|Publication number||US1883071 A|
|Publication date||Oct 18, 1932|
|Filing date||Dec 14, 1928|
|Priority date||Dec 14, 1928|
|Publication number||US 1883071 A, US 1883071A, US-A-1883071, US1883071 A, US1883071A|
|Original Assignee||Doheny Stone Drill Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (69), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
3 Sheefs-Sheet, 1
F. STONE LOGKABLE SAFETY JOINT Filed Deo.- 14, 1928 i Maf/7gg' Oct. 18, 1932. F. s'roNE 1,883,071
LOGKABLE SAFETY JOINT Filed peu. 14, 1928 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 y ou. 1s, 1932,
F. STONE LOCKABLE SAFETY J 01H11 Filed Dec. 14. 1928 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Patented oct. 1s, 1932 UNITED STATES PATENT oFFlcE FREDERICK STONE, OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, ASSIGNOR TOhDOHEN Y-STON E DRILL CO., OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, A CORPORATION 0F DELAWARE EocxAnLE SAFETY JOINT Application led December 14, 1928. Serial No. 326,106.
`clearly, it will be helpful first to consider briefly the prior art, the general nature and purposes of usual safety joints, and the limitations and failings of said usual joints. It will be understood the discussion of such limitations and shortcomings is not entered into with a spirit of derogation, but merely in order that the functions of elements added by my invention may be explained to better advantage.
As is well understood in the rotary drilling art, the rotary stem Carrying drilling, fishing, or like tools is made up of a plurality ofv st-ands of drill pipe, each stand comprising three or four lengths of drill pipe coupled together by usual collars and the stands being coupled to one another by well known taper threaded, quick detachable tool joints. The drill stem is made up or broken down in stands, that is, by making up and breaking down the tool joints, only, the couplings within each stand being undisturbed and being made up very tightly originally. The
tool oints are also made up tightly, but due to their characteristics may be broken relatively easily and quickly.
In fishing operations it sometimes occurs l that the fish or the fishing tool are so located or become so sanded-in that after the fish has been grappled it becomes impossible to elevate it by raising the stem. Since it is often impossible then to release the fishing tool from the fish or to part the fishing tool from the drill stem, there arises the problem of parting the drill stem at a point as close as possible to the elements which are resisting elevation. One method of accomplishing this is to use wash pipe and then cut loose and eleof safety joints in the drill stem these generally being located immediately above the fishing tool. Usual safety joints may be de'- scribed generally as -pin and box members having thread connection, usually and preferably the threads being tapered, but having additionally stop shoulders, one on each member, which shoulders extend longitudinally of the pipe and contact with each other just before the threads of the pin and box member are screwed fully home, thus preventing the joint from being frictionally set-up. driving load when the stem is rotated, but prevent the joint from being setup as tightly as the rest of the tool joints in the string.
Accordingly, if it be desired to part the stern.
immediately above the fishing tool, it is only necessary to rotate the string or stem lefthandedly (assuming that the Various joint threads are right-handed) vthe safety joint thus being broken and allowing elevation of the drill stem without periodically severing it. This leaves the fish` and fishing tool in the hole for further freeing operations.
It will be readily understood that without a safety joint in the string, it is unfeasible to part the string by left-hand rotation thereof since the loosest tool'joint will break first and this joint may be thousands of feet above the fishing tool, whereupon the drill stem left 1n the hole wouldhave to be lished out, probably joint by joint.
The shortcoming of the vusual safety joint lies in the fact that since the threaded connection is necessarily a comparatively loose one, and at least appreciably looser than any of the tool joints above, there is an even chance that it may become accidentally broken and uncoupled due to vibration or other causes as the drill stem is being lowered or raised. As a result, the usual safety joint sometimes defeats its own purpose, as it These shoulders take the full -ing string,
at a drops the fishing tool durin lowering thereof, or, as a sh is being ic ed up, it allows said sh and the tool to rop from the stem to the hole bottom.
It is this same shortcoming which prevents the use of usual safety -joints in a drill stem during actual drilling operations that is, since the threaded connection of the joint is necessarily kept from being a tight one,-the constant tendency of the cutting tool '(particularly the case where a disk bit is used) to turn the drill pipe left-handedly (or, eX- pressed more broadly, in a direction opposite that of drilling rotation) as the drill stem is going into the hole, presents the constant dan er of the safety joint becoming accidentally roken, thus causing it to belie its name, as it then allows the drill to drop from the stem and calls for a fishing job before drilling` can be continued. Yet it will be seen that it is just as desirable to have some sort of a safety joint in a drill stem as it is in a fishso in case the drilling tool becomes sanded-in or for some other reason resists elevation, the drill stem may be parted at a predetermined point (usually immediately above the bit) and thus allow the immediate undertaking of recovery operations without the initial necessity nf severing or otherwise mutilating the drill stem.
