Novel Globular Magnetic Actuator Group Capable of Free Movement in a Complex Pipe

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DOI: 10.4236/jemaa.2011.39061   PDF   HTML   XML   4,271 Downloads   8,385 Views   Citations

Abstract

Finding damage inside pipes is important for the inspection of complex pipes used in nuclear power plants and chemical plants. A number of studies have investigated the mechanisms of an actuator with an electric cable to provide locomotion through various devices in complex pipes. An in-pipe robot capable of movement in narrow complex pipes has not yet been developed. In the present paper, we propose a globular magnetic actuator group that exhibits a very high thrust force and is capable of free reversible motion in complex pipes. Two actuators of the same size and characteristics are coupled by the magnetic connection method, which generates almost no mechanical loss. The globular magnetic actuator group capable of reversible motion through elongation and contraction of eight shape-memory-alloy (SMA) coils was fabricated. Experimental results indicate that the prototype actuator group is able to climb at a rate of 29 mm/s in a straight pipe while pulling a load mass of 48 g. In addition, the average speeds for two patterns of movement in a complex pipe with several curved sections and step sections were measured. The prototype actuator group is able to move in a complex pipe at an average speed of over 30 mm/s. This actuator group has several possible applications, including inspection using a micro-camera and pipe maintenance.

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H. Yaguchi, N. Sato, A. Shikoda and K. Ishikawa, "Novel Globular Magnetic Actuator Group Capable of Free Movement in a Complex Pipe," Journal of Electromagnetic Analysis and Applications, Vol. 3 No. 9, 2011, pp. 387-393. doi: 10.4236/jemaa.2011.39061.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

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