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Publication numberUS3855853 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 24, 1974
Filing dateMay 9, 1973
Priority dateMay 9, 1973
Publication numberUS 3855853 A, US 3855853A, US-A-3855853, US3855853 A, US3855853A
InventorsClaycomb J
Original AssigneeSchlumberger Technology Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Well bore force-measuring apparatus
US 3855853 A
Abstract
In the representative embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention disclosed herein, a force-responsive sleeve is coaxially mounted around a drill string sub and secured at its opposite ends to the tubular sub body so that a minor portion of any torsional or longitudinal forces acting on the body will be proportionally imposed on the sleeve. To greatly enhance the effects of these forces, the sleeve is normally maintained in longitudinal tension and a short central portion thereof is significantly reduced in cross-section. Signaling means are coupled to one or more arrays of strain gages mounted on the reduced portion of the sleeve and cooperatively arranged for transmitting signals to the surface which are representative of the longitudinal and torsional forces imposed on the sub body tending to dimensionally distort the reduced sleeve portion. The effects of pressure differentials between the interior and exterior of the sub body are eliminated by mounting an expansible protective sleeve around the sub body to define an enclosed annular space around the force-responsive sleeve that is communicated with a pressure-balancing piston in the sub body for equalizing the pressures in the annular space and the interior bore of the sub body.
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175M110, Pi 30 18 i XR .znassiesg United States Patent 1191 Clayeornb WELL BORE FORCE-MEASURING APPARATUS I [75] Inventor: Jackson R. Claycomb, Houston,

Tex.

[73] Assignee: Schlumberger Technology Corporation, New York, NY.

22 Filed:' May 9.1973 21 Appl. No.: 358,562

52 us. (:1. 73/151 151 int. (:1 E2111 45/00 [58] Field 01' Search 731151, 141 A; 340/18 LD,

340/18 P; 181/.5 AG; 175/40, 50

Primary Examiner-Jerry W. Myracle Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ernest R. Archambeau, Jr.; William R. Sherman; Stewart F. Moore Dec. 24, 1974 1 1 ABSTRACT In the representative embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention disclosed herein, a forceresponsive sleeve is couxially mounted around a drill string sub and secured at its opposite ends to the tubular sub body so that a minor portion of any torsional or longitudinal forces acting on the body will be pro- P M E' i po d 0n the sleeve. Tolgreatly enhance the 'liects of these forces, the sleeve is normally maintained in iongitudinzil tension and a short central por- V lion thereoi is significantly reduced in cross-section. Signaling means are coupled to one or more arrays of straw/gages mounted on the reduced portion of the Sleeve and p ely arranged for transmitting sign s 11 Su hich are representative of the longitudinal and torsional forces imposed on the sub body tending to dimensionally distort the reduced sleeve P Tfie Effects Of pressure differentials between the interior and exterior of the sub body are eliminated by mounting an expansible protective sleeve around the sub body to define an enclosed annular space around the force-responsive sleeve that is communieated with a presume-balancing piston in the sub body for equalizing the pressures in the annular space andf'the interior bore of the sub body.

SIGNAL DEFECTO? DATA ENCOD R c0-omo- MEASURING: L 1

- DEVICES ACOUSTIC Z/S G ALEF. 25

oszte mew SIGNAL/1.5 1 MOTOR 23 l Moron CONTROL 2:1

, 1UR8/NE GENERATOR 21 roses a RESPONSIVE MEANS 17 Pmzmmvfizm 3.855.853

F SIGNAL ,6, DETECTOR ACOUSTIC (S/GNALER (,GEAR TRAIN g SIGNALING x MOTOR 23 DA TA 5 MOTOR ENCODER:

V CONTROL 24 TURBINE 5 GENERATOR CONDITION 5 MEASURIIV'G LG" Q DEVICES QM-FORCE I9 8 20 RESPONS/VE MEANS 17 F/G 2 1 i WELL BORE FORCE-MEASbRING APPARATUS Those skilled in the art will, of course, appreciate that it is of great value to know the axial load as well as the applied torque on the drill bit during the drilling of a well. In addition to being useful in controlling the direction or inclination of the borehole as it is being drilled, such measurements are also of great significance in achieving the most efficient and economical drilling program for that well. For example, it is a cornmon practice to pro-schedule the drilling program for a given well so that the most efficient drilling speeds, bit loads, and drill bits will be used for drilling each of the several formation intervals which are expected to be encountered before the borehole reaches its specified depth. Accordingly, it is widely recognized that I knowledge with a fair degree of precision of the actual weight-on-bit and bit torque at any given time during a typical drilling operation is of great value in optimizing the operation.

