Pipe Splitting, Breaking, Or Expanding Patents (Class 405/184.3)
  • Patent number: 10243332
    Abstract: A method of replacing pipe-type power cables is disclosed. The method includes the steps of using a pipe cutting rod to burst existing pipe; using an expander to expand soil surrounding the existing pipe to create a path for a new conduit or pipe; pulling the new conduit or pipe into the path created by the expander; and pulling new cables into the conduit or pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
    Inventors: Tiebin Zhao, Jay A. Williams
  • Patent number: 9909707
    Abstract: A splitter system and methods are shown. Examples of splitter systems provide limited possibility of damage to adjacent utilities in the ground. Further, examples of splitter systems relax a shape memory of split pipe, which in turn reduces friction in a splitting operation. Configurations are further shown that provide lubrication to splitting operations in a number of locations along a splitter system. Configurations are also shown that provide electrical isolation to cutting blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 9360148
    Abstract: Provided are articulating, rotating pipe bursting head devices for bursting a buried pipe and simultaneously pulling a replacement pipe through the same location. The bursting heads can comprise an integrated, substantially hollow cone body having one or more cutting knives arranged radially about its outer surface, and an end cap at its posterior end. Protruding from the posterior end of the end cap is a swiveling quick release coupling means for linking the bursting head to a replacement pipe carrier such as a universal duct puller. The swiveling quick release coupling means allows for rotation and articulation of the replacement pipe relative to the bursting head during operation, enhancing entry of the replacement pipe into an existing pipe underground. The bursting head body further can comprise an axial opening at its anterior end for receiving a cable, an internal magnetized cable gripping mechanism and a quick-release tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Inventor: Rod Herrick
  • Publication number: 20150098765
    Abstract: A pipe expander assembly for replacing an existing pipe with a new pipe. The expander assembly has a slitter disposed about a wire rope and abutting an expander at a spherical joint. The expander comprises a cone to expand a slit pipe and is internally connected to the wire rope by jaws that expand and contract about the wire rope due to threading of a jam nut into the cone. A pipe puller is connected to the back of the expander at a clevis and is adapted for connection to a new pipe, either through a jaw system, an adaptor, or fusion to the pipe.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 8, 2014
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Inventors: Mark D. Randa, Robert F. Crane, Walter George Thompson
  • Patent number: 8998538
    Abstract: Pipe replacement devices, and systems are shown. Devices and systems may include jointed cutters and floating cutters to navigate difficult pipe replacement conditions. Devices and systems may also include replacement pipe with pre-installed supply hoses, such as lubricant supply and/or pneumatic supply hoses. Methods of pipe replacement are also described, including splitting old pipe and pulling in new pipe behind the equipment as splitting progresses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8979435
    Abstract: A rod pushing and pulling machine includes at least one hydraulic cylinder having a front end thereof engagable with a reaction surface at an entry opening of an existing pipeline or borehole, a spindle assembly, and a dual vise assembly. The spindle assembly includes a frame, a spindle shaft rotatably mounted in the frame, a distal end of the spindle shaft being threaded for engagement with a mating thread of a rod, a drive system for rotating the spindle shaft in threading and unthreading directions, the spindle frame being secured to a rear end of the hydraulic cylinder for pushing or pulling of a rod string engaged to the spindle shaft upon extension or retraction of the hydraulic cylinder, and a support assembly for the spindle shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Earth Tool Company LLC
    Inventors: Steven W. Wentworth, Robert F. Crane
  • Patent number: 8899878
    Abstract: A portable winch and method of use is shown. One advantage of winches shown includes an ability to lower a boom or boom sections into limited access exit pit for winching operations such as pipe bursting. Sectional boom designs shown provide the ability to easily raise and lower a boom large distances without the need for a single long boom. Selected winch designs shown include flexible inserts between the boom and the winch frame that help resist damage from unforeseen shifting of the device during operation. Designs and methods shown also include multiple pulleys on a boom end unit. Fasteners are shown that reduce build up of debris.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Publication number: 20140348591
    Abstract: The current disclosure is a structure for repairing drain tile or any other conduit found in the construction of underground utilities, which conduit severed by the digging of a ditch. The first element is spray-in-place or pre-manufactured polymeric foam, such as polyurethane foam, that is placed so as to span the ditch and rest upon a pipeline located in the ditch. Next, sandbags, foam shims, or similar slope adjustments are placed atop the foam. Finally, a stiff, elongate member (e.g., H-beam, I-Beam, guardrail) is placed atop the sandbags spanning the entire ditch from one end of the severed utility to the other end of the drain tile or other conduit. In broader contexts, the disclosed structure will find use in repairing severed conduit due to an excavation regardless of whether a utility lies in the ditch. Additionally, such pre-manufactured foam bridges can be used as breakers to support underground utilities, such as large pipe.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 23, 2014
