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Publication numberUS3811518 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 21, 1974
Filing dateJul 24, 1972
Priority dateJul 24, 1972
Publication numberUS 3811518 A, US 3811518A, US-A-3811518, US3811518 A, US3811518A
InventorsChiaro D, Kalaf A
Original AssigneeBus Rx Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and apparatus for collecting cuttings from a drilled hole
US 3811518 A
Abstract
An arrangement for collecting a representative sample of all of the cuttings formed by drilling a hole in the earth regardless of whether the hole is wet or dry. The hole is formed by a drilling mechanism that leaves an annulus between the outer periphery of the drilling mechanism and the periphery of the drilled hole. Compressed air flowing through the drilling mechanism to the bottom of the hole forces the cuttings up the annulus and through a conduit into a receiver from which the cuttings are collected.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

- United. States Patent [191 Kalaf et al.

" in] 3,811,518 [451" May 21, 1974 METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR COLLECTING CU'ITINGS FROM A DRILLED HOLE Inventors: Abe M. Kalai, Silver Bell; Dominic A. Chiaro, Tucson, both of Ariz.

Assignee: Bus-Rx, Inc., Tucson, Ariz. Filed: July 24, 1972 Appl. No.: 274,624

US. Cl 175/60, 175/71, 175/206, 175/209, 175/212 Int. Cl. E2lc 7/02 Field of Search 175/58, 60, 66,71, 206, 175/207, 209-215 I References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1911 Dwyer 175/206 3/1932 Cross 175/66 -l/1939 Kelley l75/7l 7/1939 Muncy.... l 75/60 x- 12/1939 Smith 175/209 X 2,712,921 7/1955 Redman 175/212 X 2,740,609 4/1956 Richardson 6t 31.. 175/206 2,839,273 6/1958 Holman et a1. 175/206 2,975,847 3/1961 Feucht 175/206 X 3,291,229 12/1966 Houston... 175/60 3,655,001 4/1972 Hoffman 175/215 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 795,402 1/1936 France 175/206 Primary Examiner-David H. Brown Attorney, Agent, or Firm-D. Paul Weaver [57] ABSTRACT An arrangement for collecting a representative sample of all of the cuttings formed by drilling a hole in the earth regardless of whether the hole is wet or dry. The

, hole is formed by a drilling mechanism thatleaves an annulus between the outer periphery of the'drilling mechanism and the periphery of the drilled hole. Compressed air flowing through the drilling mechanism to the bottom of the hole forces the cuttings up the annulus and through a. conduit into a receiver from which the cuttings are collected.

22 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures SHEET 2 OF 3 M 3 w a minnow 21 m4 FIGS F/G. 6 FIG. 7

METHOD or AND APPARATUS FOR COLLECTING currmos FROM A DRILLED HOLE BACKGROUND OFTI-IE INVENTION In mining operations, it is standard procedure to drill a hole in the earth so as to extract cuttings therefrom. The cuttings are assayed to determine their mineral content and to thus evaluate whether theregion where the hole was formed should be mined. It is important that the cuttings assayed be a true representative sample of the earth being drilled into so that an accurate assay can be made. It is also important that none of the cuttings, such as fine dust, escape into the atmosphere and pollute the atmosphere.

While the pri'or'art, as exemplified by U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,167,393 and 3,29l ,229, shows drilling devices for extracting samples of the earth for assaying purposes, no arrangement has been heretofore devised that will provide a true representative sample of all of the cuttings formed by a drilling operation into the earth without polluting the atmosphere and regardless of whether the earth being drilled is dry or wet.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION .atmosphere.

One aspect of the invention relates to a method of A collecting the sample of cuttings regardless'of whether the earth in the bottom of the hole being drilled is wet or dry. As is conventional, the hole is drilled by a-drilling mechanism in such a manner that an annulus isformed betweenthe hole periphery and the drilling mechanism outer periphery and compressed air forced into the bottom of the hole being drilled conveys the cuttings up the annulus to the surface of the earth. In

accordance with the invention, a receiver is provided having an entry, a vent through which the compressed air is vented to atmosphere and a hopper. The cuttings are conveyed from the annulus through the entry into the receiver.

