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Патент USA US3041910

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July 3, 1962
w. WAGNER
3,041,900
FIN STRAIGHTENING con/n3
Filed Jan. 19. 1960
FIG ,_
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W'ZLL'AM W22“
ATTO BEY.
United States Patent Office
3,941,9?0
Patented July 3, 1962
1
2
3,0413%
abrasive to avoid marring and scratching the heat ex
changer ?ns. Both nylon and Te?on are very strong,
(W20 E. 15th St, Hialeah, Fla.)
Filed Jan. 19, 1950, Ser. No. 3,437
2 iliaims. (Cl. 81---15)
shape of the present device and they are relatively non
abrasive, Te?on especially providing virtually a self-lu
FIN STRAIGHTENING CQMB
William Wagner, North Miami Beach, Fla.
This invention relates to a ?n straightening comb.
Reference is here made mainly to heat exchangers in
which ?ns are provided to increase the effective area of
the heat transfer surfaces. in other devices which do
not function primarily as heat exchangers, ?ns are some
tough materials which can be molded to the desired
bricating surface. Both materials are also strongly re
sistant to abrasion and consequently provide long-lived
?n straightening tools of the character herein described
and claimed.
Still another important feature of the invention resides
in the shape of the comb ?ns and it will be seen in the
drawing that they are hook or wedge-shaped in face
times used for heat exchange purposes. Illustrative of
view to provide camming side edges. The function of
the various ?nned heat exchange devices to which this
the comb ?ns is not merely to comb or rake the heat ex
invention relates are spaced heating units such as ?nned 15 changer ?ns but also to provide a camming or hooking
steam and hot water radiators used in the home and
action to bend them into straight parallel relationship
?nned evaporators and condensers used in refrigeration
to each other. In the use of this device, the comb ?ns
and air conditioning systems.
are in effect hooked under the bent portions of ‘the heat
In many cases the ?ns are made of thin, light, ?exible
exchanger ?ns and a cumming action is applied to the lat
sheet material such as copper and aluminum. Fins made 20 ter sufficient to pry and bend them back into parallelism.
of such material are easily bent out of shape and dis
Still another important feature of the invention re
torted and it becomes dif?cult to straighten them to their
sides in the interchangeability of the tool with respect to
original condition. As is well known, the e?iciency of a
heat exchanger ?ns of different spacing and dimensions.
heat exchangerof this general type suffers in direct pro
For example, some heat exchanger ?ns are thicker than
25 others and some are deeper than others and the spacing
portion to the extent of distortion of the ?ns.
It is the principal object of this invenion to provide a
between adjacent ?ns frequently varies in different heat
quick and effecive tool for straightening the ?ns of heat
exchange units. In the present invention the comb fins
exchangers and other ?nned devices of like nature. More
are provided in a plurality of groups, each group consist
speci?cally, the present invention relates to a comb-like
ing of equal dimensioned and spaced ?ns but the ?ns of
device, hereinafter ‘designated as a “comb,” which is pro 30 any one group differing from the ?ns of any other group
vided with a plurality of spaced parallel ?ns of a thick—
either in dimensions or in spacing, or both.
ness adapted to enter the spaces between the heat ex
Another feature of the invention resides in its use,
changer ?ns, the spaces between the comb ?ns being suf
?cient to accommodate the heat exchanger ‘?ns. This
its prirnary‘function as above-indicated being to straighten
the ?ns of heat exchange uni-ts, but it also has another
is in the nature of a ?nned tool adapted to engage a
“ purpose and that is to clean the heat exchanger ?ns.
Lint and dust and other foreign matter tend to accumu
?nned object.
An important feature of the present invention resides
late between the ?ns of heat exchange units and the pres
in the resilience and ?exibility’ of the comb ?ns. These
ent device may be used to clean such ?ns by the very
comb ?ns are uniformly spaced but the distorted heat
same method used in straightening distorted ?ns. In
exchangers ?ns are not and it is this ?exibility of the comb 40 deed, the tool may perform both functions simultaneous
?ns which enables them to conform to the unequal spac
ly, as where the ?ns of a heat exchanger are both bent
ing of the heat exchanger ?ns. The resilience of the
and clogged with foreign matter.
comb ?ns and their inherent structural strength and re
The invention is illustrated in the accompanying draw
sistance to permanent distortion enable them to sraighten _ ing, in which
the heat exchanger ?ns.