The present invention contemplates the provision of a safety joint which allows for quick parting of the drill stem or fishing stem redetermined point when occasion arises or suchparting, with the addition of means positively preventing the breaking of the safety joint until willful steps have been taken to release said joint for breaking. With this characteristic of releasable lockabilty, the safety joint can be used to equal advantage in either drill stems or fishing stems without danger of accidental joint breakage, the two joint parts being held releasably a ainst relative rotation tending to unscrew tv em, or, ex ressed more broadly, held against separative movement until -a willful releasing step has been taken. j
Furthermore it is often desirable to rotate a stem left-handedly (again assumin that the joint threads are right-handed) uring drilling or fishing operations for various reasons, for instance, in tripping the grapple fin ers of a fishing tool. With the usual safgety joint in use, such purposeful left-handed rotation is diately break t e safety joint With my lock in use, however, such left-handed rotation may be had irrespective of its purpose-[without breaking the safet the break is desired. n other words, until a wilful releasing stop has -been taken, the ste-m may be operatedas though the joint were not there.l
While I have described above the use of my safety joint in situations in which the revented for it would imme- 'the drill stem is subsequently lifted out.
joint, that is, until element below itis to be freed from the spring because of accident, it will be understood it is e ually as useful in freeing from a string an e ement which is lowered into the casing with the intention that it be left therein wren 4or instance, the joint may be used in laying or setting such elements as whip-stocks or liners, as will be readily understood by those skilled in the art, and therefore my claims are to be considered as contemplating such an application of the invention even though the joint might then be considered as an element setting joint rather than safety joint, as I have chosen to call it for the sake of simplicity.
In connection with the above, since it is enerally recognized in the art that a safety joint is one which is made up or broken by relative rotation of its parts with the addition of means to prevent it being frictionally 'set-up as tightly as normal joints, I have, in certain of my claims, expressed such a joint structure by merely specifying a safety-joint. This term is thus to be con-- sidered in such (and-irres ective of the nature of the connection an preventative means) a joint having the immediately above specified general characteristics.
The means for releasing the lock to allow the joint to be broken is controlled from the top of the string where it is accessible to the driller. j My broader claims contemplate such Control means irrespective of their particularities. I-Iowever, as a particularly eihcient means for releasing the lock, I employ a stopper which is dropped through the drill stem bore and seats upon the locking member of the safety joint lock, the stopper closing off the bore of the member, through which bore circulating iuid normally passes. By
vapplying usual hydraulic pressure, the lock 4member is driven downwardly as a vrelease the'joint piston to for subsequent breaking byrelative rotation of its parts. The advantages and general eiciency of this provision will be recognized immediately by those skilled in the art and I have drawn certain of my claims to this particularity.
I have also provided means, whereby, after the stopper has been seated, the fluid may be by-passed therearound, but the` reasons forand the method of doing this may be discussed to better advantage inthe detailed specilicatin wherein further objects and novel features of the@ invention will be pointed out. Reference will be had to the accompanying drawings in which: l
Figure 1 isy angelevation, partly, in broken away section, showing an embodiment of my Fig. 2 is an enlarged medial section through I ABti claims as defining broadly showing the oint section through the upper or pin member of the joint;
Fig. 8 is a` reduced sectional vview showing a variational type of releasing or controlling means;
Fig. 9 isa reduced'iand somewhat conventional view showing the application of several joints in a single stem, with means whereby the joints may beoperated selectively;
Fig. 10 is a. view, partly in broken-away medial section, of a variational embodiment of the invention, and-showing locked condition;
Fig 11 is a view similar to Fig. 10 but showing the joint in unloc red condition;
Fig. 12 is a section on line 12-12 of Fig. 11;
Fig. 13 is a fragmentary perspective view of one of the ends of a joint member of Fig. 10;
Fig. 14: is a sectional'view showing' another variational embodiment of the invention and showing the joint in unlocked condition, the stopper being partially broken away to expose other parts; and
Fig. 15 is a section on line 15-15 of Fig. 14.
As discussed in the forepart of this speciiication, the joint may be applied with advantage to a stem irrespective of the nature of the tool or equipment supported by said stem.
However, for purpose of illustration I have.
shown the jointapplied to a drill stem with a bit attached. The safety joint is here shown as being interposed directly between the drill stem andthe bit, but it will be understood that this showing is in no way to be construed as limiting the invention to placement ina particular type of stem or to a. particular joint in that stem.
I have also shown the joint embodied in a drill stem whose stands are coupled by usual tool joints, but it will be understood the joint may be applied with equal facility and advantage to stems made up' otherwise.
In Fig. 1 I have shown a string made up o f the drill stem generally indicated. at 10, this stem being made up of stands 11 coupled together by usual tool joint 12 which comprises usual box end 13 and pin end 14. The individual stands are made up in the usual manner, the -pipe lengths being connected by usual collars (not shown). My safety'joint is generally indicated at l5 and is shown coupled at its upper end .to the lowermost stand 11 by a tool joint pin end 16, While the joint in a bit 17 is shown coupled to the lower end of joint 15 by the tool-joint double-box end 18. It will be understoodof course, that the safety joint '15 may be coupled in any other suitable manner to a drill stem and tool or that one or more stands of pipe may be interposed between said joint and the tool. the reservation having been made above that the particular location of the joint in and the type of connection with the stem are not controlling on the invention, considered in its broader aspects. Therefore, where,vin certain of the claims I have specied the joint as being in a stem made up of a plurality of stem sections coupled end to end, it will be understood that sections may be considered either as stands, individual pipe lengths, or tools.
For purposes of description it will be assumed throughout that the thread connectionsl are all right-handed, though it will be understood that in certain instances lefthand threads are used in special fishing stems. Accordingly, in the variational embodiments to be described later certain of the joint elements which have surfaces inclining in a given direction will, when applied to a stem having left-hand threads, have such surfaces inclining in the opposite direction.
v My safety joint is shown as including two main joint members 19 and 20, each having at one end provisions for connecting it to drill stem or tool and at the other end means adapted to connect it detachably tol the other joint member by virtue of relative rotation of the two members. The particular type of detachable connection between elements is here shown as comprising mated threads, but it will be understood my invention broadly contemplates the utilization of any type of connection which may be made or broken by relative rotation of parts. However, an understanding of the type of connection here shown will make it understandable to those skilled in the art hcw the invention ymay be applied with equal advantage to connections other than threaded ones.
