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Title:
NOVEL VALVE CONFIGURATION FOR LONG WEARABILITY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/169364
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A valve assembly for a fluid end of a frac pump includes a valve seat, a generally cylindrical and elongated metal core, a dampener layer bonded to the metal core, a metal outer layer bonded to the dampener layer. The metal core, dampener layer, and metal outer layer form an elongated valve body having a generally cylindrical extended portion that extend beyond the valve seat. The metal core, dampener layer, and metal outer layer of the valve body also form a generally conical lower portion that has a sealing surface configured to meet and engage with the valve seat.

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Inventors:
LANDRUM, Connor (133 Diablo Drive, Burleson, Texas, 76028, US)
BULLARD, Casey (6332 Leaping Fawn Drive, Fort Worth, Texas, 76179, US)
STEWART, Trever Dean (4924 Portview Drive, Fort Worth, Texas, 76135, US)
HAIDERER, Jeffrey Robert (7890 Wallace Road, Fort Worth, Texas, 76135, US)
SPENCER, Gideon Nathanael (101 N. Roaring Springs Rd, #8205Westworth Village, Texas, 76114, US)
HERRING, Michael William (256 Highland Drive, Aledo, Texas, 76008, US)
MCCRADY, John (817 Alan Drive, Burleson, Texas, 76028, US)
Application Number:
US2019/020444
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:
F16K15/02; F02M59/46; F04B1/00; F04B53/10; F16L37/00; F16L37/28
Foreign References:
US5088521A1992-02-18
US20060202150A12006-09-14
US20090278069A12009-11-12
US20160238156A12016-08-18
US7591450B12009-09-22
US20040170507A12004-09-02
US5275204A1994-01-04
US2233649A1941-03-04
US2792016A1957-05-14
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 valve body for engagement with a conical valve seat, the valve body comprising: a generally cylindrical and elongated metal core;

a dampener layer bonded to the metal core; and

wherein the metal core and dampener layer form an elongated valve body configured to extend beyond the valve seat while the valve body is in situ and fully engaged with the valve seat.

2. The valve body of claim 1, further comprising a metal outer layer bonded to the dampener layer.

3. The valve body of claim 1, wherein the valve body includes a generally cylindrical extended portion and a generally conical lower portion that engages with the valve seat.

4. The valve body of claim 1, wherein the dampener layer comprises urethane.

5. The valve body of claim 1, wherein the generally cylindrical and elongated metal core comprises two truncated conical ends.

6. The valve body of claim 1, wherein the generally cylindrical and elongated metal core comprises one truncated conical end.

7. The valve body of claim 1, wherein the metal core and dampener layer form a sealing surface configured to meet and engage with the valve seat.

8. The valve body of claim 2, wherein the metal core, dampener layer, and metal outer layer form a sealing surface configured to meet and engage with the valve seat.

9. A valve body for engagement with a conical valve seat, the valve body comprising: a generally cylindrical and elongated metal core;

a dampener layer bonded to the metal core;

a metal outer layer bonded to the dampener layer; and

wherein the metal core, dampener layer, and metal outer layer form an elongated valve body having a generally cylindrical extended portion that extend beyond the valve seat and a generally conical lower portion forming a sealing surface configured to meet and engage with the valve seat.

10. The valve body of claim 9, wherein the generally cylindrical and elongated metal core comprises two truncated conical ends.

11. The valve body of claim 9, wherein the generally cylindrical and elongated metal core comprises one truncated conical end.

12. A valve assembly for a fluid end of a frac pump, the valve assembly comprising: a valve seat;

a generally cylindrical and elongated metal core;

a dampener layer bonded to the metal core;

a metal outer layer bonded to the dampener layer; and

wherein the metal core, dampener layer, and metal outer layer form an elongated valve body having a generally cylindrical extended portion that extend beyond the valve seat and a generally conical lower portion forming a sealing surface configured to meet and engage with the valve seat.

13. The valve assembly of claim 12, wherein the generally cylindrical and elongated metal core comprises two truncated conical ends.

14. The valve assembly of claim 12, wherein the generally cylindrical and elongated metal core comprises one truncated conical end.

Description:
NOVEL VALVE CONFIGURATION FOR LONG WEARABILITY

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to valves, and in particular, to a novel valve configuration for long wearability.

BACKGROUND

Hydraulic fracturing 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 simplified cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a novel valve configuration for long wearability according to the teachings of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is another simplified cross-sectional view taken along lines 2-2 in FIG. 1 ;

FIG. 3 is another simplified cross-sectional view taken along lines 3-3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a partial simplified cross-sectional view of another exemplary embodiment of a novel valve configuration for long wearability according to the teachings of the present disclosure;

FIG. 5 is a partial simplified cross-sectional view of a third exemplary embodiment of a novel valve configuration for long wearability according to the teachings of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of a positive displacement pump. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The positive displacement pump commonly deployed at a frac site typically includes a number of valves in the fluid end. Because these valves 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 highly abrasive liquids, they are often short-lived and required frequent maintenance and replacement. It is desirable that these valves remain in service for a long life without leakage and other failures.

