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Publication numberUS3354659 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 28, 1967
Filing dateSep 27, 1965
Priority dateSep 27, 1965
Publication numberUS 3354659 A, US 3354659A, US-A-3354659, US3354659 A, US3354659A
InventorsWolfgang Lehmann Guenther
Original AssigneeWolfgang Lehmann Guenther
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Deep-submergence foundation vehicle
US 3354659 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 28, 1967 G. w. LEHMANN 3,354,659

DEEP-SUBMERGENCE FOUNDATION VEHICLE Filed Sept. 27, 1965 United States Patent Cf 3,354,659 Patented Nov. 28, 1967 ice 3,354,659 DEEP-SUBMERGENCE FOUNDATION VEHICLE Guenther Wolfgang Lehmann, New London, Conn. (140 W. Kalmia St., San Diego, Calif. 92101) Filed Sept. 27, 1965, Ser. No. 490,427 9 Claims. (Cl. 61-69) The objective of the present invention is to provide a deep-submergence working vehicle for placing foundations on the sea bottom at great water depths beyond the limits of usual diver work. The purpose of the vehicle is to drill holes in the bottom of the sea for foundation piles and to carry the required amount of concrete for filling the hole with concrete.

The features of the present vehicle are limited to structures concerning concrete carrying capacities of the vehicle and releasing means of the concrete to the foundation pile, and to a vertical center tube accommodating underwater drilling equipment and prefabricated foundation piles without showing the latter in detail.

A typical method of installing drilled and cemented piling, as applied hitherto, is to drill from the surface a hole in the ocean bottom and to insert a pipe which is then cemented in place. This method and other methods using jets proved to be rather eflicient. Hitherto employed anchorage and foundation systems are applicable only to moderate water depths. Mooring systems had been used at great water depths up to several thousand feet, such as taut wire systems. However, such systems do not provide a foundation system in which great forces are involved, for instance, fully submerged installations of several thousand tons displaying large lateral areas against currents.

It is known from one project in which twelve separate anchors at an estimated cost of 27 million dollars have to be used. It is obvious that such great expenditures for mooring and foundation systems jeopardize the commercial aspects of an undersea venture.

Installations of any kind for the exploitation of the inner space may be erected at the sea bottom up to 2,000 feet water depth in the foreseeable future and later up to 6,000 feet and more. It is the objective of the present invention to provide a vehicle which can place foundations at such great water depths beyond the limits of customary diver work.

It is suggested to build a submersible vehicle which, by the nature of its work, is vertically oriented with regard to its main axis, similar to a diving bell.

A vertical center cylinder accommodates the drilling equipment and one or more prefabricated piles. The upper portion of the system, surrounding the vertical cylinder, consists basically of a sphere for operating personnel, propulsion, pumps, instruments and apparatus. The lower portion of the system consists basically of a cylinder providing an annular stowage space for concrete. The vertical center cylinder, the upper sphere and the lower cylinder, attached to the upper sphere, have a vertical system axis in common.

The upper portion of the sphere is a pressure vessel of a constant buoyancy volume, sub-divided by a watertight platform against the lower portion of the body which is pressure-equalized and be used as a variable buoyancy body. While placing the concrete stowage space at the lower portion of the system and the buoyancy center at the upper portion of the system, there is always a considerable weight stability available.

The annular concrete stowage space has two loading tubes. Two tubes are suggested for symmetrical loading in order to avoid a listing of the system.

Two rotatable jets are arranged at the sphere, enabling the operator to place the vehicle over the desired working area on the sea bottom. The vehicle is equipped with retractable stilts which, when extended, support the vehicle on the ground. The supporting force has to be adjusted by ballasting, and has to be continuously adjusted while the concrete is released from the system, resulting in an always slight negative buoyancy. Positive buoyancy during the working period has to be avoided, otherwise the system would raise from the bottom. A proper balance between buoyancy and weight forces is kept upright automatically by known ballasting systems and need not be described here in detail.

Drilling and concrete filling operations are observed by operating personnel by aid of television cameras.

The deep-submergence foundation vehicle is assisted by a surface support Vessel. The surface support vessel is specially designed for transporting the foundation vehicle and for setting it out over the work area.

In view of considerable power requirements it is suggested to supply power from the surface vessel to the foundation vehicle by cable. During ascending, power for the propulsion is supplied by emergency batteries.

It should be appreciated that a cable which pays out from the surface vehicle while the foundation vehicle slowly descends to the site of operation does not constitute a hazard when the cable, attached to the top of the vehicle, is kept slightly under tension.

However, when the job has been done and power supply is not needed any more, it seems to be advisable to remove the cable from the foundation vehicle, because irregular rate of ascending can be expected. The cable may then foul with the propulsion means. It is also desirable to allow the foundation vehicle a greater degree of maneuverability while surfacing, not being hampered by a heavy cable during its approach to the support vessel.

The advantages of the invention become more apparent when the description of one embodiment of the invention proceeds in conjunction with the drawing, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a cross-section through a deep-submergence foundation vehicle.

