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Publication numberUS3646947 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 7, 1972
Filing dateJun 12, 1970
Priority dateApr 4, 1969
Publication numberUS 3646947 A, US 3646947A, US-A-3646947, US3646947 A, US3646947A
InventorsRochelle William R, Wycoff Ronald Lee
Original AssigneeBrown & Root
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Jacket pile cleanout apparatus
US 3646947 A
Abstract
A jacket pile cleanout device for cleaning in situ the interior of an offshore piling including a fluid accumulation jetting chamber for accumulating and jetting a fluid against debris within the interior of a pile casing and a pumping chamber connected with the accumulation chamber. The pumping chamber is fashioned with a fluid inlet and fluid exit with a means for introducing pressurized gas into the interior of the pumping chamber between the fluid inlet and the fluid exit. The pump serves to lift fluid and fragmented matter within the piling to the surface by a gas lift.
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United States Patent Rochelle et al.

[ 5l Mar. 7,1972

[54] JACKET PILE CLEANOUT APPARATUS [72] Inventors: William R. Rochelle, Houston, Tex.;

Ronald Lee Wyeolf, Rolla, Mo.

[73] Assignee: Brown & Root, Inc., Houston, Tex.

[22] Filed: June 12, 1970 [2] Appl. No: $7,860

Related US. Application Data [62] Division of Scr. No. 813,479, Apr. 4, I969, Pat. No.

[52] U.S. Cl. ..l34/l67 C, l34/24 [51] Int. Cl. l ..B08b 3/02, B08b 9/02 [58] Field ofSearch ..l34/22 C, 24, 166C, I67 C,

l34/l68 C, 169 C [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l,274,93l 8/l9l8 Otterson 134/24 2,245,575 6/1941 Court I 34/24 UX 3,062,227 I 1/1962 Soderberg.. ....l34/l68 C 3,085,585 4/1963 Le Rocque ....l34/l69 C 3,I65,109 1/1965 Hammelmann ..l34/l67 C Pn'mary Examiner-Robert L. Bleutge Attorney-Burns, Doane, Benedict, Swecker 8L Mathis [57] ABSTRACT A jacket pile cleanout device for cleaning in situ the interior of an offshore piling including a fluid accumulation jetting chamber for accumulating and jetting a fluid against debris within the interior of a pile casing and a pumping chamber connected with the accumulation chamber, The pumping chamber is fashioned with a fluid inlet and fluid exit with a means for introducing pressurized gas into the interior of the pumping chamber between the fluid inlet and the fluid exit. The pump serves to lift fluid and fragmented matter within the piling to the surface by a gas lift.

12 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures PATENTEUMR 1 I972 SHEU 1 0F 6 INVENTORS WILLIAM R. ROCHELLE RONALD LEE WYCOFF ums Dom, Emma 8W4 /at m'" ATTORN E YS PATENTEUHAR 1 I972 SHEET 2 0f 6 INVENTQRS W'LUM R. ROCHELLE RONALD LEE WYCOFF uru, bow, Emma Math:

ATTOR N E YS Quest PAIENIEHIIR 7 m2 3.646.947

sum u or 6 INVENTOBS WILLIAM R. ROCHELLE RONALD LEE WYCOFF f BY ZWM, zomfiwdd,

Qwecke/ Mal/us ATTORNEYS PATENTEUHAR 7 m2 SHEET 5 BF 6 Fm ll FIG. 10

INVENTORS WlLLIAM R. ROCHELLE RONALD LEE WYCOFF BY bow, ated/6" iweucu MMM ATTORN E YS PATENTEDHAR' 7 m2 3.646.947

sum 6 0F 6 INVENTORS WILLIAM R. ROCHELLE RONALD LEE WYCOFF BY U M', bow 224411106,

weerer 6 MM:

ATTORNEYS JACKET PILE CLEANOUT APPARATUS BACKG ROUN D OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to reinforcing, in situ, an offshore piling of the type adapted to extend downwardly into the bed ofa body of water and upwardly above the surface of the water to support a platform.

More particularly this invention relates to a method and ap paratus for reinforcing pilings, in situ, which may be partially damaged or corroded and which may contain silt or other sediment that would prohibit the utilization of conventional pile reinforcing techniques.

Drilling for oil in oil or gas fields situated beneath the surface of a body of water such as a sea or lake is frequently performed utilizing a drilling tower which is relatively mobile and generally includes a buoyant base adapted to rest upon a submerged surface. In contrast the instant invention relates to an offshore platform or tower which has pilings extending into a submerged surface and is therefore relatively immobile. Such a platform may be used in conjunction with a well or several wells, may be used as a distribution or collecting station, or may be used for other purposes, not necessarily related to the petroleum industry.

