US 3825082 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 1111 3,825,082 Woodruff 14 July 23, 1974  APPARATUS FOR FORMING HOLES IN 3,030,086 4/1962 Donaldson et a1 175/422 X EARTH AND SETTING SUBTERRANEAN 3,638,741 3/1922 OjMarr 175/422 X 3,638, 741 2/1972 Zuzak 175/422 X STRUCTURES THEREIN  lnventor: Roy J. Woodruff, 354 Menke Rd.,
I Michigan City, 1nd. 46360  Filed: Mar. 12, 1973  Appl. No.: 340,238
 US. Cl l 75/211,'175/212, 175/215, 175/422  Int. Cl. E2lb 21/00, E2lc 7/02  Field of Search 175/422, 21, 22, 60, 67, 175/88, 205, 211, 212, 215
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,762,012 e/1930 Every 175/69 x 1,853,379 4/1932 R0tin0ff..... 1,994,884. 3/1935 Chew 2,019,719 11/1935 Miller 2,239,610 4/1941 Kuna 2,239,872 4/1941 Bep1at.' 2,518,591 8/1950 Aston et a1. 2,786,652 3/1957 Wells 175/212 X Primary Examiner-David H. Brown Attorney, Agent, or Firm-O1tsch & Knoblock [5 7 ABSTRACT tube and an outlet into the opposite end of the tube,
and means by which the tube may be supported at the end adjacenttthe inlet. The supported endof the tube may mount a shiftable deflector for soil being discharged. 1
6 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures way 4 APPARATUS FOR FORMING HOLES IN EARTH AND SETTING SUBTERRANEAN STRUCTURES THEREIN conditions which render subsurface soil unstable and make the desired construction work difficult. In such A cases, it is common to install well points or submersible pumps adjacent to the area in which the work is to be performed to permit withdrawal of water from the soil around the area in which the work is to be performed and thereby stabilize and solidify the soil as required for acceptable working conditionslof the construction area. The installation of well points, submersible pumps or other structural elements under subterranean water conditions or sandy or mucky soil conditions is frequently quite difficult and time consuming; Thus, if a drill or other means is used to form a hole to receive the well point or any other, subsurface installation, its use may be ineffective because no means exists to maintain a desired hole at a subsurface level at which subsurface water exists or at which loose sand or muck exists and fills the hole with water-laden dirt or sand as the drill or digging tool is removed. Such conditions are enpoint or other subterranean unit to the desired depth cannot be accomplished easily or rapidly.
It is the primary object of this invention to provide a method and apparatus which enables a well point or other subterranean structure to be installed at desired location and at desired depth, rapidly and with minimum risk of failure, regardless of the existence of subsurface water, sand, muck, or other conditions which countered frequently so that-the installation of a well 7 have heretofore been difficult to overcome by prior methods and the use of previously known apparatus.
A further object is to provide a novel, simple and rapid method of forming a hole in earth.
A further object is to provide a method by means of which a rigid open-ended tube is progressively lowered endwise into soil while gas under pressure is discharged into the lowermost end of the tube, as a means to pro gressively displace and discharge soil upwardly through the tube as the tube descends.
A further object is to provide a method of this character by which the tube is lowered endwise into soil and the soil and its contents penetrated thereby are simultaneously ejected through the tube until a selected depth is reached, whereupon a well point or other subterranean structure is inserted in the tube, following which the tube is withdrawn to leave the well point or other structure in place in the. soil.
A further object is to provide a method of this char packing material are retained in selected position within the soil.
Afurther object is to provide apparatus for installing a subterranean structure or unit wherein a rigid openended tube is provided with a longitudinal passage which discharges into the lower end of the tube and which communicates at the opposite end of the tube with a source of air under pressure.
A furtherobject is to provide apparatus of this character provided with means at one end of a rigid tube for supporting and manipulating the tube, means for discharging air under pressure into the lowermost end of the tube, and means for guiding or directing the discharge of soiland effluent from the upper end of the tube as the tube is'lowered endwise and through soil and subsurface or subterranean materials.