FIGS. 1 is a simplified cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a novel valve configuration 10 according to the teachings of the present disclosure. FIGS. 2 and 3 are further transverse cross-sectional views of the valve configuration 10 taken along lines 2-2 and 3-3, respectively, in FIG. 1. The novel valve configuration 10 includes a valve body 12 that includes a generally cylindrical-shaped extended portion 14 and a generally conical-shaped lower portion 15. The valve body 12 is preferably constructed of a cylindrical metal core 16 bonded with a dampener material layer 18, such as urethane or another suitable material now known or to be developed, that is further bonded with an outer layer of metal 20. The metal and the dampening material may be bonded by any method heretofore known or to be developed, including casting, injection molding, using an epoxy or adhesive, etc. In this embodiment, the generally cylindrical metal core 16 is tapered at both ends (i.e., truncated conical shape). The sealing surface 26 of the valve body 12 includes the exposed metal core 16, dampening material layer 18, and outer metal layer 20.

As shown in FIG. 1, the valve body 12 fits within a generally conical valve seat 22 and serves to stop the flow of a fluid in the conduit or passageway 24 of a pump. When fully seated, the extended portion 14 of the valve body 12 emerges above the valve seat 22. The extended portion 14 effectively extends the dimensions of the valve body 12 so that it is able to better withstand wear at its sealing interface 26 without failure and leakage even as the sealing surface is eroded by the harsh fluids circulating at extreme pressures. Not shown in FIG. 1 is a biasing member such as a coiled spring that is disposed between the top of the valve and the manifold housing, for example.

In operation, differential pressure acting on the valve body 12 causes the valve body 12 to be displaced along its longitudinal axis 25. In the first position, the valve body 12 is separated from the seat 22 so that its sealing interface 26 is spaced apart from the engagement surface 27 of the valve seat 22 due to high fluid pressure in the passageway 24. In this open position, the biasing member (not shown) is compressed and fluid flows through the passageway 24 and around the valve body 12. At the end of the pump stroke, the stored energy in the biasing member overcomes the differential pressure and exerts a closing force on the valve body 12 to displace it longitudinally (downward) to the closed position, thereby preventing fluid flow between the sealing interface 26 and the seat engagement surface 27. Because of the added material to the conical valve body, as the engagement surface wears away, the valve body is naturally lowered and urged against the valve seat by the biasing member. Therefore, the valve assembly can maintain its functionality long past its normal life span. With the elongated dimension, the valve body can wear down and yet still function to completely seal off the valve seat 22.

FIG. 4 is a partial simplified cross-sectional view of another exemplary embodiment of novel valve configuration 30 for long wearability according to the teachings of the present disclosure. The novel valve configuration 30 includes a valve body 32 that includes a generally cylindrical-shaped extended portion 34 and a generally conical-shaped lower portion 35. The valve body 32 is preferably constructed of a cylindrical metal core 36 bonded with a dampener material layer 38, such as urethane or another suitable material. The metal core 36 and the dampening material outer layer 38 may be bonded by any method heretofore known or to be developed, including casting, injection molding, using an epoxy or adhesive, etc. In this embodiment, the metal core 36 is tapered only at one end (i.e., truncated conical shape) forming part of the sealing surface 46. The sealing surface 36 of the valve body 32 includes the exposed metal core 36 and dampening material outer layer 38.

The valve body 34 fits within a conical valve seat 42 and serves to stop the flow of a fluid in the conduit or passageway 44 of a pump. When fully seated, the extended portion 34 of the valve body 32 emerges above the valve seat 42. The extended portion 34 effectively extends the dimensions of the valve body 32 so that it is able to better withstand wear at its sealing interface 46 without failure and leakage even as the sealing surface is eroded by the harsh fluids circulating at extreme pressures. Not shown in FIG. 4 is a biasing member such as a coiled spring that is disposed between the top of the valve and the manifold housing, for example.

In operation, differential pressure acting on the valve body 34 causes the valve body 34 to be displaced along its longitudinal axis 45. In the first position, the valve body 32 is separated from the seat 42 so that its sealing interface 46 is spaced apart from the engagement surface 47 of the valve seat 42 due to high fluid pressure in the passageway 44. In this open position, the biasing member (not shown) is compressed and fluid flows through the passageway 44 and around the valve body 32. At the end of the pump stroke, the stored energy in the biasing member overcomes the differential pressure and exerts a closing force on the valve body 32 to displace it longitudinally (downward) to the closed position, thereby preventing fluid flow between the sealing interface 46 and the seat engagement surface 47. Because of the added material to the conical valve body, as the engagement surface wears away, the valve body is naturally lowered and urged against the valve seat by the biasing member. Therefore, the valve assembly can maintain its functionality long past its normal life span. With the elongated dimension, the valve body can wear down and yet still function to completely seal off the valve seat.

