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Valveseatinterfacearchitecture

Publicationnumber
Publicationtype
Applicationnumber
Publicationdate
Filingdate
Prioritydate

US8317498B2
Grant
US12/049,880
27Nov2012
17Mar2008
11May2007

lifeofpumpcomponentsandtheassembly.Avalveofthepumpassemblyis

Alsopublishedas

CA2686521A1,11More

equippedwithaconformablevalveinsertthatisconfiguredwithacircumferential

Inventors

PhilippeGambier,ToshimichiWago,Jean
LouisPessin

uponitsstrikingofavalveseatattheinterfacewithinthepumpassembly.The

OriginalAssignee

SchlumbergerTechnologyCorporation

circumferentialcomponentmayincludeaconcavesurfaceabouttheinsert,a

ExportCitation

BiBTeX,EndNote,RefMan

roundedabutmentatthestrikesurfaceoftheinsert,oracoremechanismwithin
theinsertthatisofgreaterenergyabsorbingcharacterthansurroundingmaterial

PatentCitations(22),Referencedby(1),Classifications(18),
LegalEvents(1)

oftheinsert.Additionally,thevalveseatitselfmaybeconfiguredformoreeven

ExternalLinks:USPTO,USPTOAssignment,Espacenet

US8317498B2
ABSTRACT
Apumpassemblywithvalveseatinterfacearchitectureconfiguredtoextendthe

componenthavingthecapacitytoreducetheradialstrainofitsowndeformation

wearovertimeandequippedwithaconformableseatinserttoreducewearon
thevalveinsert.

IMAGES (6)

DESCRIPTION

CLAIMS (20)

CROSSREFERENCETORELATEDAPPLICATION(S)

1.Apumpassemblycomprising:

ThisPatentDocumentclaimspriorityunder35U.S.C.119(e)toU.S.
ProvisionalApplicationSer.No.60/917,366,entitledValveforaPositive
DisplacementPumpfiledonMay11,2007andProvisionalApplicationSer.No.

avalveseat
avalveforstrikingsaidvalveseat,thevalvecomprisingavalveheadand

60/985,874,entitledValveforaPositiveDisplacementPumpfiledonNov.6,

aconformablevalveinsertaboutsaidvalveheadforcontactingsaidvalve

2007,bothofwhichareincorporatedhereinbyreferenceintheirentirety.

seatduringthestriking,saidconformablevalveinserthavinga

FIELD

circumferentialcomponenttoreduceradialstrainofdeformationofsaid
conformablevalveinsertuponthestriking,thecircumferentialcomponent

Embodimentsdescribedrelatetovalveassembliesforpositivedisplacement

partiallydefininganoutermostprofileofsaidvalvewhereinthe

pumpsusedinhighpressureapplications.Inparticular,embodimentsofa

circumferentialcomponentcomprisesacurvedconcavesurfacereducing

conformablevalvesealorinsertandconfigurationsofavalveseataredescribed

saidoutermostprofileofsaidvalveandaroundedabutmenttoinitiate

tomakeupavalveseatinterface.

contactwithsaidvalveseatinataperedmanneruponthestriking,said

BACKGROUND
Positivedisplacementpumpsareoftenemployedatoilfieldsforlargehigh
pressureapplicationsinvolvedinhydrocarbonrecoveryefforts.Apositive

roundedabutmentextendingradiallybeyondsaidcurvedconcavesurface
whereinsaidconformablevalveinsertdoesnotextendoutwardlybeyondan
outermostradialedgeofthevalvehead.

displacementpumpmayincludeaplungerdrivenbyacrankshafttowardand

2.Thepumpassemblyofclaim1whereinsaidvalveheadcomprisesa

awayfromachamberinordertodramaticallyeffectahighorlowpressureonthe

recessforaccommodatingsaidconformablevalveinsertandan

chamber.Thismakesitagoodchoiceforhighpressureapplications.Indeed,

exposedstrikefaceadjacentsaidconformablevalveinsertfordirectly

wherefluidpressureexceedingafewthousandpoundspersquareinch(PSI)is

meetingsaidvalveseatduringthestriking.

tobegenerated,apositivedisplacementpumpisgenerallyemployed.

