US 3358935 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 19, 1967 J. B. ANDERSEN 3,358,935
APPARATUS FOR REMOVING CAKED MATERIAL FROM A CONTAINER Filed June 3, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 o o -"6' 0,: o o 0 0 i Z INVENTOR. Ja/l/ 5. A/VQEQSf/V Dec. 19, 1967 'J. B) ANDIYERSEN 3,358,935
APPARATUS FOR REMOVING CAKED MATERIAL FROM A CONTAINER Filed June 5, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet a IW'HII in Q I Q I Q M 5 I Q o INVENTOR.
wcam a United States Patent Delaware Filed June 3, 1965, Ser. No. 461,013 2 Claims. (Cl. 239-589) This invention relates to a tool for removing caked material from a container, and more particularly to an apparatus for removing solid propellant fuel from the cylinders of rocket engines.
Solid rocket fuels are compounded in liquid form and poured into rocket engine cylinders. In some cases imperfections in the mass of propellant preclude the use of the loaded cylinder. In addition, the burning characteristics of the solid propellant fuel vary with age, consequently some that are overage must be discarded. The cylinders are relatively expensive, so their reclamation by removal of imperfect propellant is desirable, allowing them to be refilled with new fuel. Heretofore, available equipment for removing the solid propellant from cylinders has not been completely satisfactory because of hazards resulting from the flammable and explosive nature of the material and inadequacy of the equipment. Furthermore, previously available tools have lacked versatility for efiiciently cleaning cylinders of widely varying diameters and those with relatively small access openings.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for removing solid fuel or the like from containers such as rocket cylinders, safely and efliciently. In my preferred construction shown herein, the apparatus uses arms adjustable to varying positions for easy access, and various angular relations providing most effective jetting action by proper combination of nozzle orifice size, distance and impingement angle.
In accomplishing the present invention, a fluid jet is employed to erode and cut the propellant material and flush it from the cylinder, an objective being to provide means for positioning the jet at the optimum distance from the solid material for most effective removal of the latter.
Another object of the invention is to provide a tool for eroding and cutting solid material from rocket engine cylinders which can be advanced and retracted for ingress and egress and progressive erosion, and rotated for jetting the full circumference of the internal cylinder surfaces.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a solid propellant removing apparatus with retractible and extendable nozzle-supporting arms to provide easy access through restricted cylinder openings and convenient adjustment for various cylinder diameters and shapes.
A further object of this invention is to provide an apparatus for removal of solid fuel by fluid action from cylinders, with provision for adjustably varying the angle of impingement of the fluid-jetting nozzles, and for changing nozzles to vary the orifice size for most effective erosive action, and for plugging nozzle outlets to concentrate the flow through the remaining nozzles of the spray head.
Another object of this invention is to provide a solid propellant removing tool with a plurality of spray heads adjustably pivoted to a manifold, and supplied with fluid under pressure through flexible hoses connected to said manifold.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention are realized in a tool for removing caked material from a container. This tool includes a body, an arm pivoted to that body with means for positioning or locking the arm in 3,358,935 Patented Dec. 19, 1967 ice a selected angle with the axis of the body, a spray head containing nozzles attached to the outer end of the arm and pivotally adjustable to a selected angular position, and means for supplying fluid under pressure to the nozzles. In a preferred embodiment, the tool of the invention has two arms pivoted to the body with a spray head attached to each arm.
The invention will be described with greater particularity in the following detailed description taken with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of one form of apparatus in accordance with the invention showing the arms in a retracted or closed position desirable for initial entry into a container for solid fuel and the like;
FIG. 2 is also a plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 showing the arms in extended positions;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 taken on the line 33 of FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows, and being on an enlarged scale;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view through the body manifold taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3 looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a spray head taken along the line 55 of FIG. 3 looking in the direction of the arrows.
Like reference characters in the several figures of the drawings and in the following description designate corresponding parts.
Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 there is shown an apparatus according to the present invention whfch comprises a spindle or body 10, connected by a pipe union 22 to a pipe 24, through which enters the jetting fluid under pressure from a fluid source (not shown) and to which is attached a power source (not shown) for driving the tool either rotationally or longitudinally, or both.
To the body 10 are attached radially oriented fins 20, having a series of spaced fin holes 28. The brace 14 is pivotally connected to the arm 12 by means of bolt 30 and nut 31, the opposite end of the brace 14 being attached to one of the holes 28 in the fin 20 by means of a quick-locking pin 26 held in place by its ball detent 27. The inner end of arm 12 is pivotally attached to lug 13 of body manifold 11 by means of bolt 32 and nut 33. The outer end of arm 12 is pivotally attached to spray head 16 by means of bolt 34 and nut 35. Fluid under p essure is conducted from the body 10 to the spray head 16 through the hose 2?, which is connected to manifold 11 through fitting 36 and to spray head 16 through fitting 37. The jetted fluid is directed against the sold fuel 23 to cut and erode it.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, provision is made for varying the angle of the arm 12 and thereby the distance of the spray head 16 from the axis of the body 10 by pivoting the arm 12 about an arc generated by rotating it about its pivot center, bolt 32. By locking the brace 14 into a forward hole 28 of the fin 20, a large angle, up to or more, between the axis of the body 19 and the arm 12, is obtained. Conversely, connecting the brace 14 to a hole 28 farther back on the fin 20, as in FIG. 2, results in a smaller angle, approaching 0, between the axis of the body 10 and the arm 12.
Referring to FIG. 5, provision is made for adjusting the angle of the spray head 16 with respect to the arm 12 by rotating it about the pivot bolt 34 and locking it in the desired position by inserting a quick-lock pin 38 through the arm 12 and a selected hole 40 of the spray head 16. The pin 38 is prevented from accidentally coming out by the resistance of its ball detent 39. To obtain the desired jetting action, nozzles 18 of the desired orifice diameters are inserted in the nozzle collars 17, the seals preventing leakage from the spray head 16 around the necks of the collars 17. When desired not to use a particular outlet, a plug 19 is used in place of a collar 17.
Referring again to FIG. 1, the tool is shown adjusted to its smallest size, as for entry through a limited size opening in the end of a container. This configuration also brings the arms 12 and the spray heads 16 close in and parallel to the axis of the tool as for an initial boring operation. With nozzles 18 having small orifices and relatively high pressures (for example, 5000 psi. or more), the axial or forward fluid jets 41 give fast penetration to form an initial small cylindrical hole 43, while the angular jets 42 follow behind the jets 41 to form an enlargement of the cylindrical hole, as in 44.
Referring now to FIG. 2, the tool is adjusted to enlarge the cylindrical cut 44. Adjustment is made to impinge jet 45 at an angle to provide an advancing conical cut 46 as the tool is rotated and translated, while jet 47 jets at an impingement angle approximately normal to the conical cut 46, the intersection of the two angular cuts 46 and 48 thus cutting off and freeing the intermediate material 49, allowing it to be ejected with the efflux. While this is being accomplished, jet 50 follows in a conical path on a wider arc to complete the erosive cutting out to the inner surface of the cylinder 21. This may require a large orifice in the nozzle 18 and a reduced pressure in order to avoid any possible erosion or damage to the cylinder wall 25. This may also be controlled by selection of the proper impingement angle.
By the use of the optimum nozzle orifice sizes, multiple cutting head angles, a cutting pattern with intersecting cuts for breaking up the solid fuel as the tool is rotated and translated, the material is thus loosened and reduced to particles and pieces which are ejected with the outflow of spent fluid. The fluid is generally water or rust-inhibited Water, but may also include chemicals which will provide corrosive action in addition to erosion; or gases, such as steam, may be used to effect the loosening of the material from the container. The fluid, its composition, temperature, jet size, location, pressure and impingement angles, may be varied, depending on the material to be removed and container size, shape, and composition. Also adjusted to the inherent conditions of a particular cleaning operation are the traveling speeds, both rotational and longitudinal, of the tool. This, together with the number of nozzles and the angles of intersection of intersecting conical, cylindrical, or planar cuts, determines the shape and size of loosened particle and pieces. Depth of cut is determined primarily by nozzle orifice size, proximity of material to be cut, and pressure.
