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Publication numberUS3776308 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date4 Dec 1973
Filing date17 Aug 1971
Priority date17 Aug 1971
Publication numberUS 3776308 A, US 3776308A, US-A-3776308, US3776308 A, US3776308A
InventorsMalone B
Original AssigneeLynes Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety valve arrangement for controlling communication between the interior and exterior of a tubular member
US 3776308 A
Abstract
An arrangement for controlling fluid communication between the interior of a tubular member and interior of an inflatable element supported externally on the tubular member including fluid passage means communicating from the interior of the tubular member to the interior of the inflatable element with valve means normally seated to close off flow from the interior of the tubular member to the interior of the inflatable element until a predetermined pressure has been exerted thereon. After the valve has been opened to communicate fluid from the interior of the tubular member to the interior of the inflatable element for inflation thereof, the valve closes when a predetermined relationship is reached between the pressure in the interior of the tubular member and externally of the tubular member. Locking means are provided to lock the valve in closed position and prevent further communication between the interior of the tubular member and interior of the inflatable element when the valve closes.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 11-11 3,776,308 Malone 1451 Dec.4, 1973 SAFETY VALVE ARRANGEMENT FOR [57] ABSTRACT Inventor:

Assignee: Lynes, Inc., Houston, Tex.

Filed: Aug. 17, 1971 Appl. No.: 172,447

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1969 Bielstein et al. 166/187 10/1939 Smith 166/187 1/1940 Stamps 166/187 11/1954 Baker et a1. 166/187.

Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner.lack E. Ebel Attorney-Jack W. Hayden US. Cl. 166/187, 166/122 E21b 33/12 Field of Search 166/120, 122, 141,

An arrangement for controlling fluid communication between the interior of a tubular member and interior of an inflatable element supported externally on the tubular member including fluid passage means communicating from the interior of the tubular member to the interior of the inflatable element with valve means normally seated to close off flow from the interior of the tubular member to, the interior of the inflatable element until a predetermined pressure has been exerted thereon. After the valve has been opened to communicate fluid from the interior of the tubular member to the interior of the inflatable element for inflation thereof, the valve closes when a predetermined relationship is reached between the pressure in the interiorof the tubular member and externally of the tubular member. Locking means are provided to lock the valve in closed position and prevent further communication between the interior of the tubular member and interior of the inflatable element when the valve closes;

2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures Afa PATENIEBDEB 4:915 3,776,308

45//4[/ C Wa /one INVENTOR M W. Hagdew ATTORNE Y PATENTEUUEB 4 I975 3. 776, 308

SHEET 20F 2 fi//(y C %77/0/7 5 INVENTOR B Y Jade, Hagdew /l TTORNE Y SAFETY VALVE ARRANGEMENT FOR CONTROLLING COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR OF A TUBULAR MEMBER DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART In US. Pat. No. 3,437,142Qthere is disclosed an in flatable packer for external use on tubular members such as casing, liners, and the like. A valving arrange ment is disclosed therein for containing fluid within the interior of the inflatable member after it has been inflated to prevent its return to the tubular member.

In some instances it is desirable to. prevent any further communication between the interior of the tubular member and the interior of the inflatable element after the inflatable element has been inflated and set in a well bore. For example, should the packer rupture or should a leak occur therein, the valving arrangement of the above-identified patent will not necessarily preclude the possibility of fluid communication internally of the tubular member to the exterior thereof through the damaged inflatable element. Even in those instances, where an inflatable element is set with cement therein or some other type of substance such as a plastic, this still would not preclude communication to the exterior of the tubular member into the surrounding well bore through the damaged or ruptured inflated element.

While the valving arrangement of the .aboveidentified invention is satisfactory for the purposes intended as disclosed therein, in those instances where it is desired to prevent communication between the interior and exterior of the tubular member on which the inflatable element is carried, the present invention may be employed to permit inflation of the inflatable element and to thereafter seal off communication between the interior of the tubular member and the interior of the inflatable elementcarried on the exterior of the tubular member to reduce, if not eliminate, the possibility of any fluid communication should any damage or leakage later occur in the inflated element externally positioned on the tubular member.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly, the presentinvention relates to a valving arrangement for use primarily in connection with an external inflatable element such as disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,437,142. It canbe appreciated, however, that the present invention may be employed in connection with any well too] wherein it is desired to control communi' cation between the interior of the tubular member and externally thereof.

