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Publication numberUS3154890 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 3, 1964
Filing dateApr 13, 1961
Priority dateApr 13, 1961
Publication numberUS 3154890 A, US 3154890A, US-A-3154890, US3154890 A, US3154890A
InventorsLemelson Jerome H
Original AssigneeLemelson Jerome H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ultrasonic tool
US 3154890 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 3, 1964 J. H. LEMELSON ULTRASONIC TOOL Filed April 13, 1961 motor 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. ggrome H.Lemelson United States Patent 3,154,894 ULTRASONIC 'lt'ltidb .lerome H. Lernelson, 841 Gmfield Apts, Metuchen, NJ. Filed Apr. 13, 1961, Ser. No. 1%,751 21 (linims. (till, 51-59) This invention relates to ultrasonic apparatus and is a continuation-in-part of application, Serial No. 546,602 entitled Ultrasonic Apparatus and filed on November 14, 1955 now Patent No. 2,980,123.

It is known in the art to generate ultrasonic energy in a liquid for cleaning, eroding or otherwise afecting the surface of a workpiece by means of the resulting wave motion and the reaction of molecules of the liquid against said surface. The'most commonly employed method for cleaning articles utilizes a tank of liquid into which individual parts are lowered or otherwise positioned either partly or completely immersed therein. Generally one or more ultrasonic transducers are fixedly secured to the tank and are utilized to transmit ultrasonic energy to the liquid, the molecules of which are caused to oscillate against the surface of the article with great force. Using this system, the size of the article which may be cleaned is generally limited to the size or" the liquid tank which, unless a large number of ultrasonic transducers are employed, is of a low volumetric capacity. Another shortcoming experienced in using a tank-immersion ultrasonic apparatus results from the fact that if a fixed transducer is not employed, which limits the area which can be affected thereby, a movable transducer must be manipulated from the exterior of the tank which generally requires an automatically programmed manipulator of substantially high cost and complexity. Otherwise, the work must be prepositioned within the tank and the transducer manually manipulated by means of guides.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a new and improved ultrasonic apparatus for cleaning or otherwise affecting the surface of a workpiece without the need for immersing said work-piece in a body of water or other coupling liquid.

Another object is to provide an improved ultrasonic apparatus including means for cleaning or otherwise affecting the surface of a work-piece, which apparatus may be made light in weight so that it is easily manipulated and is portable.

Another object is to provide an ultrasonic tool for ultrasonically affecting a work-piece which tool is provided with a system for deliverin and retaining a coupling liquid against a predetermined sur ace of a work-piece for effecting an ultrasonic coupling between a transducer of the tool and said work-piece.

Another object is to provide an ultrasonic hand manipulated tool employing a liquid coupling between a transducer and a surface of a workpiece which coupling may be effected regardless of the angle of the tool to the horizontal without spillage of liquid over the work-piece.

Another object is to provide an improved ultrasonic tool which may be easily manipulated and positioned to direct ultrasonic energy at various angles to a work-piece through a coupling column of liquid established between said tool and said work-piece which tool includes a simplified control means in the form of a singular control switch having a dual mode of operation, one mode of which includes the simultaneous operation of the ultrasonic energy generating means or" the tool and the control of a servo means for causing a coupling liquid to establish a liquid column between the ultrasonic generating means and the work-piece and a further operation which inludes a simultaneous de-energizing of the ultrasonic generating means and the control of the flow of said coupling liquid to remove said liquid column.

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Yet another object is to provide an improved ultrasonic tool having a pistol grip for prepositioning said tool relative to a work-piece and having a single switching means for controlling a complete cycle of operation which is operated by a trigger accessible to the fore-finger of the hand when holding said pistol grip.

Another object is "to provide an improved hand operated and manually manipulated device for ultrasonically inspecting the walls of large work members by means of a liquid coupling without the need for immersing said members in a liquid body and without the need for manipulating or prepositioning said work members.

Another object is to provide an improved ultrasonic tool employing a liquid coupling between an ultrasonic transducer and a work member which tool contains its own liquid supply, pump and control means for rapidly establishing a liquid coupling column and thereafter removing the liquid coupling by simple switch actuation.

Another object is to provide an improved ultrasonic inspection tool which is light in weight and is portable and which may be easily employed in the field for inspecting vehicles or equipment While in operation or shut down without the need to move or prepare said equipment for said inspection.

