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Publication numberUS2750517 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 12, 1956
Filing dateDec 21, 1953
Priority dateDec 21, 1953
Publication numberUS 2750517 A, US 2750517A, US-A-2750517, US2750517 A, US2750517A
InventorsBaum Wilhelm M
Original AssigneeBaum Wilhelm M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of handling radio-active materials
US 2750517 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 12, 1956 w. M. BAUM METHOD OF HANDLING RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS Filed Dec. 21, 1953 IN V EN TOR. M/fie/m M. Baa/m BY ATTORA/f 4 United States Patent METHOD QFHANDL NG RAPID-ACT VE MATERIALS Wilhelm M. Baum, South Haven, iv/licli.

Application December 21, 1953, Serial No, 39,305

10 Claims. (Cl; 250- 108) Thisinvention relates to improvement :inapparatus for controllingthe safe movement of radio-active materials between points of exposure and storage.

".lThe-principal objects of this invention are:

First, to provide apparatus which will'quickly and-safely advance a mass .of radio-active material from a safe storage point to a preselected position where the radiations from the radio-active material maybe used-for producing .gammagraphs- Second, to provide apparatus for safely and rapidly transmitting amass of radio-active material over irregular routes of varying lengths.

Third, to provide apparatus facilitating the production .of gamrnagraphs of enclosed structures by facilitating the location of a mass of radioactive material within the enclosure and the safe and rapid movement of the mass between the enclosure and a safe storage .areawfor the material.

Fourth, to provide apparatus which uses air pressure and a flexible tube for transmitting the mass of radioactive material between a safe storage area for the'rnaterial andya preselected point of exposure for the material at the end of the tube.

Fifth, to provide apparatus for locating the end of a tube; in a predetermined centered-r location within an en'- closure so .thata ball of radio-active material advanced throughthe tube may be accurately located within the enclosure for producing gammagraphsiof the walls of the enclosure.

Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from a consideration of the following description. and claims.

The drawing represents a complete operating apparatus embodying the invention with portionsof the apparatus brokenaway in cross section and with other portionsillustrated conventionally.

The use of radio-active materials and photographic plates for determining the internal characteristics of a metal wall is well established. A mass .of radioactive material is placed on one side of the metal to be examined and a photographic plate is placed .on the other side of the metal. Radiations from the radio-active material pass through the metal and expose the photographic plate in a manner which pictures internal characteristics of the metal. Such photographic plates are sometimes referred to as gammagraphs.

The handling of radio-active materials-isdangerous due .tothe well known danger to persons from'over exposure to the radiations. Consequently, elaborate precautions are taken for safely storing the radio-active material when ,not in use andtor keeping all personnel at a safe distance iwhile .the radioactive material is transmitted to the work and while thc gammagraphisbeingproducd. It is .apparentthat a highly active mass of radio-active material willproduce .anammegraph in a hort timed e-to the strength. of the radiations from he ma erial. ,At the same time the increase in the strength. .of the radiations increases the danger to personnel and extra precautions 2,750,517 A Patented June 1 9.56

or protective measures must be taken to protect personnel. Generally, specially trained personnel are required for handling the radio-active material and taking the gamma.- gra-phs. Other persons working on any of the structure being tested are usually required-to keep clear from the persons handling the radio active material. Where the work to be tested is small and can be brought to the source of radio-active material, little trouble isencountered in producing the gammagraphs. However, when the work to be tested is part of a larger structure it is necessary to bring the radio active material to the work and this has necessitated the withdrawal of the regular work: men from the job while the radio-active material is brought to the work and the gammagrapns produced.

The present invention provides apparatus which permits radio-active material to be safely advanced intoenclosed areas for .the production of gammagraphs without requiring the withdrawal of workmen who may be work ing near the structure being tested. Particularly the apparatus is useful in obtaining gammagraphs of the welded joints. in pipes and other enclosures forming part of new ship construction.

In the drawings there isillustrated a section of pipe .1 having a weld 2 therein. This pipe may be considered as part of a long pipe. or other enclosure permanently mounted in a ship or other large structure so that the pipe .or weld cannot be conveniently removed for insp.ec-. tion. The apparatus for advancing a source of radio activematerial. to within the-pipe 1 includes a flexible. tube 3;which is desirably inert or unaffectedby-radioeactive radiations. Polystyrene isa suitable material for thetubc but other materials may be substituted. The tube may be made. in sections and a butt joint 4 enclosed in a threaded sleeve 5 is illustrated as an example 'ofjrneans for forming a smooth continuous inner surfacein the tube.

What may be termed as the outer or exposure end of the t be :3 is pas d h u h the ce t r of defo rubber ball 6. A ferrule 7 detachably grips the tube 3 while the extreme outer end of the tube extends freely through theball as at 8. The ball 6consti-tutes a center device and is of such a size as to slide easily within the pipe 1. Extending transversely through the tube 3 is. an abutment pin 9 or other projection which extends into the interior of the tube 3 just past the center of the ball 6. In this position the pin 9 will engage and locate aball 10 of radio-active material in .the center of the ;ball 6 and; therefore, in the center of thepipe 1.

