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Publication numberUS2863638 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 9, 1958
Filing dateApr 19, 1955
Priority dateAug 14, 1953
Publication numberUS 2863638 A, US 2863638A, US-A-2863638, US2863638 A, US2863638A
InventorsThornburg Herbert W
Original AssigneeBucyrus Erie Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotary drill string apparatus
US 2863638 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 9, 1958 H. W.,THORNBURG 2,863,638 ROTARY DRILL STRING APPARATUS V Original File'dAug. 14, 1953 5 Sheets-Sheet l COMPRESSOR HEREm' W. THoRNwRq,

IN VEN TOR.

ATTORNEQ.

H., w. THORNBURG 2,863,638

ROTARY DRILL STRING APPARATUS Original Fi] ed Aug. 14, 1955 Dec. 9, 1958 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 m U m .m T.. W T w R E H INVENTOR.

ATTORNEY.

H. w. THORNBURG ROTARY DRILL STRING APPARATUS original Filed Aug. 14, 195s Dec. 9, 1958 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 HERBERT WJRoRNsoRa,

ATTORNEY United States Patent ROTARY DRILL STRING APPARATUS `Herbert W.`Tfhornbiirg, South Milwaukee, Wis., assignor to Bucyrus-Erie Company, South Milwaukee, Wis., a corporation of Delaware 6 Claims. (Cl. Z55-19) This invention relates to well-drill equipment and more particularly to new and useful improvements 'in drillstring apparatus for rotary-type blast-hole drills.

This invention is a divisional of copending application Serial No. 374,364, iiled August 14, 1953, for Rotary Well Drill.

The principal objects of the invention are to provide an improved detachable rotary drill-string apparatus iu which:

(l) A tlexible coupling between the rotary driving unit and the drill pipe provides with limited transverse flexibility a direct positive torque drive and pull-down connection and at the Sametime a passage for compressed air supplied to the drill bit.

(2) The upper end of the drill pipe is automatically locked against rotation relative to the drive shaft responsive to the compressed .air supplied to the string.

(3) The drill-pipe joints will break before the joint between the drill pipe and rotary-driving unit, eliminating the need for tool wrenches to hold the driving unit-drill pipe joint while unscrewing of the drill-pipe joints during take-down of the drill string.

(4) The uppermost drill-pipe joint is self-tightening, and automatically locked against unscrewing. l

In addition to the principal objects above stated, a number of novel and useful details have been worked out which will be readily evident as the description progresses.

The invention consists in the lnovel parts and in the combination and arrangement thereof, which are defined in the appended claims, and of which one embodiment is exemplified in the accompanying drawings, which are hereinafter particularly described and explained.

Throughout the description the same reference-number is applied to the same member or to similar members.

Figure 1 is a side elevation, partly in section, showing the rotary-power unit, rotary-drive coupling and tool wrench on the rotary-drive coupling.

Figure 2 is a vertical section taken along line 2--2 of Figure 3, showing the ilexible coupling connected to the drill pipe and showing the tool wrench engaged with the upper end of the drill pipe.

Figure 3 is a horizontal section, taken along line 3 3 of Figure 2, showing the tool wrench which is associated with the rotary-drive coupling.

Figuref4 is an enlarged plan view of Figure 2, taken along line 4-4 of Figure 5, showing the upper split collar of the flexible coupling bolted in place, and in cross section, the lower resilient washer and interlocking teeth of the tlexible coupling in driving contact during clockwise rotation of the drive shaft.

Figure 5 is an enlarged Vertical section view taken along line 5-5 of Figure 4, showing the assembled elements of the exible coupling, and the interconnection between the uid conduits, plungermechanism and pawls which engage with the upper end of the drill'pipe section adjacent the rotary drive coupling.

Turning now to the gures, Figure 1 vshows the drill "ice string of the rotary-type blast-hole drill shown and described in my copending applications, Serial No. 374,364, tiled August 14, 1953, for Rotary Well Drill, and Serial No. 464,471, filed October 25, v1954, for Well Drill Pipe-Handling Apparatus, which are hereby incorporated by reference herein.

From Figure 1, it is seen that frame 30, which is vertically movable with Vreference to the supporting fixed mast 14 (fully described in said lcopending applications), carries the rotary-drive machineryV for the drill-pipe l34 and the coupling 33 and that coupling 33 provides not only a rotary-drive connection, but also a supporting connection, to the drill `pipe so that the drill .pipe can be raisedand lowered as well as rotated.l .Frame 30 is v-operatively connected to the rotary-'drill mast by pinions 36 meshing with a vertical rack on the mast (not shown), and-is raised and lowered under power of cables (not shown) reeved on shipper-shaft-drum 37 keyed to shippershaft 3S rotatably Amounted on frame 30, all of which is more particularly shown and described in my aforementioned copending applications.

