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Publication numberUS3628670 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 21, 1971
Filing dateOct 12, 1970
Priority dateOct 12, 1970
Publication numberUS 3628670 A, US 3628670A, US-A-3628670, US3628670 A, US3628670A
InventorsRay O Mcguire, Joseph C Peeper
Original AssigneeRay O Mcguire, Joseph C Peeper
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Oil-tank-cleaning apparatus
US 3628670 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventors Ray 0. McGuire 1912 North ll St.; Joseph C. Peeper, R. R. 3, both of Elwood, Ind. 46036 Appl. No. 79,852

Filed Oct. l2, I970 Patented Dec. 21, I971 OIL-TANK-CLEANING APPARATUS 5 Claims, 3 Druvlng Figs.

U.S. Cl 210/528, 2 l0/DIG. 9

Int. Cl now 21/06 Field of Search 210/298, 528, DIG. 9

[56] Relerences Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l,9l2,595 6/l933 Schlenz 210/528 X 2,503,816 4/1950 Giallanza..... 210/528 X 2,552,452 5/l95l Phillips 210/528 X Primary Examiner-J. L. DeCesare Attorney-Woodard, Weikart. Emhardt & Naughton ABSTRACT: A cleaning apparatus for in oil tank. A rod is rotatably mounted to the floor of the tank and to a frame attached to the tank sidewalls. An arm having a sphere at one end contacting the sidewall of the tank is attached to the rod and receives sediment for filtering. An outlet pipe is connected to the tank via this hole and receives the sediment. A motor drives the rod with suitable gearing.

PATENTEI] BECZI an SHEET 2 BF 2 3 Z7 I2 f M! 26 20 24 H 3 1a 13 25 t /1 6 Z] I 3 22 23 Fig. 5

3! 24 f L Q Q i V 1 L, INVENTORS 31 I 3 Ray QMcGu/re i?) Joseph C. Pee oer 25 y A (fa/ways BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l Field of the Invention This invention is in the field of cleaning devices, and more specifically, cleaning devices for oil tanks.

2. Description of the Prior Art Large tanks are utilized to store large quantities of oil. Many of the tanks have roofs movable as the volume of oil within the tank changes. Thus, the airgap between the roof and the oil may be controlled by adjusting the roof with respect to the oil.

The following US. patents disclose tank cleaning devices: US. Pat. Nos. l,625,72l issued to Hann; 2,552,452 issued to Phillips; and 3,140,996 issued to Scott. Generally, the prior art devices have rakes periodically sweeping the bottom of the oil tank. For example, the Scott device has a rotatable rake which also oscillates at a rate of 800 to 1,000 cycles per minute. The Phillips and l-Iann devices are manually operated whenever it is desired to clean the tank. The costs and delays in shutting down an oil tank for cleaning purposes are very undesirable. Thus, there is a need for a tank cleaning apparatus which will continuously and automatically clean the tank without interfering with regular tank operations. The device should prevent sediment buildup, thus alleviating the necessity for scraping the hardened sediment with a rake. Many of the prior art devices attach to the roof of the oil tank and thus are not usable with oil tanks having movable roofs. The present cleaning device is attached to the side walls of the oil tank thereby allowing the roof to be moved in accordance with the volume of the oil contained within the tank. The rakes or arms of the prior art cleaning devices sometimes bend or warp as a result of force exerted on the arm by the oil sludge. The cleaning device of the present invention has a strong structure to prevent bending of the cleaning arm. The sediment is forced out through a pipe and a strainer is provided to catch large ob jects accidentally dropped into die tank.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is a cleaning apparatus for an oil tank having a movable roof. A spiderlike frame is fixedly attached to the tank sidewalls. A vertically erect rod is rotatably mounted to the frame and to the bottom wall of the oil tank. A concave arm is fixedly attached to the rod and has a sphere mounted on one end for engaging the side of the oil tank. A guy wire is attached between the two ends of the arm. The sediment swept by the ann falls into a hole in the bottom of the oil tank. An outlet pipe and strainer communicate with the tank through the hole in the bottom wall. A motor and suitable gearing rotate the rod.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an oil tank cleaning apparatus which will continuously and automatically clean the tank bottom without interfering with normal tank operations.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an oil-tank-cleaning apparatus which will prevent sediment buildup on the bottom of the tank, thus alleviating the necessity to scrape the hardened sediment which is normally deposited on the tank bottom.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a cleaning device for an oil tank having a movable roof which is sufficiently strong so as to not bend or warp with use.