Heretofore, many long-standing techniques have been employed for either estimating o empirically measuring the bit torque and weight-onit from the surface. Those skilled in the art will, of course, recognize that any surface measurements which of necessity must be extrapolated to derive an assumed bit torque or weight-on-bit are subject to many potential errors such as those, for example, which arise from such factors as the friction of the drill string against the borehole wall. In more recent years, however, various systems have been proposed for periodically transmitting one or more measurements of various downhole conditions to the surface during the drilling of the borehole. For example, systems such as those shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,736,558 as well as US. Pat. No. 3,764,970, illustrate two or the more-promising downhole signaling systems of current interest which are selectively arranged for developing encoded acoustic data signals which are transmitted to the surface through the circulating mud stream in the drill string.

To obtain measurements representative of the actual weight-ombit load as well as the bit torque, various measuring devices have been proposed for use with such signaling systems. One of the more common of these devices employs an array of suitable strain gages mounted on one of the several drill collars which ar typically connected in the drill string immediately above the drill bit. Suitable circuitry is provided for converting these measurements as required to operate a downhole signaling device arranged in the drill collar.

Those skilled in the art will recognize, however, that such arrangements are essentially so insensitive that only major changes in the load conditions will be detected at the surface. Quite simply, the problem is that with the typical heavy-walled drill collars used in present day drilling operations, the amount of deformation experienced thereby in response to changes in torsional or axial loadings are so minute that even the most sophisticated strain gages will simply fail to adequately respond.

To counter these major disadvantages, various proposals have been made for increasing the output response of such strain gages. For example, as shown in FIG. 3 of US. Pat. No. 2,422,806, a conventional force-responsive transducer is mounted on an upright post and this assembly is mounted between two opposed shoulders defined by a shallow recess in the drill collar wall to provide output signals representative of the deformations of the slightly-reduced wall section. Although this arrangement offers slightly more sensitivity, the degree of deformation in this wall section which might ordinarily occur during a typical drilling operation is nevertheless so extremely small that the resulting output measurements are still somewhat insensitive to anything short of significant changes in the load conditions on the drill bit.

An alternative proposal is found in US, Pat. No. 3,686,942 in which an independent loudsbearing member carrying an array of strain gages is'cooperatively telescoped within a stronger load-bearing member and arranged to carry all of the axial and torsional loads acting on the drill bit so long as these loads remain within a predetermined range which is well within the useful strength of the weaker transducer-bearin g member. Should, howe er, the loads on the drill bit exceed the maximum design capabilities of the transducerbean'ng member, the weaker load-carrying member will be moved into engagement with a cooperative shoulder on the stronger load-carrying member so that the entire load will thereafter be imposed on this paralleling member thereby relieving the weaker member of these potentially-damaging loads. Although this particular arrangement offers many advantages not found heretofore, those skilled in the art will recognize, nevertheless, that since this transducer-bearing member must still be capable of supporting significant axial or torsional loads, the strain gages will still be relatively insensitive to minor load changes.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide new and improved apparatus for reliably providing accurate surface measurements of even minor axial or torsional loads which may act on a drill bit during the course of a drilling operation.

This and other objects of the present invention are attained by securing the opposite ends of a pretensioned elongated force-responsive member to spaced locations on a tubular load-bearing body adapted for being coupled into a drill string. A minor portion of the force-responsive member is greatly reduced in cross-sectional area and one or more forceresponsive transducers are cooperatively secured to this greatly-reduced portion. ln this manner, upon application of any load on the load-bearing body tending to change the tension normally existing in the forceresponsive member, even minute load-induced deformations of the load-bearing body will induce greatlyincreased proportional tensile variations or dimensional deformations in the reduced portion of the forceresponsive member for producing correspondinglyenhanced output signals from the transducers for transmission by a signaling system to the surface. To protect the sensitive force-measuring elements in the new and improved tool of the present invention, a protective longitudinally-expansible tubular member is arranged around the load-bearing body to dispose the forceresponsive member within an enclosed space and pressure-equalizing means are cooperatively arranged for maintaining the space at an elevated pressure such as the pressure of drilling fluids flowing through the drill string. g

The novel features of the present invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, together with further objects and advantages 3, in g description of exemplary apparatus employing the principles of the present invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a new and improved well tool arranged in accordance with the present invention as it will appear while coupled in a drill string during the course of a typical drilling operation; and

FIG. 2 depicts a preferred embodiment of the forcemeasuring apparatus employed with the well tool shown in FIG. 1.

