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Publication numberUS3635184 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 18, 1972
Filing dateJun 15, 1970
Priority dateJun 18, 1969
Also published asCA918701A1
Publication numberUS 3635184 A, US 3635184A, US-A-3635184, US3635184 A, US3635184A
InventorsLiautaud Jean
Original AssigneeRech Activites Petroliers Elf
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Underwater connector
US 3635184 A
Abstract
A device for bringing to the surface or submerging a metal object containing remote-controlled instruments, and consisting of a mobile cylindrical cap which fits easily onto an inner component which also revolves, the cup being connected to a cable by a threaded section and the other unit being attached to the object to be submerged or raised, with bolting devices forming part of the cup fitting into slots in the inner component when the edge of the said cup is resting on the upper edge of the inner component and the two components are positioned correctly in relation to each other, the bolting devices being pushed into the slots by the operation of a jack which causes a bellcrank lever to pivot on a fixed axis, the upper end of the said jack being connected to another bellcrank lever which can pivot on a second fixed axis, and which, when at rest, is held against a block by means of a spring.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Liautaud [451 Jan. 18, 1972 [54] UNDERWATER CONNECTOR 3,354,856 11/1967 Annibale ..1 14/51 Inventor: J Liaumud, Paris France 3,551,005 12/1970 Brun ..285/18 X [73] Assignee: Entreprise de Recherches et DActivltw Primary Examiner-Andrew Farrell p an (ELF), Paris, France Attorney-Holcombe, Wetherill & Brisebois [22] Filed: June 15, 1970 57] ABSTRACT PP 46,200 A device for bringing to the surface or submerging a metal object containing remote-controlled instruments, and consisting [30] Foreign Application Priority Data of a mobile cylindrical cap which fits easily onto an inner com- References Cited ponent which also revolves, the cup being connected to a cable by a threaded section and the other unit being attached to the object to be submerged or raised, with bolting devices forming part of the cup fitting into slots in the inner component when the edge of the said cup :is resting on the upper edge of the inner component and the two components are positioned correctly in relation to each other, the bolting devices being pushed into the slots by the operation of a jack which causes a bellcrank lever to pivot on a fixed axis, the upper end of the said jack being connected to another bellcrank lever which can pivot on a second fixed axis, and which,

UNITED STATES PATENTS when at rest, is held against a block by means of a spring. 2,723,153 11/1955 Ansell ..114/51 X 7Claims,1l)raw|nglligure I 22 K b 17 Z0 Z1 26 131448 75 1% 31; 19 18 A -33 ll ":"=1.\ -34 10 ii \36 9 46 37 3 41 We W l I 1 42 43 Pmmmmwm 3,635,184

Inveni'or ILmu-muD w MMMM+ We UNDERWATER cownncroa The present invention concerns a remote-controlled underwater connector, capable on the one hand of attaching itself to a submerged object and bringing it to the surface, and on the other hand of providing a connection with this object, after attaching itself to it, through a number of hydraulic or electrical lines, in order to transmit impulses, control signals or driving force to it.

At the present stage of technical progress, most existing underwater connectors are produced for the oil industry, and therefore contain a large passage in the center for drilling or production tools. Where they also allow hydraulic lines to be connected, the space taken up by these makes the outside diameter of the connector even larger, or necessitates adding another section to the main connector.

In the connector involved in the invention, the system for the connection of the hydraulic or electrical lines is incorporated in the center of the appliance, thus providing a light, compact and at the same time sturdy unit.

This connector can be used in all cases where it is necessary to bring up or submerge large objects containing remote-controlled instruments, and in particular it can be used to install and raise submerged installations made up of modules that can be-disconnected and handled separately.

The connector involved in the invention, consisting of a mobile cylindrical cup which fits easily on to an inner component which also revolves, the cup being connected to a cable by a threaded section and the other unit being attached to the object to be submerged or raised, is characterized in that bolting devices forming part of the cup fit into slots in the inner component when the edge of the said cup is resting on the upper edge of the inner component and the two components are positioned correctly in relation to each other, the bolting devices being pushed into the slots by the operation of a jack which causes a bellcrank lever to pivot on a fixed axis, the upper end of the said jack being connected to another bellcrank lever which can pivot on a second fixed axis, and which, when at rest, is held against a block by means of a spring.

