US 3799277 A
A force applicator comprises a mandrel to be connected to a rotary drilling machine, a piston on the mandrel, a cylinder around the piston, a spline connecting the mandrel and cylinder, and two earth bore engageable releasable anchor means, one of the anchor means being connected to the mandrel and the other to the cylinder. The mandrel is tubular to supply pressure fluid to the drilling machine and to the piston and cylinder for applying axial force to the mandrel. Suitable control means enables the operator to release the mandrel anchor means and set the cyliner anchor means and apply pressure fluid to the outer face of the piston to press the mandrel in toward the end of the hole being drilled or apply pressure fluid to the inner face of the piston to withdraw the mandrel from the hole; or to release the cylinder anchor means and set the mandrel anchor means and apply pressure fluid to the inner head of the cylinder to move the cylinder towards the end of the hole or apply pressure fluid to the outer head of the cylinder to move the cylinder out of the hole. By this method the drill is progressively advanced in the hole under force or withdrawn therefrom. Guide means is provided at the inner end of the mandrel to point the mandrel and drilling machine in the desired direction. In one embodiment the control means is part of the same in-hole unit as the rest of the force applicator and includes an automatic valve that automatically shifts the pressure fluid from one anchor means to the other and one side of the piston to the other to apply inward pressure to the mandrel to the stroke limit of the cylinder and then apply inward pressure to the cylinder to reset it and then repeat the cycle, but no control means is available to actuate the anchor means and piston and cylinder means to withdraw the mandrel and cylinder. In another embodiment the control means is a separate unit outside the hole and five flexible conduits connect the in-hole force applicator unit to the control means to supply pressure fluid to the drilling machine, to the two opposite sides of the piston, and to the two anchor means. Special winch means are provided for the parallel conduits.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Kellner 1 Mar. 26, 1974 FORCE APPLICATOR  Inventor: Jackson M. Kellner, Midland, Tex.
 Assignee: Smith International 1nc., Midland,
 Filed: Apr. 16, 1973  Appl. No.: 351,629
Related US, Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 189,844, Oct. 18, 1971,
 US. Cl. 175/94, 175/62, 175/99, 175/230, 175/325  Int. Cl E211) 7/00, E2lb 3/12, E210 9/00  Field of Search 175/94, 99, 97, 98, 62, 9 175/230, 53; 299/31  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 556,718 3/1896 Semmer 175/94 2,712,920 7/1955 Cullen et al. 175/99 2,946,578 7/1960 De Smaele.... 175/62 X R24,965 4/1961 Kirkpatrick 175/94 X 3,180,437 4/1965 Kellner et al. 175/230 3,354,969 11/1967 Ebeling 175/94 3,376,942 4/1968 Van Winkle..... 175/99 X 3,399,738 9/1968 Haspert 175/53. 3,604,754 9/1971 Kampf-Emden et al 299/31 X 3,642,326 2/1972 Steufmehl 299/31 Primary Examiner-David H. Brown chor means being connected to the mandrel and the other to the cylinder. The mandrel is tubular to supply pressure fluid to the drilling machine and to the piston and cylinder for applying axial force to the mandrel. Suitable control means enables the operator to-release the mandrel anchor means and set the cyliner anchor means and apply pressure fluid to the outer face of the piston to press the mandrel in toward the end of the hole being drilled or apply pressure fluid to the inner face of the piston to withdraw the mandrel from the hole; or to release the cylinder anchor means and set the mandrel anchor means and apply pressure fluid to the inner head of the cylinder to move the cylinder towards the end of the hole or apply pressure fluid to the outer head of the cylinder to move the cylinder out of the hole. By this method the drill is progressively advanced in the hole under force or withdrawn therefrom. Guide means is provided at the inner end of the mandrel to point the mandrel and drilling machine in the desired direction. In one embodiment the control means is part of the same in-hole unit as the rest of the force applicator and includes an automatic valve that automatically shifts the pressure fluid from one anchor means to the other and one side of the piston to the other to apply inward pressure to the mandrel to the stroke limit of the cylinder and then apply inward pressure to the cylinder to reset it and then repeat the cycle, but no control means is available to actuate the anchor means and piston and cylinder means to withdraw the mandrel and cylinder. In another embodiment the control means is a separate unit outside the hole and five flexible conduits connect the in-hole force applicator unit to the control means to supply pressure fluid to the drilling machine, to the two opposite sides of the piston, and to the two anchor means. Special winch means are provided for the parallel conduits.