Joint members 19 and 20 may be Considered as tubular, cylindric members having7 when the joint isemade up, longitudinally telescopic or overlapping portions 21 and 22, respectively. Thus, member 19ymay be considered as a box or female member having the tapered, threaded socket portion 93 adapted to take the complementarily tapered and threaded extension 24 of member 20. which latter may thus 'be considered a pin member. The threaded connection between members 19 and 20 is generally designated at T. Members 19 and 20 preferably have complementarily inclining conical shoulders 25 and 26, respectively,`wliich come into mating opposition when the joint is madeI up, though, as will be hereinafter set forth, said connection between the safety locking member has conical, peripheral shoulders are not brought into facial contact at an time. It will be noted, however, that the joint between members 19 and 20 is preferably a peripherally flush one,`with obvious advantage. However, my invention is in no way to be considered as limited to the inclusion of these 'conical shoulders nor to the use of taper threads,-
though this type of thread is particularly well adapted to the purpose as will be readily understood.
The upper end of member 20 is provided with the threaded socket 27 whereby connection may be made with drill stem 10 through such means as tool joint pin 161, while member 19 has a. tapered, threaded pin 28 whereby connection may be made with any suitable tool, such `as'bit 17, through the medium of tool jointdoubleebox 18. However, as set forth at the outset, the particular type of joint and ad'- jacent elements is not at all controlling on the present invention.
Members 19 and 2O have central bores 29 and 30, respectively, which are in communication with the bores of adjacent. elements. For instance, bore 30 is in communication with the bores 16a, 10b and 12a. ot pin 16, stands 11, and tool joint 12,respectively,while bore 29 is in communication with bores 18a and 17e of boi; 18 and bit 17, respectively. Bore 17 a. opens at 17?) to the face of the bit, and circulation Jfrom the top of the drill stem through the safety ioint and the bit may thus be maintained to the usual ends, that is, to
lubricate the tool.l mud-up the walls of the hole, and keep the drill stem free. y
Carried by one o the joint members and adapted to be moved into and out of operative engagement with the other member is a lock or clutch element 31. While this element may be carried by either member for 'movement into and out of engagement with the other member, I have here shown it carried by the lower member 19, though this is not to be considered as limitative upon the invention. The clutch member may bey considered generally as a locking element which is movable to such a position, after the safety joint has Leen made up by threadedly connecting the joint members, as to resist such relative movement of said joint members as will allow them to be separated. ln other words, it is a releasable lock to hold the safety joint from .vreaking. In the preferred embodiment here shown the lock is adapted to engage. the two members in such a manner as toprevent rotation of one member in either direction with respect to the other and is also adapted to prevent the threaded connection from being made up with sulicient tightness to resist et# fectively unscrewing movement after the been released. It will also be noticed that in thisl preferred embodimentythe locking member is adapted to transmit rotary drive from the drill stem to either direction. However, 1t will be pointed v o ut in connection with the variational embodiments of the invention, that the locking member may be employed only to resist such relative rotation of the joint members as would uncouple them, there being provided other means to hold them against relative rotation in a direction tending to screw them together but holding them from being screwed fully home and thus prevent the joint Jfrom being made up too tightly, or, in other words, riction'ally set-up. In another illustrated variation the locking member is adapted to prevent relative rotation of the joint members in either direction and thus to transmit rotary drive from one to the other in either direction and at the same time normally prevent the joint from being set up too tightly, while additional means are provided to prevent such undue tightness of the joint in the event the locking member or parts. cooperating there,-I with become unduly worn. It will be understood that my broader claims contemplate all such variations, as well as others coming within their scope, though the more detailed claims are drawn to the preferred embodiment. wherein the locking member is adapted to transmit rotary drive from one member to the other in either direction and to prevent.
the joint from being made up too tightly.
The mounting and movement of the locking .member or clutch 31 will now be described. The bore 29 of member 19 has a relatively small diameter portion 32 which opens to the lower end of the member, a portion 33 of slightly larger diameter immediately above portion 32, and a relatively large dlameter portion 34 which extends from portion 33 to internally threaded socket 23, the threads of which are numbered 35. Projecting into bore portion 34 at a point a little below the lower end of pin 24, when the joint is made up, is an annular flange 36 (see Figs. 4 and 6) whose inner peripheral face 37 is provided with a series of angularly spaced, vertically extending spline-ways 38. Extending vertically through the flange and spaced radially outward from ways 38 are passages 36a whereby Huid may be by-passed rom top' to bottom of flange 36 under certain conditions to be described later. Locking member or clutch31 is in the form of a cylindric sleeve whosecentral bore is here indicated-at 39. Extending vertically or thereto. The splines are hereshown integral with the sleeve, but it will be understood this is not controlling on the invention. Interposed between the lower end of member 3l and `the annular shoulder 41, which latter is forme-d inmember 19 at the juncture of bore portions 32 and 33, is a coil spring 42, this spring having a constant tendency to urge the locking member upwardly with relation to member 19 and to the position of Fig. 2.
ireferably, though not necessarily, means are provided for limiting the upward movement of the clutch under the iniuence of spring 42 when the joint members are uncoupled from one another, this being done to prevent the spring from ejecting the clutch when the joint is broken. While any suitable means will suffice as a. movement limiting medium, I have here shown a stop screw 43 threaded j tra-nsversly through the wall of member 19 and extending across` a given spline-way 38a (Fig. 5). The particular spline 40a which is taken within this way 38a isV cut short of the top of the sleeve as shown in Fig. 5, the top 44 of the cut-0E spline providing a shoulder which is adapted to be brought into engagement with screw 43 under the influence of spring 42 when the joint' members are uncoupled, the upward movement of the lock-sleeve thus being limited.
