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Publication numberUS3186485 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 1, 1965
Filing dateApr 4, 1962
Priority dateApr 4, 1962
Publication numberUS 3186485 A, US 3186485A, US-A-3186485, US3186485 A, US3186485A
InventorsOwen Harrold D
Original AssigneeOwen Harrold D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Setting tool devices
US 3186485 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 1, 1965 H. D. OWEN 3,186,485

SETTING TOOL DEVICES Filed April 4, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet l FIG.I

ATTORNEY June l, 1965 H. D. owEN SETTING TOOL DEVICES Filed April 4. 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 HARROLD D. OWEN INVENTOR.

ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,186,485 SETTING TOOL DEVICES Harrold D. Owen, 4300 Lanard, Fort Worth, Tex. Filed Apr. 4, 1962, Ser. No. 185,040 9 Claims. (Cl. 166-63) My invention relates to subsurface well apparatus and more particularly to setting tool devices for setting a bridge plug or sealing device in the casing or liner string of a well or in the bore hole itself.

During the drilling of a well, it frequently happens that more than one zone of expected production may be found. In order to be able to produce from each probable zone, as well as for many other purposes, it is common practice at the present time to set one or more sealing devices in the casing or lower string, and sometimes in the bore hole itself. The usual procedure to make such a seal is to run in the hole, by means of a wire line, a setting tool device having a bridge plug attached to its lower end. When the setting tool reaches a predetermined depth, it is actuated by remote control to set the bridge plug.

In the prior art of which I am aware, there are several types of tools for setting bridge plugs. Some tools contain an explosive which, when detonated, actuates the tool mechanism that sets the bridge plug. Others use hydromechanical means for setting the bridge plug. In other tools an inflatable device is employed to form a seal or bridge plug. Insofar as I am aware, the setting tools of the prior art have not been ideal, either from a functional or an economical standpoint, and so, it is evident to those skilled in the art that the ideal setting tool has not yet been disclosed.

It is accordingly the general object of the present invention to provide improved bridge plug setting tool devices which approach more closely the ideal setting tool.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved setting tool device which is hydrostatically balanced against the effects of well iluid pressures.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved setting tool device in which most of the setting movement is downward.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved setting tool device in which the ratio of the initial volume of the combustion chamber to the final volume thereof is low.

Another object of the invention is to providev a setting tool device incorporating improved damping action.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved setting tool device in which the gases of combustion do not erode the passages of ignition.

Another object of the invention is to provide a setting tool device incorporating an improved shear pin arrangement. Y

Another object of the invention is to provide a setting tool device wherein the setting action is facilitated by improved lubrication provisions.

These and other objects are effected by my invention as will be apparent from the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic elevational view of a setting tool in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, shown within a cased well bore;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of the upper part of the device of FIG. 1 showing it in one operative position;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the lower part of the device of FIG. 1 showing it in the same operative position as FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view ICC corresponding to FIG. 2, but showing the device in another operative position;

FIG. 5 is a longitudinal sectional view corresponding to FIG. 3, but showing the device in the same operative position as FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 3.

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a setting tool device 11 (sometimes hereinafter called the device 11), a collar locator and cable head assembly 18 and a bridge plug 19, all suspended from a wire line 13 in a section of casing 15 in a well bore 17.

Generally speaking the device 11, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, includes an adapter rod 21 attached at one end to the bridge plug 19 and at the other end to a bottom piston 23. The device 11 also includes a top piston 25, a top piston connecting rod 26, a top piston extension rod 28, and a firing head 27 surmounted by -a quick change assembly 29. Furthermore, the device includes a top sub 31, a bottom cylinder 33, a top cylinder 35 and a setting sleeve 37.

