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Publication numberUS3186722 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 1, 1965
Filing dateJul 25, 1962
Priority dateJul 25, 1962
Publication numberUS 3186722 A, US 3186722A, US-A-3186722, US3186722 A, US3186722A
InventorsJohnston Leslie A
Original AssigneeJohnston Leslie A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Polished rod protector
US 3186722 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


F G- 3 ATTORNEYS 'acterized by frequent periods of blowing dust.

United States Patent 3,186,722 POLISHED ROD FROTEQTOR Leslie A. Johnston, 1225 E. 13th St, Tuisa, Okla. Filed July 25, 1962., Ser. No. 212,292 tilairns. (ill. 27732) This invention relates to V a polished rod protector. More particularly, the invention relates to a device for protecting polished rods as used in the oil industry for pumping wells.

The most frequently used method of pumping oil wells includes the reciprocation of a string of sucker rods to actuate a pump at the bottom of the well. The sucker rods are reciprocated in a tubing which must be closed at its top to conduct the flow of oil produced through a lead line to a storage facility. The means normally utilized of closing the top of the tubing is a stuffing box through which a polished rod reciprocates, the polished rod being connected at its lower end to the sucker rod string and at its upper end to some reciprocation means. The reciprocation means is most commonly a walking beam but bydraulic type pumping units are also currently in frequent use. Whether the means of reciprocation is a walking beam or a hydraulic pumping unit, the polished rod is required to reciprocate up and down in a stufiing box. The stufiing box includes packing which closely engages the polished rod to prevent the produced fluid or gas from leaking past the polished rod.

Many oil fields are situated in geographical areas char- For instance, the oil fields of west Texas, New Mexico, eastern Colorado, western Oklahoma, and Wyoming are in areas where dust storms frequently occur. Dust blowing against the polished rod accumulates on the polished rod and packing within the stufling box. This accumulated dust naturally is very abrasive and reduces the life of the polished rod as it is continuously reciprocated. As the polished rod wears and becomes rough, the packing in the stufiing box is naturally more quickly consumed so that stuffing box packing is required to be replaced more often and more frequently leakages of oil through the stuiiing box occurs.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a polished rod protector to protect the polished rod of an oil field pumping unit from blowing dust and from the accumulation of dust and'other abrasive elements on the polished rod and within the stuffing box.

Another object of this invention is to provide a polished rod protector including a bellows member afiixed to the exterior of the polished rod to protect the polished rod from dust and including an air receiving means to receive the flow of all in and out of the bellows as the polishe rod is reciprocated.

Another object of this invention is to provide a polished rod protector for the polished rods of oil well pumping units including a blowout deflector to prevent oil, gas and water which may escape from a well when the stufiing box packing fails from being blown into the atmosphere.

These and other objects and a better understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the following description and claims taken in conjuction with the attached drawing, in which? FIGURE 1 is an external view of a portion of a pumping well with the polished rod protector of this'invention' afiixed to the well. In FIGURE 1 the well is shown with the polished rod in the lowered reciprocal position.

FIGURE 2 is an external view of a portion of a pumping oil well showing the polished rod protector of this invention afiixed to thewell the same as in FIGURE 1 but showing the polished rod as extended in the upward reciprocal position. a V

' FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the 2 line 3-6 of FIGURE 1 showing the arrangement of the air receiving means of the invention.

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line %4 of FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIGURE 2 showing the construction of the bellows member of this invention.

FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIGURE 3.

Referring now to the drawings wherein in all of the figures the following numerals designate the following elements.

Element Numeral:

1t) Polished rod protector generally.

12 Pumping unit walking beam.

L Pumping unit horse head.

16 Hanger cable.

18 Polished rod clamp.

2&4 Polished rod.

22 Stuffing box.

24 Pumping T.

25 Stuffing box packing.

25 Well head.

28 Surface pipe.

3% Earth.

32 Lead line.

3 Bellows member.

36 Upper end of bellows member.

33 Lower end of bellows member.

as Air receiving means.

4-2 Bonnet member.

44 Open bottom of bonnet member.

46 Top opening in the bonnet member.

48 Bonnet support.

49 Bracket flanges.

5t Bracket clamps.

52 Upper cylindrical portion of bonnet member.

' 54 Elastic band.

56; Lower cylindrical portion of bonnet member.

