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Publication numberUS3430716 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 4, 1969
Filing dateJun 29, 1967
Priority dateJun 29, 1967
Publication numberUS 3430716 A, US 3430716A, US-A-3430716, US3430716 A, US3430716A
InventorsUrbanosky Harold J
Original AssigneeSchlumberger Technology Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Formation-sampling apparatus
US 3430716 A
Images(6)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 4, 1969 H. J. URBANOSKY FORMATION-SAMPLING APPARATUS Filed June 29, 1967 Sheet of 6 Haro/d J (/fawaJ/y INVENTOR.

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FORMATION-SAMPLING APPARATUS v v of 6 Sheet Filed June 29, 1967 INVENTOR.

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March 4, 1969 H J. URBANosKY 3,430,716

FORMATION- SAMPLING APPARATUS Filed June 29, 1967 Sheet 4 of 6 'Nm i I 65 f L 7,0 i 1 i Haro/d U/QWOJ@ INVENTOR.

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Sheet Filed June 29. 1967 Haro/a (ff (//naw 0J@ INVENTOR.

BY f Z Afro/MEV Marh 4, 1969 .1. URBANosKY FORMATIONSAMPLING APPARATUS Shelet Filed June 29, 1967 .Y M @m /.m wm Mo W W ,Mm A j w M W HW United States Patent O 3,430,716 FORMATION -SAMPLIN G APPARATUS Harold J. Urbanosky, Houston, Tex., assignor to Schlumberger Technology Corporation, Houston, Tex., a corporation of Texas Filed June 29, 1967, Ser. No. 649,976

U.S. Cl. 175-78 22 Claims Int. Cl. E21b 3/08, 9/22, 49/02 ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE and, by reversing the direction of the carriers travel, re-

turned to their initial position while still retracted. One or more selectively-operated sample receivers are provided to receive formation samples and keep these samples segregated from one another.

Heretofore, formation samples have usually been obtained from previously drilled boreholes by explosively propelling into the adjacent wall of a borehole one or more tubular bodies or so-called bullets having appropriately arranged forward cutting edges. As these bullets penetrate the borehole wall, a generally cylindrical core of the formation material is driven into each bullet so that, when the bullets are subsequently retrieved, the cores in each will be recovered at the surface for examination. Typical of such core-taking bullets are those shown in Patents Nos. 2,678,804, 2,923,530, 3,072,202 and 3,220,490.

It is recognized, of course, that although such coretaking bullets have been highly successful, the most ideal arrangement would be to obtain a continuous sample of an earth formation from along a substantial vertical interval of a borehole. Heretofore, this has not been commercially feasible at least from boreholes that have been previously drilled.

One tool as shown in Patent No. 3,173,500 has been proposed, however, in which a pair of rotatable cutting wheels are cooperatively arranged to lbe extended outwardly to cut their way into an adjacent formation. Then, as they are slowly raised, the cutting wheels Will cut an elongated wedge-shaped formation sample out of the borehole wall. This sample is caught in a chamber in the tool and returned to the surface. It will be appreciated, of course, that this tool is capable of obtaining only one formation sample and must be returned to the surface and reconditioned before another formation sample can be obtained.

It will also be appreciated, of course, that the arrangement of this patented tool does not permit particularly long cuts to be made since the extent of the upward travel of the piston will be determined by the point at which the connecting rod contacts the lower edge of the piston chamber. Enlargement of the piston chamber is of no particular advantage since this requires a still larger dump chamber which, in turn, makes the tool still longer. Moreover, this tool is capable of obtaining only one formation sample and must be returned to the surface and reconditioned before another sample can be obtained.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved core-slicing tool that is ca- 3,430,716 Patented Mar. 4, 1969 pable of obtaining elongated formation samples that are significantly longer than have been collected heretofore.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide new and improved sample collectors for receiving and segregating a plurality of formation samples as they are cut from one or more positions in a borehole.

These and other objects of the present invention are obtained by connecting a suitable prime mover to one or more cylinders slidably disposed over a corresponding number of elongated longitudinal rods that are secured at their opposite ends to a support. A piston on each rod is sealingly received in its respective cylinder and at least one portion of the cylinder is fluidly sealed around the elongated rods to define an enclosed chamber. :Suitable means are provided to develop sufficient pressure in the enclosed chambers for moving the prime mover longitudinally along the elongated rods. Formation-cutting means, such as a cooperatively arranged pair of rotatable cutting wheels, are connected by power-transmission means to the prime mover. By means of appropriatelyarranged guide means, the cutting wheels are successively extended, moved along a predetermined cutting path, and then retracted as the prime mover travels along the elongated rods. The guide means are also arranged to allow the cutting wheels to then be returned to their initial position while still retracted.

Other objects of the present invention are also obtained by tandemly connecting a number of sample collectors below a sample-taking device that is adapted to obtain a plurality of formation samples. As each formation sample is taken, it is allowed to fall into a preselected one of a number of upright tubes mounted for rotation about the longitudinal axis of each of the sample receivers. Means are provided to rotate each of the tubes into position for receiving a `sample in response to actuation of the sampletaking device. In this manner, as the formation samples are taken, each will be deposited into a predetermined one of the sample-receiving compartments and can be later identified as being obtained at a particular position in a borehole. Once all of the sample-receiving tubes or compartments in one collector are filled, selectively operable means are included for blocking further access to that collector and then sequentially bringing predetermined ones of sample-receiving compartments in the next adjacent sample collector into position to receive additional samples.

The novel features of the present invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The operation together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by way of illustration and example of certain embodiments when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

F-IGURE 1 depicts a core-slicing tool arranged in accordance with the present invention in a borehole and in position to obtain an elongated formation sample;

FIGURE 2 is a schematic representation of the intermediate portion of the tool shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional View of a core-slicing tool shown in FIGURES 1 and 2;

FIGURE 4 is a schematic representation of a typical arrangement of a groove system that may be employed with the tool shown in FIGURES 1 and 2;

FIGURE 5 is a partial cross-sectional View taken along the lines 5-5 in FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is a sectional view of the motion-translating means employed with the present invention;

FIGURE 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 7-7 in FIGURE 6;

FIGURES 8 and 10 respectively show successive positions of the motion-translating means shown in FIG- URE 6;

FIGURE 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 9-9 in FIGURE 8;

FIGURES 11A and 11B are sectional views of two sample receivers of the present invention;

FIGURES l2 and 13 are cross-sectional views respectively taken along the lines 12-12 and 13-13 in FIG- URE 11A;

FIGURE 14 is an exploded view of a portion of one of the sample receivers shown in FIGURE 11A; and

FIGURE 15 is a schematic representation of an electronic circuit for use in determining the operating position of the cutting wheels of the core-slicing tool shown in FIGURE 1.

Turning now to FIGURE l, a core-slicing tool arranged in accordance with the present invention is shown suspended from a cable 21 in a borehole 22 and in position to obtain an elongated prismatic or wedge-shaped sample 23 from the adjacent wall of an earth formation 24. As seen in FIGURE 1, the tool '20 is preferably comprised of a number of tandemly connected housings 25-28 enclosing the various components of the tool and dependently supporting one or more sample receivers 29 and 30 arranged in accordance with the present invention.

The upper housing 25 preferably encloses typical circuitry for locating the tool l20 at a desired position in the borehole 22 as well as circuitry for controlling the various components in the tool and transmitting information and power through the various conductors in the suspension cable 21. The next lower housing 26 preferably includes suitable longitudinally spaced, hydraulically actuated pistons 31 for selectively extending a wall-engaging member 32 on the rear of the tool 120 laterally against one side of the borehole 22 to shift the forward face of the coreslicing tool in the opposite direction. To make the wallengaging member 32 selectively operable from the surface, a reversible hydraulic pump 33 and chamber 34 (shown in dashed lines) are arranged to extend and retract the wallengaging member by pumping hydraulic uid into the piston chambers behind or ahead of the pistons 31. By maintaining an increased hydraulic pressure lbehind the pistons 31, the wall-engaging member 32 will, of course, urge the forward face of the tool 20 against the opposite wall of the borehole 22 with a corresponding force.

