US 3571985 A
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United States Patent Inventor Clarence E. Hulbert, Jr.
Houston, Tex. Appl. No. 797,293 Filed Oct. 9, 1968 Division of Ser. No. 498,962, Oct. 20, 1965, Pat. No. 3,477,178. Patented Mar. 23, 1971 Assignee Capvac Industries, Inc.
CYLINDER TREATING METHOD 1 Claim, 7 Drawing Figs.
U.S. C1 51/319 Int. Cl B24c 1/00 Field of Search 51/319, 320, 321, 8,11
CON TROL All? Mara/es :2;
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,628,141 5/1927 Gray 134/168X 2,218,625 10/1940 Rudigier 134/167X 2,348,505 5/1944 Voerge 51/8 2,358,557 9/1944 Boyd et a1. 51/8 2,455,514 12/1948 Mead 51/8 Primary Examiner-Lester M. Swingle Attorneys-James A. Bargfrede, Murray Robinson, Ned L.
Conley and Robert W. B. Dickerson ABSTRACT: A method of cleaning the interior of a hollow cylindrical member in which support means are positioned within the cylindrical member, nozzles means are supported on the support means, an abrasive mixture is supplied through the nozzle means, and the nozzle means are rotated and moved longitudinally through the cylindrical member.
" sumeufa CLARENCEE. Hummer, JR.
I N VEN'I OR.
PATENIED fl-ARZB IHYI SHEET u [1F 4.
III/I14 Ill/ ll/IIII LIIIIIIIIIIIJIIIIIIIIj/II/L CLARENCE E. Hume/er, JR.
' INVIL'N'I'URv CYLINDER TREATING METHOD This application is a division of my application Ser. No. 498,962, filed on Oct. 20, 1965, now US. Pat. No. 3,477,178, dated Nov. 11, 1969. a
This invention pertains generally to material treating methods and particularly to methods adapted for use in cleaning the interior of hollow elongated members such as railroad tank cars.
In my prior copending U.S. Pat. application, Ser. No. 463,781 filed Jun. 14, 1965, entitled ABRASIVE FLOW SYSTEM AND METHODS, now abandoned, apparatus and methods were disclosed for cleaning storage tanks and other structures. However, such application did not disclose apparatus and methods for effective, safe, and economical cleaning and finishing the interior of elongated hollow members, such as railroad tank cars.
Railroad tank cars utilized in the storage and transportation of petrochemicals, pharmaceutical products, milk, brewery products, and other fluids have presented unique problems in the efiective and efficient cleaning thereof. For example, when chemicals are stored and transported by such railroad tank cars it is often necessary to bumout the interior of such tank cars by leaving such tank cars in a smoldering condition for a period of several days and possibly several weeks. This burning out method of cleaning the interior of railroad tank cars puts such cars out of service for several days and the resultant smoke and odor from the tank cars is offensive and sometimes dangerous. Also, when railroad tank cars which have carried gasoline or other flammable products are cleaned in a known manner, the hazards to men working inside of such railroad tank cars are great inasmuch as deadly fumes are present and working conditions are very hazardous and uncomfortable. Working conditions with known methods of hand operated cleaning nozzles, are very uncomfortable to workmen due to the extremely heavy dust contamination which poses many problems of inadequate visibility for the workmen to see and perform their work of surface preparation properly. Heavy saturated dust requires many safety devices such as life lines and air-fed helmets to minimize health hazards to the operators. Inadequate visibility increases the amount of time required for the area to be cleaned by many hours over the same size area where visibility is unlimited.
Railroad tank cars must be cleaned of all mill scale and contamination prior to going into service to transport commodities. The cleaning requires abrasive cleaning methods because such tank cars must be lined with various chemical resistant coatings for the various commodities to be transportedrAll linings require the tank car to be abrasive cleaned prior to the installation of suitable lining. Thus, it is an object of the present invention to provide methods for treating the interior surface of a hollow, elongated member.
Another object of the present invention is to provide methods for removal of the residual debris which accumulates during abrasive cleaning of interior surfaces thereby removing hazardous dust conditions.