58 Shroud.

59 Quiescent chamber.

60 Open bottom of shroud.

62 Elastic member.

64 Ring shaped weighted member.

66 Opening in shroudfor lead line.

8 Blowout deflector.


Referring first to FIGURE 1, the polished rod protector of this invention is generally indicated by the numeral 16. The polished rod protector it is shown affixed to a well, the pumping system of the well being shown as a typical beam type pumping unit. The portion of the pumping system shown consisting of a walking beam 12. supporting .a horse head 14- to which is. suspended hangercable 16 having a polished rod clamp 18 at the end thereof, the v clamp 18 being affixed to a polished rod 29.

7 Other major elements of a typical oil -well are show in FIGURE 3. The polished rod 2% extends into the well through a stuffingbox 22 which is supported to a pumpcemented in the earth 30. Extending from pumping T 2 3 to carry oil produced in the well to a storage or pipe line system is lead line 32.

The elements 12 through 32 are those typically found in an oil well pumping unit. utilized rather than the beam type pumping unit as shown, the only significant distinction is that the walking beam 12 and horse head 14 are replaced by mechanisms which hydraulically reciprocate the polished rod 20. type of pumping unit, the polished rod is exposed to theatmosphere and during dustyperiods dust impinges on the polished rod and accumulates in the stufiingbox 22 on top of the packing 25. When the polished rod 26 is downwardly reciprocated inrthe packing 25, the accumulated dust and dirt and other gritty foreign matters are forced bet-ween the packing and the polished rod 2b so that these deleterious substances are embedded in packing 25 to act as highly abrasive elements which soon wear the polished rod 20 due to the constant attritionias the polished rod is continuously reciprocated to pump the oil well.

In order to protect the polished rod 20 and stuifing box 22 from the accumulation of blowing dirt and dust, this invention provides a bellows member 34. which is affixed at its upper end 36 to polished rod 20 at a point on the polished rod adjacent clamp 18. The lower end 33 of the bellows member 34 is supported adjacent the stutfing box 22 so that the bellows member 34 shields the polished rod 20 from blowing dirt and dust. As the polished rod is reciprocated up and down the bellows member expands and collapses to absorb the reciprocal movement but at all times presents an unpenetrable shield to blowing dirt and dust. FIGURE 1 shows the bellowsmember 34 collapsed as'the polished rod 20 is reciprocated downwardly in the Well. FIGURE 2 shows the bellows member 34 extended as the polished rod is reciprocated upwardly. p 7 p The typical oil well type pumping unit has a stroke length usually varying from approximately three to six feet but may have a stroke length considerably greater than this. The bellows member 34 will expand and collapse thr-ough the full distance of the stroke length of the pumping unit on each reciprocation of the polished rod, which occurs norm-ally at rates varying from ten to twenty times per minute. This means that the bellows member 34 will breathe in a relatively large quantity of air as it expands on the upward movement of the polished rod and discharge-an equal amount of air on the downward movement of the polishedrod, It is therefore necessary to provide free, unrestricted passage of air into and out of bellows member 34. If insufficient air is taken in on the upward stroke the bellows member would collapse resulting in rubbing of the polished rod against the in the bel-lowsmember. On the other hand, if the inhaled air cannot be freely exhaled, asthe polished rod moves downward, air pressure will build up within the bellows member. and result in it rupturing. It is therefore im- 7 ried in the atmosphere will not be pulled-into the bellows to accumulate on the polished rodand stufiing box. This is provided by aneair receiving means generally indicated by the numeral 40. 7

Air receiving means. 49 V is basically composed of a frustro-conical shaped bonnet member 42 which may typically be made of sheetmetal having a large diameter open bottom 44 and a relatively smaller diameter top opening net member 42 includes internallypositioned brackets If a hydraulic purnping unit is In either 1 8 for supporting the bonnet onto stuifing box 22, such as by means of clamps 59 extending from the stufling box 2 to brackets 48.

The open top 46 of bonnet 42 preferably terminates in an integrally formed vertical cylindrical portion 52 which is adaptable to receive the lower end 38 of bellows member 34 which may be held in cont-act with the upper cylindrica-l portion 52 by means of an elastic band 54.

The open bottom 44 of bonnet 42 preferably is formed on an integral lower cylindrical portion 56. Atlixed to the lower cylindrical portion 56 .andvdownwardly extending substantially as a vertical cylinder is a shroud 53. The

shroud 58 is preferably formed of a flexible impervious and deterioration resistant material such as some of the better grades of plastic sheet material. Shroud 58 presents an open bottom 60 terminating adjacent the earth 30. Shroud 58 is supported to the lower cylindrical portion 56 of bonnet 42 such as by means of an elastic member 62. When the shroud member 58 is formed of a flexible material a ring shaped weighted member 64 is used and may be formed of a rod bent in the shape of a ring. The ring shaped weighted member 64 is affixed to the lower portion of the shroud 58 to hold the shroud downwardly against the force of wind.