    Publication date: November 27, 2014
    Applicant: HAMMAN IP LLC
    Inventor: Carl R. Hamman
  • Patent number: 8882393
    Abstract: The invention relates to a tool for longitudinally subdividing buried sewer pipes having an asymmetric, generally oval cross section, made substantially of a support shoe opposing a cutting blade acting in the direction of the pipe axis. The device also has two side cutting blades and is moved through the old pipe by means of a rod and a cylindrical calibration mandrel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Tracto-Technik GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Elmar Koch, Martin Köper, Michael Heimes, Sebastian Schwarzer
  • Patent number: 8864418
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for rehabilitating an underground water conduit having at least one service entrance including a plug having a light emitter which is responsive to the presence of an electromagnetic field, wherein the at least one service entrance is plugged with the plug and a semi-transparent membrane lining the internal surface of the underground water conduit thereby covering the plug. A drilling head is disposed on a body moveable within the underground water conduit, the drill head having a drill bit and a coil inductor concentric with the drill bit. The coil inductor is adapted to generate an electromagnetic field near the drilling head, wherein the light emitter of the plug is adapted to be turned on by the electromagnetic field emitted by the coil inductor to allow visual alignment of the drill bit with the light emitted by the light emitter through the semi-transparent membrane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Sanexan Environmental Services Inc.
    Inventors: Gilles Gagnon, Charles Gervais-Dumont, Jason Duff, Pierre-Hugues Lanneville-Vezina
  • Patent number: 8857475
    Abstract: In a method for rehabilitating an old pipe, the outer diameter of a new pipe, which is at least equal to the inner diameter of the old pipe, is initially reduced, and the new pipe is then inserted into the old pipe, the outer diameter of the new pipe remaining at least partially reduced during the insertion process. The invention is characterized in that an expanding device is moved through the old pipe ahead of the new pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Tracto-Technik GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Elmar Koch
  • Publication number: 20140270970
    Abstract: A thrust apparatus for a rod string. The apparatus has a stationary frame, a thrust frame with a rod gripper, two hydraulic cylinders and two rams in fluid communication with the hydraulic cylinders. During low-load operations, the hydraulic cylinders act alone, providing the load to the grippers to pull or push the rod string. When higher loads are required, a check valve is activated, allowing fluid from the hydraulic cylinders to activate the rams. The rams provide additional force to the grippers, and may be activated without mechanical or significant hydraulic changes to the apparatus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: Earth Tool Company LLC
    Inventor: Kelvin C. Aus
  • Publication number: 20140248089
    Abstract: A control system for a capstan assembly for use with a winch during wire rope payout. The control system comprises a sensor that detects the rope when it is in a predetermined position indicative of tension placed on the rope by an operator. The control system further comprises an actuator for rotating the capstans such that the wire rope is paid out from the winch when the actuator is in a first position. The control system causes the capstans to rotate and the wire rope to pay out when the rope is in the predetermined position and the actuator is in the first position. The control system ceases rotation when the actuator is removed from the first position or the rope is no longer in the predetermined location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2014
    Publication date: September 4, 2014
    Applicant: Earth Tool Company LLC
    Inventors: Walter G. Thompson, Kelvin C. Aus, Theodore P. Schloer
  • Publication number: 20140241813
    Abstract: Pipe splitting apparatuses and systems including a replaceable blade, and methods therefor, are provided. In various examples, a cable retention and release mechanism is configured to releasably engage a cable and includes one or more segments of a pipe splitting apparatus including a cable passage. A segmented collet includes tapered segments and is disposed within a tapered portion of a cable passage of the one or more segments. Channel surfaces of the tapered segments together form a cable channel through the segmented collet. The cable channel is configured to widen in a disengaged position of the segmented collet and narrow in an engaged position of the segmented collet. A spring is disposed within the spring pocket of the one or more segments to bias the segmented collet distally in the engaged position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 12, 2014
    Publication date: August 28, 2014
    Applicant: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Publication number: 20140241812
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure provide improvements in bursting head designs and methods of use for pulling cable or pipe through space underground.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 27, 2013
    Publication date: August 28, 2014
    Applicant: RODDIE, INC.