The present invention is constructed and arranged so that valve means remains seated to prevent communication between the interior of the tubular member and the interior of an inflatable element carried on the exterior of the tubular member until a pre-determined pressure has been reached. This reduces the possibility of premature inflation of the inflatable element by sudden changes or pressure surges which may occur within the tubular member as the tubularmember is being positioned in a well bore.

After the valve arrangement of the present invention has been opened to accommodate fluid passage from the interior of the tubular member to the interior of the inflatable element positioned on the exterior of the tubular member, it is constructed and arranged so that when apredetermined pressure relationship between the interior of the tubular member and the exterior thereof is reached, the valve will move towards seated position, and means are provided for locking the valve in seated, closed position to prevent any further com munication in the fluid passage between the interior of the tubular member and the interior of the inflatable element carried on the exterior thereof. This closes off the passage to any fluid communication between .the interior and exterior of the tubular member.

An object of the present invention is to provide a valving arrangement for communicating fluid from the interior of a tubular member to the exterior thereof in eluding means to maintain the valve closed until the application of a predetermined pressure thereof, means to urge the valve towards reseating when the pressure differential between the interior-of the tubular member and exterior thereof reaches a predetermined amount, and means for locking the valve in seated position when the pressure differential between the interior and exterior of the tubular member reaches a predetermined amount.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a sectional view partly in elevation illustrating the form of the valve arrangement of the present invention in connection with its use with an inflatable ele- I ment positioned on the exterior of a tubular member;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial cutaway view on the line 22 of FIG. 1 illustrating in greater detail the preferred form of the valving arrangement of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view illustrating the components of the portion of the valve means employed with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but illustrates the 'position of the valving means after having moved towards open position to accommodate fluid flow from the interior of the tubular member to the interior of the well tool such as the inflatable element as illustrated in FIG. 1 positioned externally of the tubular member; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic representation showing the position of the valve means after the 'valve means have been reseated and locked in position to prevent any further fluid communication between the interior and exterior of the tubular member through the fluid passage means.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Attention is first directed to FIG. 1 of the drawings wherein a tubular member l0such as a casing or the like is illustrated. A valve housing referred to generally by the numeral 15 is secured by suitable means such-as threads as illustrated in FIG. 1 with the tubular member 10 and incorporated therein is an arrangement illustrated generally at 20 for communicating fluid from the interior 21 of the tubular member 10 and valve housing 15 to the interior 21a of the reinforced inflatable element referred to generally at 25 carried externally on the tubular member.

The present invention is described in detail in connection with its use wherein it is desired to communicate fluid from the interior 21 of the tubular member 10 to the interior 21a of the inflatable element 25 positioned externally on the tubular member 10. The inflat- I able element includes the spaced annular heads 26 and 27, the head 26 being secured to the valve housing 15 at its upper end and the inflatable element 25 extends between the heads 26 and 27. The inflatable element may be of any suitable length and is provided with an elastomer outer cover 28, a reinforcing 29, and an inner tube 30 which extend between the spaced annular heads 26 and 27. The tubular member is connected to the lower end of the valve housing by suit able means such as threads and extends downwardly through the inflatable element 25 as shown in FIG. 1. Suitable seal means as illustrated at 31 are provided in the head 27 of inflatable element 25 to inhibit leakage therefrom.

A first fluid passage means identified generally at 16 is formed on the valve housing 15 and includes the annular groove 17 formed on the inner surface of the valve housing 15; the annular groove 18 in the valve housing; the annular passage 17a between grooves 17 and 18; the port 19 extending partially through the wall of the valve housing 15; and the passage portions 19 and 19a which extend through the valve housing 15 between the inner and outer walls thereof as generally illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings.