Pin 24 of joint member 20 is counterbored as at 45, the counter-bore-.being of the same diameter as the central opening through flange 36, said opening and counterbore being axially alined when the joint is made up. The peripheral face 46 defining counterbore is provided'with a series of spline ways 47 which are adapted to register vertically with spline-ways 38 and hence with splines 40 when the joint is properly made up.
INhen the joint is initially made up in the drill stem and before the bit17 or other element is applied to the lower .end thereof, a
tool is used which reaches up through bore portions 32 and 33 and through the sleeve bore 39, nally taking hold 011 top the sleeve. The tool is then drawn downwardly to retract the locking sleeve against the action of spring 42. With the clutch thus retracted to a point where its upper end will clear pin 24 of member 20 after the joint is made up, said pin is threaded into' socket 23 of member 19. Spline-ways 38 and 47 are so locatedthat they come into vertical or axial register before 'the threads of the pin are screwed fully home and before shoulders 25 and 26 Vcome into contact, or, in other Words, beforethe joint is frictionally set-up. The spline-ways positively cannot be brought intoregister unless the threads of the box and pin are short of.
being fully home so there can be no possibility of the threaded joint being made up as tightly as the other joints in the stem and still hav-e the spline-ways in register. With the splineways in register and the threaded joint setup the predetermined degree, sleeve '31 is released and spring acts to project saidsleeve upwardly to the position of Fig. 2. Thereupon member 31 serves as a clutch or key between joint members 19 and 20 to prevent their relative rotation and hence to prevent the joint from being broken. This is for the reason that' splines 40 are `entered in the spline-ways of both upper and lowerjoint members. It will be seen that rotative drive from the upper joint member and hence from the drill stem may be transmitted in either direction to the lower joint member and hence to bit 17. The locking member thus serves the threefold function of transmitting drive between the joint members, threaded connection from being set up too tightly, or at least insuring that it be made up more loosely than any string, and of holding the joint from being accidentally unscrewed by vibration, whi ping of the drill stem or purposeful lei-lthanded rotation of the stem.
With the safety joint' in this condition, it will be seen that the drill stem may be operated normally just as though-the joint were not there.- owever, should it be desired to part the drill stem at bit 17, the joint may be quickly and easil prepared for such parting, this preparation hein in the nature of an operation releasing t-he ocking or clutch member, that is, of forcing said member out of operative en agement with the upper joint member. Vliile my broader claims contemplate any means suitable for efecting such release, preferably 'such release means -is operable from the upper end of the drill stem and asa particularly convenient and effective means I prefer to employ fluid pressure for effecting this release.F
A stopper or plug, preferably, though not necessarily, in the form of a bronze ball B is dropped through the bore of the drill stem and thence through bore 30 of member 20 until it .seats'at 39a on sleeve clutch 31. As will be evident, seat 39a may be considered as an upwardly presented face exposed to the bore of the drillstem and adapted to take downwardly directed pressure of the ball. The ball fully closes olf sleeve bore 39 and thus becomes with said clutch what may be considered as a piston. The pumps (not shown) connected to theA drill stem are started up (preferably, though' not necessarily, before' the ball is seated) andthe pressure of the Y iuid within the stem bore is raised suiciently of preventing the other joint in the les to force the ball and hence the locking sleeve downwardly against the action of spring 42 to the position of Fig. 3, when splines 40 are entirely withdrawnl from the spline-ways 47' in member 20. Thereupon, the drill stem is rotated left-handedly and since it hasl been assured that the threaded connection between joint members 19 and 20 was not as tight as the other joints in the stem, that joint will be readily broken. As soon as the stem has been `angled olf as at so, when the sleeve is rotated sutliciently to disengage the threads of the pin and box members, the stem may be lifted clear of joint member 19 and thus raised from the hole, leaving the bit and joint portion 19 in the hole. u
Preferably the upper ends of splines 40 are (Fig. 5) and the lower end of pin 24 adjacent spline-ways 47 is complementarily angled or relieved at 47 (Fig. 7) depressed and if it does not quite clear end 24, angular surfaces 40 and 47 coact as cams when member 20 is given 'left hand rotational strain to cause a vcamming down and hence full retraction of the sleeve. These angular surfaces also leave more space for the passage of fluid from counterbore to passageways 36, as Will presently appear.
It will also be noted that if circulation be initiated before the ball is seated on the sleeve, said ball may be driven down by fluid pressure with sufficient force to strikethe sleeve a relatively sharp blow and thus free it if it had been rusted or otherwise stuck in place.