Another object of the present invention is to provide methods for safely, effectively, and economically cleaning the interior surfaces of hollow elongated members such as railroad tank cars. I
A still further object of the present invention is to provide improved methods for cleaning and treating the interior surface of an elongated hollow member such as a railroad tank car. i
A still further object of the present invention is to provide methods for effectively and rapidly cleaning the interior surface of a hollow elongated member without having personnel in such elongated hollow member during such cleaning.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional, elevational view of the apparatus of the present invention positioned in a typical railroad tank car;
FIG. 2 is a sectional, end view of the apparatus of the present invention taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. '3 is an end view partially in section of a nozzle and support of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is an end view, partially in section of the support means and carriage means of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a side view of the support means and carriage means shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a partial sectional, end view of the support means and the carriage means of the present invention; and
FIG. 7 is a side view of the support means and carriage means of the present invention taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
Briefly stated, the present invention provides methods for treating the interior surface of an elongated hollow member. The apparatus of the present invention includes support means positioned generally along the longitudinal axis of such hollow member. Carriage means including drive means and ring means are positioned on the support means. Coupled to the carriage means are nozzle means including indexing means for rotational positioning of the ring means relative to the support means. Abrasive or other material is supplied to the nozzle means and selected rotational and axial movement of the nozzle means and carriage means is provided. As the nozzle means is rotationally indexed by the indexing means, material is discharged from the nozzles of the nozzle means in an armate pattern in which an arc of rotational movement of the nozzle means may be if three nozzles are used. After the rotational movement of the nozzle means occurs, the drive means of the carriage means may be actuated to move the carriage means and the nozzle means along the support means to a new axial position to allow the previous step of rotational movement of the nozzle means to be repeated. The procedure continues so that a method of treating the interior surface of the hollow elongated member is'provided. If cleaning of the interior surface of the elongated hollow member is desired, a uniform anchor pattern may be provided on the interior surface so that such surface is, in effect, the product of a cleaning process. While the rotational movement of the nozzles means occurs, and the drive means is being actuated to move the nozzle means along the support means, a vacuum suction means may be employed along the bottom section of the hollow elongated member to pick up all contaminants and debris removed from the interior surface so that there is no buildup of debris in the bottom of the hollow, elongated member. Deep residual material collected would absorb the impact of the abrasive thus preventing proper cleaning of the lower section of the hollow, elongated member. Another suction means may be attached to the nozzle means with brush means so that the entire surface of the hollow elongated member may be properly cleaned.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, FIG. 1 is a crosssectional, elevational view of the apparatus of the present invention positioned in a typical railroad tank car. Tank car 10 includes a hollow elongated member having an interior surface l2 with ends 14 and 16 closing the substantially cylindrical portion. Ends 14 and 16 may be suitably joined to cylindrical portion of the tank thereby providing a vessel capable of carrying bulk products such as food, petrochemicals, or any other material adapted to be transported by railroad tank car. A short stack 18 extends upwardly from the top portion of the railroad tank car 10 and allows material to be fed into the tank car or removed from the tank car. The top 20 of the stack 18 may be hinged or suitably coupled to stack 18 so that pressure may be maintained in tank car 10 if desired, and to provide proper sealing of the interior of the tank car 10. Wheels 22, 24, 26, and 28 coupled to axle assemblies 30 and 32 support the tank car 10 on track 34 and another track not shown in FIG. I. The tank car 10 shown in FIG. 1 may be of any known type widely used throughout the railroad industry. Although the present invention is adapted for particular use with railroad tank cars, it will beappreciated in the later explanation and description of the invention that the apparatus and methods of the present invention may be utilized effectively with any vessel wherein abrasive cleaning or treatment of the interior surface of such vessel is required. Although in the following description and explanation of the invention abrasive cleaning such as sand blasting will be explained in detail, it will be appreciated that the present invention also may be utilized in painting, spraying, or other treating of the interior surface of any vessel.
Disposed substantially along the longitudinal axis of the tank car is support means 40. Support means includes braces positioned as a three-way truss with sections of the support means being easily added or removed according to the requirements of a particular job. The ends of the guide rail assembly of the support means are provided with adjustable jack screws 42 and 44. Jack screw 42 may include member 46 positioned against the end of the truss and member 48 may be positioned against end 14 of the tank car 10. Handle 50 may be utilized for rigidly positioning the guide rail in place in a manner well known in the art. Jack screw 44 may include member 52 positioned against the truss and member 54 may be positioned against end 16 with handle 56 providing tightening of the jack screw to assure that support means 40 remains fixed rigidly inside the railroad tank car 10.
