Apparatus for washing tanks and the like
United States Patent 2120784

This invention relates to apparatus for automatically distributing liquid under high pressure and more particularly to hydraulically operated apparatus which is especially adapted to deliver high pressure jets of liquid upon the interior surfaces of compartments, such for example as tanks or...

Howald, Werner T.
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Howald, Werner T.
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This invention relates to apparatus for automatically distributing liquid under high pressure and more particularly to hydraulically operated apparatus which is especially adapted to deliver high pressure jets of liquid upon the interior surfaces of compartments, such for example as tanks or other receptacles, for expeditiously and economically accomplishing either the effective cleansing of such surfaces or, in case the apparatus is employed for fire prevention, the effective drenching of the surfaces of such compartment and material stored therein.

Among the principal objects of the invention are the provision of a simple, compact, rugged and highly efficient device which while normally operated hydraulically may be also easily rotated through a partial revolution in order to facilitate the ready insertion and removal of the distributor head of the apparatus through relatively small openings in a deck or floor which covers the particular compartment into which it is desired that the streams of liquid be projected.

Another object of the invention is the automatic compensation of any change in pressure of the liquid delivered to the apparatus whereby, without necessitating any manual adjustments of the parts thereof, any change in the speed of movement of the nozzles, due to such pressure changes, will be minimized. Further objects of the invention are the elimination of any fire hazard, due to possible sparking, such as is likely to occur in the case of electrically driven distributor heads, and also the reduction of power loss, due to friction, to a minimum because of the effective lubrication of the moving parts with the water being circulated through the apparatus. Still other objects of the invention are hereinafter set forth.

In the accompanying drawings in which I have illustrated a preferred form of my invention Figure 1 is a vertical section of my improved spraying apparatus or so-called spray head; and Fig. 2 is a side elevation thereof; Figs. 3 and 4. are sections on lines 3-3 and 4-4 respectively of Fg. 2; Fig. 5 is a side elevation of the nozzle member, isolated, viewed from the inner face thereof; Fig. 6 is a side elevation of the nozzle gear; Figs. 7 and 8 are horizontal sections on the lines 1-1 and 8-8 of Fig. 1, respectively; 5o Fig. 9 is a side elevation of the top of the guide vane head, isolated; Fig. 10 is an elevation and Fig. 11 a plan of the vane-carrying runner, isolated; and ig. 12 is a perspective view of the sleeve which is associated with said vane-head.

Referring to the drawings and the construction shown therein, the reference numerals 1 and 2 designate the upper and lower ielatively rotatable sections of the spindle housing of said spray head, the former having a top flange 3, and intermediate flange 4, and having a reduced cylindrical portion 5 which snugly fits within the upper end of the section 2. A flanged housing 6 is bolted-to the upper end of said section 1, the same having an inlet aperture 7 which is tapped to receive a hose connecting bushing 0. A ratchet housing 10, having an apertured lower end, is secured to the lower end-of the section 2, the same being rigidly secured together by a thrust nut II that is screwed on the lower end of the elongated, depending bearing boss 12 which is cast integral with three depending converging struts or truss members 13 which are integral with the housing section 2. A roller bearing 14 is interposed between said unit II and the bottom of section 2 of the housing, the same encircling the depending neck 15, and a bushing 16 is interposed between the boss 12 and the adjacent surface of the lower end of section 2.

As shown, the configuration of the housing -6 and section 2 of the spindle housing are such as to form an ovoid chamber A within which is positioned a two-piece oviform deflector member comprising a stationary guide vane-head 20, equipped with a peripheral series of curved vanes30 21, and a rotatable runner skirt element 22. To the latter is bolted a runner 23, which latter is also provided with a peripheral series of curved impeller vanes or blades 24 (see Fig. 10) that are of opposite curvature to the aforesaid vanes 21. Said vane-head 20 is mounted in a flanged sleeve 25 which is provided with a peripheral series of slots 26 that are adapted to receive lugs 27 formed on the top of the vanes 21 and both said lugs and the top of said vanes 21, as shown, are streamlined, i. e. of generally curvilineal or elliptical cross-section. The housing 6 and the upper end of said section I are grooved, as shown, to form an annular recess 28 for the reception of the top flange of the sleeve 25 and the inner wall of said section 2 is grooved to form a recess 29 into which the sleeve 25 is adapted to partially enter but, as shown, the margin of the top of recess 28 overhangs the margin of the bottom of recess 29 and consequently when the sleeve 25 is mounted in the position shown in Fig. 1, the inner face of the body proper of said sleeve will extend inwardly a slight distance beyond the outer edges of the vanes 24, thereby serving to deflect water passing over said sleeve away from M the narrow slit 30 and lessen the tendency for objectionable gritty sediment or scale to pass through said slit 30 and into the narrow space 31 between the outer edges of the vanes 24 and the adjacent inner wall of section I. Said sleeve is positioned by means of a locating pin 32 which fits into a vertical slot 33 formed in the inner face of section I and which pin also positively prevents any possibility of rotation of the sleeve 25 and the vane-head 20 carried thereby by the rapid current of water impacting against the vanes 21.