Under certain circumstances, the drill stem above the safety joint may be sanded-in or otherwise stuck so lthat it resists elevating movement. Such sanding-in may be so rapvidly consummated that rotation or elevation of the drill stem may be effectively resisted a short time after ball B has been seated, that is, if the driller does not start to rotate the stem left-handled' immediately after the clutch has been disengaged. However, I have provided means in the form of by-passes 36a whereby such a situation does not become dangerous.
vThese by-passes 36a are not of sufficient aggregate cross sectional area to relieve the fluid pressure sufficiently to allow the spring to raise the clutch, and theydo not become fully effective until the locking member is disengaged from 'pin 24. However, their aggregate area is suicient to allow an appreciable flow of fluid from the drill stem above sleeve 31 to the lower bore portions of member 19 below flange 36 when the clutch is driven downwardly to the position of Fig. 3. Substantially normal circulation may thus be maintained even though the sleeve bore is closed by ball B, and the drill stem thus kept free.
- Should the pipe above the joint become the string or sanded-in, by-passes 36a allow a circulation of oil (used as circulating fluid in aggravated situations) through' the entiredrill stem and out the bit opening 17a and thence upwardly about the drill stem. Such circulation normally will serve to wash the sand away from and free the drill stem. l The passage of circulating fluid A of Fig. 3 is in the direction of the arrows.
If this flushing serves to Ifee the entire string, and if it be desired to a tempt to free bit by givingt rotational strain in either direction, the fluid pressure is relieved from the top of ballB by shutting 'olf when the joint is in the condition pulling'strain and, if this frees the stern andv "l bit, said stem and bit may be lifted without further work and without danger of the safety joint breaking 'and dropping the bit during such elevation. If, on the other hand, the washing process and subsequent rotation or elevation strains free the stem above the bit but do not free the bit, it is then only necessary again to depress the ball and clutch by fluid pressure until said clutch is disengaged, and the rotated stem left-handedly to uncouple the safety joint, whereupon the stem may be lifted, lea-ving the bit and joint member 19 in the hole. Inasmuch as the locking member may be forced down or unlocked under fluid pressure, and then the pressure may 'be relieved to allow said memberto return to locking position under the influence of spring 42, it will be seen that the locking member .may` be considered as being accessible from the stem bore and fully operable or controllable from the end of the drill stem bore at the ground surface.
It will alsol be noted that when the ball is seated on sleeve 31 and prior to said sleeves movement to a position where fluid may flow to passageways 36a, circulation through the stem is stopped, resulting in laboringA of the pump. The driller is thus advised that the ball is seated, and when, normally immediately afterward, circulation is restored through byasses 36a, the speeding up of the pumps noti es the driller that the joint is unlocked and he may proceed to break the joint value of this indicatagement, it is desirform of a plurality of small rubber rings 60 which are snapped into the peripheral grooves 61 formed on the .unthreaded extension 47a of pin end 24. These rings are of su cient cross-sectional diameter to engage tightly the unthreaded peripheral face 48 which defines the ,bore of the lower joint member, thus forming a fluid-tight seal between the box and pin ends. However, since the rings are seated in the grooves 61 by radial contraction, they are held against displacement when the joi t is being made or broken. '1.0 pack the joint olf further, I may also insert ring packing p at the inner ends of shoulders 25, 26 of members 19 and 20.
- In Fig. 8 I have shown more or less conl ventionally 'a view ofa releasing member which may be substituted for ball B. In this instance, there is utilized a metal bar C which is of suificicnt weight to depress the locking sleeve against the action of spring 42, the application of fluid pressure being unnecessary, though ,circulation through thejoint preferably may be continued after-the bar is dropped through the path previously described. A handling line D may extend from the weight to the well top, so the weight may be lifted to allow the joint to be relocked by action of the spring, or so the.
driller thinks he may have occasion to part the stem. The individual joints are indicated at J and J the only difference between the joints being that the bore diameter of the locking sleeve 31 of upper joint J is sufciently greater than that of sleeve 3l of the lower joint J that ball B which is adapted to close 0E bore 31 may pass through bore 31. Accordingly, if it be desired to break the stem at point J relatively small ball B is dropped through the stem and said joint broken as described .above without disturbing joint J. If it be desired to break the stem at joint J (whether or not joint J has beenpreviously broken and as might be desired if'the stem were'sanded in between joints) a larger ball B of a diameter to close off 'the bore of sleeve 31 is dropped into place, and the operation described above carried out. Thus, with a stem havingl a plurality of my safety joints, said joints may be released, or, more broadly, may be controlled, selectively.
In Figures 10 to 13, inclusive, I have shown a variational embodiment of the invention wherein -the clutch or locking member is adapted only to prevent unscrewing rotation of the joint members, there being other shoulders on the body portions of the joint mem.- bers to transmit rotary drive from one member to the other only in a given direction and to prevent the joint from being frictionally set-up. With this exception and the fact that the by-pass ports are provided in the clutch members rather than in a stationary vflange of the lower joint member, the variational form is generally similar to the preferred embodiment just described. Accordingly, elements of the variational embodiment which are similar to equivalent elements of the preferred embodiment will be given the same reference numerals, but 'with the i.
addition of the exponent 0.
The loclu'ng sleeve 310 is mounted forvertical movement through bore 370 in -joint member 190, being held from rotation therein by splines 40a which have sliding lit within spline-ways47c. The upper end of coupling 31e is provided with ratchet teeth 49 which may here be described as left-hand teeth, it being assumed that the threads 350 on the box and pin of the joint are right-hand. The lower end of pin 24e is provided with ratchet teeth 50, which are complementary and in vertical alinement with teeth i Spring 420 isladapted to act on sleeve 310 in a manner similar to that described in connection with spring 42 audits action on sleeve 31, that is, to urge the couplingupwardly and thus bringteeth 49 into engagement with teeth 50 when the joint is fully made up. Preferably, though not necessarily, a stop screw 430 extends through the body of member 190 and overlies the cut-oitspline 40d to prevent the spring from ejecting the cou-- pling when the joint is broken. n
The opposing angular faces of members 190 and 20c adjacent the base of taper pin 24 are fashioned spirally at 51 and 52 and there are provided square-cut shoulders 53 and 54 at the ends of the spirals, as clearly shown in Figures 10 and 13. j Shoulders 53 and 54 are, of course, parallel with the square-cut `shoulders 55 of ratchet teeth 49 and 50, but it will be noted that spiral faces 51, 52 incline oppositely from faces 56 of said ratchet teeth.
