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Meccanica 38: 143159, 2003. c 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

Torsional Vibration Control and Cosserat Dynamics of a Drill-Rig Assembly

Department of Physics, Lancaster University; Lancaster LA1 4YB, U.K. (Accepted: 10 July 2002) Abstract. Aspects of drill-string vibrations in the context of a recently developed integrated model of a drillrig assembly based on the Cosserat theory of rods are discussed. Computer simulations are used to compare existing rotary feedback strategies currently in use to optimise drilling performance where torsional slip-stick vibrations are a hazard. Guided by the wave nature of axial and torsional vibrations in axially symmetric drillstring congurations, we present a new control mechanism, torsional rectication, and compare its performance with existing controllers within the context of the model. The practical guidelines for the improvement of drilling rates in a wide variety of circumstances are discussed. Key words: Drill-string dynamics, Rotary feedback control.

1. Introduction The dynamics of a long slender rotating drill-string under a load of several hundred kN linking a source of surface torque to a heavy drill-bit that cuts into rock, ejecting mud at high pressure, is inherently unstable under lateral, axial and torsional perturbations. Effective stable drilling over a range of congurations can only be achieved by feedback control of drive-torque and active monitoring of the dynamic environment of the drill-string and bit. The presence of frictional torques that depend non-linearly on the angular speed of the drill-bit and its reaction force to the rock-surface (weight-on-bit) is responsible for the excitation of torsional relaxation oscillations that in turn can excite axial and exural modes that result in the phenomena of bit-bounce and drill-string collisions with the walls of the bore-cavity. The existence of these dangerous dynamical states is responsible for much of the continuing effort to nd more effective control strategies that address the drilling assembly in its entirety rather than separate controls for the torsional, exural and axial instabilities of its various components. A programme to address this issue has recently been initiated [1, 2] by modelling the assembly in terms of the special Cosserat theory of rods and their interactions with the environment. Cosserat models have an enormously rich [3] natural elastodynamic structure. Their behaviour under both continuous and impulsive forcing motions can be analysed and a well posed initial value Cauchy problem (in which the evolution of an initial disturbance can in principle be computed) may be formulated given appropriate constitutive properties and boundary conditions. Besides the excitation of natural modes of torsional, axial and exural vibration these systems exhibit travelling waves, cooperative solitonic behaviour, a rich variety of shock structures and the parametric amplication of resonance structures induced from forcing stimuli.

144 Robin W. Tucker and Charles Wang The motion of Newtonian Cosserat strings and rods may be described in terms of the motion in space of the line of centroids of its cross-sections and the elastic deformations about that line. Such media are modelled mathematically by elastic space-curves with structure. This structure denes the relative orientation of neighbouring cross-sections along the string. Specifying a unit vector (which may be identied with the normal to the cross-section) at each point along the string centroid enables the state of shear to be related to the angle between this vector and the tangent to the space-curve. Specifying a second vector orthogonal to the rst vector (thereby placing it in the plane of the cross-section) can be used to encode the state of exure and twist along its length. Thus a eld of two mutually orthogonal unit vectors along the drill-string provides three continuous dynamical degrees of freedom that, together with the continuous three degrees of freedom describing a space-curve relative to some arbitrary origin in space, dene a simple Cosserat model. The general model accommodates continua whose characteristics (density, cross-sectional area, rotary inertia) vary along the length of the drill-string. For a system of two coupled continua with different elastic characteristics one matches the degrees of freedom according to a junction condition describing the coupling. If the characteristics change discontinuously conditions on the contact forces and torques on either side of the junction must also be satised. Furthermore, if a rigid massive body with rotary inertia is also attached at some point along the drill-string then discontinuous contact forces and torques contribute to the equations of motion of such an attachment. To close the equations of motion constitutive relations appropriate to the medium must be specied. Such relations relate the stretch, dilation, shear, torsional and exural strains in the drill-string to tension and shear forces and twisting and bending couples. They may also encode damping and viscoelastic characteristics as well as other rheological properties of the medium. Such relations specify a natural reference conguration, usually a stress free state. They also refer to a curved reference drill-string that is relevant for certain long-reach drilling operations. In the following we address a number of aspects of drill-string vibrations in the context of this integrated model. Computer simulations are used to compare existing feedback strategies currently in use to optimise drilling performance where torsional slip-stick vibrations are a hazard. Guided by the wave nature of axial and torsional vibrations in axially symmetric drillstring congurations we also suggest new control mechanisms and compare their performance with existing controllers within the context of the model. 2. Drill-string Dynamics We consider the motion of a drill-string with unstretched length L. The axis (centroid of crosssections) of the drill-string at any time t is treated as a space-curve specied by the vector r (s, t), using the unstretched arc length parameter (0 s L) measured from the top end. Two orthogonal unit vectors, d 1 (s, t) and d 2 (s, t), specify the plane of the drill-string crosssection located at r (s, t), relative to its axial direction as shown in Figure 1. In addition to a i global Cartesian frame of orthogonal unit vectors {i , j , k } (with k pointing upwards from an origin at the top of the drill-string), it is convenient to associate each point along the drill-string d with a local director frame {d 1 (s, t), d 2 (s, t), d 3 (s, t)} where d 3 (s, t) = d 1 (s, t) d 2 (s, t). It follows from the orthonormality: d i d j = ij (1)