    Inventor: ROD HERRICK
  • Patent number: 8784009
    Abstract: A cable retention and release mechanism includes a cable gripping device including a cable passage. A cable extends through the cable passage. A cable gripping device collar is movably coupled around the cable gripping device. An outer cable gripping device surface is seated against a cable gripping device receiving inner surface preventing movement of the cable gripping device relative to the cable gripping device collar. The cable gripping device receiving inner surface clamps the cable gripping device on the cable and prevents sliding movement of the cable. A jack is movably coupled with the cable gripping device collar. In a first engaged position the jack is engaged against the cable gripping device proximal end. In a second engaged position the jack unseats the outer cable gripping device surface from the cable gripping device receiving inner surface and releases the clamping of the cable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8721223
    Abstract: Pipe splitting apparatuses and systems including a replaceable blade, and methods therefor, are provided. In various examples, a cable retention and release mechanism is configured to releasably engage a cable and includes one or more segments of a pipe splitting apparatus including a cable passage. A segmented collet includes tapered segments and is disposed within a tapered portion of a cable passage of the one or more segments. Channel surfaces of the tapered segments together form a cable channel through the segmented collet. The cable channel is configured to widen in a disengaged position of the segmented collet and narrow in an engaged position of the segmented collet. A spring is disposed within the spring pocket of the one or more segments to bias the segmented collet distally in the engaged position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8702349
    Abstract: Apparatus for replacing underground pipe is described, including a resistance plate from which a pair of hydraulic cylinders extend perpendicularly in parallel with each other. The cylinders operate cyclically with a pulling bridge having a cable gripper to provide a sequence of pulling strokes to a cable pulling a mole. The mole pulls a replacement pipe behind it through the old pipe, which has been burst, slit, or otherwise expanded by the mole. The resistance plate is provided with a slot, and the cylinders are positions such as to allow the mode to be pulled substantially completely into the apparatus. A holding bridge is releasably mounted spanning the slot in the reaction plate to position a second cable gripper for holding the cable on return stroke of the pulling bridge. The holding bridge may be removed at the end of the pulling operation to accommodate the mole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Tric Tools, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Ward Carter, Robert Ding
  • Publication number: 20140086689
    Abstract: Pipe splitting apparatuses and systems including a replaceable blade, and methods therefor, are provided. In various examples, a pipe splitting apparatus includes an outer surface including a recess. A blade including a portion is disposed within the recess. A hardenable material is disposed within the recess. The hardenable material is configured to flow upon application to fill empty space within the recess and at least partially around the portion of the blade disposed within the recess. The hardenable material is further configured to harden after application to secure the portion of the blade within the recess and fix the blade to the pipe splitting apparatus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2013
    Publication date: March 27, 2014
    Applicant: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Publication number: 20140037386
    Abstract: A pipe replacement system and method are shown. Configurations are shown that include a pulley that does not damage a bursting tool, as the bursting tool is pulled into a pit. Configurations are also shown that include a boom that does not need an extraction cage for the bursting tool.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2013
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Applicant: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8641326
    Abstract: An improved method for replacing existing underground sewer pipe is accomplished without excavation, pipe bursting, or pipe reaming. First, vertical sight holes are drilled into the ground and through the existing pipe. Slurry material from the vertical hole drilling fills the old pipe. Then, a pilot hole is drilled in a first direction through the old pipe. Then, a reaming tool is pulled in the opposite direction so as to enlarge the pilot hole and grind out the old pipe, while simultaneously pulling the new pipe into position behind the reaming tool. The broken old pipe and slurry are vacuumed out of the vertical relief holes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Inventor: Ted R. Dimitroff
  • Patent number: 8596918
