggnor to Pittsburgh Pipe Gleaner Company, Pittsburgh. Pa, a company of Pennsylvania Application September 8, 1948, Serial} No. 48,175
The invention relates generally to propelling units for pipe cleaners, and more particularly to hydraulic propelling units.
Oneof the problems in the manufacture of germ polling units for pipe cleaners is to provide a unit 1' compressed in going from a large pipe section to a smaller pipe section or going a curve and regain the proper size and shape after it has passed through the smaller pipe section.
The object of the invention is to provide a hydraulic unit for a pipe cleaner which will readily expand and contact to adapt itself to diflerent pipe cross sections while retaining its capacity to hold a suflicient quantity of the propelling liquid to operate it.
Other objects of the invention will be readily understood as the description of the invention proceeds.
The invention accordingly is disclosed in the embodiment thereof shown in the accompanying drawings, and comprises the features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which will he exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth and the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claims.
For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure l is a view in perspective of three hydraulic units constructed in accordance with this invention disposed on a stem showing how they may be connected to pipe cleaning members,
Fig. 2 is a view in section showing details of the structure of the hydraulic unit.
Fig. 3 is a view in end elevation of the hydraulic unit,
Figs. 4, 4a, 5 and 5a are composite views showing the vanes employed in the hydraulic unit, both in plan and end elevation,
Fig. 6 is a view in side elevation of a back-up plate employed in the hydraulic unit,
Fig. 7 is a view in plan of the back-up plate shown in Fig. 6,
8 is aview in side elevation of the hydraulic unit showing it disposed in a pipe which is illustrated '11 section,
Fig. 9 is a view in side elevation of a modification of the hydraulic unit,
Fig. 1c is a view in end elevation of the hydraulic unit shown in Fig. 9,
Fig. 11 is a view in plan of a portion of the shell of Fig. 9, the drawing being reduced in size, since it is to illustrate how the plate forming the shell is out.
Referring now to the drawings and Fig. 1 in (Cl. lb -104.967
particular. the hydraulic unit shown generally at II! is substantially the shape of a conic .frusizum to facilitate its introduction into a pipe and en able it to readily travel through pipes of difiercot cross sectional areas and around bends. As illustrated, any predetermined number of hydraulic units may be attached to pipe cleaning members shown generally at H. The number of hydraulic units employed will depend on the problem at hand.
In ,2, the hydraulic unit shown generally at M is disposed on a stem 12. this instance, the stem 1.2 is a coil spring which is quite flexible so as to enable the hydraulic units ill and pipe cleaning members I] to be propelled or drawn through pipe-sections of difierent sizes and around bends. However, it will be readily appreciated that many different types of stems wellknown in the art may "be employed. For example, articulated stems or even stems comprised of straight rigid pipe may be utilized ii! the pipe to be cleaned does not have sharp bonds.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated in 2 to 8., inclusive, the hydraulic unit comprises a shell 1 3 which simulates in shape the outside of a conic frustum. In order to enable the mounting of the shell 13 on the stem l2, two nuts l4 and 15 are provided. These nuts M and iii are provided with internal threads which enable them to be turned onto the stem 12 to dispose them in any predetermined position.
The nuts i l and 15 are provided with threaded openings for receiving the set screws IE and H. The set screws are employed tor anchoring the nuts 1-! and I5 to predetermined positions on the stem nor a purpose which will appear hereinafter.
The of the shell is will depend on the size of the hydraulic unit it is desired "to build. Cine of the advantages of this type of hydraulic unit is that it can be made of any predetermined size to adapt it to pipes of different sizes. The shell can he made of sheet steel or bronze or any metal that will stand up to rough usage to which it will be subjected. Stainless steel is very satisfactory, since it resists corrosion.
In the preferred embodiment illustrated in Fig. 2., a plurality of short vanes 518. shown in plan and end view in Fig. 5 and a plurality of long vanes l9 illustrated in Fig. i are employed. These verses are preferably made from spring steel or bronze or some other metal that is flexible so that they may he readily bent to enable the hydraulic unit to pass through pipe sections of difi'erent cross sectional area. Each vane is provided with a plurality of openings '20.
In order to mount the vanes 18 and 19 on the shell l3, two rows of openings 21 are provided in the shell. These openings are the same size as the openings 20 provided in the vanes. As shown in Fig. 2, only one layer of vanes 18 is provided while two layers of vanes 49 are utilized. In mounting the vanes 18, they are disposed to the stem I2.
whole way around the shell I3. The vanes I9 are preferably disposed to overlap one another in one way on the outside and in the opposite manner on the inside. Reference to Fig. 3 shows that the outer layer of vanes I9 as they proceed counterclockwise around the shell extend over the next vane while on the inside proceeding counter-clockwise around the shell each vane extends under the next vane. The reason for lapping the vanes I9 in this manner is based on experience which has revealed that good results have been obtained by arranging the vanes in this manner. However, it is to be understood that a satisfactory hydraulic unit may be pro duced by lapping the vanes in different arrangements. While one layer ofvanes' I 8 and two layers of vanes I9 have been illustrated, this is a matter of choice to anyone skilled in the art, and
any predetermined number of layers may be utilized. v
The vanes I8 and I9 are mounted on the shell I3 by the use of short bolts 22. These shortbolts extend through the three layers of vanes and the shell I3 as illustrated. There is considerable merit in mounting the vanes in this manner, since if any group of vanes is damaged, it can be removed readily and new vanes substituted. However, it will be readily appreciated that the vanes can be mounted in any other suitable manner l well known in the art.
