Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2766465 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2766465
(54) English Title: CALANDRIA TUBE ROLLED JOINT LEAK TEST TOOL AND SERVICE CART
(54) French Title: OUTIL D'ESSAI ET CHARIOT DE SERVICE POUR VERIFIER LA PRESENCE DE FUITES DANS LES JOINTS ROULES DES TUBES DE CALANDRE
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • G21C 17/017 (2006.01)
  • G01M 3/28 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors (Country):
  • METZGER, DONALD RAY (Canada)
  • RICE, STEFANI NANCY JEAN (Canada)
  • ALBERT, MICHAEL DAVID (Canada)
  • COLLING, GEOFFREY SHANE (Canada)
  • SABHAYA, SAUMIL (Canada)
  • QUASTEL, AARON DAVID (Canada)
(73) Owners (Country):
  • ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED (Canada)
(71) Applicants (Country):
  • ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LIMITED (Canada)
(74) Agent: NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT CANADA LLP/S.E.N.C.R.L., S.R.L.
(45) Issued: 2018-01-02
(22) Filed Date: 2012-01-16
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2012-07-17
Examination requested: 2016-10-20
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country Date
61/433,431 United States of America 2011-01-17

English Abstract

Methods and systems for testing a joint assembly coupling a calandria tube to a tube sheet in a reactor. One method includes (a) inserting a test tool into a lattice site containing the joint assembly, the test tool including at least two seals that define an enclosed volume surrounding the joint assembly. The method also includes (b) drawing a vacuum in the enclosed volume, (c) stopping drawing the vacuum in the enclosed volume and allowing the vacuum to decay over a predetermined decay period, (d) measuring a change in pressure in the enclosed volume during the decay period and calculating a leak rate based on the change in pressure, (e) repeating (b) through (d) to generate a plurality of leak rates, and (f) determining an equilibrium leak rate based at least on the plurality of leak rates. The method also includes performing diagnostics during the testing method.


French Abstract

Des méthodes et des systèmes servent à vérifier un mécanisme de joint couplant un tube de calandre à une feuille de tube dans un réacteur. Une méthode comprend (a) linsertion dun outil de vérification dans un site de réseau comportant le mécanisme de joint, loutil de vérification comprenant au moins deux joints détanchéité qui définissent un volume fermé entourant le mécanisme de joint. La méthode comprend (b) la production dun vide dans le volume fermé, (c) larrêt de la production du vide dans le volume fermé et lattente de décroissance du vide pendant une période de décroissance prédéterminée, (d) la mesure dun changement dans la pression du volume fermé pendant la période de décroissance et le calcul dun taux de fuite fondé sur le changement de pression, (e) la répétition de (b) à (d) pour produire une pluralité de taux de fuite et (f) la détermination dun taux de fuite équilibré fondé sur la pluralité de taux de fuite. La méthode comprend également la réalisation de diagnostics pendant la méthode de vérification.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


What is claimed is:

1. A method of testing a joint assembly coupling a calandria tube to a tube
sheet in a
reactor, the method comprising:
(a) inserting a test tool into a lattice site containing the joint assembly,
the test tool
including at least two seals that define an enclosed volume surrounding the
joint
assembly;
(b) drawing a vacuum in the enclosed volume;
(c) stopping drawing the vacuum in the enclosed volume and allowing the
vacuum to decay over a predetermined decay period;
(d) measuring a change in pressure in the enclosed volume during the decay
period and calculating a leak rate based on the change in pressure;
(e) repeating (b) through (d) to generate a plurality of leak rates; and
(f) determining an equilibrium leak rate based at least on the plurality of
leak
rates.
2. The method of Claim 1, further comprising comparing the equilibrium leak
rate to
a quality leak rate range to identify when the joint assembly is properly
installed.
3. The method of Claim 1, further comprising radially expanding at least
one of the
at least two seals of the test tool after the test tool is inserted into the
lattice site.
4. The method of Claim 1, further comprising:
(g) supplying helium to at least one area outside of the enclosed volume;
(h) measuring an amount of helium in the enclosed volume;
(i) calculating a second leak rate based on the measured amount of helium in
the
enclosed volume and an ambient helium amount; and