' For purposes of collecting the representative sample when the hole is dry, the receiver has a filter interposed between the'entry and the vent that traps the smaller cuttings entering the receiver. The larger cuttings, upon entering the receiver, gravitate to the bottom of the hopper which, at this time, is closed-When thedrilling operation and the flow of compressed air is terminated, the smaller cuttings are dislodged from the filter so that they can gravitate to the bottom of the hopper I and comingle with the larger cuttings. The hopper bottom is then opened so that all of the cuttings can exit from the hopper into'a receptacle and then be assayed.

For purposes of collecting the representative sample when the hole is wet so that the drilling operation ereates a-slurry of the cuttings and water, the filter is not used and a funnel is mounted to the bottom of thehopper. The slurry, as it is entering the receiver under the force; of the compressed air, exits from the hopper through the funnel and is collected for assayingpurposes.

form the aforementioned annulus and means for forc-v ing compressed air through the drilling mechanism to the bottom of the hole so as to convey the cuttings up the annulus to the surface of the earth. In accordance with the invention, the receiver is provided having the filter interposed between the entry and the vent and a closure is mounted to the bottom of the hopper. A conduit extends between the annulus and the receiver entry to enable the compressed air to convey the cuttings to the receiver. The closure is movable between a closed position and an open position. In the closed position, the larger cuttings entering the receiver gravitate directly to the bottom of the hopper and collect at the closure while the smaller cuttings gravitate to the bottom of the hopper and collect at the closure after being dislodged from the filter. The comingled larger and smaller cuttings exit from the bottomof the hopper byopening the closure, after the drilling operation and the flow of compressed air is turned off, so that an assay may be made of the comingled larger and smaller cuttings.

A third aspect of the invention relates to an apparatus for collecting the representative sample when the hole iswet. The apparatus incorporates the same drilling apparatus, the same means for forcing compressed air to the bottom of the hole, and the same conduit extending between the annulus and the receiver entry as the apparatus for collecting the dry samples. However, when collecting wet samples, the apparatus has no need for the filter' and a funnel is mounted to the hopper bottom instead of the closure. Thus, the slurry of water andcuttings formed by the drilling operation exits from thereceiver through the funnel at arate commensurate with its entry into the receiver and can be collected for assaying purposes as it'exits from the funnel.

A fourth aspect of the invention deals with an arrangement for conveying the cuttings in an air tight manner from the annulus to the receiver. The drilling mechanism includes a pipe string extending into the hole and adrill bit mounted to the bottom of the pipe string. The arrangement includes a hole seal, encompassing the pipe string above the hole, that is connected to the hole periphery by an air tight coupling. Gaskets in the hole seal above the coupling encompass the pipe with the annulus. The conduit extending from the receiver entry extends into the annulus extension.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation of an apparatus that includes the drilling mechanism, the receiver and the arrangement for conveying the cuttings from the annulus to the receiver;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation, partially in section, of the drilling mechanism, the hole seal, and the conduit;

DESCRIPTION OF Tl-IE INVENTION FIGS. 1 and 2 show a drilling rig 10 that includes a 1 string of drill pipe 12 mounted to an upright 14, that is on a truck 15, by a conventional arrangement so as to be capable of being rotated and being moved. axially downwardly. A hollow drill bit 16 is fixed to the bottom of a drill 17 that in turn is fixed to the bottom of the pipe string 12. As is also conventional, means 13 are provided for forcing compressed air through the hollow interior of the pipe string 12, the drill 17 and the drill bit 16 and then radially outwardly of the drill bit 16 through passages 18 (FIG. 2) in its bottom. The bottom of the drill bit 16 has a larger outside diameter than that of the rest of the drill bit and of the pipe string. During the drilling operation, the pipe string 12, together with the drill bit 16, are forced downwardly and rotated-to cut into earth, the pipe string 12 being guided at this. time by a guide bearing 19 on the back of the truck 15. The drill bit 16 cuts a hole in the earth having a larger diameter than the outside diameter of the drill 17 and the pipe string 12 so that an annulus 20 is formed between the outer peripheries of the drilling mechanism formed of the pipe string 12, the drill 17, and the drill bit 16 and the periphery of the drill-hole. The compressed air flowing through the interiors of the pipe string 12, the drill 17, the drill bit 16 and the passages 18 impels the cuttings made by the drill bit upwardly through the annulus 20 to the surface of the earth. The drill bit 16, as is conventional, has a plurality of spaced radially projecting cutting teeth 22 on its circumference, the space between the cutting teeth enabling the compressed air flowing through the passages 18 to force the cuttings upwardly through the annulus 20.

