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Title:
NOVEL SUCTION BORE COVER AND SEAL ARRANGEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/169366
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A suction cover assembly for a frac pump includes a suction cover having an annular base flange defining a sealing interface proximate to the base flange. The suction cover is dimensioned to be accommodated within a bore well of a fluid cylinder in the pump. An annular seal is seated on the sealing interface proximate to the base flange of the suction cover.

Inventors:
POEHLS, Justin Lane (1043 County Road 321, Glen Rose, Texas, 76043, US)
CUMMINGS, Justin Rand (10509 Bing Drive, Fort Worth, Texas, 76108, US)
KOTAPISH, Edward Charles (3308 Camelot Street, Willow Park, Texas, 76087, US)
CORTES, Adalberto (8824 Prairie Dawn Drive, Fort Worth, Texas, 76131, US)
DELEON, Johnny E. II (4352 Lake Stone Trail, Fort Worth, Texas, 76123, US)
Application Number:
US2019/020446
Publication Date:
September 06, 2019
Filing Date:
March 01, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
S.P.M. FLOW CONTROL, INC. (601 Weir Way, Fort Worth, Texas, 76102, US)
International Classes:
F04B53/10; E21B43/26; F04B39/00; F04B49/02; F16K1/42; F16K15/04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JEANG, Wei Wei (Grable Martin Fulton PLLC, 2709 Dublin RoadPlano, Texas, 75094, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A suction cover assembly for a pump, comprising:

a suction cover having an annular base flange defining a sealing interface proximate to the base flange, the suction cover dimensioned to be accommodated within a bore well of a fluid cylinder in the pump; and

an annular seal seated on the sealing interface proximate to the base flange of the suction cover.

2. The suction cover assembly of claim 1, wherein the annular seal and suction cover form a wash interface away from the bore well of the fluid cylinder.

3. The suction cover assembly of claim 1, wherein the annular seal and suction cover form a wash interface between the annular seal and the suction cover proximate to the base flange.

4. The suction cover assembly of claim 1, wherein the suction cover is configured so that the annular seal may be installed by sliding the seal over the suction cover onto the sealing interface.

5. The suction cover assembly of claim 1, further comprising an annular seal seat concentric with and proximate to the base flange.

6. A frac pump comprising:

a power end;

a fluid end having a disc-shaped cover configured for sealing a suction bore of a fluid cylinder in the frac pump and having an annular base flange defining a sealing interface on the cover proximate to the base flange, the suction cover configured to be accommodated within the suction bore; and

an annular seal seated on the sealing interface proximate to the base flange of the suction cover.

7. The frac pump of claim 6, wherein the annular seal and suction cover define a wash interface away from the suction bore well of the fluid cylinder.

8. The frac pump of claim 6, wherein the annular seal and suction cover form a wash interface between the annular seal and the suction cover proximate to the base flange.

9. The frac pump of claim 6, wherein the suction cover is configured so that the annular seal may be installed by sliding the seal over the suction cover onto the sealing interface.

10. The frac pump of claim 6, further comprising an annular seal seat concentric with and proximate to the base flange.

11. A piece of hydraulic fracturing equipment comprising:

a power end;

a fluid end having a disc-shaped cover configured for sealing a fluid bore and having an annular base flange defining a sealing interface on the cover proximate to the base flange, the suction cover configured to be accommodated within the fluid bore; and

an annular seal seated on the sealing interface proximate to the base flange of the suction cover.

12. The equipment of claim 11, wherein the annular seal and suction cover define a wash interface away from the suction bore well of the fluid cylinder.

13. The equipment of claim 11, wherein the annular seal and suction cover form a wash interface between the annular seal and the suction cover proximate to the base flange.

14. The equipment of claim 11, wherein the suction cover is configured so that the annular seal may be installed by sliding the seal over the cover onto the sealing interface.

