Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Bracewell & Patterson, L.L
  • Patent number: 6971610
    Abstract: A railway crossing has a plate with a pocket that defines a crossing angle for enabling one railway line to cross over another at virtually any angle. The pocket closely receives continuous long beams and divided beams. The pocket also has protrusions for restricting longitudinal horizontal movement of the beams. Each divided beam has three separate, discontinuous segments, including two outer segments and one inner segment. The segments are reversible such that the inner segments may be interchangeably positioned with each other, and the outer segments may be interchangeably positioned with each other. Fasteners secure the beams to the plate and resist both vertical movement and lateral horizontal movement. Each fastener has a wedge brace, a clip, and a wedge. The wedge prevents pull-apart of the plate and the beams due to thermal forces, mechanical forces, and surface discontinuities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Assignee: General Electric Capital Corporation
    Inventors: Russell R. Hein, Robert C. Roberts, Jr., Brian Weaver
  • Patent number: 6949025
    Abstract: A downhole motor universal joint assembly includes a female coupler which receives a male end of a drive shaft. The female coupler has a retainer that prevents separation of the male end and the female coupler. The retainer has a rearward extending skirt with flow passages to prevent solid material from accumulating in an exposed space between the female coupler and the male coupler. Also to prevent solid material from accumulating in this space, a shoulder formed on the male coupler diverts the flow of well fluid towards the outside of the joint. Thrust loads are transmitted between the male coupler and the female coupler by a thrust ball positioned between the male coupler and the female coupler. Torque loads are transmitted between the male coupler and the female coupler by a plurality of balls positioned in annularly spaced concave pockets on the exterior surface of the male coupler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Assignee: Black Warrior Wireline Corp.
    Inventors: James E. Kraus, Gary W. Lambert
  • Patent number: 6948460
    Abstract: A drive apparatus, particularly for an internal combustion engine, allows the compression ratio to be changed while operating. A piston is slidably carried in a cylinder. The piston rod engages a power gear via an eccentric link. The power gear rotates around a rim gear. The rim is biased to a maximum stroke position, however it is allowed to rotate toward an increased torque minimum stroke position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Inventor: Glendal R. Dow
  • Patent number: 6931933
    Abstract: A pressure sensing unit has a pressure responsive member, a pressure sensor, and a hydraulic connector hydraulically connecting the pressure responsive member with the pressure sensor to produce an indication of sensed pressure. The hydraulic connector includes a tubular member and a longitudinal insert in the tubular member with hydraulic fluid in the tubular member between the insert and the member. The tubular member, the insert and the hydraulic fluid and the dimensions of the tubular member and the insert are such that the hydraulic fluid transmitted to the pressure sensor is substantially independent of temperature changes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Controls Limited
    Inventor: James Brian Wilson
  • Patent number: 6926656
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for fabricating corrugated composite stiffeners provides a base tool having grooves formed in an outer surface and a roller having a rotating shaft and a removable, lobed, elastomeric member surrounding the shaft. The lobes of the elastomeric member form a radial array around the shaft and match the contours of the grooves in the base tool. A section of prepreg fabric is placed between the roller and the base tool, and the roller is rotated to sequentially engage the lobes with the grooves, the lobes pressing the fabric into the grooves, the fabric conforming to the contours of the grooves. Several layers of fabric are applied, then the elastomeric member is released from the shaft, laid out flat, and placed on the fabric on the base tool, the lobes locating in the grooves. The base tool, fabric, and elastomeric member are enclosed in a vacuum bag and heated to cure the fabric.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2005
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Slade H. Gardner, Ronald L. Price
  • Patent number: 6917496
    Abstract: A hard disk drive utilizes a spacer ring at its inner diameter to load and unload the read/write heads. During relatively small shock events, the actuator is retained relative to the disk through a circumferential groove in the spacer ring. A complementary protrusion on the load/unload tab extends from the actuator into the groove to complete the retention. A tribological coating on the spacer ring and/or protrusion significantly reduces wear therebetween. However, during large shock events an inertial latch is used by the system to hold the actuator in place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2005