17


(j) repeating (h) through (i) to generate a plurality of second leak rates.
5. The method of Claim 4, wherein determining the equilibrium leak rate
includes
determining the equilibrium leak rate based on the plurality of leak rates and
the plurality
of second leak rates.
6. The method of Claim 1, further comprising:
(g) supplying helium to at least one area outside of the enclosed volume;
(h) measuring an amount of helium inside the enclosed volume; and
(i) determining when one of the two seals of the test tool is leaking based on
the
measured amount of helium inside the enclosed volume.
7. The method of Claim 6, further comprising repeating (g) through (h).
8. The method of Claim 6, wherein supplying helium includes supplying
helium
when the vacuum is drawn on the enclosed volume.
9. The method of Claim 6, further comprising stopping supplying helium to
the at
least one area outside of the enclosed volume during the decay period.

18


10. A system for testing a joint assembly coupling a calandria tube to a
tube sheet in a
reactor, the system comprising:
a pump for drawing a vacuum on an enclosed volume surrounding the joint
assembly;
a test tool coupled to the pump by at least one hose and including
a test head including at least two seals for defining the enclosed volume
and an inlet for drawing the vacuum on the enclosed volume,
a pressure gauge for measuring a pressure in the enclosed volume,
a vacuum tube for drawing the vacuum on the enclosed volume, and
at least one valve for repeatedly drawing the vacuum on the enclosed
volume and letting the vacuum decay over a predetermined decay period,
wherein the pressure gauge provides a plurality of pressure readings in the
enclosed volume during the repeated drawings of the vacuum and vacuum decays,
the
plurality of pressure readings used to calculate an equilibrium leak rate of
the joint
assembly.
11. The system of Claim 10, further comprising a helium leak detector for
detecting
an amount of helium in the enclosed volume.
12. The system of Claim 11, wherein the helium leak detector contains the
pump and
is connected to the test tool by the at least one hose.
13. The system of Claim 12, wherein the detected amount of helium in the
enclosed
volume is compared to an ambient helium amount to determine the equilibrium
leak rate
of the joint assembly.

19


14. The system of Claim 10, wherein the at least two seals includes an
inboard seal
that engages an inside diameter of the calandria tube and an outboard seal
that engages a
face of the tube sheet.
15. The system of Claim 10, wherein the test tool further includes at least
one of a
threaded rod and a lead screw rotatable to expand at least one of the at least
two seals.
16. The system of Claim 10, wherein the test tool further includes at least
one tube for
supplying helium to at least one area outside of the enclosed volume to test
the tightness
of at least one of the at least two seals.
17. The system of Claim 10, further comprising at least one automated
controller for
controlling the valve.
18. The system of Claim 10, further comprising a cart for carrying the
pump.
19. The system of Claim 10, further comprising a control unit for logging
the plurality
of pressure readings.
20. The system of Claim 10, further comprising at least one shield plug for
supporting
the vacuum tube and for shielding radiation.



A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

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Admin Status

Title Date
(22) Filed 2012-01-16
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2012-07-17
Examination Requested 2016-10-20
(45) Issued 2018-01-02

Maintenance Fee

Description Date Amount
Last Payment 2017-12-15 $200.00
Next Payment if small entity fee 2019-01-16 $100.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2019-01-16 $200.00

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

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Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Filing $400.00 2012-01-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2014-01-16 $100.00 2014-01-03
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2015-01-16 $100.00 2015-01-13
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2016-01-18 $100.00 2016-01-04
Request for Examination $800.00 2016-10-20
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2017-01-16 $200.00 2017-01-04
Final $300.00 2017-11-09
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2018-01-16 $200.00 2017-12-15

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Abstract 2012-01-16 1 22
Description 2012-01-16 16 854
Claims 2012-01-16 4 114
Drawings 2012-01-16 9 347
Representative Drawing 2012-03-13 1 42
Cover Page 2012-07-10 1 78
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-10-20 1 50
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-10-28 1 28
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-12-01 5 323
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-03-01 268 1,807
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-03-02 8 187
Drawings 2017-03-01 14 1,043
Claims 2017-03-01 4 112
Description 2017-03-01 16 857
Drawings 2017-03-02 14 445
Correspondence 2017-11-09 2 69
Representative Drawing 2017-12-04 1 28
Cover Page 2017-12-04 1 63