US 3741808 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 26, 1973 Filed Aug. 12, 1970 L. F. STALKER TANK CLEANER 5 Sheets-Sheet '1 INVENTOR. LEE F. STALKER ATTY.
I June 26, 1973 F STALKER 3,741,808
TANK CLEANER Filed Aug. 12, 1970 3 Sheets-Sheet z 4? [46 INVENTOR.
2 -49 I EE F. STALKE 4 ATTY.
' June 26, 1973 Filed Aug. 12, 1970 FIG.4
L. F. STALKER TANK CLEANER 3 Sheets-Sheet :5
INVENTOR. LEE F STALKER BYW Z ATTY.
United States Patent oace Patented June 26, 1973 3,741,808 TANK CLEANER Lee F. Stalker, Louisville, Ky., assignor to The B. F. Goodrich Company, New York, N.Y. Filed Aug. 12, 1970, Ser. No. 63,106 Int. Cl. B05b 3/10; B08b 3/02, 9/08 US. Cl. 134-58 R 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A portable high pressure tank cleaning apparatus with a linear movable tubular member that is also rotatably and eccentrically adjustably secured to a base. A cleaning head is located on one end of the linear movable member. The linear movability and rotatable adjustability of the member on the base permits the cleaning head to be positioned at different positions in the tank.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a high pressure cleaning apparatus and more particularly to a portable and adjustable tank cleaning apparatus that is linearly movable and laterally rotatable to position the cleaning head to different locations so that the head can direct a high pressure stream of fluid against all interior surfaces of a chemical reactor vessel.
In the chemical processing industry large storage and processing tanks or vessels are utilized which must be periodically cleaned due to surface Walls of such tanks becoming contaminated and fouled. Such contamination is caused by the mixing of the chemicals and the reaction occurring in such tanks. In polymerization of polyvinyl chloride, for example, cleaning of processing vessels is necessary after the completion of such batch polymerization process. In addition to the interior surface walls of such tanks requiring cleaning, it is necessary to clean the bafiles, crevices, agitators and agitator blades and the like. Cleaning periodically is necessary so as to prevent contamination of succeeding polymerization batches and to assure a consistent quality product.
Cleaning of the interiors of such tanks has heretofore been accomplished by manually scraping the interior walls, bafiles and agitator blades. Manual methods are time consuming and ineffective to thoroughly clean these many areas due to the inherent deficiencies of a manual operation and the difficulties encountered in reaching some areas with the additional problem of subjecting the inner wall surfaces to scratches and mars due to the use of scrapers. Hand lances utilizing high pressure nozzles have been used to supplement the hand scraping to clean the interiors of tanks; however, an operator using a hand lance is essentially still a manual operator, wherein the operator maneuvers the lance, which maneuvering is rendered diflicult by the length of such lances and the inaccessibility from the exterior thereof. Operating a hand lance outside the vessel makes it impossible to reach all interior surf-aces within the vessel. A hand lance invariably creates a fog which further hampers the operator from observing the interior of the tank. Hand lances are further difiicult to maneuver and, due to the high pressure system, create an ever-present danger to operating personnel. Numerous safety procedures are necessary with manual operations, such as locking out the agitator motor and panel switch to render the agitators inoperable, connecting an exhaust hose to the tanks prior to cleaning and exhausting the interior thereof for at least twenty minutes to assure that the toxic fumes therein are all exhausted, since such fumes are heavier than air, locking various valves and engaging safety alarms for the sole purpose of protecting operators working within and around the vessel. The operator has difficulty climbing into the tank requiring considerable effort and maneuvering. Accordingly, such manual cleaning methods employed are time consuming, cumbersome, dangerous, a health hazard and are further inadequate for providing the necessary clean surfaces within the vessels. Efforts to mechanize the clean ing of tanks by cleaning apparatus was ineffective due to inability to handle and maneuver these cleaning apparatuses because of their overall large size and the limited availability of overhead space in the processing plants compared to the size of tanks being cleaned. These and other disadvantages are no longer encountered in practicing this invention.