The bridge plug I9, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 5, is a type well known to those skilled in the art. Essentially it includes a tubular portion 39 having an enlarged head portion 41 at its lower end and a plug portion 43 screwed into a threaded central passage in the head portion 41. An O-ring gasket 45 is located between the plug portion 41 and the tubular portion 39 to prevent fluid flow therethrough in both direction. A resilient sleeve portion 47, centrally disposed around the tubular portion 39, has square cut ends abutting against lower and upper expanders 49, 51 which are slidably disposed around the tubular portion 39. The enlarged head portion 41 has a flat upper surface or shoulder 53. A set of lower slips 55 are disposed centrally around the tubular portion 39 and abut against the shoulder 53. Similarly, a set of upper slips 57 are disposed centrally around the tubular portion 39 and abut against a collar portion 59 encircling the tubular portion 39. The lower and upper slips 55, 57 are notched deeply (see FIG. 7) leaving intact a thin web 5S between the segments of the slips. The slips 55, 57 are cooperable with the respective lower and upper expanders 49, 51 and engage the casing 15 so as to prevent vertical movement of the bridge plug 19 after it is set. The collar portion 59 has a cylindrical exterior 61, the diameter of which is slightly larger than the outer diameter of the upper segmental slips 57. The collar portion 59 has an axial aperture 65 slightly larger than the outer diameter of the tubular portion 39. The inner surface of the collar portion 59 tapers upwardly and outwardly from the axial aperture 65 and forms a force slope or bevel 67 which merges with an inner cylindrical portion 63. A grooved, split ratchet-ring 69 surrounds the tubular portion 39 and has a lower beveled face 71 which slidably engages the force slope or bevel 67. An encircling resilient ring 73 urges the ratchet-ring 69 to engage with circumferential ratchet teeth 75 on the upper exterior of the tubular portion 39.

The adapter rod 21 is a rigid cylindrical rod having a female lower end threadedly engaging a tension release portion 77, the plug portion 43, and a male upper end 79 threadedly received by the bottom piston 23.

The bottom piston 23 includes a short cylindrical head portion 81 integrally attached to a longer cylindrical lower `body portion 83. A set screw S5 is inserted through i Y D 33 and has suitable piston rings 87 on its outer periphery which engage slidably the inner wall of the bottom cylinder 33 to prevent leakage from the cylinder 33 past the head portion 31. The bottom piston 23 is threadedly connected to the lower end of the connecting rod 25.

The top piston 25 is interposed between and integral with the connecting rod 26 and the extension rod 28. vThe top piston 25 is slidable within the top cylinder 35 and has suitable piston rings 95 on its periphery which engage the inner wall of the top cylinder to prevent leakage. An axial pas-sage 97 extends through the extension rod 28, the top piston 25, and the upper portion of the connecting rod 26. The lower end of the passage V97 merges into two downwardly sloping passages 99 which become ports 1131 in the outer surface of the connecting rod 26. The upper end of the axial passage 97 is flared and enlarged to form a short cylindrical chamber 103 adaptable to receive an explosive booster pellet 135. Above the chamber 103, the inner surface of the passage ares conically upwardly and outwardly to form a narrow shoulder 107, at the top of the extension rod 28. The ring head 27 includes a cylindrical lower body portion 109, an integral cylindrical mid-body portion 111 and an integral cylindrical upper body portion 113. The lower body portion 139 is slidable in the upper part of the top sub 31, while the mid-body portion 111, having the same outer diameter as the top sub 31, threadedly engages the upper end of the extension rod 23. An O- ring gasket 115 effectively seals the joint between the extension rod 28 and the lower body portion 169. The upper body portion 113 is provided with a small axial passage 117, the upper part of which is enlarged to form a cylindrical cavity 119 to hold an explosive booster upper body portion 113. Threadedly engaging 'the upper body portion 113 is the quick-changey assembly 29 which includes an outer sleeve portion 127, and an inner sleeve portion 129 slidable in and projecting through the top of the outer sleeve portion 127. The inner sleeve portion 129 includes a lower cylindrical portion 131 slidable in the central cavity 125, a larger cylindrical collar portion 133 integral with the cylindrical portion 131, and an integral upper cylindrical portion 135. A pair of O-ring gaskets 137 provides an eirective seal at the juncture between the lower end ofthe outer sleeve portion 127 and the upper body portion 113. Likewise, an O-ring gasket 139 provides an effective seal between the top of the upper body portion 113 and the bottom surface of the collar portion 133. In like manner, an O-ring gasket 141 provides van eifective seal between the top surface of the collar portion 133 and the inner surface of the outer sleeve portion 127. The inner sleeve portion 129 has an axial passage 143 adaptable to receive a ring device 145 which terminates at its lower end in a spring and yoke assembly 147 engaging the ring device V145 and the 'igniter 123. The upper part of the quick-change assembly 29 is adapted to receive and to be secured to the lower end of the wireline 13 in any suitable manner.