Another object is to provide an improved, small compact ultrasonic inspection tool which is easily manually prepositioned relative to a workpiece and which contains its own visual indication means for indicating internal flaws and the like.

Another object is to provide an improved ultrasonic cleaning tool for removing dirt and rust from the surface of a workpiece without contaminating or flowing liquid over other areas of said workpiece. Yet another object is to provide an improved ultrasonic cleaning tool which operates at a relatively high energy level to cavitate, machine or otherwise remove material from a surface which tool provides means for selectively enclosing surface areas of a work member and is thereby safe in its operation by confining removed particles to the tool itself. Another object is to provide an ultrasonic tool with a transparent and removable cowling.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a partly cross-sectioned side view of part of an ultrasonic device shown in abutment with a workpiece,

FIG. 2 is an end view taken along plane 22 in crosssection of the device of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a side view in partial cross-section of a modified form of the invention,

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram showing an electrical control circuit for apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3,

FIG. 4' is a schematic diagram showing a modified electrical control circuit applicable to the circuit illustrated in FIG. 4-,

FIG. 5 is a partly cross-sectioned side view of a portable ultrasonic tool employing components and arrangements of parts illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3, and

FIG. 6 shows in partial cross-section another arrangement for a portable ultrasonic tool.

There is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 an ultrasonic apparatus 10 such as a tool or the like for cleaning, eroding, cavitating or otherwise affecting a limited area of the surface of a workpiece, a portion of which is illustrated in PEG. 1 and referred to by the notation W. The device Elli may be a hand held tool per se or part of a fixture or tool which is automatically positioned and controlled in its operation. The device comprises an elongated housing 12, the forward end 12' of which is necked down and defines the outer wall of an annular volume 14 surrounding an inner housing 16 which retains an ultrasonic transducer 11 at its forward end. The transducer 11 may be made of any suitable material such as barium titanate or the like which is capable of vibration in the required manner when excited by high frequency electrical energy applied on line 11W.

The housing 16 is secured to a plate or wall member 15 which is welded to or extend integrally from the wall defining the housing 12 and which divides the interior of housing 12 into two distinct volumes, 14 and 12v the volume rearward of 15. Radio frequency cable 11W extends through volume 12v from a source of radio frequency energy and connects to the transducer 11 after passing through 15.

The forward end 12' of housing 12 has an opening 13 therein which is aligned with the transducer 16:: for the passage of ultransonic vibrations therethrough when abutting the work-piece W as illustrated. A coupling liquid is admitted to the volume 14 through an inlet duct 18 which fills l4, permitting ultrasonic waves to be generated therein and transmitted to the surface of the workpiece W. A fluid exit or exhaust line 19 is also shown connected to an opening 19 in the wall 12 for removing coupling liquid from volume 14. If the ultrasonic vibrations are used to remove material from the surface of the work-piece W or cavitate the work itself, then said material may also be removed through the exit duct 19 and the action may be facilitated by the continuous circulation of liquid into and out of chamber 14, which preferably occurs in a manner to retain the volume 14 filled or substantially filled. Other modes of operation include the intermittent circulation of liquid into and out of the transducer chamber 14 either at regular intervals or at intervals and for periods selected by the operator, and the continuous or intermittent injection of liquid through the inlet duct 18 at a high velocity to facilitate the removal of material from the chamber and/ or surface of the workpiece against which 12' is abutted. The high velocity injection of liquid may be controlled to occur while the transducer 11 is operating and/or during periods while the radio frequency energy thereto is shut off depending on the particular surface cleaning or erosion functions.

A rubber ring 12s is secured to the end of 12'. The notation 20 refers to a filter or trap in line 19 for removal of materials carried out of the housing by liquid exhausted therethrough. Conventional valves and controls therefore may be provided for admitting liquid to and removing it from the transducer chamber 14 which may be operated to fill the chamber, effect fiow therethrough as described, and remove all or most of the liquid therefrom prior to removing the tool from abutment with the surface of the work so that spillage over said surface is avoided.

The inlet and exhaust control means or valves used for controlling the admission and removal of fluid from the volume 14- as well as the operation of pumps, motors, filtering servos and the like may, in one form of the invention, be under the control of an automatic control means such as a multi-circuit timer or other programming device or system such as a tape or card operated controller or computer which may also control means for positioning the tool relative to the work in sequence with the operation of the transducer and fluid controls. The nose 12 is preferably removable from the rest of the housing 12 by threads at the ends of both as at IZT. The interior surface 12'c of 12 is preferably hardened or coated with a material or plated to resist erosion due to cavitation.