The advantages realized with this invention are numer ous. A manual cleaning operation is eliminated which avoids occupational hazards, health hazards and further eliminates inherent deficiencies of hand operations such as fatigue and carelessness. A portable cleaning apparatus with nozzles is inserted into the tank and programmed for the several desired positions within the tank and operates without operator manipulations, which apparatus effectively cleans all interior surfaces and is further easily manipulated into and out of the tank. Such operation is done pneumatically to eliminate fire hazards. The apparatus is a compact unit employing novel gear reducing means to provide a balanced unit.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with this invention, a portable high pressure cleaning apparatus has a carrier member whose forward portion supports a cleaning head for rotative and longitudinal movement automatically by a programmed means through the several cleaning positions for rapidly and effectively cleaning the entire Wall surfaces, the apparatus within the vessel, as well as the baffles and agitator blades. The high pressure nozzles on the extreme end of the cleaning apparatus are driven through a hollow shaft with gear means keyed thereto such that the rotating nozzles revolved through a predetermined geometric pattern for directing high pressure sprays to all surfaces within the tank effectively cleaning the interior of the tank.
To clearly illustrate this invention, reference will henceforth be made to the embodiment of this invention shown in the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a cleaning apparatus within a tank, showing the tank in cross section.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the invention shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the lower portion of the cleaning apparatus showing the drive means and nozzles;
FIG. 4 is a schematic drawing of the control system and cleaning apparatus with the drum shown in a flattened developed view; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a hinged mast clamp.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawings, wherein like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, there is shown a tank or vessel 10 which receives the jet-cleaning apparatus to be described. The upper portion of vessel 10 has a circular flange 11 defining a manhole 12 for entry into vessel 10. The portable cleaning apparatus includes a support base 13 which is suitably secured to the flange 11 as by suitable bolts 14. Support base 13 connected thereto. The lower annular surface of the support base 13 which is attached to circular flange 11 defines a first planar surface designated AA, while the mating surfaces of annular plate members and 16 define a second planar surface which intersects planar surface AA.
Referring to the BIG. 1, upper plate member 16 is recessed along its lower inner periphery to define a recess which cooperates with a recess on the upper inner periphery of lower plate member 15 to define an annular guideway 18 which receives an annular flange 20 of a tubular support or tubular support means 21. Suitably pivotally mounted to the support base 13 is a lower air cylinder 22 having its rod end 23 pivotally secured to a bracket 24. A bracket 25 (FIG. 2), suitably fastened to plate member 16, pivotally supports the head end of pneumatic cylinder 26. The rod 27 of pneumatic cylinder 26 is pivotally secured as by clevis 28- to the upper end portion of tubular support 21.
A tubular member or hollow carrier member 30 is inserted through tubular support 21 for rotative movement and longitudinal movement relative thereto. Member 30 may be keyed to tubular support 21 if desired. The upper end portion of tubular member or carrier member 30 has a threaded union 31 for connection to suitable flexible hose, not shown, which may be connected to a suitable source of fluid or water under pressure. Tubular member 30 has a central bore 32 (FIG. 2) that extends longitudinally therethrough for connecting the hollow threaded union 31 with a bore 33 in housing 34. Housing 34 has journaled therein for rotation a tubular shaft 35 which suitably communicates with passageway 33. Tubular shaft 35 is also journaled for rotation in the housing of gear reducer unit 36, which gear reducer unit 36 is secured via brackets 37 to housing 34. Secured to gear reducer unit 36 is a transmission means 38 which has mounted thereon air motive means 39. Motive means 39 drives through transmission 38 a worm 40, which in turn drives hollow worm gear 41, which gear 41 is keyed to shaft 35 for rotation therewith. The lower end portion of shaft 35 is connected to a rotary union 42 which rotates therewith. A bevel gear 43 is journaled on rotary union 42 for relative rotation thereon but for movement therewith. Bevel gear 43 meshes with stationary bevel gear 44 which is secured by rods 45 to the housing or gear reducer unit 36. Mounted for rotation with bevel gear 43 is a nozzle head assembly 46 with a pair of nozzles 4748 connected via passageways 49 with rotary union 42 and the bore 50 of tubular shaft 35.