Turning now to FIG. 1, a new and improved forcemeasuring well tool arranged in accordance with the present invention is depicted coupled to the lower end ofa typical drill string 11 made up ofa plurality of pipe joints l2 and one or more drill collars l3 and having a rotary drill bit 14 dependently coupled thereto for excavating a borehole 15 through various earth formations as at 6. As the drill string 11 is rotated by a typical drilling rig (not shown) at the surface, substantial volumes of the drilling fluid or so-called mud" are continuously pumped downwardly through the tubular drill string and the tool 10 and discharged from the drill bit 14 for cooling the bit as well as carrying borings removed by the bit to the surface as the mud is returned upwardly along the borehole 15 exterior of the drill string. As is typical, the mud stream is circulated by employing one or more high-pressure mud pumps (not shown) which continuously draw the fluid from a storage pit or surface vessel (not shown) for subsequent recirculation by the mud pumps. It will be appreciated,

therefore, that the circulating mud stream flowing through the drill string l1 serves as a transmission me dium that is well suited for transmitting acoustic signals to the surface at the speed of sound in the particular drilling fluid.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the new and improved force-measuring well tool 10 includes force-responsive means, as at 17, preferably arranged in the drill string 11 just above the bit l4 and electrically coupled to appropriate measurement encoder means 18 operatively arranged on the tool for producing a series of electrical coded data signals that are representative of the forces being imposed on the drill bit. If desired, the new and improved tool 10 can also include one or more condition-responsive devices, as at Hand 20, cooperatively arranged on the tool for measuring such other downhole conditions as the pressure, the temperature, or the resistivity or con- .ductivity of either the drilling mud or the adjacent earth formations as well as various formation conditions or characteristics which are typically obtained by various commercial logging tools. These conditionmeasuring devices 19 and 20 are also cooperatively coupled to the measuring encoder 18 for independently producing electrical signals that are each representative of the particular downhole conditions or formation properties which are being measured. It will be understood, of course, that the measurement encoder 18 will be cooperatively arranged so as to sequentially obtain each of the several desired measurements for independently transmitting a representative encoded signal to the surface. Although a self-contained battery or power supply can be employed, as shown at 21 it is preferred to employ a reaction-type turbine driving a generator for utilizing the circulating mud stream passing through the tool 10 as a motivating source to generate electrical power for operation of the tool.

The preferred embodiment of the new and improved tool 10 further includes acoustic-signaling means 22 such as explained in greater detail in U.S. Pat. No. 3,764,970, incorporated by reference herein and having an electric motor 23 coupled by control circuitry 24 to the encoder 18 and operatively arranged to respond to its coded output signals for rotatively driving an acoustic signaler 25 by way of a typical gear train 26 to successively interrupt or obstruct the flow of mud through the drill string 11. The resultingacoustic signals produced by the acoustic signaler 25 will be successively transmitted to the surface through the mud stream flowing within the drill string 11 as sequential encoded data signals indicative of the force measurements provided by the force-responsive means 17 as well as the one or more downhole conditions or formation characteristics respectively sensed by the condidon-measuring devices 19 and 29. As these acoustic data signals are successively transmitted to the surface, they are detected and converted into meaningful indications or records by suitable acoustic signal detecting and recording apparatus 27 such as disclosed in either U.S. Pat. No. 3,309,656, U.S. P t. No. 3,488,629, U.S. Pat. No. 3,555,504, or U.S. Pat. No. 3,7l6,830 or U.S. Pat. No. 3,747,059, allof which are incorpc ated by reference herein. It will, of course, be further recognized that the acoustic signaler 25 could also just as we ll be the signaler described in either U.S. Pat. No. 3,764,968 or U.S. Pat. No. 3,764,969, each of which are incorporated by reference herein. Similarly, the acoustic-signaling means 22 could be any of the new and improved downhole signaling means described in either U.S. Pat. No. 3,309,656, U.S. Pat. No. 3,711,825, U.S. Pat. No. 3,713,089 or U.S. Pat. No. 3,763,558, each of which are incorporated by reference herein.