The'top sub 31 includes an upper cylindrical portion 149 having an outer diameter equal'to the outer diameter Vof the mid-body portion `111 and an inner diameter approximately equal toV the outer diameter of the lower body portion 109 with which itis mated. The top sub includes,also', a tubular mid-body portion 151, the outer periphery of which threadedly Vengages the upper end of the top cylinder 35. Since the inner diameter of the midbody portion 151 is somewhat larger than the external diameter of the extension rod '28, an annulus is formed therebetween. Furthermore, the top sub 31 includes a lower body portion 153 which is slidable in the top cylinder below the threaded upper portion thereof. The lower body portion 153 encircles in spaced relation the extension rod 28 so that a narrow annulus 159 is formed therebetween. An O-ring gasket 155 forms an effective seal between the lower body portion 153 and the top cylinder 35.

A shear plug 157, having a predetermined shear value, is threadedly inserted into matched holes in the upper cylindrical portion 149 and the lower body portion 109. Index notches 15S are located on the periphery both of the firing head 27 and of the top sub 31 at the joint therebetween for the purpose of lining up the holes for the shear plug 157.

The top cylinder 35 is a tubular member which threadedly engages the upper end of the bottom cylinder 33, both having equal outer diameters. The inner diameter of the top cylinder 35 is larger than the diameter of the extension rod 28, so that an annulus is formed between the top'cylinder 35 andthe extension rod 28. Lubricant 'iuid 131 is carried within the annulus 161i for a purpose to be hereinafter explained. The inner wall of the top cylinder 35, from just below the top piston 25, is stepped down so that the wall thickness of the top cylinder 35 below the step 4is increased. Above the step the inner diameter of the top cylinder 35 is approximately the same as the diameter of the top piston 25 which is slidable therein. The annulus 161 formed between the top cylinder 35 and the connecting rod 26 is adaptable to receive a powder load 163.

The bottom cylinder 33 includes a lower cylindrical portion 165 which threadedly engages the top of the setting sleeve 37; a cylindrical mid-body portion 167 and an upper cylindrical portion 169 which threadedly engages the lower end of the top cylinder 35. An O-ring gasket 171 forms an effective seal between the upper cylindrical portion 169 and the top ycylinder 35. The connecting rod 25 is slidable in a central aperture 173 in the upper cylindrical portion 169. A pair of spaced O-ring gaskets 175 form an eiective rseal between the wall of the central aperture and the connecting rod 26. An annulus 176 is formed between the connecting Vrod 26 and the cylindrical mid-body portion 167 which, being effectively sealed at both ends, contains air.

The setting sleeve 37 includes a cylindrical tubular .portion 177 and a base portion 179. The tubular portion 177 threadedly engages the lower end of the bottom cylinder 33 and has inner and outer diameters which are slightly larger than the respective inner and outer diameters of the bottom cylinder 33. The base portion 179 has the same outer diameter as the collar portion 59 against which the base portion 79 abuts.