As will subsequently be explained in more detail with respect to FIGURES 2 and 3, the intermediate housing 27 encloses a pair of similar cutting wheels 35 that are respectively mounted in converging vertical planes and arranged to rotate about independent, outwardly diverging axes lying generally in the same horizontal plane and intersecting each other at a suitable angle. A longitudinal opening 36 is provided along the forward wall of the housing 27 diametrically opposite from the wall-engaging member 32. The cutting wheels 35 are suitably arranged and sized in relation to one another that, when extended, their peripheral edges will pass through the housing opening 36 and all -but come together at about the point of intersection of the three aforementioned planes. Thus, by moving the wheels 35 in unison in a generally vertical direction, the generally wedge-shaped or triangular prismatic sample 23 will be cut from the adjacent formation 24.

To gain entrance for the cutting wheels 35 into the formation 24, means (to be subsequently described) are provided for advancing the cutting wheels outwardly and upwardly through the housing opening 16 to their outermost lateral position. Then, after a longitudinal cut of a predetermined length has been made, the cutting wheels 35 are returned along an upwardly inclined path and back through the housing opening 36 until they are fully retracted. The cutting wheels 35 then return to their original starting position while still fully retracted.

As will subsequently be explained in more detail, the sample receivers 29 and 30 of the present invention of the tool 20 are respectively arranged to successively receive core samples as they are cut and keep them segregated from one another. Generally speaking, each of these core receivers 29 and 30 are so arranged that a plurality of movable members therein dening separate compartments in each (not shown in FIGURE l) are sequentially positioned to successively receive formation samples as the tool 20 is operated. In this manner, the tool 20 can be employed on a single trip in the borehole 22 to obtain a large number of formation samples which are separately disposed in these compartments in a predetermined order.

Turning now to FIGURE 2, a schematic representation is shown of the intermediate housing 27 of the tool 20 in which the cutting wheels 35 are confined. In general, the cutting wheels 35 are operatively mounted rbelow an enclosed housing or enclosure 37 that is in turn secured to two parallel tubular members 38 (both seen in FIGURE 3). These tubular members 38 are each slidably disposed about substantially longer, parallel longitudinal rods 39 (both seen in FIGURE 3) that are secured only at their upper and lower ends to the tool housing 27 and spaced away from the rear wall of the housing. The opposite ends of the tubular members 38 are slidably sealed around the elongated rods 39. A piston member 40 (only one shown in FIGURE 2) is xed at an intermediate position on each of the elongated rods 39 and slidably sealed relative to the internal bore of its associated tubular member 38 to dene therein separate upper and lower uid-tight chambers 41 and 42.

Acordingly, it will be appreciated that by developing a higher fluid pressure in the upper hydraulic chambers 41 than that in the lower hydraulic chambers 42, the tubular members 38 and enclosure 37 connected thereto will be moved upwardly along the elongated rods 39 relative to the tool housing 27. Similarly, by imposing a higher pressure in the lower hydraulic chambers 42 than that in the upper hydraulic chambers 41, the enclosure 37 will travel downwardly along the rods 39.

To develop such higher pressures in the chambers 41 and 42, a suitable reversible hydraulic pump 43 is mounted within the enclosure 37. Fluid lines 44 and 45 are respectively connected between the hydraulic chambers 41 and 42 and the pump 43. By selecting a motor-driven hydraulic pump 43 and filling the chambers 41 and 42 with a suitable hydraulic fluid, the pump can be selectively operated from the surface to transfer uid between the hydraulic chambers to accomplish the desired travel of the enclosure 37 along the elongated rods 39.

By arranging a typical bellows or piston (neither shown) at a convenient point in a wall of the enclosure, the hydraulic fluid in the enclosure 37 and chambers 41 and 42 will be maintained at a pressure at least equal to the hydrostatic pressure of fluids or so-called mud in the borehole 22. In this manner, by pressure-balancing the hydraulic system, the hydraulic pump 43 needs only to. develop a pressure suicient to overcome the weight of the enclosure 37 and whatever friction there may be encountered in moving the cutting wheels 35 and enclosure.

To power the cutting wheels 35, an electric motor 46 is also fitted into the enclosure 37 and its shaft 47 connected to the cutting wheels by a universal joint 48, another shaft 49 and a right-angle gear drive 50 having outwardly diverging wheel axles 57 at an angle to one another. By arranging the cutting wheel motor 46 in the enclosure 37, it will also be pressure-balanced in the same manner as the motor for the pump 43. Similarly, as best seen in FIG- URE 3, by enclosing the shafts 47 and 49 and universal joint 48 in an oil-filled tube 52 that is fluidly sealed at its opposite ends to the enclosure 37 and gear drive 50 and in fluid communication with each, these members will also be pressure-balanced.

A pair of depending arms 53 disposed on opposite sides of the protective tube 52 are connected at their lower ends to the gear drive 50 and pivotally connected at their upper ends to the enclosure 37 so as to pivot about an axis lying generally in the same horizontal plane as the pivotal axes of the universal joint 48. Outwardly-biased pins 54 (both seen in FIGURE 3) near the free ends of the pivoted arms 53 are slidably disposed in a labyrinthlike system of grooves 55 (only one system seen in FIG- URE 2) formed in the interior side Walls of the intermediate housing 27 on opposite sides of the longitudinal opening 36 therein. As will subsequently be explained, these groove systems 55 are so arranged that upward longitudinal travel of the enclosure 37 from its lowermost position to its uppermost position (shown in dashed lines in FIG- URE 2) will be effective (through the coaction of the guides 54 in their respective groove systems 55) to direct the cutting wheels 35 along the path A-B-C-D depicted in FIGURE 2. Then, upon downward travel of the enclosure 37 `back to its lowermost position as shown in FIGURE 2, the groove systems 55 and guides 54 will direct the cutting -wheels 35 along the path D-A toward their initial position at A.

As seen in FIGURE 4, the groove systems 55 are arranged in a closed loop having two. parallel longitudinal portions 56 and 57 of unequal length and spaced apart from one another. The shorter grooves 57 are connected at their opposite ends to the longer grooves 56 by oppositely-directed inclined grooves 58 and 59 which respectively intersect the longer grooves at longitudinally spaced intermediate points.

Accordingly, as the cutting wheels 35 move along the path A-B, they will be moving upwardly and outwardly as they cut their way into. the formation 24. Then, as the cutting wheels 35 move further upwardly from their position at B to their position at C, they Will -be cutting along a straight path of a length determined by the length of the shorter grooves 57. Upon reaching their position at C, the cutting wheels 35 will be retracted as they move further upwardly and cut their way toward their position at D. Thus, once the cutting wheels 35 have reached the position at D, a prismatic sample 23 with tapered ends will have been cut out of the formation 24 and, as later explained, will drop into one of the core-receivers 29 and 30 therebelow.

The groove systems 55 must, of course, be arranged to. insure that the guide pins 54 are diverted into the lower inclined grooves 58 as the enclosure 37 moves upwardly. Similarly, when the enclosure 37 has reached its uppermost position (as shown in dashed lines in FIGURE 2), it is necessary that the guide pins 54 be prevented from re-entering the upper grooves 59 so that the cutting wheels 35 can proceed directly back to their initial position at A.