`Drill pipe 34 is made `up of oneor more tubular drillpipe sections detachably connected one to another by threaded joints. A rotary drill `bit (not shown) vis thread- Ajoint connected to the lower-end of the lowermost drillpipe section. l

Reversible electric motor 31 is drivably connected, through reduction gears 97a, 97h, and 97C, to gear 98 which is splined to shaft 99 of rotary-drive unit 32.1 The lower end of shaft 99 is connected by coupling 33 to the upper end of the drill string.

Referring to Figures '1, r2, 4 and 5, the flexible coupling 33 will now be described.

Driving flange 33a is built integral with the lower end of shaft 99 and is provided with a plurality of depending downwardly projecting teeth 33b (Figure 5) spaced near the periphery of said flange 33a. A plurality lof corresponding upwardly projecting teeth 33C near the periphery of` the upper face of socket 33d register with teeth 33b on ange 33a to provide torsional driving connection to socket 33d. The teeth 33e are held in interlocking engagement with -teeth '33b in the following manner.

Annular resilient washer 33g is fitted over vthe lower end of shaft 99 and is spaced between the upper `face of socket 33d and the lower face of ange 33a. Annular resilient washer 33h is tted over shaft 99 adjacent the upper face of ange 33a. A split annular collar 33e (Figure 4) is fitted adjacent the upper yface of resilient washer 33h (Figure S). Cap screws 331 extend vertically downward through holes 33j, bored in split collarI 33e, through enlarged holes 33k bored in ange 33a to register with holes 33]',1and are threaded vertically downward into teeth 33e at threads 331 tapped in socket `33a! to secure split collar 33e to said socket. By tightening cap screws 331, split collar 33e and socket 33d are rigidly connected, resilient washers 33g and 33h areplaced under compression, and teeth 33b and 33C vare interlocked, but are provided with some vertical spacing between the top surface of each tooth and the bottom surface of its corresponding notch due to the thickness of resilient washers 33g and 33h. Split collar 33e and bolts 33j, which rigidly connect said collar and socket 33d, take the tension in hoisting the drill line.

The lower portion of socket 33d (Figures l and 5) is threaded to make a threaded joint with. the top drill pipe'fsection 34 at threads 21 and 27, and carries a drill pipe gripping mechanism (hereinafter described) for locking said drill pipe section to socket 33d.

The resilient washers 33g and 33h provide a laterally and axially flexible coupling between the rotary drive unit 32 and the drill pipe 34, so that the head of the 3 drill string may wobble slightly, and vibrations in the drill string are absorbed instead of being transmitted directly into the Arotary drive mechanism. Whenever there is a lateral deflection of drill string 34, the resilient washers 33g and 33h permit the joint to bend, but engagement between teeth 33b and 33C is retained for applying torque to the drill string. In this respect, the coupling is similar to a universal joint. If the drill string, for example, is laterally dellected to the left in Figure 5, socket 33d will pivot about the-center of central core 102, and resilient washer 33h will be further compressed between ange 33a vand split collar 33e on the right side of the coupling and said washer will expand on the opposite side of the coupling. Meanwhile `resilient washer 33g on the right side of the coupling will expand, and on the opposite side of the coupling said washer will be further compressed between socket 33d and ange 33a. Resilient washer 33g will absorb any shock in the coupling created by vertical bouncing of the drill string, and also acts as an air-tight seal between central core 102 of the drive shaft 99 and central annular chamber 102a. -Chamber 102a is bored axially from the bottom of socket 33d and narrows in diameter near the top of said socket to register with central core 102. Resilient washer 33h will similarly absorb any shock in the coupling in a downward direction caused by downward movement of the drill string relative to the coupling.

Although these resilient washers provide a limited ilexibility under `compression and lateral forces, a rotary drive coupling is always maintained between teeth 33b and 33C. The fact that there is clearance between the sides of the teeth opposite their sides that are in driving engagement, and the further fact that there is Vertical clearance between the tips of teeth 33b and 33C and the respective bottom surface of their corresponding notches n allow the teeth limited lateral and vertical shifting movement relative to each other.