3.Thepumpassemblyofclaim2whereinthecurvedconcavesurface

Positivedisplacementpumpsmaybeconfiguredoffairlylargesizesand

reducesanoutermostprofileofsaidconformablevalveinserttoless

employedinavarietyoflargescaleoilfieldoperationssuchascementing,coil

thanaprofileoftheoutermostradialedgeofthevalvehead.

tubing,waterjetcutting,orhydraulicfracturingofundergroundrock.Hydraulic
fracturingofundergroundrock,forexample,oftentakesplaceatpressuresof
10,000to15,000PSIormoretodirectanabrasivecontainingfluidthroughawell
toreleaseoilandgasfromrockporesforextraction.Suchpressuresandlarge
scaleapplicationsarereadilysatisfiedbypositivedisplacementpumps.
Asisoftenthecasewithlargesystemsandindustrialequipment,regular
monitoringandmaintenanceofpositivedisplacementpumpsmaybesoughtto

4.Thepumpassemblyofclaim1whereinsaidcircumferential
componentfurthercomprisesacoremechanismdisposedwithinsaid
conformablevalveinsert,saidcoremechanismbeingofagreater
energyabsorbingcharacterthananadjacentbodyofsaidconformable
valveinsert.
5.Thepumpassemblyofclaim4whereinthecoremechanismisanair

helpensureuptimeandincreaseefficiency.Inthecaseofhydraulicfracturing
applications,apumpmaybeemployedatawellandoperatingforanextended
periodoftime,saysixtotwelvehoursperdayformorethanaweek.Overthis
time,thepumpmaybesusceptibletowearingcomponentssuchasthe

filledcoil.
6.Thepumpassemblyofclaim1whereinsaidpumpassemblypumps
fluidthroughahydraulicfracturingsystematanoilfield.

developmentofinternalvalveleaks.Thisisparticularlyofconcernat

7.Thepumpassemblyofclaim6whereinthepumpassemblyisafirst

conformablevalveinsertsusedattheinterfaceofthevalveandvalveseat.

pumpassemblyandthehydraulicfracturingsystemfurthercomprises

Therefore,duringdowntimeintheoperation,thepumpmaybemanually

atleastoneneighboringpumpassemblycoupledtothefirstpump

inspectedexternallyortakenaparttoexaminetheinternalconditionofthevalves

assembly.

andinserts.Inmanycasestheexternalmanualinspectionfailstorevealdefects.
Alternatively,oncethetimeistakentoremovevalvesforinspection,theyare

8.Thepumpassemblyofclaim6whereinthefluidincludesanabrasive

oftenreplacedwholesaleregardlessofoperatingcondition,whetheroutofhabit

proppanttherein.

orforalackofcertainty.Thus,thereistheriskthatthepumpwilleitherfailwhile
inuseforundiagnosedleakyvalvesorthateffectivelyoperablevalvesand

9.Apumpassemblycomprising:

insertswillbeneedlesslydiscarded.

aconformablevalveinsert

Thesignificanceofriskssuchasthosedescribedabovemayincreasedepending

avalvehavingavalveheadcomprisinganexposedstrikefaceanda

onthecircumstances.Inthecaseofhydraulicfracturingapplications,suchas

circumferentialrecess,saidcircumferentialrecessaccommodatingsaid

thosenotedabove,conditionsmaybepresentthatcanbothincreasethe

conformablevalveinsertsaidconformablevalveinserthavinga

likelihoodofpumpfailureandincreasetheoverallnegativeimpactofsucha

circumferentialcomponent,thecircumferentialcomponentpartiallydefining

failure.Forexample,theconformablenatureofthevalveinsertisthatittendsto

anoutermostprofileofsaidvalveand

bulgeandwearattheedgesovertimeduetorepeatedstrikingofthevalveseat.
Additionally,theuseofanabrasivecontainingfluidinhydraulicfracturingnot

avalveseattoaccommodatestrikingofsaidconformablevalveinsertand

onlybreaksupundergroundrock,asdescribedabove,italsotendstodegrade

theexposedstrikeface,saidvalveseathavingarobustregionalignedwith

theconformablevalveinsertsovertimeasabrasiveparticlesaresandwiched

theexposedstrikefaceandanadjacentregionalignedwithsaid

betweentheinsertsandthevalveseatasthevalverepeatedlystrikestheseat.

conformablevalveinsert,therobustregionofabrasionresistanceexceeding

Suchdegradationandeventualleakagemayresultinfailuretosealthechamber

thatoftheadjacentregion

ofthepump,perhapswithinaboutonetosixweeksofusedependingonthe
particularparametersoftheapplication.Oncethechamberfailstosealduring
operation,thepumpwillgenerallyfailinrelativelyshortorder.

whereinthecircumferentialcomponentcomprisesacurvedconcavesurface
reducingsaidoutermostprofileofsaidvalveandaroundedabutmentto
initiatethestrikingoftheconformablevalveinsertatthevalveseatina

Furthermore,theramificationsofsuchanindividualpumpfailuremayultimately

taperedmannerinadvanceofthestrikingofthevalveseatbytheexposed

bequiteextensive.Thatis,hydraulicfracturingapplicationsgenerallyemploy

strikeface,saidroundedabutmentextendingradiallybeyondsaidcurved

severalpositivedisplacementpumpsatanygivenwell.Malfunctioningofevena

concavesurfaceandwhereinsaidconformablevalveinsertdoesnotextend

singleoneofthesepumpsplacesaddedstrainontheremainingpumps,perhaps

outwardlybeyondanoutermostradialedgeofthevalvehead.