An opening 65 is provided in the shroud 5-8 through which lead line 32. extends. The interior of the bonnet member 34- and shroud 58 forms a relatively large volume quiescent chamber. 59. As the polished rod 2% is reciprocated, alternately expanding and compressing bellows 34, air breathed by the bellows 34 passes through the open top-45 of bonnet 42 and into the interior of bonnet 42 and shroud 58. Thus,-bonnet member 42 and shroud 58 together constitute an air receiving means 4d. Air pressure changes within the air receiving means 40 is compensated by air flowing into and out of the shroud 53 through the open bottomed.

During dusty weather, the bellows member 34 protects V the polished rod 20 from the deposition of dust from the air. Dust which may tend to be suspended in the air within the air receiving means is substantially deposited .due to the quiescent chamber 59 formed within the air receiving means 40. Without the agitation of wind the harmful dust and dirt particles settle out so that air bellows member which would, of course, soon Wear holes I breathed into the bellows 34 on upward movement of polished rod 20 is substantially free of dust. In this way, most of the dust which would be deposited against polished rod 20 and which would be transferred to stufiing box packing 25 on the downward movement of the polished rod 2-0 is eliminated. The combination of the bellows member 34 and air receiving means 40 provides means whereby the polished rod and st-ufiing box of a pumping well are substantially protected from air borne dust particles in a means permitting air to freely flow into and out of the bellows 34. f

An additional unique provision of the invention is a blowout: deflector 68 supported on stufling box 22. The

blowout deflector 68 is a cylindricahinverted cupped shaped member having an opening .69 therein to receive polished rod 25). The opening 69 is large'enough to freely 7 receive the polished rod so that no contact is made between the blowout deflector S and polished rod 20 but it T nevertheless presentsa relatively small annulus there beto form bracket annular portions 71 which rest between bonnet bracket flanges {i9 and tufiing box 22 whereby the blowout deflector 68 isfheld in proper position. The

crossrsectional view of FIGURE 4 best shows the posi- 46. The top opening to-receives polished rod 20. Bontion of brackets '70, relativeto the polished rod 22.

Bellows 34 is preferably formed of a highly flexible material so that, (l) the drag on the reciprocal movement of the polished rod 20 is unappreciable, (2) so that any contact which may be occasioned between the bellow and the polished rod will not result in wear of the polished rod and (3) so that the polished rod protector may be easily aflixed or detached from an oil well. The preferred means of providing bellows 34, as shown in FIGURE 5, consists in forming the bellows of a series of identical donut shaped flat pieces 72 of suited material, preferably a plastic material such as Mylar, as manufactured by the Phillips Petroleum Company. The bellows is formed by successfully bonding the donut shaped plastic pieces 72 alternately along their outer periphery 76 and inner periphery 78. Thus, the bellows 34 is formed by having every other one of the flat donut shaped sheets 72. bonded at the inner periphery 78 and every other one bonded at the outer periphery '76. The flat donut shaped sheet 72 are provided with an opening 8G, to receive polished rod (see FIG. 5).

The outer peripheries 76 and outer peripheries 78 may be bonded such as by applying cement or applying heat and pressure to the contiguous sheets. By this means the bellows member 34 is easily and very inexpensively constructed of readily available sheet plastic material. The bellows so constructed is light, flexible and, if engagement is made with the polished rod 20, will not result in wear of the polished rod. The flexibility of the bellows so constructed does not impose any restriction on the reciprocal movement of the polished rod.

This invention provided a polished rod protector which prevents dust and other types of air borne foreign particles from accumulating on the polished rod and stufiing box of an oil well pumping system and thereby provides means for extending the life of a polished rod and stufiing box packing of oil well pumping units.

The invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, but it is manifested that many changes may be made in the details of construction and the arrangement of components without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure.

What is claimed:

1. In combination with a pumping system having a polished rod reciprooated through a stufling box, a p01- ished rod protector comprising,

a bellows member surrounding said polished rod, said bellows member aflixed at its upper end to aid pol ished rod and its lower end supported adjacent said stufiing box;

and a quiescent chamber air receiving means in com munication with said bellows member.

2. A polished rod protector according to claim 1 wherein said quiescent chamber air receiving means communicates with said bellows at the top thereof and is open at the bottom to the atmosphere.