The spiral faces 51, 52 may be considered as right-hand ones and are of substantially the same angle as threads 350. However, they are so cut back that when the ratchet teeth 49 and 50 are in engagement as shown in Figure 10, said spiral faces will either just touch lightly or will be slightly spaced-apart, though the square-cut shoulders 53 and 54 Will be in full engagement. These shoulders 53 and 54 also hold the threads 350 from being frictionally set up and this provision, together with the absence, through prevention, of a tight end-to-end engagement at the parting lineof the joint,` insures the easy uncoupling of the joint when the locking sleeve is retracted from operative engagement with the pin member of the joint.
In initially making the joint up, the lock-` ing sleeve is retracted against the action of spring 420, as described in connection with the preferred embodiment, and is thus held retracted until the pin and box members have been threaded together sufficiently to engage shoulders 53, 54. The coupling sleeve is then released and spring 42o projects it into locking engagement with the pin end. Since the ratchet teeth 49, 50 do not prevent righthand rotation of member 20e with respect to member 19o (for the direction of incline of faces 56 is such that right-[hand ratchet movement of the upper joint member may occur due to the yielding support of the clutch), right-hand rotary drive of ythe lower joint member is transmitted from the upper joint member through shoulders 53, 54. However,
the-square-cut shoulders 55 of the ratchet that the clutch sleeve is be seen that as long as the sleeve is teeth prevent left-hand rotation of the upper joint member with respect to the lower joint member until the sleeve has been depressed suliciently to clear the ratchet teeth. It will engaged with the pin member, relative rotation in either direction of the two joint members is prevented so that the joint may not be frictionally set up and yet so it may not become accidentally uncoupled.
lVhen the joint is to be uncoupled, the same steps are taken as described in connection withthe preferred embodiment, that is, the ball C is dropped through the drill stem until it seats at 39d on member 310, thus closing 'oli bore 39C of the coupling. With fluid pressure applied on top the ball, said ball and coupling sleeve are forced together and as a piston downwardly against the action of spring 420 until ratchet teeth 49 and 50 are clear. Thereupon the upper joint member may be rotated left-handedly to uncouple the joint, and since shoulders 53, 54 have kept the threaded connection from beingr as tight as the other joints in the stem, this uncoupling rotation may be accomplished easily and surely.
For the same reasons as given in connection with preferred embodiment, means are provided for by-passing circulating fluid around the ball when thelatter has unseated or released the locking sleeve. For this pur'- 'iose I have provided vertical passageways 36e which open at their upper ends to the top of the coupling and at their lower ends to transverse passages 37d which, in turn, open to sleeve bore 390. With the coupling depressed as shown in Figure 11, it will be seen that fluid from the bore 300 of member 20c may pass through passages 360, 37d and bore 390 below the ball to the bore 290 of the box end or joint member and thence to the tool, as
' described in connection with Figure 3. It will be noted that the diameter of the ball is but -little less than that 'of bore 30e of joint member 200 and hence, while said ball is in that bore, circulation will be cut down-and the pumps will labor until circulation is restored through the by-passes after the sleeve has been forced down. This initial loading and immediately subsequent unloading of the pump serves to indicate to the driller disengaged andthat he may start uncoupling rotation.
In Figures 1'4`and 15 I have shown another variation which embodies features of both the preferred form and the last mentioned variational form. That is, the coupling has teeth on its end face and has'the by-pasS. passageways incorporated therein, as is true in the form shown in Figure 10, but the teeth are similar in nature to the spline connection between the coupling and lower joint member of Figure 2, that is, `the releasable con- .necti on between the coupling and upper joint member is such as prevents relative rotation of the joint members in either direction, so said teeth have the function of transmitting drive from one joint member to the other in either direction and also serve to hold the joint from being frictionally set-up. There is also this distinction between the forms shown in Figures 14 and 2; in the. form shown in Figure 2 the same splines which prevent relative rotation of the coupling within the lower member serve to prevent relative rotation-between the coupling and upper joint member, as well as prevent the joint from bein Set up too tightly. In the form shown in igure 14, the splines prevent relative rotation between the coupling and lower joint member, while the teeth on the end of the ycollar prevent -relative rotation between the coupling and the upper joint member.
As a precaution, ure 14, I provide shoulders 51e, 52e, 53e and 54e, which are similar to the equivalent shoulders. shown in Figure 10, square-cut shoulders 53e and 54e here do not come into play unless the teeth on the coupling or upper joint member become unduly worn.
