Alaska Patent of the Month – June 2024

Alaskan Energy Resources, Inc. has been granted a patent for an innovative clamp designed for downhole tools, marking a significant advancement in drilling technology. This clamp features a robust sleeve mechanism that tightly grips the exterior of a drill string, specifically around the coupled pipe connections. The unique design incorporates high-performance inserts made of polycrystalline diamond compacts (PDC), impregnated diamond, or tungsten carbide, which are strategically mounted in recesses on the clamp’s exterior.

The incorporation of PDC and other diamond-based materials ensures exceptionally low friction and high abrasion resistance, safeguarding the drill string during intense drilling operations. Unlike conventional clamps that may add to the axial length of the drill string, this clamp is designed to fit seamlessly around the drill pipes without extending their length. This feature maintains the structural integrity and operational efficiency of the drill string.

The clamp’s sleeve bodies are coupled via a hinge on one side and secured with fasteners on the opposite side, ensuring a firm grip that prevents any axial or rotational movement during drilling. The sleeve bodies themselves are crafted from durable materials such as metal or ceramic, avoiding the use of polymers or elastomers that might degrade under extreme downhole conditions.

One of the standout features of this clamp is its ability to remain stationary on the drill string, even under high operational stresses. The PDC inserts are not only polished and thermally stable but are also symmetrically arrayed to distribute the load evenly, enhancing the clamp’s performance and longevity.

Alaskan Energy Resources’ new clamp represents a significant leap forward in downhole tool technology. It offers enhanced protection for drill strings, reduces wear and tear on crucial components, and increases the overall efficiency and safety of drilling operations. This innovation is set to become an essential tool for modern drilling practices, providing durable, reliable performance in the most demanding environments.

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