Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3773376 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 20, 1973
Filing dateSep 3, 1971
Priority dateSep 3, 1971
Publication numberUS 3773376 A, US 3773376A, US-A-3773376, US3773376 A, US3773376A
InventorsJ Orange
Original AssigneeGulf Research Development Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Radioactive source handling apparatus
US 3773376 A
Apparatus for safely handling, substantially remotely, small articles which are dangerous if brought excessively close to humans, such as radioactive sources. The invention comprises a non-round, cross-sectional shape in the body of the source holder with a groove formed in that shaped portion, and a carrier member having a mating internal shape to fit over the shaped body to turn the holder and source, and provided with a spring loaded detent pin to fit into the groove in the holder to thereby lift and lower and carry the holder and source.
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 1111 3,773,376 Orange {45] Nov. 20, 1973 RADIOACTIVE SOURCE HANDLING APPARATUS Primary Examiner-Evon C. Blunlk [75] Inventor: John M. Orange, Pittsburgh, Pa. Assistant Examiner-Johnny Cherry Auorney-Meyer Neishloss et al. [73] Assignee: Gulf Research & Development Company, Pittsburgh, Pa.

22 Filed: Sept. 3, 1971 [57] ABSTRACT [21] Appl. No.: 177,674

Apparatus for safely handling, substantially remotely,

[52] U S G 294/86 A 176/30 small articles which are dangerous if brought exces [51] i 19/20 sively close to humans, such as radioactive sources. [58] Field 86 R 86 l The invention comprises a non-round, cross-sectional 294/19 R 166/!" 176/12 27 37 shape in the body of the source holder with a groove 81/583, 60 121 R, 185; 250/106 08 formed in that shaped portion, and a carrier member having a matlng internal shape to fit over the shaped 56] Reerences Cited body to turn the holder and source, and provided with a spring loaded detent pin to fit into the groove in the UNITED STATES PATENTS holder to thereby lift and lower and carry the holder 1,223,791 4/1917 Jackson 294/19 R and source; 2,621,688 12 1952 Wales 81 583 x FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 14 Chums, 10 Drawing Figures 1,274,293 9/1961 France 294/86 A PAIENTED rmv 20 1913 3.773.376 SHEET 20F d dling the source in such a way that it is securely, firmly,

rapidly, efficiently and safely, and yet substantially remotely, moved to and from shipping containers, and to and from testing equipment and the like apparatus utilizing such sources.

The invention can be used with any sort of article which requires the sort of remote handling provided by the invention, and therefore the terms source" or radioactive material or the like' as used herein shall be understood to include any sort of radioactive source, or any other article having such a nature and being so configured that it may be used with the invention.

,The invention has advantages over all prior systems for handling radioactive sources. Such prior systems include tools which depend upon magnets. Such magnetic devices suffer from the obvious disadvantages that a source could be dropped as a result of a sharp blow or careless handling, or the like. Another prior system comprises simply long handled tongs, with the working force being a friction hold. Such a system suffers fromthe same if not worse disadvantages as magnetic means. Other systems depend upon complicated connections such as pins which are manipulated into J slots. Such pin and slot connections are secure, but

' suffer from the disadvantages that they are relatively difficult to make and unmake, and are suitable for only straight lifting and dropping. Other prior systems include laboratory manipulators or Waldoes," which suffer from the disadvantage that they are extremely complicated and fixed into hot cells" thus limiting their use to the room in which they are fixed. The present invention comprises a simple and portable appara-' tus so that it may be easily transported, as to a remote site, for one or a few usages.

The present invention utilizes a special source holder to which the source itself is removably attached, and which holder is adapted to be removably mounted upon a stanchion or stud in a shipping container or in a piece of equipment requiring the source. The invention further comprises a female source and source holder carrier which completely covers the source and the holder when the source is being handled. The operative connection between the holder and the carrier comprises a combination of a spring detent and groove connector, with a mating non-round cross-sectional shape on the holder and in the carrier, whereby the carrier can be used to turn the holder by means of the mating non-round shape and to lift the holder by means of The above and other advantages of the invention will be pointed out or will become evident in the following detailed description and claims, and in the accompanying drawing also forming a part of the disclosure, in which:

FIGS. 1 through 5 are a series of'highly diagrammatic drawings showing the use of the invention in moving a source from a shipping container to a piece of apparatus requiring the source;

FIG. 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view showing the invention connected to the source holder;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 'I7 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is an end elevational view of the source lifter;

FIG. 9 is a top plan view thereof partially crosssectional taken on line 9-9 of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 10 is a side elevational view of the lifter and its handle.

