US 3693387 A
Automatic lubricating and cooling means for tube expanding equipment utilizing compressed air to distribute vapor over components of a power operated tube expander and to discontinue the flow as an incident to completion of a rolling cycle.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
States atet Blackburn 51 Sept. 26, 1972 COOLING DEVICE FOR TUBE EXPANDER Inventor: Marvin ,1. Blackburn, Pasadena,
Assignee: Vernon Tool Co., Ltd., Alhambra,
Filed: Dec. 14, 1970 Appl. No.: 97,570
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,383,214 8/1945 Prout ..72/45 2,524,164 10/1950 Dudley et al. ..72/43 FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS 157,589 10/1961 U.S.S.R. ..72/43 Primary Examiner-Lowell A. Larson Attorney-Sellers and Brace  ABSTRACT U S Cl 72/41 72/122 72/236 Automatic lubricating and cooling means for tube ex- B2ld 39/10 panding equipment utilizing compressed air to dis- Fie'ld 4 45 236 tribute vapor over components of a power operated [122 tube expander and to discontinue the flow as an incident to completion of a rolling cycle.
9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 5 j I 54d 42 4/ SAM. .7,. 5a
AUTOMATIC LUBRICATING AND COOLING DEVICE FOR TUBE EXPANDER This invention relates to power operated tube expanders, and more particularly to a lubricating and cooling accessory readily attachable to the tube expander tool proper and preferably including automatic control means forming part of the cyclic control for the expander equipment proper.
The copending application for United States Letters Patent of Marvin J. Blackburn and Harry L. Corwin, Ser. No. 803,375- filed Feb. 28, 1969, now US. Pat. No. 3,628,227, discloses a manually controlled automatic tube expander for use in expanding heat exchange tubing to headers and the like. The tube expander tool proper comprises a tapered mandrel having means for advancing it axially of itself while rotating it within a cage ring supporting metal working rollers bearing against the interior of the tube end undergoing expansion. Such tools operate under very high load stresses necessarily required in cold working high strength metal tubing while gradually rolling and expanding the tubing into high pressure contact with a seating bore in a heat exchange header. It is therefore not surprising that such tools characteristically have a relatively short service life.
It has been discovered that the operating life of such tools can be extended several-fold by the simple expedient of providing the invention accessories for cooling, cleaning and lubricating the several parts in accordance with the principles of this invention. These purposes are achieved by attaching a simple manifold unit to the main body of the expanding tool having means for supplying compressed air along with suspended vapor of a type having lubricating properties into the interior of the shank of the expander tool. The compressed air and suspended vapor so supplied flows under pressure through the interior of the tool and over the relatively rotating surfaces and, in so doing, is effective to carry away foreign matter and the operating heat of the tool while at the same time maintaining a film of liquid coolant and lubricant on the tool surfaces and on the interior surface of the tube undergoing expansion. I
Accordingly it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a tube expander tool with means for supplying the interior and operating parts thereof with pressurized coolant and lubricant.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a simple, rugged'accessory easily added to existing or incorporated as a part of newly manufactured tube expanding tools and operable to introduce pressurized air and suspended vapor for distribution over its driven components either intermittently or so long as the same are in operation.
Another object of the invention is the provision of means for jetting fluid over the parts of a tube expander to flush away debris and particles of foreign matter as the tool operates to expand tubing against the sidewall of a header bore.
These and other more specific objects will appear upon reading the following specification and claims and upon considering in connection therewith the attached drawing to which they relate.
Referring now to the drawing in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view of one typical embodiment of a tube expander tool incorporating the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view on an enlarged scale through the tube expander proper; and
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view partially in section of a second illustrative embodiment of a tube expander tool embodying a modified form of the invention cooling and lubricating accessory.
Referring initially more particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown a tube expander tool, designated generally 10, of the type more fully disclosed in the above identified copending application of Marvin J. Blackburn and Harry L. Corwin, Ser. No. 803,375. This tool has a main frame 11 suspended from an overhead support, not shown, through cabling 12 and a pulley 13 attached to the midlength of frame 11. Suitably secured to the left hand end of frame 11 is a hydraulic cylinder assembly 14 reciprocably driving a cradle 15 slidably supported lengthwise of frame 11 and effective to shift a reversible hydraulic motor 18 lengthwise of that frame. Shaft 19 of motor 18 extends into a tubular housing 20 and is connected by coupling 21 to the adjacent shank end of a tapered mandrel 23. It will be understood that shaft 19 and mandrel23 both rotate and shift axially of main frame 11 under the control of the double action cylinder 14.
