US 3581816 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventor Billy C. Malone Houston, Tex.
Appl. No. 16,640
Filed Mar. 5, 1970 Patented June 1, 1971 Assignee Lynes, Inc.
PERMANENT SET INFLATABLE ELEMENT 13 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.
Field of Search 166/187 E21b33/l2 166/187, 120, 207, 315', 277/1 16.2
Primary Examiner lames A. Leppink Attorneys.1ack W, Hayden and Richard E. Bee
ABSTRACT: A permanently set inflatable element is adapted to be supported on tubular support means and is provided with valve means for conducting fluid from the interior to the exterior of the tubular means and into the inflatable element for inflation and permanent deformation thereof.
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JTTORNE YS PERMANENT SET INFLATABLE ELEMENT Cross Reference to Related Application This present invention relates to a specific form of my invention shown and described in application Ser. No. 790,367, filed Jan. 10, 1969 for Inflatable, Permanently Set, Drillable Element, now Pat. No. 3,529,667.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART U.S. Letters Pat. No. 3,437,142 issued to George E. Conover discloses an inflatable element carried on a tubular support member, but the construction there disclosed is not permanently deformable. In some situations, it is desirable to provide an inflatable element that is constructed so as to be permanently deformable in an opening upon inflation thereof.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly, the present invention relates to an inflatable permanently deformable element which is adapted to be supported or carried on a tubular member or means. In some instances, the tubular means extends completely through the inflatable'element ,as a single piece support, and in other instances, the tubular member is connected at one end to the inflatable element and extends therethrough with the other end slidable thereon.
ln other forms of the present invention, both ends of the permanently deformable inflatable element are fixed on the tubular support means and the element inflates and deforms when fluid'is supplied through a valve means from the interior to the exterior of the tubular support means and into the inflatable deformable element.
Also, the tubular means may be one, or a plurality, of tubular means.
The inflatable element of the present invention is constructed so that it can be drilled, milled, or cut by tools designed for the purpose.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a quarter longitudinal sectional view showing a form of the present invention positioned in an opening on a tubular means and in inflated position;
FIG. 2 illustrates an inflatable element constructed as indicated in FIG. 1 of the drawings and showing an alternate form of valve means for inflation of the deformable element;
FIG. 2A is an enlarged sectional view of the fomi of valve means circled at 2A in FIG. 2;
FIG. 3 illustrates the inflatable deformable element of the present invention secured to a tubular means which extends completely through the element and an alternate form of valve means;
FIG. 3A is a detailed sectional view of the form of valve means shown at 3A in FIG. 3;
FIG. 4 is a quarter sectional view illustrating the inflatable deformable element of the present invention with the tubular means extending completely through the element and both ends of the element secured thereto;
FIG. 5 illustrates an inflatable element similar in construction to that shown in the other forms of the drawings except that it is adapted to receive a plurality of tubular members or means therethrough; and
FIG. 6 is a sectional view partly in elevation of the inflatable deformable element of the present invention to more clearly illustrate the structural details thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Attention is first directed to FIG. 6 of the drawings wherein the deformable inflatable element of the present invention is referred to generally by the numeral-20. The tubular means upon which the element is adapted to be received is shown at 21 as being threadedly secured at 22 to an annular end member 23. The tubular support means 24 is threadedly secured as shown at 25 to the annular end member 23, and an annular end member 27 is spaced relative to the annular end member 23 and is adapted to slide along the tubular support means 24 as the inflatable deformable element is expanded.
It will be noted that the spaced annular end members 23 and 27 include portions 30 having a tapered extension 31 extending beneath the outer covering 33 which portion 31 also bells or deforms permanently upon inflation of the element. The element 20 includes in addition to the outer covering 33 and the spaced annular end members 23 and 27, a reinforcing sheath referred to generally by the numeral 35 which includes a plurality of metal strips 38 which overlap each other circumferentially and extend longitudinally between each of the annular end members 23 and 27. The manner of connecting the reinforcing sheath 35 comprising the metal strips 38 to each of the annular end members 23 and 27 is identical, and by reference to the upper portion of FIG. 6, it can be seen that a retaining ring 39 abuts the ends of the metal strips 38 against and within the portion 30 of the annular end member 23. A weld 40 engages or connects the ends of the metal strips to each other and to the annular end members 23 and 27 as well as to the retaining or anchor ring 39. The circumferentially overlapping, longitudinally extending metal strips 38 surround an inner tube 42 both in deflated, as well as in expanded and deformed positions. The extent of the overlap of the strip can be arranged when building the reinforcing inflatable element to accomplish such result. The inner tube 42 is sealingly secured within each annular end member by means of the ring 45 abutting the end of the tube 42 against the portion 30 of the spaced annular heads 23 and 27. It can be appreciated that any suitable means, other than the ring 45, may be employed for anchoring the ends of the inner tube 42 within each of the annular end members 23 and 27.
