WO1998011321A1 - Method and apparatus for driving an article into a medium - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for driving an article into a medium Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1998011321A1
WO1998011321A1 PCT/GB1997/002462 GB9702462W WO9811321A1 WO 1998011321 A1 WO1998011321 A1 WO 1998011321A1 GB 9702462 W GB9702462 W GB 9702462W WO 9811321 A1 WO9811321 A1 WO 9811321A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
article
moles
impact
solid
impact tools
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB1997/002462
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Allan George Kayes
Original Assignee
Powermole International Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GBGB9618881.8A priority Critical patent/GB9618881D0/en
Priority to GB9618881.8 priority
Application filed by Powermole International Limited filed Critical Powermole International Limited
Publication of WO1998011321A1 publication Critical patent/WO1998011321A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B7/00Special methods or apparatus for drilling
    • E21B7/20Driving or forcing casings or pipes into boreholes, e.g. sinking; Simultaneously drilling and casing boreholes
    • E21B7/205Driving or forcing casings or pipes into boreholes, e.g. sinking; Simultaneously drilling and casing boreholes without earth removal
    • E21B7/206Driving or forcing casings or pipes into boreholes, e.g. sinking; Simultaneously drilling and casing boreholes without earth removal using down-hole drives
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B4/00Drives for drilling, used in the borehole
    • E21B4/16Plural down-hole drives, e.g. for combined percussion and rotary drilling; Drives for multi-bit drilling units

Abstract

The invention relate to a method and apparatus for driving a pipe (1) through a solid, semi-solid or granular medium, e.g. the ground. Two or more powered impact tools (2, 3) are applied directly or indirectly to a single pipe (1). The impact tools, e.g. pneumatically operated moles, are maintained in constant phase relationship to each other.