In order to describe the manner in which the device 11 is used, vreference will be made to FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the device 11 as it is run in the well on the end of the wire line 13 to a predetermined location. In order to set the bridge plug 19, an electrical circuit is closed at the surface, in any suitable manner, and an electrical current is sent via the wire 13 to the igniter 123 which ignites and burns, As the igniter burns, it causes the booster pellet 121 to burn and the heat of combustion travels down the axial ignition passage 117 causing the lower booster pellet 165 to ignite and burn. The heat of combustion of the lower booster pellet 105, VinV like manner, travels down the axial ignition passage 97 and the passage ,99. As the heat of combustion emerges from the ports 161, it causes the powder load 163 to ignite and burn. As the powder load burns, the gas pressure generated in the kannulus 161 builds up and the force of the gas on the top piston 25 increases until the shear plug 157 shears. Initially thereafter, the top cylinder moves downward relative to the top piston, because the mass or the top piston 25 and all other components attached thereto is proportionately greater than the mass of the top cylinder 35 and its attached components. The downward movement of the top cylinder 35 and connected components causes the upper segmental slips 57 to slide on the upper expander 51'. The thin web 58 breaks and the segments of the upper slip are .forced outward into engagement with the inner wall of Athe casing as shown in FIG. 5. The lower segmental slip 55 tends to remain at the same level, but the lower expander 49, cooperating with the slip, breaks the thin web 58 and` the segments of the lower slip 55 move outward into engagement with the inner wall of the casing 15. Simultaneously, the upper and lower expanders 49, 51 compress `tubular portion 39 is prevented from moving downwards because the reaction force acting through the beveled surfaces 67, 71 causes the slips 55, 57 and the ratchet ring 69 to grip more tightly. After the setting motion is complete, tension on the tension release portion 77 causes separation of the rod 21 from the plug 43, so that the setting tool 11 may be retrieved, leaving the bridge plug .19 securely set in the well bore.

One significant feature of my invention is that the rerciprocable components within the device are balanced hydrostatically against the fluid pressure in the well.

.Hydrostatic balance is achieved because, as explained 4hereinbefore, the fluid in the annulus 160, which acts on the upper side of the top piston 25, is subjected to the well pressure. Likewise, the fluid in the well is admissable to the underside of the bottom piston 23, because there lis no seal between the juncture of the setting sleeve 37 and 4the collar portion 59. It is evident, therefore, that the .areas over which thewell fluid acts may be selected so ,that there is a balance of hydrostatic forces. It is signifi- ,cant that this hydrostatic balance facilitates the setting operation. This may be explained most clearly by aslsurning that the well fluid does not act on the underside 4of the bottom piston 23. In this event, the well fluid .acting on the upper surface of the top piston 25 would l produce a force opposite to the force produced by the` gases of combustion.

This would reduce the effectiveness of the gas pressure.` However, since there is an hydrostatic balance within the device 11, the gas pressure f is fully effective.

Another important feature of the invention is the fact that the mass of the top piston 25 and its assembled components including the collar locator and cable head assembly 1 8 is made significantly greater than the mass of the top cylinder 35 and its assembled components. Typically, the mass ratio may be approximately two to one. Therefore, the setting action of the tool 11 is primarily in the downward direction providing minimum movej'ment of the bridge plug body relative to the bore hole or casing. Furthermore, the tendency of the tool assembly v"to jump upwardly upon actuation is minimized. This feature is o f special significance for the case of fast setting times (less than one second). f

Another important feature of the invention is the fact that the annulus 161 is made relatively long so the ratio of the initial volume of the annulus 161 to its volume increases upon actuation of the setting tool device 11 (at the instant of setting and before separation of rod 21 from plug 43) is high. A typical such ratio may be 5/ 1. This means that the gas pressure in the annulus 161 remains relatively constant during the time required to set the bridge plug. Also, the initial volume of the combustion chamber is relatively large, so that a small leakage will not prevent satisfactory setting action. Further, with a large volume combustion chamber the tool is capable of effective setting action when a larger setting stroke is needed. A typical combustion chamber initial volume for a 3% inch setting tool may be about 59 cubic inches.