    Abstract: Pipe splitting apparatuses and systems including a replaceable blade, and methods therefor, are provided. In various examples, a pipe splitting apparatus includes an outer surface including a recess. A blade including a portion is disposed within the recess. A hardenable material is disposed within the recess. The hardenable material is configured to flow upon application to fill empty space within the recess and at least partially around the portion of the blade disposed within the recess. The hardenable material is further configured to harden after application to secure the portion of the blade within the recess and fix the blade to the pipe splitting apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: IT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8540458
    Abstract: A center hole ram can have a barrel, and a piston that is moveable relative to the barrel. The piston can define an axial hole that extends through the piston. A gripping assembly can be attached to the ram. The gripping assembly can be configured to grip a cable and pull the cable through the axial hole in response to multiple actuating strokes of the ram. Also, a bursting head can be attached to a cable. The cable can be pulled through a tunnel (such as an existing pipe) and through a piston of a ram. Pulling the cable can result in the cable pulling the bursting head through the tunnel toward the ram. Also, pulling the cable can include gripping the cable with a gripping assembly attached to the ram, and actuating the ram.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2013
    Assignee: Roodle, Inc.
    Inventors: Rod Herrick, John Michael Thomas
  • Patent number: 8534957
    Abstract: A method and system for repairing, replacing or installing an underground pipeline using an appropriate tool head. A coolant, preferably a cryogenic liquid, is injected in front of the tool head to embrittle or otherwise reduce the toughness of the material ahead of the tool head. The method and system of this invention are particularly suitable for use in connection with pipe splitting and pipe bursting, where a pig disposed within the underground pipeline is connected with the appropriate tool head forming a space between the pig and the tool head into which the coolant is introduced. The pipe between the pig and the tool head is embrittled by the coolant, reducing the resistance of a pipe to splitting or bursting which, in turn, reduces the force required for the pig to pull the tool head as the pig is motivated through the pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignee: Gas Technology Institute
    Inventor: Daniel Allen Ersoy
  • Patent number: 8523489
    Abstract: An apparatus for bursting and replacing a conduit includes a stored energy and cutting head having a stored energy head cavity; an energy storing assembly including an energy storing head rod disposed in the stored energy head cavity, a washer retainer carried by the energy storing head rod and a plurality of cupped spring washers carried by the energy storing head rod and sandwiched between the washer retainer and the stored energy and cutting head; and a hammer assembly carded by the stored energy and cutting head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Inventor: Samuel W. Putnam
  • Publication number: 20130156507
    Abstract: Pipe replacement devices, and systems are shown. Devices and systems may include jointed cutters and floating cutters to navigate difficult pipe replacement conditions. Devices and systems may also include replacement pipe with pre-installed supply hoses, such as lubricant supply and/or pneumatic supply hoses. Methods of pipe replacement are also described, including splitting old pipe and pulling in new pipe behind the equipment as splitting progresses.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Publication date: June 20, 2013
    Applicant: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Publication number: 20130156505
    Abstract: A pipe replacement system and cable guide frame are shown. Configurations are shown that include plurality of guide pulleys attached to the cable guide frame to define a curved path between a pipe to be replaced and a cable pulling system. Configurations are shown where a pipe breaking tool is pulled over the plurality of guide pulleys for ease of removal after a replacement operation. Configurations are also shown that include a stationary splitter adjacent to the cable pulling system to prevent jamming of the cable pulling system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Publication date: June 20, 2013
    Applicant: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8449221
    Abstract: A method for repairing a damaged section of a subsea pipeline has the steps of cutting the damaged section at a first location on the subsea pipeline, cutting the damaged section of the second location on the subsea pipeline, removing the damaged section, affixing a first messenger line assembly to the subsea pipeline at the first location, affixing a second messenger line assembly to the subsea pipeline at a second location, and connecting a jumper line to the first messenger line assembly and to the second messenger line assembly so as to establish a continuous flowway between the first and second locations. Lift frame assemblies are positioned around the subsea pipeline at the first and second locations so as to elevate the subsea pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Trendsetter Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: Mario R. Lugo, Noel F. Mascarenhas, Ronald W. Downing