The elements of the joint shown in Figure 14 which are generally similar to e uivalent elements shown in Figure 10 will given the same reference numerals, but with the ex onente.
he clutch sleeve or locking member 31e is generally similar to and is mounted in a. manner like that of fcoupling 310, that is, it is` mounted for, limited vertical movement and held against rotation with respect to the 10W- er joint member 19e. However, the teeth.49e in the upper end olf the coupling, and the companion teeth 50e in the ,lower end of pin 24e are square-cut instead of having ratchet characteristics. These teeth are so located, and threadsv 35e and shoulders 51e and 52e are so fashioned, that rwhenteeth 49e and 50e are engaged after up, the threads will not have been screwed fully home nor will spiral faces 51e,- 526 be in engagement. Additionally in this form, shoulders 53e and 54e will not quite be in engagement and play no partin the operation of the device unless teeth 49e, worn. If this happens, shoulders 53e, 54e come into contact, but they are so positioned that even though such contact exists they in the form shown in Figy though the the coupling is fully made.
50e become duly hold the joint from being threaded together Figure 14 shows the joint after ball D has been hydraulically depressedwto release the joint lock, but it will be readily understood from the description of the.- other forms how the locking connection is made in the absence of said ball. The other parts of the joint which are similar to equivalent elements of the preferred form need not be again mentioned here since their oiiice and operation are the same. However, they have been given individual reference numerals which will allow thedescription of the other forms-to be rea-d on the instant form.
From the above it will be understood that I have provided a safety jointwhich has all the advantages of the usual safety joint as regards sureness of uncoupling when uncoupling is desired, but additionally has an easily releasable means for locking the joint elements against accidental uncoupling movement, the locking means being' controllable from the upper end of the drill stem.
It will be understood the drawings and description are to be considered merely as illustrative of and not restrictive on the broader claims appended hereto, for various changes in design, structure and arrangement may be made" without departing from the spirit and scopeof said claims.
. I claim:
1. In combination with a tubular drill stem or the like through Which fluid is adapted to pass and made up of a plurality of stem sections coupled end to end,a Safety joint in the stem', from breaking, and lock-releasing means actuable by fluid pressure in the stem bore.
2. In combination "With a tubular drill stem or the like through which fluid is adapted to pass and made up of a plurality of stem sections coupled end to4 end, a. safety joint in the stem, a releasable lock holding said joint from breaking. and means controllable by Huid pressure in the stem bore for operating the lock.
3. In combination with a tubular drill stem or the likemade up of a plurality of stem sections coupled end toA end,` a safety joint in the stem` and including a locking member normally holding the joint from breaking, said Ilocking member being accessible from the bore of the stem and movable to and from its holding position, said member being controllable in either of its movements from one end gf the stem.
4. In a joint for'coupling pipe sections, a pair of tubular joint members adapted to be coupled in end to end relation by relative rotation in given directions, the bores of the two members being in communication to proand first described variational v coupled verse relative rotation,
y joint member,
a releasable lock holding said joint vide a passageway'entirely. through the joint, and unitary releasable means adapted to limit the extent of such rotation to prevent said joint from beingfrictionally set-up by s-uch rotation and to hold said members against reverse relative rotation, said means.
embodying. a member normally supported and .carried by one joint member and mounted for movement axially within the bore of said one joint member into and out of holding engagementwith the other joint member.
5. In a joint for coupling pipe sections, 'a pair of tubular joint members adapted to be coupled in end to endrelation by relative rotation in given directions, and releasable means adapted to hold said members against reverse relative rotation, said means embodying a sleeve mounted for movement axially Within the bore of one joint member into and out of holding engagement with the other joint member, the bore of the sleeve being in communication with both joint-member res.
6. In a joint for coupling pipe sections, a pair of tubular joint members adapted to be in end to end relation by relative ingiven directions, releasable means to hold said members against resaid means embody ing a sleeve mounted for movement axially -Within the bore of one joint member into and out of holding engagement with the other the bore ofthe sleeve being in communication with both joint-member bores, and a closure for the sleeve bore, said closure being put into bore closing position through an end of the bore of one of the joint members, whereby fluid pressure subsequently applied through said end acts against the sleeve and closure as a piston to move the sleeve out of holding position.
7 In a joint for coupling pipe sections, a pair of tubular joint membersv adapted to be coupled in end to Aend relation by relative rotation in given directions, releasable means adapted to hold said members y against reverse rotation adapted relative rotation, said means embodying a sleeve out of holding position, there beingy provided passages whereby fluid circulation through the joint may be had whenthe closure is in closing position and thesleeve is out of holding position.
8. In combination with a tubular drill stem or the like made up of a plurality of stem seclairl tions arranged end to end, a plurality of safety joints in the stem, a plurality of independently operable, releasable locks, one normally carried by each safety joint and adapted to hold it from breaking, said locks being selectively releasable, and means adapted to act through the stem bore to release said locks selectively.
9. In combination with a tubular drill stem or the like made up of a plurality of stem sections coupled end to end, a safety joint in the stem, a releasable lock holding said joint from breaking, means actuated from one end of the stem bore for releasing the lock, and means giving indication at said end when the lock is released.
10. In combination with a. tubular drill i stem or the like, a safety joint in said stem,
and releasable locking means normally mounted in and carried by said joint for holding said joint from breaking, sai-d locking means being accessible through an end oi the stem bore for operation.
11. In combination with a tubulardrill stem or the like, a safety joint in said stem, releasable locking means for holding said joint from breaking, said locking means having a pressure-takin face accessible through an end of the stem ore, and means adapted to be passed longitudinally through the stem bore and to act from said bore against said face to release said lock.
12. In combination with a vertical, tubular drill stem orthe like, a safety joint in said stem, releasable locking means to hold said joint from breaking, said means being movable downwardly to release position and having an upwardly presented face exposed with- -coupled ing a sleeve means adapted to in the stem bore two'take downwardly direct- Y ed release pressure from within the stem bore.