evenleadingtofailureofadditionalpumps.Unfortunately,thistypeofcascading
pumpfailure,frompumptopumptopump,isnotanuncommoneventwhere
hydraulicfracturingapplicationsareconcerned.
Giventheramificationsofpositivedisplacementpumpfailureandthedemandfor
employingtechniquesthatavoidpumpdisassemblyasdescribedabove,efforts
havebeenmadetoevaluatetheconditionofapositivedisplacementpump
duringoperationwithouttakingitapartforinspection.Forexample,apositive

10.Thepumpassemblyofclaim9whereintherobustregionisofa
materialselectedfromagroupconsistingoftungstencarbideanda
ceramic.
11.Thepumpassemblyofclaim9whereintheadjacentregionisofa
materialselectedfromagroupconsistingofhardenedsteeland
urethane.

displacementpumpmaybeevaluatedduringoperationbyemployinganacoustic

12.Thepumpassemblyofclaim9whereinsaidcircumferential

sensorcoupledtothepump.Theacousticsensormaybeusedtodetecthigh

componentreducesradialstrainofdeformationofsaidconformable

frequencyvibrationsthataretheresultofaleakorincompletesealwithinthe

valveinsertuponthestriking.

chamberofthepositivedisplacementpump,suchaleakbeingtheprecursorto
pumpfailureasnotedabove.

13.Thepumpassemblyofclaim12whereinsaidcurvedconcave
surfacereducesanoutermostprofileofsaidconformablevalveinsertto

Unfortunately,relianceonthedetectionofacousticdatainordertoaddress

lessthanaprofileoftheoutermostradialedgeofthevalveheadand

developingleaksatthevalveseatinterfaceasdescribedabovefailstoavoidthe

whereinthecircumferentialcomponentfurthercomprisesacore

developmentofleaksinanoperatingpump.Thatis,acousticdatamaydono

mechanismdisposedwithinsaidconformablevalveinsert,saidcore

morethanprovideanearlyindicatorofpotentialleaks.Whilethismayaffordan

mechanismbeingofagreaterenergyabsorbingcharacterthanan

operatortimetotakethepumpofflineinordertoaddressthepotentialleak,

adjacentbodyofsaidconformablevalveinsert.

thereremainsnoeffectivemannerinwhichtoavoidtheleakinthefirstplace
withouttheneedoftakingthepumpoffline.Thus,ataminimum,evenwherea
catastrophicleakisavoidedduetoearlyacousticdetection,downtimeforthe
pumpatissuestillresults.Thereremainsnosubstantiallyeffectivemannerin
whichtoavoidleaksatthevalveseatinterfaceinanoperatingpositive
displacementpumpforwhichabrasivesarepumpedandaconformablevalve
insertisemployed.
SUMMARY
Apumpassemblyisprovided.Thepumpassemblyhasavalveseatinterface
withavalvehavingaconformablevalveinsertaboutthevalveandavalveseat

14.Apumpassemblyforpumpinganabrasivefluidandcomprising:
avalveseat
aconformableseatinsertdisposedatasurfaceofsaidvalveseatand
avalvehavingavalveheadandaconformablevalveinsertexposedata
surfacethereofforstrikinguponsaidconformableseatinsertsaid
conformablevalveinserthavingacircumferentialcomponent,the
circumferentialcomponentpartiallydefininganoutermostprofileofsaid
valve

definingafluidpaththroughtheassembly.Theconformablevalveinsertis

whereinthecircumferentialcomponentcomprisesacurvedconcavesurface

configuredforstrikingthevalveseatforclosingthefluidpathandincludesa

reducingsaidoutermostprofileofsaidvalveandaroundedabutmentto

circumferentialcomponenttoaccommodatedeformationthereofuponthestriking

initiatethestrikingoftheconformableseatinsertinataperedmannerin

oftheconformablevalveinsertuponthevalveseat.

advanceofastrikingofthevalveseatbythevalvehead,saidrounded

BRIEFDESCRIPTIONOFTHEDRAWINGS

abutmentextendingradiallybeyondsaidcurvedconcavesurfaceand
whereinsaidconformablevalveinsertdoesnotextendoutwardlybeyondan
outermostradialedgeofthevalvehead.