In accordance with this invention, a cylinder 24 is embedded in the earth at the top of the hole formed by the drill, the inside diameter of the cylinder being substantially equal to the outside diameter of the annulus 20, The cylinder 24 extends upwardly of the earths surface and is connected by an air tight coupling mem- -ber 26 to the'bottom of a hollow pipe 28 of a hole seal '29.that extends about the drill pipe 12. The coupling member 26 is so constructed as to prevent the seepage of the air being impelled by the annulus 20 as well as the cuttings being conveyed by the air between the top of the cylinder 24 and the bottom of .the hole seal 29. The top of the pipe 28 is welded to apertured plate 30 that extends about the drillpipe' l2 and forms the top of the hole seal 29. The plate 30 is connected by bolts 32 to a plate 34 constructed similarlyto the plate 30.

A plurality of resilient gaskets 36 are interposed between the plates 30 and 34 and are squeezed against each other by the bolts 32, the gaskets encompassing and bearing against the circumference of the pipe" string 12 so asto permit'rotation and axial movement of the pipe string while providing a seal against the leakage of the air and the cuttings that are flowing up 4 the annulus 20. The space 40 between the hole seal 29 and the pipe string 12 is in communication with and forms an extension of the annulus 20.

A hollow elbow 42 is formed on the pipe 28 so as to project upward and outwardly at an approximate angle to the vertical of 45. The elbow has a passage 44 extending therethrough that intersects the annulus extension 40. The outer end of the elbow 42 is connected by a leak-proof coupling 46 to a hollow conduit 48. The conduit 48 is made of a relatively'rigid, yet bendable, material. The cross-sectional areas of the hollow interiors of the conduit'48 and the outer end of the elbow passage 44 are substantially equal to each other and are less than the cross-sectional areas of the annulus 20 and the annulus extension 40.

The end of the conduit 48 remote from the elbow 42 is connected by a leak-proof coupling 50 to an entry opening in the front wall 51 of a hopper 52 that forms the lower part of a receiver 54. The receiver 54 is mounted on the ground on legs 56 so that'the bottom 57 of the hopper 52 is spaced from the ground. The back wall 58 of the hopper 52 is inclined downwardly and forwardly towards the front hopper wall 51 so that the horizontal cross-sectional area of the hopper bottom 57 is relatively small and horizontal cross-section of the hopper 52 increases as it goes upwardly. A deflector 60 is located in the hopper 52 so as to be in registration with the area of intersectionof the conduit 48 hopper front wall 51 above the opening for the conduit 48, extends downwardly. and rearwardly of the front wall 51,.a'nd then makes a sharp bend so as to extend downwardly and forwardly towards the hopper bottom 57. The deflector 60 spaced from the hopper bottom 57 and the hopper back wall 58.

A gate 62 (see FIG. 3) is bolted to the bottom 57 of the hopper 52. The gate 62 has a closure 64 slidably mounted therein that is movable between a closed position wherein it covers an opening 66 in the gateand an open position wherein it uncovers the opening 66 so as to permit material to pass therethrough from the hopper 58.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the receiver 54 has walls 68 that extend upwardly of the hopper 52 to form a filter housing 70. A base of the filter housing 70 is formed by a'bottom plate 72 that is secured to and spans the walls 68 and has a plurality of spaced apertures 74 extending therethrough. A top plate 76 is located within the walls 68 and is suspended from the upper ends of the walls 68 by springs 78. The top plate 76 has a plurality of spaced apertures 80 extending therethrough that are laterally. offset from the apertures 74. A circular flange 82 extends upwardly of the bottom plate 72 so as to encompass each aperture 74. A circular flange 84 extends downwardly of the top plate 76 in vertical alignment with each flange 82, the apertures 80 being located between the flanges 84. A hollow porous filter bag 86 extends vertically between each set of aligned flanges 82, 84 and each bag is clamped to a set of flanges by clamps 88. The interiors of the bottoms of the bags 86 are thus in registry with the apertures 74 while the interiors of the tops of the bags 86 are blocked by the plate 76. The bags 86 are made of a material, such as Dacron, that will permit air to pass therethrough while not permitting small solid particles to pass therethrough. A hood 90 is mounted to the top plate 76 by gussets 92 so as'to overlie and extend outwardly of the walls 68. Flanges 94 extend downwardly of the periphery of the hood 90 below the tops of the walls 68. A conventional pneumatically operated vibrator 96, such as the Vibrator lnducer manufactured by the Martin Engineering Company of Illinois, is mounted to the top plate 76. An air line 98 leads from the vibrator 96 to a source of air pressure (not shown).

