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Title:
HOSE END FITTING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/132330
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A hose end fitting (30) for a hose, and for coupling to another object, the hose end fitting having a coupling end (32) and a hose end (34), and at least comprising; • an insert (12) having a coupling end and a hose end; • a sleeve (14) connected to the insert, providing accommodation for fitting the hose between the sleeve and the hose end (42) of the insert; • a coupler (60) at the coupling end of the insert to couple the hose end fitting to the other object; and • a collar (62) between the coupler and the hose end, moveable between a first position against the sleeve in the direction of the hose end during fitting of a hose end, and a second position against the coupler during coupling of the hose fitting with the other object. In this way, the hose end fitting can provide a suitable surface to take the load applied during swaging or crimping of the hose end between the sleeve and the insert, and also provide a securement of the coupler once it is coupled with another object in use.

Inventors:
RUTHERFORD ALAN (GB)
Application Number:
IB2013/000545
Publication Date:
September 12, 2013
Filing Date:
March 05, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TECHNIP FRANCE (6-8 Allee de L'Arche, Faubourg de l'ArcheZAC Danton, Courbevoie, F-92400, FR)
International Classes:
F16L33/207
Foreign References:
US1987100A
US3999781A
US2306594A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHAUD, Fabien (Cabinet Murgitroyd, Immeuble Atlantis55 Allée Pierre Ziiler, Valbonne, F-06560, FR)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A hose end fitting for a hose, and for coupling to another object, the hose end fitting having a coupling end and a hose end, and at least comprising;

an insert having a coupling end and a hose end;

a sleeve connected to the insert, providing accommodation for fitting the hose between the sleeve and the hose end of the insert;

a coupler at the coupling end of the insert to couple the hose end fitting to the other object; and

a collar between the coupler and the hose end, moveable between a first position against the sleeve in the direction of the hose end during fitting of a hose end, and a second position against the coupler during coupling of the hose fitting with the other object.

2. A hose end fitting as claimed in claim 1 wherein the hose end fitting is a female hose end fitting.

3. A hose end fitting as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 for a high pressure hose.

4. A hose end fitting as claimed in any one of the preceding claims for an umbilical, optionally a flying lead.

5. A hose end fitting as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein at least a portion of the collar circumferentially surrounds at least a portion of the sleeve.

6. A hose end fitting as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the collar includes a face facing the coupler, said face preferably being wholly or substantially flat.

7. A hose end fitting as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the collar extends transversely beyond the dimension or dimensions of the coupler.

8. A hose end fitting as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the collar includes a face able to abut a portion of the sleeve.

9. A hose end fitting as claimed in claim 8 wherein the sleeve includes a shoulder, and the collar includes a face able to abut the shoulder of the sleeve.

10. A hose end fitting as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the collar includes a face complementary to the opposing portion of the coupler, to provide a complementary abutment of the collar face against the coupler.

11. A hose end fitting as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the collar and the sleeve include complementary mating means, such as a screw thread.

12. A hose end fitting as claimed in claim 11 wherein the collar is moveable along the complementary mating means to be brought against the coupler.

13. A method of forming and using a hose end fitting for a hose as defined in any one of claims 1 to 12, the hose end fitting having a coupling end and a hose end, the method at least comprising the steps of:

(a) providing the end of a hose;

(b) locating the end of the hose between the sleeve and the insert of the hose end fitting;

(c) locating a collar in a first position against the sleeve in the direction of the hose end;

(d) applying pressure to the collar to move the sleeve, insert and hose end through a die to secure the hose end to the hose end coupling;

(e) coupling the coupler with another object to couple the hose end fitting to the other object; (f) moving the collar to a second position against the coupler during coupling of the hose end fitting with the other object.

14. A method as claimed in claim 13 wherein the pressure in step (d) is applied by a pusher, and the pusher includes an insert able to accommodate the coupler without applying force thereto during step (d).

15. A method as claimed in claim 13 or claim 14 wherein the collar and the sleeve include complementary mating means, such as a screw thread, to allow tightening of the collar against the coupler in step fjf).

Description:
HOSE END FITTING The present invention relates to a hose end fitting, in particular for use with high pressure hose fittings, such as those found in the terminations of subsea umbilicals or "flying leads" used in the oil & gas industry.

An umbilical consists of a group of one or more types of elongated active umbilical elements such as electrical cables, optical fibre cables or hoses cabled together for flexibility and over-sheathed and/or armoured for mechanical strength. An umbilical can also comprise specific load-carrying components such steel rods (see US6472614), composite rods (see WO2005/124095, US2007/0251694), steel ropes (see GB2326177, WO2005/124095], composites ropes (see GB2326177) or tensile armour layers (see Figure 1 of US6472614).