3. In combination with a pumping system having a polished rod reciprocated through a stufiing box, said shutting box positioned at a distance above the surface of the earth, a polish-ed rod protector comprising,

a bonnet member supported to said stufling box, said bonnet member having an opening in the top to receive said polished rod and said bonnet member having the bot-tom thereof open;

a bellows member surrounding said polished rod, said bellows member having the upper end thereof clamped to said polished rod and having the lower end thereof aflixed to said bonnet member at the top opening thereof whereby the interior of said bellows member communicates with the interior of said bonnet member;

and a shroud having the top portion supported to said bonnet member at the open bottom thereof, said shroud terminating adjacent the surface of the earth, said bonnet member and said shroud forming a quiescent chamber into which said bellows member breathes as said polished rod is reciprocated.

4. A polished rod protector according to claim 3 wherein said shroud comp-rises a length of cylindrical, flexible material, such as plastic; and including a ringed shaped weight member aflixed to said shroud at the periphery of said lower open end.

5. A polished rod protector according to claim 3 including an inverted cup shaped blowout protector member, said blowout protector having an opening therein closely receiving said polished rod, said blowout protector member supported within said bonnet member and above said stufiing box, said blowout protector member adaptable to encounter and deflect downwardly gase or liquids escaping from said stuffing box.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 958,862 5/10 Durham 74-182 2,050,702 8/36 Jackson 74---18.2 X 2,149,040 2/39 Binder et a1 74l8.2 X 3,045,606 7/62' Schmidt 74-18.2 X

CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US958862 *Apr 17, 1909May 24, 1910John F DurhamPump for wells.
US2050702 *Jul 30, 1934Aug 11, 1936Gen Motors CorpBrake actuating mechanism
US2149040 *Mar 22, 1938Feb 28, 1939Hermann KleinHydraulic shock absorber
US3045606 *Sep 22, 1960Jul 24, 1962Benjamin F SchmidtReciprocal piston oil well pump
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3353606 *Aug 6, 1965Nov 21, 1967Dyer Robert KPolished rod protector
US3796103 *May 1, 1972Mar 12, 1974Rodgard Mfg Co IncPolished rod protector
US3870345 *Apr 3, 1973Mar 11, 1975Subsea Equipment Ass LtdTight underwater connector
US3953037 *Dec 5, 1974Apr 27, 1976Rodgard Manufacturing Co., Inc.Polished rod protector and receiver
US4345766 *May 7, 1981Aug 24, 1982Sandor TuranyiApparatus for sealing an oil well pump polished rod
US4456267 *Nov 2, 1982Jun 26, 1984Gebr. Pfeiffer AgSeal arrangement for pull rods in rolling mills
US4665976 *Nov 4, 1985May 19, 1987Simon RetherfordFluid deflection shield assembly
US4951743 *Oct 25, 1989Aug 28, 1990Tom HendersonEnvironmental leakage protector for recirocating rod fluid displacement arrangements
US5150751 *Jul 29, 1991Sep 29, 1992Atlantic Richfield CompanyStuffing box leak containment apparatus
US5211244 *Jul 5, 1991May 18, 1993The Cavins CorporationApparatus and method for containing fluids around a wellhead
US5222553 *Apr 29, 1992Jun 29, 1993Alvin TempleWater well pump
US5343943 *May 26, 1992Sep 6, 1994Norris Jimmy DPortable oil-drilling waste recovery system
US5351753 *Feb 1, 1993Oct 4, 1994Tony GolsonLeak containment system for a stuffing box
US5540283 *Mar 20, 1995Jul 30, 1996Atlantic Richfield CompanyWell pumping
US5549156 *Jun 6, 1995Aug 27, 1996Borden; B. MichaelShock absorber & Wiper
US7290771 *Apr 28, 2005Nov 6, 2007The Penn State Research FoundationBellows seals for thermoacoustic devices and reciprocating machinery
US8025297Nov 6, 2007Sep 27, 2011The Penn State Research FoundationBellows with alternating layers of high and low compliance material for dynamic applications
US20050189727 *Apr 28, 2005Sep 1, 2005Smith Robert W.Bellows seals for thermoacoustic devices and reciprocating machinery
US20080060442 *Nov 6, 2007Mar 13, 2008Smith Robert WBellows with alternating layers of high and low compliance material for dynamic applications
USD744063Dec 11, 2013Nov 24, 2015Katch Kan Holdings Ltd.Well containment device
CN104179471A *May 22, 2013Dec 3, 2014西安海枫机电科技有限公司Flexible leak-free supercharged wellhead device
U.S. Classification277/324, 277/636, 166/84.1, 403/51, 74/18.2
International ClassificationF04B53/14, E21B33/02, E21B33/08, F04B53/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/08, F04B53/144
European ClassificationE21B33/08, F04B53/14R