FIG.1isasideviewofanembodimentofavalveforapumpassembly.
FIG.2isasidecrosssectionalviewofthevalveofFIG.1takenfromsection2
2.
FIG.3isasidecrosssectionalviewofanembodimentofapumpassembly
employingthevalveofFIG.1.
FIG.4isanenlargedviewofavalveseatinterfacetakenfrom44ofFIG.3.
FIG.5isanenlargedviewofavalveseatinterfacetakenfrom55ofFIG.3.
FIG.6isanoverviewofanoilfieldemployingsurfaceequipmentincludingthe
pumpassemblyofFIG.3.
DETAILEDDESCRIPTION

15.Thepumpassemblyofclaim14whereinsaidconformableseat
insertandsaidconformablevalveinsertareofapolymericmaterial.
16.Thepumpassemblyofclaim14whereinsaidcircumferential
componentreducesradialstrainofdeformationofsaidconformable
valveinsertuponthestriking.
17.Avalveforapositivedisplacementpump,thevalvecomprising:
aheadhavingacircumferentialrecessandconfiguredforstrikingavalve
seatwithinthepositivedisplacementpumpand
aconformablevalveinsertdisposedwithinthecircumferentialrecessfor
contactingthevalveseatduringthestrikingandhavingacircumferential
componenttoreducearadialstrainofdeformationofsaidconformablevalve
insertuponthestriking,thecircumferentialcomponentpartiallydefiningan

Embodimentsaredescribedwithreferencetocertainhighpressurepositive

outermostprofileofsaidvalvewhereinthecircumferentialcomponent

displacementpumpassembliesforfracturingoperations.However,otherpositive

comprisesacurvedconcavesurfacereducingsaidoutermostprofileofsaid

displacementpumpsmaybeemployed.Regardless,embodimentsdescribed

valveandaroundedabutmenttoinitiatecontactwithsaidvalveseatina

hereinemployavalveseatinterfacewhereinavalveoravalveseatare

taperedmanneruponthestriking,saidroundedabutmentextendingradially

configuredwithacomponentforaccommodatingthedeformationofthevalveor

beyondsaidcurvedconcavesurface

seatuponastrikingofthevalveuponthevalveseat.
whereinsaidconformablevalveinsertdoesnotextendoutwardlybeyondan
ReferringtoFIG.1,anembodimentofavalve100isdepictedforuseinapump

outermostradialedgeofthehead.

assembly310asdepictedinFIG.3.Assuch,thevalve100isofastandard
positivedisplacementvalveconfigurationwithahead180coupledtoaligning

18.Thevalveofclaim17whereinsaidheadfurthercomprisesan

legs125therebelow.However,thevalve100ofFIG.1alsoincludesan

exposedstrikefaceadjacentsaidconformablevalveinsertfordirectly

embodimentofaconformablevalveinsert101disposedaboutthehead180.The

meetingthevalveseatduringthestriking,thecurvedconcavesurface

conformablevalveinsert101maybemadeofurethaneorotherconventional

reducinganoutermostprofileofsaidconformablevalveinserttoless

polymers.However,asdescribedbelow,theconformablevalveinsert101is

thanaprofileoftheoutermostradialedgeoftheheadandwhereinthe

configuredtoaccommodatedeformationofthevalveinsert101uponthestriking

circumferentialcomponentfurthercomprisesacoremechanism

ofthevalve100andinsert101atavalveseat385asdepictedinFIG.3.Inthis

disposedwithinsaidconformablevalveinsert,saidcoremechanism

manner,thelifeoftheconformablevalveinsert101maybeextendedintheface

beingofagreaterenergyabsorbingcharacterthananadjacentbodyof

ofpumpedabrasivefluidsandrepeatedstrikingofthevalve100andinsert101at

saidconformablevalveinsert.

thevalveseat385.Thus,thelifeofthevalve100andpumpassembly310,as
wellasneighboringassemblies600,maysimilarlybeextendedasdetailed
hereinbelow(seeFIGS.3and6).

19.Aconformablevalveinsertofavalveforsealingagainstavalveseatofa
positivedisplacementpump,theconformablevalveinsertcomprisinga
circumferentialcomponenttoreducearadialstrainofdeformationofsaid

Asindicated,theconformablevalveinsert101depictedinFIG.1isconfiguredto

conformablevalveinsertuponthesealing,thecircumferentialcomponent

accommodateitsowndeformationuponstrikingofavalveseat385asshownin

partiallydefininganoutermostprofileofsaidvalvewhereinthecircumferential

FIG.3.Inparticular,theinsert101isconfiguredwithatleastonecircumferential

componentcomprisesacurvedconcavesurfacereducingsaidoutermostprofile

componenttoreducestressconcentrationandaccommodateitsown

ofsaidvalveandaroundedabutmenttoinitiatethesealingoftheconformable

deformation.AsshowninFIG.1,thesecomponentsmayincludeaconcave

valveinsertatthevalveseatinataperedmannerinadvanceofastrikingofthe

surface150andaroundedabutment175.Withreferencetoverticallineii,the

valveseatbyavalveheadtowhichtheconformablevalveinsertisattached,

concavesurface150inparticularmaybefurtherdefined.Forexample,with

saidroundedabutmentextendingradiallybeyondsaidcurvedconcavesurface

addedreferencetoFIG.2,theconformablevalveinsert101isconfiguredfor

whereinsaidconformablevalveinsertdoesnotextendoutwardlybeyondan

fittingwithinarecessofthevalvehead180.AsdepictedinFIGS.1and2,the

outermostradialedgeofthevalvehead.

outermostedgeofthisrecessisfoundatverticallineii,whichalsohappensto
correspondwiththeoutermostedgeofthevalvehead180.However,thisisnot
required.Regardless,itisapparentthattheinsert101failstoextendoutwardas
farasverticallineiiatthelocationoftheconcavesurface150.Thatis,atthe
locationoftheconcavesurface150theinsert101isofaprofilethatislessthan
thatofthevalvehead180(e.g.atverticallineii).