One example of a platform support structure of the type described above includes a plurality of vertically extending tubular casings which have been either jetted, driven, or drilled into the seabed. In many cases, depending upon the depth of the water, the casings comprise segments which are directed into alignment by guide flanges and either bolted, screwed or welded together at the construction site. Cross bracing is frequently employed to give the structure lateral stability against hydrodynamic loads imposed on the piling by currents and/or waves within the sea.

Platforms, as described above, in addition to supporting drilling equipment, frequently are used to support radar installations, lighthouse beacons, marine experimentation stations, and the like. Dimensionally the pilings of these platforms frequently vary from 6 inches to 3 feet in diameter and from 50 to l feet in length or more when used along the near shore portions of the Gulf of Mexico and 100 to 500 feet or more in length when used along the Continental shelf of the Pacific Coast.

Although tubular platform supports of the type described are often adequate, they may sometimes become unsatisfactory for a number of reasons.

For example, in areas where sea conditions vary with the seasons, the above structure may be quite satisfactory, on a temporary basis. However, if the tower is required to be maintained through a stormy season, the tubular casing may not be structurally rigid enough to withstand forces created by a raging wind and sea.

Another disadvantage of the above tubular pile structure is that while a piling initially may be designed to withstand vary ing sea conditions, with time, the steel casings may be corrodcd and often substantial portions may be eroded away. It will be readily appreciated that such corrosion, or fatigue will substantially weaken the piling structure, even to the point of possible failure.

One particular environment where conventional supports have not been totally satisfactory is for offshore drilling operations. In this regard, while conventional tubular structure can be designed to withstand the stresses and corrosion of the salt water for an estimated drilling time, frequently drilling operations are extended beyond the time initially estimated. Furthermore, if the drilling produces an oil bearing well, the drilling platform is frequently used to support production equipment which can remain in place indefinitely.

When either of the above conditions occurs, some means is necessary to reinforce the support pilings without disrupting either the drilling or subsequent production operations. Un-

fortunately, these pilings may frequently have guide means projecting within their interiors and further the pilings may have accumulated large deposits of sediment, mud or other debris which makes it difficult or impossible to reinforce them by the conventional technique of merely filling the piling with cement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Objects Of The Invention To this and other ends, it is therefore a general object of the invention to overcome problems and disadvantages of the type previously mentioned.

It is a particular object of the invention to reinforce, in situ, conventional pile casings.

It is another object of the invention to reinforce, in situ, weakened pile casings of offshore drilling platforms.

It is yet another object of the invention to reinforce pile casings without disrupting operations on the platform supported by the pilings.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a means to reinforce temporary piling structure, in situ, after a decision has been made to make the structure relatively permanent.

It is still another object of the invention to reinforce a piling structure which may be substantially full of sediment or debris and which contains inwardly projecting guide means which facilitate the joining of pile segments.

It is yet another significant object of the invention to provide a device that can be positioned within a pile casing and simultaneously fragment and remove debris therein.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a device that is lightweight and compact enough to fit into a pile casing and fragment and remove debris therein at depths far exceeding sea level.

It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a device with no moving parts, that is not vulnerable to abrasion, that is conservative in power requirements, that will not be clogged by mud or debris and will be compact enough to fit into a pile casing to fragment and remove debris therein at depths greatly exceeding sea level.

One preferred from of the invention intended to accomplish at least some of the foregoing objects comprises: gaining access into a pile casing above the water line, cleaning debris from the interior of the casing and simultaneously ejecting this debris from the pile casing, stiffening or reinforcing the casing and finally closing the pile casing access opening.

In carrying out the above step of cleaning and simultaneously ejecting another aspect of the invention comprises a fluid jet cleaning and gas lift pumping tool. The tool is designed to descend into a pile casing and generally comprises two cylindrical chambers. One chamber contains jetting nozzles at one end thereof and a fluid inlet at the other end. Pressurized fluid can be pumped into this chamber where it will momentarily accumulate and thenjet against the casing walls to fragment matter that may be collected thereon or therebetween.