The tube 42 may be formed of any easily yieldable material oflow yield strength such as lead or may be formed of resilient or semiresilient material such as Teflon or suitable elastomeric material which yields when internal pressure is applied thereto. The tube 42 as well as the reinforcing sheath 35 and outer covering 33 are preferably formed of material that can be cut or milled by milling or cutting tools of conventional type presently employed for such purpose.
A valving arrangement 50 may be employed in one of the spaced annular end members 23 or 27 for conducting fluid from the interior of the tubular support means to the exterior thereof and to the interior of the tube 42 which surrounds the tubular support means 24-.in the form of the invention shown in FIG. 6 for inflation and deformation of the permanent set element 20. An opening or passage 51 provided in the annular end member communicates with the check valve 23a and thereafter through the check valve 23b past back pressure valve 23c in passage 23d. The spring tension in the check valves 23a and 23b must be overcome before fluid is conducted to the back pressure valve 23c and through passage 23d into tube 42. The back pressure valve 230 serves to block the inflating and deforming fluid or liquid from entering the deformable element 20 until a predetermined pressure is reached. The check valves retain the fluid or liquid within the deformed element.
The construction and arrangement of the valving arrangement 50 shown in FIG. 6 is described and claimed in US. Letters Pat. No. 3,437,142.
In reference to FIG. I, the valving arrangement is again referred to by' the numeral 50, and corresponding parts described in FIG. 6 bear corresponding numbers. It can be appreciated that suitable passage means 23d communicate not only the valve means 23a, 23b, and 23c, but also the end of the passage means 23d communicates with the exterior of the tubing member 24 and within the tube 42 for conducting inflating fluid from the opening 51 which communicates with the interior of the tubular support means as shown.
It can be seen from FIG. 1 of the drawings that the portion 30 of the annular end members 23 and 27 having the tapered portion 31 thereon is permanently deformed when the element is inflated and seated within the opening and against the walls of the opening as represented at 55. It can be appreciated, of course, that suitable seal means 60 between the annular end member 27 and tubular support member 24 inhibit leakage of fluid therefrom and enable the annular end member 27 to slide along the tubular support 24 as the permanently deformable element is deformed without the loss of liquid. In FIG. I, the element is shown in its fully inflated and deformed position, in which condition the reinforcing sheath 35 assumes a permanent deformation. Depending upon the material that tube 42 is made of, it may or may not take on a permanent deformation.
In FIG. 2, the permanently deformable and permanently set element is secured to the spaced annular end members 23 and 27 in a manner as previously described. Similarly, tubular support means 21 is threadedly secured at 22 to the annular end member 23 and tubular support means is secured by threads 25 to the end member 23 and extends through the deformable element 20. As the deformable element 20 is inflated, the seal means 60 inhibits leakage of fluid from around the annular end member 27 and accommodates movement of the annular end member 27 along the tubular support means 24 without leakage offluids.
An alternate form of valve arrangement is referred to generally at 50a in FIG. 2, the details of which are shown in FIG. 2A. It will be noted that an opening 70 is formed in the walls of the tubular support member or means 24 and an annular recess 71 formed in the outer wall of the tubular support means 24 on each side of the opening 70. If desired, the recess 71 may be in the form of a longitudinally extending slot and within the recess 71 there is provided a spring finger 72 which is secured at one end 73 by suitable means such as a weld 74 or the like to the exterior of the tubular means 24. Secured to the finger 72 by suitable means such as welding or the like is a suitable projection 80 for fitting within the opening 70 and surrounding the projection 80 adjacent the finger 72 is a resilient seal means 81 for abutting against the wall of the opening and closing it off when the deformable element 20 is in nonexpanded position.
When it is desired to inflate the deformable permanent set element 20, inflating fluid or liquid is conducted through the tubular means 21 and 24 and when the pressure thereof overcomes the resiliency of the spring finger 72 as well as the force of the tube 40 and surrounding sheath and outer covering 33, inflating liquid will be supplied to the exterior of the tubular means 24 for deformation of the element 20. When the element 20 is expanded, the valve 50a reseats and forms a check valve to retain the liquid within the element.
In FIG. 3, the tubular support means 21 is shown as extending completely through the permanent set deformable element 20. Its construction is similar to that previously described and includes the spaced annular end members 23 and 27 with the outer covering 33, reinforcing sheath 35, and inner tube 42 extending between and connected with the annular spaced end members 23 and 27. In this form of the invention, the annular end member 23 is secured to the tubular support means 21 by suitable means such as welding 220, and the other end member 27 is slidably supported on the tubular support means and is provided with seal means between the tubular support means outer surface and the end member 27 for inhibiting leakage from the deformable element 20 as it is expanded and deformed. An alternate form of valving arrangement is shown at 50b and again includes an opening 70 in the wall of the tubular support means 21. The recess 71 extends around the tubular support means 2I and within the recess an annular band of resilient material 85 is provided. It will be noted that the tubular support means 21 includes an annular projection 21a spaced from but adjacent the opening 70 to one side thereof. This serves to retain the annular resilient sleeve in the manner as shown in FIG. 3A, and such resilient sleeve 85 will normally be retained in position to close off the opening 70 by reason of the surrounding tube 42, reinforcing sheath 35, and outer covering 33 as well as its natural resiliency when the inflatable element 20 is deflated.
