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Feeder Pipe Inspection Robot with an Inch-Worm Mechanism Using Pneumatic Actuators

Changhwan Choi, Seungho Jung, and Seungho Kim
International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 4, no. 1, pp.87-95, 2006

Abstract : The outlet feeder pipe thinning in a PHWR (Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor) is caused by a high pressure steam flow inside the pipe, which is a well known degradation mechanism called a FAC (Flow Assisted Corrosion). In order to monitor the degradation, the thickness of the outlet bends close to the exit of the pressure tube should be measured and analyzed at every official overhaul. This paper describes a mobile feeder pipe inspection robot that can minimize the irradiation dose to human workers by automating the measurement process. The robot can move by itself on the feeder pipe by using an inch worm mechanism, which is constructed by two gripper bodies that can fix the robot body on to the pipe, one extendable and contractible actuator, and a rotation actuator connected to the two gripper bodies to move forward and backward, and to rotate in a circumferential direction.

Keyword : Inch-worm, pipe inspection, PHWR.

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