FIG. 3 illustrates a modified form of the device of FIGS. 1 and 2 and also shows certain aspects of control for fluid admitted to the transducer volume. Whereas in FIGS. 1 and 2 means are provided for controlling the flow of a liquid into and through a chamber which is defined in part by a surface of a work-piece which fluid is exhausted at the rate it flows into the chamber, in FIG. 3 a single inlet 26 is provided to the chamber surrounding the transducer through which a fluid both enters and is removed or exhausted. The ultrasonic device in comprises an elongated housing 22 having a forward wall or nose 23 which is made of a deformable material such as rubber or plastic which defines an opening 24 in the end of the housing and which may sealingly engage the work member when the device is urged thereagainst and the forward end of 23 deforms. The use of a deformable washer 0r O-ring retained at the end of the housing of either of the embodiments illustrated may also suflice to seal the rim of the opening with the surface of the work so that fluid admitted to the transducer chamber will not leak out. When the tool abuts the surface of the work.

In FIG. 3, the transducer 11 is retained at the end of a housing 16' which is centrally supported by means of a partition 15 in housing 22. A fluid lter Z6 terminates a duct 25 extending from a pump 23 which is driven by a reversible motor 27. A manually operable triple throw center neutral switch 31 is used to connect a power supply 3% with either the forward or reverse drive controls 27F and 27R of the motor 27 for either pumping coupling liquid into the annular volume 14 surrounding the transducer or removing it therefrom. A further automatic control is provided in the form of a pressure actuated switch 29, the contacts of which are connectable in series with forward drive input 27F of the pump drive motor 25 through the switch 31. The probe-end 29, or actuatable portion of the switch 29, communicates with the chamber 14 and the switch is adjusted or adapted to become actuated or open when a predetermined pressure exists within said volume 14. A control is thus provided to stop the pump motor 27 which will assure that the volume surrounding the transducer is filled with coupling liquid. Depending on the characteristics of the pressure operated switch 2?, liquid admitted to volume 14 may be pressurized to a predetermined degree prior to operation of the transducer and may be retained at said pressure.

At the end of a cycle of operating on the surface of the work exposed to the ultrasonic vibrations, the operator of device 10 may reverse motor 27 and remove all liquid from said chamber 14 prior to removing the end of 27 from its sealing engagement with the work, by deflecting switch arm 31 in the proper direction.

In another form of the invention, part or all of the wall of housing 22 may be made of transparent material such as plastic or glass for viewing both the interior of said housing and the surface of the work. The deformahis nose 2.3 may be made of a transparent plastic such as a silicone or vinyl plastic.

In PEG. 3, the transducer MT is illustrated as being concave in shape for focusing ultrasonic energy through opening 24 and is secured to a mount 11a which is circumferentially threaded and removably secured to the threaded end 16'a of housing 16'.

It is noted that the devices of FIGS. 1 to 3 may be used either for mechanical action such as erosion, machining or cleaning the surface of the work exposed thereto or for inspection purposes depending on the characteristics of the transducer and related auxiliary equipment. The single transducer 1.1T may be replaced by a plurality of smaller transducers mounted at the end of 16' or in any suitable manner to direct ultrasonic energy through the opening 24 in the end of the housing. Furthermore, the transducing arrangement and associated electrical circuitry may be adapted for ultrasonic inspection of the work-piece by direct wave transmission through said workpiece or by means of the pulse-echo technique.

Although the ultrasonic apparatus of FIGS. 1 to 3 may be applied to automatic and semi-automatic machinery for performing inspection, machining or cleaning operations on work conveyed therepast, use of this apparatus in the structure of portable, hand positioned and operated tools is believed to offer particular advantages over immersion type of apparatus. Two ultrasonic tool embodiments are illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 which may employ all or part of the controls illustrated in FIG. 4 certain of which are also applicable to automatically operating will result in the withdrawal of said fluid and deenergization of the transducer.