Umbilicals are used for transmitting power, signals and fluids (fluid injection, hydraulic power, gas release, etc.) to and from a subsea installation. The umbilical cross-section is generally circular, the elongated elements being wound together either in a helical or in an S/Z pattern. In order to fill the interstitial voids between the various umbilical elements and obtain the desired configuration, filler components may be included within the voids. ISO 13628-5 "Specification for Subsea Umbilicals", provides standards for the design and manufacture of such umbilicals.

Subsea umbilicals are installed at increasingly deeper water depths, commonly being deeper than 2000m. Such umbilicals therefore must be able to withstand severe loading conditions during their installation and their service life. The main hydraulic components used within umbilicals are high pressure thermoplastic hoses and steel tubes. Two major drawbacks of thermoplastic hoses are firstly that they are permeable to fluids (gas diffusion through the liner being a known significant safety issue), and secondly, that they are not able to withstand large axial loads (i.e. they are designed to resist collapse but not tensile loads), thus making it necessary to provide the umbilical with additional layers of armouring. However thermoplastic hoses are widely used because they are more flexible than steel tubes, which increase the umbilical flexibility and reduce the manufacturing cost.

US2007/0227740 Al describes the grouping of subsea wells or the clustering of wells to allow multiple control lines and chemical treatment lines to run from the ocean surface downward to the cluster wells and to one or more umbilicals which terminate at an umbilical termination assembly. In order to connect various communication lines i.e. control lines and chemical injection lines, etc., to items of equipment on the ocean floor, special connections known as "flying leads" are employed to connect the ends of lines to subsea equipment. This includes thermoplastic hose flying leads and steel tube flying leads. Such flying leads can also include end fittings for coupling with subsea units and components.

US2010/0117355 Al describes in more detail an umbilical hose coupling for use with textile-reinforced hoses in the oil and gas industry, especially high pressure hoses for use in offshore systems. In particular, Figures 1 and 2 of US2010/0117355 Al, incorporated herein by way of reference, show a prior art hose coupling having a hose end swaged or crimped between a sleeve and an insert of a coupling, and between regular teeth.

Longitudinal swaging can be preferred to radial crimping when fitting a hose end to a hose end fitting or coupler, because longitudinal swaging equipment if less expensive, smaller and lighter. Thus it is generally more easily useable and portable for offshore operations. US3706123 describes apparatus for swaging couplings to the end of a hose, being hydraulically actuated. The device described in US3706123 has a die, a support for the die, and a ram for pressing an article to be shaped into the cavity in the die. The ram is formed as a piston acting directly against the top of the hose end as shown in Figure 7.

US4050286 shows another swaging apparatus in which a pusher member again directly pushes a hose coupling sleeve having a hose end portion therewithin downwardly into a die cavity of a closed die. The action of the pusher to reduce the diameter of the hose coupling sleeve and thus crimp the hose end portion between the sleeve and the insert.

Both US3706123 and US4050286 show action on a male hose coupling, i.e. with a final threaded portion integrally formed with at least the insert of the hose coupling, and able to withstand the direct pressure of the pusher or ram thereon during swaging.

There also exist female endings for hose end couplings. These have a complementary nut, generally a hex-shaped threaded nut, for engagement with the threaded end of a complementary male fitting. Figure 1 herewith shows a half longitudinally-cut away side view of one prior art example of a female hose coupling 10. The coupling 10 has a central insert 12, an attached sleeve 14, and a nut 16. The end of a hose 18 fits in a circumferential slot 20 between the inner face of the sleeve 14 and the outer face of the insert 12, which usually incorporates a number of teeth 22.

To secure the end of the hose 18 in the slot 20, a die 24 is located beyond the coupling 10, and a pusher 26 pushes against the nut 16 to force the hose coupling 10 through the stationary die 24. This is shown in more detail in the accompanying Figures 2 and 3. The action of the pusher 26 and die 24 crimps the end of the hose 18 within the slot 20 for securement therebetween, following which the hose coupling 10 is ready for use. The swaging operation on the hose coupling 10 is similar to that shown in US3706123 and US4050286, except the pusher 26 acts directly on the nut 16.

However, the pressures and forces involved in longitudinal swaging a coupler can and does damage the nut. The whole swaging load is applied through the nut. Unlike male hose couplers, the nut is not an integral part of the hose coupler, and is not integrally fixed to or formed with the insert and sleeve.