45 Claims, 44 Drawing Figures PATENTEU M R 2 6 I974 sum 01 [1F 16 M MY PATENTEUMARZS I974 sum '02 nr 16 may PATENTEDMARZS I974 7 9 SHEET 03 0F 16 PATENTEDMARZB I974 3.799.277
sum 05 0F 16 PATENTED MARE 6 I974 SHEET 08 0F 1 PATENTED MAR 26 I974 sum 13 0F 16 PATENTEDMARZB I974 SHEET PATENTEDMARZIS [974 3,799 277 sum 15 [1F 16 Mi! F was W1 7 FORCE APPLICATOR CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION:
This application is a continuation of prior copending application Ser. No, l89,844 filed Oct. 18, 1971, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to earth boring equipment and more particularly to a force applicator to apply axial force to a rotary drilling bit.
The force applicator is particularly intended to be used in boring horizontal holes through coal beds a distance of up to a thousand feet to vent the formation of methane gas prior to the coal bed being mined.
2. Description of the Prior Art Coal bed vent holes have been drilled with auger bits. After the hole is several hundred feet long, directional control difficulty is experienced. It has been suggested that an in-hole drilling machine such as has been employed in directional drilling of wells be employed to increase directional stability, but in the absence of gravity to load the bit it was necessary to apply axial force through the drill stem and hence difficulty was experienced in horizontal drilling.
It is known to hydraulically load a drill bit in the rotary system of drilling oil wells. This has been accomplished by providingthe rotating mandrel that turns the drill bit with a fluid pressure driven piston movable axially while rotating in a cylinder that is releasably anchored to the side of the bore hole. When the mandrel reaches its limit of travel the anchor is released and falls by gravity to a new lowered position or the mandrel is elevated and latched to the cylinder and then lowered to reposition the cylinder. This is shown in U. S. Pat. No. 3,088,532 issued May 7, 1963 on the application of J. M. Kellner and No. 3,298,449 issued Jan. 17, 1967 on the application of William S. Bachman et al. It is also known to provide automatic valve means in such apparatus as shown in U. S. Pat. No. 3,105,561 issued Oct. l, 1963 on the ammplication of J. M. Kellner. The foregoing patents are only a few of a large number that have issued relative to hydraulic drill collars, hydraulic bit guides, hydraulic wall anchors, hydraulic packers, and the like.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention utilized to apply force to a mandrel which while moving axially is held against rotation so as to take the torque reaction of a rotary drilling machine connected to the mandrel.
According to the invention a tubular mandrel for transmitting pressure fluid and axial force is provided with means at one end for making connection to the non rotating part of a rotary drilling machine. A piston carried by the mandrel moves in a cylinder which is splined to the mandrel. Fluid actuated releasable anchor means for engaging the bore wall are carried by the mandrel and cylinder respectively. Guide means is provided on the mandrel of the inner end thereof, that is, the end adjacent the drilling machine. Control means is provided for controlling the application of pressure fluid to the piston and cylinder means and to the anchor means as required for the desired operating method.
In one embodiment the control means includes an automatic valve to alternately apply pressure fluid to set the cylinder anchor means and, with the mandrel anchor means released, pressure the outward face of the piston, thereby to urge the mandrel inwardly, and then, when the limit of the stroke of the piston and cylinder means is reached, to apply'pressure fluid to set the mandrel anchor means and, with the'cylinder'anchor means released, pressure the inward cylinder head to move it inwardly. The mandrel is connected to its outer end to a string of drill pipe through which the pressure fluid is transmitted and by means of which the apparatus is pulled out of the hole when desired. This method of operation is semi-automatic, being automatic during drilling and manual in withdrawal.