FIGURE 1 is a general perspective view showing the
Although the invention is primarily intended for use
use of a ?n straightening comb made in accordance with
in connection with the heat exchanger ?ns of refrigera
one form of this invention;
tion and air conditioning systems, it may also be applied
FIGURE 2 is a face view thereof;
to various other kinds of heat exchanger ?ns such as
FIGURE 3 is a side edge view;
those employed in the radiators of the water cooling sys
FIGURE 4 is a side edge view of a modi?ed ?n straight
toms of motor vehicles and also the steam and hot wa
ening comb made in accordance with a modi?ed form of
ter radiators used in space heating applications, such as
this invention;
in heating a house or other building. The heat exchanger
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary view showing one of the
?ns of refrigeration and air conditioning systems are
?ns in the modi?ed comb construction of FIGURE 4;
relatively thin and ?exible and a hit straightening comb
FIGURE -6 is a sectional view on the line ‘6-6 of
relating to such heat exchanger ?ns should preferably
FIGURE 5 showing. the two sections of the ?n of FIG
Je made of resilient material as above indicated. How
URE 5, one such section being relatively thick and the
other being relatively thin.
ever, when the relatively heavy and in?exible heat ex~
:hanger ?ns of motor vehicle radiators and heating radi 60 Referring now to‘ the details of the invention as illus
ltOl‘S are encountered, it may be found desirable to uti
trated in the drawing and particularly to the ?rst form
ize a ?n straightening comb made of relatively in?ex
of the invention as shown in FIGURES 1, 2, and 3, it
will be observed that the tin-straightening comb 10 there
ble material. For example, a metal comb made of brass
>r aluminum or any other suitable material would be
in illustrated comprises a body portion 12, a plurality
nost appropriate for such applications;
of teeth or ?ns 14 at one end and a plurality of teeth
Another important feature of the invention also re—
ides in the nature of the material of which the comb ?ns
or ?ns 16 at the opposite end.
we made, namely, relatively soft plastics such as nylon
The body portion 12
may simply be a bar of elongated, rectangular shape
in plan view, although this is purely a matter of prefer
ence ‘and design. All that is required is that it serve
1nd Te?on, the latter being a trademark of E. ‘I du Pont
adequately as a handle and as a support for ?ns 14
le Nemours & Co. to designate a tetra?uoroethylene 70 and 16.
aolymer. The material must be strong for ?n straighten
ng purposes but it should also be relatively soft and non
Fins 14 are trapezoidal in shape in face view, having
two parallel side edges 14a and 14b, respectively, and
3,041,900
'r
fi
two non-parallel side edges 14c and 14d, respectively.
angle relative to the longitudinal axis of the device. Side
a
edges 14d and 16d are thereby enabled to serve as hooks
or wedges to cam or pry up the distorted portions 20a
Side edge 14a represents one end of the device as a whole
and it occupies a plane to which the longitudinal axis
of the device is perpendicular. Side edge 14]) represents
the line of juncture between each ?n 14 and the main
body or handle 12 of the device. Side edge 14b also
occupies a plane to which the longitudinal axis of said
of heat exchanger ?ns 20. The points or pointed corners
14a and 16a, de?ned by side edges 14a and 14d and said
edges 16a and 16d, serve as entering wedges for the comb
?ns 14 and 16, enabling them to gain access to the heat
exchanger ?ns 20 below their distorted portions 20a.
device is perpendicular. More precisely, the several side
In the usual case, these distorted portions are encountered
edges 14a of the several ?ns 14 occupy a common plane
and the several side edges 14b of said ?ns 14 also occupy 10 along the outer edges of the heat exchanger ?ns 20 and
it is, therefore, necessary for the comb ?ns to hook under
a common plane, these two planes being parallel to each
said distorted portions in order to straighten them out
other and the longitudinal axis of the device intersecting
as the device is drawn along the heat exchanger ?ns in
both said planes at right angles. Each ?n 16 is likewise
of trapezoidal shape, having two parallel side edges 16a
and 16b, respectively, and two non-parallel side edges
the manner shown in FIGURE =1.