A further problem is that coupler nuts, such as that shown in Figures 1-3 of the accompanying drawings, can become loose or unlocked after fitting. Pressure variations inside the hose can induce vibrations, and any loosening or unlocking of the nut can lead to leakage at the junction, and even disconnection.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved hose end fitting able to overcome at least the above mentioned disadvantages.

Thus, according to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a hose end fitting for a hose, and for coupling to another object, the hose end fitting having a coupling end and a hose end, and at least comprising; an insert having a coupling end and a hose end;

a sleeve connected to the insert, providing accommodation for fitting the hose between the sleeve and the hose end of the insert;

a coupler at the coupling end of the insert to couple the hose end fitting to the other object; and

a collar between the coupler and the hose end, moveable between a first position against the sleeve in the direction of the hose end during fitting of a hose end, and a second position against the coupler during coupling of the hose fitting with the other object.

In this way, the hose end fitting of the present invention can provide a suitable surface to take the load applied during swaging or crimping of the hose end between the sleeve and the insert, and also provide a securement of the coupler once it is coupled with another object in use.

The addition of a collar between the coupler and the hose end can be used for both male and female hose end fittings, together with alternative designs such as stub pipe fittings etc. Optionally, the hose end fitting is a female hose end fitting.

The hose end fitting of the present invention is suitable for use with any hose. Some hoses are described herein above, including high pressure hoses and more particularly high pressure thermoplastic hoses and steel tubes. Such hoses include those formed by any material, and optionally including one or more reinforcement layers, commonly between outer and inner layers. The present invention is not limited by the nature of the hose, or the nature of the end of the hose for fitting with the hose end fitting of the present invention.

The hose end fitting of the present invention may be coupled to any other suitable object, including but not limited to onshore or offshore uses. This can include subsea objects, including apparatus, devices, units and other equipment that are used in the location and/or production of hydrocarbons. In particular, the hose end fittings can be used at the end of umbilicals as described herein above, including flying leads.

The insert of the hose end fitting of the present invention is generally in the form of a cylinder, optionally including an enlarged head or other arrangement able to engage with a coupler at the coupling end.

The sleeve of the hose end fitting of the present invention is also generally a cylindrical part, and is typically welded to or integrally formed with the insert. The combination of the insert and sleeve creates an accommodation for the end of a hose between the sleeve and the hose end at the insert, generally being in the form of a cylindrical slot around the outer face of the hose end of the insert, and within the inner face of the sleeve. Either or both of the opposing faces of the insert and the sleeve forming the slot may include one or more teeth or other shapes or variations in design, form or matter, adapted to assist with the conjoining and/or integrity of the coupling of the hose end fitting with a hose. According to one embodiment of the present invention, a portion of the outer face of the sleeve includes a mating surface, preferably but not limited to a threaded portion.

The coupler of the present invention may be any suitable part, item or device, able to couple with and/or attach the hose end fitting to the other object. The type, nature, size and design of the coupler are not limiting to the present invention, and the use of a nut as the coupler is by way of example only.

The collar of the present invention is located between the coupler and the hose end. The collar may be of any size, shape, nature or design.

Optionally, at least a portion of the collar can circumferentially surround at least a portion of the sleeve. Optionally, the collar includes a face facing the coupler, said face preferably being wholly or substantially flat.

Optionally, the collar extends transversely beyond the dimension or dimensions of the coupler, generally transverse to the longitudinal axis of the hose end fitting.

Optionally, the collar includes a portion having an inner face able to engage with a portion of the sleeve. Preferably, said portion of the collar includes a mating surface complementary to a mating surface of a portion of the sleeve. More preferably, each mating surface is a screw thread.

Optionally, the collar includes a face able to abut a portion of the sleeve. Preferably, the collar includes a face able to abut a shoulder of the sleeve. The collar is able to move to a first position against the sleeve in the direction of the hose end fitting during fitting of a hose end. Thus, the force required to fit the end of the hose between the sleeve and the insert of the present invention, generally in the slot thereinbetween designed to accommodate the end of a suitable hose, can be applied directly and only to the collar, and transferred therethrough to the sleeve. This avoids application of the force through the coupler, avoiding the risk of any damage to the coupler during the fitting of the end of the hose with the hose end fitting. Preferably, the force applied during the fitting is applied to a face of collar opposite to that portion of the collar against the sleeve.

Once the hose end is fitted and secured with the hose end fitting, the hose end fitting is ready for coupling with the other object. This is achieved by the coupling of the coupler with the other object. For example, where the coupler is a nut, by the securing and tightening of the nut with a suitable male threaded end, in order to provide an overall coupling of the hose with the other object.