Positioned on the support means 40 is carriage means 60. Carriage means 60 includes drive means 62 and ring means 64. Nozzle means 66 includes indexing means 68 which provides rotational positioning of the ring means 64 as will be explained in detail subsequently. The nozzle means further includes a distributor head means 70 similar to the distributor head means identified in my previously mentioned copending application Ser. No. 463,781 filed Jun. 14, 1965 entitled ABRASIVE FLOW SYSTEM AND METHODS. A vacuum suction means 72 includes member 74 coupled by suitable means such as welding at 76 to the carriage means 60.
Generally as may be ascertained from examination of FIG. 1, material is sprayed or discharged in pattern 80 from a nozzle positioned on ring means 64 against the interior surface I2 of the tank car 10. In describing one operation of the apparatus of the present invention the ring means 64 and the nozzle means 66 are positioned at a selected location along support means 40 and rotational movement of the ring means 64 and nozzle means 66 occurs to clean the interior surface 12 of the tank car 10. As the entire circumference of the particular segment of interior surface 12 has been cleaned or otherwise treated with pattern 80, the carriage means 60 is moved longitudinally along support means 40 to another position and the pattern 80 may again be applied against the interior 12 of tank car 10 to allow cleaning or treatment of another section of the tank car 10. It will be appreciated that as material such as abrasive used in cleaning the interior of tank car 10 is accumulated at the bottom or lower portion 82 of tank car 10, the vacuum suction means 72 will draw the accumulated material from the bottom of the tank car.
Control of the apparatus positioned in tank car 10 may be achieved outside of the tank car with control means operable by a single operator who may be simultaneously operating a plurality of similar devices in a plurality of tank cars. The control means 90 may be similar generally to the control means identified in my prior copending patent application and such control means may control the air supply through line 92 to the air motors utilized in the present invention as part of the drive means and part of the indexing means to be described in more detail subsequently. Abrasive or other material is provided through line 94 which is coupled to distributor head means 70 which in turn is coupled to lines 96, 98, and and to the individual nozzles positioned on ring means 64 as will be explained. The control means 90 further may control the vacuum on line 102 coupled to the vacuum suction means 72. If abrasive material is used for cleaning the interior of the tank car, a vacuum is provided continuously to the vacuum suction means 72 to allow removal continuously of material collected at 82 in the lower portion of tank car 10. Briefly summarizing the supply lines for controlling the apparatus positioned in tank car 10, line 92 supplies pressurized fluid such as compressed air to the drive means and indexing means, line 94 provides material such as abrasive material to the distributor head means 70, and line 102 provides a vacuum for withdrawing abrasive material which accumulates in the lower part of tank car 10 when abrasive cleaning is utilized.
Referring now to FIG. 2, FIG. 2 is a sectional, end view of the apparatus of the present invention taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1. Tank car 10 is positioned on axle assembly 32 with an interior surface 12 to be cleaned or treated. Support means 40 includes member 104, I06, and 108. The carriage means 60 is positioned over a portion of the support means 40 with distributor head means 70 coupled by suitable means such as welding or bolting to the carriage means 60. Vacuum suction means 72 is positioned on support 74 to carriage means 60. Line 102, as explained previously, is coupled to vacuum suction means 72, and line 94 is coupled to the distributor head means 70. Lines 96 and line 98 are coupled to two of the nozzles 110, 112, and 114 with the other line 100 shown in F FIG. 1 not being shown in FIG. 2.
It will be appreciated that nozzles 110, I12, and 114 are positioned at 120 angular degrees along the ring means 64 so that as the ring means rotate, the amount of rotation does not have to be more than 120 angular degrees to allow the pattern 80 from nozzle and similar patterns from nozzles 112 and 144 to be greater than I20 angular degrees to allow proper treating of the interior surface 12 of the tank car 10. It will be appreciated that although three nozzles are shown positioned at I20 angular degrees from each other on the ring means 64 that any number of nozzles may be utilized so long as the entire surface 12 is properly treated by the pattern from each nozzle positioned on the ring means 64. For example, if four nozzles are to be utilized, each nozzle would be placed 90 angular degrees from the other nozzle along the ring means 64 so that the rotational movement of ring means 64 would not need to be greater than 90 angular degrees-to provide treating of the entire surface 12 of the tank car 10.
