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Title: Pipe crawler with extendable legs

Abstract

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 as a leg assembly is wide 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. 8 figs.

Inventors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
7072088
Patent Number(s):
US 5121694; A
Application Number:
PPN: US 7-679497
Assignee:
PTO; EDB-94-082645
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-89SR18035
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2 Apr 1991
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; PIPES; INSPECTION; ROBOTS; DESIGN; ELECTRIC CONTROLLERS; OPERATION; PNEUMATIC CONTROLLERS; ROLLING FRICTION; CONTROL EQUIPMENT; EQUIPMENT; FRICTION; 420203* - Engineering- Handling Equipment & Procedures

Citation Formats

Zollinger, W.T. Pipe crawler with extendable legs. United States: N. p., 1992. Web.
Zollinger, W.T. Pipe crawler with extendable legs. United States.
Zollinger, W.T. 1992. "Pipe crawler with extendable legs". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_7072088,
title = {Pipe crawler with extendable legs},
author = {Zollinger, W.T.},
abstractNote = {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 as a leg assembly is wide 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. 8 figs.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1992,
month = 6
}
  • 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 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
  • 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 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 radically outward to increase the range of the legs when the pipe crawler enters a section of 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 up themore » 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. 5 figs.« less