In FIG. 4, a monostable, multi-pole switch 513, actuated when a spring loaded arm or trigger 51 is pulled by the forefinger, or otherwise depressed, results in closure of two pairs of contacts 50a, 50b and 50c, 59d. Closure of contacts 50:: and Silb gates power from a power supply 57 or battery to the forward drive input 53F of a pump motor 53 which operates pump 54 pumping liquid from reservoir 60 through line 55 into the interior of housing 12 in the volume surrounding the transducer 11. The fluid continues to enter said volume, where it is prevented from flowing out of the housing by abutment with the workpiece, until the contacts of pressure switch 29 close upon the increase of internal liquid pressure after said closedoif volume fills up. Closure of the contacts of switch 29 gates power from 57 to the switching input of a normally closed switch 59 which is opened thereby and disconnects stationary contact 5912 from input 53F thereby causing motor 53 to stop. Simultaneously, closure of contacts 500 and 50d also gates power from 57 to the switching input of a normally open monostable switch 55 closure of which thereby gates power from radio frequency generator 56 to the transducer 11.

When trigger arm 51 is released, the pivoting spring loaded arm St d' on which contact 513d is mounted, moves and over-rides a third switch arm 5% to bring its contact 592 against a stationary contact 59;, also connected to 57, which causes a pulse to be gated to the switching input of a time delay relay 52 the output of which is connected to the reverse input 53R of motor 53 and which is adapted thereafter to operate said pump motor in reverse for a period of time necessary to assure that all the liquid is removed from chamber 14 through exhaust line 55'. Notation 58 refers to a solenoid operated valve in line 55' which is a normally closed gate which opens when a signal is generated on the input to its solenoid 58'. The output of self resetting timer or controller 52 is also passed to the switching input of 58' causing the valve to open and permit the return of liquid withdrawn from the housing through the pump to the reservoir or tank 69. Provision of the closed valve 58 in the exhaust line 55' prevents outflow of liquid pumped .into the chamber through inlet line 55 during filling said chamber and permits the liquid to be pressurized to a predetermined degree. Power gated through pressure switch 29 when the contacts thereof close, may also be passed to the switching input to solenoid 58' is a manual switch 59 has been previously closed by the operator. By opening asecond switch 598 in the output of pressure switch 29 and the input to switch 59, if switch 59' has been opened, when switch 50 is closed liquid will enter chamber 14, fill said chamber and, upon closure of the contact of switch 29, said liquid will circulate through said chamber and be removed therefrom through line 55. Switches 59' and 598 thus provide a number of modes of operation one of which comprises the admission of a predetermined quantity of fluid and its retention in the chamber 14 when said contacts thereof will open shortly after valve 58 is opened by the closing of 29, then an intermittent circulation will be provided in the chamber. In order to prevent this action and provide a constant circulation of liquid through the chamber while 51 is depressed, solenoid 58' may also be a bi-stable solenoid which is first actuated to cause valve 58 to open when pulsed by a signal gated through switch 29 and is later actuated to close valve 53 when a signal is generated on its input as a result of closure of contacts She and SW. A third manuallyclosable switch 5t) is thus provided in a line extending between the line connected to contact 50 and the input to 58', assuming that 58 is a flip-flop solenoid having a single switching input in this instance.

In FIG. 5, details of an ultrasonic hand tool employing certain of the heretofore described and illustrated components are illustrated. The assembly ltla comprises an elongated housing 12, preferably cylindrical in shape, which has a pistol grip handle 12H secured near one end thereof. The forward end of 12 is provided as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, with a tapered nose 12', an ultrasonic transducer mounted in a sub-housing 16, and a deformable sealing ring 128 secured to the end of 12'. A flexible hose 26 is connected via a fitting to 12' for admitting and removing coupling liquid from chamber 14. Trigger arm 51 is pivotally supported in a recess in 121-1 and is operatively connected to switch 54 mounted within 121-1. The power line 11W extends from the transducer mounted in 16 through a cable 11W which also contains control lines extending from the switch operated by 51 which eX- tend to the components illustrated in PEG. 5. The reservoirof liquid, pump and motor are thus situated remote from tool 19a which may be made quite light in weight. Nose 12' is preferably threadably secured to housing 12 for replacement thereof when desired.