FIG. 5 is a partial simplified cross-sectional view of yet another exemplary embodiment of novel valve configuration 60 for long wearability according to the teachings of the present disclosure. The novel valve configuration 60 includes a valve body 62 that includes a generally cylindrical shaped extended portion 64 and a generally conical-shaped lower portion 65. The valve body 62 is preferably constructed of a cylindrical metal core 66 bonded with a dampener material layer 68, such as urethane or another suitable material. The generally cylindrical metal core 66 and the dampening material outer layer 68 may be bonded by any method heretofore known or to be developed, including casting, injection molding, using an epoxy or adhesive, etc. In this embodiment, the metal core 66 is also tapered at both ends (i.e., truncated conical shape). The sealing surface 76 of the valve body 62 includes the exposed metal core 66 and dampening material outer layer 68.

The valve body 64 fits within a conical valve seat 72 and serves to stop the flow of a fluid in the conduit or passageway 74 of a pump. When fully seated, the extended portion 64 of the valve body 64 emerges above the valve seat 72. The extended portion 64 effectively extends the dimensions of the valve body 62 so that it is able to better withstand wear at its sealing interface 76 without failure and leakage even as the sealing surface is eroded by the harsh fluids circulating at extreme pressures. Not shown in FIG. 5 is a biasing member such as a coiled spring that is disposed between the top of the valve and the manifold housing, for example.

In operation, differential pressure acting on the valve body 62 causes the valve body 62 to be displaced along its longitudinal axis 75. In the first position, the valve body 62 is separated from the seat 72 so that its sealing interface 76 is spaced apart from the engagement surface 77 of the valve seat 72 due to high fluid pressure in the passageway 74. In this open position, the biasing member (not shown) is compressed and fluid flows through the passageway 74 and around the valve body 62. At the end of the pump stroke, the stored energy in the biasing member overcomes the differential pressure and exerts a closing force on the valve body 62 to displace it longitudinally (downward) to the closed position, thereby preventing fluid flow between the sealing interface 76 and the seat engagement surface 77. Because of the added material to the conical valve body, as the engagement surface wears away, the valve body is naturally lowered and urged against the valve seat by the biasing member. Therefore, the valve assembly can maintain its functionality long past its normal life span. With the elongated dimension, the valve body can wear down and yet still function to completely seal off the valve seat. It should be noted that the views here are of a generalized valve configuration but the inventive concepts of an extended valve body described herein are applicable to many specific valve embodiments.

A cross-sectional view of a conventional valve is shown in FIG. 5. The valve may be constructed of a metal core bonded with a dampener material, such as urethane and other suitable materials. The valve body fits within a valve seat and serves to stop the flow of a fluid in the conduit or passageway. When fully seated, the valve body does not extend significantly beyond the valve seat.

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of an exemplary positive displacement pump 100 in which the embodiments of the novel valve configuration described here can be deployed. A positive displacement pump 100, also known as a frac pump, is typically driven by high horsepower diesel or turbine engines (not shown). The engine's revolutions-per-minute (RPM) is usually reduced through the use of a transmission. The transmission is usually multi-geared such that higher pump loads use lower gearing and lighter loads use higher gearing. The frac pump 100 comprises two major components: a power end 102 and a fluid end 104 held together by a stay rod assembly 106 that includes a plurality of stay rods 108 and tubes. The power end 102 includes a crankshaft (not explicitly shown) powered by the engine (not explicitly shown) that drives a plurality of plungers (not explicitly shown). The fluid end 104 of the pump 100 includes cylinders (not explicitly shown) 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 109. 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 frac pump 100 increases pressure within the fluid cylinder by reciprocating the plunger longitudinally within the fluid head cylinder. The power end 102 further includes a pinion gear, bull gears, rod caps, bearing housing, connecting rods, crossheads, and pony rods that work together to reciprocate the plunger. Because of the extreme conditions under which a frac pump operates, some of which are discussed above, there is considerable wear and tear on the various component parts including the valve members in the fluid end 104. Such wear and tear require constant maintenance, and ultimately, replacement of worn parts. Maintenance and repair result in machine downtime and increase the overall cost of oil and gas production.

The novel valve configuration described herein can be employed for 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. 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.

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 valve configuration described herein thus encompasses such modifications, variations, and changes and are not limited to the specific embodiments described herein.