Inorder to safely store the ball 10 of radio-active material when not in use and advance it quickly .to the pin 9 there is provided a block of heavy material impervious to the rays radiating from the radio-active material. This block is commonly referred to as a coihn and is indicated at 1 1. The coffin has. a small passage 12 formed there.- through of such a size as to rollingly receive the ball 10 and is desirably provided with at least two bends or turns in the passage as at 13. A pin or projection l4 extends transversely into the passage 12 between the turns 13 in the passage to support the ball 19 in stored position where there is no direct straight line opening from the surface of the cofiin to the radio-active material. The inner end of the previously. described tube 3 is detachably received. in th upper end of the passage 12 so that. the ball 10 of radioactive material can be blown from its storage position on the pin 14' through the tube 3 to. the pin ,9. Desirably vents or por are pr vided in the l be 3 as at 15 just inwardly of the exposure position Of the ball -10.

,In order. to develop and control the air pressure for moving the ball 10 through the tube 3 there is provided an .air pump .16 which. may conv niently e a tank t p domestic vacuum cleaner having connections to; itsfsuction and outlet ends. 'The air pipes 17 and 18 connected to the pump are further connected to a valve 19 which is adapted to connect either pipe 17 or 18 to a pipe 20 detachably connected to the lower end of the passage 12 in the coflin 11. By operation of the pump 16 and valve 19 the ball of radio-active material may be blown from the cofiin to the point of exposure and held there by air pressure for the desired length of time. Reversal of the valve 19 will then suck the ball back into the colfin and into its protected seat 14. The movement of the ball of radio active material through the tube 3 is so rapid as 10 to cause little danger to persons standing near the tube.

It is therefore possible to employ a highly active mass of radio-active material in the ball 10 for quickly forming the gammagraphs. The tube 3 may be laid for considerable distances through a structure and around obstacles to the part to be tested and the regular workmen working on the structure are not endangered by the rapid passage of the ball through the tube.

In order to facilitate and determine the accurate location of the centering ball 6 Within the pipe 1 there is 20 provided a longitudinally rigid but transversely flexible tape 21 similar to a flexible steel measuring tape and having length indicia thereon as at 22. The tape 21 is connected to the ferrule 7 as at 23 and permits the ball 6 and the tube 3 to be forced a considerable distance into 25 the pipe 1. The indicia on the tape obviously permits determining the position of the ball 6 in the pipe. When the apparatus is not in use the tubes 3 and 20 can be disconnected from the cotfin and heavy lead plugs 24 are desirably chained to the cofiin for insertion into the ends of the passage 12 to prevent dangerous radiations escaping from the cotfin.

The ball 10 may be of a variety of materials. It may consist of an outer steel case for a small quantity of radioactive material or it may consist of a mass of material 30 which is itself radio-active or which has been rendered radio-active. The essential characteristics of the ball 10- are that it will radiate radio-active rays at the desired rate and will roll freely through the tube 3 under the pressure dilferential applied thereto by the pump 16.

In addition to the industrial or commercial applications of the method described I anticipate that the method will have application in the field of medicine for advancing a mass of radioactive material into the human body for taking gammagraphs or for irradiative treatment.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim to be new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. Apparatus for placing a source of radio active energy comprising, a ball enclosing a mass of radio active material and capable of emitting radio active rays, a coffin having a passage formed therethrough with at least two turns in the passage, a projection extending into said passage between said turns and supporting said ball Within said passage, a first hose detachably connected to the end of said passage on the opposite side of said projection from said ball, a pump, a valve connected to selectively connect said first hose to the intake and outlet of said pump, a second hose detachably connected to the other end of said passage, said second hose being of flexible plastic material and having a smooth interior mating with said passage and adapted to rollingly receive said ball, a second deformable rubber ball detachably mounted near the other end of said second hose with the hose passing through the center of the second ball, a pin extending through said second hose to stop said first ball in the center of said second ball, said second hose having apo'rt formed therethrough inwardly of the position of said first ball against said pin, an elongated longitudinally rigid transversely flexible member having length indicia thereon connected to said second ball, and plugs connected to said coflin and adapted to close the ends of said passages when said hoses are disconnected from the cofiin.

2. Apparatus for placing a'source of radio active energy comprising, a ball capable of emitting radio active rays,

a coflin having a passage formed therethrough with at least two turns in the passage, a projection extending into said passage between said turns and supporting said ball within said passage, a first hose detachably connected to the end of said passage on the opposite side of said projection from said ball, a pump, a valve connected to selectively connect said first hose to the intake and outlet of said pump, a second hose detachably connected to the other end of said passage, said second hose being of flexible material and having a smooth interior mating with said passage and adapted to rollingly receive said ball, a second ball detachably mounted near the other end of said second hose with the hose passing through the center of the second ball, a pin extending through said second hose to stop said first ball in the center of said second ball, an elongated longitudinally rigid transversely flexible member connected to said second ball, and plugs connected to said coflin and adapted to close the ends of said passages when said hoses are disconnected from the coflin.