A further object is to provide apparatus including a tube with means at its upper'end by which the tube may be elevated and lowered, means at its lower end for discharging therein air under pressure, and means at its upperend for deflecting materials discharged from the tube, which deflecting means are shiftable to afford access for the insertion of articles and materials into the tube through its upper end when installed within the earth.
Other objects will be apparent from specification.
In the drawings: 1
FIG. 1 is a perspective view the practice of the method. 7
FIG. 2 is a perspective view, with parts broken away, illustrating one embodiment of apparatus used in the practice of the method. 7
FIG. 3 is a view illustrating the direction of discharge of soil and effluent in the practice of the method by the use of one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the apparatus taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 5 is. a transverse sectional view taken on line 5 5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 66'of FIG. 4.
FIG. 7 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 8 is a view illustrating a step in the practice of the methodof installing a well point or other subterranean structure.
FIG. 9 is a view illustrating another step in the practice of the method by the use of the apparatus.
FIG. 10 is a viewillustrating a well point or other structure installed upon completion of practice of the method.
the following illustrating apparatus for My new method contemplates the lowering of a rigid I open-ended tubular member endwise into the soil while simultaneously discharging into the lower end of the tube air or gas under pressure sufficient to displace and expel soil through the tube as the tube is lowered-to provide a hole of selected depth. A well'point or other subterranean structure having a clearance fit within the tube is received within the tube, following which the tube is withdrawn while the well point or other structure to be installed remains in place. The method may entail the introduction of filler material between the well point or other unit being installed and the tubular casing prior to or incident to withdrawal of the casing so as to be retained in a subsurface location surrounding the wellpoint or other installed item.
withdrawal of the tube.
The tubular member is provided at its upper end with inlet means for connection with a source of air or gas One embodiment of the apparatus suitable for utilization in the practice of the method is illustrated herein.
Such apparatus, as illustrated in FIG. 1, includes power actuated mechanism adapted to raise and loweran object. The mechanism 20 maybe a crane, a backhoe,
orthe like, which is preferably of mobile character and of sufficient size, strength and utility to serve the required purpose. In the case of a backhoe, a poweractuated mechanism supports a rigid, pivoted, elongated arm 22 whose vertical angular positionmay be selec-.
tively varied, a rigid extension arm 24 is pivoted to the upper end of the arm22 under the control of suitable power actuated mechanism capable of swinging arm 24 to selected vertical angular position on .arm 22, and a bucket'or shovel 26 pivoted at the free end of the rigid arm 24 and adjustable upon arm 24 by power actuated means as the arm 24 or the arm 22 or both arms 22 and 24 are shifted. The bucket 26,, as shown in FIG. 1, or the free movable terminal portion of any other power driven hoist mechanism for raising and lowering articles, is provided with means such as, hooks, clamps, jaws, or the like (not shown), at which may be releasably connected one end of an elongated tubular unit 28. The apparatus also utilizes an air compressor 30, preferably portable, connected by a flexible tube 32 to the tubular unit 28 to supply air under pressure to tube 28 adjacent to the supported end of the tubular unit 28.
The construction of the unit 28 may be of the character best illustrated in FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7. The construction utilizes an elongated rigid open-ended tube 40, preferably formed of metal, and of'selected length and of substantially uniform bore diameter throughout its length. At one end thereof the tube 40 mounts mem-' tially, except at one or more notches 48, as best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 for purposes to be described. The chamber 42 is completed by outer walls 50 which span the space between the plates 44 and 46, and which are sealingly secured. to the margins of the plates 44 and 46, as by welding or any other means, so as to provide a chamber 42 which is substantially pressure-tight. The chamber walls 50 may provide a substantially square chamber v encircling tube 40, as illustrated in FIG. 5, or may be of any other shape found suitable. The chamber 42 is provided with an inlet fitting 52 or any suitable type adapted, for connection with a coop- 4 crating outlet fitting 54 carried by theend of air conduit 32 and preferably including a swivel.
