iGrab™ Vacuum Articulating Guide Tube
Foreign object debris (FOD) removal is a critical procedure in any complex mechanical assembly. FOD creates unwanted vibrations and/or damage to these assemblies, especially those used in the aerospace and/or power generation industries.
A nuclear power generation inspection and cleaning division needed to remove magnetite (metal flake debris) FOD from a large containment vessel that was difficult to access. The access port was a perpendicular, 2-inch diameter hole into a 22-inch diameter pipe. The FOD existed throughout a 60-foot section of the said pipe.
Due to the abundance of the magnetite FOD in the pipe, InterTest sales and engineering teams developed a retrieval tool with powerful vacuum suction and 4-way articulation. With no on-site consultation, the InterTest concept based its measurements and specifications on the application information shared by the customer.
The environment where the retrieval tool would operate was abrasive, so the tool was made with a brass and stainless steel (SS303) sheathing. A chamfered distal tip allowed the tool to provide better suction on the inner pipe surface to gather the FOD.
Measurements of the tool included an outer diameter of 1.5" and an inner diameter of 0.75". The inner channel could accommodate a video borescope for a complete foreign object search and retrieval (FOSAR) tool.
The original prototype, at 35 feet in length, proved too heavy for proper articulation and maneuvering. A 15-foot version of the same product was then developed to greater success and satisfaction of the customer.
iGrab™ Articulating Guide Tubes