Accordingly, means are provided to direct the guide pins 54 in a predetermined direction around the circuitous groove systems 55 but prevent these pins from moving in the opposite direction. As seen in FIGURES 4 and 5, an abutment 60 is provided in the lower portion of each of the longer grooves 56 just above its intersection with the groove 58 for preventing the guide pins 54 from entering the longer grooves as they move upwardly. To facilitate the passage of the guide pins 54, the faces of the abutments 60 are extended along the line of the downwardly facing wall of the lower inclined grooves 53 as shown in FIGURE 4. Similarly, to insure that the guide pins 54 will not re-enter the upper end of the upper inclined grooves 59 as the enclosure 37 is returned downwardly, an abutment 61 (similar to that at 60) is located across the entrance to the upper end of each of the upper inclined grooves 59. Here again, to facilitate the passage of the guide pins 54, the faces of the abutments 61 are made as a continuation of the right-hand (as viewed in FIGURE 4) side walls of the longer grooves 56. The height of each abutment, as at 60, is made less than the total depth of its associated groove 56 and an inclined ramp or surface, as at 62 (FIGURE 5), is provided from the bottom of each groove 56 up to the upper surface of each abutment, with these inclined surfaces rising in the direction from which the guide pins 54 will be coming. Thus, as the spring-biased guide pins 5ft approach the Cil abutments 60, for example, they can retract sufliciently to move up the inclined surfaces 62 as the enclosure 37 is moved downwardly. "Once the guides 54 reach the abrupt faces of the abutments 60', their biasing springs 63 (FIG- URE 3) will urge them outwardly to return them to their normal extended position. The inclined ramps or surfaces 64 (FIGURE 4) on the lower ends of the upper abutments 61 in the grooves 59 will, of course, function in the sa-me manner.

It will be noted in FIGURE 2 that the upper ends of the longer grooves 56 extend a considerable distance above the junction of these grooves with the upper inclined grooves 59. Although this extension of the longer grooves 56 is not required to guide the movements of the cutting wheels 35, the enclosure 37 itself is further stabilized by providing longitudinally spaced internal guides (not shown) on each side thereof which are adapted to remain at all times in these longer longitudinal grooves. These stabilizing guides are always above the abutments 60 in the longer grooves 56 and will, therefore, move freely in the grooves.

Turning now to FIGURES 6, 8 and 10, cross-sectional elevational views are shown of the housing 28 coupled immediately `below the intermediate tool housing 27. In the housing 28, motion-translating means 65 are arranged for moving the sample receivers 29 and 30 therebelow into position to receive successive formation samples, as at 23. The receivers 29 and 30 are basically comprised of a plurality of upright tubes 66 that are equally spaced about axial shafts 67 rotatably mounted in their respective housing 68, with these tubes being adapted to ibe sequentially rotated about the longitudinal axis of the receivers into a predetermined angular position to receive one of the formation samples 23. As will subsequently be explained in greater detail, means are provided to close the lower ends of the tubes 66h in the lowermost receiver 30. Moreover, means are also provided to close-off the lowermost receiver 30 once it is believed to be filled.

Accordingly, inasmuch as the sample-receiving tubes 66 rotate about the longitudinal axes of the receivers 29 and 30, the motion-translating means 65 seen in FIGURES 6, 8 and 10 are arranged to index the sample-receiving tubes a predetermined increment of one revolution for each complete cyle of the enclosure 37. To accomplish this, the motion-translating means 65 are provided with an upright spindle 69 that is iournalled at each end to the housing 28. To provide clearance for formation samples falling through the housing 28 into the sample receivers 29 and 30 therebelow, the spindle 69 is displaced laterally toward the rear of the housing. An upright tubular guide 70 is secured adjacent to the front wall of the housing 28 and includes a belled upper end immediately below the place where it is expected that a formation sample 23 will enter the longitudinal housing opening 36 once the sample is cut free.

The spindle 69 is provided with a number of circumferentially spaced longitudinal grooves 71 that are separated from one another by helical or slightly inclined grooves 72 extending between the upper and lower ends of the longitudinal grooves. As seen in FIGURES 6, 9 and 10, the bottom end of each of these helical grooves 72 opens into the lower portion of that one of the longitudinal grooves 7l immediately adjacent thereto on one side; and the upper end of this same helical groove opens into the upper portion of that one of the longitudinal grooves immediately adjacent thereto but on the opposite side of the helical groove.

In this manner, the grooves 71 and 72 form a continuous, uninterrupted but alternating path completely around the circumference of the spindle 69. Thus, by -beginning at a given point in any one of the grooves 71 or 72, a continuous path can be traced by following the alternate changes in direction around the spindle 69 and on back to the original starting point. Since four samplereceiving tubes 66 are preferably employed in the sample receivers 29 and 30 of the present invention, the spindle 69 has four equally spaced longitudinal grooves 71 interposed between four equally spaced helical grooves 72, with each of the helical grooves connecting the top of one longitudinal groove to the bottom of the next adjacent longitudinal groove.

A spring-biased, 'laterally projecting cam follower 73 is mounted on a sliding block 74 loosely connected to the lower end of an upright actuating member 75, with this block being slidably mounted on the rear wall of the housing 28 by a key and longitudinal slot arrangement 76 for reciprocating longitudinal travel relative thereto. The free end of the spring-biased cam follower 73 is received in one of the spindle grooves 71 or 72. Thus, as will be appreciated, longitudinal travel of the actuating member 75 `will shift the cam follower 73 in a corresponding direction along whichever one of the spindle grooves 71 and 72 the cam follower is then in. Thus, as the cam follower 73 is moved along one of the helical grooves 72, the spindle 69 will be rotated an amount corresponding to the lead of the helical grooves. Movement of the cam follower 73 along the longitudinal grooves 71 will, of course, produce no rotation of the spindle 69.

Accordingly, the four sets of grooves 71 and 72 will result in the spindle 69 being indexed 90 for each cycle that the actuating member 75 is reciprocated. Although the reverse arrangement could be used, it is preferred to rotate the spindle 69 as the actuating member 75 is moved downwardly with respect to the housing 28. Thus, in a typical operation, the actuating member 75 is initially at its lower limit of travel and the cam follower 73 is near the bottom of one of the longitudinal grooves 71 (FIG- URE 9). As the enclosure 37 moves upwardly, a depending probe 77 secured to the enclosure and releasably coupled to the upper end of the actuating member 75 pulls the actuating member and sliding `block 74 upwardly. The cam follower 73 is pulled upwardly by this motion along one of the longitudinal grooves 71.

By means to be subsequently described, the actuating member 75 is released from the probe 77 and latched in position to the housing 28 when the cam follower 73 has reached the upper end of the longitudinal groove 71 it is in at the moment so that the uncoupled probe can continue on upwardly along with the enclosure 37 (FIGURE l). Then, when the enclosure 37 returns toward its initial position, the depending probe 77 will again be coupled to the actuating member 75 and, once the actuating member is released from the housing 28, it and the sliding block 74 will be returned to their initial positions. As the actuating member 75 is rst moved downwardly, the cam follower 73 will enter the upper end of the helical groove 72 connected to the longitudinal groove 71 in which the cam follower was in initially. As the cam follower 73 moves downwardly in the helical groove 72, the spindle 69 is rotated an amount corresponding to its lead angle. Thus, once the cam follower 73 reaches the bottom of the helical groove 72 and enters the next longitudinal groove 71, the spindle 69 will have been rotated 90 from its original position. Rotation of the spindle 69 thereby produces a corresponding rotation of the sample-receiving tubes 6 6 so as to bring the next empty tube into alignment with the bottom end of the guide tube 70.

It will be recognized that unless particular measures are taken, downward movement of the actuating member 75 would not necessarily result in the cam follower 73 returning to the bottom of the spindle 69 by way of the appropriate helical groove 72. Similarly, upward travel of the reciprocating actuating member 75 could just as well cause the cam follower 73 to move to the upper end of the spindle 69 by way of a helical groove 72 rather than by way of a longitudinal groove 71.