Turning now to FIG. 2, a cross-sectioned elevational view is shown of a preferred embodiment of the forceresponsive means 17 of the new and improved forcemeasuring tool 10. As seen there, the force-responsive means 17 preferably include a thick-walled tubular sub or body 28 which is cooperatively arranged in a typical manner with appropriate end connections, as at 29 and 30, to allow the sub to be tandemly coupled at a desired location in the drill string 11. the sub 28 includes an axial fluid passage 31 for conducting the drilling fluid flowing through the drill string 1 to the drill bit 14 therebelow. Although the tubular body 28 could be arranged to have an external diameter substantially equal to the external diameter of the adjacent body 13 of the tool 10, it is preferred to moderately reduce the external diameter of the central portion of the tubular sub so as to leave a reduced-diarnetcr thick-walled portion, as at 32, of sufficient thickness and strength to withstand the rigorous loads normally experienced during the drilling of a typical well bore. For reasons which will subsequently be explained in greater detail, it will be appreciated that the overall length or longitudinal dimensions of the reduced-diameter portion 32 is preferably a substantial percentage of the overall length of the tubular body 28.

In the preferred embodiment of the new and improved force-responsive means 17, an elongated thinwalled sleeve 33 of relatively limited strength is coaxially disposed around the thick-walledtubular body 28 and retained in tension by securingthe opposite ends of the sleeve, as by welds 34 and 35, to the enlargedu diameter end portions 36 and 37 of the tubular body immediately above and below its reduced-diameter intermediate portion 32. It will be recognized, of course, that as compressive forces are axially applied on the tubular body 28, its overall length will be proportionally shortened in direct relation to the magnitude of the compressive load. Thus, inasmuch as the thin-walled sleeve 33 is rigidly secured at its upper and lower ends to'the end portions 36 and 37 of the tubular'body 28, any deformation acting on the body will be correspond ingly transferred directly to the sleeve. In other words, if a given axial load is sufficient to shorten the tubular body 28 by 0.1-inch, for example, the thin'walled sleeve 33 must also be shortened by 0.1-inch.

Accordingly, in keeping with the objects of the present invention, the mid-portion 38 of the thin-walled sleeve 33 is significantly reduced in diameter so as to define a very thin wall which is extremely shorter than the overall length of the sleeve. Furthermore, by mak ing the thickness of the short mid-portion 38 of the sleeve 33 signlficantly less than the thickness of the end portions 39 and 40 of the thin-walled sleeve, it will be appreciated that these thicker portions will be substantially stiffer than the thin mid-portion so that the large or major portion of any total axial deformation acting on the sleeve will be accommodated by or concentrated in this mid-portion. Thus, for a given axial force and the resulting longitudinal deformation of the loadbearing tubular body 28, most, if not all, of the corresponding deformation which must take place along the length of the thin-walled sleeve 33 will be concentrated in the relatively short length of the reduced-diameter mid-portion 38 of the sleeve. Simple mathematical analysis will, of course, show that the amount of deformation which will be experienced by the very thin midportion 38 of the sleeve 33 will be proportional to the ratio of the thicknesses of the remaining portions 39 and 40 of the sleeve and this thinner portion as well as the ratio in the length of the center portion of the overall length of the thin-walled sleeve. Those skilled in the art will appreciate, therefore, that a substantial deformation will be experienced in this thin mid-portion 38 of the sleeve 33 even under relatively minor axial loads on the tubular body 28 causing only a very minor deformation which must be distributed uniformly along the full length of the tubular body. it may be said, therefore, that this unique arrangement provides a significant amplification of the amount of deformation which will be experienced by the thin mid-portion 38 of the sleeve 33 and thereby cause a much greater range of longitudinal deformation or movement at this location than will be realized at any other portion of the new and improved force-measuring tool 10. Accordingly, for measuring axial loads on the drill bit 14, forceresponsive transducer means such as one or more typical strain gages 41 and 42 are mounted at spaced intervals around the circumference of the reduced midportion 38 of the sleeve 33 for providing significant output signals in response to even minor axial deformations of the load-bearing sub 28. Suitable provisions are, of course, made for electrically connecting the transducers 41 and 42 to the encoder 18.