Description

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DRIVING AN ARTICLE INTO A MEDIUM
This invention relates to driving an article through a solid, semi-solid or granular medium by the application of a powered impact tool.
It is known for impact tools to be powered by pneumatic, hydraulic or electrical means. In particular, pneumatically operated impact-action self-propelled mechanisms for driving holes in the earth (known as "moles") are well known and described, for example, in GB-A-2 134 152 and GB-A-2 147 035. Other known impact tools are used for purposes such as piling, mining or as tunnelling chisels.
One known use of moles is in pipe ramming. A mole is connected to the back of a length of pipe, usually steel pipe, and the impact action of the mole drives the steel pipe through the ground until it reaches a reception pit or the other side of, for example, an embankment. A tunnel or bore is thus created, through which service pipes or cables can be installed. By this means, steel sleeves for water, gas, sewage, electricity and the like can be provided without the need for excavating a continuous trench.
There is a need for driving pipes of greater diameter through the ground. Greater power from the mole is needed to counter the increasing weight of soil entrained in the pipe, the greater resistance of the surrounding soil and the greater weight of the pipe. However, moles of increasing diameter may have greater power but they become unacceptably costly, difficult to handle, and limited in their application. We have surprisingly found that two or more moles can be used to drive a single article through the ground, and the moles can be operated in such a way that they cooperate with each other and do not antagonise or cancel out each others effects.
The present invention provides a method of driving an article through a solid, semi-solid or granular medium by the application of a powered impact tool to the article, generally the trailing end of the article, characterised in that two or more such impact tools are applied directly or indirectly to a single article.
The invention also provides apparatus for driving an article through a solid, semi- solid or granular medium, comprising two or more powered impact tools arranged to be applied directly or indirectly to the article, and control means to maintain a constant phase relationship between the impact tools.
The article to be driven is preferably an elongated rigid article and more preferably a metal pipe. The medium through which the article is driven is generally the ground. Any type of soil, hard or soft and of varying composition, including water content, can be handled. Granular media such as sand or grain may also be involved in some applications.
Any powered impact tool is suitable for use in the invention. Most suitable is an impact earth boring machine, such as a pneumatically operated mole.
The powered impact tools are preferably assembled side-by-side so that the front of each tool contacts the rear end of the article to be driven. However, it is also possible for the impact tools to be assembled one behind the other, or for the impact tools to be assembled inside the article, for example at the front of a pipe.
In a preferred aspect of the invention, two or more moles are used to ram a steel pipe through the ground. This increases the capabilities of the impact mole by enabling much greater distances to be achieved by pipe ramming and/or the penetration of more difficult ground conditions. The invention thus achieves a great expansion of the use of the impact mole system for the trenchless installation of underground services. The speed and capability gives the moling system an even more competitive advantage over other tunnelling methods.
Until now, more than one mole has not been considered for impact installation. We have found that, because of differences (however small) in manufacturing tolerances and the pulsation created in the air supply by the impact action, two or more moles will not continually run in synchronisation (i.e. with the pistons continuously at the same point in the stroke) or indeed, if required, in controlled non-synchronisation .
According to the invention, the phase relationship between the impact tools is
controlled, and preferably a constant phase relationship is maintained. We have found that, in some soils, the greater impact is created by two or more moles impacting simultaneously, i.e. in synchronisation, and this may increase the speed of penetration considerably. Conversely, in other soils it is preferable to control the moles to impact alternately (i.e. in controlled non-synchronisation) and this may then increase penetration rates. The alternate impact can produce a continuous penetration which is preferred in some soil conditions.
Reference is now made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of the components used in one
embodiment of a method according to the invention using a two compressor supply and smoothing tank; Figure 2 shows an embodiment with a one compressor supply and smoothing tank;
Figure 3 shows an embodiment with a one compressor supply, valves and regulators and a balance loop; and
Figure 4 shows an embodiment with a two compressor supply, valves and regulators and a balance loop.
A steel tube 1 is rammed through the ground by two pneumatically operated moles 2, 3. The tube is of relatively large diameter in comparison to the moles, and connection therebetween is effected by a ramming ring 4, which provides a rigid mounting attached to the trailing end of the tube 1 and having a pair of inner rings of smaller diameter for receiving the respective front ends of the moles 2, 3. The moles are thus arranged side-by-side and may be arranged to be synchronous or non-synchronous. A compressed air line 5, 6 is provided for each respective mole, and each line incorporates a respective on/off valve 7, 8, which also provides a point for applying lubricants. The compressed air lines can be fed by two respective compressors 9, 10 (Figures 1 and 4) or by a single compressor 9 (Figures 2 and 3). To enable the controlled and effective use of two or more impact moles, it is desirable that the compressed air supply is smoothed out and that any pulsing created by the impact action of the moles or the actions of the compressor or compressors are removed. The air must be delivered to the pistons at precisely the same time for synchronisation.
Figures 1 and 2 show an arrangement in which the air supply is smoothed by the use of a smoothing tank 11 , which acts as an air receiver tank in the compressed air lines between the compressors and the moles. Even if only a single compressor is used, there can still be more than one supply line from the compressor to the smoothing tank.
If the compressor used for the air supply has a suitable size receiver tank fitted, then this can be used to smooth the air. However, each mole supply hose should be connected to the same tank. In the case of the larger moles used for pipe ramming, the air supply hoses are of around 1 '/-*." bsp size or larger and generally compressors are fitted with only one outlet of this size or larger. Thus, in this case the invention would require modification of the compressor to provide the required number of outlets.
Even if the compressor has suitable couplings, it is probable that due to the length of air supply hose, some pulsing may still occur which will cause the impact moles to fall out of controlled synchronisation or controlled non-synchronisation. It is therefore preferred that the air supplies to the moles are separated to each mole as close to the moles as possible, so that pulse build-up does not occur in the supply hoses, which are generally of rubber.
An alternative to the use of a smoothing tank is the use of manual or preferably
automatically controlled balancing valves/regulators in the supply system, as shown in Figures 3 and 4. The supply lines for the respective moles include manual or automatic flow control valves 12, 13 and or respective manual or automatic pressure control valves 14, 15. The flow control valves and pressure
control valves work in conjunction to balance and smooth the compressed air supply to the moles. It is preferred but not essential that the smoothing tank also has the flow and pressure control valves fitted which will control any fluctuation in the air supply however introduced. The control valves/units are preferably
fitted on the outlets of the smoothing tank i.e. between the smoothing tank and the moles.
When using the balancing valves/regulators, it is preferred, but not essential, that
a balance air supply pipe or cable 16 is connected between the air supply pipes of the moles. This is conveniently achieved by a feedback control loop between the pressure control valves 14, 15 in the respective air lines; this may be either a pipe or cable or any other medium such as a radio signal. As an alternative, all the valves can be operated, manually or automatically, so as to prevent the moles from altering their controlled state. The control will require constant monitoring and adjustment to maintain the machines in their controlled state. Flow and/or pressure meters may be incorporated in the air lines with feedback control loops to actuators for the flow control and pressure control valves.
In the case of electrically powered machines, the control of voltage and current can be used in a corresponding fashion to that described above, for pneumatic operation, so as to achieve the same effect.
As the ground conditions vary in the course of pipe ramming, the recoil effects
particularly in hard ground can cause the moles to be put out of synchronisation. Even though this may only be periodically, it will result in a variation of the pulsing (wave pattern) in the power supply. Any wave control adjustments should be made to both the pressure and flow (or the curreni. and voltage in an
electrically powered machine) or a reduction in performance will result.
In the case of air driven tools, especially impact moles, the control usually
consists of a single valve which is generally an on/off ball type valve. Although crude control is possible, such valves will only reduce the flow to the mole. To be truly effective and maintain the desired performance, both the flow and pressure should be able to be regulated, so that if required the pressure can be changed while maintaining the flow, or vice versa.
When using for instance Powermole PM300 size machines where optimum performance is achieved with a pressure supply of 100 P.S.I, and a volume
supply of 250 C.F.M. it has been found that as little as 3 P.S.I, pressure change, and 5 C.F.M. decrease or increase in the flow can affect the constant phase of the moles, even though they may run in synchronisation for as long as 30 minutes before being affected.
It therefore can be assumed that any variation in pressure and/or flow will eventually have an effect, automatic monitoring and control of the supply can maintain performance.
In the case of hydraulically powered machines, then the hydraulic supply will be controlled by using suitable hydraulic valves/regulators and hydraulic smoothing
accumulator components. In the case of electrically powered machines, whether linear or rotary motor driven, electrical controls such as servo mechanisms can be used. Thus, although the invention has been illustrated mainly with regard to the use of pneumatically operated moles, the same effects can be achieved with any powered impact tools.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A method of driving an article (1) through a solid, semi-solid or granular medium by the application of a powered impact tool to the article, characterised in that two or more such impact tools (2,3) are applied directly or indirectly to a single article (1).
2. A method according to claim 1 , in which the article (1) to be driven is an elongated rigid article and is driven longitudinally through the medium.
3. A method according to claim 1 or 2, in which the impact tool is a pneumatically operated mole.
4. A method according to any of claims 1 to 3, in which the impact tools are maintained in constant phase relationship with each other.
5. A method according to claim 4, in which the impact tools are maintained in synchronisation.
6. A method according to claim 4, in which the impact tools are maintained in anti-phase relationship.
7. A method according to any of claims 3 to 6, in which a single smoothing tank is present in the air supply to the moles.
8. A method according to any of claims 3 to 7, in which flow control and/or pressure control means are present in the air supply to the moles.
9. Apparatus for driving an article through a solid, semi-solid or granular medium, comprising two or more powered impact tools arranged to be applied directly or indirectly to the article, and control means to maintain a constant phase relationship between the impact tools.
PCT/GB1997/002462 1996-09-10 1997-09-10 Method and apparatus for driving an article into a medium WO1998011321A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GBGB9618881.8A GB9618881D0 (en) 1996-09-10 1996-09-10 Driving an article through a medium
GB9618881.8 1996-09-10