15. The frac pump of claim 6, further comprising an annular seal seat concentric with and proximate to the base flange.

Description:
NOVEL SUCTION BORE COVER AND SEAL ARRANGEMENT

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to hydraulic fracturing pumps, and in particular, to a novel suction bore cover and seal arrangement.

BACKGROUND

Hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking) is a process to obtain hydrocarbons such as natural gas and petroleum by injecting a fracking fluid or slurry at high pressure into a wellbore to create cracks in deep rock formations. The hydraulic fracturing process employs a variety of different types of equipment at the site of the well, including one or more positive displacement pumps, slurry blender, fracturing fluid tanks, high-pressure flow iron (pipe or conduit), wellhead, valves, charge pumps, and trailers upon which some equipment are carried.

Positive displacement pumps are commonly used in oil fields for high pressure hydrocarbon recovery applications, such as injecting the fracking fluid down the wellbore. A positive displacement pump may include one or more plungers driven by a crankshaft to create a high or low pressure in a fluid chamber. A positive displacement pump typically has two sections, a power end and a fluid end. The power end includes a crankshaft powered by an engine that drives the plungers. The fluid end of the pump includes cylinders into which the plungers operate to draw fluid into the fluid chamber and then forcibly push out at a high pressure to a discharge manifold, which is in fluid communication with a well head.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partial cross-sectional view of a fluid end of a positive displacement pump including an exemplary embodiment of a novel suction cover and seal arrangement according to the teachings of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a positive displacement pump according to the teachings of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3 is a more detailed view of an exemplary embodiment of a novel suction cover and seal arrangement according to the teachings of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 is a more detailed cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a novel suction cover and seal arrangement according to the teachings of the present disclosure;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are perspective views of an exemplary embodiment of a novel suction cover and seal arrangement according to the teachings of the present disclosure; FIGS. 7 and 8 are partial cross-sectional views of a prior suction cover and seal, where FIG. 8 is a close-up of the D-ring seal and wash region;

FIG. 9 is a partial cross-sectional view of the prior suction cover and seal showing its wash location; and

FIG. 10 is a partial cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a novel suction cover and seal arrangement showing its wash location according to the teachings of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The positive displacement pump commonly deployed at a frac site includes seals on its pony rods in the power end, or flow valves, suction valves, discharge valves, etc. in the fluid end. Such seals operate in harsh conditions, including high pressure (up to 15000 psi), continuous-duty (e.g., full rod load at 120 RPM), and in corrosive (e.g., up to 18% HC1) and high abrasive liquids. The valves must remain in service for a long life without leakage and other failure and be cost-effective to replace. Suction covers are used to provide closure and seal valve access ports. They are typically sealed with pressure energized seals, O-rings, or D-ring seals.

Referring first to FIG. 7, a cross-sectional view of a conventional disc-shaped suction cover with a D-ring seal is shown, with a close-up of the D-ring seal shown in FIG. 8. The D-ring seal prevents pressure leaks from the fluctuating pressure in the cross bores in the fluid cylinder of the pump. One of the most common reasons for failure and pressure loss is caused by wash or surface wear in the suction bore at the seal location. Because of the seal location and the high pressure and harsh abrasive fluid, wash rings are created on the suction bore of the fluid end of the pump, as shown in FIG. 8. Once the bore is washed (i.e., suffers from surface wear), the D-ring seal can no longer hold pressure, even if a new seal is installed as replacement. In most situations, the frac site operator will continue to run and wash the block until complete failure occurs. One theory on the causes of wash in the bore is weakening of the seal during installation. Because of the location of the seal, it has to be stretched over the worn or damaged suction cover in order to install it. This stretching of the seal over this worn surface may potentially cut and damage the structural integrity of the seal and lead to its premature failure.

