Available Technology

Apparatus for confined underwater cryogenic surface preparation

A portable, diver-operated cryogenic freezing unit cleans surfaces underwater. A housing has a first chamber that contains cryogenic liquid, such as liquid nitrogen, and a second chamber is disposed adjacent to an end portion that fits about contaminating matter on a surface underwater. A valve vents cryogenic liquid from the first chamber to expand as gas in the second chamber. The vented cryogenic liquid and gas freeze a slug of water and the contaminating matter on the surface within the end portion. The housing is bent, twisted or otherwise displaced to break or pry-away and remove the frozen slug of water and contaminating matter from the surface to thereby clean it. A method of cleaning a surface underwater using the cryogenic freezing unit is described.
Inventors: 

John Shelburne

Billy F. Courson, Jr.

Patent Number: 
US6463942
Patent Issue Date: 
November 15, 2002
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