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1. (WO1986004939) PROCEDE ET APPAREIL DE DECONGELATION DE CONDUITES ENTERREES BLOQUEES PAR DE LA GLACE
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CLAIMS

1. A method for clearing road culverts or the like choked with ice, characterized in that a substantially homogeneous rope of a material having at least a certain reversible extensibility is extended through the culvert from its inlet side to its outlet side and in that the rope in its unloaded condition is clamped in connection to the outlet side and the inlet side respectively of the culvert so that the rope extends through the culvert.

2. A method according to Claim 1, characterized in that for forming a free passage through the culvert when this has become choked with ice both ends of the rope are released at the respective clamping positions, whereupon a steam pipe connected to a steam unit and being perforated along a portion of its length is connected to one end of the rope and successively is pulled into the passage in the ice established by the rope by withdrawing the rope from its other end, or alternatively the rope is completely withdrawn from the culvert, the end of the culvert is closed and a hot-air unit is connected to the other end of the culvert.

3. A method according to Claim 2, characterized in that when the thawing out of the culvert is finished the rope is pulled back into the culvert by means of the steam pipe or its connection to the steam unit and is clamped in position in the culvert again in its unloaded condition.

4. A method according to Claim 1, characterized in that a rope having a high reversible extensibility is used, in that the rope is clamped close to the upper portion of the culvert and in that when the culvert has become choked with ice the rope is released from its clamping in connection with the inlet side of the culvert whereupon a tension load is applied to the rope from the released end for reducing the cross-sectional area of the rope and thereby establishing a free passage through the culvert and in that the rope is subsequently clamped again in the loaded, extended condition.

5. A method according to Claim 4, characterized in that in connection with the inlet side of culvert the rope is deflected from its extension within the culvert through an edge cover and in that the corresponding end of the rope is clamped at a distance from the inlet side of the culvert and in that both ends of the rope, one after the other are released from the clamping, are tensioned or extended and clamped again.

6. Apparatus for clearing road culverts or the like which are choked with ice, characterized by a substantially homogeneous rope (10) of a material having at least a certain reversible extensibility and intended to be extended through the road culvert (1) from its inlet side (la) to its outlet side (lb), by a culvert attachment (3) to be secured in connection with the outlet side (lb) of the culvert and comprising a clamping means (8) for releasably clamping one end of the rope and by a ground attachment (11) intended to be anchored (the peg 12) in the ground in connection with the inlet side (la) of the culvert (1) and comprising a clamping means (15) for releasably clamping a second end of the rope (10).

7. Apparatus according to Claim 6, characterized in that the rope (10) has a substantially circular cross-sectional shape or alternatively a rectangular cross-sectional shape.

8. Apparatus according to Claim 7, characterized in that the rope (10) around its circumference is provided with longitudinal or helical grooves or channels.

9. Apparatus according to any of Claims 6 - 8, characterized in that the rope (10; 10') has a high reversible extensibi- lity and is manufactured from for instance EPDM-synthetic rubber.

10. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the rope (10; 10') at least in connection with one of its ends is provided with a connecting means (22) for connecting a steam pipe thereto.

AMENDED CLAIMS
[received by the International Bureau on 6 June 1986 (06.06.86);
original claims 1-4 amended; other claims unchanged (3 pages)]

1. A method for clearing road culverts or the like choked with ice, characterized in that a substantially homogeneous rope of a material having at least a certain reversible extensibility is extended through the culvert from its inlet side to its outlet side before it becomes choked with ice, in that the rope in its unloaded condition is clamped in connection to the outlet side and the inlet side respectively of the culvert so that the rope extends through the culvert, and in that, for the purpose of forming a free passage through the culvert once this has become choked with ice, bo.th ends of the rope are released at the respective clamping positions whereupon the rope is pulled out from the culvert or alternatively the rppe is released from its clamping in connection with the outlet side of the- culvert whereupon a tension load is applied to the rope from the released end for reducing the cross-sectional area of the rope, after which the rope is clamped again in the loaded extended condition.

2. A method according to Claim 1, characterized in that before the withdrawal of the rope a steam pipe connected to a steam unit and being perforated along a portion of its length is connected to one end of the rope, whereupon the steam pipe is successively pulled into the passage in the ice established by the rope by withdrawing the rope from its other end, and in that when the thawing out of the culvert is finished the rope is pulled back into the culvert by means of the steam pipe or its connection to the steam unit and is clamped in position in the culvert again in its unloaded condition.

3. A method according to Claim 1, characterized in that the rope is completely withdrawn from the culvert, in that one end of the culvert is closed and in that a hot air unit is connected to the outer end of the culvert.

4. A method according to Claim 1, characterized in that a rope having a high reversible extensibility is used, and in that the rope is clamped close to the upper portion of the culvert.

5. A method according to Claim 4, characterized in that in connection with the inlet side of culvert the rope is deflected from its extension within the culvert through an edge cover and in that the corresponding end of the rope is clamped at a distance from the inlet side of the culvert and in that both ends of the rope, one after the other are released from the clamping, are tensioned or extended and clamped again.

6. Apparatus for clearing road culverts or the like which are choked with ice, characterized by a substantially homogeneous rope (10) of a material having at least a certain reversible extensibility and intended to be extended through the road culvert (1) from its inlet side (la) to its outlet side (lb), by a culvert attachment (3) .to be secured in connection with the outlet side (lb) of the culvert and comprising a clamping means (8) for releasably clamping one end of the rope and by a ground attachment (11) intended to be anchored (the peg 12) in the ground in connection with the inlet side (la) of the culvert (1) and comprising a clamping means (15) for releasably clamping a second end of the rope (10).

7. Apparatus according to Claim 6, characterized in that the rope (10) has a substantially circular cross-sectional shape or alternatively a rectangular cross-sectional shape.

8. Apparatus according to Claim 7, characterized in that the rope (10) around its circumference is provided with longitudinal or helical grooves or channels.

9. Apparatus according to any of Claims 6 - 8, characterized in that the rope (10; 10') has a high reversible extensibi- lity and is manufactured from for instance EPDM-synthetic rubber.

10. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the rope (10; 10') at least in connection with one of its ends is provided with a connecting means (22) for connecting a steam pipe thereto.