15
16c and 16d. Side edges 16a, 16b, 16c and 16d of each
By way of illustration, a ?n-straightening comb made
in accordance with the ?rst form of this invention, as
shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 3 and having the following
dimensions, has been found to be most suitable for‘
respectively, of each ?n 14, and what has been said of
straightening the heat exchanger ?ns of refrigeration and
?ns 14 applies equally as well to ?ns 16.
I
_
There are, however, two differences between ?ns 14, 20 air conditioning condensersz'
The main body or handle 12
approximately 4
on the one hand, and ?ns 16, on the other. These differ
inches long, 3/; of an inch wide and 3A6 of an inch thick.
ences reside in the relative thickness of said ?ns and in
Fins 14 are approximately-1%2 of anrinch wide along side
their relative spacing. As is clearly shown in FIGURE
edge 14a, approximately 3/16 of an inch wide along side
2, ?ns 14 are relatively thick and they are spaced rela
tively far apart. Fins 16 are relatively thin and they are 25 edge 14b’ 1%; of an inch high alongside edge 14c and‘
?n 16 correspond to side edges 14a, 14b, 14c and 14d,
spaced relatively closely together. The reason for pro
viding thicker or thinner ?ns and spacing them more
widely or less widely apart is to adapt said ?ns to the
relative thickness and relative spacing of, the heat ex
changer ?ns which they are to engage and straighten or
clean. Some heat exchanger ?ns are relatively thick
and relatively widely spaced; others are relatively thirr
and relatively closely spaced. Fins 14 would, therefore,
be adapted to engage and straighten the ?rst-mentioned
heat exchanger ?ns while ?ns 16 would be adapted to‘
engage and straighten the second-mentioned heat ‘ex-g
changer ?ns. The manner of use of the present device isv
graphically illustrated in’ FIGURE 1' wherein‘ the body
or handle 12 of the devicelher'ein claimed held in the
hand and heat exchanger. ?ns 26 are corned or stroked 40
approximately 5/16 of an’ inch long along side edge 1403'
The angle separating side‘ edgesv 14a and 144 is approxi-'
mately 55 degrees. 'I‘husifar', the ?ns‘114 and 16‘ are sub“;
stantially identical. In’ thickness and spacing,- however‘;
they differ.- There are nine ?ns 14' in said embodiment
of the invention, said ?ns being’ uniform in thickness and
uniformly spaced and occupying av space approximately
23/32 of an inch wide. The spaces between them‘are apl‘
proximately as wide asythe ?ns are thick. On the other
hand‘, there are eleven ?n's16 occupying a space approxi-'
mately % ofan inch wide. These ?ns are of uniform!
thickness‘ and uniformly spaced, the spaces which sep'a-‘
rate‘,them being approximately as wide as‘ the‘ ?ns are‘
thick.v
: Turning now is‘ the second form of the seventies as‘
by means of ?ns 16 of said device. The device is drawn
along the heat exchanger ?ns 20, longitudinally of them
and parallel to the planeswhich said?ns 20 are de-'
signed to occupy, The individualcomh ?ns 16 are in
serted ‘into the spaces separating the individual heat ex
changer ?'ns' ‘20 and by the same token saidheat ex;
illustrated in’ FIGURES 4', 5 and 6, it will be observed
?ns in the manner shown and the side faces of the comb‘
?ns 16 engage the side faces of the heat exchanger combs
20 and straighten the latter into parallel relation to each
edges 14d and 16d of said ?ns 14 and 16. Side edges‘
that a ?it-straightening comb 30 is provided, said comb‘:
having a bodypr haln‘dle portion 32, ?ns 34 at one end of
said ‘body or" handle portion and ?ns 36' at the opposite‘
end thereof; These ?ns ‘3'4 and 36 are also trapezoidal
45
in face view' but, unlike ?ns 14 and 16 above described‘,
they are each provided with two diagonal side edges 34a‘
chan'ge'r ?ns enter the spaces between said comb ?ns 16.