When the pressure of the inflating liquid or fluid within the tubular member 21 is sufficient to overcome the closing action of the sleeve 85, the upper end of the sleeve will be moved off the annular projection 21a so that inflating liquid may be passed to the exterior of the tubular support means 21 and within the tube 42 for deformation of the element including the reinforcing sheath 35. After the element 20 is inflated to its desired extent, the natural resiliency of 85 will reseat it on projection 21a; aided by the inflation medium, it will then function as a check valve to retain the element 20 expanded.
In FIG. 4, the construction of the invention is similar to that previously described including the annular end members 23 and 27, the outer covering 33, the reinforcing sheath 35, and the inner tube 42 extending between the spaced annular end members 23 and 27. In this form of the invention, the end members 23 and 27 are each secured by suitable means such as welding as shown at 220 to the tubular support means 21 which extends therethrough. The valve arrangement for conducting fluid from within the tubular support means 21 is similar to that described at 50 with regard to FIG. 6. Even though both end members 23 and 27 are secured to the tubu' lar support means 21, when fluid is conducted through the passage means 51 and 23d, the deformable element 20 will deform and take a permanent set.
In FIG. 5, the permanent set deformable element is shown as including spaced annular end members 23 and 27. In this arrangement, the spaced annular end members 23 and 27 are constructed and arranged so as to receive a plurality of tubular support means referred to generally by the numeral 90. The annular end member 23 includes a valve arrangement referred to generally at 50 as described in FIG. 6 so that when fluid is conducted through the passage 51 and 23d, inflation and deformation of the element is accomplished. It will be noted that the central portion of the deformable element is cut away since it is believed that an additional showing thereof is unnecessary as it is identical to that previously described.
In this form ofthe invention, the annular end member 27 includes two portions 27a and 27b. The portion 27b is secured to the plurality of tubular support members 90, which as shown in FIG. 5 includes three members represented at a, 90b, and 90c. An undercut portion 27c is provided on the portion 27b to form a seating surface for the portion 27a so that as the deformable element 20 is expanded and inflated, relative longitudinal movement between the portions 270 and 2717 may occur.
In the FIG. 5 form of the invention, it can be appreciated that such arrangement may be used, such as, by way of example only, in multiple completion of oil wells, or in any situation where it may be desirable to provide a plurality of conduits through, but connected with, the defonnable element 20.
The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention are illustrative and explanatory thereof, and various changes in the size, shape, and materials as well as in the details of the illustrated construction may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
What I claim is:
l. A permanent set inflatable element for positioning on tubular means for use in a well bore comprising:
a. spaced annular end members for sealably mounting on the tubular means;
b. an expansible, permanently deformable reinforcing sheath including expansible, permanently deformable, overlapping metal strips extending longitudinally of the element with the ends of the strips received in said annular end member;
. valve means for conducting fluid from the tubular means to said sheath between the tubular means and said sheath for inflation and deformation of said expansible, permanently deformable metal strips; and
d. anchor means for said sheath including means to secure said metal strips adjacent their ends to said end members.
2. The invention of claim I wherein said securing means comprises a weld which connects said sheath with said annular end members.
3. The invention of claim I wherein said valve means is mounted in passage means formed in one of said annular end members and which passage means communicates at one end interiorly of the annular end member in which it is formed and the other end of the passage communicates between the tubular means and said sheath.
4. The invention of claim 1 wherein said valve means includes an opening formed in the tubular means between said annular end members and means closing off said opening which is responsive to pressure to communicate the interior of the tubular means with the exterior thereof and within said sheath for deformation thereof.
5. The invention of claim 4 wherein said means closing off said opening includes leaf spring means pivotally secured to the tubular means with an enlargement thereon for fitting within said opening in the tubular means and a resilient sealing member carried by said enlargement for sealing off the openmg.
6. The invention of claim 4 wherein said means closing off said opening includes an annular resilient sleeve on the tubular means within a recess, the tubular means having a projection on one side of said opening against which said sleeve rests.
7. The invention of claim 1 wherein at least one of said annular end members is secured to the tubular means.
8. The invention of claim I wherein one of said annular end members is secured to the tubular means and the other of said end members is movable relative thereto.
9. The invention of claim 1 wherein the tubular means in cludes at least two longitudinally extending members, and wherein one of said annular end members is secured to said tubular means and the other end member is divided into two portions, one of which portions is secured to said tubular means and provides a seating surface for the other portion, which is secured to said sheath, to slide along when the sheath is expanded.
10. The invention of claim 1 wherein the tubular means is threadedly secured to one of said annular end members and extends longitudinally through the other annular end member.
11. The invention of claim 1 wherein the tubular means extends through each of said spaced annular end members and is secured thereto.
12. The invention of claim 1 including an expansible inner tube surrounded by said sheath and extending between and sealingly engaged with said annular end members.
13. The invention of claim 1 wherein said end members include portions which are permanently deformable as the element is inflated.