In another embodiment five flexible hoses windable on a winch are substituted for the string of drill pipe, eliminating the time and trouble of making up and breaking apart the drill string when going into and coming out of the hole being drilled. One of the conduits supplies pressure fluid through the mandrel to the drilling machine. Two of the conduits supply pressure fluid to the opposite sides of the piston of the piston and cylinder means. The other two conduits supply pressure fluid to the anchor means. Control means is provided outside the hole for selectively. applying pressure fluid to the anchor means and to opposite sides of the piston and cylinder means, whereby the cylinder may be anchored and the mandrel pressed inward or pulled-outward; or the mandrel may be anchored and the cylinder pushed inward or outward. With this arrangement and by this method the drilling machine can be both pushed into the hole and withdrawn by the force applicator.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a semi-schematic view showing a vertical section through a horizontal earth bore with apparatus according to the invention disposed therein shown in elevation;
FIG. 2 is a schematic view illustrating an inhole rotary drilling machine with which the subject invention may be used;
FIGS. 3, 7, 8, l2, l3, 18, 19 and 22 together form an axial section through a force applicator according to one embodiment of the invention;
FIGS. 4, 5, 6, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21 and 23 are transverse sections taken through the force applicator shown in the preceding drawings, such sections being taken on the planes indicated in said preceding drawmgs;
FIGS. 10 and 11 are a half section and an end view of the gripping collet shown in FIG. 7;
FIGS. 24, 25, 28, 30 and 31 together form an axial section through a force applicator according to a second embodiment of the invention;
FIGS. 26, 27, 29, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 are transverse sections through the force applicator shown in the last above referred to drawings;
FIG. 40 is a side elevation of out-of-hole equipment used in conjunction with the in-hole apparatus of the second embodiment of the force applicator;
FIG. 41 is a plan view of the aforesaid out-of-hole apparatus;
FIG. 42 is an end view of said out-of-hole apparatus;
FIG. 43 is a schematic diagram of a pneumatichydraulic circuit for control means for the apparatus; and
FIG. 44 is a schematic view of automatic means useful in conjunction with the control means.
FIGS. 3 through 39 are substantially full size and to scale for an exemplary tool, and FIGS. 40 through 42 are to scale.
As is apparent from the sectioning of the drawings, all parts are made of steel unless otherwise indicated or stated.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In this patent specification, unless the context indicates otherwise, the term inward is used to denote the axial direction toward the end of the bore hole and the term outward is used to denote the axial direction away from the bottom of the hole.
Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown an earth bore 51. The term earth is here and in the claims used in a broad sense to cover all materials of which the planet Earth is formed; it will be understood that frequently the earth will be coal. At the inner end of the earth bore is a drill bit 53 connected to the rotary part 55 of a rotary drilling machine 57. The non-rotating part 59 of the drilling machine is connected to mandrel anchor means 61. To the outer end of the mandrel anchor means is connected mandrel 63.
The mandrel, which is made up ofa number of tubular sections, includes a section 65 which carries a hexagonal upset 67 which travels inside tube 69, the latter having a hexagonal inner cross section. Tube 69 and upset 67 provide spline means 71 which allows the mandrel to move axially relative to tube 69 (and parts connected to the tube) and prevents relative rotation between the mandrel and the tube (and parts connected to the tube).
The tube 69 is connected to cylinder anchor means 73, the latter being shown in set, i.e., expanded or bore wall engaging position, the condition when the force applicator is used to apply force to the drilling machine 57. The anchor means in turn is connected to the extension 75 of cylinder 77. The mandrel 63 continues on from the spline section 65 thereof through cylinder anchor means 73, cylinder extension 75, into cylinder 77 where its piston rod section 79 is provided with a piston 81. Piston 81 reciprocates in cylinder 77 and together the piston and cylinder form piston and cylinder means 83. Within cylinder extension 75 is disposed control means in the form of an automatic valve for delivering pressure fluid from the mandrel to the appropriate one of the anchor means 61, 73 as required to carry out automatically the sequence of the operating method during drilling.
The piston rod section of the mandrel extends outwardly beyond the cylinder 77 and connects to guide means 85, which has a flow passage axially therethrough to conduct pressure fluid to the mandrel. The guide means in turn connects to drill pipe string 87 which extends out the open or outer end of the earth bore. A guide funnel 91 is disposed in the open end of the earth bore. In lieu of drill pipe string 87, a flexible hose could be used to supply pressure fluid to the force applicator and drilling machine. Whether a string of drill pipe or a flexible hose is used, the outer end will be connected to a source of fluid under pressure, such as water, mud, gas, air, or oil, normally water. The connection will be such as to maintain fluid connection while allowing advance and retraction of the drilling machine and bit into and out of the hole.