and 34b, and 36a and 36b, corresponding to diagonal side
The device is drawn longitudinally of the heat exchanger
34a and 34b ‘are disposed at an angle of approximately
55 degrees with‘ respect to side edge 34c and side edges;
36a and 36b are also disposed at an angle of approxi
other, spaced to correspond, substantially, to the spac
mately 55 degrees with respect to side edge 360. These
ing of the comb ?ns 16.
angular relationships are, of course, purely illustrative
It has been stated that the present device is made pref
erably of nylon or Te?on. These materials are suited 55 and it will be understood that what is desired is an acute
angle, the angle of approximately 55 degrees having been
for molding intricate precise shapes and it is therefore
found suitable but other acute angles being also suitable
possible to mold the present device in its entirety, that
for present purposes.
is, the body or handle portion 12 together with both sets
Each ?n 34 is formed to function ‘as two ?ns, one on
of ?ns 14 and 16 integral therewith. Since this material
each side of handle 132. This is clearly shown in FIG
nylon or Te?on possesses a measure of ?exibility and
URES 5 and 6 where it will be apparent that each side
resilience, ?ns 16 (and this would equally be true of
?n 34 is divided into two triangular ?ns 35 and 35a, re
?ns 14) are enabled to adapt themselves or to adjust to
spectively. Triangular ?n 35 is bounded by side edges
the relative spacing of heat exchanger ?ns 20. It is not
34a, 34d and 34e. Triangular ?n 35a is de?ned by side
essential that the heat exchanger ?ns and the comb ?ns
be of identical thickness and spaced identically apart. 65 edges 34b, 34]‘ and 34g. Side edges 34d and 34g com
bine to form side edge 34c above-mentioned.
It is su?icient if the comb ?ns approximate the heat ex
It will now be seen in FIGURE 6 that triangular ?n
changer ?ns in both thickness and spacing. Where the
35 is relatively thick when compared with triangular ?n
heat exchanger ?ns are too thick and too Widely spaced
35a. These two triangular ?ns may also be thinner than
for comb ?ns 16, ?ns 14 should be used. They are thick
or ‘and more widely spaced than ?ns 16. An important 70 the triangular or wedge-shaped portion 3512 which sep
arates them. What has [been said of ?ns 34 may equally
feature of the invention, as above indicated, resides in
1be true of ?ns 36. Each ?n 36 consists of two triangular
the hook shape of comb ?ns 14 and 16. Reference is
?ns 37 and 37a, respectively, and these two triangular ?ns
here made to side edges 14d and 16d of said ?ns, said
may be of different thicknesses, not only different from
side edges being disposed at an acute angle relative to
side edges 14a and 16a, respectively, and at an obtuse 70 each other but also different from triangular ?ns 35 and
3,041,909
5
6
35a. Consequently, a single fin-straightening comb 39
may be provided with four sets of triangular ?ns 35, 35a,
pulling the device while its ?n-straightening elements 14'
37 and 37a, each set of ?ns differing in thickness from
the others. They may also differ in spacing. By way of
looped member not only helps in drawing the ?n-straight
illustration, the ?ns in any one group may be spaced apart
a distance corresponding to their thickness.
This, of
course, is not necessarily the case but it describes one
are in engagement with the ?ns of aheat exchanger. This
ening comb through the heat exchanger ?ns in the manner
indicated, but it also helps prevent ?nger injury by rea
son of accidental contact between the ?ngers of the heat
exchanger ?ns. While said looped ?nger retaining mem
preferred form of the invention. A general rule which
ber is not essential to the operation of the present inven
would also apply to the present invention is to provide
tion, it is exceedingly helpful therein.
comb ?ns of a thickness corresponding substantially (with 10
I claim:
adequate clearance) to the spaces between the ?ns of a
1. A heat exchanger ?n-straightening comb of the char
heat exchanger and the spacing between the comb ?ns
acter described, said ‘?n-straightening comb being adapted
should correspond substantially (with ‘adequate clear
to be pulled along a plurality of ?ns in order to straighten
ance) to the thickness of the heat exchanger ?ns. As an
them, said ?n-strlaightening comb comprising a pull
example, there may be eight triangular ?ns 35 per inch, 15 handle and a plurality of axially and laterally projecting
ten triangular ?ns 35a per inch, twelve triangular ?ns
?ns provided at one end of said handle, said ?ns being
37a per inch and fourteen triangular ?ns 37:: per inch.
substantially uniform in thickness and occupying uni
The use of the ?n-straightening comb illustrated in
FIGURES 4, 5 and 6 corresponds to the use of ?n
straightening comb It} shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 3.
