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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
IMPROVED PIPE JOINING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/037214
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An improved pipe joining device (10) for connecting pipes (14) and laying the connected pipes (14) in a trench (42) in the ground is herein described. The device (1) comprises an elongated frame (12) for supporting a plurality of longitudinally aligned lengths of pipe (14), each length of pipe (14) arranged, in use, to be endwise connected to an adjacent length of pipe (14); a bed (46), pivotable relative to the ground, on which the elongated frame (12) is disposed; and a transport means (20) for enabling movement of the device (10) along the ground. The device (10) spans the trench (42) and the elongated frame (12) is aligned with the trench (42) such that the connected pipes (14) are laid directly into the trench (42) from the elongated frame (12). Another aspect of the invention, being a method of connecting pipes (14) and laying the connected pipes (14) in a trench (42) in the ground comprising the use of the improved pipe joining device (10) is also described.

Inventors:
PARRY, Russell John (Adtech FRP, U1 345 Victoria Roa, Malaga Western Australia 6090, AU)
Application Number:
AU2015/000546
Publication Date:
March 17, 2016
Filing Date:
September 07, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PARRY, Russell John (Adtech FRP, U1 345 Victoria Roa, Malaga Western Australia 6090, AU)
International Classes:
F16L1/024; B60P1/52; B60P3/40; F16L1/036
Foreign References:
FR862220A1941-03-01
US4093082A1978-06-06
EP0544476B11995-06-14
SU543708A11977-01-25
US4362435A1982-12-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LORD AND COMPANY (PO Box 530, West Perth, Western Australia 6872, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An improved pipe joining device for connecting pipes and laying the connected pipes in a trench in the ground comprising:

an elongated frame for supporting a plurality of longitudinally aligned lengths of pipe, each length of pipe arranged, in use, to be endwise connected to an adjacent length of pipe;

a bed, pivotable relative to the ground, on which the elongated frame is disposed; and

a transport means for enabling movement of the device along the ground; characterised in that the device spans the trench and the elongated frame is aligned with the trench such that the connected pipes are laid directly into the trench from the elongated frame.

2. An improved pipe joining device according to claim 1 , further comprising at least one hydraulic or pneumatic pump for pivoting the bed.

3. An improved pipe joining device according to claim 1 or 2, characterised in that the transport means comprise a pair of continuous tracks.

4. An improved pipe joining device according to any one of claims 1 to 3, further comprising a power means for providing power to the device.

5. An improved pipe joining device according to claim 4, characterised in that the power means provides power for the device to be self-propelled.

6. An improved pipe joining device according to any one of claims 1 to 5, further comprising at least one roller provided on an arm which is pivotally connected to the elongated frame such that when the arm pivots, the roller increases in height in respect to the frame.

7. An improved pipe joining device according to any one of claims 1 to 6, further comprising at least one axis in connection with the transport means, wherein the length of the axis i s variable for optimal positioning of the device spanning the trench.

8. A method of connecting pipes and laying the connected pipes in a trench in the ground comprising the use of an improved pipe joining device according to any one of claims 1 to 7.

9. A method of connecting pipes and laying the connected pipes in a trench in the ground in accordance with claim 8, wherein the method further comprises a bend radius control apparatus for supporting the pipeline at a point between where the pipeline lays at rest in the trench and where it ceases to be supported by the pipe joining device.

Description:
TITLE

"IMPROVED P PE JOINING DEVICE"

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a device for joining pipes.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Some pipes for natural gas, oil or oil and water are comprised of fibreglass or glass-reinforced epoxy. These pipes can be, for example, 0.75-30 cm in diameter with a thread at either end for screwing a length of pipe to an adjacent length of pipe. Due to the size and weight of these pipes, screwing them together can be a difficult task.

[0003] Previous pipe joining devices have provided a means for screwing together adjacent pipes and subsequently laying joined pipe lengths adjacent to the trench into which they will be placed. The length of joined pipe would then be manually shifted and dropped into the trench. This technique often causes stress to the pipes and damage such as cracking frequently occurs.

[0004] The present invention seeks to provide an improved device for joining together and laying pipes, in order to overcome the above-mentioned problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is provided an improved pipe joining device for connecting pipes and laying the connected pipes in a trench in the ground comprising:

an elongated frame for supporting a plurality of longitudinally aligned lengths of pipe, each length of pipe arranged, in use, to be endwise connected to an adjacent length of p ipe;

a bed, pivotable relati ve to the ground, on which the elongated frame is disposed; and

a transport means for enabling movement of the device along the ground; characterised in that the device spans the trench and the elongated frame is aligned with the trench such that the connected pipes are laid directly into the trench from the elongated frame.

[0006] The improved pipe joining device may further comprise at least one hydraulic or pneumatic pump for pivoting the bed.