Cylinder 14 is supplied with pressurized hydraulic fluid in known manner through flexible hoses 25,26 and motor 18 is likewise supplied with pressurized hydraulic fluid through hoses indicated at 27.
The left hand end of cylinder 14 is equipped with a hand grip 30 connected by electric control cable 31 to control circuitry of known construction such as those disclosed in the aforementioned application and represented by the box 32. Hand grip 30 includes manually manipulatable controls 33, 34 for starting and interrupting the operating cycle of the expander tool, the details of this control circuit being known and forming no part of the present invention other than that the initiation of an operating cycle and its termination is utilized to activate and deactivate a solenoid valve 35 controlling the flow of compressed air through a supply conduit 36 incorporating a lubricator 37. The latter is of any suitable construction well known to those in the lubricator art and utilizing a flow of compressed air to vaporize and entrain suspended lubricant and cooling vapor from a supply reservoir 38 forming part of the lubricator.
Referring more particularly to FIG. 2, it will be understood that the tapered mandrel 23 extends axially into a tubular cage ring 40 having three elongated slots 41 opening radially through its sidewall and distributed equidistantly from one another about the periphery thereof. Each of slots 41 is shaped and sized to loosely support therein a respective tapered roller 42. It will be understood that the three rollers 42, only one of which is illustrated, have a taper complemental to that of mandrel 23 with the result that the portions of these rollers in contact with a tube undergoing expansion lie in a cylindrical surface. Rollers 42 are held loosely and captively assembled in slots 41 by a resilient elastomeric garter ring 44 embracing the inner or left-hand end of the rollers as viewed in FIG. 2.
The inner or shank end of cage ring 40 is threaded into one end of a bearing raceway member 46 seating an Orring or the like sealing gasket 47 and shaped to form a rotary anti-friction raceway ring between ball bearings 48, 49. The latter are held captive in a stationary bearing ring 50 suitably secured, as by threads 51, to the outer end of the tool housing tube 20.
The power driving components of the described tool are usable with a wide range of tube diameters and header thicknesses. It is important that the tube be expanded only to a depth corresponding generally to the length of the seating bore in the header. The present invention includes a combined shroud and stop of adjustable length enclosing that portion of rollers 42 not needed to expand the tubing wall. In other words the outer end of this shroud is adjusted to engage the face of the header and prevent the rollers from entering the tube for a distance greater than that desired to be expanded into sealing engagement with the header bore. For this purpose there is detachably secured to coupling member 53 a tubular shroud and spacer as sembly 54 preferably comprising several different segments 54a, 54b, 54c, 54d of different lengths. It will be understood that any desired number of these segments can be assembled to one another and to coupling ring 53 for the free end 56 of the end spacer element to abut the outer face of a header of a particular thickness for the tube expanding operation then in progress. Thus, as shown in FIG. 2, somewhat more than one half the length of rollers 42 is expanded beyond end surface 56. This exposed length of the rollers corresponds generally to the thickness of the header then being as sembled to tubing. If a thicker header is undergoing assembly then one of the rings 54b or 540 would be omitted. Likewise if a thinner header were undergoing assembly then one or more additional spacer elements of proper length would be added to those shown to accommodate that particular header.
The accessory for introducing compressed coolant and lubricating vapor into the tool comprises a manifold ring 60 having a loose running fit with the exterior of housing and held captive between a stop ring 61 and the adjacent end of bearing ring 50. Manifold 60 is provided with a suitable sealing gasket 63 and its inwardly opening annular groove 65 is in communication with one or more flow ports 66 extending through the wall of housing 20. It will thus be clear that the cooling medium and vapor flowing through the flexible hose 36 pass along groove 65 and through ports 66 into the interior of housing 20 and thence to the right along the surface of mandrel 23 and outwardly through slots 41 and over the surfaces of rollers 42 and against the interior of the tubing undergoing expansion. This flow preferably continues throughout the operating cycle of the expander tool so that there is continuous cooling and dispersal of the lubricant film over the relatively rotating parts and the tube surface undergoing cold working and rolling. Desirably deactivation of the expanding operation serves to deactivate solenoid valve cutting off the flow of compressed air to lubricator 37 and to manifold ring 60.
Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown the essential components of a simplified tube expander tool, designated generally 70, and the same or similar components of which are designated by the same characters as in FIGS. 1 and 2 but distinguished therefrom by the addition of a prime. It will be understood that any suitable rotating and reciprocating power unit, not shown, may be connected to the shank end 72 of the tapered mandrel 23'. This mandrel rotates within cage ring 40' slotted at 41 in a manner loosely and captively supporting tapered rollers 42'. The shank end of cage ring 40 is threaded at 74 and supports a ring 75 having one or more ports 76 in communication with the inwardly facing air distributing groove 65' opening into the inner periphery of the manifold ring The latter is supplied with compressed air and suspended lubricant vapor by flexible hose 36 in the same manner as described above. This air and vapor then flows along the annular passage between the mandrel 23' and housing 74 and exits over the surfaces of rollers 42' in the same manner as described above.
In view of the foregoing it will be appreciated that the present invention provides an exceedingly simple, rugged, high efficiency means for both cooling and lubricating all moving parts at the working end of a tube expander tool.
While the particular automatic lubricating and cooling device for tube expander herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the detail of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims.
1. That improvement in a tube expander tool of the type having a power driven tapered mandrel centrally of a plurality of oppositely tapering rollers held captively and loosely assembled thereabout by cage ring means and cooperating as the mandrel is rotated to expand a tube outwardly into high pressure mechanical engagement with the wall of a bore into which the tube extends, said improvement comprising normally nonrotating manifold means embracing said mandrel rearwardly of the tube to be expanded and including means for jetting vapor suspended in pressurized gas into and along said cage ring means effective to flow between the parts of said expander tool to flush away particulate and deposit a film of said vapor onto the surfaces thereof.
2. That improvement defined in claim 1 characterized in that said means for supplying pressurized gas and vapor to said housing includes stationary ring means supported concentrically of the axis of said rotary mandrel, and means forming a rotary fluid seal between said ring means and said rotary mandrel.
3. That improvement defined in claim 1 characterized in that said vapor supply means includes a liquid supply reservoir, and pressurized gas operated means for entraining vaporized liquid from said supply and conveying the same into said mandrel housing.
4. That improvement defined in claim 1 characterized in the provision of power means for driving said mandrel, and control means for said power means including means for controlling the supply of pressurized gas and vapor to said mandrel housing in synchronism with the control of said power means.
5. In combination, a tube expander tool for use in expanding the end portion of a metal tube into high pressure permanent assembly with the bore of a heat exchange header, said expander tool having a power rotated tapered mandrel reciprocable axially within tubular cage ring means freely rotatable about said mandrel while expanding the tube end against a header bore and at a substantially different rotary speed, said cage ring means having a plurality of slots therealong each holding captive therein an individual tapered roller, normally stationary manifold ring means embracing said tapered mandrel adjacent the rear end of said cage ring means, and means for supplying lubricating fluid into the interior of said cage ring means via said manifold ring means thereby to lubricate said rollers and the surfaces in contact therewith.
6. The combination defined in claim 5 characterized in the provision of manually controlled power means for rotating said mandrel while axially moving said tapered mandrel to vary the effective rolling diameter of said rollers, and means responsive to the activation and deactivation of said power means to initiate and discontinue the supply of lubricating fluid to said cage ring means.
7. The combination defined in claim 5 characterized in that said means for supplying lubricating fluid to said cage ring means includes means for delivering the lubricating fluid suspended in a stream of air to said rol- I lers.
8. The combination defined in claim 5 characterized in that said manifold ring means is mounted on the rear end of said cage ring means and includes means providing for relative rotary movement therewith.
9. The combination defined in claim 5 characterized in the provision of tubular housing means embracing the rear end of said tapered mandrel and including thrust and radial bearing means supporting the rear end of said cage ring means in the forward end thereof, and said manifold ring means encircling said tubular housing means and including means for supplying said lubricating fluid into the interior thereof for flow into said cage ring means.