The second chamber is integrally connected to the first accumulation and jetting chamber and is generally an open ended hollow body with a toroidal manifold positioned approximately in the center thereof. Pressurized gas may be pumped into the manifold and out through a plurality of apertures therein to release gas within the interior of the pumping chamber. The gas will comingle with fluid and particulate debris within the chamber and thereby reduce the specific gravity of the fluid within the pump. Consequently, the fluid column outside the chamber will force the fluid of lower specific gravity inside the chamber to the surface through a conduit connected to the top of the pumping chamber.

THE DRAWINGS Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. I is a side elevational view, partially broken away, ofa portion of the pile-defined support structure for an offshore platform;

FIG. 2 is a partially sectioned side elevational view of a piling during the cleaning phase of reinforcing the piling;

FIG. 3 is a partially sectioned side elevational view of a piling during the dewatering step of reinforcing the piling;

FIG. 4 is a partially sectioned side elevational view of a piling with prestressing tendons positioned therein;

FIG. 5 is a sectional side elevational view of the prestressing structure;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the prestressing structure, as viewed along section line 66 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a partially sectioned side elevational view of a prestressed reinforced piling casing;

FIG. 8 is a partially sectioned side elevational view of a preferred embodiment of a pile cleanout device positioned with a pile casing;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of one of the nozzles shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a top plan, generally horizontally sectioned view of the pile cleanout device shown in FIG. 8, as viewed along section line [0-10 of FIG. 8;

FIG. I I is a fragmentary, partially sectioned, vertical elevation view of the upper end of a guide component as viewed along section line I1II of FIG. I0;

FIG. I2 is a fragmentary partially sectioned, vertical elevation view of the high-pressure manifold, as viewed along section line I2-I2of FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of the manifold shown in FIG. 12. taken along section line I3l3 therein;

FIG. [4 is a partially sectioned side elevational view of an alternative preferred embodiment of a jacket pile cleanout device shown positioned within a jacket pile casing wherein conduit 32 has been rotated 60 for ease of illustration;

FIG. is a top plan view, generally horizontally sectioned, of the pile cleanout device, as viewed along section line IS-I5 of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a bottom plan view of FIG. I4; and

FIG. I7 is a fragmentary portion of a cross-sectional plan view taken along section line l7l7 of FIG. 14.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS SUMMARY Referring now to the drawings, wherein like numerals designate like parts, and more specifically to FIG. 1, an offshore platform structure I0, only a portion of which is shown, is pictured supported by a plurality of generally upright pile casings II. Such pile casings II project through generally tubular jacket legs" Ila of the structure I0 to secure structure I0 to the subsea bed I3, in the manner generally described in the US. Hauber et al. Pat. No. 3,315,473 and the Us. Hauber Pat. No. 3,429,l 33.

The casings I] extend above the surface 12s and into the bed 13 of a body of water I2. Cross bracing means I4 extend between and reinforce the jacket legs Ila so as to restrain lateral movement of the structure, which may be caused, for example, by various hydrodynamic forces of the sea.

The pilings Il may contain sediment and debris 15 which has accumulated above the sea bed and also a more compacted silt or deposit 16 below the seabed.

A preferred method of reinforcing, in situ, a piling, as described above comprises: swagging internal guide flanges of casing segments into conformity with the casing wall, cleaning and simultaneously removing any sediment or debris that may be contained therein, dewatering the pile casing, filling the casing with a cementitious material and prestressing the cement. A piling reinforced by the above method may be stronger than the original tubular casing and extremely resistant to the hydrodynamic forces of the sea.

The above step of cleaning and simultaneously removing sediment within the piling is carried out by a jacket pile cleanout device as best seen in FIGS. 8 and I4. The cleanout device is compact enough to be positioned within the jacket piling and is composed of an accumulation jetting chamber with a plurality ofjetting heads at one end thereof. The heads direct fluid jets against compacted silt within the casing. The fluid jets fragment or disperse the silt which will then be suspended within the jetting fluid retained within the casing.

Integral with the accumulation jetting chamber is a generally hollow, open ended tubular pumping chamber. The pumping chamber contains a gas inlet means which will admit superatmospheric gas into the chamber. The gas will comingle with the jetting fluid and the fragmented debris which, following a path of least resistance, has entered the open end of the pumping chamber. Therefore, the solution in the pumping chamber will have a specific gravity lower than the fluid outside the chamber and will therefore be pushed upward. This means of pumping is commonly referred to as a gas lift.