[0007] The transport means may comprise a pair of continuous tracks.

[0008] The improved pipe joining device may further comprise a power means for providing power to the device. The power means may provide power for the device to be self-propelled.

[0009] The improved pipe joining device may further comprise at least one roller provided on an arm which is pivotally connected to the elongated frame such that when the arm pivots, the roller increases in height in respect to the frame.

[0010] The improved pipe joining device may further comprise at least one axis in connection with the transport means, wherein the length of the axis is variable for optimal positioning of the device spanning the trench.

[001 1] In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of connecting pipes and laying the connected pipes in a trench in the ground comprising the use of the improved pipe joining device.

[0012] The method may further comprise a bend radius control apparatus for supporting the pipeline at a point between where the pipeline lays at rest in the trench and where it ceases to be supported by the pipe joining device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0013] The present invention will now be described, byway of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a rear perspective view of a pipe joining device in accordance with one aspect of the present invention;

Figure 2 is a side perspective view of the pipe joining device of Figure 1.

Figure 3 is a rear perspective view of a method of connecting pipes and laying the connected pipes in a trench in the ground in accordance with a second aspect of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0014] Referring to Figure 1 , there is shown a pipe joining device 10 for endwise connecting longitudinally aligned adjacent lengths of pipe 14. The pipe joining device 10 comprises an elongated frame 12. The frame 12 includes an end 22, and a plurality of perpendicular rollers 24 which facilitate a length of pipe 14 resting on the frame 12 to move longitudinally along the frame 12. As would be understood, for the length of pipe 14 to move longitudinally along the frame 12, the perpendicular rollers 24 lie perpendicular to the length of the frame 12.

[0015] The frame 12 further comprises includes a plurality of fixed drive rollers 34 and a plurality of pivotally mounted drive rollers 36. In use, the pivotally mounted drive rollers 36 in combination with the fixed drive rollers 34 provide a clamping action and a driving force on the length of pipe 14 resting between the pivotally mounted drive rollers 36 and the fixed drive rollers 34, such that the pivotally mounted and fixed drive rollers 34, 36 cause the length of pipe 14 to rotate axially about its central longitudinal axis.

[0016] A clamping means 30, comprising an engaging portion 28, is pivotally connected to the frame 12. In use, the engaging portion 28 may be pivoted to engage with a length of pipe 14, resting on the frame 12, such that the length of pipe 14 is clamped and prevented from rotating. The frame 12 also includes a plurality of guides 40 at the end 22. The guides 40 assist in keeping the length of pipe 14 in a desired position on the frame 12.

[0017] With reference to Figure 2, the frame 12 further comprises transversely disposed rollers 26. The transversely disposed rollers 26 maybe disposed on an arm 16. The arm 16 is pivotally connected to the frame 12 such that when the arm pivots, the transversely disposed rollers 26 increase in height in respect to the frame 12. The frame 12 further comprises a plurality of longitudinally disposed rollers 38 located generally distal to the end 22 ofthe frame 12. The longitudinally disposed rollers 38 facilitate a length of pipe 14 on the frame 12 to rotate axially about a central longitudinal axis of the length of pipe 14.

[0018] The pipe joining device 10 further comprises a transport means 20 shown here as a pair of continuous tracks or tank treads. Each of the pair of tracks 20 are in connection with one another via an axis 18. The axis 18 includes a sleeve portion 44 into which the axis 18 can recess and from which the axis 18 can extend, allowing the length of the axis 18 to be varied. A bed 46, on which the frame 10 is disposed, is in pivotable connection with the axis 18, such that the end 22 ofthe frame 12 may be pivoted downward, towards the ground, for improved pipe laying. In accordance with a preferred embodiment, the means for pivoting the bed 46 is through the use of hydraulic or pneumatic pumps.

[0019] To enable operation of the pipe joining device 10, a power means 32 is provided, for example, a motor. The pipe joining device 10 further comprises at least one control mechanism 54, for controlling the operation of the pipe joining device 10.

[0020] Referring to Figure 3, there is shown the pipe joining device 10 in use laying a pipeline into a trench 42. The pair of tracks 20 span the trench 42 such that the frame 12 is substantially above and aligned with the trench 42. The bed 46 is pivoted such that the end 22 of the frame 12 is proximal to the ground level and upper opening of the trench 42.

[0021 ] In use, a first length of pipe 14 is positioned longitudinally on the frame 12. The pipe 14 comprises a femal e first end pointing towards the end 22 of the frame 12 and a male second end. The female end includes a thread on the inside of the length of pipe 14 and the male end includes a thread on the outside of the length of pipe 14. The length of pipe 14 is moved along the length of the frame 12, through the rolling action of the perpendicular rollers 24 and transversely disposed rollers 26, in a direction towards the end 22 of the frame 12. Once the male second end of the pipe 14 has passed the drive rollers 34, 36, the clamping means 30 is pivoted to cause the engaging portion 28 to engage with the length of pipe 14. The length of pipe 14 is thus prevented from moving with respect to the frame 12.