20.Theconformablevalveinsertofclaim19whereinthevalvehead
hasarecesstoaccommodatetheconformablevalveinsertandis
configuredforstrikingthevalveseatwithanexposedstrikeface
adjacentsaidconformablevalveinsert,thecurvedconcavesurface
reducinganoutermostprofileofsaidconformablevalveinserttoless
thanaprofileoftheoutermostradialedgeofthevalveheadwherein

Thereducedprofileoftheconformablevalveinsert101providedbytheconcave

thecircumferentialcomponentfurthercomprisesacoremechanism

surface150ispresentabouttheentirecircumferenceoftheinsert101providing

disposedwithinsaidconformablevalveinsert,saidcoremechanism

theappearanceofagrooveatitssurface.Assuch,whenthevalveinsert101

beingofagreaterenergyabsorbingcharacterthananadjacentbodyof

strikesagainstthevalveseat385asshowninFIG.3,deformationoftheinsert

saidconformablevalveinsert.

101failstoresultinundueoutwardbulgingoftheinsertbeyondthevalvehead
180(i.e.verticallineii)toanysignificantdegree.Suchbulgingmaybedamaging
totheinsert101.However,thepresenceofacircumferentialcomponentsuchastheconcavesurface150mayhelpto
minimizesuchbulging,therebyextendingthelifeoftheinsert101.Statedanotherway,theconcavesurface150reduces
theconcentratedradialstrainofdeformationfeltthroughtheinsert101uponstrikingofthevalve100.
ContinuingwithreferencetoFIG.2,withaddedreferencetoFIG.3,theconcavesurface150asdescribedaboveisshown.
Additionally,theabovenotedroundedabutment175maybedetailedwithreferencetodiagonallineiiii.Again,therounded
abutment175isacircumferentialcomponentabouttheconformablevalveinsert101.Inthiscase,theroundedabutment
175istheportionoftheinsert101whichisconfiguredfordirectlystrikingthevalveseat385.Infact,theroundedabutment
175extendsbelowthediagonallineiiiisuchthatitisthefirstcomponentofthevalve100tostrikethevalveseat385.That
is,asdepictedinFIG.2,thediagonallineiiiiisalignedwiththestrikeface281ofthevalvehead180whichisthrust
againstthevalveseat385duringoperationofapumpassembly310asdepictedinFIG.3.Thus,byextendingbelowthe
diagonallineiiii,theroundedabutment175actuallymakescontactwiththevalveseat385inadvanceofthestrikeface281