  • Patent number: 8425154
    Abstract: A method of repairing a subsea pipeline has the steps of positioning a pile onto a subsea floor in a location adjacent to the subsea pipeline, cutting a section of pipeline from the subsea pipeline so that the subsea pipeline has a first cut end and a second cut end, moving a length of pipeline to the pile so as to hingedly connect the length of pipeline with the receptacle on the pile, pivoting the length of pipeline about the hinged connection so as to move the length of pipeline from a generally vertical orientation to a generally horizontal orientation, connecting the first end of the length of pipeline to the first cut end, and connecting the second end of the length of pipeline to the second cut end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Trendsetter Engineering, Inc.
    Inventor: Mario R. Lugo
  • Publication number: 20130094911
    Abstract: Pipe splitting apparatuses and systems including a replaceable blade, and methods therefor, are provided. In various examples, a pipe splitting apparatus includes an outer surface including a recess. A blade including a portion is disposed within the recess. A hardenable material is disposed within the recess. The hardenable material is configured to flow upon application to fill empty space within the recess and at least partially around the portion of the blade disposed within the recess. The hardenable material is further configured to harden after application to secure the portion of the blade within the recess and fix the blade to the pipe splitting apparatus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2012
    Publication date: April 18, 2013
    Applicant: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8414225
    Abstract: A cable retention and release mechanism includes a cable gripping device including a cable passage. A cable extends through the cable passage. A cable gripping device collar is movably coupled around the cable gripping device. An outer cable gripping device surface is seated against a cable gripping device receiving inner surface preventing movement of the cable gripping device relative to the cable gripping device collar. The cable gripping device receiving inner surface clamps the cable gripping device on the cable and prevents sliding movement of the cable. A jack is movably coupled with the cable gripping device collar. In a first engaged position the jack is engaged against the cable gripping device proximal end. In a second engaged position the jack unseats the outer cable gripping device surface from the cable gripping device receiving inner surface and releases the clamping of the cable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Publication number: 20130058726
    Abstract: A splitter system and methods are shown. Examples of splitter systems provide limited possibility of damage to adjacent utilities in the ground. Further, examples of splitter systems relax a shape memory of split pipe, which in turn reduces friction in a splitting operation. Configurations are further shown that provide lubrication to splitting operations in a number of locations along a splitter system. Configurations are also shown that provide electrical isolation to cutting blades.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2012
    Publication date: March 7, 2013
    Applicant: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: TT Technologies, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20130004241
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method and apparatus for use in a fusion process for conduit. The method includes: heating and melting at least a portion of the terminal edges of the first conduit portion and the second conduit portion; and butt fusing the melted terminal edge of the first conduit portion with the melted terminal edge of the second conduit portion, thereby creating a fused joint area. A fusion apparatus for employing this method is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 6, 2012
    Publication date: January 3, 2013
    Applicant: Underground Solutions Technologies Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Bryan St. Onge, Henri St. Onge, Thomas Marti
  • Publication number: 20120321391
    Abstract: A center hole ram can have a barrel, and a piston that is moveable relative to the barrel. The piston can define an axial hole that extends through the piston. A gripping assembly can be attached to the ram. The gripping assembly can be configured to grip a cable and pull the cable through the axial hole in response to multiple actuating strokes of the ram. Also, a bursting head can be attached to a cable. The cable can be pulled through a tunnel (such as an existing pipe) and through a piston of a ram. Pulling the cable can result in the cable pulling the bursting head through the tunnel toward the ram. Also, pulling the cable can include gripping the cable with a gripping assembly attached to the ram, and actuating the ram.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2011
    Publication date: December 20, 2012
    Applicant: RODDIE, INC.