According to another characteristic of the invention, the bolt can be withdrawn from the slot without using the jack, in the event of the jack failing to work, for instance, by exerting tension on a rod attached to the upper bellcrank lever, in such a way as to free the cup.

The invention will be clearer from the description below, and the single FIGURE accompanying it.

This FIGURE gives a cross-sectional view of the connector.

A cylindrical mobile cup 33 fits easily on to a revolving inner component 45. A threaded section 23 allows the cup to be attached to a handling cable. The inner component has devices 41 to attach on to the object to be moved.

Bolts 6 on the cup can be fitted into slots in the inner component, when the rim 46 of the cup rests on the upper edge 47 of the inner component, and the two components 33 and 4 are correctly positioned in relation to each other.

The bolts are fitted into the slots by means of the jack 9, the action of which causes a bellcrank lever 7 to pivot on the fixed axis 3.

The upper end ll2 of the jack has the characteristic of being connected to a second bellcrank lever 14, which can pivot on a fixed axis l3, but which is normally held against a thrust block 43 by a spring it).

The bolt 6 can be withdrawn from the slot 5 without using the jack 9, in the event of the jack failing to work, for instance, by pulling a rod l l, attached to the lever.

The hydraulic or electrical lines carrying the signals or driving force to be transmitted to the object are contained in underwater pipes or cables descending from the surface of the sea along with the cup.

They enter the cup through apertures such as 20, by means of flexible tubes such as 17, ending at a plate 44 which contains the top halves 2 of hydraulic or electrical connectors.

The bottom halves of these connectors l are located on the component 45.

The plate 44 can be moved up or down by means of two cams 35. This plate forms the base of a truncated conical sleeve 39, which protects the flexible tubes 17, and is joined by rods 40 to a mechanism allowing it a slight upward or downward movement.

This mechanism consists of two cylinders 30 and 36, with two cams 35 at the extremities in contact.

When one cylinder rotates in relation to the other, they are pushed apart vertically, while reverse rotation brings them closer together, until the two cams fit together completely.

This rotation is obtained by keeping the cylinder 36 in a fixed position by means of the lug 19, which slides along a vertical groove in the component 13, and by turning the cylinder 30 by means of the lever 34, which is attached to it, and which is operated by the jack 32.

The other end of this jack is attached to the cup 33 by the component 311.

A set of elastic washers 22, interposed between a coupling 24 fixed rigidly to the cylinder 30 and a nut attached to the rod 24, which is fixed to the cylinder 36, tends to keep the two cylinders permanently in contact.

A second set of elastic washers 26, placed between the side 25 of the cup 33 and the cylinder 30, with interposed thrust ball bearings 27, tends to keep the whole mechanism permanently lowered, so that the rim 29 forming part of the cylinder 30 rests on the bearing surface 49 of the cup.

When the jack 32 is operated, the conical sleeve 39, first guided by the lug 15 and the matching slide 16, and then by the lug 3 and its slide 4, moves downwards until the two halves of the connectors, such as l and 2, fit into each other and are pushed home.

Further operation of the jack 32 forces the cylinder 30 to move away from the bearing surface 49 and compress the washers 26, thus providing an elastic contact between 1 and 2, to compensate for slight relative movements which could separate the component 45 and the cup 33 during operations, or bring them closer together.

An upper stop 28 limits the elastic movement of the mechanism upwards. The length of travel of the jack 32 is ad justed to ensure that the cylinder 30 always remains below this stop.

A rubber ring 37, placed between the cylinder 36 and the support 38, allows the sleeve 39 to adapt to the final adjustment of the connectors 1 and 2.

Finally, large apertures 43 in the component 45 allow any dirt which may have collected and which could prevent the connectors from fitting together properly to be eliminated.

In addition, constant injection of oil is provided by pipes such as 17, while the cup 33 is moving towards the component 45, so as to provide a permanent oil bath for apertures such as 2, to prevent contact with the water.