Related objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a fragmentary perspective view of an oil tank incorporating the present invention FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the device of FIG. 1 taken along the line 2-2 and viewed in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the gearing shown in FIG. 2 taken along the line 33 and viewed in the direction of the arrows. FIG. 3 has been rotated 90.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiment illustrated in the drawing and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended, such alteration and further modifications in the illustrated device, and such further applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated therein being contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates.

Various waste products and sediments typically accumulate in the bottom of oil storage tanks. This situation can be costly in many ways. For example, the daily maintenance and disposition of the matter accumulating on the bottom of the tank require considerable time and expense. Chemicals have been developed to dissolve the matter accumulating the bottom of the tank, and mixers or agitators have been provided to force the dissolved matter through the outlet pipe. Nevertheless, various sediments still accumulate on the bottoms of many oil tanks currently in use. My apparatus prevents any sediment from building up on the bottom of the tank by continuous and automatic sweeping action of an arm.

FIG. I is a perspective view of an oil tank 10 having a movable roof 12 positioned and enclosed by sidewall 11. Movable roof 12 is adjustable in the vertical direction so as to control the volume of tank 10. The cleaning apparatus is positioned at the bottom of the tank so as to not interfere with the vertical movement of roof I2. Tank 10 is broken away in FIG. I to more clearly illustrate the cleaning apparatus. The controls and mechanism for adjustment of roof 12 are well known and therefore this specification will not elaborate thereon.

Bridge structure or frame 18 is fixedly attached to tank wall 11 approximately 4 feet above the bottom tank wall 16. Frame 18 is spiderlike having members 19, 20, 21 and 22 integrally attached to hub 24. FIG. 2 is a sectional view of frame it! taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. I and viewed in the direction of the arrows. Each member has an end 23 abutting against sidewall ll. Ends 23 are fixedly attached to tank wall I] by welding or other suitable fastening means. The configuration of frame 18 may be varied to fit the exact inside diameter of each tank to be provided with the cleaning apparatus of the present invention. Frame 18 serves two main purposes. First, the frame provides a bottom limit for the vertical moving roof 12. Many of the movable roofs employed in oil tanks float on top of the oil like a pontoon. Thus, in the event that the oil level is lower in elevation than frame 18, then roof 12 will be supported by frame 18. The second function of frame 18 is to provide a hub 24 for rotatably mounting the top end of rod [3. The opposite end of rod 13 is rotatably mounted to the bottom 16 of the oil tank. Fixedly attached to rod 13 and positioned parallel and adjacent to bottom wall 16 is concave arm 14. Arm 14 is made from heavy durable plastic and is attached to rod 13 by fastening devices, such as screws. Mounted on the opposite end of arm 14 is ball roller 15. Fastening devices are also used to secure roller 15 to arm 14. Roller 15 is made from polytetrafluoroethylene and is in sliding engagement with side wall 11. A guy wire or cable 32 is made from stainless steel and is connected at one end to rod 13 and, at its opposite end, to ball 15. Cable 32 is attached to the rod and ball 15 so as to be in tension with arm 14 resting still. Thus, as rod 13 and arm 14 rotate in the direction of arrow 17, cable 32 will prevent arm 14 from bending backwards as a result of force exerted on the arm by the material accumulated on the bottom of the tank. The concave shape of arm 14 forces any sediment resting on the bottom of the tank out towards sidewall 11 as arm 14 rotates in the direction of arrow 17. A hole 40 is provided in bottom wall 16 for the sediment carried by arm M to pass therethrough. An outlet pipe 41 receives the oil and sediment from hole 40. A standard strainer 45 is mounted on pipe 41 by standard clamps 46 and 47. A bypass pipe 42 is connected to pipe 41 having a valve 44 preventing flow within pipe 42. A second valve 43 is provided on pipe 41 and a third valve 43 is provided on pipe 48. With valve 44 in the off position preventing flow through pipe 42 and valves 43 in the on position, the oil is allowed to flow through strainer 45. Strainer 45 has 55- inch mesh wire allowing the oil and sediment to pass therethrough but catching any large objects, such as screwdrivers, which are accidentally dropped into the tank. in order to install a new strainer, valves 43 are turned to the off position and valve 44 is turned to the on position. Thus, flow may continue through pipes 42 and 48 while the strainer is being changed, thereby alleviating the necessity to interrupt normal tank operations.