Heat transfer ?ns 20 are stroked ‘by means of one of
formly ‘spaced parallel planes, said ?ns having trapezoid
shaped side faces with a wide base at the forward end of
each ?n and a slanted side edge extending out of the
plane of the hnadle and meeting the base at an acute
the four sets of triangular ?ns 35, 35a, 37, 37a, which
‘angle so as to provide a laterally extending pointed wedge
ever set is appropriate with respect to those particular
for entering between the heat exchanger ?ns with the
heat exchanger ?ns 20 in thickness and spacing. The
side surfaces thereof in engagement with the distorted
single ?n-straightening comb 30 may therefore be used 25 heat exchanger ?ns to straighten them by a longitudinal
to straighten heat exchanger ?ns of at least four different
combing stroke.
thicknesses and spacings. As 1a practical matter, how
2. A heat exchanger ?n-straightening comb of the char
ever, the four sets of comb ?ns are adapted to be used
acter described, said ?n-straightening comb being adapted
in connection with a great variety of heat exchanger ?ns
to be pulled along a plurality of ?ns in order to straighten
differing both in thickness and in spacing.
The foregoing is illustrative of preferred forms of this
them, said tin-straightening comb comprising a pull
handle and ‘a plurality of axially and laterally projecting
invention and it will be understood that these forms may
?ns on at least one end of said handle, said ?ns being
be modi?ed ‘and other forms may be provided within the
substantially uniform in thickness and occupying substan
broad spirit of the invention and the broad scope of the
tially uniformly spaced parallel planes, ‘a ?nger-retaining
35 loop being provided on said handle to assist in holding
claims.
By way of illustration, although the drawing discloses
a ?n straightening device having a plurality of comb ?ns
at both ends of the handle, it will be understood that this
is not essential to the invention, and the principles of the
said fin-straightening ‘comb and drawing it along a ?nned
heat exchanger, while the ?ns of the comb are in engage
ment with the ?ns of the heat exchanger, said ?ns having
trapezoid shaped side faces with a wide base at the for
invention will be fully met by providing a ?n straighten 40 ward end of each ?n and a slanted side edge extending out
ing comb having ?ns at only one end. A comb of this
of the plane of the handle and meeting the base at an
nature would resemble the ?n straightening comb shown
‘acute angle so as to provide a laterally extending pointed
in FIG. 2 or the one shown in FIG. 4, with the exception
wedge for entering between the heat exchanger ?ns with
that there would be no ?ns at one end of the handle.
the side surfaces thereof in engagement with the distorted
45
What is important is that the ?ns which are provided on
heat exchanger ?ns to straighten them by a longitudinal
the handle be generally hook-shaped or cam edged, so as
combing stroke.
to perform the heat exchanger ?n straightening operation
above described.
Another modi?cation of the device ‘above described is
shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 3 of the drawing. In the
above description it is assumed that the ?n straightening
comb is held in the hand without any external or other
gripping means to help hold the device properly ‘and con
veniently and to assist in its use. It will now be noted
that a looped ?nger-engageable member 24 may be se 55
cured to the body portion 12 of the device by means of
‘a screw 22 in tapped hole 18a. It will be apparent from
the showing of FIGURE 1 that the fore?nger may be
inserted into said looped member to ‘assist in holding and
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
49,245
1,739,214
2,222,081
Dorman ______________ __ Aug. 8, 1865
Darling _____________ __ Dec. 10, 1929
Leigh _______________ __ Nov. 19, 1940
2,314,034
2,618,185
2,818,757
2,895,358
2,909,954
2,912,888
DeRoo _____________ .._ Mar. 16,
Fechter _____________ __ Nov. 18,
Pille __________________ __ Ian. 7,
Johnson _____________ __ July 21,
Rhoads ______________ __ Oct. 27,
Webb _______________ __ Nov. 17,
1943
1952
1958
1959
1959
1959
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