In FlG. 6, the tool of FIG. 5 has been modified whereby it contains a small reservoir as for said coupling liquid, pump 54 and pump motor 53 all mounted within the rear portion of the elongated housing. A second handle 12H is provided near the front end of said tool to permit two hands to be used in prepositioning and holding it. The reservoir 6 h is fillable through a capped spout the upper end 61 of which protrudes beyond the upper portion of the housing. Although a battery contained in the housing 12a of the tool 10b of PEG. 7 may be provided to operate all valves and servo motors power or a source of radio frequency energy for powering the ultrasonic transducer is preferably provided from an external source through a line or cable 11W" which is pluggable to a connector at the rear of the housing and from which a cable extends to the transducer in housing 16. The liquid provided in device ltlb is preferably recirculated or drawn back into the reservoir when trigger arm 51 is released by the operator so that the tool may be again used for inspection or cleaning a different area or workpiece without the need to refill said reservoir.

For certain types of inspection or erosion operations, it may he required to establish a liquid coupling with the work-piece, operate the ultrasonic transducer for a predetermined period of time after said liquid coupling is established, terminate the energization of the transducer and effect withdrawal of the liquid from the housing. FIG. 4' illustrates a control arrangement whereby a multicircuit, self recycling timer 62 is employed to effect said actions. Closure of a single contact pair switch 50' is effected by depressing or pulling trigger arm 51 which gates a signal from a power supply 57' to the energizing input of a multi-circuit timer 6?; which thereafter operates to (a) gate power from source 57 to the forward drive control 53F of motor 53 which is retained in such an energized state until suificient time has passed to permit the pumping of sufficient liquid into the chamber 14 to h 1 said chamber, (b) gate a signal to the switching input of switch 55 to energize the transducer 11 for a predetermined period of time to effect the desired ultrasonic action, (c) thereafter gate power to the reverse control input 53R of said pump motor for sufficient time to effect removal of the liquid from the housing interior 14. The latter action commenses after the timer 62 has ceased energizing the switching input to gate 55 so that liquid is removed from the housing only after deenergization of the transducer 11. Timer 62 may also be used to sequentially control other devices such as one or more of the valves illustrated in PlG. 4 for the intended purposes, servos for prepositioning in the housing 12 and/ or the workpiece relative thereto, servos for the injection of a high velocity stream or of particles into said stream, etc.

In still another form of the invention, liquid flow and transducer energization control may be efiected by separate or discrete movements of the trigger or by the actuation of multiple switches. The following modes of control are proposed:

(a) First depression and release of trigger actuator 51 results in the admission of the correct quantity of coupling liquid to the work enclosed volume 14. Second depression and release of trigger actuator 51 results in removal of substantially all the liquid admitted to the volume 14. Operation of the ultrasonic tranducer occurs either automatically when actuator is first depressed or a delay period thereafter such that the volume 14 is totally filled with coupling liquid or by the actuation of a second switch. In this arrangement, the actuator 51 closes normally-open contacts which energizes a time delay relay which energizes the liquid pump motor for a period necessary to edect filling of the volume 14 after which the relay decnergizes and opens the circuit between the motor and the power supply gated therethrough to operate said motor. By passing the energizing output of the delay relay through a flip-flop switch which is either mechanically or electrically switched to provide its output on one of two circuits by the operation of the actuator 51, said output may be passed to either the forward drive input of the pump motor or the reverse drive input thereof. Thus the first time the actuator or trigger arm 51 is depressed, the output of the time delay relay is generated and passed to the forward drive input of the pump motor and operates said motor for a period necessary to effect filling of chamber 14 with said liquid and the next time said arm is actuated, the output of the relay is passed to the reverse drive input of said motor for an interval necessary to effect removal of all the liquid from said chamber.

(b) First depression of actuation or trigger arm Sl results in the admission of the correct or predetermined quantity of coupling liquid to the transducer chamber 14. Closure of a second switch, such as a push-button, mono-1 stable switch results in energization of the transducer as described. Second depression of arm 51 results in removal of liquid from the housing. As in (a), control is effected by means of a timer or delay relay (slow-to-open switch) gating power through a trigger operated electromechanical fiip-fiop also actuated by said arm 51, to either the forward or reverse drive control of the pump motor depending on condition of flip-flop switch. Said second switch may be push-button switch accessible to thumb or pivoting trigger situated below the trigger arm for controlling the pump.