ofthevalvehead180.
Inadditiontocontactingthevalveseat385ofFIG.3inadvanceofthestrikeface281,theroundedabutment175indeed
providesaroundedconvexshapetothestrikingsurfaceoftheconformablevalveinsert101.Thus,thevalveinsert101
transitionsintocontactwiththevalveseat385inataperedmannerasopposedtomakinginstantaneouscontactacrossthe
entirelowersurfaceoftheinsert101.Assuch,theimpactontheconformablevalveinsert101isspreadoutoveragreater
period,therebyreducingstrainontheinsert101.Additionally,theuseofaroundedabutment175withasmallsurfacearea
makinginitialcontactwiththevalveseat385reducesthelikelihoodthatasignificantamountofproppantorabrasive
particleswillbesqueezedbetweentheinsert101andtheseat385attheinitialmomentofstrikewhenstressisatits
greatest.Thus,thedeterioratingeffectsofproppantontheconformablevalveinsert101maybeminimized.
Infact,thebenefitsofthismannerofstrikingbetweenthevalveseat385andthevalve100mayalsobeimpartedtothe
strikeface281andthevalveseat385toadegree.Thatis,duetotheextensionoftheroundedabutment175tobelowthe
diagonallineiiiiasdescribedabove,theimpactofagivenstrikeisinitiallyfeltattheinsert101,therebyreducingthedegree
ofimpactbetweenthestrikeface281andthevalveseat385duringthestrike.Thus,thecircumferentialcomponentofa
roundedabutment175providesstressreductiontothevalveseatinterfaceintermsofthevalveinsert101,thevalve100,
andthevalveseat385.
ContinuingwithreferencetoFIG.2,withaddedreferencetoFIG.3,anothercircumferentialcomponentofthevalveinsert
101forreducingstraininthefaceofimpactwithavalveseat385isdepicted.Namely,acoremechanism200isdisposed
withintheinsert101.Thecoremechanism200maybeenergyabsorbinginnatureandofamechanicalcharacterdiffering
fromthatofthematerialofthesurroundingoradjacentbodyoftheinsert101.Forexample,inoneembodiment,thecore
mechanism200isanairfilledcoilconfiguredtoabsorbaportionoftheenergyofastrikeofthevalve100uponavalveseat
385.Thebodyoftheinsertmaybeofalessenergyabsorbingmaterialsuchasthenotedurethane.Thus,themorerobust
energyabsorbingcomponentofacoremechanism200maybeemployedtoextendthelifeoftheconformablevalveinsert
101.
ReferringnowtoFIG.3,anembodimentofapositivedisplacementpumpassembly310employingavalve100witha
conformablevalveinsert101asdescribedaboveisillustrated.Thepumpassembly310includesaplunger390for
reciprocatingwithinaplungerhousing307towardandawayfromachamber335.Inthismanner,theplunger390effects
highandlowpressuresonthechamber335.Forexample,astheplunger390isthrusttowardthechamber335,thepressure
withinthechamber335isincreased.Atsomepoint,thepressureincreasewillbeenoughtoeffectanopeningofthe
dischargevalve350toallowreleaseoffluidandpressurefromwithinthechamber335.Theamountofpressurerequiredto
openthedischargevalve350asdescribedmaybedeterminedbyadischargemechanism370suchasaspringwhich
keepsthedischargevalve350inaclosedposition(asshown)untiltherequisitepressureisachievedinthechamber335.In
anembodimentwherethepumpassembly310isemployedinafracturingoperation,forexample,pressuresmaybe
achievedinthemannerdescribedthatexceed2,000PSI,andmorepreferably,thatexceed10,000PSIormore.
Theabovedescribedplunger390alsoeffectsalowpressureonthechamber335.Thatis,astheplunger390retreatsaway
fromanadvancedpositionnearthechamber335,thepressurethereinwilldecrease.Asthepressuredecreases,the
dischargevalve350willstrikeclosedagainstthedischargevalveseat380asdepictedinFIG.3.Thismovementofthe
plunger390awayfromthechamber335willinitiallyresultinasealingoffofthechamber335.However,astheplunger390
continuestomoveawayfromthechamber335,thepressurethereinwillcontinuetodrop,andeventuallyalowornegative
pressurewillbeachievedwithinthechamber335.Eventually,asdepictedinFIG.3,thepressuredecreasewillbeenough
toeffectanopeningofthevalve100(actinghereasanintakevalve).Theopeningofthevalve100inthismannerallowsthe
uptakeoffluidintothechamber335.Theamountofpressurerequiredtoopenthevalve100asdescribedmaybe
determinedbyanintakemechanism375suchasaspringwhichkeepstheintakevalve100inaclosedpositionuntilthe
requisitelowpressureisachievedinthechamber335.
Asdescribedabove,areciprocatingorcyclingmotionoftheplunger390towardandawayfromthechamber335withinthe
pumpassembly310controlspressuretherein.Thevalves350and100respondaccordinglyinordertodispensefluidfrom
thechamber335athighpressureanddrawadditionalfluidintothechamber335.Aspartofthiscyclingofthepump
assembly310repeatedstrikingofthedischargevalve350againstadischargevalveseat380andoftheintakevalve100
againsttheintakevalveseat385occurs.However,duetotheconfigurationsofconformablevalveinserts101,301and
otherfeaturesofeachvalveseatinterface,asdetailedaboveandfurtherbelow,theusefullifeoftheinserts101,301may
besubstantiallyextended.Thismaybeofcascadingbeneficialeffecttothelifeofthevalves100,350,thepumpassembly
310itself,andevenneighboringassemblies600asdescribedfurtherbelow(seeFIG.6).
ContinuingwithreferencetoFIGS.4and5,withaddedreferencetoFIG.3,acomparisonisdrawnbetweenthevalveseat
interfaces475,575beforeandduringthestrikeofavalve100,350atavalveseat385,380.Intheembodimentshown,
eachvalve100,350isequippedwithasubstantiallyequivalentconformablevalveinsert101,301.Thus,ofparticularnoteis
thecomparisonofthechangingmorphologyoftheinserts101,301whenmovingfromapositionawayfromagivenvalve
seat385asdepictedinFIG.4tostrikingavalveseat380asdepictedinFIG.5.
WithreferencetoFIG.4,anenlargedviewofthestructuralarchitectureatthevalveseatinterface475employingthe
dischargevalve100ofFIGS.13isdepicted.Asdetailedabove,thevalve100isequippedwithaconformablevalveinsert
101havingvarietyofcircumferentialcomponentsconfiguredtohelpaccommodateitsowndeformationuponstrikingofthe
valveseat385.Thatis,asdescribedabove,aconcavesurface150,aroundedabutment175,andacoremechanism200
areallincorporatedintotheinsert101tohelpreduceconcentratedradialstrainofdeformationfeltthroughtheinsert101
uponthestrikingofthevalve100againstthevalveseat385.Whenexaminingtheequivalentcircumferentialcomponentsat
thevalveseatinterface575ofFIG.5,withavalve350strikingavalveseat380,thebehaviorofsuchavalveinsert301is
apparent.