It will be recalled that the sleeve 33 is cooperatively secured to the tubular body 28 so as to normally maintain the thin-walled sleeve in tension even when there are no forces imposed on the body. inasmuch as neither the end portions 39 and 40 of the'thin-walled sleeve 33 nor its greatly-reduced mid-portion 38 are capable of withstanding axial or compressive forces of any consequence, it will be recognized that by maintaining the thin-walled sleeve in tension, its reduced-thickness mid-portion will not be subject to collapse as axial loads are applied to the force-measuring tool 10. instead, as axial compressive loads are applied to the new and improved force-measuring tool 10, the tensile forces acting on the thin-walled sleeve 33 will simply be reduced in magnitude and cause the mid-portion 38 to contract. Conversely, reduction of these axial compressive loads will simply elongate the mid-portion 38 of the sleeve 33 in proportion to the change in applied load.

To provide the most fool-proof arrangement of the new and improved tool it) it is preferred that the thinwalle d sleeve 33 be tensioned to approximately half of its yield strength. In this manner, tensile forces such as might be imposed upon bending of the force-measuring tool 10 will only result'in further elongation of the midportion 38 of the force-measuring sleeve 33 and axial compressive loads on the force-rneasuring tool will merely reduce the tensile forces on the thin-walled sleeve. In this manner, by designing the hin-walled sleeve 33 to operate on either side of this normal load point, the force-measuring tool 10 will be capable of reliably monitoring both axial loads thereon as well as tliose loads induced by bending without fear that the thin-walled sleeve will either be over-stressed or placed in compression.

As previously mentioned, it is also of considerable importance to know the actual torque being applied to the drill bit 14 during the course ofa typical drilling operation. Accordingly, to arrange the force-measuring tool It) for also monitoring torsional forces acting on the drill bit.1 4, torque-responsive transducer means such as one or more typical strain gages, as at 43 and 44, are mounted in sets at spaced circumferential intervals around the reduced-thickness mid-portion 38 of the thin-walled sleeve 33. By arranging each of these' transducers 43 and 44 at an angle of approximately 45 to the longitudinal axis 475 of the force-measuring tool 10 and at right angles to one another, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the resulting measurements will be representative of the torsional forces acting at any time on the force-measuring tool. Hereagain, inasmuch as the thickness of the reduced mid-portion 38 is substantially less than that of the end portions 39 and 40 of the thin-walled sleeve 33, torsional forces acting thereon will be substantially concentrated at the reduced-wall portion. in this manner, as previously mentioned with reference to the axial compressional forces, the output signals provided by the torque-responsive strain gages 43 and 44 will be greatly increased over what would otherwise be provided if it were not for the particular unique arrangement of the present invention.

"he various devices used heretofore for measuring torque and weight-on-bit have typically either ignored or taken less than adequate measures for limiting oravoiding the effects of pressure differentials which must ctl'ierwise afiect the accuracy of the force measurements. Those skilled in the art will, of course, app elatethat there is normally a substantial pressure differential between the drilling fluid flowing through the drill string 11 and the pressure in theborehole 15 exterior of the drill string. Where there are downhole sig- 7 naling devices such as those previously described herein'for transmitting acoustic signals to the surface, the additional restriction provided by these signaling devices will also significantly increase the pressure differential acting across the force-measuring tool 10. Thus, if no preventative measures are taken for protecting or isolating the thin-walled sleeve 33, an increased pressure in the longitudinal bore 31 would tend to circumferentially enlarge as well as elongate the tubular body 3.8 and thereby impose a corresponding de formation on the reduced-thickness sleeve portion 38 which, unless properly compensated, would result in an unwanted signal output from the several transducers as at 41-44.