FIG. 1 is a partial cross-sectional view of a fluid end 24 of a positive displacement pump including an exemplary embodiment of a novel suction cover and seal arrangement 12 according to the teachings of the present disclosure. FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a positive displacement pump 20. Referring to both figures, the positive displacement pump 20 has two sections, a power end 22 and a fluid end 24 connected by a stay rod tube section 23. The power end 22 includes a crankshaft powered by an engine, transmission, electric motor, hydraulic motor, etc. that rotationally drive a crankshaft. A connecting rod, attached to a pin located eccentrically from the crankshaft centerline, converts rotational motion into linear motion and terminates at a wrist pin and a series of plungers 26. The plunger piston slides coaxially inside a fluid chamber, alternately increasing and decreasing chamber volume. The plungers 26 operate to draw fluid from a suction manifold 27 into the fluid chamber through an intake or suction valve 28, and then discharge the fluid at a high pressure through a discharge valve 30 to a discharge manifold 32. The discharged liquid is then injected at high pressure into an encased wellbore. The injected fracturing fluid is also commonly called a slurry, which is a mixture of water, proppants (silica sand or ceramic), and chemical additives. The novel suction cover and seal concept described herein can be employed for a suction valve, a discharge valve, and any valve and seal present in the frac pump, as well as other types of equipment that may be present at an exemplary hydraulic fracturing site and elsewhere in other applications. An exemplary hydraulic fracturing site employs positive displacement pumps, a slurry blender, fracturing fluid tanks, high-pressure flow iron (pipe or conduit), trailers upon which some equipment are carried, valves, wellhead, charge pump (typically a centrifugal pump), conveyers, and other equipment at the site of a hydraulic fracturing operation or other types of hydrocarbon recovery operations.

As shown in FIG. 1, the disc-shaped suction cover 36 is situated in the cross bore of the pump fluid cylinder. The suction cover 36 includes an annular seal 38 and is held in place by a suction cover threaded retainer 39. Similarly, the discharge valve assembly may include a discharge suction cover 40 and an annular seal 42 held in place by a discharge suction cover threaded retainer 42. The annular seal(s) may have a cross-section that is circular, elliptical, D-shaped, square, rectangular, or any other suitable shape.

As shown in FIG. 1, and in more detail in FIGS. 3 and 4, an exemplary embodiment of the suction cover and seal arrangement 12 includes a suction cover 36 with an annular seal 38. The suction cover 36 has a base flange 28 forming a sealing interface, and a stepped seal seat 46 upon which the annular seal 38 is situated. The suction cover 36 is dimensioned to be accommodated within a bore well of a fluid cylinder in the pump.

As further shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the circular seal 38 can be installed by sliding it over the suction cover 36 onto the seal seat 46 proximate to the base flange 28. This can be performed without stretching the seal that may adversely impact the structural integrity of the seal.

FIGS. 9 and 10 provide a side-by-side comparison of the conventional and new designs. FIG. 9 is a partial cross-sectional view of the conventional suction cover with the D-ring seal showing the location of the wash, which is at the interface between the seal and the fluid end bore wall. FIG. 10 is a partial cross-sectional view of a new suction cover design showing the location of the wash, which is now located at the interface between the seal 38 and the suction cover 36. By changing the location of the seal, wash in the bore is mitigated and the suction cover now experiences surface wear, if any, which is a much more cost-effective part to replace and service than the fluid end bore. Further, the seal gland is split into two pieces, which allows the seal gland to be opened up and the seal slid into place onto the base flange and seal seat of the suction cover, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Because the new installation process does not require stretching the seal allows the seal design to be more rigid and durable.

The novel suction cover and seal configuration described herein involves (a) changing the seal location, (b) changing the sealing surface to act on the suction cover rather than the fluid end bore, and (c) engineered seals that are more durable because the seal can be slid onto the cover into place.

The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth below with particularity in the appended claims. However, modifications, variations, and changes to the exemplary embodiments described above will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and the novel suction cover and seal design described herein thus encompasses such modifications, variations, and changes and are not limited to the specific embodiments described herein.