WithreferencetoFIG.5,anenlargedviewoftheintakevalve350ofFIG.3isdepicted.Unliketheinterface475ofFIG.4,
thevalveseatinterface575ofFIG.5revealsavalve350asitstrikesavalveseat380.Deformingoftheconformablevalve
insert301ofthestrikingvalve350againstthevalveseat380isapparent.However,muchofthestrainofthedeformation
ontheinsertisabsorbedbythecoremechanism501anditsenergyabsorbingnature.Additionally,thestrainofthe
deformationisabsorbedoveraperiodduetotheuseofaroundedabutmentsuchasthatofFIG.4anddetailedabove(e.g.
175),nowflattenedoutacrossthesurfaceofthevalveseat380.Furthermore,aconcavesurfaceoftheinsert301suchas
thatofFIGS.14asdetailedabove(e.g.150)hasgivenwaytoamoreflattenedsurface550.Thatis,astheconformable
valveinsert301isstruckagainstthevalveseat380,thestressofdeformationisradiatedoutward.However,duetothe
initialconcavenatureoftheouterradialsurfaceoftheinsert301,amoreflattenedsurface550isimpartedasopposedto
potentiallydamagingbulgingoftheinsert301asdetailedabove.
ContinuingagainwithreferencetoFIGS.4and5,additionalcomponentsmaybeprovidedforreducingconcentratedstress
attheinterface475,575upontheimpactofavalve100,350strikingavalveseat385,380.Whilesuchcomponentsare
detailedabovewithrespecttotheconformablevalveinserts101,301,valveseats385,380maybeconfiguredto
accommodateandreducestressconcentration.Forexample,conformableseatinserts400,500maybeemployedas
depictedinFIGS.4and5.Theseseatinserts400,500maybeconfiguredtodistributethestressofvalvestrikessimilarto
thevalveinserts101,301describedabove.
However,ofpotentiallygreatersignificance,isthefactthataseatinsert400,500ofconformablematerialaligningwitha
valveinsert101,301ofconformablematerialmayhelptoavoidtheimpartingofabrasiveforcesofproppantorparticulate
intothevalveinsert101,301duringavalvestrike.Forexample,withreferencetoFIG.5,byallowingforthealigning
surfaceofthevalveseat380tobeofaconformablematerial,anyproppantorparticulatetrappedattheinterface575during
avalvestrikemayberoughlyequivalentlyabsorbedintothesurfacesofeachfeature(e.g.301,500)asopposedtohavinga
hardsurfaceofthevalveseat380impartingstrayparticulateintotheconformablesurfaceofthevalveinsert301.Asa
result,abrasivewearontheinsert301maybesubstantiallyreduced.Thus,onceagain,thelifeoftheinsert301maybe
substantiallyextended.Inoneembodiment,thevalveinsert301andtheseatinsert500arebothofapolymermaterialsuch
asurethane.
ContinuingwithadditionalreferencetoFIGS.4and5,additionalmeasuresmaybetakenrelativetothevalveseats385,
380.Namely,thevalveseat385,380mayincludearobustregion450,551foralignmentwithaportionofthevalve100,350
devoidofanyconformablevalveinsert101,301(e.g.thestrikeface281ofthevalve100asshowninFIG.2).Thus,asthe
seat385,380isrepeatedlystruckbythevalve100,350andparticulaterepeatedlysandwichedattheinterfaceovertime,
wearandabrasionmayneverthelessbeheldtoaminimum,extendingthelifeoftheseat385,380itself.
Indeedtherobustregion450,551mayevenbeconfiguredtowearataratethatdoesnotsubstantiallyexceedtherateof
wearinanadjacentregionmakingcontactwiththevalveinsert101,301.Thatis,thevalveinsert101,301maybeofa
conformablematerialasnoted,impartingonlylimitedstressandwearonsuchanadjacentregionofthevalveseat380,385.
Intheembodimentshown,suchanadjacentregionwouldbeattheseatinsert400,500.However,evenincircumstances
wherenoconformableseatinsert400,500isemployed,arobustregion450,551ofgreaterrobustnessthanitsadjacent
regionmaybeemployedsoastoavoidsignificantdifferencesintherateofwearbetweentherobustregion450,551andits
adjacentregion.Inoneembodiment,therobustregion450,551maybeoftungstencarbideoraceramicmaterialofgreater
abrasionresistancethanitsadjacentregion.Similarly,theadjacentregionmaybeofahardenedsteelorapolymersuchas
urethane,asinthecaseoftheseatinsert400,500detailedabove.
ContinuingnowwithreferencetoFIG.6,multiplepositivedisplacementpumpassemblies600areshownemployedin
conjunctionwiththeabovedescribedassembly310.Theassemblies310,600areapartofahydraulicfracturingsystemat
anoilfield601.Thepumpassemblies310,600mayoperateatbetweenabout700andabout2,000hydraulichorsepowerto
propelanabrasivefluid610intoawell625.Theabrasivefluid610containsaproppantsuchassand,ceramicmaterialor
bauxitefordisbursingbeyondthewell625andintofracturablerock615forthepromotionofhydrocarbonrecoverytherefrom.
Inadditiontothesixpumpassemblies310,600shown,otherequipmentmaybedirectlyorindirectlycoupledtothewell
head650fortheoperation.Thismayincludeamanifold675forfluidcommunicationbetweentheassemblies310,600.A
blender690andotherequipmentmayalsobepresent.Intotal,forsuchahydraulicfracturingoperation,eachassembly310,
600maygeneratebetweenabout2,000andabout15,000PSIormore.Thus,asvalves100,350strikeseats385,380
withineachassembly310,600,anextremeamountofstressisconcentratedateachvalveseatinterface475,575(see
FIGS.15).Nevertheless,withaddedreferencetoFIGS.15,therateofdeteriorationofvalveseatarchitectureforeach
assembly310,600maybedramaticallyreducedthroughuseoffeaturesdetailedhereinabove.Thus,theusefullifeofvalves
100,350,seats385,380andtheirrespectiveassemblies310maybeextended.Assuch,compromiseoraddedstrainon
adjacentassemblies600maybeavoidedforafracturingoperationasdepictedinFIG.6.
Theaboveembodimentsofvalveseatarchitecturemaybeemployedtoextendthelifeofvalvesandrelatedequipmentfor
positivedisplacementpumpassembliesthatareconfiguredforpumpingabrasivefluids.Thus,theneedtodisassemble
pumpequipmentinordertomonitortheconditionofpumpinternalsmaybereduced.Indeed,extendingthelifeofsuch
abrasivefluidpumpingequipmentmayincludethedelayorsubstantialpreventionoftheoccurrenceofvalveleaksas
opposedtosimplyacousticallymonitoringleakoccurrences.
Theprecedingdescriptionhasbeenpresentedwithreferencetopresentlypreferredembodiments.Personsskilledintheart
andtechnologytowhichtheseembodimentspertainwillappreciatethatalterationsandchangesinthedescribedstructures
andmethodsofoperationmaybepracticedwithoutmeaningfullydepartingfromtheprinciple,andscopeofthese
embodiments.Forexample,circumferentialcomponentsaredepictedhereinasuniformlydisposedaboutavalveinsert.
However,alternateembodimentsofaconcavesurface,roundedabutment,coremechanismorothercircumferential
componentmaybeemployedthatareofadiscontinuous,asymmetrical,orothernonuniformconfigurationthroughoutthe