    Inventors: Rod Herrick, John Michael Thomas
  • Patent number: 8328468
    Abstract: Pipe splitting apparatuses and systems including a replaceable blade, and methods therefore, are provided. In various examples, a pipe splitting apparatus includes an outer surface including a recess. A blade including a portion is disposed within the recess. A hardenable material is disposed within the recess. The hardenable material is configured to flow upon application to fill empty space within the recess and at least partially around the portion of the blade disposed within the recess. The hardenable material is further configured to harden after application to secure the portion of the blade within the recess and fix the blade to the pipe splitting apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8317427
    Abstract: A portable winch and method of use is shown. One advantage of winches shown includes an ability to lower a boom or boom sections into limited access exit pit for winching operations such as pipe bursting. Sectional boom designs shown provide the ability to easily raise and lower a boom large distances without the need for a single long boom. Selected winch designs shown include flexible inserts between the boom and the winch frame that help resist damage from unforeseen shifting of the device during operation. Designs and methods shown also include multiple pulleys on a boom end unit. Fasteners are shown that reduce build up of debris.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8297882
    Abstract: Examples of splitter systems and methods are shown. In some examples, a splitter system includes a splitter body. A plurality of blades is attached at different angular locations around a perimeter of the splitter body. In some examples, the plurality of blades have a cutting depth that is less than a thickness of a wall thickness of a pipe to be split. Configurations are further shown that provide lubrication to splitting operations in a number of locations along a splitter system. Configurations are also shown that provide electrical isolation to cutting blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: TT Technologie, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8292545
    Abstract: A pipe splitter is shown including a splitter body having a central opening configured to accept a pulling or pushing member. An expander has an entry profile smaller than an inner diameter of a pipe to be split and an expanded profile that is larger than the inner diameter of the pipe to be split. A protrusion is disposed on the expander. The protrusion is configured to concentrate splitting stress at a location on the pipe. The concentrated splitting stress is greater than a threshold stress of the pipe to burst the pipe. In some examples, a method of pipe splitting is described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Publication number: 20120093586
    Abstract: A portable winch and method of use is shown. One advantage of winches shown includes an ability to lower a boom or boom sections into limited access exit pit for winching operations such as pipe bursting. Sectional boom designs shown provide the ability to easily raise and lower a boom large distances without the need for a single long boom. Selected winch designs shown include flexible inserts between the boom and the winch frame that help resist damage from unforeseen shifting of the device during operation. Designs and methods shown also include multiple pulleys on a boom end unit. Fasteners are shown that reduce build up of debris.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2011
    Publication date: April 19, 2012
    Applicant: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8109694
    Abstract: This document discusses, among other things, devices, apparatuses, and methods for the replacement of existing underground pipes. In general, an apparatus comprises a body, including a receiving portion, and a breaking assembly adapted to be positioned within the receiving portion and detachably coupled to the body. In one example, the body and the breaking assembly are adapted, when coupled, to split the existing underground pipe when pulled therethrough using one or more cutting wheels. In varying examples, each cutting wheel radially protrudes out of a breaking assembly housing an increasing amount along a length of the apparatus allowing for a clean, progressive cut of the existing pipe. In another example, the body and the breaking assembly are adapted, when coupled, to burst the existing pipe when pulled therethrough. Advantageously, the present devices, apparatuses, and methods may provide replacement of underground pipes requiring minimal excavation and making economical use of parts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 8074332