FIG. 3 is an end view partially in section of a nozzle and support of the present invention. Ring means 64 has a bolt 116 having threads 118 positioned through opening 120 and coupled to holder 122. A screw 124 may be utilized for positioning nozzle 110 to holder 122. Nozzle 110 has an opening through which abrasive material or other material may be discharged. Nozzle 110 may include sections 132 and 134 wherein a nut 136 and wing 138 are coupled on one side and nut 140 and wing 142 are coupled on the other side to allow the nozzle 110 to be suitably coupled to a line or hose which is supplying abrasive or other material to the nozzle 110. It will be appreciated in viewing the nozzle of FIG. 3 that the angular position of the three nozzles with respect to the ring means 64 may be varied so that the discharge from a particular nozzle against the interior surface 12 is at a suitable angle, as best seen in viewing FIG. I, so that a uniform anchor pattern will be provided on interior surface 12 as explained in my prior copending application. The interior surface 12 is provided with a uniform anchor pattern thereby causing the interior surface 12 to be a product formed by the process or method utilized in the present invention. The uniform anchor pattern is one of the principal objectives of the process or method utilized in the present invention. The angular positioning of the nozzle on ring means 64 allows a variation in the area covered by pattern 80 shown in FIG. I and the corresponding patterns shown in FIG. 2 so that interior surface 12 may be treated with abrasive material either in a concentrated pattern in the event that the corrosion or material to be removed from the interior surface 12 is heavy, or the pattern may be diffused so that a large area is treated in those instances where interior surface 12 does not require extensive treatment. Thus, it will be apparent that by positioning the nozzles utilized in practicing the present invention various patterns may be obtained which patterns are adapted for a particular job without the necessity of making substantial changes or modifications to the apparatus of the present invention so that such apparatus has wide adaptability while maintaining its effectiveness and efi'iciency under many varied operating conditions.
FIG. 4 is an end view, partially in section of the support means and carriage means of the present invention. Support means 40 includes upper tubular member 104 and tubular members 108 and 106. Members 104, 106, and 108 may be coupled together by a plurality of braces 144, 146, and 148 to form a three-way truss as explained previously.
Thus, the tubular members 104, 106, and 108 and the support members 144, 146, and 148 and the jack screws not shown in FIG. 4 provide support means for the carriage means 60. Carriage means 60 includes drive means 62 and ring means 64. Indexing means 68 may be positioned in the lower part of the carriage means so that member 150 engages the inside portion 152 of the ring means 64 to allow the nozzles coupled to the ring means 64 to besuitably positioned. Indexing means 68 includes an air driven reversible motor. A friction drive or a geared pinion may be utilized. The indexing motor of indexing means 68 may be actuated by compressed air and is well known in the art. The motor, when reversed in rotation, causes member 150 to be reversed in rotation so that reverse movement of ring means 64 occurs. The motor of drive means 62 also is an air actuated reversible motor which may be reversed in rotation so that the drive shaft 154 may be rotated in either direction so that member 156 is rotated to cause the carriage means 60 to move in either direction along the support means.
Shaft 154 is coupled by a suitable connection 158 to the upper portion of carriage means 60 so that drive roller 156 of the drive means causes movement of the carriage means 60 along the support means 40. Idler rollers 159 and 160 are positioned on pins 162 and 164 respectively to allow the carriage means 60 to move positively along tubular members 108 and 106 of the support means 40.
Ring means 64 is disposed from support means 40 by members such as members 166 and 168 having for example rollers 170 and 172 coupled thereto. The ring means 64 is held in position longitudinally by'members 174, 176, and 178 having rollers 180, 182 and 184. As may be seen in FIG. 5, similar support members and rollers are positioned on the back side of ring means 64 and such support members and rollers are not visible in .FIG. 4. The ring portion of the ring means may be segmented to allow easy positioning of the ring on the carriage means and on the support means.
In typical operation of the apparatus of the present invention, the carriage means 60 may be bolted in position or coupled in any other suitable manner along the support means 40. After the carriage means 60 has moved to a new position along the support means 40, the ring means 64 is again rotated by the indexing means 68 but in theopposite direction from the previous rotation until another limit switch again is actuated at the end of the 120 degree rotational movement. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the particular combination of movements may be adjusted easily and quickly for various conditions and requirements so that rotational movement of the nozzle means may be accomplished simultaneously with the longitudinal movement of the carriage means along the support means.