3. Apparatus for placing a source of radio active energy comprising, a ball capable of emitting radio active rays, :1 cofiin having a passage formed therethrough, a projection extending into said passage and supporting said ball within said passage, a first hose detachably connected to the end of said passage on the opposite side of said projection from said ball, a pump, a valve connected to selectively connect said first hose to the intake and outlet of said pump, a second hose detachably connected to the other end of said passage, said second hose being of flexible plastic material and having a smooth interior mating with said passage and adapted to rollingly receive said ball, a deformable centering device detachably mounted near the other end of said second hose with the hose passing through the center of the device, 'a second projection extending into said second hose to stop said ball in the center of said device, and an elongated longitudinally rigid transversely flexible member connected to said device.

4. Apparatus for placing a source of radio active en- 0 ergy comprising, a ball capable of emitting radio active rays, a coflin having a passage formed therethrough, a projection extending into said passage and supporting said ball within said passage, a first hose detachably connected to the end of said passage on the opposite side of said projection from said ball, a pump, a valve connected to selectively connect said first hose to the intake and outlet of said pump, a second hose detachably connected to the other end of said passage, said second hosebeing of flexible material and having a smooth interior adapted to rollingly receive said ball, a centering device detachably mounted near the other end of said second hose with the hose passing through the center of the device and a second projection extending into said second hose to stop said ball near said device.

5. Apparatus for placing a source of radio active energy comprising, a ball capable of emitting radio active rays, a coffin having a passage formed therethrough with at least two turns in the passage, a projection extending into said passage between said turns and supporting said ball within said passage, a hose detachably connected to the end of said passage on the same side of said projection as said ball, said hose being of flexible material and having a smooth interior mating with said passage and adapted to rollingly receive said ball, a second ball detachably mounted near the other end of said hose with the hose passing through the center of the second ball, and a pin extending through said hose to stop said first ball in the center of said second ball, said passage and said hose being adapted to be subjected to reversely directed air pressures to move said first ball rapidly between said projection and said pin.

6. Apparatus for placing a source of radio active energy comprising, a ball capable of emitting radio active rays, a cofiin having a passage formed therethrough, a projection extending into said passage and supporting said ball within said passage, a hose connected to the end of said passage on the same side of said projection as said ball, said hose being of flexible material and having a smooth interior adapted to rollingly receive said ball, a centering device mounted near the other end of said hose with the hose passing through the center of the device, a second projection extending into said hose to stop said ball near said device, said passage and said hose being adapted to be subjected to reversely directed pressures to move said ball rapidly between said projections.

7. Apparatus for handling a ball of radio active material comprising, a cofiin having a passage formed therethrough to receive said ball, a projection extending into said passage and forming a seat for said ball within said coflin, a flexible tube connected to the outer end of said passage and adapted to receive and pass said ball, a stop in the outer end of said tube to stop said ball at a point of exposure, a vent formed in said tube inwardly of the point of exposure, a centering device mounted around said tube at the point of exposure therein, and means for selectively applying pressure and suction to the opposite end of said passage in said coffin from said tube.

8. Apparatus for handling a ball of radio active material comprising, a coffin having a passage formed there through to receive said ball, a projection extending into said passage and forming a seat for said ball Within said coflln, a flexible tube connected to the outer end of said passage and adapted to receive and pass said ball, a stop in the outer end of said tube to stop said ball at a point of exposure, and means for selectively applying pressure and suction to the opposite end of said passage in said coflin from said tube.

9. Apparatus for handling radio active material comprising, a coflin having a recess formed therein, a mass of radio-active material movably received in said recess, a seat for said mass Within said coffin, a tube connected to the outer end of said passage and adapted to receive and pass said mass, a stop in the outer end of said tube to stop said mass, and means for selectively applying pressure and suction to said tube to move said mass in said tube between said seat and said stop.

10. Apparatus for handling material capable of emitting radio active rays comprising a coffin having a passage formed therein, a solid mass of material capable of emitting radio-active rays movably received in said recesses, a seat for said mass within said coflin, a flexible tube connected to the end of said passage and adapted to receive and pass said mass, a stop in said tube spaced from said cofiin to stop said mass at a point of exposure, and means for selectively applying pressure and suction to said tube to move said mass in said tube between said seat and said stop.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,477,648 Piggot et al. Aug. 2, 1949 2,570,984 Reyenga Oct. 9, 1951 2,594,970 Monk Apr. 29, 1952 2,649,549 Green Aug. 18, 1953

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US2798164 *Apr 20, 1954Jul 2, 1957Samuel UntermyerPortable chi-ray or gamma source
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Classifications
U.S. Classification250/497.1, 976/DIG.353
International ClassificationG21F5/02, G21F5/00
Cooperative ClassificationG21F5/02
European ClassificationG21F5/02