In either of the devices of FIGS. 6 and 7, if employed for ultrasonic inspection of a workpiece by the pulseecho technique, a visual indicating means such as a cathode ray oscilloscope may be operatively connected to the ultrasonic transducer in the chamber 14 of the gun or housing and remotely situated on a stand or may be situated on the tool for viewing by the operator as the tool abuts the workpiece and scanning occurs. In FIG. the viewing face of the oscilloscope may be situated at the rear end of the housing at 120 at which location it is easily viewed by the operator whose face is directly behind the tool as he holds it against the surface to be inspected. In the embodiment illustrated in 1 16. 7, a housing 12d is secured to the top of the elongated housing 12 with the oscilloscope of viewing screen facing rearward as at 12d which may be viewed from above and to the rear of the tool by the operator as he depresses the trigger 51.

'I claim: t

1. An ultrasonic apparatus comprising a housing with an aperture applicable to a workpiece positioned generally adjacent the aperture, means for efiecting a fluid seal between the wall of the housing circumscribing the aperture and said workpiece to seal off the aperture, an ultrasonic vibration means supported within the housing and disposed in spaced relation to the aperature for directing energy generated thereby at the surface of said workpiece, means for coupling energy to the ultrasonic vibration means, a duct communicating with the interior of the housing, a source of coupling liquid including a liquid pressurizing means operatively connectable to said duct, a control means operative for regulating the flow of liquid through said duct into said housing for establishing a liquid column in contact with the ultrasonic vibration means and the surface of said workpiece and for removing said liquid from said housing, permitting removal of the housing from the work without flowing liquid over the workpiece.

2. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1, said control means being operative to deliver a predetermined quantity of liquid to said housing and being operable for removing said liquid from said housing prior to removing said aperture from said workpiece so as to prevent the loss of liquid from said housing.

3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1, including a servo operated means for admitting and removing liquid from said housing, said control means including a pressure operated switch secured on the insideof said housing to be actuated by liquid within said housing at a predetermined pressure, said pressure switch adapted when actuated to control said servo to stop the admittance of liquid to said housing when a predetermined quantity of said liquid at a predetermined pressure has been admitted thereto.

4. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1, said ultrasonic vibration means being operable to effect the removal of material from the surface of said workpiece, a second duct communicating with the interior of said housing, said control means being also operative to effect the circulation of said liquid through sad housing during the operation of said ultrasonic vibration means in a manner whereby a liquid coupling is retained between said ultrasonic vibration means and the surface of said workpiece, the flow of said liquid being suflicient to convey said removed material through said second duct and out of said housing.

5. Apparatus in accordance with claim 4, including means for separating from said liquid said material removed from the surface of said workpiece and for recirculating said liquid through said housing, and means for removing a portion of said housing including said aperture from the rest of the housing, the surface of the interior of the removable portion being hardened to resist wear.

6. Apparatus in accordance Wtih claim 5, said control means being operative by a single multi pole, bi-directional manually operable switch the actuator of which when thrown in one direction is operative to cause said liquid to be delivered to said housing to establish said coupling column of liquid and to thereafter circulate said liquid through said housing and when thrown in the other direction, to terminate said circulation and effect removal of said liquid from said housing to permit the removal of said housing from said workpiece without spillage of said liquid therefrom.

7. An ultrasonic apparatus comprising a housing with an aperture applicable to a workpiece positioned generally adjacent tthe aperture, means for effecting a fluid seal between the wall of the housing circumscribing the aperture and said workpiece to seal off the aperture, an ultrasonic vibration means supported within the housing and disposed in spaced relation to the aperture for directing energy generated thereby at the surface of said workpiece, means for coupling energy to the ultrasonic vibration means, a duct communicating with the interior of the housing, a source of coupling liquid including a pump having its output connected to said duct, a motor for driving said pump, a control means for said pump for regulating the flow of liquid through said duct into said housing by controlling said motor for establishing a liquid column in contact with the ultrasonic vibration means and the surface of said workpiece, said motor capable of forward and reverse drive for operating said pump to admit said liquid to said chamber when pumping liquid in one direction and to remove liquid from said chamber when said motor is reversed, a control means for said forward and reverse drives.

8. Apparatus in accordance with claim 7, saidcontrol means being operative upon the first closure of a switch to operate said motor for a period of time to admit a predetermined quantity of said liquid to said housing for establishing said liquid column and upon the second closure of said switch to operate said motor in reverse for a period of time to efl ect removal of a predetermined quantity of said liquid therefrom.

