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Publication numberUS3285352 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 15, 1966
Filing dateDec 3, 1964
Priority dateDec 3, 1964
Publication numberUS 3285352 A, US 3285352A, US-A-3285352, US3285352 A, US3285352A
InventorsHunter Joseph M
Original AssigneeHunter Joseph M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotary air drilling head
US 3285352 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 15, 1966 J. M. HUNTER 3,285,352

ROTARY AIR DRILLING HEAD Filed Dec. 5, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Joseph M. Hunter 1 N VE N TO R BY MM 19% Nov. 15, 1966 J. M. HUNTER ROTARY AIR DRILLING HEAD 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 5, 1964 I r m. m, m m M a M m I a a 4 H M m/ I 9 9 m w W l 0 4 7 1 .m, M M Q I WNMII, Aw M H W. I J 4 1 J 9 J V] I I. III! I I [.i I I I I I I I. I1 I .l II IF 3 4 W M W r I 5 2 v ,l .g J l l 1 l I I I l I IOI I I I w Q I 4 4 \mL! 8 n 0 v I I 9 I T X 2 5 6 1.. 0 9 .A 4 8 3 United States Patent Ofiflce 3,285,352 Patented Nov. 15, 1966 3,285,352 ROTARY AIR DRILLING HEAD Joseph M. Hunter, 1505 Indian Springs Road, Indiana, Pa. Filed Dec. 3, 1964, Ser. No. 415,604 8 Claims. (Cl. 175-214) T his invention comprises a novel and useful rotary air drilling head and more particularly pertains to a drilling head for rotary drilling apparatus adapted to be detachably mounted in a well casing head for packing and wiping the kelly bar of a rotary drill string and for deflecting. solid particles ascending the well casing with the drilling air or drilling fluid into the drilling fluid outlet of the casing head.

In rotary drilling rigs the kelly bar which is attached to, supports and serves to impart rotary motion to the drill string is connected to its source of power, as by a rotary table, on the drilling platform of the Well casing head. As the drilling operation progresses, the drill string is rotated by the power source and is progressively lowered into the well bore. At the uppermost portion of the drill string there is secured a kelly bar which serves the plural functions of supporting the drilling string during raising or lowering of the latter, transmitting power from the power source to the drilling string for rotating the latter and for supplying the drilling fluid to the interior of the drilling string. The kelly bar is required during its operation to rotate in and slide axially through a drilling head or packing member which serves to guide the kelly bar, pack and seal the latter against the escape of oil or drilling fluid through the well casing head about the kelly bar.

It is the primary purpose of this invention to provide a drilling head having a greatly improved coaction with the kelly bar or drill string and also with the well casing head.

A further important purpose of the invention is to provide a drilling head in accordance with the preceding object which shall enable and permit a slight lateral shifting of the drilling head with respect to the axis of the well casing in order to allow the drill string to accommodate slightly off-center positions which it may assume during the drilling operation.

Another object of the invention is to provide a drill head in accordance with the foregoing objects which shall be specifically adapted for use with rotary drilling of the air drilling type in that it will provide for protecting the drill head and the packing elements thereof from damage by solid pieces of the formation penetrated by the drill bit or other particles and which are conveyed upwardly through the well casing by the air drilling fluid, and will deflect said solid particles through the drilling fluid outlet opening of the casing head.

A further and more specific object of the invention is to provide a drilling head construction in conformity with the foregoing objects which shall include a hollow outer body having means for removably seating and sealingly engaging this body in a casing head while permitting lateral shifting of the body upon a seat in the casing head, together with means for rotatably journaling in the body a hollow guide body through which the kelly bar of the drill string is axially slidable but nonrotatably received and which shall include an improved bearing and sealing engagement of the hollow body with the kelly bar.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a drill head assembly in accordance with the preceding objects which shall include means for firmly securing the guide body within the outer body of the drilling head in a manner to permit lateral shifting movement but preclude axial movement therein and which shall include a means for effecting the efiicient lubrication of the rotatable guide body within the outer body of the assembly.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a drilling head assembly in accordance with the preceding objects which shall include as a removable lower component thereof a combined particle deflecting means and a wiper for the kelly bar.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the drilling head in accordance with this invention;

FIGURE 2 is a view in vertical longitudinal section taken upon an enlarged scale through the drilling head of FIGURE 1 and substantially upon the plane indicated by section line 22,thereof, the position of the kelly bar with respect to the drilling head being shown in ph-antomtherein;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary view in horizontal section taken upon an enlarged scale substantially upon the plane indicated by section line 33 of FIGURE 2 and showing further details of the lubricating system of the guide body and of the mounting means for securing the drill head in a well casing head;

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary detail view taken in horizontal section upon an enlarged scale substantially upon the plane indicated by section line 44 of FIGURE 2 and showing in particular a lubricant impelling construction forming a part of the invention;

FIGURE 5 is a view in vertical longitudinal section through a portion of the well casing head and showing the mounting of the drilling head therein with the latter being shown in elevation; and

FIGURE 6 is a further detailed view taken upon an enlarged scale of a portion of the internal packing construction in accordance with this invention.