The system has a vertical center axis 1, a vertical tube 2, a spherical pressure vessel 3, and a pressure-equalized cylinder 4. A platform 5 sub-divides the system in an upper permanent buoyancy space 6 and a lower buoyancy/ ballast space 7. Concrete 8 is stowed annularly between the cylinder 4 and the center tube 2. Concrete is loaded by way of preferably two pipelines 9, 10. The lower portion of the concrete space is a cone 11, which is mating a rotatable cone 12. A vertical sleeve 13, attached to the rotatable cone 12 and equipped with discharge openings 14, rotates by the aid of a gear 12a and matches openings 15 of the tube 2 when openings are turned in juxtaposition allowing concrete to fiow into the tube 2 as indicated by arrows 16. From there, concrete flows into the prepared foundation pipe 17 (or in a pit 17a), which previously has been placed into the sea bottom 19 by other means utilizing tools not shown here. A conical discharge extension 2a can be added to assist flow of concrete from the vehicle into the foundation 17.

A box-ring 20 at the lower portion of the vehicle accommodates television cameras 21 and retractable stilts 22. Contrary to customary hydraulic cylinder and piston operated stilts, it is proposed to employ hydraulic torque-hinge operated stilts which makes for simplicity.

The space 6 of the sphere 3 is accessible by a hatch 23, aside of the center tube 2, and accommodates operatmg personnel, pumps, instruments and apparatus. Rotatable jets 24, 25 are attached to the sphere 3. Jet pumps 26, rotatably attached to the box-ring 20 may be added, if so desired, for excavation work as indicated by arrow 27. Holes 28 at the bottom of the system are draining holes for ballast/buoyancy spaces 7.

While the invention has been described and illustrated by'a certain' preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understod that many variations and modifications may occur to those skilled in the art, particularly after benefitingfrom the present teaching without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A deep-submergence foundation vehicle comprising separately and inwcombination, a vertical center tube, a spherical pressure vessel, a pressure-equalized cylinder below and attached to said spherical pressure vessel, a concrete stowage space at the lower portion of said pressure-equalized cylinder, said concrete stowage space being an annular space between the vertical center tube and the pressureequalized cylinder, at least one concrete filling tube from atop the spherical pressure vessel to the head of the concrete stowage space, a first conical extension at the lower end of the concrete stowage space, a second conical extension below and in continuation of said first conical extension, said second conical extension having a sleeve around the vertical center tube, said sleeve having discharge openings, corresponding openings in the vertical center tube, a gear for rotating said second conical extension and sleeve for rotating said discharge openings in the sleeve and in the vertical center tube in juxtaposition, free excess to outside for concrete in the concrete space through said discharge openings in juxtaposition, propulsion means at the spherical pressure vessel, ballast tanks at the lower portion of the vehicle, said ballast tanks having draining holes at the bottom, means for ballasting and draining said ballast tanks, a box-ring at the lower end of the pressure-equalized cylinder, said box-ring carrying television cameras and stilts, an access hatch atop the spherical pressure vessel.

2. The deep-submergence foundation vehicle of claim 1, wherein the vertical center tube, the spherical pressure vessel and the pressure-equalized cylinder have a vertical system axis in common.

3. The deep-submergence foundation vehicle of claim 1, wherein a platform in the spherical pressure vessel sub- 5 divides the vehicle in a pressure space and in a pressureequalized space.

4. The deep-submergence foundation vehicle of claim 1, wherein the pressure-equalized space of the spherical vessel and the free annular space between the vertical center tube and the pressure-equalized cylinder constitutes ballast and buoyancy tanks.

5. The deep-submergence foundation vehicle of claim 1, wherein two concrete filling tubes are arranged in a transverse vertical plane, one at each side with reference to the vertical system axis.

6. The deep-submergence foundation vehicle of claim 1, wherein stilts are attached to the box-ring by hydraulic torque-hinges.

7. The deep-submergence foundation vehicle of claim 1, wherein the lower end of the vertical center tube carries a conical discharge extension.

8. The deep-submergence foundation vehicle of claim 1, wherein the box-ring at the lower end of the system carries one or more jet excavating means.

9. The deep-submergence foundation vehicle of claim 1', wherein propulsion means are rotatable jets.

References Cited 0 UNlTED STATES PATENTS 0 35 DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.

J. K. BELL, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2013070 *Oct 2, 1934Sep 3, 1935Sheridan Donald ROil well drilling apparatus
US2051926 *Jul 1, 1933Aug 25, 1936Sullivan Machinery CoCaisson
US2979913 *Dec 7, 1954Apr 18, 1961Entpr Fougerolle Pour TravauxDevices for casting concrete under water
US3265130 *May 23, 1962Aug 9, 1966Shell Oil CoMethod and apparatus for drilling underwater wells
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3408822 *Aug 5, 1966Nov 5, 1968Shell Oil CoDiving method and apparatus
US3593533 *Oct 23, 1968Jul 20, 1971Ocean Recovery Corp Of AmericaUnderwater collecting and lifting device
US4487526 *Feb 8, 1983Dec 11, 1984Dyckerhoff & Widmann AktiengesellschaftMethod of and structure for erecting an artificial island
US4744698 *Dec 31, 1986May 17, 1988Dallimer Davis SMethod and apparatus for installing marine silos
US5435387 *Jul 19, 1993Jul 25, 1995Roberts; Jonathan K.Built-in grout line for a well casing
US8684629Jul 10, 2012Apr 1, 2014Kyle D. AsplundSea floor anchoring apparatus
WO2014201267A1 *Jun 12, 2014Dec 18, 2014Meedl68 LpOffshore preparation system
U.S. Classification405/185, 405/226, 405/223
International ClassificationE02D29/09, E02D29/00, E02D15/06, E02D15/00
Cooperative ClassificationE02D15/06, E02D29/06
European ClassificationE02D15/06, E02D29/06