A rotary drilling machine with which it is contemplated that the force applicator is to be used is one known as a Dyna-Drill. Apparatus of this type is shown in various publications, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,898,087 and 3,112,801, and the DYNA-DRILL Handbook published 1970 by the Dyna-Drill Company Division of Smith International, Inc. Such a rotary drilling machine is shown schematically in FIG. 2, which is based on the illustration at the right on page 1870 of the l97071 edition of the Composite Catalogue of Oil Field Equipment and Service. As there described, the drilling machine 57 includes a motor 101 which is essentially a three-stage Moyno Pump run in reverse and comprising about one-half of the total 25 foot length of the tool. The motor consists of an obround-shaped spiral passage 103 containing a solid steel rotor 105 which moves eccentrically. Shaped in a regular-recurring wave form, this rotor is free to move at the outer end 107, while the inner end 109 is attached to a connecting rod 111. The other end of the connecting rod is attached to tubular drive shaft 113. Thrust bearings 115, 117 on the drive shaft prevent it from moving axially inside housing extension 119. When water is pumped under pressure into housing connection 121 at the outer end of the tool, the pressure moves spring loaded slide dump valve 123, closing post 125. The water is thus directed down the annulus 127 between the rotor 105 and the rubber lined spiral passageway 103. In order for flow to occur, the rotor is displaced and turned by the pressure of the fluid column, thus rotating the connecting rod 111, the tubular drive shaft 113 and the bit sub 129 that is connected to the end of the drive shaft where it extends beyond housing extension 119. The water, or other fluid, leaves the annulus 127 by entering port 131 in the tubular drive shaft and passing through the drive shaft, bit sub, and diamond bit 53 via passages 133, where it enters the bore hole. The water leaving the drill bit passes back to the open end of the hole outside the drilling machine and the drill pipe or hose connected thereto, carrying away the detritus and cooling the bit. It will be seen that although the drive shaft 113 rotates relative to the tool housing 135, inward force applied axially to the housing through connection 121 is transferred to the drive shaft 113 through the thrust bearings 117 and thence to the bit 53. Likewise, outwardly directed force applied to housing 135 is transferred to the drive shaft through thrust bearing 115 and thence to the bit.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 et seq, there are shown the details of a first embodiment of a force applicator embodying the invention. Beginning with FIGS. 3-5, there is shown the outward extension 151 of the piston rod section 79 of the mandrel 63 of the force applicator. This extension fits inside the tubular body 153 of guide means 85. The guide means has a plurality of bore wall engageable axially extending ribs 155 circumferentially spaced apart providing axially extending fluid passages 156 therebetween. The body 153 is sealed to mandrel section 151 by O-ring 157.
A tubular connection means 159 is fitted into the outer end of body 153 and sealed thereto by O-ring 161. Connection means 159 is threaded at 163 for connection to drill pipe string 87 (FIG. 1) or to a flexible hose. Wrench flats 165 facilitate connecting the pipe string or hose withthe connection means 159.
Referring especially to FIGS. 5 and 6, the body of the guide means is connected to the mandrel section 151 of the force applicator and to the connection means 159 by means of drive pins 161, 163.
Referrring now to FIGS. 7 and 8 there is shown the piston and cylinder means 83. This includes cylinder 77 and the piston rod section 79 of the mandrel 63. Cylinder heads 171, 173 are respectively fastened and sealed to the cylinder by threaded connection means 175 and screws 177 (see also FIG. 9) and O-ring 179. The mandrel section 79 extends slidably through the cylinder heads and is sealed therewith by annular rubber seal rings 181, 183 bonded to the heads.
An annular piston body 187 is disposed around mandrel section 79 and sealed thereto by O-ring 189. A mandrel gripping collet 191 (see also FIGS. 10 and 11) is held between tapered socket 193 in the piston body and tapered ring 195. The ring 195 is pressed against the collet axially by compression ring 197 which is screwed into the end of the piston body. By this means the piston body is held against axial movement relative to the mandrel.
The piston body carries a piston ring 201 which is held thereon against shoulder 203 by a snap ring 205. The piston ring is sealed to the piston body by O-ring 207. To the outer periphery of the piston ring is molded annular rubber seal 209.
At either side of the piston body there are ports 211, 213 through the mandrel communicating with outer and inner spaces 215, 217 inside cylinder 77 on opposite sides of the piston 81. Conduits 219, 221 connect to ports 211, 213 and extend inside the mandrel inwardly to the control means inside cylinder extension 75.
Referring now to FIGS. 8, 12 and 13, there is shown within cylinder extension 75 an automatic valve means 225 providing control means for the force applicator. The valve means comprises an annular valve chamber 227 formed between the exterior of the valve section 229 of mandrel 63 and an annular valve sleeve 231. Mandrelport 233 provides an inlet to the valve chamber for the water or other pressure fluid in the mandrel.