Motor 28 is mounted on bracket 29, fixedly attached to sidewall ll. Rod 2'7 extends into tank and is rotatably driven by motor 28. A worm gear 26 is provided on the end of rod 27 and is in meshing engagement with gear mounted to rod 13. Gear 25 may be pinned to rod 13 so as to prevent relative motion between rod 13 and gear 25. Thus, as rod 27 is rotated, gear 25 and rod 13 will also rotate, thereby sweeping arm 14 across the bottom of the tank.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 and viewed in the direction of the arrows of the gearing arrangement shown in FIG. 2. A plastic bushing 31 is provided in hub 24 to rotatably receive rod 13. Gear 25 is mounted to rod 13 and is in driving engagement with worm gear 26.

Best results have been obtained by rotating arm 14 one revolution per hour. A counter is positioned on the outside of the tank to record the number of revolutions of arm 14. The operator monitors the counter thereby insuring that the tank is maintained at all times. lt will be obvious from the above description that the present invention provides an oil tank cleaning apparatus which will continuously and automatically clean the tank bottom without interferring with normal tank operations. It will be further obvious from the above descrip' tion that the present oil tank cleaning apparatus prevents sediment buildup, thereby alleviating the necessity for scraping hardened sediment from the tank bottom. By continuously rotating arm 14, a sediment is prevented from hardening on the bottom of the tankv The motor gear arrangement utilized to drive and rotate arm 14 is automatic and does not require manual operation. In addition, it will be obvious from the above description that the present cleaning apparatus is usable with an oil tank having a movable roof and is sufficiently strong so as to not bend or warp with use. The short center rod 13 eliminates the bowing which is found in the prior art devices. In addition, the short center rod allows inspection and maintenance of bridge structure 18. Another embodiment of the present invention has a second cantilevered arm integrally mounted to arm 14 at rod 13 with wire 32 being connected in tension to the second cantilevered arm and ball 15.

While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only the preferred embodiment has been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the invention are desired to be protected.

We claim:

1. The combination of:

an oil tank having a floor, a sidewall and a movable roof.

said floor having a hole therethrough adjacent said wall;

a frame fixedly attached to said sidewall and extending over said floor beneath said movable floor;

an upstanding rod having a bottom end rotatably mounted to said floor and a top end rotatably mounted to said frame;

a plastic arm fixedly connected to said rod being in sliding contact with said floor and having a concave side;

an element fixedly mounted to said arm being in slidable contact with said sidewall;

drive means operatively connected to said rod and continuously driving said arm at all times;

an outlet pipe connected to said tank via said hole; and,

a strainer removably connected to said outlet pipe.

2. The combination of claim I and further comprising:

a guy wire connected to said rod and said element across said concave side being in tension; and,

a bearing mounted to said frame rotatably receiving said rod.

3. The combination of claim 2 wherein:

said driving means has a motor with a rotating output shaft positioned between said frame and said floor, said means also has a worn gear on said shafl and a second gear fixedly mounted to said rod in meshing engagement with said worm gear.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein:

said element is a sphere; and,

said frame is spider-shaped being positioned parallel, over and adjacent said shaft, said frame supports said movable roof when all of the oil is beneath said frame.

5. The combination of claim 4 additionally comprising:

a bypass pipe connected around said strainer to said outlet pipe.

I k i i 4

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1912595 *Aug 29, 1930Jun 6, 1933Pacific Flush Tank CoSludge digestion tank
US2503816 *Dec 30, 1947Apr 11, 1950Giallanza Charles JFilter sludge remover
US2552452 *Aug 26, 1948May 8, 1951Phillips Willis WTank cleaner and oil treater
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4017402 *Jul 7, 1975Apr 12, 1977Dorr-Oliver IncorporatedSedimentation tank having a rotary rake structure
US4770711 *Aug 24, 1984Sep 13, 1988Petroleum Fermentations N.V.Method for cleaning chemical sludge deposits of oil storage tanks
US9381550Apr 17, 2014Jul 5, 2016Spokane IndustiresSelf-cleaning tank
WO2014182671A1 *May 6, 2014Nov 13, 2014Spokane IndustriesSelf-cleaning tank
U.S. Classification210/518, 210/DIG.900
International ClassificationB01D21/00
Cooperative ClassificationB01D21/0012, Y10S210/09, B01D21/18, B01D21/06, B01D21/245
European ClassificationB01D21/00F, B01D21/06, B01D21/24N, B01D21/18