Flexible pressure-fluid conduit 100 (Figure l) extends from a compressor (not shown) to pressure Huid-tight seallng ring 101 on rotary-drive unit 32. The upper end of central core 102 (see Figures 2 and 5), extending axlally of shaft 99, registers with conduit 100 (Figure 1) and makes a fluid-tight connection therewith at pressure fluid-tight sealing ring 101. Central core 102 extends from pressure fluid-tight sealing ring 101 through coupllng 33 and makes a fluid connection with central core 103 of drill pipe 34.

Referring to Figures 2, 3 and 5, a drill-pipe gripping mechanlsm consisting of two pawls 151 mounted on either side of the lower end of rotary-drive coupling socket 33d to pivot about horizontal pins 153 is employed to engage the upper end of the uppermost drill-pipe sectlon just below its connection to the rotary-drive coupllng 33.

Each pawl 151 s actuated by the downward extension of lts corresponding plunger 154 bearing against the upper horizontal surface of said pawl outwardly of the center of its horizontal pin 153 (Figure 5) to rotate said pawl inwardly at its lower end and engage notches 155 1n the upper end of the top section of drill pipe 34, each of said notches being formed to receive its corresponding pawl 151 to permit only right-hand or clockwise rotation of the rotary drive coupling relative to said drill pipe (Figure 3).

Each plunger 154 tits into a corresponding chamber 158 formed on diametrically opposite sides of socket 33d. Port 157, which is bored vertically from the upper end of each chamber 158, makes a fluid lconnection between the upper end of chamber 158 and a transverse passage 156,

said passage being bored radially near the upper end of socket 33d and is sealed by plugs 162 (see Figures 4 and 5 Passage 156 opens into central annular chamber 102a'in socket 33d. Fitted above plunger 154 inchamber `158 is an air seal 154:1 to prevent leakageof air past plunger 154. Each plunger 154 is` actuated by compressed ving dirt and rock chips from the drill hole.

air which passes from supply conduit into central core 102 of coupling 33, then through transverse passages 156 and port 157 into chamber 158 in which the plunger 154 is seated. Pawls 151 are normally held in their outward position (dotted outline in Figure 5) by coil springs 159 (Figures 3 and 5 Each respective plunger 154 rests against the upper outer horizontal edge of its matching pawl 151. The vertical line of contact between plunger 154 and pawl 151 is outward of the center of rotation of horizontal pin 153, which is the pivot point of pawl 151. Therefore, whenever plunger 158 is actuated downward by compressed air, each pawl 151 is rotated inwardly to engage the top drill pipe section 34 at a notch 155. During drilling compressed air or other iluid is forced through central core 102, central core 103 of drill pipe 34 and out through theb ottorn of the drill bit into the drill hole. This is a conventional means ofscaveng- The fluid pressure used to clear material from the drill hole is also used to actuate and seat pawls 151 of the wrench. Pawls 151 are automatically actuated by plunger 154 to engage the drill pipe as soon as fluid pressure is lbuilt up in the core of the drill string. When so engaged the pawls will, due to the notches, permit right-hand or clockwise (Fig. 3) rotation of the rotary drive coupling to screw the coupling threads onto the threads of the upper drill pipe section, but will lock the rotary driving coupling against unscrewing from the drill pipe counterclockwise relative to the drill pipe when the rotary drive rotates the drill pipe in a left-hand or counterclockwise direction of rotation. This permits right-hand threads 27 on the upper end of drill pipe 34 to screw into corresponding threads 21 of coupling 33 and tighten the joint between coupling 33 and drill pipe 34 while pawls 151 are engaged, but prevents threads 21 and 27 from unscrewing, and the joint from loosening during takedown of the drill string.

During drilling and make-up of the drill string, the rotary drive rotates the drill string in the right-hand or clockwise direction (Fig. 3). During take-down of the drill string, the section of drill pipe adjacent the uppermost drill-pipe section is held stationary by a tool wrench (shown in Fig. 22 of my copending application, Serial No. 464,471, tiled October 25, 1954), and the rotary drive rotates in the left-hand or counterclockwise direction, unscrewing the joint between the stationary drillpipe section and the uppermost drill-pipe section.

When air pressure is shut off, springs 159 between coupling 33d and collar 160 of pins 153 bias each pawl 151, so that pawls 151 will normally return to disengaged position (shown in phantom lines in Fig. 2), and thereby bias plungers 154 to return to their retracted position in chamber 158 (see Fig. 5).