Mandrel ports 23S and 237 provide outlets from the valve chamber leading to conduits for pressurizing either the cylinder anchor means and the outer space 215 of the piston and cylinder means (FIG. 7) or the mandrel anchor means and the inner space 217 of the piston and cylinder means depending on whichport is in communication with the valve chamber. Specifically, outlet port 235 connects to conduit 22] leading to inner space 217 of the piston and cylinder means 83 (FIG. 7) and to conduit 239 leading to mandrel anchor 61. Outlet port 237 connects to conduit 219 leading to outer space 215 ofthe piston and cylinder means and to conduit 241 leading to the cylinder anchor means 73. FIGS. 14 and 15 show the disposition, within the valve section 229 of the mandrel, of the parallel conduits 219, 221 leading to the piston and cylinder means and of the parallel conduits 239, 241 leading to the two anchor means.
Referring'again to FIG. 12, the valve sleeve 231 has inwardly extending annular flanges 251, 253 through which slidably extends the mandrel section 229. Annular rubber seal rings 255, 257 bonded to flanges 251, 253 seal the flanges to the mandrel section. Extending from each flange away from the sleeve are two sets of resilient, flexible latch'fingers 261, 263 (see also FIGS. 16 and 17). These sets of latch fingers are adapted respectively to engage latch rings 265, 267 which, as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, are secured to the mandrel section 229 by drive pins 269, 271. In the position shown in FIG. 12, latch fingers 261 are engaged with latch ring 265, to prevent movement of the valve sleeve 231 inwardly along the mandrel section. 229, whereas latch fingers 263 are in position for their tapered surfaces to ride up over the tapered end of ring 267 to expand the latch fingers so they can pass over ring 267 and drop into engaged position with ring 267 when latch fingers 261 are released and the valve sleeve moves along the mandrel section. Such release and movement are effected by the means next to be described.
A valve actuator means comprises two support sleeves 271, 273 screwed onto the ends of valve sleeve 231. Vent ports 275, 277 provide for fluid flow into and out of the annular spaces defined between these sleeves and themandrel section. Ferrules 279, 281, respectively, are screwed to the ends of the support sleeves 271, 273. Axially slidably disposed on mandrel section 229 and telescoping inside ferrules 279, 281, respectively, are latch release sleeves 283, 285. Shoulders 287, 289 engage ferrules 279, 281, respectively, to limit travel of the release sleeves away from the valve sleeve. Compression springs 291, 293, respectively, captured between ferrules 279, 281 and rings 295, 297 (see FIGS. 8 and 13) screwed onto the release sleeves 283, 285, urge the release sleeves away from the valve sleeve to their limits.
When relative movement of the valve section 229 of the mandrel and the cylinder extension is such as to cause engagement of ring 295 with cylinder head 173 (FIG. 8), further such movement causes movement of the release sleeve 283 toward the latch fingers 261. This continues until the guide nose 301 of the release sleeve moves under the tapered ends 303 of the latch fingers. Finally, the latter ride up on the tapered end 305 of the release sleeve to move the latch fingers 261 radially away from the ring 265 to release the fingers and the valve sleeve 231. The valve sleeve 231 then moves axially under the force of compression spring 291 until ferrule 279 reengages shoulder 287. By this time latch fingers 263 have moved over latch ring 267 and engaged therewith. At the same time valve sleeve 231 has moved relative to the valve section 229 of the mandrel to place valve chamber 227 in communication with outlet port 237 instead of outlet port 235.
With ports in the new position just described, when relative movement of the valve section 229 of the mandrel and the cylinder extension 75 is such as to cause engagement of ring 297 (FIG. 13) with the shoulder provided by end 311 of pin 313 of anchor barrel 315 (FIG. 18), further such movement causes movement of the release sleeve 285 toward the latch fingers 263. This continues until the guide nose 317 of the release sleeve moves under the tapered ends 319 of the latch fingers. Finally, the latter ride up on the tapered end 321 of the release sleeve to move the latch fingers radially away from the ring 267 to release the fingers and the valve sleeve. The valve sleeve 231 then moves axially under the force of compression spring 293 until ferrule 281 reengages shoulder 289. By this time latch fingers 261 have moved over latch ring 265 and en-