FIG. 5 is a side view of the support means and carriage means shown in FIG. 4. Tubular member 104 may be seen to be coupled to tubular member 106 by braces such as braces 186, 188, 190, and 192. Carriage means 60 is shown positioned on support means 40 with indexing means 68 shown in the lower portion of FIG. 5. Drive means 62 is shown in the upper part of FIG. 5. Support 176 and idler roller 182 may be seen in the lower portion of FIG. 5 and similar support 194 and idler roller 196 are shown on the other side of the ring of the ring means 64. Member 198 may be utilized as a brace for members 176 and 194 and to support the indexing motor. Support 178 and roller 184 are shown coupled to the carriage means 60 on one side of the ring of the ring means 64 while support 200 and roller 202 are positioned on the other side of the ring of the ring means 64. Bolts 204, 206, 208, and 210 are utilized for positioning the upper part of carriage 60 to the lower part of the carriage means when the carriage means is positioned on the support means in the vessel or tank as explained previously. It will be appreciated in viewing FIG. 5 that rotation of the ring means 64 to which the nozzles are coupled is achieved through rotation of the member 150 coupled to the motor of the indexing means 68. The idler rollers such as rollers 184, 202, 196, and 182 provide stability to the ring means 64 as rotation occurs.
FIG. 6 is a partial sectional, end view of the support means and the carriage means of the present invention. The air motor of drive means 62 is coupled through suitable gear reduction means to drive shaft 154 which is coupled to roller 156. Support bearing 158 is provided for shaft 154 on carriage means 60. As explained previously, tubular members 104, 106, and 108 of the support means 40 are coupled together by brace members 144, 146, and 148. ldler rollers 159 and are positioned on carriage means 60 by suitable means such as pins 162 and 164.
The carriage means may be constructed of suitable material such as sheet aluminum or other material which is light in weight yet sturdy and may include plates 212, 214, and 216. Plates 218 and 220 extend respectively from plates 214 and 212. Plates 218 and 220 provide a floating, support effect to idler rollers such as rollers 159 and 160 so that movement of the carriage means along the support means may be achieved in a smoother manner and to allow enough friction for proper operation of the drive means 62.
It will be understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art that although a drive means has been shown and described which utilizes a shaft and a friction drive wherein the weight of the carriage means provides friction on tubular member 104, other drive means may be provided so long as the carriage means is moved along the support means in a selected, controlled manner. If the apparatus of the present invention is used in treating the inside of pipe, for example, the apparatus may remain fixed while the pipe is moved. The apparatus of the present invention may be used effectively in many ways so long as there is relative movement between the vessel or workpiece and the apparatus.
FIG. 7 is a side view of the support means and carriage means of the present invention taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6. The drive means 62 is shown coupled to roller 156 positioned on tubular member 104 of the support means 40. Roller 222 is positioned on tubular member 104 and supported in a manner similar to the support provided for roller 156. Idler roller 160 is coupled to tubular member 106. Idler roller 224 is shown positioned in rolling contact with member 106. Lower plate 216 is coupled to shaft or pin 164 and to pin 226. As explained previously, drive means 62 provides friction drive through roller 156 on tubular member 104 to cause the carriage means 60 to move longitudinally along the support means 40.
Thus, the present invention provides methods for treating the interior of an elongated member having an opening therein so that the interior surface of such member is provided with an anchor pattern which is uniform whenever the interior surface of such member is cleaner with cleaned with an abrasive such as sand. The methods of the present invention also may be utilized for painting or for applying other fluid material to the interior surface of tubular members including tanks or vessels. The present invention overcomes many of the obstacles and problems which have been encountered in the cleaning and treatment of interior surfaces by eliminating the need for workmen to be inside the tank or vessel during cleaning or treatment thereby minimizing the danger to workmen. The present invention also allows effective treatment to be made more rapidly than in the past thereby putting expensive equipment such as railroad tank cars back into service sooner.
Although a preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many modifications and improvements may be made in performing the methods of the present invention without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the following claim. Although such claim may be presented in indented format to facilitate reading and understanding thereof, such indented format is not to be construed as functional limitation of the steps recited in such claim. I
l. A method of cleaning the interior surface of a hollow elongated member, comprising:
positioning support means within said member along its lonalternately moving said nozzle means longitudinally of said gimdmal 3X15; support means and rotating said nozzle means around positioning a plurality of nozzle means on said support means for rotation relative to said support means;
providing sand under pressure through said nozzle means to impinge on said interior surface; and
said support means less than 360 while sand is being provided through the nozzle means.
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