As shown, a back-up plate 23 is disposed ill the vanes I9. This back-up plate is generally mounted just beyond the outer end of the shell I3. However, its location will depend on. the functioning of the vanes that it is desired to obtain. It will be readily appreciated that. the cross section of the pipe that the hydraulic unit will pass through will be determined to some extent by the location and size of the back-up plate 23. l I
The back-up plate 23 is actually an annular plate, the diameter of the opening in the center being large enough to permit it to be fitted over the stem I2. As shown in Figs. 6 and '7, the nut 24 is mounted on the plate 23. The nut 24 is provided with an internal thread which will fit the stem I2. It is also provided with a set screw 25 for setting it in any predeterminedposition on The back-up plate is attached to the nut 24. This may be accomplished by welding, as shown at 26, or any other suitable means known'in the art.
The hydraulic unit described so far might function under certain conditions, but it has been found that when subjected to water under pressure, it does not hold enough water for efiicient operation and the vanes are readily bent under.
the water pressure and when bent beyond their capacity to recover their original shape, the unit is damaged beyond further use and has to be repaired.
In order to adapt the unit for holding enough water for all eflicient operation and to so support the vanes I8 and I9 that they are not distorted beyond recovery, a mass of some suitable resilient material shown generally at 21 is employed and disposed inside of the vanes I9. In this particular embodiment of the invention, three layers 28, 29 and 39 of sponge rubber are employed. The type of sponge rubber selected will depend on the results desired. Anyone skilled in this art can readily select the proper grade of sponge rubber. In selectingthe rubber, the porosity should be such that it will hold substantially all water applied to it under pressure. In the rubber available generally, there will be a certain amount of the water that gets through but not enough to affect efiicient operation. Further, the sponge rubber should not be too soft. It should have enough resilience to permit the vanes to contract a predetermined amount but sufficient capacity or elastic memory to enable it to regain its original shape and return the vanes to their original positions, as soon as the distorting pressures have been removed.
In the embodiment illustrated, the layers 28, 29 and will be out to the shape of the vanes as illustrated. The layer 28 will have a larger opening out in the center than the'layel-s 29 and 30 to accommodate it to the nut 24.
In assembling the structure illustrated in Figs. 2 to 8,inclusive, the nut I4 will first be disposed on the stem I2 and set in a predetermined position by means of the set screw I6. As shown, the nut I4 has the corner cut oil one end to give it a shape somewhat similar to a conic frustum to adapt it to receive the shell I3. Next the nut I5 is moved on the stem I2 toward the nut I 4!. When it abuts against the shell I3, it firmly clamps it in position on the stem. The nut I5 islocked in position by the set screw I'I.
The back-up plate is now moved on the stem I2 until it engages the vanes I9. It is then fixed in position on the stem I2 by means of the set screw 25. It will be observed that the shell I3 and the vanes I8 and I9, in effect, form a shell the shape of a conic frustum. The vanes are ac tually an extension of the shell I3.
The back-up plate 23 fixed on the stem I2 forms a fulcrum about which the vanes I8 and I9 may turn inwardly when distorted in shape as the hydraulic unit is forced through a pipe. The shell I3 supports the "vanes I8 and I9 against turning outwardly when subjected to high water pressures to propel the hydraulic unit through a pipe line. The making of the vanes I8 shorter than the vanes I 9 adds strength to resist the turning or spreading of the vanes outwardly.
The next step in the assembling of the unit is the mounting of the resilient mass 27 on the trailing side of the back-up plate 23. When the resilient material is discs of sponge rubber, such as illustrated, they may readily be fitted over the stem I2 and fixed in position by cementing or other suitable means known in the art. As pointed out before, the characteristics of the hydraulic unit will be controlled to an appreciable extent by the characteristic of the resilient mass 27 which is employed. Further, the shape and material from which the vanes I8 and III are made will also effect the operating characteristics of the unit.
In the modification illustrated in Fig. 9, the supporting shell 3| is shorter than the shell I3 of Fig. 2 and is fixed to the stem 32 directly by means of a set screw 33. The vanes 34 are made by cutting slits 36 in a light weight shell 35, the development of which is shown in Fig. 11. The slits 36 do not extend to the small end of the shell 35.
One edge of each vane formed by cutting slits 36 in the shell 35 is turned in to provide a wall 31'. Further, the vanes are arranged to overlap one another. In Fig. 10 progressing counterclockwise each vane overlaps the neXt vane. In this modification, theoverlapping takes place on the side of the vane having the turned-in triangular wall 31.