valveinsert.Furthermore,theforegoingdescriptionshouldnotbereadaspertainingonlytotheprecisestructuresdescribed
andshownintheaccompanyingdrawings,butrathershouldbereadasconsistentwithandassupportforthefollowing
claims,whicharetohavetheirfullestandfairestscope.

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CLASSIFICATIONS
U.S.Classification

417/454,251/334,137/516.29,417/568

InternationalClassification

F16K1/00,F04B53/00,F04B39/00,F16K15/00

CooperativeClassification

F04B53/1022,F04B53/1032,F04B49/243,F04B53/1097,F04B53/1025

EuropeanClassification

F04B53/10D4B,F04B53/10Z,F04B53/10D4,F04B53/10D8,F04B49/24B

LEGAL EVENTS
Date

Code

Event

Description

Ownername:SCHLUMBERGERTECHNOLOGYCORPORATION,TEXAS

14Apr2008

AS

Assignment

Freeformattext:ASSIGNMENTOFASSIGNORSINTERESTASSIGNORS:GAMBIER,PHILIPPEWAGO,
TOSHIMICHIPESSIN,JEANLOUISREEL/FRAME:020800/0057SIGNINGDATESFROM20080324TO
20080326
Freeformattext:ASSIGNMENTOFASSIGNORSINTERESTASSIGNORS:GAMBIER,PHILIPPEWAGO,
TOSHIMICHIPESSIN,JEANLOUISSIGNINGDATESFROM20080324TO
20080326REEL/FRAME:020800/0057

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