It will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that the above-described tool will will simultaneously scour the interior of a pile casing and pump the fragmented debris to the surface and out of the jacket piling. It will be further noted that this pumping device does not contain any moving parts and therefore is relatively simple to service. Since the pumping chamber is merely a smooth hollow opening, mud and debris will not clog or wear the interior as readily as with a rotary vane pump. Further, the pump as described above is small enough to fit into the interior of a pile casing, yet is large enough to fulfill the pumping requirements. Additionally, the pump will operate at depths far exceeding those possible by a perfect vacuum pump positioned at sea level.

THE METHOD The first step in reinforcing a piling, in situ, is to form an entrance into the interior of the piling.

lfit should prove to be impractical to provide an access into the top of the piling structure, a service window 20, shown in FIG. I, may be cut into the contiguous sides of the piling and jacket leg to be reinforced. A temporary service platform 21 may be constructed around the jacket leg and piling, beneath the location of window 20. The platform is supported by braces 22 attached to the exterior of the jacket structure and for safety a guard rail 23 may be placed around the platform perimeter.

In those instances where the piling was constructed with pipe segment stabilizing or guide means, [9, a swagging tool 24, shown in FIG. I, is inserted into the lateral opening. The tool contains a plurality of expanding lobes 25. The lobes are placed next to the web-like section [90, guide means I9, which are inclined toward the pile axis, and expanded to swage the web-like sections outwardly into general conformity with the interior of the pile casing II. The swagging tool 24 is commercially available through the Layne Texas Company, Inc., of Houston, Tex.

After the guide sections have been flattened, the swagging tool is removed and a pile cleanout tool 26, shown in FIG. 2, is positioned within the jacket pile opening 20 and lowered down the pile casing on a rolling guide sled 27. Fluid is pumped down a conduit 30 into an accumulation chamber 28 and forced through jetting heads 29 into the casing interior. If the casing is initially water free, fluid exiting from jets 29 will build up a substantial water head, as shown at 37. As the tool encounters mud or silt within the casing, water from the plurality of high-pressure jets 29 will fragment or disperse the mud and silt, forming a generally homogeneous suspension of water and debris around the end of the cleanout tool.

Superatmospheric air is then forced through a conduit 32 into a toroidal manifold 33 and out of a plurality of apertures 38 contained therein, as shown in FIG. 12. The high pressure air will comingle with the homogeneous suspension of fluid and silt which has entered the pumping chamber and substantially reduce its specific gravity. As discussed before, since a head of water 37, which water has a specific gravity of substantially unity, exists outside a preferably stiff, and possibly metallic conduit 35, and a column of foamed or aerated" water and particulate matter having specific gravity less than that of water 37 exists within metallic conduit 35, the foamed liquid and particulate matter will be forced to the surface and expelled at lower lip 36 of window 20.

Therefore, as thejacket pile cleanout tool descends into the pile casing, the fluid from jets 29 disperses mud and silt contained therein, and a gas lift pump 3] pumps this matter to the surface, where it is expelled into the sea. This scouring and removal process is continued until the piling is cleaned a desirable distance extending into the sea bed.

The operation of the gas lift pump 31 requires the maintenance of a hydrostatic head. Therefore, even though the jacket pile cleanout device can substantially remove mud and silt from the interior of the casing, it will necessarily leave a considerably amount of liquid within the pile casing.

In some circumstances, where the reinforcement merely comprises filling the casing with a stiffening material, the clean fluid will be unobjectionable since materials such as asphalt, grouting or other cementitious material will merely displace the fluid as it is pumped into the piling. However, where a cementitious column is to be prestressed, it is desirable to substantially dewater the piling before working within it.

The dewatering can be accomplished by lowering a conventional rotary vane pump 39, generally depicted in FIG. 3, into the piling casing. The pump end 40 is submerged into the fluid contained in the casing. As the fluid level recedes, the pump can be lowered to maintain the inlet below the water line. It will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that a pump of this type would have been unacceptable initially because its rotary vanes would have been clogged by the mud and silt within the piling. Further, it would have occupied too much space to be utilized with a cutting tool and for other reasons as priorly enumerated.

After the water within the pile casing is substantially removed, the pump 39 is withdrawn and a reinforcing bundle is inserted within the casing walls. The reinforcing bundle is composed of a pair of end plates 41 and 42, as best seen in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, and a plurality of reinforcing rods or tendons 43 extending between the two end plates. The end plates are provided with central passages 47 and 48 to allow the piling to be filled with cementitious material, as will be described later. Each of the reinforcing rods is surrounded by a tubular sheath 44 which is spaced radially therefrom. The rods 43 are secured to the end plates by conventional prestressing washers 45. The upper plate is attached to the interior of the casing wall by a plurality of support bars 46. It will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that the structure of the reinforcing cage, while flexible, may dictate slightly enlarging opening to accommodate its insertion into the pile casing. In those instances where the access opening is provided in the top of the piling, forming or enlarging a side access, of course, would be unnecessary.

