skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Pipe crawler with stabilizing midsection

Abstract

A pipe crawler is described having a midsection that provides the stability and flexibility to allow the pipe crawler to negotiate curved and uneven segments of piping while traveling through piping systems. The pipe crawler comprises a front leg assembly, a rear leg assembly, a midsection with a gimbal at each end for connecting the midsection to the front and rear leg assemblies in a flexible manner, and an air cylinder for changing the distance between the front and rear leg assemblies. The pipe crawler moves in ''inch worm'' fashion with the front and rear leg assemblies alternating between an extended and a retracted position as the air cylinder moves the retracted leg assembly forward. The midsection has a plurality of legs extending radially for holding the midsection within a maximum displacement from the piping axis so that the gimbals are not pivoted to extreme angles where they might lock up or seize. When the midsection is displaced sufficiently, its legs with wheels on each end engage the interior surface of the piping and prevent further displacement. Using two gimbals divides the angle between the planes defined by the front and rear leg assemblies which also helps to prevent excessivemore » gimbal pivoting. 5 figures.« less

Inventors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6648415
Patent Number(s):
US 5375530; A
Application Number:
PPN: US 8-123942
Assignee:
Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States) PTO; EDB-95-030661
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-89SR18035
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 20 Sep 1993
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; MAINTENANCE FACILITIES; DESIGN; PIPELINES; MAINTENANCE; OPERATION; PNEUMATICS; TRANSPORT; FLUID MECHANICS; MECHANICS 420205* -- Engineering-- Transport & Storage Facilities-- (1980-)

Citation Formats

Zollinger, W.T., and Treanor, R.C. Pipe crawler with stabilizing midsection. United States: N. p., 1994. Web.
Zollinger, W.T., & Treanor, R.C. Pipe crawler with stabilizing midsection. United States.
Zollinger, W.T., and Treanor, R.C. 1994. "Pipe crawler with stabilizing midsection". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6648415,
title = {Pipe crawler with stabilizing midsection},
author = {Zollinger, W.T. and Treanor, R.C.},
abstractNote = {A pipe crawler is described having a midsection that provides the stability and flexibility to allow the pipe crawler to negotiate curved and uneven segments of piping while traveling through piping systems. The pipe crawler comprises a front leg assembly, a rear leg assembly, a midsection with a gimbal at each end for connecting the midsection to the front and rear leg assemblies in a flexible manner, and an air cylinder for changing the distance between the front and rear leg assemblies. The pipe crawler moves in ''inch worm'' fashion with the front and rear leg assemblies alternating between an extended and a retracted position as the air cylinder moves the retracted leg assembly forward. The midsection has a plurality of legs extending radially for holding the midsection within a maximum displacement from the piping axis so that the gimbals are not pivoted to extreme angles where they might lock up or seize. When the midsection is displaced sufficiently, its legs with wheels on each end engage the interior surface of the piping and prevent further displacement. Using two gimbals divides the angle between the planes defined by the front and rear leg assemblies which also helps to prevent excessive gimbal pivoting. 5 figures.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1994,
month =
}
  • This invention is comprised of a pipe crawler having a midsection that provides the stability and flexibility to allow the pipe crawler to negotiate curved and uneven segments of piping while traveling through piping systems. The pipe crawler comprises a front leg assembly, a rear leg assembly, a midsection with a gimbal at each end for connecting the midsection to the front and rear leg assemblies in a flexible manner, and an air cylinder for changing the distance between the front and rear leg assemblies. The pipe crawler moves in ``inch worm`` fashion with the front and rear leg assembliesmore » alternating between an extended and a retracted position as the air cylinder moves the retracted leg assembly forward. The midsection has a plurality of legs extending radially for holding the midsection within a maximum displacement from the piping axis so that the gimbals are not pivoted to extreme angles where they might lock up or seize. When the midsection is displaced sufficiently, its legs with wheels on each end engage the interior surface of the piping and prevent further displacement. Using two gimbals divides the angle between the planes defined by the front and rear leg assemblies which also helps to prevent excessive gimbal pivoting.« less
  • A pipe crawler having a midsection that provides the stability and flexibty to allow the pipe crawler to negotiate curved and uneven segments of piping while traveling through piping systems. The pipe crawler comprises a front leg assembly, a rear leg assembly, a midsection with a gimbal at each end for connecting the midsection to the front and rear leg assemblies in a flexible manner, and an air cylinder for changing the distance between the front and rear leg assemblies. The pipe crawler moves in "inch worm" fashion with the front and rear leg assemblies alternating between an extended andmore » a retracted position as the air cylinder moves the retracted leg assembly forward. The midsection has a plurality of legs extending radially for holding the midsection within a maximum displacement from the piping axis so that the gimbals are not pivoted to extreme angles where they might lock up or seize. When the midsection is displaced sufficiently, its legs with wheels on each end engage the interior surface of the piping and prevent further displacement. Using two gimbals divides the angle between the planes defined by the front and rear leg assemblies which also helps to prevent excessive gimbal pivoting.« less
  • This invention is comprised of a pipe crawler for moving through a pipe in inchworm fashion having front and rear leg assemblies separated by air cylinders to increase and decrease the spacing. between assemblies. Each leg of the four legs of an assembly is moved between a wall-engaging, extended position and a retracted position by a separate air cylinder. The air cylinders of the leg assemblies are preferably arranged in pairs of oppositely directed cylinders with no pair laying in the same axial plane as another pair. Therefore, the cylinders can be as long as a leg assembly is widemore » and the crawler can crawl through sections of pipes where the diameter is twice that of other sections. The crawler carries a valving system, a manifold to distribute air supplied by a single umbilical air hose to the various air cylinders in a sequence controlled electrically by a controller. The crawler also utilizes a rolling mechanism, casters in this case, to reduce friction between the crawler and pipe wall thereby further extending the range of the pipe crawler.« less
  • A pipe crawler having a front leg assembly and a back leg assembly connected together by two air cylinders, each leg assembly having four extendable legs and a pair of actuators for sliding the extendable legs radially outward to increase the range of the legs when the pipe crawler enters a section of a pipe having a larger diameter. The crawler crawls by "inchworm"-like motion, the front leg assembly and back leg assembly alternately engaging and disengaging the wall of the pipe to hold the pipe crawler as the air cylinders alternately advance the front leg assembly and bring upmore » the rear leg assembly. The pair of actuators of each leg assembly are parallel, adjacent and opposing acting so that each slides two adjacent extendable legs radially outward.« less
  • A pipe crawler for moving through a pipe in inchworm fashion having front and rear leg assemblies separated by air cylinders to increase and decrease the spacing between assemblies. Each leg of the four legs of an assembly is moved between a wall-engaging, extended position and a retracted position by a separate air cylinder. The air cylinders of the leg assemblies are preferably arranged in pairs of oppositely directed cylinders with no pair lying in the same axial plane as another pair. Therefore, the cylinders can be as long a leg assembly is wide and the crawler can crawl throughmore » sections of pipes where the diameter is twice that of other sections. The crawler carries a valving system, a manifold to distribute air supplied by a single umbilical air hose to the various air cylinders in a sequence controlled electrically by a controller. The crawler also utilizes a rolling mechanism, casters in this case, to reduce friction between the crawler and pipe wall thereby further extending the range of the pipe crawler.« less