    Abstract: A method for removing mineral scale from tubing is disclosed. The method may include the steps of making a first longitudinal cut along a length of the tubing, making a second longitudinal cut along a length of tubing, and removing a plurality of sections of tubing, wherein the sections of tubing are defined by the first and second longitudinal cuts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignees: M-I Production Chemicals UK Limited, Oilfield Mineral Solutions Limited
    Inventors: Richard W. Keatch, Simon K. Ray
  • Patent number: 8060257
    Abstract: Systems, methods and devices for the remote control of a robot which incorporates interchangeable tool heads. Although applicable to many different industries, the core structure of the system includes a robot with a tool head interface for mechanically, electrically and operatively interconnecting a plurality of interchangeable tool heads to perform various work functions. The robot and tool head may include several levels of digital feedback (local, remote and wide area) depending on the application. The systems include a single umbilical cord to send power, air, and communications signals between the robot and a remote computer. Additionally, all communication (including video) is preferably sent in a digital format. Finally, a GUI running on the remote computer automatically queries and identifies all of the various devices on the network and automatically configures its user options to parallel the installed devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: RedZone Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric Close, Adam Slifko, Edison T. Hudson, Ronald G. Genise
  • Publication number: 20110250020
    Abstract: An embodiment of the invention comprises a pipe parting mole, a length of cable that is engagable to the mole, a cable pulling device and a cable pulling device engagement frame that provides a mounting structure for the cable pulling device. The cable pulling device engagement frame comprises a reaction plate and an annulus member for removably engaging the cable pulling device with the frame. The frame is configured for the sideways engagement of the cable within the frame and the annulus member. Two pairs of cable engagement collets are preferably utilized; a first pair being disposed within the cable pulling device to engage the cable on a pulling stroke, and a second pair may be disposed within the frame or the cable pulling device to engage the cable on a recovery stroke. In an embodiment the cable pulling device comprises a post tensioning ram (PTR).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 18, 2008
    Publication date: October 13, 2011
    Inventors: Robert Ward Carter, Frank Geshwind, Nicolae Neag
  • Publication number: 20110222967
    Abstract: A method and system for repairing, replacing or installing an underground pipeline using an appropriate tool head. A coolant, preferably a cryogenic liquid, is injected in front of the tool head to embrittle or otherwise reduce the toughness of the material ahead of the tool head. Although suitable for use involving boring or drilling of the ground to install the underground pipeline, the method and system of this invention are particularly suitable for use in connection with pipe splitting and pipe bursting, where a pig disposed within the underground pipeline is connected with the appropriate tool head forming a space between the pig and the tool head into which the coolant is introduced. The pipe between the pig and the tool head is embrittled by the coolant, reducing the resistance of a pipe to splitting or bursting which, in turn, reduces the force required for the pig to pull the tool head as the pig is motivated through the pipe.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2010
    Publication date: September 15, 2011
    Applicant: Gas Technology Institute
    Inventor: Daniel Allen Ersoy
  • Publication number: 20110206462
    Abstract: An apparatus for replacing underground plastic pipe consisting of a mole, flexible cable, pulling devise and water pump. The mole is a cone shaped tool consisting of a nose section, cutting blades, water nozzles and a hose barb. The flexible cable is inserted through the existing pipe, one end is attached to the pulling devise and the other end is attached to the nose section of the mole. Replacement pipe is attached to the hose barb section of the mole on one end and to the water pump on the other end. As the pulling devise pulls the mole along the path of the existing pipe, the cutting blades split the existing pipe and water from the nozzles erode and moisten the soil surrounding it. The cone shape of the mole expands the split pipe out into the moistened soil, creating clearance for the new pipe being pulled into place.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 20, 2010