One or more passage-defining members are secured to the tube 40 to extend lengthwise thereof from the chamber-defining structure/As here illustrated, these passage-defining members constitute channel members 60 whose legs bear upon and are continuously welded at 62 to theouter surface of the tube 40 and whose upper ends are welded at 64 to the bottom wall around the notches 48. The lower end of the tube 40 is encircled .by a rigid, short tube 66 of greater inner diameter than the outer diameter of tube 40. The tubes 66 and40 are fixedly anchored together inco'ncentric relation by'means of spacers 68, as best seen in FIG. 7. The lower end portion 70 of tube 66 projects-slightly beyond the adjacent end of the tube 40. Tube 66 is of a length short compared to the length oftube'40 and extends to the lower ends of the channels 60 which are welded thereto at 72 ina manner. to provide open communication between the passages provided by the channel members 60 and the clearance space, between the tubes 66 and 40. The upper portion of the tube 66 not connected to the channels 70 is closed at 74, as by welding the circumference of the tube 66'to the circumference of the tube 40 continuously between channel-s 60, in cases where more than one channel 60 is provided. It is preferred thattwoor more channels 60 be provided and that thesame be substantially. equispaced circumferentially of the tube. 40. 7
At the upper end of the apparatus, as at the upper end of one side wall 50, are provided lugs or ears to which are pivotally connected ears 82 of a deflector. The deflector preferably includes a curved hood or deflector plate86having depending side walls 88' adapted in one position, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4, to bear upon the margins of .the plate top wall 44 of the chamber 42 in outwardly spaced relation to the tube 40. The deflector plate 86 is spaced above the upper end of tube 40 in its operative position and its free end preferably projects from the chamber-defining structure at the side opposite the pivot 84. The deflector provides clearance space for-and directs laterally the discharge of material ejected from the upper end of the tube in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 and at an outlet opening 90. 1 e
The upper end structure of the rigid tubular unit 28 is completed by any suitable means which may be engaged by hooks, clamps, jaws or the like carried by the actuating or hoisting mechanism 20.. Thus, as here illustrated, a structure may be secured to the chamber unit 42 of a nature to provide spaced lugs or ears 92 projecting from one of the walls 50 and interconnected by a cross bar 94 with which a hook or jaw or clamp is engageable. The cross bar 94 will preferably be positioned laterally of, between and clear of the inlet fitting 52 and the discharge opening 90.
In the practice of the method by the use of the apparatus, the hoisting mechanism 20 and compressor 30 are located adjacent the point at which the well point or other subterranean structure is to be installed. The conduit 32' of the compressor is connected with the inlet fitting 50 of the elongated rigid tubular unit 28, and the hoisting mechanism is connected to the elongated rigid tubular unit at cross bar 94. The hoisting mechanism 20 is then operated to position the elongated rigid tubular unit 28 vertically at the point at which the well point or other member is to be installed.
The hoisting mechanism is then operated to lower the tubular elongated unit 28 endwise, while in substantially verticalposition, into contact with the ground at the lower end of the tube portion 70 thereof. When such contact of the tube unit 28 with the ground occurs pressure is exerted to force the tube into the ground and the line or conduit 32 ftom the compressor 30 is opened to supply compressed air to the chamber 42. The pressure will preferably be in the range from 75 to 125 psi or more at the compressor or supply outlet. Compressed air flows from line 32'through chamber 42, the channels 60, and the annular chamber between lower tube part 66'and tube 40, and thence inwardly into the tube 40, and discharges'upwardly through the open upper end of the tube 40. The flow of compressed air in this path coincident with the lowering of the rigid tubular unit 28 forces the unit 28 into the soil, displaces the soil within the lower end of the unit and discharges the displaced soil upwardly through the tube 40. The displaced material is discharged laterally in selected direction or location determined by the deflector 86' as illustrated in FIGS. 3' and 4. Lowering of the tube .continues until it reaches the selected depth in the soil, as at a position as illustrated in FIG. 9. The material discharged will include dirt,- sand, water and stones; Thus stones as large as 5 inches have been discharged in use of the apparatus.