In the accompanying drawings, attention is directed first to FIGURE 5 wherein the drilling head forming the subject matter of this invention is indicated generally by the numeral 10 and is shown mounted in the casing head 12 at the upper end of a well casing 14, this casing head having a retaining means 16 for its open upper end and by means of which the drilling head 10 is removably secured to a seat 18 within the casing head. The well casing head is further provided with a drilling fluid outlet port 20 by means of which the drilling fluid, carrying with it "formation particles and other solid particles is discharged from the well casing. Also indicated by the numeral 22 is an air nozzle connected as by a conduit 24 to any suitable source of air under pressure and by means of which a jet or stream of air is directed into the discharge or outlet to facilitate the flow of drilling fluid and particles carried thereby from the casing head.

The drilling head of this invention cooperates with a drilling string, not shown, but which includes at its upper end the usual kelly bar indicated in phantom in FIG- URE 2 by the numeral 30. As is well understood in the art, the kelly bar and through it the drill string is supported and raised or lowered in the well bore in accordance with the drilling operation, and is rotated by a source of power applied through the kelly :bar, while drilling fluid either liquid or air is supplied through the interior of the hollow kelly bar and thence through the drill string to the bottom of the well bore, from any suitable and conventional source of the drilling fluid, not shown, and during its ascension of the annulus between the drill string and the well casing carries with it formation particles cut by the drill bit and any other solid particles where they are subsequently discharged from the well casing through the outlet 20. Inasmuch as the general organization and arrangement of this portion of a drilling apparatus is well known to those skilled in the art, and since the present invention resides within the actual structure, operation and association of the drilling head with the well casing head and the kelly bar, a further description thereof is deemed to be unnecessary.

Referring particularly to FIGURES l, and 2 and 5, it will be observed that the drilling head 10 comprises a hollow outer body 32 having a central opening or bore 34 extending axially therethrough. The exterior of the outer body 32 adjacent its upper end is provided with sets of laterally outwardly projecting lugs 36 which are adapted to rest upon and seat in correspondingly shaped recesses or sockets in the open upper end of the casing head 12, to thereby removably seat and support the drilling head in the upper end of the well casing head. It should be observed that it is within the purview of this invention to establish suflicient lateral clearance between the outer ends of the lugs 36 and the corresponding surfaces of the sockets forming the seat 18 to allow the drilling head to shift slightly laterally in the casing head if desired. In other instances, however, a snug fit may be provided which will prevent any lateral shifting of the drilling head upon its seat in the casing head 12.

The previously mentioned retaining means 16 is adapted to engage the top surface of the lugs 36 and thereby clamp and retain the drilling head against its seat 18 in a removable manner.

Upon the lower portion of its external surface, the drilling head body 32 is provided with external packing or sealing means 40 which slidably and sealingly engage the internal surface of the casing head 12 to prevent escapement of fluid therebetween.

As previously mentioned, the outer body 32 is provided with a central opening or bore 34 therethrough. This bore receives and rotatably journals therein an inner or hollow guide body 42, having, as shown best in FIGURE 3, an axial guide bore 44 therethrough which is non-circular in cross-section to correspond to the cross-sectional configuration of the kelly bar 30, so that the latter is non-rotatably but axially slidably received in the inner or guide body 42.

In its upper portion, the central opening 34 is diametrically enlarged to provide a cylindrical bearing recess 46 in which is secured in any suitable manner an anti-friction bearing member 48 which rotatably journals the guide body 42. Opening downwardly from its top surface, the outer body 32 is provided with a plurality of vertically disposed and circumferentially spaced lubricating bores or passages 50 whose upper ends open into an annular lubricant reservoir 52 which may be supplied with lubricant from time to time as necessary through the lubricant inlet passage 54 closed by a plug 56. In this manner, lubricant is continuously supplied to the bushing or bearing member 48 to thereby reduce the wear between this member and the diametrically enlarged bore 46 and/or the surface of the inner guide body 42.