    Assignee: Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Donald Ray Gillis, Mike Suk
  • Patent number: 6910618
    Abstract: A steel pipe is welded to a threaded connector that has an end with a desired nominal inner diameter. A swage is forced over an end of the pipe, reducing an outer diameter and an initial inner diameter of the end of the pipe. A die is then forced into the end of the pipe, the die having an outer diameter sized to increase the inner diameter of the end of the pipe to the nominal inner diameter of the end of the connector. A weld groove is machined on the end of the pipe and the ends are abutted and welded at the weld grooves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Assignee: The Technologies Alliance, Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin Gendron
  • Patent number: 6901735
    Abstract: A fuel conditioning system for a turbine plant may include an inlet fuel module followed by a turbine fuel module for each turbine, the modules being monitored and controlled by a programmable logic controller. The inlet fuel module may include a metering station, an inlet pressure control station, an inlet scrubber station, and an inlet coalescing filter station. Each turbine fuel module has a turbine pressure control station, a turbine super-heater station, and a turbine coalescing filter station. The fuel conditioning system may also include a trip transient mitigation system and a latent fuel venting system. The programmable logic controller collects data from all of the stations and systems as well as the turbine and then uses self-correcting algorithms to control the stations and systems. The programmable logic controller also stores the data collected and transmits the data to an off-site storage and verification center.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Assignee: Pipeline Controls, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Lohn
  • Patent number: 6902199
    Abstract: A subsea connector is remotely actuated to connect a subsea flowline to a subsea connector hub. The connector has a frame with a tubular mandrel located within it. The mandrel connects to the flowline and has a forward end that engages the connector end. The mandrel moves axially relative to the frame between retracted and extended positions. A lock member on the forward end of the mandrel will engage the profile of the connector hub. An actuator mounted to the mandrel causes the lock member to move into engagement with the connector hub after the mandrel has been moved into engagement with the connector hub. A portable telescoping jack assembly has an ROV interface for receiving power from the ROV. The jack assembly fits within a first pocket in the frame to move the mandrel to the extended position. The jack assembly is retrievable from the first pocket and fits within a second pocket in the frame to move the actuator and the lock member into locking engagement with the profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Assignee: Offshore Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Angus N. Colyer, Jon E. Hed
  • Patent number: 6899750
    Abstract: A system and method of cleaning a gas of undesired particulate, aromas, and gases is disclosed. The invention uses a centrifugal scrubbing space to liquid wet a gas and includes a container for containing a liquid with a pump to circulate the liquid. The gas is pumped from outside the container, through an inlet cylinder, a fan wheel, a scrubbing space, over a surface of the liquid, through a cyclone space, and out a top outlet. The liquid may be pumped with a standard pump, a cone-shaped rotatable case attached to the fan wheel, or a pump with a non-case rotatable case and an impeller attached to a same shaft as the fan wheel. The gas inlet may be positioned below or above the apparatus, and the fan motor may be positioned inside or outside the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2005
    Inventor: Jim S. Hogan
  • Patent number: 6899049
    Abstract: A deep-water floating offshore platform includes a buoyant hull having a substantially flat top, and substantially flat bottom, and a plurality of substantially flat sides. The hull further includes a tendon access shaft and a plurality of riser guide sleeves. The tendon access shaft extends below the bottom of the hull and includes a counterweight connected to the lower portion of the tendon access shaft to provide stability to the hull. The hull can be constructed from a cargo tank section of an existing oil tanker or through the use of new construction based on using the flat-plate design used in constructing cargo tank sections of oil tankers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2005
    Inventor: Donald H. Gehring
  • Patent number: 6899517
    Abstract: A method of installing an annular bearing element within a centrifugal pump utilizes a mechanical staking operation. The bearing element locates within a receptacle of a pump stage that is surrounded by a retaining wall. Once the bearing element is located within the retaining wall, the retaining wall is permanently deformed at various points against the bearing element. The bearing element, if of a hard wear resistant metal, may have flats for the circumferentially spaced apart deformations to locate within. The bearing element may be a thrust washer for transmitting downward thrust, or it may be a radial support bearing sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2005