In order to limit the outward movement of the vanes, openings 38 are provided in each triangular' Wall 37 near the outer end and through these openings 38 a wire or cable 39 is threaded, and the ends of the wire or cable 39 are connected. together at 49 to form a closed loop. This wire or cable will limit the outward movement of the vanes, so that they cannot be distorted beyond their elastic limit. Thus they will always regain their shape. A back-up plate 4| will be employed and disposed inside of the vanes 36 to support a mass of some suitable resilient material, such as sponge rubber 52 disposed in the vanes. The back-up plate 41 and the sponge rubber t2 may be mounted in similar manner to that described for the modifications illustrated in Figs. 2 to 8, inclusive.
In operation, when a hydraulic unit, such as illustrated in Figs. 2 to 8, inclusive, is inserted into a pipe, the vanes 18 and 19 are bent inwardly slightly as shown in Fig. 8. The mass of resilient material, such as the sponge rubber layers 28, 29 and 30, are compressed and extend outwardly, as shown at 56. The distortion of the vanes I8 and I9 may be readily effected, since the overlapping vanes are disposed to slide across one another. If the hydraulic unit moves from a larger pipe section to a smaller pipe section, it may contract more than shown in Fig. 8, the vanes turning about the back-up plate 23. The sponge rubber mass will merely extend further outwardly in the manner shown at 56.
When the hydraulic units move to a larger pipe section, the vanes 18 and I9 because of their own resilience and under pressure of the sponge rubber, will expand and fill the opening. In this manner, the unit will prevent the escape of water under pressure between the pipe and the vanes. Further, the sponge rubber will fill all openings inside of the vanes so as to hold enough water to efiiciently operate the unit. It is true that a certain amount of water will escape through the sponge rubber, but if the rubber is properly selected, the amount of water that escapes will not be detrimental to eificient operation.
The modification shown in Figs. 9 to 11 will operate in much the same manner and further description of the operation is not necessary. The modification selected may depend to some extent on the type of work to be done and the amount of money that can be spent in making hydraulic units for the problem at hand.
Since certain changes may be made in the above device, and different embodiments of the invention can be made without departing from the scope thereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
I claim as my invention:
1. In a hydraulic unit for pipe cleaners, in combination, a stem, a shell substantially the shape of a conic frustum carried by the stem, a plurality of flexible members carried by the shell, an annular plate carried by the stem, the annular plate being disposed in the flexible members to provide a fulcrum about which they may bend to enable the hydraulic unit to adapt itself to pipes of difierent cross section, and resilient means disposed inside of the flexible members forming the large end of the hydraulic unit and on the trailing side of the annular plate, the resilient means thereby supporting the flexible members.
2. In a hydraulic unit for propelling a pipe cleaner, in combination, a stem, a shell simulating the shape of a conic frustum carried by the stem, vanes carried by the shell, the vanes being disposed in substantial alignment with the shell to constitute an extension of it, a back-up plate disposed in the vanes to constitute a fulcrum about which they may turn, and a resilient mass disposed inside the vanes and on the trailing side of the back-up plate, the resilient mass serving to support the vanes and to hold water under pressure.
3. In a hydraulic unit for propelling a pipe cleaner, in combination, a stem, a shell simulating a conic frustum, means for mounting the shell on the stem in a predetermined position, vanes carried by the shell, the vanes being disposed in axially stepped relation longitudinally of the shell to give them a predetermined resistance to outward movement and a small resistance to inward movement, the vanes also being disposed in overlapping relation circumferentially to facilitate lateral movement relative to one another, and a resilient mass disposed in contact with the vanes to help them regain their normal shape after they have been distorted inwardly.
4. A hydraulic unit for propelling a pipe cleaner, in combination, a stem, a shell the shape of a conic frustum carried by the stem, a plurality of layers of vanes disposed in circumferential overlapping and axially stepped relation carried by the shell, means disposed in the shell for predetermining line about which they may be distorted inwardly, and a mass of sponge rubber disposed inside the vanes but on the trailing side of the back-up plate about which the vanes may be distorted inwardly, said mass of sponge rubber being in contact with the vanes serving to support them as they are distorted inwardly and to hold water that may be applied to the hydraulic unit for propelling it through a pipe.
5. In a hydraulic, unit for propelling a pipe cleaner through a pipe, in combination, a stem, a member simulating the shell of a conic frustum carried by the stem, the outer end of the shell being slit to provide a plurality of vanes, the vanes being shaped to lie in circumferential overlapping relation, and means for limiting the outward movement of said vanes, a back-up plate disposed in the vanes to predetermine the point about which they may be distorted inwardly and a mass of sponge rubber disposed inside and in contact with the vanes to support them when they are being distorted inwardly and to help them regain their normal position, said mass of sponge rubber being disposed on the trailing side of the back-up plate.
KYLE IRWIN ROBINSON.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number