Referring now to the series of drawings of FIGS. 1 through 5, the overall use of the invention is illustrated. FIGS. 1 to 5 illustrate disconnecting a source from a shipping container 10 by means of the short handled connecting and disconnecting means 12, and then moving it to an instrument or other point of use 14 by means of the long handled lifting and carrying means 16. The source, not shown, is then connected into the instrument 14 by the same connecting means 12. The key portions of these various structures will be de scribed in detail in the following description with re gard to the remaining drawings.

Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a typical shipping container 10 to the extent such showing is necessary for an understanding of the invention. It will be further understood that instrument 14 will include structure similar to or identical to that shown in FIG. 6 to the extent necessary for handling the source in accordance with the invention.

The container 10 comprises a bottom wall 18 of suitable composite structure necessary to adequately shield personnel against the rays from the source, and to contain any liquid which might be used as shielding. At its upper end the container 10 comprises a top wall 20 with a lid member 22 seated thereon. Seated in bottom wall assembly 18 is a bottom stud support plate 24, on which bottom plate is mounted a composite center tube assembly 26. The upper end of tube assembly'26 is received within a suitably formed annular groove in lid member 22. The container assembly 18 through 26 is shown for exemplary purposes only, does not form a material part of the invention, and is also representative of similar structure which would be provided in an instrument 14 or other point of use or other carrying device, to guide the apparatus of the invention, all as willappear more clearly as this descriptionproceeds.

Mounted on bottom plate 24 the invention comprises a stanchion or stud 28 having a blind threaded hole at its upper end, which hole receives a threaded pin 30 forming part of a source holder 32. Above pin 30 holder 32 comprises an enlarged non-round crosssectional shape body portion 34. Intermediate its ends the body portion 34 is formed with a detent pin receiving groove 36. Holder 32 is completed by a shank portion 38 extending above body portion 34 and formed with a blind opening at its upper fr ce end in which is received the threaded pin portion 40 of a source assembly 42. A set screw 44 is provided at the upper end of shank portion 38 to firmly secure the source assembly pin 40 in its opening in the holder member 32.

' Source assembly 42, itself, comprises a quantity of radioactive material 46 suitably encapsulated as at 48. The source assembly 42 proper may almost be considered a staple item of commerce, the only requirement of the invention being that there be something equivalent to threaded pin 40 so that the source assembly 42 may be connected to the holder 32 of the invention.

As shown in FIG. 7, the body portion 34 is of hexagonal cross-sectional shape. This shape was used in the successfully constructed embodiment of the invention because it is a convenient one to obtain and to work with, and because it is a non-round shape. The invention is not limited to use with a hexagonal body 34 and mating socket in the carrier, but could be used with any such mating shapes at this juncture which will permit turning of the holder 32 by the carrier.

Means are provided to turn the combined holder and source assemblies 32 and 42 with respect to the mounting stud 28, and to move said combined assembly vertically up and down within center tube 26. To this end, there is provided a carrier member 50 formed with a composite axial opening to receive the combined holder and source assemblies. Said opening comprises a chamfer 52 at its inlet end, and an enlarged clearance portion 54 extending from the chamfer 52 to a socket portion 56. The clearance portion 54 snugly receives the upper end of the mounting stud 28, and the socket portion 56 snugly receives and is formed of a shape to match that of body portion 34 of the holder assembly 32. Beyond socket portion 56 the composite opening in the carrier 50 comprises an enlarged clearanceportion 58 and an elongated clearance portion 60 for accommodation of shank 38 of the holder and the source 42 itself.

At the vicinity of socket portion 56 carrier member 50 is formed with an outwardly extending annular flange 62, see FIG. 7. Flange 62 serves a dual purpose, it is only slightly smaller than the inside diameter of center tube 26 to thereby provide means to guide the carrier and hold the carrier centered as the carrier is moved within tube 26. Secondly, this enlarged flange provides a thickness of material in which to mount the detent assembly 64. Of course, the spring detent and its cooperating groove need not necessarily be at the vicinity of the shaped body portion, but could be elsewhere on the holder member.