A spindle member 35 projects through the hollow boss 12, the same having a cylindrical upper end 36 of reduced diameter and a portion, as designated by the numeral 37, which is approximately square in cross-section. The upper end of the spindle projects into a bushed recess 38 in the hub 39 of said vane-head 24 and at its lower end, which is also reduced and of rectangular cross-section, is mounted in and has a drive fit with a crank 40 which is mounted in a bushing 41 carried in the central boss 42 of a crank bearing 43 and which bearing is secured by cap screw 44 to lug 45 formed on the inner face of ratchet housing 10.

The eccentric arm 46 of said crank projects through a bronze bushing 41 carried by a pawl member 48 that is adapted to oscillate on said crank arm. A laminated leaf spring 49 which is 80 rigidly clamped to housing serves to normally press said pawl against the teeth of a ratchet wheel 50 that is rotatably mounted on the lower end of a vertical worm shaft 51 which is mounted in bushed bearings 52 and 53 carried by a worm housing 54 that is secured by cap screws 55 and 56 to arms 57 and 58 which arms project inwardly from the ratchet housing and the section 2 of the spindle housing respectively.

A nozzle feed pipe 60, which is integrally formed on section 2 of the spindle housing, has a bearing boss 61 projecting outwardly therefrom, serves as a support for a nozzle member 62 which is rotatably mounted thereon, said nozzle member being retained by a thrust nut 63 which is threaded on the outer end of the boss 61.

A nozzle gear 65 and a worm gear 66, which are rigidly secured together by pins 67, are loosely mounted on the hollow boss or intake conduit 68 of the nozzle member in such a manner as to be capable of limited rotation through a partial revolution with respect to said nozzle member, this being accomplished by means of oppositely disposed lugs 69 formed on the inner face of the nozzle. (see Fig. 5) which are adapted to effect the positive drive of the nozzle members when they are rotated so as to engage co-operating lugs 10 formed on outer end of the nozzle gear 65 (see Mg. 6). A stationary ring gear 75 is secured by 60 cap screws 76 to the lower face of the flange 4 of section I of spindle housing, said gear being in permanent mesh with the said nozzle gear 85.

In order to effect the positive drive of the spindle by the runner 23, the hollow hub 80 of said runner is provided with a cylindrical bore 81 throughout the major portion of the height thereof which is of a size to snugly receive the reduced cylindrical upper end 36 of the spindle and at the lower end of said bore the same is of rectangular configuration, forming a slot 82 which is adapted to fit over the square section 37 of the spindle and thereby insure rotation of tht said spindle upon rotation of said runner by the impact of the power liquid with the vanes or blades of said 67 runner. The bottom of said runner is fitted over the top of the skirt 22 and both of these members are rigidly secured to each other by pins 83.

As shown, in order to admit of the water lubrication of all of the wearing parts, the vane-head 20 and hub 38 are provided with top apertures 85 and 86, a slight clearance is provided between the spindle and the adjacent wall of the hollow boss 12, as well as between the unit II and the adjacent wall of the rachet housing 10.

While any suitable nozzle member may be employed with my improved spray head, I preferably employ reactance nozzle member elements wherein the respective nozzles proper, such as indicated by the reference numerals 90, are offset with respect to each other and the respective outlets from the hub of the nozzle member to the nozzles are not diametrically opposed to each other and thereby the rotation of the nozzles about both a horizontal and vertical axis, while primarily effected by the worm gearing, which is in turn actuated by the impeller element or liquid motor, will be augmented by the reactance of the water being discharged through the nozzles and consequently the pressure on the gear will be relieved with the consequent substantial reduction in the wear on the teeth of the various gears of the spray head, all without there being any possibility of the reactance of the water on such offset nozzles causing the over-running of the same beyond the selected speed as determined by the gear ratios and velocity of the water introduced through the inlet into the spray head. It is especially desirable where reactance nozzles are utilized for the above stated purpose that the same should be but slightly offset or but slightly bent so as to produce but a slight reactance in order to take up any lost motion and minimize wear on gear teeth but insufficient to exert excessive pressure on such teeth.