The mechanism so far described is intended to drill a hole in the earth and extract the drill cuttings from the hole where the earth is dry. The opening 66 of the gate 62 is closed by the closure 64. The pipe string 12 with the drill bit 16 secured to its bottom is caused to rotate and move downwardly into the earth in the conventional manner to drill a hole in the earth with the pipe string moving through the gaskets 26 and the pipe 28 of the hole seal 29. Also, in the conventional manner, compressed air is forced downwardly through the pipe string 12, and the drill bit 16 and the passages 18 to force the cuttings cut by the drill bit upwardlythrough the annulus 20 towards the surface of the earth. The cuttings are forced by the pressure of the compressed air into the annulus extension 40 and then outwardly thereof through the elbow passage 44 and the conduit 48, the annulus extension 40, the elbow passage 44 and the conduit 48 thus forming a passage means for the cuttings. Since the cross-sectional areas of the outer end of the elbow passage 42 and the conduit 48 are less than the cross-sectional areas of the annulus 20 and the annulus extension 40, the velocity of the cuttings is increased as it passes from the annulus extension through the conduit '48. The cuttings pass from the conduit 48 into the hopper 52 which has a much greater cross-sectional area than the conduit 48 so that the air pressure, and thus the velocity of the cuttings, is greatly diminished as it flows into the hopper. The cuttings, movingat the reduced velocity, engage the baffle and are deflected downwardly towards the gate 62 where the larger cuttings (the chips and fines) settle in the door 64. The air in the funnel 62 flows about the deflector 60 at its reduced velocity and upwardly of the funnel 52 into the housing carrying with it the smaller cuttings (the dust). The air, together with the dust, flows through the apertures 74 into the bags 86, the air then traveling through the bags 86 and upwardly through the apertures 'and then outwardly of the hood 90 where it is vented to atmosphere through the vent formed by the space between the flanges 94 and the walls 68. The dust is collected on the inner walls of the bags 86 whose mesh is such as to permit the air, but not the dust, to flow therethrough.

When the drilling operation has been completed and the compressed air flowing through the drill string 12 has been shut off, the vibrator 96 is operated to vibrate the top plate 96, together with the filter bags 86, to thus shake the filter bags so as to dislodge the dust from the filter bags that had accumulated on the filter bags. The dislodged dust falls through the apertures 74 and gravitates down the hopper 52 towards the gate 62 to join the chips and fines at the gate. When substantially all the dust has been dislodged from the filter bags 86 and has settled at the gate 62, the gate closure 64 is opened to allow the cuttings to fall from the gate into a suitable receptacle. The cuttings are then assayed to determine their mineral content.

From the foregoing it can be seen that the mechanism enables all of the cuttings extracted from the drilled hole to be collected so that the assay will truly reflect the mineral content of the earth sample which was drilled. A further advantage of collecting all of the cuttings, including the dust, while the air is vented to atmosphere, is that the atmosphere is not contaminated with the dust particles which would create undesirable ecological problems.

Uponoccasions, the earth being cut into by the drill and removed from the drilled hole will be wet instead of dry so that the cuttings flowing into the receiver 54 will be a slurry of muddy consistency and will adhere to each other, thus preventing the dust from moving upwardly of the funnel 52 into the filter bags 86. When this happens, the drilling equipment is shut down and the gate 62 is removed from the hopper bottom 57 and a funnel 100 (FIGS. 6 and 7) is bolted instead to the hopper bottom 57. A cylinder 102 of a fluid actuated motor 103 is secured to the fimnel 100 by straps 104. A piston rod 106, connected to the piston of the cylinder 102, projects out of the opposite ends of the cylinder. A reversing valve 108, mounted to the cylinder 102 by means of the straps 104, has a stem projecting out of its opposite ends. A line 112, connected to a source of fluid pressure, extends into the valve 108, and lines 114 and 116 extend from the valve 108 to the opposite ends of the cylinder 102. Apair of arms 118 are rigidly connected to the opposite ends of the piston rod 106 on opposite sides of the funnel 100. A trough 120 is rigidly secured to a bar 122, each of the ends of the bar 122 being rigidly secured to an arm 118. The trough 120 is so mounted that it can travel across and beneath the funnel 100. The trough 120 has a spout 124 and is hollow' so that fluent material falling into the spout will exit therefrom through the spout. An arm 126, located below the valve 108 and rigidly secured to the bar 122 by braces 128, has a pair of spaced valve actuating fingers upstanding therefrom that are located on opposite sides of the valve 108.and are in alignment with the valve stem 110.