While it is believed the operation of the apparatus would be apparent to one skilled in the art from the foregoing description, a brief review is presented. In operation, the tool may be mounted on a carriage (not shown) with which it may be moved into and out of the cylinder 21 and rotated, and the body 10 connected through the union 22 and the pipe 24 to a fluid pressure source (not shown). A carriage which may be used for this purpose is shown and described in the copending application of Lyle B. Scott, Ser. No. 209,997, filed July 16, 1962, for Method of and Apparatus for Removing Solid Propellant, assigned by mesne assignments to the assignee of the present application. In the tool of the present invention, the arms 12 are retracted to a closed or parallel position as in FIG. 1, the apparatus advanced through the access opening of the cylinder, and the fluid pressure valve (not shown) opened to provide the eroding jets 41 and 42 for the initial cuts 43 and 44 through the solid fuel 23, the tool being advanced and rotated through the cylinder 21 as the erosion progresses. The pressure valve is then turned off, the tool retracted far enough to adjust the arms 12 for larger diameter cuts as in FIG. 2. The jets 45 and 47 of the spray heads 16 are directed to produce intersecting cuts 46 and 48, while the jet 50 is adjusted to the proper impingement angle against the inside surface 25 of the cylinder 21 for a scouring or surface cleaning action. The cycle is then repeated, advancing and rotating the tool while jetting, the eroded material being effluxed with the spent fluid. The valve i closed and the tool is again retracted to the starting position, and the cycle repeated until the caked material is all removed.
While one form of the tool has ben shown by illustration, it should be understood that various modifications will occur to one skiled in the art. For example, the hoses 29 to the spray heads 16 could be connected to the pump or pressure source (not shown) through a suitable swivel (not shown), rather than through the body manifold 11 and body 10 as shown and described. Various embodiments of the present invention in addition to what has been illustrated and described, may be employed without departing from the scope of the accompanying claims.
1. A tool for removing caked material from a container comprising:
(a) a body having an axis;
(b) first arms pivoted to said body;
(c) means for locking said first arms to said body comprising second arms attached to said first arms and to said body to provide locking of said first arms in selected angular positions with respect to said axis;
(d) spray heads pivoted to said first arms, each of said spray heads having nozzles;
(e) means for changing nozzles for varying orifice sizes;
(f) means for locking said spray heads to said first arms in selected angular positions with respect thereto; and
(g) means for supplying fluid under pressure to said nozzles.
2. A tool for removing caked material from a container comprising:
(a) a body having an axis and peripheral fins;
(b) a manifold attached to said body, said manifold having radial lugs and threaded fittings;
(c) arms pivoted to said manifold lugs;
(d) braces pivoted to said arms;
(e) means for locking said braces to said body fins to hold said arms in selected angular positions with respect to said body axis;
(f) spray heads pivoted to said arms, each of said spray heads having nozzles;
(g) means for changing nozzles for varying orifice sizes;
(h) means for locking said spray heads to said arms in selected angular positions thereto;
(i) hoses connecting said threaded manifold fittings to said spray heads;
(j) said body, said manifold, said hoses, and said spray heads providing fluid conduit means therethrough for supplying fluid under pressure to said nozzles from said body; and
(k) means for supplying fluid under pressure to the fluid conduit means in said body.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 636,598 11/1899 Weston et al. 239-556 2,245,554 6/1941 Court.
FOREIGN PATENTS 62,686 9/1944 Denmark. 1,358,860 3/1964 France.
CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Primary Examiner.
ROBERT L. BLEUTGE, Assistant Examiner.