9. An ultrasonic apparatus comprising a housing with an aperture applicable to a workpiece positioned generally adjacent the aperture, means for effecting a fluid seal between the wall of the housing circumscribing the aperture and said workpiece to seal off the aperture, an ultrasonic vibration means supported within the housing and disposed in spaced relation to the aperture for directing energy generated thereby at the surface of said workpiece, means for coupling energy to the ultrasonic vibration means, a duct communicating with the interior of the housing, a source of coupling liquid including a pump having its output connected to said duct, a motor for driving said pump, a control means for said pump operative for regulating the flow of liquid through said duct into said housing by controlling said motor for establishing a liquid column in contact with the ultrasonic vibration means and the surface of said workpiece, said pump and said motor mounted in a portion of said housing which is separated from said ultrasonic vibration means by a wall traverse to the main wall of said housing, said ultrasonic vibration means being secured in a sub-housing supported by said traverse wall and positioned thereby directly behind said aperture.

10. An ultrasonic hand tool comprising in combination with an elongated housing a chamber at one end of said housing having an ultrasonic vibration means projecting into said chamber, the forward wall of said chamber having an aperture therein applicable to a workpiece by abutment of the end of said housing therewith, means for effecting a fluid seal between the wall of the housing circumscribing the aperture and said workpiece to seal off the chamber, means for coupling energy to the ultrasonic vibration means, a pistol-grip handle projecting laterally from said housing, a pivoting monostable trigger arm forward of said grip manipulatable by the forefinger of the hand holding said grip, an electric switch operatively connected to said trigger, a liquid reservoir, a pump operatively connected for pumping liquid from said reservoir to said chamber and operative for removing liquid from said chamber, a motor for operating said pump, a power supply for said motor connectable thereto through said switch, said switch being operative when said trigger is depressed to control said motor for operating said pump to admit liquid to said chamber and when said trigger arm is released to remove liquid from said chamber.

11. An ultrasonic apparatus in accordance with claim 10, in which said switch is also operative to effect the energizing of said ultrasonic vibration means when said trigger arm is depressed and to deenergize said ultrasonic vibration means when said trigger is released.

12. An ultrasonic apparatus in accordance with claim 11, the rear portion of said elongated housing being 10 separated from said chamber and containing secured thereto, said pump and said liquid reservoir.

13. A manually operative ultrasonic inspection tool comprising in combination with an elongated housing, an aperture at one end of said housing, a deformable sealing ring secured to one end of said housing and circumscribing said aperture, which when compressed against the surface of a workpiece may be used to effect a fluid seal between said workpiece and the interior of said housing, an ultrasonic transducer, means for supporting said transducer within said housing behind said aperture, a pistol grip extending from said housing for supporting said housing by hand and prepositioning the apertured end thereof relative to a workpiece, a supply of coupling liquid, a duct communicating with said coupling liquid supply and the interior of said housing surrounding said transducer, a pump for pressurizing said liquid and causing it to flow into the interior of said housing, means for power operating said pump including means for reversing the flow of liquid in said duct for removing liquid from said housing, means for selectively controlling said pump for controlling the flow of liquid into said housing to establish a liquid coupling column between said transducer and the surface of said workpiece abutting the end of said housing, said transducer including means for receiving signals reflected from the interior of the material of said workpiece, an electrical receiving means connected to said transducer including an image screen for displaying variations in the reflected signal as flaw indications, said image screen being secured to said elongated housing in a position whereby it is easily viewable by the operator of said tool during the energizing of said ultrasonic transducer.

14. An ultrasonic apparatus comprising in combination:

(a) a housing having an aperture applicable to a workpiece,

(b) an ultrasonic vibration means within said housing and disposed facing said aperture,

(0) said ultrasonic vibration means being adapted, when energized, to transmit substantially all of the ultrasonic energy generated thereby through said aperture and toward said workpiece,

(d) a rim means associated with said aperture which is adapted to be abutted against the workpiece,

(12) means for admitting liquid to the volume defined within said housing and the abutted surface of said workpiece so as to establish a liquid column in contact with both the said ultrasonic vibration means and said workpiece,

(7) said rim means serving to restrict the flow of liquid outwardly from said housing,

(g) means for coupling energy to the ultrasonic vibration means and (It) means for circulating said liquid within said housing while generating and passing ultrasonic energy through said aperture to the surface of said workpiece.

15. Apparatus in accordance with claim 14 in which said ultrasonic vibration means is operative to transmit and receive ultrasonic energy of low intensity for ultrasonic inspection.