Air motor 39 receives pressurized air via a conduit 51, which conduit 51 is connected via suitable passageway not shown that extends through tubular member 30, which in turn is connected to conduit 52, which in turn is connected to a suitable air pressure source whereby motor 39 is energized. Shown in FIG. 4 is a drum 55, which drum is layed out in a flattened developed condition. The drum 55 rotates on a shaft 56, which has keyed to it a one-way clutch 57 supporting a spur gear 58. Spur gear 58 meshes with a rack 60 that is connected to the rod end 61 of a piston 62 located within cylinder 63. Actuation of cylinder 63 indexes drum 55 one increment, with such drum being adapted to be indexed 9 times in the example shown for a complete revolution and with additional spaces provided toassure additional controls positions if desired. The respective rows of the drum are in alignment with a plurality of valves V1 through V7, which valves are either manually operable, as by lever arms a through g, or by cams (A through V) which are positioned upon the rotatable drum 55. Such valves V1 through V7 are two positions, direct operated spool-poppet valves spring returned to normal position. The cams are press fitted onto the selected positions of the drum to give the desired sequence of operation, such that as the drum 55 rotates, the cams selectively engage the downwardly projecting stern thereof. A pressure source 65 is connected via control valve 66 and manifold 67 to the respective valve V1 through V7. In the normal positions of the valves, V1 connects the head end of cylinder 63 via conduit 68 to exhaust, valve V2 connects a whistle 70 via conduit 71 to ex haust, valve V3 connects the head end of cylinder 22, via conduit 72 to exhaust, valve V4 connects the rod end of cylinder 22 via conduit 73 to exhaust, valve V5 conmeets the rod end of cylinder 26 via conduit 74 to exhaust, valve V6 connects the head end of cylinder 26 via conduit 75 to exhaust, valve V7 connects the lower chamber of a control valve or pneumatic timing relay 76 through accumulator T-l via conduit 77 through an annular groove in spool 78 to exhaust. Control valve or pneumatic timing relay 76 is a commercially available relay on the open market, and the one shown is manufactured by Agastat Division, 1027 Newark Ave, Elizabeth, NJ. 07208. Briefly, the application of pres sure at control port 79 actuates motor diaphragm 81, compressing recycle spring 82 and allowing the timing spring 83 to exert pressure on the timing diaphragm 84. The timing diaphragm compresses the air thereabove in chamber 85 which forces air through the restricted variable control orifice 86 as it passes into chamber 87. As the air is exhausted from the timing chamber 85, a spindle 89 follows the movement of the timing diaphragm 84. At the end of a preset delay period, the spindle 89 actuates spring 90 into its second position shown in phantom lines causing a snap action transfer of the spool 78 to an upper position which connects conduit 91 from valve V7 to conduit 92, which actuates cylinder 63 as to be described. The snap action movement of spring 90 also removes the input pressure to the chamber 80 served by control port 79 allowing the recycle spring 90 to reset the motor diaphragm 81, causing the spindle 89 to reset the output spool 78, and refills the timing chamber 85 through the check valve '93. Spool 78 shown in the position disclosed in FIG. 4 connects chamber 80 to exhaust, but upon actuation of valve V7 by cams S, T, U or V will provide pressurized air from source 65 to conduit 91, thence via conduit 77 to the chamber 80 to condition such control valve or timing relay 76 for a snap action described above to send a pulse of pressurized air from source 65 via conduits 91 and 92 to cylinder 63 which indexes the drum 55 one step. This is accomplished since spool 78 is moved gpwardly to connect conduit 91 to conduit 92 via groove To secure and retain the tubular member 30 in its raised position, a cylindrical mast clamp 96 having two hinged sections as shown in FIG. 5 is placed around the tubular member 30 such that its upper portion abuttingly engages a flange 97 secured to member 30 and with its lower end portion abuttingly engaging the upper end portion of tubular support 21. With such clamp 96 encircling tubular member 30, the rod end of cylinder 22 need not be pressurized until the cleaning apparatus is positioned within the reactor tank to be cleaned.