Adjacent its upper end, the inner guide body 42 is provided with a diametrically enlarged laterally projecting flange or rib 58 having a bottom flat planar surface 60 which rests upon the top of a thrust ring 62 which in turn seats upon a shoulder of the further counterbored portion of the guide bore 46 which constitutes a part of heflubricant reservoir or channel 52, and which also serves to bear against and retain the bushing 48 against the shouldered seat 64 at the junction of the counterbore 46' with the bore 34. A retainer in the form of a ring nge' 66 is detachably secured as by fasteners 68 to rtion of the annular rib or ring 58 and overer-ring 70 received in the counterbore 72 at most portion of the bore 34.

portion of 1 1. bQIe 34 is diametrically enportion thereof a series of internal packing members in the form of chevrons 76 which rest upon an annular ring 78. Below this annular ring is a mass of compressible packing or sealing material 80 of any desired character such as asbestos or the like, and which is compressively retained as by a lower packing ring 82 urged upwardly as by springs 84. A removable cover plate 86 is detachably secured to the lower end of the body 32 as by means of fasteners 88, and at its upper surface abuts against both the springs 84 and against the lowermost of the external packing members 40 to retain both packings in place.

It will be noted that the bottom surface of the member 86 is provided with a pair of circumferentially extending inner and outer sealing channels 90 and 92 into which are engaged the upwardly directed inner and outer sealing rings 94 and 96 respectively of a bottom plate 98. The latter has a laterally inwardly extending flange 100 which underlies the inner guide body 42 and is secured to the latter as by fasteners 102.

Detaohably secured to the retainer plate 98 as by fasteners 104 is a laterally projecting flange 106 of a combined deflector and oil wiper or stripper 108 of rubber or other suitable material. It will be noted that the upper portion of the member 108 is provided with a cavity 110 therein which is of a conical, downwardly converging nature to facilitate passage of the kelly bar therethrough. The member 108 is provided with an axial bore 112 in its lower portion which resiliently grips and engages the kelly bar to permit sliding movement of the kelly bar therethrough but to wipe oil from the kelly bar and to prevent the escape of drilling fluid or oil upwardly therethrough.

The exterior surface of the member 108 is downwardly convergent or generally conoidal in configuration, having externally circumferentially spaced and longitudinally extending radially outwardly projecting ribs 114.

As will be noted from FIGURE 5, the drill head is so positioned in the casing well head that the deflector 108 is disposed adjacent and extends above the drilling fluid outlet 20 in such a manner as to deflect the upwardly ascending drilling fluid for the air or liquid and the solid particles carried thereby in through the outlet 20 where the injected stream of air from the nozzle 22 will facilitate their removal from the well casing.

It will thus be apparent that this device provides an externally and internally packed and sealed drilling head having means to prevent the escape of fluid between the kelly bar and the drilling head and between the latter and the well casing head. In addition, an improved lubricating means is provided for the inner guide body and the exterior body of the drilling head.

Refer-ring specifically to FIGURE 4, it will be noted that planar, annular bottom surface 60'of the flange 58 is provided with a spiral groove extending thereabout. This groove cooperates with the top surface of the member 62 so that upon rotation of the inner body, the groove serves as a spiral groove pump which feeds oil from the lubricant reservoir 52 across the top of the bushing 48 and between the latter and the inner body for effecting a positive lubrication between these elements.

The branch conduits 51 connect the axial bores 50 with the other side of the bushing 48.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. In the combination of a well casing head having therein a seat, a casing head retaining means, a drilling fluid outlet below said seat and a drill string including a kelly bar, the improvement comprising; a drilling head adapted to be received within said casing head and releasably secured upon said seat by said retaining means, said drilling head including sealing means for slidably and sealingly embracing said kelly bar, said sealing means including a drilling fluid deflector positioned in said casing above and adjacent said drilling fluid outlet for directing into said outlet drilling fluid and solid particles carried thereby and ascending said well casing, said drilling head comprising a hollow body with a central opening therethrough, a guide body movably received in said central opening, said guide body having an axial guide bore therethrough slidably receiving said kelly bar, said sealing means being aligned with said axial guide bore, means retaining said guide body in said hollow body and restraining said guide body from axial movement while alfording rotatable movement, means for supplying lubricant to the surface of said guide body, said guide bore and kelly bar having cross sectional areas of similar size and configuration whereby said kelly bar imparts rotation to said guide body, said guide body and said guide body retaining means having cooperating elements comprising a pumping means constituting part of said lubricant supplying means.