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventors: Farral D. Gay, Terry W. Shafer, B. Lyle Wilson
  • Patent number: 6900957
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for detecting lubricant depletion in a disk drive is provided. Disk operation performance parameters are monitored for each of a plurality of zones on the surface of the disk and stored. Examples of performance parameters include dwell time, flying height changes, and data recovery measurements. The performance parameters are compared against predetermined threshold values. If the performance parameters exceed the predetermined threshold values for any of the zones, a potential lubricant depletion or other general degradation problem is flagged for the corresponding zone. Optionally, when a potential lubricant depletion problem is flagged for a particular zone, corrective action is taken. Examples of corrective action include moving recently accessed data from the flagged zone to a zone not identified as having a lubricant depletion problem, moving older archival data to the flagged zone, and/or removing access to the flagged zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2005
    Assignee: Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Donald Ray Gillis, Molly Smith, Gordon James Smith
  • Patent number: 6896076
    Abstract: A rotating drilling head seals around drill pipe while drilling. The drilling head has an outer housing that mounts to the rig floor. An inner housing is rotatably mounted in the outer housing. An annular bladder is mounted in the inner housing. An annular elastomeric gripping member is mounted in the bladder. The inner housing having a passage for delivering hydraulic fluid pressure to the outer surface of the bladder to cause the bladder to deform inwardly, thereby forcing the gripping member to deform inwardly to grip and rotate with a drill pipe. The gripping member has a first end secured to the inner housing for rotating the inner housing as the drill pipe rotates and a second end that is free to move axially to allow the bladder to elongate in response to the deformation by the bladder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: ABB Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: John E. Nelson, Charles B. Smith, Ready J. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6893207
    Abstract: A centrifugal pump pumps well fluid with a high gaseous content by utilizing an impeller design for use in gaseous liquids. The impeller has high discharge angles and large balance holes. The impeller has short and long vanes alternating with each other. The shorter vanes have a leading surface that is concave in shape. In one design, the longer vanes have a radially outward portion of a leading surface that is concave in shape. The radially outward portion of the longer vanes of this design has substantially the same radius of curvature as the shorter vanes. The radially inward portion of the leading edge of the longer vanes can be concave or convex in shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventor: Alan Lin Kao
  • Patent number: 6894953
    Abstract: A timing circuit for measuring time of arrival of an asynchronous event is disclosed. The timing circuit includes a counter, a register, a gray code-to-binary converter, and a cascade circuit. In response to a time of arrival of a trigger signal that denotes an occurrence of an asynchronous event, the counter generates a set of high-order binary bits and the register generates a set of gray code bits. The gray code-to-binary converter then converts the set of gray code bits to a set of low-order binary bits. Finally, the cascade circuit concatenates the high-order binary bits and the low-order binary bits to form the time of arrival of the asynchronous event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: Vedon Otto
  • Patent number: 6887029
    Abstract: A three-wheeled, electrically powered cart is provided for transporting items typically transported using a hand truck. The cart comprises a body section housing rechargeable batteries and a steerable load section that is hinged to the body section. An electric motor powers the front wheel for propelling the cart. The load section pivots about a generally vertical axis and has a movable load rack that pivots about a horizontal axis. A platform is located between the rear wheels for supporting a user during operation. In one embodiment, the width of the cart is approximately 24 inches, allowing the cart to pass through a typical doorway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Inventor: Ronald O. Robinson
  • Patent number: D506121
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2005
    Assignee: Blaylock Trailer Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert P. Falconer, Jewel B. Smith
  • Patent number: D507624
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2005
    Inventor: Douglas E. Shastid
  • Patent number: D518616
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Inventor: Alan R Goodwin