In the initial operation the cleaning head is held in the retracted position as disclosed by FIG. 1 as by clamp 96 which keeps tubular member 30 fixed relative to tubular support 21 even though no pressure is in the rod end of cylinder 22 which permits the operator to position the cleaning apparatus within the tank. Upon securing the cleaning apparatus to the manhole and clamping it into position, the operator then manually depresses valve V1, which action moves the spool valve V1 in an upwardly direction, connecting the pressure source via manifold 67 to conduit 68 for pressurizing the head end of cylinder 63 which indexes the drum 55 via rack 60 to its first position, wherein cam G actuates valve V4 which connects the pressurized source via manifold 67 and conduit 73 to lower end portion of cylinder 22 which assures that the tubular member 30 is in the uppermost position, thereby relieving the pressure upon the clamp 96, thereby permitting the operator to remove such clamp. The operator then manually depresses valve V1, which pressurizes the head end of cylinder 63 which indexes the drum to its second position.
In the second position of the drum, cams B and K respectively actuate valves V3 and V5, while deactuating valve V4 such that the pressurized air from the rod end of cylinder 22 is connected to exhaust while pressurized air from source 65 moves via manifold 67 and conduit 72 to pressurize the head end of pneumatic cylinder 22 which moves tubular member 30 downwardly to its lowermost :position, while valve V5 connects the pressurized source with cylinder 26 to pivot the lowermost end portion of the cleaning apparatus to the left (to the position indicated number 1 in FIG. 2). The operator then hooks up the fluid supply hose, not shown, to the upper end portion of tubular member 30 and the operation is now automatically controlled. The operation is begun by the operator depressing valve V1, which indexes the drum 55 to the third position, since the pressurized source actuates cylinder 63 via manifold 67 and conduit 68 such that cams C, L and S actuate valves V3, V5 and V7 respectively. Actuation of valve V3 continues to maintain pressurized air at the head end of pneumatic cylinder 22, while valve V5 maintains pressurized air on the left hand portion of control cylinder 26 as viewed in FIG. 4. Actuation of valve V7 by cam S, connects the pressurized source to conduit 91 which directs the pressurized air to an accumulator T l, via conduit 77, which in turn provides a time delay and pressurizes chamber 80, the lower portion of control valve 76, which moves motor diaphragm 81 in an upwardly direction to compress spring 82. Essentially, control valve 76 is a time delay switch such that the air located in timing chamber 85 is forced through valve 86 to the intermediate chamber 87. Such exchange of air continues until substantially all of the air accumulated in chamber 85 is transferred to chamber 87, which thereby continues to move valve stem or spindle 89 in an upwardly direction as seen in FIG. 4, until the pin 98 actuates spring 90 which snaps into its upper position which is a downwardly extending concave arc and moves spool 78 to its second position, whereby the air from accumulator tank T-1 flows via conduit 77 to exhaust while a pressurized pulse is sent via conduits 91 and 92 to cylinder 63 which in turn indexes, via rack 60 and one-way clutch 57, drum 55 to its fourth position which thereby brings cams H, M and T into operative positions which actuate valves V4, V5 and V7 respectively. Valve V4 actuated by cam H directs pressurized air from manifold 67 to the lower portion of control cylinder 22 via conduit 73 which retracts tubular member 30, along with the cleaning head to the uppermost position, while valve V5 maintains the control cylinder 26 in its previously conditioned manner which thereby maintains the cleaning head in the left hand portion of the tank, which in FIG. 2 is position number 2. The valve V7 is again actuated, which via conduit 91, pressurized tank T-1, which in turn directs pressurized fluid to the lower portion of control valve 76 exhausting the air out of timing chamber 85 and transferring such pressurized air to chamber 87. It is to be recalled that the air in chamber 87 returns to chamber 85 via check valve 93 rapidly and control valve 76 is repositioned in the position shown in FIG. 4 instantly, such that actuation of valve V7 in position 4 is such as to condition control valve 76 for a second sequence of time delay, as above described. On completion of the cycle, spindle 89 will again be actuated to its second position, whereby tank T-1 is vented to atmosphere and cylinder 63 is actuated to index the drum 55. In this position the drum 55 is moved to position 5, whereby