Once the reinforcing cage is secured within the pile casing, the opening 47 in the top plate permits the pile to be pumped substantially full of a fluid cementitious material I20. The cement is allowed to set and partially cure until it reaches an adequate strength to be stressed. The tendons 43 are then tensioned by conventional machinery suitable for the purpose, such as a hydraulic ram.

Allowing the cement to partially cure before stressing insures a relatively rigid column for the end plates to wear against and further excessive hoop and shear stresses on the piling casing are avoided.

The cement is allowed to fully cure in the prestressed condition. A binder material is then pumped through passages (not shown) in the stressing washers into the sheaths 44 surrounding the reinforcing rods 43 to bind the tendons to the sheaths, thus creating an integral prestressed structure, shown in FIG. 7. The end plate 41 is then covered with concrete and window 20 is sealed with a closing plate, not shown.

By following the above outlined sequence of steps, ajacket piling which was either originally designed as a temporary structure or one that had substantially deteriorated through corrosion has been rejuvenated by the construction therein of a prestressed concrete column which will stiffen the pilings and carry considerably more stress, without failure, than the original tubular structure.

THE JACKET PILE CLEANOUT TOOL A preferred embodiment of ajacket pile cleanout tool. as shown in FIG. 8, positioned within a pile casing ll, comprises a first generally closed cylindrical accumulation jetting chamber 5L A plurality of jetting nozzles, generally indicated as 29, protrude from the lower end of the chamber 51 in three echelons. A first penetration nozzle I2] is centrally located directly on the bottom of the accumulation chamber. This nozzle serves to jet a leading hole which vertically penetrates and preconditions mud within the piling ll.

The penetration nozzle is followed by a circumferential row of cutting and fragmenting nozzles I22. These nozzles extend from the sidewalls of the accumulation chamber and project downwardly at an angle approximately 45 (degrees) to the vertical. Descent of the penetration nozzle 12] brings the main cutting and fragmenting nozzles into proximity with the sloping faces, approximately 45 (degrees), of preconditioned or partially softened mud. Fluid jetting from the nozzles 122 meet the wall of presoftened mud at an angle approximately normal to the slope of the mud wall and therefore penetrate and disperse substantially all of the mud within the piling II.

The main cutting nozzles I22 are followed by a final echelon of circumferentially spaced scouring nozzles I23. The scouring nozzles are circumferentially positioned to straddle the spacing of the cutting nozzles 122 and extend downwardly at an angle of approximately 60 (degrees) with the vertical. The function of the scouring nozzles 123 is to jet against and disperse any mud clinging to the piling wall which the cutting nozzles 122 did not disperse, therefore substantially scouring and cleaning the piling walls of all debris.

The nozzles, as shown in FIG. 9, are designed with a first frustoconical inlet passage 53 which gradually reduces to a jetting passage 52. The size of the nozzle varies with the job and they are, therefore, interchangeably attached to the accumulation chamber by collars 56. Further, the jetting passage of each nozzle is provided with a hardened surface 52a or a wear insert (not shown) to maximize nozzle life.

At the top of the jetting accumulation chamber 51 is an en trance conduit 59 which is connected directly, through a conventional threaded coupler 60, to a high-pressure fluid con duit 30. Additionally, at the upper end of the jetting accumu lation chamber is a support tab 57 containing an aperture 58 therein, to provide a ready connection for a wire support rope. not shown.

lntegrally, attached by means of a coupling plate 61 to the above-described jetting accumulation chamber 5 l is a pumping chamber 3|. The pump contains an opening 62 in the lower end and has a triangular cross-sectional, toroidal manifold 33 attached to the interior thereof.

The manifold 33, as shown in FIG. [2, comprises a pair of circumfcrentially extending legs 63 and 64. The legs are welded together at one end by a weld bead 6S and angularly slope to the wall of the pumping chamber where they are united thereto by a pair of weld beads 66 and 67. Therefore, a triangular, toroidal manifold is formed on the interior surface ofthe pumping chamber. The triangular shape of the manifold projecting into the flow stream of the pump 3l will produce a convergent flow pattern upstream of the manifold. A vena contracta may tend to be produced upstream of the air inlet orifices 38, and, if so produced, may tend to assist in keeping the orifices 38 "clean.