    Publication date: August 25, 2011
    Applicant: MR. GERALD STEVEN SUTTON
    Inventor: GERALD STEVEN SUTTON
  • Publication number: 20110188943
    Abstract: A rod pushing and pulling machine includes at least one hydraulic cylinder having a front end thereof engagable with a reaction surface at an entry opening of an existing pipeline or borehole, a spindle assembly, and a dual vise assembly. The spindle assembly includes a frame, a spindle shaft rotatably mounted in the frame, a distal end of the spindle shaft being threaded for engagement with a mating thread of a rod, a drive system for rotating the spindle shaft in threading and unthreading directions, the spindle frame being secured to a rear end of the hydraulic cylinder for pushing or pulling of a rod string engaged to the spindle shaft upon extension or retraction of the hydraulic cylinder, and a support assembly for the spindle shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2011
    Publication date: August 4, 2011
    Applicant: EARTH TOOL COMPANY LLC
    Inventors: Steven W. Wentworth, Robert F. Crane
  • Publication number: 20110150577
    Abstract: The invention relates to a tool for longitudinally subdividing buried sewer pipes having an asymmetric, generally oval cross section, made substantially of a support shoe opposing a cutting blade acting in the direction of the pipe axis. The device also has two side cutting blades and is moved through the old pipe by means of a rod and a cylindrical calibration mandrel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 2, 2009
    Publication date: June 23, 2011
    Applicant: Tracto-Technik GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Elmar Koch, Martin Köper, Michael Heimes, Sebastian Schwarzer
  • Publication number: 20110081206
    Abstract: A pipe splitting assembly includes an articulating hammer nose assembly having a pipe splitting cutter and a rotatable joint coupled with the pipe splitting cutter. A pneumatic hammer is distal to the articulating hammer nose assembly, The pneumatic hammer is configured to drive the articulating hammer nose assembly proximally away from the pneumatic hammer. The rotatable joint is coupled between the pipe splitting cutter and the pneumatic hammer, and the articulating hammer nose assembly is rotatable into one or more angles relative to the pneumatic hammer through the rotatable joint. A cable coupling is interposed between the pneumatic hammer and the articulated hammer nose assembly. The cable coupling is configured to attach a cable to the pipe splitting assembly. The cable coupling and the rotatable joint are configured to transmit to the pipe splitting cutter a compression force from the cable coupling and dynamic percussive forces from the pneumatic hammer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2010
    Publication date: April 7, 2011
    Applicant: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Publication number: 20110081205
    Abstract: Pipe splitting apparatuses and systems including a replaceable blade, and methods therefor, are provided. In various examples, a cable retention and release mechanism is configured to releasably engage a cable and includes one or more segments of a pipe splitting apparatus including a cable passage. A segmented collet includes tapered segments and is disposed within a tapered portion of a cable passage of the one or more segments. Channel surfaces of the tapered segments together form a cable channel through the segmented collet. The cable channel is configured to widen in a disengaged position of the segmented collet and narrow in an engaged position of the segmented collet. A spring is disposed within the spring pocket of the one or more segments to bias the segmented collet distally in the engaged position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 4, 2010
    Publication date: April 7, 2011
    Applicant: TT Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Tjader
  • Patent number: 7918626
    Abstract: Systems and methods for concurrently destroying old pipes and installing new pipes in their place. An exemplary embodiment is a pipe bursting and replacement tool that includes a body and first and second connectors. The body has a shape that generally tapers from a smaller diameter at the front end to a larger diameter at the rear end. The taper need not be smoothly increasing, but may alternatively be stepped. The first connector couples the body to a pulling rod to and allows the body to be misaligned with the rod to relieve stress on the connection between the two. The second connector couples the replacement pipe to the body so that the replacement pipe can be pulled behind the body into the space previously occupied by an old pipe that is burst by the tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Inventor: Oran W. Venable