The collar of the present invention is moveable to a second position against the coupler; that is, in the direction of the coupling end, during coupling of the hose end fitting with the other object.

Optionally the movement of the collar between first and second positions is longitudinally along the longitudinal axis of the hose end coupling. Optionally, the collar includes a portion complementary to the opposing portion of the coupler, to provide a complementary abutment of the collar against the coupler; optionally, that portion of the collar which is wholly or substantially flat, and is against a coupler having a complementary wholly or substantially flat face.

Where the collar and the sleeve include complementary mating means, such as a screw thread, the collar can be moved along the screw thread to be brought against the coupler, and optionally tightened thereagainst to provide further securement in use.

Thus, according to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of forming and using a hose end fitting for a hose as described herein, the hose end fitting having a coupling end and a hose end, the method at least comprising the steps of:

(a) providing the end of a hose;

(b) locating the end of the hose between the sleeve and the insert of the hose end fitting;

(c) locating a collar in a first position against the sleeve in the direction of the hose end;

(d) applying pressure to the collar to move the sleeve, insert and hose end through a die to secure the hose end to the hose end coupling;

(e) coupling the coupler with another object to couple the hose end fitting to the other object;

(f) moving the collar to a second position against the coupler during

coupling of the hose end fitting with the other object.

Optionally, the pressure in step (d) is applied by a pusher, and the pusher includes an insert able to accommodate the coupler without applying force thereto during step (d).

Optionally, the collar and the sleeve include complementary mating means, such as a screw thread, to allow tightening of the collar against the coupler in step (f).

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 shows a part-longitudinally cut away side view of a prior art hose coupler; Figures 2 and 3 show first and second stages of a prior art method of swaging the prior art hose coupler of Figure 1;

Figure 4 is a part-longitudinally cut away side view of a hose end fitting according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 5 is a similar view of the hose end fitting of Figure 4 with a hose end, in preparation for a first stage of a method of swaging according to another embodiment of the present invention; and

Figure 6 is a similar view of the hose end fitting of Figure 4 with a hose end following its coupling with another object.

Referring to the drawings, Figure 1 shows a prior art hose coupling 10 as described hereinabove. The hose coupling 10 has an insert 12, sleeve 14, and a nut 16. The insert 12 and sleeve 14 form a slot 20 able to accommodate the end of a hose 18 therein, and between suitable teeth 22.

Figures 2 and 3 show a method of longitudinally swaging the hose coupler 10 with the hose 18, wherein the hose coupler 10 is forced through a die 24 by applying the force of a pressure 26 directly against the nut 16. Figure 3 shows the end of the swaging process started in Figure 2, whereby the hose 18 is now secured with the hose coupler 10 ready for use. However, the immense force applied by the pusher 26 can be seen to risk damaging the nut 16, especially where the nut 16 is not integral or secured to the insert 12 and sleeve 14, as well as the nut 16 being relatively thin walled due to the nature of it being a female coupling. Any damage caused to the nut 16 may either lead to the complete unusability of the hose coupler 10 in general, (because of there is sufficient damage to the nut 16 to prevent its subsequent coupling to a complementary male fitting such as a threaded pipe), or a residual weakness which can lead to at least some loosening, possibly catastrophic disconnection, of the nut 16 from its complementary male fitting. This is especially where the hose is a high pressure hose, and/or used in a harsh environment such as deep underwater, where other factors such as corrosion may apply- Thus, the assurity provided by the swaging of the end of the hose between the insert and the sleeve may be undone by weakness caused by damage to the nut during the hose fitting process.

Figure 4 shows a hose end fitting 30 according to one embodiment of the present invention. The hose end fitting 30 has a 'coupling end', generally designated 32, and a 'hose end', generally designated 34. The exact extent, location or size of each of the coupling end 32 and the hose end 34 are not limiting to the hose end fitting 30, but describe in general terms: that end of the hose end fitting that is intended for connection with a hose, and that end of the hose end fitting that is intended for connection with another object. The skilled man will be aware of the general concepts of a hose end fitting having a coupling end and hose end.

The hose end fitting 30 has an insert 40, generally being an elongate cylinder, and similarly having a coupling end 42 and a hose end 44 in line with the coupling end 32 and the hose end 34 of the hose end fitting 30.

The insert 40 may be formed of any suitable material, and may be formed with any suitable size, shape and design. Such inserts are known in the art, and are not described in any further detail. Generally, the insert 40 includes a flange or an enlarged portion at its coupling head or end 44, adapted to provide a means for its engagement with a coupler as described hereinafter.