Spring detent assembly 64 comprises a spring chamber 66, a pin chamber 68, a connecting chamber 70 therebetween, and a spring detent pin having an operating end 72 in chamber 68, a spring stud end '74 in chamber 66, and a flange 76 to bear against the wall defining connecting chamber 70 to limit the extent of the pin 72 towards the groove 36. A compression spring 78 is contained within chamber 66 and bears at one end 86. Extension 82 is of such a length that it extends from the carrier member 50 through a suitably formed opening in lid 22, and terminates slightly thereabovein a pipe Tee 88. Tee 88 and extension 82 are fixed together by a rivet 92. Tee 88 is an important part of the manner in which the sources are handled in accordance with the invention. As will appear below, both short handled means 12 and long handled means 16 include this Tee 88. I g I The invention includes the provision of a predetermined numberof turns of thread, 5% have been successfully used, on the pin 30 so that the operator may know, remotely, when this pin is either fully connected or fully disconnected with respect to its mating opening in the stanchion 28. To operate these threads to make or unmake this connection, the operator screws a pair of short lengths of pipe 90 into the free opposing openings in Tee 88, thus creating the short handled operating means 12. It is then a simple matter for the operator to turn extension 82 by means of the short handles 90 the predetermined number of turns to make this connection, as in FIG. 5, or unmake this connection as in FIG. 1. In the successfully constructed embodiment of the invention, the holder assembly 32 was made of grade 304 stainless steel, the carrier 50 was made of grade 304 stainless steel, the extension 82 and the short and long handles made of ordinary i4 inch aluminum pipe, Tee 88 was a standard piece of plumbing hardware, and the operative parts of the detent assembly 64 were purchased staple items of commerce. The source lifting holder of the remaining figures of the drawing and described below was fabricated by ordinary processes almost entirely of aluminum using standard shapes, with brasslocking screws. Aluminum was used because of its light weight.

Referring now to FIGS. 8 through 10, there is shown a Tee holder and lifter assembly 94 which together with Tee 88 comprises the long handled lifting and carrying means 16 of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. Lifter assembly 94 comprises a length of angle 96 having a bifurcated bottom flange 98 and a back flange 100. At its upper end, back flange 100 carries a pair of blocks 102 for receiving the threaded shanks of locking screws 104. One end of an elongated lifting handle 106 is secured as by welding to the back surface of back flange 100.

A pair of front walls 108 are secured as by welding to the front ends of the legs of the bifurcated bottom flange 98, and extend thereabove and parallel to back flange 100. A pair of lid holder pins 110 are secured one in each of the upper ends of the two front walls 108. The assembly 94 is completed by a lid member 112 comprising a short front flange 114 provided with suitably formed openings to slidingly receive the pins 1 l0, and with an elongated top flange 1 16 which overlies the blocks I02 and which is formed with suitable openings to receive the shanks of the locking screws 104.

In use, the operator first places the assembly of extension 82 carrying Tee 88 and carrier member 50 into the equivalent of central tube 26. Then with the two foot long handles 90 and counting the turns he is able to carefully disconnect the source from its shipping container 10 while at the same time standing sufficiently far away so that the radiations escaping straight vertically upwardly out of the shipping container do not strike him. Once the source is disconnected from its stanchion 28, the operator unscrews the short handles 90 out of Tee 88. Then he slips the angle 96 under the Tee 88 and mounts the lid 112 by means of its pins 110 and the screws 104, as is illustrated in FIG. 2, to thereby trap the Tee in the lifter assembly 94. During this operation the operators hands are exposed to the vertically escaping radiation, but the time of exposure, only a few seconds, is so short that no harmful effects on the operator are experienced. As is known, a higher dose rate is allowed on the extremities.

Then, with the use of the 12 foot long handle 106 the operator may quite safely lift the source out of the shipping container 10, move it to an instrument 14 or other point of use, and insert it into the equivalent of central tube 26 in said point use, all of which is indicated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. The lifter assembly is removed from the Tee 88 by opening screws 104, and the short handles 90 again used to securethe source 42 into the point of use 14, as shown in FIG. 5.

This simplicity of use is provided in large measure by means of the cooperation between the socket portion 56 in the carrier 50 which snugly receives the mating cross-sectional shaped body portion 34 of the holder. These mating non-round cross-sectional shapes permit sure and certain turning of the holder by the carrier. Simultaneously, see FIG. 7, the pin 72 is urged by its spring 78 into the groove 36 in the body portion 34, whereby, once disconnected from the stud 28, the carrier assembly will lift the combined assemblies of holder and source. In fact, a disconnection between pin 72 and groove 36 can only be made if the pin 30 is securely held and then by a sharp upward pull on the carrier via extension 82. The length of the pin portion 72 with respect to the diameter of body 34 and the depth of the groove 36 is selected so that the operating tip of the pin 72 will not harm the source 42 proper as the pin passes thereover.