Accordingly, abutments are provided to insure that the cam follower 73 will always travel along a longitudinal groove 71 when moving upwardly and return downwardly through the next adjacent helical groove 72. To provide these abutments, the bottom surface of each of the longitudinal grooves 71 is sloped upwardly from a maximum groove depth at the bottom of the spindle 69 and radially outwardly to a minimum depth near the top of the spindle that is still sufficient to leave lateral side walls in these grooves. On the other hand, the bottom surfaces of the helical grooves 72 are all sloped downwardly from a maximum groove depth at the top of the spindle 69 and radially outwardly to a minimum depth near the bottom of the spindle that also leaves helical grooves. As seen in FIGURES 6, 9 and l0, these alternate groove arrangements will leave abrupt surfaces, as at 78 and 79, which define abutments at the upper and lower junctions of the grooves 71 and 72 respectively.

In this manner, when the cam follower 73 is in the bottom of one of the longitudinal grooves 71, the abrupt surface 7S across the lower end of the associated helical groove 72 will prevent the cam follower from entering that helical groove and compel the cam follower to instead move up the longitudinal groove as the actuating member is pulled upwardly. As the cam follower 73 approaches the upper end of the longitudinal groove 71 it is then in, the spring-biased follower will be urged into the deeper portion of the adjacent helical groove 72 once the cam follower passes the abrupt surface 79 at the upper end of these connected grooves 71 and 72. The cam follower 73 is, therefore, prevented from re-entering the longitudinal groove 71 it just left by the abrupt surface 79. When the actuating member 75 is again moved downwardly, the cam follower 73 can, therefore, return to the bottom of the spindle 69 only by way of the helical groove 72 it is then in.

Accordingly, each full reciprocation of the actuating member 75 will rotate the spindle 69 a partial revolution (90 in the above-described embodiment) and produce a corresponding rotation of the sample-receiving tubes 66. Thus, the sample-receiving tubes 66 will be successively indexed a predetermined portion of a revolution each time the cutting wheels 35 complete a full cycle of operation.

As previously mentioned, the actuating member 75 is detachably coupled to the depending probe 77 and, once released therefrom, is releasably latched to the housing 28 to hold the cam follower 73 at the top of its travel until the actuating member is again reeoupled to the probe. To accomplish this, the opposed ends of the actuating member 75 and probe 77 are formed as shown in FIGURE 8 to provide a socket 30 in the lower end of the probe adapted to receive a complementally shaped head 81 on the upper end of the actuating member. A hooked nger 82 depending from the lower end of the probe 77 along one side of the socket is adapted for reception in a complementary notch 83 on one side of the head 81. Thus, whenever the probe 77 is pulled upwardly by the enclosure 37, the hooked nger 82 will be co-engaged with the notched head 81 and pull the actuating member 75 upwardly along with it.

As the cam follower 73 approaches the upper limit of its travel with respect to the spindle 69 (FIGURE 10), the upper portion of the actuating member 75 enters a cornplementary passage 84 in the housing 27 which is sufficiently close to engage an inwardly projecting bowed spring 85 along the inner surface of the actuating member and urge the head 81 on the actuating member laterally outwardly. The loose connection at 86 between the actuating member 75 and sliding block 74 allows the actuating member to pivot about an inwardly directed shoulder 87 on the inner wall of the housing 28. This pivotal movement of the actuating member 75 shifts the head 81 outwardly suciently to disengage the hooked nger S2 from the notch 83. Once the finger 82 clears the notch 83, the probe 77 will then be free to move on upwardly with the enclosure 37.

To hold the cam follower 73 at the top of its travel, the outer edges of the actuating member 75 are each cut 9 away or notched, as shown at 88 in FIGURE 8, with these notches being arranged to receive an inwardly directed shoulder 89 on the housing 28. The notches 88 leave an intervening rib or spline 90 which is received in a complementary groove 91 in the shoulder 89 (FIGURE 9). The spring 85 will at this time still be confined in the housing passage 84 to maintain the actuating member 75 in its slightly inclined position as shown in FIGURE 10.

When ever the enclosure 37 again moves downwardly and the probe 77 approaches the socket 80 on the upper end of the actuating member 75, one face 92 of the socket will engage the opposed face 93 of the head 81 to shift the actuating member back to its vertical position and, in so doing, disengage the notches 88 from the housing shoulder 89. Then, once the notches 88 are disengaged, the finger 82 will again be engaged in the head notch 83 and the actuating member 75 will be moved downwardly relative to the spindle 69. This downward movement of the actuating member 75 will, of course, shift the cam rfollower 73 back down through one of the inclined spindle grooves 72 to rotate the spindle 69 a portion of a revolution and bring another sample-receiving tu'be 66 into alignment with the guide tube 70.

Turning now to FIGURES 11A and 11B, the two sample receivers 29 and 30 of the present invention are shown. Since the receivers 29 and 30 are identical, the same reference numerals will be used when describing the common parts of both and a suix of a and b to the numbers will be used to respectively designate the upper and lower receiver in particular. The receivers 29 and 30 include the tandemly connected housings 68a and 68b respectively enclosing the sample-receiving tubes 66a and 66b that are uniformly spaced about the longitudinal axes of the receivers. An elongated shaft 67a is rotatably mounted in the upper housing 68a between the tubes 66a and has its upper end coupled Eby means, such as a tongue-an'd-groove arrangement 94a, to the lower end of a universal -joint and shaft arrangement 95 connected to the lo'wer end of the spindle 69. Similarly, an elongated shaft 67b is also rotatably mounted along the longitudinal axis of the lower housing 68h and has its upper end coupled to the lower end of the upper shaft 67a by clutch means 96a preferably mounted in the lower portion of the upper housing 68a.

As will subsequently become more apparent, when the first of the samples 23 are cut away from the earth forrnation 24, it will fall through the opening 36 in the intermediate housing 27 (FIGURE 2), through the tubular guide 70 (FIGURE 6) and one 97a of the tubes 66a in the upper receiver 29 (FIGURE 11A), and on into one of the tubes 97b in the lower receiver 30 (FIGURE 11B). Then, as previously explained, as the enclosure 37 is returned to its initial position shown in FIGURE 2, the motion-translating means 65 (FIGURE 6) will be actuated torotate the shafts 67a and 67b (FIGURE 11A and 111B) to index the next one of the sample-receiving tubes 66b into position to receive the next formation sample 23.

This is repeated until a formation sample has been positioned in each of the four sample-receiving tubes 66b in the lower receiver 30. Once the lower receiver 30 is filled, the clutch means 97a are operatively shifted to discontinue further rotation of the lower shaft 67b and to couple the upper shaft 67a to the upper sample-receiving tubes 66a. This latter action will then allow the upper sample-receiving tubes 66a to be sequentially indexed into position to successively receive a formation sample as each is freed by subsequent operation of the tool 20.

Accordingly, to accomplish the above-described operation, the lower ends of each of the sample-receiving tubes 66 are secured to the upper face of a circular support plate 98 that is free to rotate relative to the receiver housing 68 and is supported therein by another plate 99 itself secured to the housing. The lower portion of the shaft 67 is rotatably mounted on the tube-support plate 98,

with the lower end of this shaft extending on through the tube-support plate and an enlarged axial opening in the xed plate 99. The upper end of the shaft 67 is rotatably mounted in a support plate 101 secured to the sample-receiving tubes 66. Thus, except as will be subsequently explained, the shaft 67 is free to rotate with rcspect to the sample-receiving tubes 66.

Although the upper ends of all four of the samplereceiving tubes 66 are open, the lower ends of three of these tubes are permanently closed by the tube-support plate 98. A substantial portion of the lower end of the other tube 97 is, however, cut away to leave a transverse gap, as at 102, between the tube and the upper face of the tube-support plate 98. An opening 103 is located through the plate 98 immediately below and in alignment with the one tube 97. A closure member 104 (FIGURE 12) that is rotatably mounted around the shaft 67 and slidably supported on the upper face of the tube-support plate 98 is so arranged that, when actuated, it will pivot around the shaft and move into the gap 102. Thus, as will subsequently be explained, once the closure member 104 has been moved into the gap 102, it will block communication between the opening 103 in the tube-support plate 98 and the lower end of the tube 97 secured thereabove. In the initial position of the upper receiver 29 (as shown in FIGURE 11A), the opening 103g in the rotatable tube-support plate 98a is, however, aligned with a similar eccentrically located opening 105a in the fixed plate 99a therebelow and the closure member 104a is displaced away from the opening 10361.