Another feature of the invention involves the damping action. Because there is no seal between the firing head 27 and the top sub 31, the fluid in the annulus 160 is exincluding an annular combustion chamber adapted for reposed to the well uid via annuli 152, 159. Upon actuation of the tool, the top piston 25 moves relative to the top cylinder 35, forcing the fluid in annulus through the narrow, restricted annulus 159, at a rate suficient to cause an increase in pressure within the annulus 160.

Another feature of the invention is that the igniter 123 is located in the firing head 27 remotely from the main powder load 163. The passages 97 and 117 are ignition passages of relatively small diameter. These passages serve only to lead the heat of combustion of the igniter 123 and the booster pellets 105, 121 to the main powder load 163 to ignite it. Almost all of the gases of combustion resulting from the burning powder load 163 expand within the annulus 161 and do work on the top piston 25. The gases do not traverse to any appreciable extent the ignition passages, and so there is no tendency for these passages to become damaged and eroded by the gases of combustion.

Another feature of the invention is the fact that, because the shear plug 157 is located above the bridge plug 19, it can be made smaller and more economically than a similar device which might be incorporated into or attached to the bridge plug itself. Normally, the shear plug 157 is made strong enough so that it will withstand the maximum stress resulting from the striking of obstructions in the well bore when traveling down hole to the setting location. However, because the shear plug 157 is located above the bridge plug, if desired, it may be made sufficiently strong that the fluid pressures which are normally encountered in the event of tool leakage lwill not shear it prematurely.

Another vfeature of the invention is that a lubricant fluid 181 may be carried within the annulus 160. Thus, the wall of the annulus 160 over which the top piston 25 travels upon actuation of the Ysetting tool device 11 is lubricated, facilitating the operation of the device and reducing wear on the parts.

While I have shown my invention in only one form, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that it is not so limited, but is susceptible of various changes and modifications without departing from the spirit thereof.

I claim:

1. Well apparatus, including a bridge plug adapted to be set in a well bore, a collar locator and cable head assembly, and fluid actuated mean-s; said uid actuated means comprising a head assembly including igniter means, a cylinder assembly and a piston assembly within said cylinder assembly, and means releasably securing said cylinder assembly against movement relative to said pis- `ton assembly, with said piston assembly being slidable lrelative to said cylinder assembly when said securing means is released; means connecting said piston assembly -in fixed relation to said head assembly, said collar locator and cable head assembly, and said bridge plug; means ceiving a combustible material power charge and disposed within said cylinder assembly for imparting relative motion to said cylinder assembly and said piston assembly to set said bridge plug within a time interval of less than one second; means suspending said apparatus within -a well bore; said piston assembly, said head assembly, said collar locator and cable head assembly, and said bridge plug together constituting a first mass, said cylinder assembly constituting a second mass; the ratio of said masses being at least two to one.

2. Well apparatus, including a bridge plug adapted to be set in a well bore, a collar locator and cable head assembly, and iiuid actuated means; said fluid actuated means comprising a head assembly including igniter means, a cylinder assembly and a piston assembly within said cylinder assembly, and means releasably securing said cylinder assembly against movement relative to said piston assembly, with said piston assembly being slidable relative to said cylir der assembly when stiel securing means is released; means connecting said piston assembly in fixed relation to said head assembly, said collar locator and cable head assembly, and said bridge plug; means including an annular combustion chamber adapted for receiving a combustible materia-l power charge and disposed Within said cylinder assembly for imparting relative motion to said cyl- -inder assembly and said piston-assembly to set 'said bridge plug within a time interval of less than one second; means suspending said apparatus within a well bore; said piston assembly, 4said head assembly, said collar locator and cable head assembly, and said bridge plug together constituting a first mass, said cylinder assembly constituting a second mass; said first mass being suiiiciently greater Vthan said second mass that the bridge plug setting action is primarily in the downward direction. Y