While the invention has been described in detail above, it is to be understood that this detailed description is by way of example only, and the protection granted is to be limited only within the spirit of the in vention and the scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for manipulating an article comprising a holder member, means to removably mount the article on said holder member, said holder member comprising a body portion having a non-round crosssectional shape, said holder member including a concave groove formed therein, said apparatus further comprising a carrier member formed with an opening extending inwardly from one end thereof for receiving said holder member and an article mounted on said holder member, said carrier member opening comprising a non-round portion adapted to mate with and snugly receive said non-round cross-sectional shape in said body portion of said holder member, and said carrier member comprising spring detent means operatively cooperable with said groove in said holder member body portion, said concave groove and spring detent means being positioned for engagement thereof when the non-round portion of the carrier member and the non-round cross-sectional shape and said body portion are in engagement.

2. The combination of claim 1, wherein said groove is formed in said non-round cross-sectional shape body portion of said holder member, and wherein said groove is located intermediate the ends of said portion.

3. The combination of claim 1, said non-round crosssectional shape of said holder member body portion and of said socket portion of said carrier comprising a hexagonal shape.

4. The combination of claim 1, said article comprising a radioactive source comprising an encapsulated quantity of radioactive material.

5. The combination of claim 1, an extension member fixed to the upper end of said carrier member, a tee member fixed to the upper end of said extension member, whereby said carrier member engaged on said nonround cross-sectional shape body portion of said holder member may be axially turned with respect to the axis of said body portion by short handled means secured to said tee to thereby turn said holder member with the article thereon, and whereby said holder member with the article thereon may be lifted by the engagement of said spring detent means in said groove.

6. The combination of claim 5, and long handled means operatively cooperable with said tee member for remotely carrying and vertically moving the engaged assemblies of said article, said holder member, said carrier member, and said extension member.

7. The combination of claim 6, said long handled means comprising an angle having a bifurcated bottom flange adapted to receive said tee member with said extension member extending between the legs of said bottom flange and therebelow, said angle having a back flange, a relatively long length of pipe having one end secured to the outside of said back flange, and means to removably trap said tee member in said long handled means.

8. The combination of claim 7., said removable tee member trapping means comprising a pair of front walls fixed one each to the free ends of the legs of said bifurcated bottom flange and extending therefrom substantially parallel to said back flange, and lid means removably securable to the free ends of said front walls and the upper end of said back flange.

9. The combination of claim 8, said lid means comprising a lid member of angle shape with a front flange overlying said front walls, pin means secured to said front walls and slidingly receivable in suitably formed openings in said front flange, a pair of blocks fixed to said back flange and overlain by the top flange of said lid member, and said lid means further comprising a pair of locking screws which pass through suitably formed openings in said lid member top flange and are threadingly received by suitable threaded holes in said blocks.

10. The combination of claim l in which the end of the holder nearest the end of the carrier member from which the opening extends inwardly into the carrier member includes rotatably operative connecting means.

11. An article manipulation means of the type wherein the article to be handled is mounted on a holder and a carrier cooperates with the holder, the improvement comprising a composite connection be tween the carrier and the holder to permit axial translation substantially along the axis of said holder and rotationof the carrier and the holder about said axis, said composite connection comprising a spring loaded detent pin in one of said carrier and said holder cooperable with a groove in the other of said carrier and said holder, and mating non-round cross-sectional shapes between said carrier and said holder said groove and spring loaded detent pin being positioned for engagement with one another when the mating non-round cross-sectional shapes between said carrier and holder are in engagement.

formed with a mating hexagonal shaped portion adapted to be received in said hexagonal carrier socket.

14. The combination of claim 11 in which an extension member is affixed to one end of said carrier and rotatably operative connecting means are on the end of the holder remote from the extension member.

I! i k

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1223791 *Apr 24, 1916Apr 24, 1917San Diego Cons Gas And Electric CoLineman's device.
US2621688 *Jan 3, 1946Dec 16, 1952Wales George FLever arm screw driver and wrench
FR1274293A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3997393 *Apr 10, 1975Dec 14, 1976Commissariat A L'energie AtomiqueDevice for protecting the containment vessel dome of a nuclear reactor
US4070240 *Feb 2, 1977Jan 24, 1978Westinghouse Electric CorporationSeal containment system
US6958172 *Dec 23, 2002Oct 25, 2005Hoya CorporationHybrid film, antireflection film comprising it, optical product, and method for restoring the defogging property of hybrid film
U.S. Classification294/27.1, 376/264, 976/DIG.259, 294/906
International ClassificationG21C19/20
Cooperative ClassificationG21C19/20, Y10S294/906
European ClassificationG21C19/20
Legal Events
May 5, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19860423