Automatic Sealing and Unsealing of Canisters in a Hazardous Environment

Photo of Dino Arslanagic, Erik Bilansky, Steven Kubiak Students: Dino Arslanagic, Erik Bilansky, Steven Kubiak

Sponsor: Los Alamos National Laboratory

Date: Spring 2011

Requirements:
The device must handle a wide variety of canister sizes. The diameter of canisters ranges from 4 to 8 inches; the heights of these canisters can also vary from 5 to 10 inches. The device should be adjustable to handle the various locations of the tape associated with these differently sized canisters. The final design should strive to maintain a low center of gravity whether or not a canister is being handled. Since the device can experience forces that cause it to slide on the glovebox floor, the base must have a high coefficient of friction. The device should be designed with the goal of reducing the mechanical vibrations and operation time. The tape remover must be operable by either a robot or a human. The materials chosen must be approved by LANL and must not corrode or unfavorably interact with any other component in the hazardous environment. Any sharp or dangerous objects must be appropriately shielded so that there is no risk to the technician of injury.

Problem:
The objective of this project is to design an automated device that will fit in a standard glovebox and remove the tape seals that hold the lids on metal containers of various sizes. The device must be operable by a robotic arm as well as by human operators, and must interface with the other components of the plutonium recycling process.

Solution:
The final device features a rotating turntable to spin the can against a stationary removal tool. This design ensures the device remains as stable as possible during operation; keeping the tool stationary not only reduces the total rotating mass in the device, but also allows absorbs the counterforce the tool places on the canister. The device is modular in an effort to maximize its potential for use in future tasks. The removal module that is most viable is a spinning wire bristle shredding device; while the turntable rotates the canister, the shredder spins the wire brush to shred the tape.

Images related to the project:

Photo related to Automatic Sealing and Unsealing of Canisters in a Hazardous Environment project
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