A further feature of the invention is that bevel face 25 at the lower end of each drill-pipe section 34 (Figure 2), makes horizontal shoulder 26, at said lower end of drill pipe 34, smaller in diameter than shoulder 22 at the upper end of each drill-pipe section 34. -Shoulder 22a on coupling 33 is of the same diameteras shoulder 22 on the upper end of drill-pipe section 34. Accordingly, the contact between shoulders 22 and 26 will have less friction resistance to unscrewing than the Contact between shoulders 22 and 22a, and hence the lower thread-joint will normally break before the upper thread-joint at coupling 33. Should the next lower joint become stuck or frozen and thus fail to break lirst, the drill pipe gripping mechanism is available for standby use to lock the upper joint against unscrewing. By turning on the air supply,

vwhich is fed through -central core 102 (Fig. 2), pawls described, itis to beeunderstoo'd that the invention is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts as herein described and shown, or specifically covered by the claims.

I claim:

1. In a detachable torque-drive coupling device for coupling a rotary drive power means and the uppermost tubular drill-pipe section of a rotary drill string for transmitting rotation thereto and absorbing lateral and axial vibrations, the combination of: a rotary drive member associated with said rotary drive power means; a driven member having a detachable rotary-drive connection with the upper end of said uppermost drill-pipe section; interlock means providing a loose laterally ilexible rotarydrive connection between said driving member and said driven member; a first pair of axially-opposed lateral bearing surfaces located one on and adjacent the lower end and the other on and adjacent the upper end of the driving and driven members respectively; first resilient means interposed between said first pair of bearing surfaces, said first resilient means being subjected to axial compression by said first pair of bearing surfaces when said driving and driven members are in mutual compression; a coupling member detachably connected in axiallyxed relation to one of said driven and driving members; a second pair of axially-opposed lateral bearing surfaces located one on said coupling member and the other on the other of said driven and driving members; second resilient means interposed between said second pair of bearing surfaces, said second resilient means being subjected to compression by said second pair of bearing surfaces when said driving and driven members are in mutual axial tension; a longitudinal hollow core for the passage of pressure fluid extending longitudinally through said driving member, said driven member, and said coupling member, to said uppermost drill-pipe section; said first resilient means forming a seal between the driving and driven members to prevent the escape of pressure fluid from said longitudinal hollow core.

2. A torque-drive coupling device according to claim 1, further characterized by having a drill-pipe gripping mechanism mounted on said driven member, and pressure fluid responsive actuating means having a pressure uid connection with said longitudinal hollow core and operatively connected to said drill-pipe gripping mechanism to automatically actuate said mechanism by pressure fluid in said hollow core to engage the uppermost drill-pipe section and lock it against rotational displacement in one direction relative to said driven member.

3. A torque-drive coupling device according to claim 2, further characterized by the fact that the drill-pipe mechanism includes a pair of pawls adapted to engage cooperating notches on said uppermost drill-pipe section.

4. A torque-drive coupling device according to claim 3, further characterized by having resilient means operatively connected to said pair of pawls biasing said pawls to normally disengage the uppermost drill-pipe section.

5. In a detachable torque-drive coupling device for coupling a rotary drive power means and the uppermost tubular drill-pipe section of a rotary drill string, for transmitting rotation and vertical movement thereto, the

combination of: a rotary drive member associated with said rotary drive power means; a driven member having a disengageable rotary-drive connection with the upper end of said uppermost drill-pipe section; a rotary-drive connection between said driving member and said driven member; a longitudinal hollow core for the passage of pressure uid longitudinally through said driving member and said driven member to said uppermost drill-pipe section; a drill-pipe gripping mechanism mounted on one of said members, and pressure-fluid responsive actuating means having a pressure-fluid connection with said hollow core and operatively connected to said drill-pipe gripping mechanism to automatically actuate said mechanism by pressure iluid in said hollow core to engage the uppermost drill-pipe section and lock it against rotational displacement in one direction relative to said driven member.

6. In a detachable torque-drive coupling device for coupling a rotary drive power means and a rotary drill string for transmitting rotational and Vertical movement thereto, the combination of: a rotary drive member associated with said rotary drive power means; a driven member; a rotary drive connection between said drive member and said driven member; a drill-pipe section adapted to form the uppermost drill-pipe section of said rotary drill string; said uppermost drill-pipe section having threads at its upper and lower ends, one an inner thread and the other an outer thread, for threaded joint connections to the rotary drive member and the next lower drill-pipe section of the rotary drill string, and having a cooperating friction contact surface adjacent each of said upper and lower threads adapted to have cooperating contact with opposing friction surfaces on said rotary drive member and said next lower drill-pipe section; said rotary driven member having a thread for said threaded joint connection with the uppermost drill-pipe section, and being engageable and disengageable therewith by rotation of said driven member about its axis relative to said uppermost drill-pipe section; and a cooperating friction contact surface at the lower end of the driven member adjacent the threaded joint connection between the driven member and the uppermost drill-pipe section having cooperating friction contact with the cooperating friction contact surface at the upper end of the uppermost drill-pipe section when the last-mentioned threaded joint connection is substantially engaged; the area of such cooperating friction contact being greater than the area of the cooperating friction contact surface at the lower end of the uppermost drill-pipe section.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,728,111 Elms et al Sept. 10, 1929 1,857,528 Cantell May 10, 1932 1,960,688 Archer May 29, 1934 1,983,545 Johnson Dec. 11, 1934 2,439,751 Olsen 1 Apr. 13, 1948 2,620,165 Crickmer Dec. 2, 1952 2,765,147 Vertson Oct. 2, 1956