The pipe string 12 and the drill bit 16 are now caused to resume their operation and the pressurized air is again forced downwardly through the pipe string and the drill bit to force upwardly through the annulus 20 the slurry of wet earth and the cuttings. The slurry will be forced by the compressed air in a continuous stream through the annulus extension 40, the passage 44, the conduit 48, and the hopper 52 into the funnel 100 and from the funnel 100 towards the ground.

Pressurized fluid-is caused to enter the valve 108 through the line 1 12 at this time. With theparts in the FIG. 6 position with the left finger 130 in engagement with the valve stem 1 10, this causes air to flow from the valve 108 through the line 116 to the right end of the cylinder 102 to move the piston rod 106 leftwardly until'the right finger 130 engages the valve stem 110 and shifts it leftwardly. The leftward shifting of the valve stem causes air to pass from the valve 108 through the line 114 to the left end of the cylinder 102 to shift the piston rod 106 rightwardly until the left finger again engages the valve stem 110 to shift it rightwardly and again cause the piston rod to move leftwardly. This reciprocation of the piston rod 106 causes the trough 120 to reciprocate beneath the funnel 100 so as to intersect the descending stream of slurry and collect samples of the slurry and eject through the spout 124 where it is collected by a suitable located receptacle. The collection of slurry has its water exi ll down the pipe string to the bottom of the drilled hole before the start of the drilling operation and after the completion of the drilling operation to ensure that all of the wet cuttings are removed from the bottom of the hole.

In both the wet and dry drilling operations, the cuttings as they are forced out of the conduit 48 into the hopper 52 encounter the deflector 60. The position of the deflector prevents the cuttings from hitting and damaging the back wall 58 of the hopper. With dry cuttings, the deflector prevents the larger cuttings from impinging on and damaging the filter bags 86.

We claim:

1. A method of collecting a representative sample of all of the cuttings formed by a drilling operation wherein a drilling mechanism drills a. hole in the earth so that an annulus is formed between the drilling mechanism outer periphery and the hole periphery and compressed air is forced into the bottom of the holes as it is being drilled to convey the cuttings up the annulus to the surface of the earth, regardless of whether the bottom of the hole being drilled is wet or dry, comprising:

providing a receiver having an entry for-the cuttings,

a vent spaced from the entry, at least one filter interposed between the entry and the vent so constructed as to permit air to pass therethrough while precluding the passage of cuttings therethrough, and a hopper having a bottom located below the entry and the filter; and conveying the cuttings by means of the compressed air from the annulus through the entry into the receiver;

when the bottom of the hole is dry, closing the bottom of the hopper so that the larger cuttings gravitate to and collect at the bottom of the hopper and the smaller cuttings are conveyed by the compressed air towards the filter with the smaller cuttings being trapped by the filter and the compressed air flowing through the filter and thence through the vent to atmosphere; when the drilling operation and the flow of compressed air is terminated, dislodging the smaller cuttings trapped on the filter from the filter so that the smaller cuttings can gravitate to the bottom of the hopper and comingle the larger cuttings; and opening the bottom of the hopper to allow all of the cuttings to exit from the bottom of the hopper into a receptacle;

and

when the bottom of the hole is wet so that the drilling operation creates a slurry of the cuttings and water, providing a funnel at the bottom of the hopper through which the slurry exits from the hopper as it is conveyed into the receiver by the compressed air; and collecting at least a portion of the slurry as it is exiting from the funnel.

2. The method according to claim 1 wherein the cuttings are dislodged from the filter by vibrating the filter.

3. The method according to claim 1 further comprising collecting" said slurry by reciprocating a trough beneath the funnel so as to intersect the slurry as it is exiting from the funnel.