The hose end fitting 30 includes a sleeve 46 connected to the insert 40. The connection may be by any suitable method or means, generally being by threaded connection, in order to form securement of their connection. The hose end fitting 30 provides accommodation for the fitting of the end of a suitable hose 36 (shown in Figure 5) between the sleeve 46 and the hose end of the insert 40. Such a combination is shown as a circumferential slot 48 in Figure 4, optionally including teeth 50 on one or both of the faces of the insert 40 and sleeve 46 facing each other to form the slot 48.

The sleeve 46 includes a shoulder 51 between the portion of the sleeve forming the slot 48 and a portion of the sleeve 52 directly surrounding the insert 40. The hose end fitting 30 includes a coupler 60 at the coupling end 44 of the insert 40, to couple the hose end fitting 30 to another object. By way of example only, and without limitation to the present invention, the coupler 60 illustrated in Figure 4 is a hex-nut, having one end with a suitable shoulder or flange able to engage the enlarged head portion of the insert 40 in a manner known in the art.

The hose end fitting 30 includes a collar 62 between the coupler 60 and the hose end 42, movable between a first position against the sleeve 46 as shown in Figures 4 and 5 and in the direction of the hose end during fitting of a hose end as described hereinafter, and a second position as shown in Figure 6, against the coupler 60, being in the direction of the coupling end 36 during coupling of the hose end fitting 30 with another object.

The collar 62 comprises a first portion or face 64 facing the coupler 60, and generally being wholly or substantially flat in a tangential direction to the longitudinal axis 65 of the hose end fitting 30. Preferably, the first face 64 extends beyond the complete tangential extent of the coupler 60. For example, where the collar 62 is round or at least partially cylindrical, the radius of the first face 64 is greater than the radius or greatest radial extent of the coupler 60, in a direction tangential to the longitudinal axis 65 of the hose end fitting 30. In other terms, the diameter of the collar 62 is greater than the diameter of the coupler 60. The collar 62 has a second face 66 at its opposite end, able to abut against the shoulder 51 of the sleeve 46 in its first position.

Figure 5 shows the collar 60 in its first position, wherein the second face 66 abuts the shoulder 51 of the sleeve 46. Against the first face 64 of the collar 62, there is a pusher 68 able to apply force directly to the collar 62. The pusher 68 is part of a larger swaging apparatus or unit, not shown.

The pusher 68 includes an insert 70 able to accommodate the coupler 60 without applying force thereto. In this way, no force that is required for the fitting of the end of a hose with the hose end fitting 30 is applied to or through the coupler 60, thereby reducing or avoiding completely any possible damage thereto that could otherwise be caused by applying the pusher 68 directly to the coupler 60. As shown in Figure 5, force applied by the pusher 68 applies directly to the collar 62, and then directly to the sleeve 46. The hose end fitting 30 is then ready to be forced through a suitable die 69 following the location of the end of a hose 36 in the slot 48. In use, the pusher 68 is moved in the direction of arrow A and forces the sleeve 46, end of the hose 36, and hose end of the insert 42, together by longitudinal swaging, in order to fit the hose 36 securely with the hose end fitting 30.

Following the fitting of the end of a hose 36 with the hose end fitting 30, the hose end fitting 30 is ready for use. In use, the coupler 60 is coupled with another object 72 as shown in Figure 6. The other object 72 generally includes a male threaded portion 74 for engagement with an internal threaded portion 76 of the coupler 60 in a manner known in the art. Once the coupler 60 is considered secured to the other object 72, the collar 60 is moved to its second position against the coupler 60. Preferably, the flat first face 64 engages wholly or substantially with the complementary flat face 78 of the coupler 60.

The collar 62 includes an internal portion 80, at least of portion of which has a mating surface being a threaded portion 82. A complementary threaded portion 84 at the end of the sleeve 46 can engage the threaded portion 82 of the collar 62, to assist with the location and optionally tightening of the collar 62 against the coupler 60. It is noted that the complementary threaded portions 82, 84 of the collar 62 and sleeve 46 do not need to be an engagement when the collar 62 is in its first position.

The present invention provides a hose end fitting having a moveable collar, and able to overcome both the problem of potential damage to the coupler during fitting of the hose end fitting with a hose, and securement of the coupler following its attachment to another object.

Various modifications and variations to the described embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention as defined herein. Although the invention has been described in connection with specific preferred embodiments it should be understood that the invention as defined herein should not be unduly limited to such specific embodiments.




 
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