The clutch means 96 include a rotatable circular plate 106 having an axial opening 107 through which the lower end of the shaft 67 extends and an eccentrically located opening 108. A short tubular member 109 is secured in the axial opening 107 and extended downwardly a short distance below the clutch plate 106 and around the lower end of the shaft 67. Another short tubular member or guide tube 110 is preferably mounted around the eccentric opening 108 and also extended downwardly below the clutch plate 106. The clutch means 96 also include a bifurcated member 111 (see also FIGURE 14) having a transverse offset portion 112 that connects two upright tubular portions Aor legs 113 (only one seen in FIGURE 11A) having their upper ends 114 straddling the axial opening 107 and engaged with the lower face of the clutch plate 106.

To support the clutch member 111, means, such as elongated bolts 11S or the like, are passed through the tubular legs 113 of the clutch member and, after passing through appropriately arranged arcuate slots 116 (both seen in FIGURE 14) on opposite sides of the axial opening 107 in the clutch plate 106 and through the large axial opening 100 in the Iixed plate 99, are secured to the tube-support plate 98 thereabove. Compression springs 117 (only one seen in FIGURE 11A) are disposed in a counterbore 118 in each tubular leg 113 and held in compression by spring retainers 119 between the heads of the bolts and the lower surface of the clutch member 111. It will be appreciated, therefore, that by making the width of the arcuate slots 116 smaller than the diameter of the upper ends 114 of the tubular legs 113, the springs 117 will normally urge the bifurcated clutch member 111 against the lower face of the clutch plate 106 so as to urge this plate firmly against the lower face of the fixed plate 99.

The transverse portion 112 of the bifurcated clutch member 111 rotatably supports a short shaft 120 that is axially aligned between the lower and upper ends of the shafts 67a and 67b, respectively, in the receivers 29 and 30. The clutch shaft 120 is releasably coupled to each of these shafts 67a and 67b by means such as tongue-andgroove arrangements 121a and 122a. Of particular significance, these tongue-andgroove arrangements 121a and 12241 are so arranged that so long as the clutch shaft 120a is in the position shown in FIGURE 11A, the two shafts 6711 and 67b are releasably interconnected by the clutch shaft. On the other hand, as will subsequently become apparent, once the clutch member 11111 is moved upwardly to shift the clutch shaft 12011 a sufficient distance to disengage the lower tongue-and-groove arrangements 12211, the lower shaft 67b will no longer be coupled to the upper shaft 67a.

It will be appreciated, of course, that to deposit the formation samples 23 in the sample-receiving tubes 66h in the lower receiver 30, the two rotatable plates 98a and 10611 must be appropriately oriented so as to align their respective eccentric openings 10311 and 10811 with the eccentrically located opening 10511 in the fixed plate 99a. To accomplish this, the tube-support plate 9811 is releasably secured to the fixed plate 9911 by latch means such as a resilient finger 12311 that is secured to the fixed plate and has a free end that is received in a shallow recess 12511 in the lower face of the tube-support plate. Thus, until sufficient torque is applied to the tubesupport plate 9811 to free the latch finger 12311 from the recess 12511, the open sample tube 9711 will be so oriented that it and the openings 10311 and 10811 will be aligned with the tubular guide '70 in the housing 28 above (FIGURE 6) and the opening 10511 in the fixed plate 9911.

It will be appreciated that the lower sample-receiving tubes 66b need only to be brought sequentially into alignment with the openings 10311, 10511 and 10811 to receive a formation sample as it falls through the samplereceiving tube 9711. Thus, if the lower receiver 30 was intended to always be in that position, the lower ends of the sample-receiving tubes 66b and shaft 67b could be simply journalled to the housing 6811. In the interest of interchangeability, however, it is preferred to make the lower receiver 30 identical to the upper receiver 29. Thus, as seen in FIGURE 11B, the lower receiver 30 is identical to the upper receiver 29 except that its lower end is preferably capped, as at 126.

It will be realized, therefore, that the lower samplereceiving tubes 66b must be co-rotatively secured to the lower shaft 67b for the tubes to be sequentially moved into position to receive formation samples 23. Thus, before the tool 20 is lowered into the borehole 22, the clutch means 96b in the lower receiver 30 are manually set into their shaft-engaging position as shown in FIG- URE 11B.

Upon setting lthe lower clutch means 96h in their shaftengaging position, the clutch plate 106b will be rotated (preferably 90) to bring the upper ends 114b of the tubular legs 113]; of the clutch member 11111 into alignment with enlarged openings 12711 at one end of each 1 of the arcuate slots 116b in the clutch plate. Once the enlarged openings 127b are aligned with the two legs 113b, the springs 117b will shift the clutch member 111k upwardly and move the upper ends 11411 of the legs into these enlarged openings. Extensions 128b on the spring retainers 119 will be carried upwardly against the lower face of the clutch plate 106b and prevent any upward movement of the upper receiving tubes 6611 and shaft 6711 relative to the clutch member 111b (as by a sudden jerk of the tool 20) from inadvertently disengaging the tongueand-groove arrangement 12111. This will, of course, corotatively secure the bifurcated clutch member 111b to the clutch plate 106b and, by virtue of the bolts 115b, to the tube-support plate 9811 as well. The two plates 98h and 10611 and the clutch member 111b are, however, free to rotate relative to the fixed platev 99h since the bolts 115b and tubular legs 113b are extended through the larger axial opening 100b in the fixed plate. As the clutch member 11111 is shifted upwardly, the clutch shaft 120b will also move upwardly and, in so doing, will move lateral lugs 129b on the clutch shaft into downwardly-opening complementary notches 130b on opposite sides of the short axially located tube secured to the clutch plate 106b. Thus, since the clutch shaft 120b is co-rotatively secured to the lower shaft 67b by their associated tongue-and-groove arrangement 12111, rotation of the lower shaft will be transmitted through the clutch shaft and its lugs 129b to both the clutch plate 106b and tube-support plate 98b. Accordingly, so long as the clutch means 9611 (FIGURE 11A) thereabove are disengaged, the lower sample-receiving tubes 66h will be sequentially indexed into position to receive a formation sample 23 each time the enclosure 37 (FIGURE 2) is returned to its initial position.

By initially positioning the receivers 29 and 30 in their positions shown in FIGURES 11A and 11B, the rst of the formation samples 23 will be free to fall from the longitudinal opening 36 (FIGURE 2) through the housing 28 (FIGURE 6) and upper sample-receiving tube 97a and on into the corresponding lower sample-receiving tube 9711 Where the closed closure member 104b therebelow will halt it. The releasable latch finger 123b on the lower receiver 30 lwill initially hold the first samplereceiving tube 97b in position until the sample-receiving tubes 66b are indexed to their next position by operation of the motion-translating means 65.

Once the fourth formation sample 23 is collected, it is, of course, necessary to close-off the lower receiver 30 and begin depositing subsequent formation samples into the upper receiver 29. This will require actuation of the upper clutch means 9611 so as to co-rotatively secure the upper shaft 6711 to the upper sample-receiving tubes 6611. The upper closure member 10411 must also be moved into position to block off the opening 103@ in the tubesupport plate 9811.

To accomplish this, a short rod 13111 is dependently mounted from the upper clutch plate 10611 at an eccentric location thereon and extended downwardly. As best seen in FIGURE 13, this short rod 13111 is preferably located adjacent to one side of the opening 10811 through the clutch plate 10611. It will be realized, therefore, that by shifting the short rod 13111 through an arc of the clutch plate 10611 Will be rotated a corresponding amount so as to bring the enlarged openings 12711 at the ends of the arcuate slots 11611 in the clutch plate into alignment -with the free ends 114a of the tubular legs 11311 of the clutch member 11111. As it is moved, the clutch plate 10611 will rotate with respect to the bifurcated clutch member 11111 which is to this point still held stationary by virtue of the bolts 11511 and the restraint of the latch iinger 12311.