valves V4, V6 and V7 are actuated which moves the cleaning apparatus head to the position number 3, as indicated in FIG. 2. Upon comand V, which moves the cleaning head to position number 4. Upon completion of this operation, cylinder 63 is actuated such as to index the drum 55 to its seventh position by cams A, E and P, whereby valves V2, V3 and V6 are actuated wherein valve V2 connects the pressurized source, via manifold 67 and conduit 71 to the whistle 70, indicating the completion of the operation. The operator then is signaled that the automatic cycle has been completed, whereby he may anytime thereafter depress lever a on valve V1 which connects the pressurized source via conduit 68 to pressurize the head end of cylinder 63, which indexes the drum to its eighth position, which disconnects the whistle from the operation and the operator manually depresses lever a of valve V1 which thence indexes the drum to its final position such that cams J and R actuate valves V4 and V6 which in turn retracts the cleaning head to its uppermost position by connecting the pressurized source to the rod end of cylinder 22 and the head end of cylinder 26, permitting the operator to position the mast clamp 96 about the upper end of tubular member 30 and permits him to disconnect the air hose 52 and water hose, not shown, from the cleaning apparatus and to remove such cleaning apparatus from the tank.
What is claimed is:
1. A portable tank cleaning apparatus comprising: a base for attachment to a manhole of a tank; said base having an annular guideway and a lower flat annular surface; said base having a bore therethrough; said bore having a central axis that is normal to a plane passing through said lower flat annular surface; a tubular support means journaled for rotative movement about a longitudinal axis that is noncoincident with and intersects said central axis of said bore of said base; a tubular member supported by said support means for axial movement therethrough and rotation therewith; first poweroperated means interconnecting said tubular support means and said base for rotative adjustment movement of said tubular support means relative to said base; second power-operated means operatively connected to said tubular member to move said tubular member axially relative to said tubular support means into different positions relative to said base in said tan-k; spray nozzle means mounted on one end of said tubular member for rotation thereon; said tubular member having a passageway means for connection to said spray nozzle for delivering high pressure fluid to said spray nozzle means; gear means mounted on said tubular member interconnected with said spray nozzle means; motive drive means connected to said gear means and said spray nozzle means for rotating said spray nozzle means about a pair of axes to :provide a changing pattern of movement for cleaning the interior of a tank.
2. A portable tank cleaning apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein programming means are operatively connected to said first and second power operated means to control their actuations thereof to provide for the multipositioning of said spray nozzle means in said tank.
3. A portable tank cleaning apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said programming means includes an indexable drum with cams thereon operative to control the extension and retraction of said power-operated means.
4. A portable tank cleaning apparatus comprising: a support base for attachment to a tank; said support base having a lower annular surface for abutting contact to the manhole of a tank; said annular surface defines a first planar surface; said support base having an annular guideway spaced from said annular surface; a tubular support means mounted in said supportbase; said tubular support means having a flange rotatably received by said guideway; said flange having an upper flat surface defining a second planar surface which upon extension intersects said first planar surface; power-operated means connected to said tubular support means for moving said tubular support means relative to said base; a tubular member journaled in said support means for rotative movement therewith and axial movement relative thereto; jet nozzle means secured to said tubular member for movement therewith; motive drive means connected to said nozzle means for rotating said nozzle means about a pair of perpendicular intersecting axes; said tubular member having a passageway means connected to said nozzle means for delivering high pressure fluid thereto; poweroperated means connected to said tubular member for moving said tubular member axially relative to said support base for positioning said tubular member into different positions in said tank.