What we claim is:

i. A connector for bringing to the surface or submerging a metal object containing remote-controlled instruments, and comprising a mobile cylindrical cup which fits easily on to an inner component which also revolves, the cup being connected to a cable by a threaded section and the inner com ponent being attached to the object to be submerged or raised, characterized in that bolting devices forming part of the cup fit into slots in the inner component when the edge of the said cup is resting on the upper edge of the inner component and the two components are positioned correctly in relation to each other, the bolting devices being pushed into the slots by the operation of a jack which causes a bellcrank lever to pivot on a fixed axis, the upper end of the said jack being connected to another bellcrank lever which can pivot on a second fixed axis and which, when at rest, is held against a block by means of a spring.

2. Connector according to claim ll, in which the raising or lowering cup contains junctions mating with ducts forming part of the object, through which control impulses or driving force, electrical or hydraulic, can be transmitted.

rod attached to a bellcrank lever.

6. Connector according to claim I, in which the bolting device fitting into the slots can be withdrawn without the use of the jack, by exerting tension in a given direction on a rod attached to the bellcrank lever, in order to release the cup.

7. Connector according to claim 1, in which a permanently fed oil bath protects the surfaces in contact with the sea water, until attachment takes place.

l I! i

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2723153 *Nov 12, 1954Nov 8, 1955Marion W AnsellAutomatic clamp for raising ships and other objects
US3354856 *Mar 16, 1966Nov 28, 1967Joseph R AnnibaleSubmerged object lifting device
US3551005 *Apr 28, 1969Dec 29, 1970Westinghouse Electric CorpUnderwater connector
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4304452 *Sep 25, 1979Dec 8, 1981Trw Inc.Fluid flushed underwater electrical connector
US4453793 *Apr 5, 1982Jun 12, 1984International Telephone And Telegraph CorporationLocking mechanism for rectangular electrical connector
US4630878 *Mar 26, 1984Dec 23, 1986O&K Orenstein & Koppel AktiengesellschaftApparatus for the remote-controlled connecting or separating of two coupling parts
US4707041 *Dec 15, 1986Nov 17, 1987Hughes Tool CompanySubsea well electrical coupling system
US4717353 *Jan 21, 1987Jan 5, 1988Mcdermott IncorporatedDocking head and plate
US4722697 *Nov 10, 1986Feb 2, 1988Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki KaishaApparatus for transferring a driving force to jig unit
US4801272 *Feb 10, 1987Jan 31, 1989Canon Kabushiki KaishaExternal pack connector
US4810202 *Dec 28, 1987Mar 7, 1989Ab StratosConnector device
US5558532 *May 12, 1994Sep 24, 1996Cooper Cameron CorporationElectrical connection
US7566045Mar 20, 2003Jul 28, 2009Cameron International CorporationHydraulic coupler
US7641487Mar 21, 2006Jan 5, 2010Vetco Gray Controls LimitedConnection device
US7722375 *Nov 14, 2008May 25, 2010Siemens AktiengesellschaftPlug connection device designed to connect two function elements for signal and power transmission
EP0637675A1 *Aug 4, 1993Feb 8, 1995Cooper Cameron CorporationElectrical connection
EP2540613A1 *Jun 28, 2011Jan 2, 2013BAUER Maschinen GmbHConnector device for a feed line
WO1988003596A1 *Nov 5, 1987May 19, 1988Myrmidon Subsea Controls LtdSubsea systems and devices
WO2006114566A1 *Mar 21, 2006Nov 2, 2006Vecto Gray Controls LtdConnection device
Classifications
U.S. Classification114/51, 294/86.4, 285/18, 439/372, 294/82.35, 294/86.17, 439/310
International ClassificationF16B7/22, E21B33/038, H01R13/523, F16B7/00, B63C11/52, B63C11/34, B63C11/00, E21B33/03
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/0385, E21B33/038, B63C11/52, H01R13/523
European ClassificationE21B33/038, B63C11/52, H01R13/523, E21B33/038B