To move the short rod 13111, an elongated rod 132b is secured to the tube-support plate 98b (FIGURE 11B) at a position thereon that is displaced 270 away from the angular position of the short rod 13111 when the sample receivers 29 and 30 are in their initial positions. Thus, when the lower sample-receiving tubes 66b are first moved after receiving the first formation sample 23, the elongated rod 132b will be moved to a second position 180 away from the short rod 13111. After the third sample has been collected, the elongated rod 132b will have been rotated 270 to a position where one side of its upper end now contacts the adjacent side of the lower end of the short rod 13111. Then, after the fourth formation sample 23 has been collected, as the enclosure 37 again returns to its initial position (FIGURE 2), the elongated rod 132b will be further rotated toward its initial angular position and, in so doing, will turn the short rod 13111 to index the clutch plate 10611 90 to its other position for disengaging the clutch means 96a (FIGURE 11A). As the clutch plate 10611 is turned, a `bolt 13311 extending through the enlarged axial opening 10011 and eccentrically secured to both the clutch plate 10611 and closure member 104a is arranged to rotate the closure member 90 to a position in the gap 10211 for blocking the lower end of the open sample-receiving tube 9711.

The clutch shaft 12011 in the upper clutch means 96a is, therefore, simultaneously shifted upwardly (by the springs 11711) along with the lbifurcated clutch member 11111. As the clutch shaft 12011 shifts upwardly, the lateral lugs 129a thereon will be received in downwardly-opening notches 130a on the axial tube 109a. These clutch shaft lugs 129a are, of course, appropriately oriented so that as the clutch shaft 12011 is making its fourth incremental turn, the lugs will be in alignment with the notches 130a. It will be appreciated also that once the clutch shaft 120a is shifted lupwardly by the clutch member 111a, the clutch shaft will be uncoupled from the lower shaft 67b but will remain coupled to the upper shaft 66a by the tongue-and-groove arrangement 121a.

Once the upper clutch means 96a are actuated, the upper shaft 67a will now be co-rotatively secured to the tu'be-support plate 98a. The closure member 104a will also now `block the lower end of the open sample-receiving tube 97a. Thus, when the fifth formation sample 23 is cut free, it will also fall into the sample-receiving tube 97a but will be captured therein. Then, as the enclosure 37 is again returned to its initial position, the motiontranslating means 65 (FIGURE 6') will now index the next one of the sample-receiving tubes 66a into position to receive the sixth formation sample. The same operation will take place to capture the seventh and eighth samples. l

It will be appreciated, of course, that any number of receivers, such as 29 and 30, can be employed to collect additional formation samples. If, for example, a third receiver (not shown) is connected above the upper receiver 29, the first eight samples will be successively collected as already described. Then, after the eighth sample is collected, access to the second receiver 29 will be blocked and the third and now uppermost receiver will be brought into play in the same manner as already described with reference to the second receiver.

It will be recognized, of course, that it is desirable to have some indication at the surface of the progress of the cutting wheels 35 during the course of a sample-recovering operation. Even though the groove system depicted in FIGURE 4 does not necessarily require that the exact position of the cutting wheels 35 be known at all times, such knowledge is nevertheless of obvious benefit to an operator at the surface.

Accordingly, as best seen in FIGURE 2, to provide indications at the surface representative of the longitudinal positions of the cutting wheels 35 in relation to the housing 27, an elongated tapered ramp 134 is secured to the housing in a convenient position that parallels the elongated rods 39. This tapered ramp 134 is suitably arranged to contact `the outer end of a laterally movable actuator 135 that is connected to a potentiometer 136 in the enclosure 37, With the actuator extending through a suitable fluid seal (not shown) in the enclosure wall.

Thus, at all longitudinal positions of the enclosure 37 in relation to the housing 27 and the tapered ramp 134, the actuator 135 Will assume corresponding lateral positions that are directly related to the distance between the particular point where the actuator is in contact with the ramp and either end of the ramp. It will be recognized, of course, that the resistance between the moving contact 137 and one end of lthe potentiometer 136 will vary in accordance with the movement of its actuator 135, with this resistance being directly related to the longitudinal distance between the present position of the enclosure 37 and its initial position as shown in FIGURE 2. This resistance will, of course, be constantly varied as the enclosure 37 moves in either direction in relation to the housing 27.

The varying resistance of the potentiometer 136 as the enclosure 37 moves in turn regulates electronic means 138 as shown in FIGURE 1S to provide an indication of the present position of the cutting Wheels 35 at any given time. Inasmuch as this circuit 138 is more fully explained in a copending application Serial No. 649,978 filed concurrently with the present application, it is believed necessary only to describe this circuit only so far as to shown its general relation to the present invention.

In general, therefore, the circuit 138 seen in FIGURE 15 is arranged to provide repetitive electrical pulses at the surface that have a pulse rate representative of the present longitudinal position of the cutting wheels 35 in relation to the housing 27. As the cut-ting wheels 35 change position in relation to the housing 27, the rate of these pulses will also change to provide a detectable indication at the surface characteristic of the new position of the cutting wheels.

To accomplish this, the potentiometer 136 is connected across a constant-voltage power supply 139 and its movable contact 137 is connected to the input of a typical so-called constant-current amplifier 140 to provide a voltage-divider circuit with an output voltage directly related to the relative position of the movable contact. Since the input impedance of the amplifier 140` is constant, the current applied to its input will be directly `related to the output voltage of the voltage-divider circuit.

The current amplifier 140 desirably has a high output impedance so that the output current of the amplifier will also be constant for any one position of the movable contact 137. Thus, as the input current to the amplifier 146 is varied by the potentiometer 136, the output current from the amplifier will vary accordingly, but will be constant for any single position of the movable contact 137 and, thus, be directly related to the present position of the actuator on the ramp 134. A capacitor 141 connected across the output terminals of the amplifier is charged by this output current, with the rate at which this capacitor is charged being, of course, directly proportional to the magnitude of the output current from the amplifier.

The capacitor 141 and amplifier 140 are connected to the input of a typical voltage comparator 142. A reference voltage for the comparator 142 is derived from the constant-voltage power supply 139 by way of a pair of serially-connected resistors 143 and 144. The comparator 142 will generate a DC output signal Whenever the input Sgnal thereto equals the reference voltage which energizes a normally-open gate 145 arranged to shunt the capacitor 141 through a resistor 146. The discharge rate of the comparator 141 will, therefore, be a function of the values of the yresistor 146 and the capacitor.

The output signal from the comparator 142 also ener gizes a normally-open gate 147 which then connects the junction between the resistors 143 and 144 through a relatively low-value resistor 148 to ground. Closing of the gate 147 will, therefore, decrease the reference voltage being applied to the comparator 142. Thus, each time the voltage on the capacitou 141 reaches the initial reference voltage of the comparator 142, an output signal is developed by the comparator which continues until the capacitor has been discharged (by the resistor 146) to reach a voltv age equal to the now-lower reference voltage of the comparator. At this time, the output signal of the comparator 142 ceases and re-opens the gates 145 and 147 thus restoring the reference voltage to its initial value.

It can be seen, therefore, that this intermittent operation will produce pulses from the voltage comparator 142. The on time of these pulses is substantially related to the time required for the capacitor 141 to be discharged from a voltage equal to the high reference voltage initially applied to the comparator 142 to a voltage equal to the low reference voltage applied thereto. This time is, of course, a function of the capacitance of the capacitor 141, the resistance of the resistor 146, and the differential between the high and low 4reference voltage-s. The off time of the pulses is, however, a function of the magnitude of current charging the capacitor 141. Thus, it can be seen that the frequency or pulse rate of the pulses will be proportional to the output current from the amplifier 140 and, therefore, to the position of the movable contact 137.