The portion 19' of first passage means 16 includes a first portion 19b, a second portion 19c, and a third portion 19d which extend as shown in FIG. 2 and are circumferentially spaced in the wall 15a of valve housing 15. The passage portion 19b communicates with the port 19', passage portion 190 communicates with portion 19b and portion 19d; and passage portion 19d communicates with passage portion 19a.

As illustrated, a plurality of second passage means 21, 22, and 23 each extends partially through the wall 15a of the valve housing from the exterior surface thereof represented at 24 and interrupt the fluid pas sage 16 at the portion 19 thereof at' spaced intervals as illustrated in FIG. 2. Valve means referred to generally at 40, 40a, and 40b are provided in each of the second passage means 21, 22, and 23, respectively.

The valve means 40 arranged in second passage means 21 includes an end portion 42 provided with an elastomer for engaging on the seat 43 formed between passage portions 19b and 19c of first passage means 16. The valve body 44, as illustrated, is cylindrical in configuration and is reduced in size at a point spaced from the end portion 42 to form a valve stem 45 and a first shoulder 46 on the valve stem at the juncture of the valve body and the valve stem 45. Suitable seal means 47 are arranged on the valve body 44 between the end portion 42 and first shoulder 46 for sealing with the second passage means 21 as shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings.

A second shoulder 48 is provided on the valve stem spaced from the shoulder 46 and from the end 49 of the valve stem 45. A collet 50 better illustrated in FIG. 3 of the drawings surrounds the valve stem adjacent one end with the end 49 of the valve stem abutting the inner end of the collet 50.

Means are provided for retaining the valve means 40 in the second passage means 21, such means being illustrated in the form of an annular retainer housing 51 which may be secured in the outer end of the second passage means by any suitable means such as threads or the like as illustrated in the drawings.

A shear pin 52 extends through the end of the retainer housing means 51 and the end of the collet means as shown in FIG. 2 to retain valve means 40 in seated position on the seat 43 to block off fluid flow in passage means 16 from the interior 21 of the tubular member 10 to the interior 21a of the inflatable element 25. Spring means 53 surround valve stem 45 with one end of the spring abutting the shoulder 46 and its other end abutting the end 55 of the collet, such spring means being forced to a collapsed position as illustrated when the valve means 40 is in the position as illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings.

As more clearly seen in FIG. 3 of the drawings, the shear pin 52 is adapted to be received through an opening 52a formed in the retainer housing means 51, and

an opening 50a in collet 50 and the strength of shear pin 52 will determine the amount of fluid pressure necessary in passage 16 to unseat the valve 40 and permit fluid flow through the passage means 16 from the interior of the tubular member '10 to the interior of the inflatable element 25. The retainer housing 51 is provided with a bore 510 extending from one end for receiving the end of the collet 50 which surrounds the stem 45, and also includes an enlarged counterbore 52b extending from the other end of the collet. At the end of the counterbore 52b there is formed a first shoulder 53 having an inwardly tapered surface 53a as shown in FIG. 3. At the inner end of the surface 53a there is a second counterbore 53b of reduced diameter relative to counterbore 52b, but larger than bore 51a. This second counterbore along with annular inwardly tapered surface 54a which extends from second counterbore 53b form a second shoulder 54 immediately adjacent one end of bore 51a. Thus, the second shoulder 54 is spaced radially inwardly towards the longitudinal center line through the counterbore 52b and opening 51a of the retainer housing 51 relative to first shoulder 53 for a purpose as will be described in greater detail here inafter.

The collet 50 includes a plurality of longitudinal slots 56 which extend from a point spaced from one end of the collet 50 to the other end. Enlarged cylindrical ends 57 are provided on the other end of the collet 50, and each of the cylindrical ends 57 has a sloping surface 58 sloping downwards towards the cylindrical surface 59 of the collet 50. The longitudinally extending slots 56 are wide enough to permit the collet to collapse or to flex inwardly relative towards the valve stem 45 for a purpose to be described hereinafter.