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3054465 *Nov 12, 1958Sep 18, 1962Joy Mfg CoRock drill rotation mechanism
US3212589 *Nov 28, 1962Oct 19, 1965J K Smit & Sons Internat LtdPortable rock drill
US3232362 *Nov 12, 1963Feb 1, 1966CullenWell drilling apparatus
US3357502 *Oct 20, 1965Dec 12, 1967Calavar CorpUniversal boring machine mounting
US3461974 *Jun 26, 1967Aug 19, 1969Abegg & Reinhold CoSpinner device for turning well pipe or the like
US3467202 *Jun 11, 1968Sep 16, 1969Brown Oil ToolsHydraulically driven power head
US3490546 *Jun 4, 1968Jan 20, 1970Robbins & Assoc James SDrilling machine for use in small tunnels
US3736993 *Jul 15, 1971Jun 5, 1973Robbins CoHigh torque boring machine
US3766991 *Apr 2, 1971Oct 23, 1973Brown Oil ToolsElectric power swivel and system for use in rotary well drilling
US4575359 *May 2, 1984Mar 11, 1986Bermingham Construction LimitedRotary drive coupling
US4753300 *Feb 26, 1987Jun 28, 1988Triten CorporationHydraulic top drive for wells
US4800968 *Sep 22, 1987Jan 31, 1989Triten CorporationWell apparatus with tubular elevator tilt and indexing apparatus and methods of their use
US4999752 *Dec 6, 1989Mar 12, 1991Jack RogersElectric lamp with multiple power connectors
US7510006Jun 24, 2005Mar 31, 2009Varco I/P, Inc.Pipe running tool having a cement path
US7588099Jan 25, 2007Sep 15, 2009Varco I/P, Inc.Horizontal drilling system with oscillation control
US7591304Jun 24, 2005Sep 22, 2009Varco I/P, Inc.Pipe running tool having wireless telemetry
US7677335 *Dec 6, 2007Mar 16, 2010Beijing Wanwei Yitong Technological Development Co. Ltd.Tools and technology of radical and level drilling/well completion under ultra-short radius
US7699121Jun 24, 2005Apr 20, 2010Varco I/P, Inc.Pipe running tool having a primary load path
US7753138Jun 24, 2005Jul 13, 2010Varco I/P, Inc.Pipe running tool having internal gripper
US8037949Apr 16, 2010Oct 18, 2011Varco I/P, Inc.Pipe running tool
US20060118293 *Jun 24, 2005Jun 8, 2006Daniel JuhaszPipe running tool having internal gripper
US20060124293 *Jun 24, 2005Jun 15, 2006Daniel JuhaszPipe running tool having a primary load path
US20060124305 *Jun 24, 2005Jun 15, 2006Daniel JuhaszPipe running tool having a cement path
US20060124353 *Jun 24, 2005Jun 15, 2006Daniel JuhaszPipe running tool having wireless telemetry
US20070175662 *Jan 25, 2007Aug 2, 2007John KracikHorizontal drilling system with oscillation control
US20090000824 *Dec 6, 2007Jan 1, 2009Beijing Wanwei Yitong Technological Development Co. LtdTools and technology of radical and level drilling/well completion under ultra-short radius
US20100155140 *Mar 1, 2010Jun 24, 2010Varco I/P, Inc.Pipe running tool having a primary load path
US20100200215 *Aug 12, 2010Varco I/P, Inc.Pipe running tool
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DE3437649C1 *Oct 13, 1984Dec 5, 1985Injekta Gmbh Bau- Und Bodensanierung, 8200 Rosenheim, DeDevice for releasing drill stems screwed to one another
Classifications
U.S. Classification173/197, 464/20, 175/212, 175/320
International ClassificationE21B3/02, E21B3/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B3/02
European ClassificationE21B3/02