A high-pressure air (or gas) line 32 is connected to the pumping chamber 31 and opens directly into the interior of the high-pressure manifold through an aperture 68 in the pumping chamber wall. As best seen in FIGS. [2 and 13, the high-pressure manifold contains a plurality of upwardly facing orifices 38 spaced in two circumferential rows within the upper leg of the manifold structure. The orifices provide a uniform array of multiple entrance for high-pressure gas into IUIOZlS 0224 the interior of pumping chamber 31. It will also be appreciated by those skilled in the art that providing orifices 38 in the upper leg only of the manifold 33 will prevent mud and debris from entering and clogging the manifold passage.

At the upper end of the pumping chamber is a low pressure swivel joint 69 and a cam-type coupler 70 such as that disclosed in US. Pat. No. 2,5 3,026.

A jacket pile cleanout device of this particular embodiment is frequently used with casings approximately 30 inches in diameter or greater. Therefore, in order to insure the maintenance of the jetting head approximately in the center of the casing, and to keep the cleanout device from tilting and wedging within thejacket pile a rolling centralizing support or sled, generally indicated 27, as shown in FIG. 8, is positioned around the accumulation chamber 51.

The rolling support comprises an upper set of three radially disposed support arms 71 and an identical lower set of support arms 72. A first arm 73 is positioned diametrically opposite to the pumping chamber 31. Journaled vertically between arm 73 and its lower counterpart is a rectangular casing 74 which serves as a base for an upper and lower set of bifurcated caster brackets 75. Caster wheels for rolling contact with the interior of the pile causing II are journaled on each of the brackets 75.

la order to prevent the support bar 74 from rotating around an axle pin 77, under working conditions, an aperture 78 is formed in the support arm 73 and a corresponding aperture is fashioned into a keeper tab 79 which extends from the support bar 74. As best seen in FIG. 11, to lock the rollers into an operative position, the apertures in support arm 73 and keeper tab 79 are aligned and a locking pin 80 is dropped therethrough.

The other two pairs of support arm 81 are positioned approximately 120 on either side of support arm 73 and are distinguishable therefrom by the addition of a second support bar locking position. When a locking aperture 82 is utilized, the rollers extend radially from the accumulation chamber which is the normal operating position. However, when it is desired to insert or withdraw the cleanout device from a pile casing, these rolling supports can be swung approximately 60, as indicated by phantom lines in FlG. 10, and locked in position utilizing an aperture 83. Therefore, it is possible to insert the cleanout device into the pile casing through a smaller service window than would be feasible if these two rolling supports would not laterally rotate.

The above-described embodiment of the jacket pile cleanout device is particularly suited to relatively large casings, although not limited thereto. When casings are encountered which have a small diameter, another embodiment of the jacket cleanout device may be preferred and is disclosed by FlGS.14-17.

As best seen in FIG. 14, the cleanout tool comprises a fluid accumulating jetting chamber 90. This chamber comprises a central cylindrical body member 91 with an upper cap 92 and a lower cap 93. The lower cap is provided with a plurality of hemispheric-ally arranged nozzles 94, as best seen in FIGS. 14 and 16. The nozzles are positioned in three echelons, as discussed previously, for penetrating, cutting and scouring. The nozzles are provided with a cylindricaljetting bore 95 and are interchangeably connected within a plurality of end cap threaded apertures 96.

The upper end cap 92 is provided with an inlet passage 97. Coupled directly to this passage is a high-pressure fluid conduit 98 which is attached to inlet pipe 30 by a conventional threaded fastener 99.

Concentrically surrounding the accumulation jetting chamber 90 is a gas lift pump 100. The pump comprises a generally cylindrical chamber 101 which is open at its lower end, as at 102, and is provided with a reducing cap 103 at its upper end which opens directly into an outlet conduit 104. The outlet conduit is coupled to exhaust pipe 35 by a quick release cam coupling 70. The high pressure fluid conduit 98 passes through the reducing cap 103 and is provided with a seal weld I24.

The upper reducing cap 103 has integrally attached thereto a support car 105, as shown in FIG. 15, with an aperture 106 therethrough. The car is suitable for connection to a flexible metallic support cable.

Positioned within the pumping chamber 100 is a generally triangular toroidal high-pressure manifold 107, which, as best seen in FIG. 14, is composed of an upper peripherally extending side 108 and a lower peripherally extending side 109. These sides are angled together and extend about and are directly welded to the cylindrical portion 91 of the accumulating jetting chamber 90. Therefore. the chamber serves as a base for the toroidal manifold.