16. Apparatus in accordance with claim 14 in which said ultrasonic vibration means is operative to generate energy within said liquid of sufficient intensity to affect removal of loose matter from the surface of said workpiece, and said liquid is circulated at suflicient intensity to transport matter removed from said workpiece away from the surface thereof.

17. An ultrasonic apparatus comprising in combination:

(a) a housing having an aperture applicable to a workpiece,

(b) an electrically energized ultrasonic vibration means within said housing and disposed facing said aperture,

(0) said ultrasonic vibration means being adapted, when energized, to transmit substantially all of the ll ultrasonic energy generated thereby through said aperture and towards said workpiece,

(d) a pistol-type gripping means secured to said housing for manually holding said housing against said workpiece,

(e) a source of high frequency electrical energy for energizing said ultrasonic vibration means,

(f) a finger operated actuator pivotally mounted on said gripping means to be depressed by the forefinger of the hand holding said pistol-type gripping means for said housing,

(g) means including said actuator for admitting liquid to the volume defined within said housing and the abutted surface of said workpiece so as to establish a liquid column in contact with both said ultrasonic vibration means and said workpiece, and

(h) a rim means associated with said aperture which is adapted to be abutted against the workpiece,

(i) said rim means serving to restrict the flow of liquid outwardly from said housing, and

(j) means for coupling energy to said ultrasonic vibration means upon establishing said liquid column.

18. An apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said rim means serves to restrict the flow of liquid outwardly from said housing to substantially retain a column of liquid between said ultrasonic vibration means and the surface of said workpiece after release of said actuator whereby ultrasonic energy generated by said vibration means in said liquid will travel uninterrupted to said workpiece.

19. A surface irradiation apparatus comprising in combination:

(a) a housing having an aperture applicable to a workpiece,

(b) an electrically energized transducer within said housing disposed facing said aperture,

(c) said transducer being adapted, when energized, to generate radiant energy and to transmit substantially all of the energy generated thereby through said aperture and toward said workpiece,

(d) a rim means associated with said aperture which is adapted to be abutted against the workpiece,

(2) means for admitting a coupling liquid to the vol ume defined within said housing to completely fill the volume defined by said housing and the abutted surface of said workpiece so as to establish a liquid column in contact with both the said transducer and said workpiece,

(3) said rim means serving to restrict the flow of liquid outwardly from said housing,

(g) means for coupling energy to energize said transducer for generating radiant energy within said liquid column,

(/1) means for directing substantially all of the said generated radiant energy through said fluid column and through said aperture to intersect said workpiece, and

(i) means for controlling the pressure of said fluid within said housing to be substantially constant during the generation of said radiant energy;

20. An ultrasonic apparatus comprising a housing having an aperture applicable to a workpiece, means for effecting a closure and a fiuid seal across said aperture by abutting the rim of said aperture with the Wall of said workpiece, means for filling an enclosed interior volume of said housing defined in part by said aperture closure with a coupling liquid whereby said liquid is in contact with that portion of the surface of said workpiece adjacent said aperture, an ultrasonic transducer, means for coupling ultrasonic energy to said transducer for ultrasonically activating said liquid to transmit ultra sonic energy to said workpiece sufiicient to erode the surface of said workpiece and remove material therefrom, means for moving said transducer within said housing from a retracted position to a position to engage the surface of said workpiece, and means for circulating said liquid in said housing in a manner to remove material from the area of said workpiece as it is removed from said workpiece surface.

21. Apparatus in accordance with claim 20, said circulating liquid containing abrasive particles which are ultrasonically caused to erode the surface of said Work piece by the direct action of said transducer and by waves generated in said liquid by said transducer.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,990,053 2/ 35 Steinhart et al 51170 2,411,584 11/46 Miller et al 51-170 2,656,926 12/53 Garaycochea 210533 2,693,280 11/54 Bramel 210533 2,723,498 11/55 Hastrup et al 51-11 X FOREIGN PATENTS 978,270 1'1/50 France.

LESTER M. SWINGLE, Primary Examiner.

JOHN C. CHRlSTiE, FRANK E. BAILEY, I. SPENCER OVERHOLSER, Examiners.

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification451/165, 366/108, 366/182.2, 134/1, 15/321, 451/344, 366/159.1
International ClassificationB24B1/04
Cooperative ClassificationB24B1/04
European ClassificationB24B1/04