After the tubular unit28v is installed to desired depth the well point, submersible pump or other subterranean structure 100 to be installed in the subterranean position is lowered into the tube 40, as in the manner partially illustrated in FIG. 8, and as accommodated by pivotal movement of the deflector 86 to a lateral open position, as shown in FIG. 8,.which provides clear vertical access tothe upper end of the tube 4 0, as seen in FIG. 8. The well point or other structure 100 may be of any suitable character, and, as here shown, includes the usual screen structure 102 at its lower end and a Tee or other fitting 1 04 at its upper end. The well point or other unit 100 will be of a cross sectional size for free and clearance fit thereof within the tube 40. The tube 40 may be of any selected diameter, such as diameters ranging from 6 to 14 inches or more, and of a selected length, as from 12 feet to 30 feetor more, to accommodate the reception of the unit 100. The unit 100 is lowered into contact with the soil .108 at the lower end of the tube 40, or into contact with filler material, suchas sand or gravel 106, which is introduced into the lower part of the tube before the insertion of the unit 100. The desired amount of filler material 106 is then introduced in tube 40 to surround the lower portion of the well point or other subterranean unit 100. After the unit 100 has been placed in selected position the hoisting mechanism 20 is actuated to withdraw the tubular unit 28 vertically. In usual practice, the amount of fill material 106 introduced will not exceed that which can conveniently-be shoveled into the upper end of the tube unit 28 by workmen incident to the withdrawal thereof.
As the tubular unit 28 is withdrawn, the soil surrounding the bore which had been formed by and within the tube unit is free to compact around the filler material 106 and around the installed unit 100, thereby holding the installed unit 100 in the desired subterranean position. Upon withdrawal of the tube unit 28, the fitting 104 of the well point or other structure 100 may be connected by conduit means 110 with a water deliv- 6 ery system (not shown), as byconnecting a group of well points to means to pump subterranean water from the soil. Thewithdrawal of water by the installed units serves to solidify the soil at the working area at which construction is to take place.
From the foregoing it will be seen that my improved method entails the formation of a hole in the earth by lowering a rigid open-ended tube into the earth and simultaneously discharging gas under pressureinto the lowermost end of the tube to displace soil and discharge soil upwardly through the tube. The method entails the further step of placing a well point or other subterranean structure within the tube at selected subterranean position, theint'roduction of filler material into the tube around the lower part of the inserted structure, and finally the withdrawal of the tube while leaving the subterranean structure in desired location within the earth.
The method is useful in a wide range of operating conditions and with most subsoil conditions encountered. As subsoil strata of different types are encountered the apparatus permits'successful practice of the method in most instances. Even a stratum of claycan be penetrated by alternately raising'and lowering the tube until the stratumv is broken to form a holewhich will receive the tube and the broken pieces of which will pass through and be discharged fromthe tube by the air under pressure. Only the presence of a rock stratum or contact of the lower end of the tube with subsurface rocks or rigid obstacles of large size will normally prevent successful practice of the method.
While the construction of the apparatus and the steps of the method herein described are preferred, it will be understood that changes may be made within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the .spirit of the invention.
What I claim is: 1. Apparatus for installing a subterranean structure comprising,
an elongated rigid open-ended tube normally substantially vertical during use, rigid means fixedly carried by and extending longitudinally and externally of said tube and defining a passage for gas under pressure, said means including an inlet adjacent the upper end of said tube,
a short tube encircling the lower end portion of said first tube with clearance and secured at its upper end to said first tube to define an annular space closed at its upper end, and communicating with said gas passage,
said short tube projecting below the lower end of said first tubes the outer surfaces of said tubes and said passagedefining means being exposed to soil into which said apparatus penetrates,
means connected to the upper end of said first tube for elevating. and lowering said tube endwise, and
means for supplying gas under pressure to said inlet.
2. The apparatus defined inclaim l, and
a deflector pivoted to and spanning the upper end of said tube with clearance. r
3. The apparatus defined in claim I, and
a deflector shiftably carried by the upper end of said tube for movement between an operative position spanning the upper end of the first tube with clearinlet to the clearance space in said short tube and the lower end of said first tube.
5. The apparatus defined in claim 1, and suspension means projecting laterally from the upper portion of said tube and engageable by said elevating and lowering means.
6. The apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein said passage-defining means includes a channel whose legs are continuously welded to the outer surface of the first tube.