The upper side 108 of the manifold is provided with an inlet aperture 110, which accommodates a high-pressure air line 32 and provides an entrance into the manifold 107. The upper side 108 of the manifold 107 is further provided with a plurality of upwardly facing apertures 11]. A triangular manifold, as discussed previously, provides an advantageous means of pumping air into the chamber and the upwardly directed orifices 111 prevent clogging of the manifold 107. The apex 112 of the triangular manifold radially falls short of extending to the inner periphery of the pumping chamber 10], therefore an annular space 113 is maintained to allow water and particulate matter to enter the pumping chamber around the outside of the manifold and to be therefrom lifted to the surface by gas lift techniques as described above.

SUMMARY OF THE ADVANTAGES It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the above disclosure provides a method and means of reinforcing. in situ, a weakened jacket pile casing which may contain obstructions and which may be filled with mud or other debris.

In addition, the above-described jacket pile cleanout tool when utilized as directed can be inserted into a piling, in situ, to scour the interior thereof without necessitating a shutdown on the work platform.

The cleanout tool as described above comprises a unitary structure that can be positioned within a piling to penetrate, fragment and scour mud from the interior thereof and pump the debris to the surface even at depths greatly exceeding sea level.

The tool is light weight, dimensionally compatible with conventional piling casings, and is essentially abrasion resistant and nonclogging.

The sloping lower wall of the triangular manifold channels fluid into the pumping chamber and may thus assist in keeping the air supplying orifices "clean."

The invention has been described in connection with a technique involving the posttensioning of the reinforcing elements 43. This technique is advantageous in that substantially no axial stress is imposed upon the piling to be repaired or strengthened. However, in certain instances, it may be permissible to secure the plates 41 and 42 to the piling interior and pretension the members 43 before the cement is introduced into the piling to surround these reinforcing members. After the cement was introduced and cured, the members 43 would be relaxes so as to cause the plates 41 and 42 to axially, compressively engage the cement mass.

As will also be recognized, the practice of the invention is not limited to the repairing of conduits having an essentially upright configuration.

Although the invention is described with reference to preferred embodiments, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that additions, deletions, modifications, substitutions and other changes not specifically described and illustrated in these embodiments, may be made which will fall within the purview of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A jacket pile cleanout device, designed to clean the interior of an offshore piling extending from within a sea bed to above the surface of the sea for supporting a platform thereon, wherein said piling may be filled or partially filled with sedimentor debris, comprising:

a fluid accumulation jetting chamber, having a fluid jetting means communicating with a portion of said accumulation jetting chamber, and

a fluid inlet aperture in another portion of said accumulation chamber,

whereby pressurized fluid entering said inlet aperture can be momentarily stored in said accumulation chamber and thenjetted through saidjetting means;

a pumping chamber connected with said accumulation chamber, and having a fluid inlet in one portion thereof;

a fluid exit in another portion thereof, and

means attached to said pumping chamber, between said fluid inlet and said fluid exit, to introduce pressurized gas into the interior of said pumping chamber;

whereby when said cleanout device is positioned within an offshore piling, fluid jetting from said jetting chamber will dislodge and fragment matter within the piling and of said fragmented matter will be lifted to the surface through said pumping chamber by gas lift.

2. A jacket pile cleanout device as defined in claim 1 wherein said fluid jetting means comprises:

a first central penetration nozzle;

a second ring of cutting nozzles disposed upstream of said penetration nozzle and a third ring of scouring nozzles disposed upstream of both said penetration and cutting nozzles.

3. A jacket pile cleanout device as defined in claim 1, wherein said means to introduce pressurized gas into said pumping chamber comprises:

a toroidal manifold within said pumping chamber, said manifold containing a plurality of apertures therein to allow pressurized gas to escape therefrom into the interi' or of said pumping chamber.

4. A pile cleanout device adapted to clean the interior of an offshore piling extending from within a sea bed to above the surface of a sea, for supporting a platform thereon, wherein said piling may be filled or partially filled with sediment or other foreign matter, comprising:

a generally cylindrical accumulation jetting chamber hava fluidjetting means in one end thereof, and

a fluid inlet aperture in the other end thereof, whereby pressurized fluid entering said inlet aperture can be momentarily stored in said accumulation chamber and thenjetted through saidjetting means;

a generally cylindrical pumping chamber, connected to said accumulation chamber so that the axis thereof is substantially parallel to the axis of said fluid accumulation jetting chamber, and having a fluid inlet in one end thereof,

a fluid exit in the other end thereof, and

means attached to said pumping chamber between said fluid inlet and said fluid exit to introduce pressurized gas into the interior of said pumping chamber;

whereby when said cleanout device is positioned in an offshore piling, fluid jetting from said jetting chamber will dislodge and fragment matter within the piling and said fragmented matter will be lifted to the surface through said pumping chamber by gas lift.