3. Well apparatus, including a Well device adapted to be operated in a Well bore; fluid actuated means comprising a head assembly including igniter means, a cylinder assembly and a piston assembly within said cylinder assembly, and means releasably securing said cylinder assembly against movement relative to said piston assembly,

with said piston assembly being slidable relative to said cylinder assembly when said securing means is released; said piston Iassembly including linking `means connecting said piston assembly inaixed relation to said head assem- Ably and said well device, and a first piston; said first piston defining with a portion of said cylinder assembly a damping chamber constricted .at the end thereof remote from said piston and exposed at said constricted end to Well fluid pressure; and means including a combustion chamber within said cylinder assembly for imparting motion to said piston in the direction toward said constriction upon actuation of said fluid actuated means.

4. The invention as set forth by claim 3, wherein said damping chamber contains a liquid lubricant.

5. Well apparatus, including a Well device'adapted to be operated in a well bore; fiuidactuated meanscomprising a head assembly including igniter means, a cylinder assembly and a piston assembly within said cylinder assembly, and means releasably securing said cylinder assembly to said head assembly, with said piston assembly being slidable relative to said cylinder assembly when said securing means is released; means connecting said piston assembly in lixed relationto said head assembly and said well device; means including an annular combustion chamber adapted for receiving a combustible material .power charge and disposed within said cylinder inder end portion to `said head assembly, with said piston assembly being slidable relative to said cylinder assembly when said shear pin has been sheared; means connecting said piston assembly in fixed relation to said head assembly and said well device; and means including a combustion chamber within said cylinder assembly for imparting motion to said cylinder assembly relative to said piston assembly to operate said well device.

7. The invention as set forth by claim 6, wherein said shear pin has sufficient strength to withstand normally encountered Well uid pressure within said fluid actuated means. Y

8. Well apparatus, including a bridge plug adapted to be set in a well bore; fluid actuated means operatively connected to said bridge plug; said uid actuated means com- -prising a cylinder and piston means in said cylinder, and

means releasably securing said cylinder against movement ,relative to said piston means, with said piston means being slidable relative to said cylinder when said securing means is released; said piston means including a first piston, a second piston and rod means linking said pistons in fixed spaced relation; partition means fixed to said cylinder intermediate said pistons and defining with said cylinder, one of said pistons and portions of said rod means, a combustion chamber; igniter means operatively associated with said combustion chamber; said combustion chamber having a first volume prior to actuation of said fluid actuated means and a second volume after actuated of said Yfluid actuation means at the instant when said bridge plug is set, with the ratio of said rst volume to the difference between said first and second volumes being at least five to one. v

9.. Well apparatus, including a bridge plug adapted to 'be set in a Well bore; fluid actuated means operatively connected to said bridge plug; said fluid actuated means comprising a cylinder and piston means in said cylinder, a combustion .chamber having the form of an elongated annulus within said cylinder, and means releasably securing said cylinder against movement relative to said piston means, with said piston means being slidable relative to rsaid cylinder when said securing means is released; igvniter means operatively associated Withsaid combustion chamber; said combustion chamber 'having a first volume .prior to actuation of said iuidactuatedmeans'and a second volume after actuated ofsaid fluid actuation means at the instant when said bridge plug is set, with the ratio of said first volume to the difference between said rst and second volumes being at least five to one.

References Cited by the Examiner UNlTED STATES PATENTS 4/61 Webb 166--63 3,055,430 9/62 Campbell A166-63 X 3,112,794 12/'63 Chenoweth V166-64 CHARLES E. oCoNNELL, Primary Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/63, 166/122, 166/123
International ClassificationE21B23/06, E21B23/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B23/065
European ClassificationE21B23/06D