It will be noted that the valve housing 15 is provided with a cylindrical bore and suitable sleeve means 1512 are provided within the bore to retain the seals 15c in position to inhibit leakage into the passage means 16. The sleeve 15b may be retained by spring 15g. The first fluid passage means 16 may be closed off by any suitable means such as the plug 15d which may be threaded in the opening 15c of the sleeve 15b adjacent the annular groove 17 in the valve housing 15. When the closure 15d is employed, it can be appreciated that any communication between the interior of the tubular member 10 and the fluid passage means 16 is inhibited. This prevents pressure variations or pressure surges from acting through the passage means 16 and unseating the valve means 40 which might prematurely inflate the element 25.

When it is desired to actuate the device and communicate fluid to the interior 21a of the inflatable member 25 carried on the exterior of the casing, or tubular member 10, any suitable means may be dropped through the casing so as to break or shear the closure d to thereby permit fluid communication with the annular groove 17 of the first passage means 16 in the valve housing 15 as illustrated by the arrow 15f in FIG. 4 of the drawings. Thereafter, fluid may be communicated through the groove 17, annular passage 17a, groove 18, and to the passage portion 19, port 19 forming a part of the fluid passage means 16 which, as noted previously, is formed between the inner and outer walls of the valve housing 15. Such fluid pressure then acts upon the end portion 42 of the valve means 40, and the pressure within the tubular member 10 may be increased so as to shear the pin 52 whereupon the valve means 40 moves to the position illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawings. When this occurs, the valve means 40 moves longitudinally of the second fluid-passage means 21 and its valve stem 45 as well as the collet 50 surrounding the end thereof move outwardly through the opening 510 of the valve retaining housing 51 as illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings. When this occurs, the sloped surfaces 58 on the collet 50 engage the annular tapered surface 53a of first shoulder means 53 in the valve retaining housing or means 51 as shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings. The movement of the valve 40 also collapses the spring 53 between the shoulder 46 formed at one end of the valve stem 45 and the end 55 of the collet. As illustrated in the drawings, additional valves 40a and 40b are provided in each of the second fluid passage means 22 and 23, respectively. A retainer housing 51c of slightly different configuration is provided for each of the valves 40a and 40b, the valves 40a and 40b being in the form of spring loaded check valves as illustrated.

Since the shear pin 52 retains the valve 40 closed until a predetermined pressure isbuilt up in the passage 16 acting on the end 42, opening of the valve 40 enables the inflatable element to be supplied with a surge of inflating pressure fluid so that it may inflate rapidly. As the inflatable element 25 inflates, the lower annular head 27 moves along the exterior surface of the tubular member 10, and to inhibit leakage of fluid from the interior of the inflatable element, suitable seals as illustrated at 28b are provided in an extension of head 27 for sealing with the exterior surface of the tubular member 10 as expansion of the inflatable element 25 occurs.

Fluid is conducted from tubular member 10 to the interior of the inflatable element 25 until inflation thereof is accomplished.

Valve 40 will remain in open position until the pressure exteriorly of the tubular member 10 approaches the pressure interiorly of the tubular member 10 that is supplied through the fluid passage 16. It will be noted that pressure exteriorly of the tubular member may act on the valve member 40 in conjunction with spring 53 to tend to close it, and when the spring pressure plus the pressure externally of the tubular member 10 acting on the seal 47 equals or exceeds the pressure within the first fluid passage means 16, the valve means 40 will be moved towards seating position. When this occurs, the spring 53 will act to move the collet 50 longitudinally along the valve stem until the tapered surfaces 58 thereon engage the annular tapered surface 54a of the second shoulder means 54, and when this occurs, the

collet means is collapsed radially inwardly as illustrated inF 1G. 4 of the drawings so that the end of the collet engages the second shoulder 48 formed on valve stem 45. When this occurs, the valve means 40 is then locked in closed, seated position to preventany further communication in the passage means 16 from the interior of the tubular member l0 to the exterior of the tubular member 10 and the interior of the inflatable element 25.

a It will be noted that the passage portion 19a of first passage means 16 terminates atthe end 15h of the valve housing. The fluid from passage portion 19a then passes to the interiorof inner tube 30 which surrounds the exterior of tubular member 10 extending from the valve housing 15.