5. A jacket pile cleanout device as defined in claim 4 wherein said means to introduce pressurized gas into said pumping chamber comprises:

a conduit connected to an aperture within the wall of said cylindrical pumping chamber, and

a generally triangularly shaped, toroidal manifold, the base thereof being formed by a portion of the inner surface of said pumping chamber, said manifold being positioned coaxially within said pumping chamber so that said aperture in the wall of said pumping chamber opens directly thereinto, and

said toroidal manifold contains a plurality of apertures therein to allow pressurized gas to escape therefrom into the interior of said pumping chamber.

6. A jacket pile cleanout device as defined in claim 4, and

further comprising:

Glil

a rolling support means connected to said accumulation jetting chamber, and adapted to support said jacket pile cleanout device centrally within said jacket pile casing.

7. A jacket pile cleanout device as defined in claim 6 wherein: said support means comprises a first set of three rollers connected to said accumulation jetting chamber by support arms radially extending therefrom: and

a second set of three rollers connected to said accumulator jetting chamber by support arms radially extending therefrom and axially spaced from said first set of rollers,

whereby said accumulation jetting chamber can be centered within said pile casing and positioned substantially coaxial therewith.

8. A jacket pile cleanout device as defined in claim 7,

wherein:

at least a pair of said rollers of said first set and a corresponding pair of said rollers of said second set are connected to said radially extending arms by a multiple pin position connection,

whereby removal of a pin of said multiple pin position connection will allow corresponding rollers of said first and said second sets to pivot, thus allowing entry of said jacket pile cleanout device into a lateral opening in said casing with a minimum chordal dimension.

9. A pile cleanout device as defined in claim 4, wherein said fluid jetting means comprises:

a first vertically extending penetration nozzle;

a second plurality of circumferentially disposed cutting or dispersing noules positioned upstream of said penetration nozzle and at an acute angle to the vertical; and

a third plurality of circumferentially disposed scouring nozzles positioned upstream of both said penetrating and cutting nozzles.

10. A pile cleanout device adapted to clean the interior of an offshore piling extending from within the bed of a body of water to above the surface of the water, for supporting a platform thereon, wherein said piling may be filled or partially filled with sediment or other debris, said device comprising:

a generally cylindrical, accumulating chamber, having a fluid jetting means in a lower end thereof,

a fluid inlet aperture in an upper end thereof,

whereby pressurized fluid entering said inlet aperture will be momentarily stored in said accumulation chamber and thenjetted through said jetting means;

a generally cylindrical pumping chamber, coaxially connected to and surrounding said accumulation chamber, having a fluid inlet in a lower end thereof,

a fluid exit in an upper end thereof, and

means within said pumping chamber positioned between said fluid inlet and said fluid exit to introduce a pressurized gas into the interior of said pumping chamber:

whereby with said cleanout device positioned in an offshore piling, fluid jetting from said jetting chamber will dislodge and fragment matter within the piling and said fragmented matter will then be lifted to the surface through said pumping chamber by gas lift.

11. A jacket pile cleanout device as defined in claim 10 wherein said means to introduce pressurized fluid into said pumping chamber comprises:

a conduit extending into said pumping chamber;

a generally triangular toroidal manifold connected to said conduit, the base of said triangular toroidal manifold being formed by a portion of the outer cylindrical wall of said accumulation chamber. and

a plurality of apertures formed in said toroidal chamber to allow pressurized gas to escape therefrom into the interior of said pumping chamber.

12. A jacket pile cleanout device as defined in claim 10 wherein:

said fluid jetting means comprises a central nozzle, said central nozzle being surrounded by a plurality of similar fluid jetting nozzles oriented in a generally hemispherical pattern.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification134/167.00C, 134/24
International ClassificationB08B9/043, E02D5/34, E02B17/00, B08B9/02, E02D5/40
Cooperative ClassificationE02D5/40, E02B17/00, E02B17/0034
European ClassificationE02B17/00E, E02B17/00, E02D5/40