Accordingly, to provide for such isolation, a thickwalled tube 46 is coaxially mounted around the thinwalled sleeve 33 and secured at its upper end to the tubular body 28 by means such as threads 47 and sealed as at 48. Instead of securing the lower end of the thickwalled tube 46 to the tubular body 28, its lower end is inwardly enlarged, as at 49, and provided with a fluid seal 50 for defining an enclosed annular space 51 around the thin-walled sleeve 33. To maintain the annular space 51 at a pressure which will minimize or eliminate circumferential expansion of the tubular body 28 due to pressure differentials, the annular space is filled with a suitable hydraulic fluid, such as oil, and pressure-balancing means, such as a piston 52 mounted in a cylinder 53 in the wall of the tubular body and coupled by a passage 54, are provided for communicating the pressure of the drilling mud flowing through the in ternal bore 31 to the annular space. To allow the oil filling the annular space 51 to communicate with both sides of the force-measuring sleeve 33, one or more ports 55 are formed in the thin-walled sleeve. In this manner, it will be appreciated that the oil filling the annular space Sl will be maintained at a pressure equal to that of the drilling fluid flowing through the longitudinal bore 31.

Those skilled in the art will, of course, also recognize that with a number of transducers. as at 41 and 42, distributed around the reduced mid-portion 38 of the sleeve 33, measurements can also be obtained which are representative of the degree of any axial bending of the tool body 28. In other words, since axial bending of the body 28 will place one side of the body in tension and the other side of the body in compression, transducers, as at 41 and 42, on opposite sides of the mid portion 38 will individually provide output signals representative of the forces. By separately measuring these forces on opposite sides of the tool body 28 the extent ,Qf'bending can, of course, be readily determined.

it should also be noted that by leaving the lower end of the thick-walled tube 46 free to move in relation to the tubular body 28, any pressure or thermal conditions which would otherwise tend to deform the thick-walled tube and thereby change the pressure in the annular space 51 will instead be accommodated by movement of the lower end of the tube in response to these conditions.

Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the new and improved force-measuring tool of the present invention is particularly responsive to both axial and torsional forces for producing much-greater output signals than has ever been possible heretofore. By arranging the force-responsive sleeve 33 to be particularly susceptible to pronounced or magnified deformation at 10 measuring tool 10 to be pressure balanced. the effects of changes in temperature or pressure that would 0therwise tend to limit the reliability and accuracy of the force measurements are obviated.

While only a particular embodiment of the present l5 invention has been shown and described, it is apparent that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects; and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within 0 the true spirit and scope of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus adapted for measuring at least one downhole load condition while drilling a borehole and comprising:

a drill string having a borehole-drilling device dependently coupled to the lower end thereof and defining a fluid passage for circulating drilling fluids beboreholedrilling device;

an elongated load-responsive member having opposite end portions respectively secured to spaced portions of said drill string and cooperatively arranged for normally maintaining said loadresponsive member in tension and an unrestrained intermediate portion adapted to vary in tension in response to increases and decreases in loads imposed on said drill string tending to move said spaced portions thereof in relation to one another;

transducer means coupled to said intermediate portion of said load-resp0nsive member and having a measurable characteristic adapted for varying in response to changes in the tensile forces in said load-responsive member occurring upon relative movement between said spaced portions of said drill string; t

acoustic-signaling means on said drill string operatively coupled to said transducer means and cooperatively arranged for producing acoustic signals representative of variations in said measurable characteristic in drilling fluids flowing through said drill string; and I acoustic signal-detecting means operatively coupled to said surface end of said drill string and cooperatively arranged for detecting said acoustic signals.

about half of its yield point.

3. The load-measuring apparatus of claim 1 further including:

means on said load-responsive member cooperatively arranged for concentrating strain in said intermediate portion thereof upon changes in the loads imposed on'said drill string. 4. The load-measuring apparatus of claim 1 wherein said opposite end portions of said load-responsive tween the surface end of said drill string and said ay-arr "am-sta and decrease; and said transducer means include at least one tension-responsive strain gage mounted on said intermediate portion of said load-responsive member and cooperatively arranged for responding primarily to contraction and elongation thereof.

5 The load-measuring apparatus of claim 1 wherein said opposite end portions of said load-responsive member are angularly aligned and spaced longitudinally from one another so-that changes in torsional loads imposed on said drill string will cause said loadresponsive member to proportionally twist and untva'st as such torsional loads increase and decrease; and said transducer means include at least one torsionresponsive strain gage mounted on said intermediate portion of said load-responsive member and coopera- 7 tively arranged for responding primarily to variations in the torsional forces acting thereon.