In order to cause the jets issuing from the nozzles to travel in constantly changing paths wherein' such change occurs in precise predetermined increments of change, the number of teeth in the vertical gear 65 should include a hunting tooth, or in other words the number of teeth should be greater by one than the number of teeth in the horizontal stationary gear 71, or vice versa, for example where it is desired that the nozzles should rotate in a complete cycle in one-half hour and the rotation of such nozzles 60 about a horizontal axis should be about IVa R. P. M. and the water pressure employed should be between 150 and 180 lbs. per square inch, I have found that a ratio of 41 teeth in the vertical gear to 40 in the stationary horizontal gear to be 65 eminently satisfactory.

As an example of the manner in which my Improved spray head may be employed in the cleaning of a tank of a petroleum cargo vessel in order to gas free the same and to remove residual deposits from the walls thereof, the following is given:The spray head, after being coupled by means of the coupling 8 to a flexible hose which Is connected to a source of high pressure water supply, for example water heated to about 180" F. and under 180 Ibs. pressure per square inch, is introduced through a small opening in a deck of such tanker above the particular tank to be cleaned, after first insuring that the nozzles had been manually turned substantially in the position shown in Fig. 1 so that the longitudinal axis thereof is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the housing of the spray head or of the spindle thereof. Water is then introduced from such source of supply into the housing 6, wherein substantially all the water except that which incidentally passes through the aperture 85 in the vane-head will be deflected outwardly around the vane-head and forcibly impact against the vanes 21 thereof. The curvature of these vanes is such as to create an effective starting torque on the vanes on the runner 23 and consequently these latter vanes and the skirt 22, to which such runner is secured, will be caused to rapidly rotate. Thereby through the spindle 35, the crank 40 will be rapidly rotated in exact consonance with the rotation of the runner and, through the ratchet mechanism, in accordance with the well known principle of operation thereof, the worm shaft 51 will be rotated step by step and its worm will in turn effect the rotation of the worm gear in mesh therewith which will effect the rotation of the vertical nozzle gear, affixed thereto, at relatively slow speed depending upon their reduction effected by said worm and ratchet mechanism, and the rotation of said nozzles will be effected in consonance with the rotation of said nozzle gear due to the engagement of the respective lugs 69 and 70 on the nozzle member and the nozzle gear and due to the fact that the horizontal gear 75 and the nozzle gear 65 each have a different number of teeth, the number preferably differing by one, as above stated, the jet of liquid projected from the chamber A through the nozzle intake conduit will, as it issues from the nozzle tips, travel in a constantly changing path along the tank walls until the spray head is operated through a complete cycle, whereupon the spray head will return to its original position insofar as the position of the section 2 of the spindle housing and the position of the respective nozzles are concerned, and thereupon the cycles of operation are repeated. As shown, the crank 40 is preferably supported in a crank journal 95 to which it is eccentrically secured being rigidly connected thereto by means of a taper pin 96, and said journal is preferably supported on an anti-friction washer, which also serves as a thrust washer, as designated by the reference numeral 97 and which seats upon the shoulder 98 formed adjacent the bottom of the journal well 99 of said ratchet housing.

Among the advantages of my improved construction, other than those above specified, are that the liquid motor being mounted in a stationary conduit, there is no waste of water by passage through a revolving secondary conduit, and as a consequence, it is possible to utilize the full force obtainable from the flow of the entire stream of water without any part being diverted to operate a secondary motor or secondary feed pipe. One of the distinct advantages of this arrangement is the fact that the speed of rotation of the nozzles will be substantially constant with a given velocity of water and since the velocity of the water, while a function of the pressure does not vary directly therewith and therefore is not subject to the same variation as is the pressure of the water, it is possible, even when the pressure falls from 180 lbs. per square inch to about 100 lbs. per square inch, to maintain the nozzle speed far more uniform than would be the case if the velocity of the water varied directly with the pressure and, due to the very great reduction effected by the ratchet and worm mechanism aforesaid the difference in the speed of rotation of said nozzles even when the velocity of the water varies considerably, is scarcely noticeable. Likewise, when a high water pressure, say of 180 lbs. per square inch, or sufficient pressure to substantially overcome the friction due to the resistance of the bearings, ratchet mechanism and worm, is present in the system the herein described ratchet mechanism, in conjunction with the worm, not only acts as an escapement to prevent any over-running of the nozzles in response to any reactance of the water thereon, when reactance nozzles of the type herein described are employed, but such mechanism and worm permit of accomplishing a high ratio of reduction with a minimum loss of power due to the essential absence of ordinary reducing gears, such as would otherwise be required in order to accomplish the high reduction which is necessary to effect where water under pressure of 180 lbs. per square inch is introduced into the spray head and a nozzle speed, as is eminently desirable, of but a very few revolutions per minute is to be effected, preferably of about 11/2 R. P. M. Furthermore, by the employment of the two sets of vanes of opposite curvature on the vane-head and runner respectively, not only as above stated is it possible to quickly start the spindle in rotation, but the tendency of the same to lift in its bearings and exert excessive and undesirable upward pressure against the top bearing in which it is mounted due to the inertia of rest, is eliminated.