13. In combination with a vertical, tubular drill'stem or the like, a safety joint in' said stem, releasable locking means to hold said said means being moving an upwardly presented face exposed Within the stem bore to take downwardly directed release pressure from within the stem bore, and means acting through the stem bore to impose downward pressure on said face.
14. In a joint for coupling pipe sections, a pair of tubular joint memb in end to end relation by relative rogiven direc-tions, and releasable hold said members against reverse relative rotation, said means embodymounted for movement axially within the bore of one joint member into and out of holding engagement tation in communication with both joint-member bores, and a spring. acting upon the sleeve to hold it normally in such holding engagement.
15. In a joint for coupling pipe sections,
a pair of tubular joint members adapted to be ers adapted to bel with the otherjoint' member, the bore of the sleeve being in cally apart, and a pair of releasable locks,
coupled in end to end-relation by relative rotation in given directions, and releasable means adapted to hold said members -against reverse relative rotation, ing a sleeve mounted for movement axially within the bore of one joint member into an out of holding engagement with the other joint member, the bore of the sleeve being in communication with both joint-member bores, a spring acting upon the sleeve to hold it normally in such holding engagement, and means introduced through the stem bore to move the sleeve out of holding engagement against the action of said spring.
16. In a joint for coupling pipe sections, a pairof tubular joint members adapted to be coupled in end to end relation by relative rotation in given directions, releasable means adapted t0 hold said members against reverse relative rotation, said means embodying a sleeve mounted for movement axially within the bore of one joint member into and out of holding engagement with the other joint member, the bore of the sleeve being in communication with both joint-member bores,
a spring acting upon the sleeve to hold it nora cloh by fluid pressure sub-sequently applied j through said end actsagainst the-sleeve and stopper as a piston to move the sleeve out of holding' position.
17. In combination with a tubular drill stemor the like, a' plurality of breakable, tubular joints in said stem, and a plurality of releasable locks, one for each joint'and adapted to hold it from breaking, each lock embodying a sleeve mounted for movement axially within the bore of the joint into and out of' locking position, the bores of the sleeves being in communication with the stem bore, and the bores of the several sleeves beingof dierent diameters.
18. In combination with a vertical tubular drill stem or the like, a plurality of breakable, tubular joints in said stem and spaced vertically apart from one another, 4and a plurality of releasable locks, one for each joint and adapted to hold it from breaking, each lock embodying a sleeve mounted for movement axially Within the bore of the joint into l and out of looking position, the bores of the sleeves being in communication with' the stem bore, the bore of the sleeve of the uppermost joint being of relatively large diameter, and the bores of the sleeves below being progressively of smaller diameters.
19. In combination with a vertical tubular drill stem or the like, a pair of breakable, tubular joints in one for each joint and adapted to holdit from breaking, each lock embodying a sleeve said means embodythe stem and spaced vertimounted for movement axially within the bore of the joint into and out of locking position, the bores of the sleeves being in communication with the stem bore, thebore of the upper sleeve being of greater diameter than that of the lower sleeve, a closure adapted to be dropped through the upper end of the stem bore and of a diameter to pass through the bore ofthe upper sleeve and seat on the lower sleeve to close olf its bore, and a second closure adapted' to be dropped through the stem bore and of a diameter to seat on the upper sleeve.
20. In combination with a vertical tubular drill stem or the like, a pair of breakable, tubular joints in the stem and spaced vertically apart, and a'pair of releasableI locks, one for each joint and adapted to hold it from breaking, each lock embodying a sleeve mounted for movement axially within the bore of the joint into and out of locking position, the bores ofthe sleeves being in communication with the lstem bore, the bore of the upper sleeve being of greater diameter than that of the lower sleeve, and a closure adapted to be dropped through the upper end of the stem bore and of a diameter to pass through the bore of the upper sleeve and seat on the lower sleeve to close oi its bore.
21. In combination with a tubular drill stem or the like, a safety joint in said stem, releasable locking meansv normally mounted in and carried by said joint for holding 'said joint from breaking, said locking means being accessible 'through an end of the stem able downwardl to release position and having an upwar ly I presented face exposed within the stem bore to take downwardly directed release pressure from within the stem bore, means on the joint limiting the extent bore for operation, and means introduced through the stem bore to release said locking j means.
22. In combination with stem or the like, a breakable joint in said stem, releasable locking means for holding said oint from breaking, said locking means having a pressure-taking 4face accessible through an end of the stem bore, means adapted to be the stem'bore and to act from said bore against said face to release said lock, and means carried by the joint adapted subsequently to return the locking means to holding position.
23. In combination with a vertical, tubular drill stem or the like, a breakable joint in said stem, releasable locking means to Vhold said joint from breaking, said means being movable downwardly to release position and having an upwardly presented face exposed within the stem bore to take downwardly directed release pressure from within thelstem bore, and means on the joint limiting the extent of downward movement of the locking means under such pressure.
24. In combination with a vertical, tubular drill stem or the like, a breakable joint iii'said stem, releasable locking'means to hold said joint from breaking, said means being mova tubular drill y passed longitudinally throughA "e of downward movement of the looking means y under such pressure, and means, carried by the joint for subsequently returning the locking means to holdinor position.
In witness that I claim the foregoing I have hereunto subscribed my name this 30th day of November, 1928. 4 f
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|U.S. Classification||166/194, 175/317, 285/36, 285/83, 285/922|
|Cooperative Classification||E21B17/06, Y10S285/922|