4. A method of collecting a representative sample of all of the cuttings formed by a drilling operation wherein a drilling mechanism drills a hole into the earth so that an annulus is formed between the drilling mechanism outer periphery and the hole periphery and compressed air is forced into the bottom of the hole as it is being drilled to convey larger and smaller cuttings up the annulus to the surface of the earth, and wherein the bottom of the hole being drilled is dry, comprising: providing a receiver having an entry for the cuttings, a vent spaced from the entry, at least one filter interposed between the entry and the vent so constructed as to permit air to pass therethrough while precluding the passage of cuttings therethrough, and a hopper having a bottom located below the entry and the filter; conveying the cuttings, by means of the compressed air, through the entry into the receiver while the bottom of the hopper is closed, collecting the larger cuttings which gravitate to the bottom of the hopper thereat and trapping the smaller cuttings which are conveyed by the compressed air towards the filter directly above the hopper and permitting the compressed air to flow through the filter and thence through the vent to atmosphere; when the drilling operation and the flow of compressed air is terminated; dislodging the smaller cuttings trapped on the filter so that the smaller cuttings can gravitate to the bottom of the hopper and comingle with the larger cuttings; and opening the bottom of the hopper to allow all of the cuttings-to descend from the bottom of the hopper into a receptacle.

5. The method according to claim 4 wherein the cuttings are dislodged from the filter by vibrating the filter.

6. A method of collecting a representative sample of all of the cuttings formed by a drilling operation wherein a drilling mechanism drills a hole into the earth so that an annulus is formed between the drilling mechanism outer periphery and compressed air is forced into the bottomof the hole as it is being drilled to convey the cuttings up the annulus to the surface of the earth, and wherein the bottom of the hole is wet so that the drilling operation creates a slurry of the cuttings and water, comprising: providing a receiver having an entry for the cuttings and a hopper having a funnel at its bottom located below the entry, forcing the slurry from the hole to the receiver through the annulus, by means of the compressed air, directing the slurry exiting from the hopper through the funnel as it is being conveyed into the receiver by the compressed air; and collecting at least a representative sample of the slurry as it is exiting from the funnel by reciprocating a trough beneath the funnel so as to intersect the slurry.

7. An apparatus for collecting a representative sample of all of the cuttings formed by a drilling operation in drilling a hole in dry earth comprising; a drilling mechanism operative to drill said hole in such a manner that an annulus is formed between the drilling mechanism outer periphery and the hole periphery; means for forcing compressed air through the drilling mechanism,

to the bottom of the hole during the operation of the drilling mechanism, said compressed air conveying the cuttings up the annulus to the surface of the earth; a receiver having an entry, a vent spaced from the entry, at least one filter interposed between the entry and the vent so constructed as to permit air to pass therethrough while precluding the passage of cuttings therethrough, a hopper having a bottom located below the entry and the filter, said filter being positioned above said hopper such that cuttings dislodged from said filter gravitate to said hopper, and a closure mounted to the bottom of the hopper for movement between a closed position wherein it blocks the passage of cuttings through the bottom of the hopper and an open position wherein it permits the passage of cuttings through the bottom of the hopper; and passage means extending the annulus and the receiver entry.

8. The apparatus according to claim 7 further comprising: means for vibrating the filter.

9. The apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said drilling mechanism comprises a pipe string and a drill bit mounted to the bottom of the pipe string; wherein said passage means comprises: a cylinder, embedded in the earth at the top of the hole, encompassing the pipe string; a hole seal, located above the cylinder, encompassing the pipe string; an air tight coupling connecting the cylinder and the hole seal; gasket means on the hole seal encompassing the pipe string so as to forman air tight connection between the pipe string and the hole seal while permitting movement of the pipe string with respect to the hole seal; and a conduit extending from that part of the hole seal that is between the coupling and the gasket means to the receiver entry, said conduit having a smaller cross-sectional area than the annulus and said hopper whereby velocity of the cuttings is increased upon entry into said conduit and decreased upon entry into said receiver and whereby cuttings are conveyed from the annulus to the receiver without the need for suction means in said receiver.

10. The apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said receiver comprises: a filter housing having walls upstanding from the hopper, an apertured bottom plate secured to and spanning the walls; an apertured top plate, located above the bottom plate, extending between the walls, said vent being located above said top plate; and a hollow filter bag, forming said filter, extending between and secured to said bottom and top plates in such a manner that the interior of the bottom of the filter bag is in registry with the bottom plate aperture and the interior of the top of the filter bag is offset from the top plate aperture.

11. The apparatus according to claim 10 further comprising: a hood mounted to said top plate.

12. The apparatus according to claim 10 further comprising: resilient means connecting the top plate to said walls so as to yieldably suspend the top plate from the walls; and means for vibrating the top plate.

13. The apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said receiver comprises: a filter housing, containing said filter, extending above the hopper; and a deflector in the hopper, located in registry with said entry, having a surface that extends downwardly towards said hopper bottom, said deflector being so mounted in the hopper as to permit the passage of smaller cuttings past the deflector towards the filter.

