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Title: Pipe crawler with stabilizing midsection

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 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.
Inventors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. (Martinez, GA)
  2. (Augusta, GA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
869669
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by Department of Energy (Washington, DC) SRS
Patent Number(s):
US 5375530
Contract Number:
AC09-89SR18035
Research Org:
WESTINGHOUSE SAVANNAH RIVER CO
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
pipe; crawler; stabilizing; midsection; provides; stability; flexibty; allow; negotiate; curved; uneven; segments; piping; traveling; systems; comprises; front; leg; assembly; rear; gimbal; connecting; assemblies; flexible; manner; air; cylinder; changing; distance; moves; inch; worm; fashion; alternating; extended; retracted; position; forward; plurality; legs; extending; radially; holding; maximum; displacement; axis; gimbals; pivoted; extreme; angles; lock; seize; displaced; sufficiently; wheels; engage; interior; surface; prevent; divides; angle; planes; defined; helps; excessive; pivoting; piping systems; prevent excessive; pipe crawler; rear leg; retracted position; front leg; extending radially; leg assemblies; interior surface; leg assembly; air cylinder; legs extending; extending radial; prevent excess; /104/