6. The load-measuring apparatuzof claim 1 wherein said opposite end portions of said load-responsive member are angularly aligned and spaced longitudinally from one another so that changes in torsional loads imposed on said drill string will cause said loadresponsive member to proportionally twist and untwist as such torsional loads increase and decrease and changes in axial loads imposed on said drill string will cause'said load-responsive member to proportionally contract and elongate as such axial loads increase and decrease; and said transducer means include at least one torsion-responsive strain gage mounted on said intermediate portion of said load-responsive member and 5 cooperatively arranged for responding primarily to variations in the torsional forces acting on said loadresponsive member, and at least one tension-responsive strain gage mounted on said intermediate portion of ranged for responding primarily to variations in the tensile forces acting on said load-responsive member upon contraction and elongation thereof.

7. The load-measuring apparatus of claim 1 wherein said load-responsive member is exterior of said drill string; and further includingz a sleeve member cooperatively arranged around said load-responsive member and having upper and lower end portions respectively extending above and below said spaced portions of said drill string;

first and second means respectively fluidly sealing said upper and lower end portions of said sleeve member to said drill string for defining an enclosed chamber around said load-responsive member; and

pressure-regulating means cooperatively arranged on said drill string and adapted for maintaining said enclosed chamber at an elevated pressure about equal to the pressure of drilling fluids flowing through said drill string.

8. Apparatus adapted for measuring at least one downhole load condition while drilling a borehole and comprising:

a multi-sectional drill string having a boreholedrilling device dependently coupled to the lower end thereof and defining a fluid passage for circutween adjacent sections of said drill string and having a longitudinal bore for conducting drilling fluids between said drill string sections;

a load-responsive sleeve coaxially arranged on said load-bearing body and having upper and lower end portions respectively secured rigidly to longitudinally-spaced upper and lower portions of said load bearing body for normally maintaining said lead L V responsive sleeve in tension and a reducedthickncss intermediate portion adapted to deform in response to loads imposed on said load-bearing body tending to move one of said spaced body portions in relation to the other of said spaced body portions;

electrical transducer means cooperatively arranged -on said intermediate portion of said loadresponsive sleeve and having a varying electrical characteristic proportional to changes in the tension in said load-responsive sleeve occurring upon variations in loads acting on said load-bearing b y:

acoustic-signaling means on said drill string operatively coupled to said transducer means and cooperatively arranged for producing acoustic signals representative of variations in said measurable characteristic in drilling fluids flowing through said drill string; and acoustic signal-detecting means operatively coupled to said surface end of said drill string and cooperatively arranged for detecting said acoustic signals to provide surface indications of loads imposed on said drill bit through said drill string. 9. The load-measuring apparatus of claim 8 wherein said load-responsive sleeve is exterior of said loadbearing body.

10. The load-measuring apparatus of claim 8 further said load-responsive member and cooperatively ar- 40 including a tubular housing cooperatively arranged around said load-responsive sleeve; first and second means respectively fluidly sealing the upper and lower end portions of said tubular housing to said load-bearing body above and below said load-responsive sleeve for defining an enclosed chamber thercaround; and pressure-equalizing means on said load-bearing body and cooperatively arranged for maintaining said enclosed chamber at an elevated pressure at least about equal to the pressure of drilling fluids flowing through said longitudinal bore. 11. The load-measuring apparatus of claim 8 wherein said electrical transducer means include:

at least one tension-responsive strain gage mounted on said intermediate portion of said loadresponsive sleeve and cooperatively arranged for responding to contraction and elongation of said load-responsive sleeve caused by changes in axial loads imposed on said load-bearing body. 12. The load-measuring apparatus of claim 8 wherein said electrical transducer means include:

at least one set of tension-responsive strain gages mounted on said intermediate portion of said loadresponsive sleeve and cooperatively arranged for responding to angular twisting and untwisting of said load-responsive sleeve caused by changes in wherein said load-responsive sleeve is exterior of said load-bearing body.

15. The load-measuring apparatus of claim 14 further including:

at least one tension-responsive strain gage mounted on said intermediate portion of said loadresponsive sleeve and cooperatively arranged for responding to contraction and elongation of said load-responsive sleeve caused by changes in axial loads imposed on said load-bearing body.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification73/152.48, 73/152.59, 73/152.58, 175/40
International ClassificationE21B47/00, E21B47/12, E21B47/18
Cooperative ClassificationE21B47/18, E21B47/0006, E21B47/182, E21B47/187
European ClassificationE21B47/18P, E21B47/18, E21B47/00K, E21B47/18C