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU43075/97A AU4307597A (en) 1996-09-10 1997-09-10 Method and apparatus for driving an article into a medium

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO1998011321A1 true WO1998011321A1 (en) 1998-03-19

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/GB1997/002462 WO1998011321A1 (en) 1996-09-10 1997-09-10 Method and apparatus for driving an article into a medium

Country Status (3)

Country Link
AU (1) AU4307597A (en)
GB (1) GB9618881D0 (en)
WO (1) WO1998011321A1 (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1621677A1 (en) * 2004-07-27 2006-02-01 IHC Holland IE B.V. Arrangement for and method of installing building elements

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3595324A (en) * 1968-09-11 1971-07-27 Charles L Guild Pile drivers including multiple hammers with common anvils
US3870113A (en) * 1974-02-14 1975-03-11 Newell E Slawson Pneumatic drill apparatus
DE2602550A1 (en) * 1976-01-23 1977-07-28 Preussag Ag Large diameter well drill rig - with cluster of pneumatic hammers and air lift cuttings removal
GB2134152A (en) 1983-01-22 1984-08-08 Kayes Engineering Limited Improvements in and relating to impact-action self-propelled mechanism for driving holes in the earth
GB2147035A (en) 1983-09-22 1985-05-01 Kayes Engineering Limitd Improvements in and relating to impact-action self-propelled mechanism for driving holes in the earth
EP0353442A2 (en) * 1988-08-04 1990-02-07 Schmidt, Paul Method and boring ram for laying service lines without excavation

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3595324A (en) * 1968-09-11 1971-07-27 Charles L Guild Pile drivers including multiple hammers with common anvils
US3870113A (en) * 1974-02-14 1975-03-11 Newell E Slawson Pneumatic drill apparatus
DE2602550A1 (en) * 1976-01-23 1977-07-28 Preussag Ag Large diameter well drill rig - with cluster of pneumatic hammers and air lift cuttings removal
GB2134152A (en) 1983-01-22 1984-08-08 Kayes Engineering Limited Improvements in and relating to impact-action self-propelled mechanism for driving holes in the earth
GB2147035A (en) 1983-09-22 1985-05-01 Kayes Engineering Limitd Improvements in and relating to impact-action self-propelled mechanism for driving holes in the earth
EP0353442A2 (en) * 1988-08-04 1990-02-07 Schmidt, Paul Method and boring ram for laying service lines without excavation

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1621677A1 (en) * 2004-07-27 2006-02-01 IHC Holland IE B.V. Arrangement for and method of installing building elements
AU2005266320B2 (en) * 2004-07-27 2012-03-15 Ihc Holland Ie B.V. Arrangement for and method of installing building elements

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB9618881D0 (en) 1996-10-23
AU4307597A (en) 1998-04-02

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