It can be appreciated that if any damage should occur to the inflatable element at a later date so as to cause leakage therefrom, such leakage will be prevented from communicating with the interior of the tubular member 10 since the valve member 40 is locked in seated closed position. Also, no well fluids will be communicated to the interior of the tubular member;

The inflatable element may be inflated with cement, liquid, plastic, or gas, and the present invention will still function to prevent communication should a leak ever occur in the inflated element.

The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention are illustrative and explanatory thereof, and various changes in the size, shape, and materials as well as in the details of the illustrated construction may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What is claimed is: i

1. An arrangement for controlling fluid communication between the interior of a tubular member and the interior of an inflatable element supported externally on the tubular member comprising:

a. valve housing means adapted to be connected with a tubular member; i

b. there being first passage means in said valve housing for communicating fluid from the interior of the tubular member to the interior of an inflatable element supported externally on the tubular member;

c. there being second passage means in said valve housing extending through said housing from the exterior and terminating in said first passage means;

d. valve means positioned in said second passage means for controlling flow through said first passage means;

e. means to retain said valve means in closed position to prevent fluid flow from the interior of the tubular member to the interior of the inflatable element until a predetermined pressure is exerted in said first passage means against said valve means;

f. spring means normally urging said valve toward closed position; and

g. valve locking means responsive after said valve means has been opened and then moved toclosed position for locking said valve in closed position.

2. The invention of claim 1 including frangible closure means closing off the first passage means to the interior of the tubular member.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2177601 *15 Jan 193724 Oct 1939George P VerrettCasing packer
US2187635 *23 May 193816 Jan 1940Stamps George FWell packer
US2695065 *10 Jul 195023 Nov 1954Baker Oil Tools IncWell packer, setting apparatus, and dump bailer
US3427651 *23 Nov 196611 Feb 1969Exxon Production Research CoWell control
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4402517 *13 Aug 19826 Sep 1983Completion Tool CompanyWell packer valve arrangement
US4653588 *10 Oct 198531 Mar 1987N. J. McAllister Petroleum Industries, Inc.Valve apparatus for controlling communication between the interior of a tubular member and an inflatable element in a well bore
US4937930 *5 Oct 19893 Jul 1990International Business Machines CorporationMethod for forming a defect-free surface on a porous ceramic substrate
US5018574 *15 Nov 198928 May 1991Atlantic Richfield CompanyTubing conveyed wellbore fluid flow measurement apparatus
US5417289 *30 Dec 199323 May 1995Carisella; James V.Inflatable packer device including limited initial travel means and method
US5469919 *30 Dec 199328 Nov 1995Carisella; James V.Programmed shape inflatable packer device and method
US5495892 *30 Dec 19935 Mar 1996Carisella; James V.Inflatable packer device and method
US5564504 *17 Jul 199515 Oct 1996Carisella; James V.Programmed shape inflatable packer device and method
US5813459 *11 Sep 199629 Sep 1998Carisella; James V.For use in a subterranean well bore
US5983997 *17 Oct 199616 Nov 1999Brazonics, Inc.Cold plate having uniform pressure drop and uniform flow rate
USRE32438 *21 Jun 198416 Jun 1987Completion Tool CompanyWell packer valve arrangement
DE3002418A1 *24 Jan 198014 Aug 1980Halliburton CoPackeranordnung mit aufblaehbarem packer zur abdichtung von ringraeumen in bohrloechern und steuerventilanordnung fuer solche und aehnliche geraete
DE3315317A1 *27 Apr 19838 Nov 1984Magyar SzenhidrogenipariPacking for separating areas behind a string of casing in a borehole
WO1991007567A1 *15 Nov 199016 May 1991Atlantic Richfield CoTubing conveyed wellbore fluid flow measurement apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/187, 166/122
International ClassificationE21B33/127, E21B33/12
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/127
European ClassificationE21B33/127