The string of output pulses from the comparator 142 are transmitted through the suspension cable 21 to a suitable pulse-rate detector 149 at the surface. The varying DC output of the pulse-rate detector 149 is connected to an indicator, such as a voltmeter 150, which is suitably calibrated to provide an indication of the present position of the cutting wheels 35. Thus, in the operation of the present invention, when the cutting wheels 35 are in one position, the pulse output of the voltage comparator 142 will be at a rate characteristic of this position. As the cutting wheels 35 move up or down, this pulse rate will correspondingly change to provide a different indication on the position indicator 150 at the surface.

Turning now to the operation of the present invention; as best seen in FIGURE 1, the core-slicing tool 20 is first brought into position opposite a formation, as at 24, from which a sample is desired. Once the tool 20 is in position, the wall-engaging member 32 is extended to urge the forward face of the tool against the opposite wall of the borehole 22. As best seen in FIGURE 2, the motor for the pump 43 and the motor 46 are then started and, once hydraulic pressure is applied to the upper chambers 41, the enclosure 37 will move upwardly in relation to the now-fixed housing 27. As previously described, the cutting wheels 35 Will be progressively moved upwardly through their various positions A-B-CD as the enclosure 37 moves toward its uppermost position shown in FIGURE 2.

It will be recalled, of course, that the cam follower 73 is at this time moving upwardly through one of the longitudinal spindle grooves 71 until the actuating member 75 is latched to the housing 27 so that no rotation is imparted to the sample-receiving tubes 66. Once the position indicator 150 indicates that the enclosure 37 is in its uppermost position, it will be assumed that a formation sample, such as at 23, has been cut and has fallen through the opening 36 and the upper receiver 29, and on into the lowermost sample-receiving tube 97b that is then in alignment with the guide tube 70 and the open upper samplereceiving tube 97a.

When the enclosure 37 is at its uppermost position, the pump 43 is reversed to relieve the pressure in the upper chamber 41 and increase the pressure in the lower chamber 42 which allows the enclosure to return downwardly to its initial position. The position indicator 150 will, of course, serve as a monitor to observe the progress of the enclosure 37. As the enclosure 37 nears its lowermost position, the depending probe 77 thereon will release the actuating member 75 from' the housing 27 and then move the actuating member downwardly in relation to the spindle 69. This downward movement of the actuating member 75 will, of course, carry the cam follower 73 back down through one of the helical spindle grooves 72 and thereby rotate the sample-receiving tubes 66h 90. Once the enclosure 37 has reached its lowermost position, another of the sample-receiving tubes 66b will be aligned with the still-stationary sample-receiving tube 97a thereabove for reception of another formation sample.

The wall-engaging member 32 is retracted and the coreslicing tool 20 moved to another position in the borehole 22. Then, once the wall-engaging member 32 is again eX- tended, the above-described procedure is repeated. Whenever a sufficient number of formation samples are btained, the tool 20 is then returned to the surface.

Accordingly, it -will be appreciated that the present invention has provided new and improved sample-obtaining means capable of obtaining a plurality of formation samples from earth formations of interest. Moreover, by arranging the sample receivers of the present invention as shown, these formation samples will be segregated from the others and held securely in a predetermined location for later identification.

While a particular embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described, it is apparent that changes and modifications be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects; and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall `within the true spirit and scope of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for obtaining samples of earth formations traversed by a borehole comprising: a support adapted for suspension in a borehole; formation-sampling means on said support and adapted for repetitive travel relative thereto between longitudinally-spaced positions, said formation-sampling means including formation-cutting means adapted for lateral movement relative to said support between a retracted position and an extended position; means selectively operable from the surface for moving said formation-sampling means from one of said spaced positions to the other of said spaced positions and then returning said formation-sampling means to said one spaced position; means for selectively moving said cutting means between said retracted and extended positions; a sample receiver on said support adapted for collecting formation samples obtained by said formation-sampling means; sample-segregating means movably mounted in said sample receiver and dividing said sample receiver into separate compartments; and means responsive to repetitive travel of said formation-sampling means for progressively positioning said sample-segregating means to successively dispose such formation samples in respective ones of said compartments and isolate such formation samples from one another.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said sample-segregating means include: a plurality of upright tubular members defining said separate compartments and respectively adapted to receive a formation sample and means rotatably supporting said tubular members in said sample receiver for rotation therein about a longitudinal axis from an inactive position to a position for reception of a formation sample; and said travel-responsive means include motion-translating means for successively rotating said tubular members one at a time into position to receive a formation sample in response to repeated travel of said formation-sampling means between said longitudinallyspaced positions.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said travel-responsive means further include: means releasably connecting said motion-translating means to said formation-sampling means for actuation thereby during only a portion of said travel of said formation-sampling means and disconnecting said motion-translating means from said formationsampling means during the remainder of said travel of said formation-sampling means to deactivate said sample-segregating means.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said releasable connecting means include: first and second longitudinallymovable members respectively connected to said motiontranslating means and to said formation-Sampling means and having mating interconnecting portions adapted to transmit logitudinal forces but releasable upon relative lateral movement therebetween, one of said connecting members being free for lateral movement relative to the other of said connecting members; means responsive to longitudinal movement of said one connecting member in one direction for shifting said one connecting member laterally to release said connecting members whenever said formation-sampling means reach a predetermined position; and means responsive to longitudinal movement of said other connecting member in the other direction for returning said one connecting member into position to reconnect said connecting members whenever said formation-sampling means return to said predetermined position.

5. Apparatus for obtaining samples of earth formations traversed by a borehole comprising: a support adapted for suspension in a borehole; formation-sampling means on said support and adapted for travel relative thereto between longitudinally-spaced positions to obtain samples of earth formations adjacent thereto; means for collecting formation samples obtained by said formationsampling means and segregating individual samples from one another including a sample receiver on said support, and a plurality of upright members in said sample receiver and respectively adapted for successive movement therein from an inactive position to an active position for respectively isolating a formation sample; and motiontranslating means for successively moving said members one at a time into their said active positions in response to travel of said formation-sampling means between said spaced positions.

6. The apparatus of claim wherein: said upright members include separate tubular compartments respectively adapted to receive a formation sample; means rotatably supporting said tubular compartments for progressive rotation in said sample receiver about a longitudinal axis from their said inactive positions to their said active positions for successive reception of formation samples; and said motion-translating means are adapted for successively rotating said tubular compartments into their said active positions in response to repeated travel of said formation-sampling means between said spaced positions.

7. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said sample receiver includes: rst and second tubular housings tandemly connected to one another; said upright members include iirst and second groups of tubular compartments in said tubular housings respectively, each of said tubular compartments being adapted to receive a for-mation sample; first and second means rotatably supporting said rst and second groups of compartments in their respective tubular housing for rotation about a longitudinal axis, each of said tubular compartments being rotatable about said axis from said inactive positions to said active positions for reception of a formation sample; said motion-translating means being responsive to travel of said formation-sampling means for providing rotative torque; rst clutch means for selectively coupling said motion-translating means to said tirst rotatable support means to successively bring each of said rst tubular compartments into its said active position to receive a formation sample; and second clutch means for selectively coupling said motiontranslating means to said second rotatable support means to successively bring each of said second tubular compartments into its said active position to receive a formation sample.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 further including: means responsive to rotation of said first tubular compartments to a predetermined position for uncoupling said first clutch means to halt further rotation of said first tubular compartments and for coupling said second clutch means to initiate rotation of said second tubular compartments upon further travel of said formation-sampling means.