[0022] A second length of pipe 14 is placed on the frame 12 such that the female pipe end points towards the end 22 of the frame 12. The arm 16 is pivoted such that the transversely disposed rollers 26 are adjusted to be above the longitudinally disposed rollers 38 in height and thereby disengage the second length of pipe 14 from the longitudinally disposed rollers 38 and engage said second length of pipe 14 with the transversely disposed rollers 26. The second length of pipe 14 is then moved along the length of the frame 12 to abut the first length of pipe 14.

[0023] The arm 16 is then oppositely pivoted such that the transversely disposed rollers 26 are below the longitudinally disposed rollers 38 in height and thereby disengage the second length of pipe 14 with the transversely disposed rollers 26 and engage said second length of pipe 44 with the longitudinally disposed rollers 38. The second length of pipe 14 is now able to rotate about its central longitudinal axis. The pivotally mounted drive rollers 36 are lowered onto the second length of pipe 14 such that the second pipe 14 is grasped in a clamping action by the pi votally mounted drive rollers 36 and the fixed drive rollers 34.

[0024] The rolling of the drive rollers 34, 36 is then activated, causing the second pipe 14 to rotate in a first direction. The rotation of the second length of pipe 14 in the first direction causes a thread on the inside of the femal e end of the second length of pipe 14 to engage with a thread of the male end of th e first length of pipe 14 and thus the second length of pipe 14 is screwed onto the first length of pipe 14. Once the lengths of pipe 14 are screwed together, the drive rollers 34, 36 stop rotating the second length of pipe 14. If necessary, the drive rollers 34, 36 may rotate the second length of pipe 14 in an opposite direction to the first direction thereby unscrewing the second length of pipe 14 from the first length of pipe 14. [0025] The pivotally mounted drive rollers 36 pivot away from the pipe 14 and the arm 16 is again pivoted to raise the transversely disposed rollers 26 above the longitudinally disposed rollers 38 in height. Thereby, the pipe 14 disengages from the longitudinally disposed rollers 38 and the transversely disposed rollers 26 again engage with the pipe 14. The clamping means 30 is oppositely pivoted to cause the engaging portion 28 to disengage from the pipe 14.

[0026] The endwise connected lengths of pipe 14 may then be moved along the frame 12 towards the end 22 such that the new open male end of the second pipe 14 is in position between the drive rollers 34, 36 and the clamping means 30 in order for a subsequent length of pipe 14 to be joined using the above mentioned method and so on.

[0027] In the preferred embodiment shown in Figure 3 a method for laying a pipeline using the pipe joining device 10 is shown. The pair of tracks 20 span the trench 42 such that the frame 12 is substantially above and aligned with the trench 42. The bed 46 is pivoted such that the frame is positioned at an incline with respect to the ground and the end 22 of the frame 12 is proximal to the ground level and upper opening of the trench 42. In this way, the pipe joining device 10 may be driven forward on the tracks 20 using the power generated by the motor 32 and the pipe 14 trails off the end 22 of the pipe joining device 10. Lengths of pipe 22 may be joined together while the pipe joining device 10 travels in a forward direction leaving behind the joined lengths of pipe 14.

[0028] In accordance with another preferred embodiment of the method of the present invention, a bend radius control apparatus 48 may be used. The device 48 may be used where the particular circumstances, for example the material from which the pipeline is constructed, or the depth of the trench, call for control of the radius of the bend of the pipeline being laid.

[0029] The device 48 comprises a support 50 and a carrying means 52 in connection therewith. The carrying means 52 is attached to the pipeline being laid in the trench 42, either directly or indirectly through a suitable means for attachment. The device 48 is used to provide support to the pipeline at a point between where the pipeline lays at rest in the trench 42 and where it ceases to be supported by the pipe joining device 10. Hence the radius of the bend in the pipeline is controlled by the device 48 and less force is exerted on the pipeline.

[0030] Other embodiment pipe joining devices are also contemplated in accordance with the present invention. For instance, the pipe joining device 10 may be towed rather than self-propelled, for example by a vehicle such as a tractor. Likewise, instead of the transversely disposed rollers 26 being height adjustable, the longitudinally disposed rollers 38 may be. In addition, the aforementioned power means 32 may, instead of comprising a motor, be provided as any engine or other power means suited to the relevant function of powering the pipe joining device 10. Further any suitable means, other than hydraulic or pneumatic pumps, for pivoting the bed 46, may be provided.

[0031 ] Modifications and variations as would apparent to a skilled addressee are deemed to be within the scope of the present invention.