5. A portable tank cleaning apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein control means are operatively connected to said power operated means for sequential timed operation thereof to control the positioning, the extension and retraction of the nozzle means in a predetermined sequence.
6. A portable tank cleaning apparatus as set forth in claim 5 wherein said control means includes an indexable drum; a pneumatically operated valve operated by said indexable drum to provide said predetermined sequence of operation.
7. A portable tank cleaning apparatus comprising: a support base for attachment to a manhole of a tank; said support base having a lower annular surface for abutment to the surrounding surface of a manhole of a tank; said annular surface defines a first planar surface; said support base having an annular guideway spaced from said annular surface and skewed relative thereto; a tubular support means having a flange; said flange rotatably received by said guideway; a tubular member journaled in said tubular support means for rotative and axial movement relative thereto; first power operated means connected to said tubular support means for rotating said tubular support means on said support base between selected positions by extension and retraction of said power operated means; a cleaning head secured to said tubular member for movement therewith; passageway means ex tending through said tubular member; transmission means mounted on said tubular member; said transmission means having an output means operatively connected to said cleaning head; motive drive means mounted on said transmission means for imparting power thereto to rotate said cleaning head about a pair of perpendicular axes to effect a changing pattern of movement; second power operated means connected to said tubular member for moving said tubular member axially for extending and retracting said tubular member relative to said support base by extension and retraction of said second power operated means; and means for controlling the extension and retraction of said power operated means in a predetermined sequence to provide for the multi-positioning of said cleaning head in the tank.
8. A portable tank washing assembly comprising: a base for attachment to the manhole of a tank; a tubular support eccentrically mounted on said base; said base having a central opening therein with a center line therethrough; said tubular support extending through said opening; the axis of said tubular support having its axis of rotation intersecting but non-colinear with the axis of said central opening; said axis of said tubular support defining a cone upon rotation of said tubular support on said base; a tubular member mounted on said tubular support for rotatable adjustment and axial movement relative therein; one end of said tubular member having inlet means for attachment to a high pressure cleaning fluid source; a cleaning head assembly mounted on the other end of said tubular member; said cleaning head having a pair of nozzle means for dispersing cleaning fluid therefrom; said pair of nozzle means supported for rotation about a pair of perpendicular axes; one of said axes being colinear with the longitudinal center line of said tubular member; first power operated means interconnecting said tubular support and said base, operative upon actuation to rotate said tubular support relative to said base to selectively position said cleaning head assembly into different locations in a tank; second power operated means interconnecting said tubular member and said base, operative upon actuation to move said tubular movement axially relative to said tubular support to extend or retract said cleaning head relative to said base; and motive drive means mounted on said tubular member operatively connected to said nozzle means for rotating said pair of nozzle means about said pair of axes; and control means operatively connected to said first and second power operated means for sequentially actuating said first and second power operated means in timed relationship.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,472,451 10/1969 Orem et al 134-167 R X 2,109,075 2/1938 Ruth 134-167 R X 2,116,935 5/1938 Richard et al. 134-167 R X 3,444,869 5/1969 Guignon et al 134-167 R 3,599,871 8/1971 Ruppel et al 239-227 FOREIGN PATENTS 307,719 1/ 1969 Sweden 134-167 ROBERT L. BLEUTGE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.
L I UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE} CERTIFICATE OF coRREcTIoN Patent No. 13,741, 808 Dated 6/26/73 Inventofler) Lee Stalker It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
In Column 6, line &6, after "nozzle" insert --means--'.
In Column 8, line 28', change "movement" to -member--.-
Signed and sealed this 5th day of November 1974.
(SEAL) Atteat C. MARSHALL DANN McCOY M. GIBSON JR. Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 W U.$4 GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 2 "l9 0-366-334 FOQM PO-105O (10-69)