2. In the combination of a well casing head having therein a seat, a casing head retaining means, a drilling fluid outlet below said seat and a drill string including a kelly bar, the improvement comprising; a drilling head adapted to be received within said casing head and releasably secured upon said seat by said retaining means, said drilling head including sealing means for slidably and sealingly embracing said kelly bar, said sealing means including a drilling fluid deflector positioned in said casing above and adjacent said drilling fluid outlet for directing into said outlet drilling fluid and solid particles carried thereby and ascending said Well casing, said drilling head comprising a hollow body with a central opening therethrough, a guide body movably received in said central opening, said guide body having an axial guide bore therethrough slidably receiving said kelly bar, said sealing means being aligned with said axial guide bore, means retaining said guide body in said hollow body and restraining said guide body from axial movement while affording rotatable movement, means for supplying lubricant to the surface of said guide body, said guide bore and kelly bar having cross sectional areas of similar size and configuration whereby said kelly bar imparts rotation to said guide body, said guide body and said guide body retaining means having cooperating elements comprising a pumping means constituting part of said lubricant sup plying means, said hollow body having therein a lubricant reservoir and passages communicating said reservoir with the inner surface of said hollow body.

3. The structure as defined in claim 2 wherein said pumping means includes a spiral groove communicating with the reservoir at one end and extending toward the external surface of the guide body for lubricating the guide body.

4. The structure as defined in claim 2 together with a retainer plate secured to the lower surface of said hollow body and retaining the external packing means thereon,

said sealing means including a resilient body, a mounting plate at the upper end of said resilient body and being secured to the lower end of said guide body, said mount ing plate extending below said retaining plate, said retaining plate and mounting plate having cooperating ribs and grooves on adjacent surfaces forming a radially tortuous seal means therebetween.

5. The structure as defined in claim 4 wherein internal packing means is disposed between the hollow body and said guide body, said retaining plate also serving to retain the packing means between the hollow body and guide body in place therebetween.

6. In a rotary drilling apparatus, a well casing head having therein a seat and a drilling fluid outlet below said seat, an air drilling head in said casing head and mounted upon said seat, means releasably retaining said drilling head Within said casing head and upon said seat, a drill string including a kelly bar slidably and rotatably mounted in and movable through said drilling head, said drilling head including external packing means having a sealed engagement with the interior of said casing head and having internal seal means embracing said kelly bar and including a drilling fluid deflector extending below said seat and positioned within said casing head adjacent to said outlet for directing ascending drilling fluid and solid particles carried thereby into said outlet, a retainer plate secured to the lower end of said drilling head and retaining said external packing means upon said drilling head.

7. In a rotary drilling apparatus, a well casing head having therein a seat and a drilling fluid outlet below said seat, an air drilling head in said casing head and mounted upon said seat, means releasably retaining said drilling head within said casing head and upon said seat, a drill string including a kelly bar slidably and rotatably mounted in and movable through said drilling head, said drilling head including external packing means having a sealed engagement with the interior of said casing head and having internal seal means embracing said kelly bar and including a drilling fluid deflector extending below said seat and positioned within said casing head adjacent to said outlet for directing ascending drilling fluid and solid particles carried thereby into said outlet, a retainer plate secured to the lower end of said drilling head and retaining said external packing means upon said drilling head, said deflector resiliently embracing said kelly bar, a mounting plate carried by said drilling :head and to which said deflector is secured.

8. The combination of claim 7 wherein said deflector comprising a downwardly converging conoidal body having longitudinally extending external ribs thereon.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,846,247 8/1958 Davis 16684 X 2,995,196 8/1961 Gibson et al 7 3,023,012 2/ 1962 Wilde. 3,128,614 4/1964 Auer 16684 X CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Examiner.

R. E. FAVREAU, Assistant Exa'miner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2846247 *Nov 23, 1953Aug 5, 1958Guiberson CorpDrilling head
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US3023012 *Jun 9, 1959Feb 27, 1962Shaffer Tool WorksSubmarine drilling head and blowout preventer
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US4754820 *Jun 18, 1986Jul 5, 1988Drilex Systems, Inc.Drilling head with bayonet coupling
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Classifications
U.S. Classification175/214
International ClassificationE21B33/08, E21B33/02
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/085
European ClassificationE21B33/08B