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Title: Flexible pipe crawling device having articulated two axis coupling

An apparatus for moving through the linear and non-linear segments of piping systems. The apparatus comprises a front leg assembly, a rear leg assembly, a mechanism for extension and retraction of the front and rear leg assembles with respect to each other, such as an air cylinder, and a pivoting joint. One end of the flexible joint attaches to the front leg assembly and the other end to the air cylinder, which is also connected to the rear leg assembly. The air cylinder allows the front and rear leg assemblies to progress through a pipe in "inchworm" fashion, while the joint provides the flexibility necessary for the pipe crawler to negotiate non-linear piping segments. The flexible connecting joint is coupled with a spring-force suspension system that urges alignment of the front and rear leg assemblies with respect to each other. The joint and suspension system cooperate to provide a firm yet flexible connection between the front and rear leg assemblies to allow the pivoting of one with respect to the other while moving around a non-linear pipe segment, but restoring proper alignment coming out of the pipe bend.
Inventors:
 [1]
  1. (Martinez, GA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
869284
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) SRS
Patent Number(s):
US 5309844
Contract Number:
AC09-89SR18035
Research Org:
WESTINGHOUSE SAVANNAH RIVER CO
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
flexible; pipe; crawling; device; articulated; axis; coupling; apparatus; moving; linear; non-linear; segments; piping; systems; comprises; front; leg; assembly; rear; mechanism; extension; retraction; assembles; respect; air; cylinder; pivoting; joint; attaches; connected; allows; assemblies; progress; inchworm; fashion; provides; flexibility; crawler; negotiate; connecting; coupled; spring-force; suspension; urges; alignment; cooperate; provide; firm; connection; allow; segment; restoring; proper; coming; bend; piping systems; proper alignment; pipe crawler; rear leg; front leg; leg assemblies; apparatus comprises; leg assembly; air cylinder; apparatus comprise; pivoting joint; cylinder allows; /104/