14. The apparatus according to claim 13 wherein said filter housing comprises: walls upstanding from the hopper; an apertured bottom plate secured to and spanning the walls; an apertured top plate, located above the bottom plate, extending between said walls, said vent being located above said top plate; and a hollow filter bag, forming said filter, extending between and secured to said bottom and top plates in such a manner that the interior of the bottom of the filter bag is in registry with the bottom plate aperture and the interior of the top of the filter bag is offset from the top plate aperture.

15. The apparatus according to claim 14 further comprising: a hood mounted to said top plate.

16. The apparatus according to claim 14 further comprising: resilient means connecting the top plate to said walls so as to yieldably suspend the top plate from the walls; and means for vibrating the top plate.

17. An apparatus for collecting a representative sample of all of the cuttings formed by a drilling operation in drilling a hole in wet earth comprising: a drilling mechanism operative to drill said hole in such a manner that an annulus is formed between the drilling apparatus outer periphery and the hole periphery; means for forcing compressed air through the drilling mechanism to the bottom of the hole during the operation of the drilling mechanism, said compressed air conveying the cuttings up the annulus to the surface of the earth; a receiver having an entry, the hole periphery forming one surface of the annulus through which cuttings are conveyed, a conduit connected betweenthe annulus and the entry of said receiver, said conduit having a smaller cross-sectional area than the annulus, whereby the velocity of cuttings increases upon entry into said conduit and the cuttings are conveyed to said receiver by the means for forcing compressed air without the need for suction apparatus in said receiver, a hopperhaving a bottom located below the entry, and a funnel mounted to the bottom of the hopper; and passage means extending between the annulus and the receiver entry.

18. The apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said drilling. apparatus comprises a pipe string and a drill bit mounted to the bottom of the pipe string; wherein said passage embedded in the earth at the top of the hole,

' encompassing the pipe string; a hole seal, located above the cylinder, encompassing the pipe string; an air tight coupling connecting the cylinder and the hole seal; gasket means on the hole seal encompassing the pipe string so as to form an air tight connection between the pipe string and the hole seal while permitting movement of the pipe string with respect to the hole seal; and a conduit extending from that part of the hole seal that is between the coupling and the gasket means to the receiver entry.

19. The apparatus according to claim 17 further comprising a trough mounted for reciprocation across and beneath the funnel.

20. The apparatus according to claim 19 further comprising: a motor having a reciprocable driven rod; means for operating the motor so as to effect reciprocation of the rod; and means mounting the trough to the rod.

21. An apparatus for collecting a representative sample of the cuttings formed by a drilling operation in the earth comprising: a drilling mechanism operative to drill said hole in such a manner that an annulus is formed between the drilling mechanism outer periphery and the hole periphery, said drilling mechanism being formed of a pipe string extendinginto the hole being drilled and a drill bit mounted to the bottom of the bottom of the pipe string; means for forcing compressed air through the drilling mechanism to the bottom of the hole during the operation of the drilling mechanism, said compressed air conveying the cuttings up the annulus to the surface of the earth, the hole periphery forming one surface of the annulus through which cuttings are conveyed; a hole seal encompassing the pipe string above the hole; an air tight coupling between the hole seal and the hole periphery; gasket means in the hole seal located above the coupling and encompassing the bearing against the pipe string so as to form an air tight connection between the pipe string and the hole seal while permitting movement of the pipe string with respect to the hole seal; the portion of the hole seal encompassing the pipe string between the coupling and the gasket means forming an annulus extension in communication with said annulus; a receiver having an entry; and a conduit extending between the annulus extension and the receiver entry, said conduit having a smaller cross-sectional area than the annulus and said hopper, whereby velocity of the cuttings increases upon entry into said conduit and decreases upon entry into said receiver and whereby the cuttings are conveyed to said receiver by the means for forcing compressed air without the need for suction means in said receiver. 7

22. The apparatus according to claim 21 further comprising: a cylinder embedded in the ground at the top of the hole adapted to encompass the pipe string; and wherein said coupling connects the cylinder to the hole seal.

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FR795402A * Title not available
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Classifications
U.S. Classification175/60, 175/209, 175/71, 175/212, 175/206
International ClassificationE21B21/00, E21B21/07
Cooperative ClassificationE21B21/07
European ClassificationE21B21/07