9. Apparatus for obtaining samples of earth formations comprising: a support adapted .for suspension in a borehole; formation-sampling means on said support including motive means adapted for travel relative to said support between longitudinally-spaced positions, formation-cutting means adapted for lateral movement relative to said support between a retracted position and an extended position, and power-transmission means operatively connecting said formation-cutting means and said motive means; means for selectively moving said cutting means between said retracted and extended positions; and pressureresponsive means selectively operable from the surface for moving said motive means from one of said spaced positions to the other of said spaced positions and then returning said motive means to said one spaced position, said pressure-responsive means including an elongated member secured to said support and having a longitudinal central portion extending parallel to the direction of travel of said motive means, a tubular member slidably disposed around said central portion of said elongated member and connected to said motive means, means tiuidly sealing spaced portions of said tubular member to said elongated member to define an enclosed space therebetween, piston means on said central portion of said elongated member and uidly sealed t0 said tubular member to divide said enclosed space into upper and lower uid chambers, and means operable from the surface for selectively developing a greater pressure in one of said uid chambers than that in the other of said fluid chambers to move said motive means in one direction and for selectively developing a greater pressure in said other uid chamber than that in said one uid chamber to move said motive means in the opposite direction.

10. 'I'he apparatus of claim 9 wherein said selectivelyoperable pressure-developing means are connected to said motive means.

11. Apparatus for obtaining samples of earth formations traversed by a borehole' comprising: a support adapted for suspension in a borehole; formation-sampling means on said support and adapted for travel relative thereto between longitudinally-spaced positions, said formation-sampling means including formation-cutting means adapted for lateral movement relative to said support between a retracted position and an extended position; pressure-responsive means for reciprocating said formation-sampling means between said spaced positions; means for moving said formation-cutting means between said retracted and extended positions; and means on said support adapted for successively -collecting samples obtained by said formation-sampling means and segregating such formation samples from one another.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said sample- Collecting and segregating means include: a plurality of upright members defining separate compartments respectively adapted to receive a formation sample; means supporting said upright members for movement from an inactive position to a position for reception of a formation sample; and motion-translating means for successively moving said upright members one at a time into position to receive a formation sample in response to reciprocation of said formation-sampling means between said longitudinally-spaced positions.

13. The apparatus of claim 12 further including: means releasably connecting said motion-translating means to said formation-sampling means for actuation thereby during only a portion of said reciprocation of said formationsampling means and disconnecting said motion-translating means from said formation-sampling means during the remainder of said reciprocation of said formationsampling means to deactivate said sample-collecting and segregating means.

14. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said samplecollecting and segregating means include a sample receiver adapted for collecting successive samples obtained by said formation-cutting means and at least one member movably disposed in said sample receiver for movement therein from an inactive position to an active position for segregating successively-collected samples from one another; and further including motion-translating means for moving said segregating member to its said active position in response to reciprocation of said formation-sampling means between said longitudinally-spaced positions.

15. The apparatus of claim 14 further including means releasably connecting said motion-translating means to said formation-sampling means for actuation thereby during only a portion of said reciprocation of said formation-sampling means and disconnecting said motiontranslating means from said formation-sampling means during the remainder of said reciprocation of said formation-sampling means to deactivate said sample-collecting and segregating means.

16. Apparatus for obtaining samples of earth formations comprising: a support adapted for suspension in a borehole; formation-sampling means on said support including motive means adapted for rectilinear travel relative to said support between longitudinally-spaced positions, formation-cutting means adapted for lateral movement relative to said support between a retracted position and an extended position, and power-transmission means operatively connecting said formation-cutting means and said motive means; means operable from the surface moving said formation-cutting means between said retracted and extended positions; pressure-responsive means operable from the surface for repetitively reciprocating said motive means between said spaced positions; a sample receiver dependently coupled to said support and adapted to receive successive formation samples obtained by said formation-cutting means; at least one movable dividing member operatively disposed in said sample receiver for movement therein to isolate successively-obtained formation samples from one another; and motion-translating means operatively connected between said formationsampling means and said movable dividing member and responsive to reciprocation of said formation-sampling means for moving said movable member to a selected position to isolate a first formation sample before a second formation sample is obtained.

17. Apparatus for obtaining samples of earth formations traversed by a borehole comprising: a support adapted for suspension in a borehole; formation-sampling means on said support and adapted for reciprocating movement relative thereto between longitudinally-spaced positions to obtain samples of earth formations adjacent thereto; and sample-collecting means including separate compartments respectively adapted to receive a formation sample, means supporting said compartments for successive movement of each of said compartments from an inactive position to a position adapted for reception of a formation sample, and motion-translating means for successively moving said compartments one at a time into position to receive a formation sample in response to reciprocation of said formation-sampling means between said spaced positions.

18. Apparatus for obtaining samples of earth formations traversed by a borehole comprising: a support adapted for suspension in a borehole; formationsampling means on said support and adapted for reciprocating movement relative thereto between longitudinally-spaced positions to obtain samples of earth formations adjacent thereto; and sample-collecting means including separate compartments respectively adapted to receive a formation sample, means rotatably supporting said compartments for rotation about a longitudinal axis from an inactive position to a position adapted for reception of a formation sample, and motion-translating means for successively rotating said compartments one at a time into position to receive a formation sample in response to reciprocation of said formation-sampling means between said positions.

19. Apparatus for obtaining samples of earth formations traversed lby a borehole and comprising: a support adapted for suspension in a borehole; formation-cutting means on said support and adapted for travel relative thereto between longitudinally-spaced positions as well as for lateral movement relative to said support between retracted and extended positions; pressure-responsive means on said support and selectively operable from the surface for repetitively reciprocating said formation-cutting means between said longitudinally-spaced positions; means responsive to travel of said formation-cutting means lbetween said longitudnally-spaced positions for selectively moving said formation-cutting means between said retracted and extended positions; a sample receiver on said support below said formation-cutting means and adapted for successively collecting formation samples obtained by said formation-cutting means; sample-segregating means operatively disposed in said sample receiver defining spaced compartments therein and adapted for movement in said sample receiver between inactive and active positions for progressively segregating such successively-collected samples in said compartments; and means responsive to repeated travel of said formation-cutting means between said longitudinally-spaced positions for successively moving said sample-segregating means to said active positions.

20. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein: said upright members are tubular members open at their upper ends and respectively sized to receive one of such formation samples; said first means include a supporting member rotatably mounted in said sample receiver and carrying said upright tubular members for rotation within said sample receiver; and said motion-translating means include a rotatable cam member journaled on said sample receiver, a shaft intercoupling said rotatable cam member and said rotatable supporting member, and cam means including a cam follower coupled to said formation-cutting means for reciprocation thereby and operatively engaged with cam surfaces operatively formed on said cam member to rotate said cam member upon reciprocation of said cam follower.

21. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein: said samplesegregating means include a plurality of upright members dividing said sample receiver into said spaced compartments; and said travel-responsive means include first means operatively mounted in said sample receiver for progressively moving said upright members to said active positions, and motion-translating means operatively coupling said first means and said formation-cutting means and adapted for progressively moving each of said upright members to its said active position upon successive reciprocations of said formation-cutting means.

22. The apparatus of claim 21 wherein said travel-responsive means further include: means releasably connecting said motion-translating means to said formationcutting means for actuation thereby during only a portion of said travel of said formation-cutting means and disconnecting said motion-translating means from said formation-cutting means during the remainder of said travel of said formation-cutting means to deactivate said samplesegregating means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,327,023 8/1943 Danner 175-78 X 2,599,405 6/ 1952 Mennecier 175--78 X 2,896,913 7/1959 Holmes et al 175--78 X 3,154,147 10/1964 Lanmon l66-55.1 3,173,500 3/1965 Stuart et al 175-78 X 3,386,522 6/1968 Knupke 175-311 3,405,772 10/ 1968 Wisenbaker et al. 175--311 X DAVID H. BROWN, Primary Examiner.

U.S. Cl. X.R.

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Referenced by
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US3565170 *Dec 12, 1969Feb 23, 1971Schlumberger Technology CorpControl apparatus for well tools
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US7775276Mar 3, 2006Aug 17, 2010Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Method and apparatus for downhole sampling
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Classifications
U.S. Classification175/78, 175/311, 175/99, 175/94
International ClassificationE21B49/06, E21B49/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B49/06
European ClassificationE21B49/06