This application is a continuation in part of my copending application Ser. No. 695,460 filed October 27, 1933.

The step-by-step or intermittent movement of the nozzles both about a horizontal as well as a vertical axis which is effected by the liquid motor acting through the ratchet and worm mechanism is especially advantageous in the cleaning of petroleum cargo tanks to remove oil residuum therefrom, since the same insures that the hot high pressure jets issuing from the nozzles to linger or dwell temporarily on each area of the tank against which the jets impinge, relieve the load on the motor. While the form of spray head herein described has proven eminently satisfactory in actual operation, it is to be understood that the same is merely illustrative of my invention and that various changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of my invention as embraced within the scope of the appended claims. Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to obtain by United States Letters Patent is:1. A spray head for cleaning tanks and the like, comprising a main feed conduit, a secondary feed conduit rotatably mounted thereon, a nozzle member mounted on said latter conduit, a liquid motor, including a rotor member, having a series of driven blades, mounted in one of said feed conduits and directly interposed in the path of the washing liquid flowing to the nozzle member, an intermediate worm gear and ratchet mechanism interposed between said liquid motor and said nozzle member for effecting step-by-step rotation of thenozzle memberat anextremely slow speed as compared with the speed of rotation of, said rotor member, said liquid motor serving to either itself drive the nozzle member or else cooperate with said worm gear and ratchet mechanism to maintain a substantially uniform speed of rotation of the nozzle member, when the reactance of the liquid being discharged therefrom might tend to otherwise cause the speed of the nozzle member to fluctuate, and a deflector element positioned above said rotor member and having a peripheral series of blades arranged to discharge liquid at an angle to the vertical axis of the spray head and against the blades of the rotor member.

2. A spray head as claimed in claim 1, in which the secondary feed conduit is so mounted as to be rotatable about a vertical axis and having the nozzle member rotatably mounted on said rotatable secondary feed conduit in such a manner as to be capable of rotating about a horizontal axis while said conduit is rotating about a vertical axis.

3. A spray head comprising a main housing, a secondary rotatable housing mounted on the lower end thereof, a sleeve mounted in the wall of said main housing, a deflector element having a series of curvilinear blades on the periphery thereof, said blades having projecting lugs which extend into recesses formed in said sleeve, a rotor element positioned beneath said deflector and having a plurality of blades disposed on the periphery thereof, which are of generally opposite curvature to the aforesaid blades carried by said deflector, a hub member carried by said rotor element, the same having a cylindrical bore extending throughout the greater portion thereof and having a rectangular slot adjacent the bottom of said bore, a spindle member having a cylindrical upper end mounted in said hub, said spindle having a portion of substantially rectangular cross-section adjacent its upper end, which portion is adapted to have a snug fit in the slot in said hub member, whereby a drive connection can be effected between said hub and said spindle, a boss secured to and depending from the first mentioned housing, the same serving as a guide for the lower end of said spindle, an eccentric crank member having a drive fit with the lower end of said spindle, a bottom bearing for supporting the same, a pawl member movably mounted on said crank member, an associated ratchet wheel, elastic means for maintaining said pawl normally in engagement with the teeth of said ratchet wheel, a reactance nozzle member, having oppositely extending conduits which are of opposite curvature with respect to each other at the respective discharge ends thereof, said nozzle member being rotatably mounted on said rotatable housing, co-operating stop members carried by said nozzle member and the secondary rotatable housing, respectively, for permitting independent movement of the nozzle member about a horizontal axis through a partial revolution, with respect to the ratchet wheel, when the respective stop members are disengaged, while effecting the positive drive of said nozzle member by said gearing when said stop members are in engagement with each other, and gears, including a worm gear, associated with said ratchet wheel for effecting positive rotation of said nozzle member about a horizontal axis and of said rotatable housing about a vertical axis in response to the movement of said rotor element by power liquid delivered to said spray head.


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