Torsional Vibration Control and Cosserat Dynamics 145

Figure 1. The motion of a drill-string segment may be described in terms of the motion in space of a vector r that locates the line of centroids (shown dotted) of the cross-sections of the drill-string. Specifying a unit vector d 3 (which may be identied with the normal to the cross-section) at each point along this line enables the state of shear to be related to the angle between this vector and the tangent r to the centroid space-curve. Specifying a second vector d 2 orthogonal to the rst vector (thereby placing it in the plane of the cross-section) can be used to encode the state of bending and twist along the drill-string. Elastic deformations about the line of centroids are d then coded into the rates of change of r and the triad {d 1 , d 2 , d 3 } along the drill-string. Thus a time dependent eld of two mutually orthogonal unit vectors along the drill-string provides three continuous dynamical degrees of freedom that, together with the three continuous degrees of freedom describing the centroid space-curve relative i to some arbitrary origin in space (with xed inertial frame {i , j , k }), dene a special Cosserat rod model.

that d i = w d i and d i = u d i (i = 1, 2, 3) for some vectors w (s, t) and u(s, t). Here and henceforth the symbols and mean time (t) and spatial (s) derivatives, respectively. From these relations we recognise w (s, t) as the local angular velocity of the frame of directors. The components of u (s, t) are related to the local exural and torsional strains in the drill-string. In terms of the time and spatial derivatives of the directors, we have w= 1 2

di di,



1 2

di di.


The expansion and shear strain associated with the axis itself is measured by the vector v (s, t) dened by v =r . (3)

For uniform elastic drill-strings the strains u (s, t) and v (s, t) induce a contact torque m (s, t) and contact force n (s, t) according to m = m(u , v ), u n = n(u , v ) u (4)

u u for some vector-valued functions m (u , v ) and n (u , v ) determined by the material constitutive relations. In terms of the strains and stresses dened above together with a body force f (s, t) and torque l (s, t) per unit unstretched length (such as those due to gravity, drill-string/wellbore and drill-string/drilling uid interactions), the governing equations then follow from Newtons laws applied to the drill-string: A = n + f , r (I w ) = m + r n + l . (5) (6)

146 Robin W. Tucker and Charles Wang

2 For a hollow drill-string A = (ro ri2 ) denotes the area of the drill-string cross-section in terms of its inner radius ri and outer radius ro and I(s, t) is its moment of inertia tensor per unit unstretched length. For drill-strings with constant mass density , the tensor I has the non-zero components

I1,1 = I2,2 = 1 , 2

I3,3 =

4 d = (ro ri4 )/2. Equations with respect to the local director frame {d 1 , d 2 , d 3 } where (1)(6) constitute a constrained partial differential system for the vector-valued functions r {r , d 1 , d 2 , d 3 , w , u , v , n , m } of the independent variables s, t. For a drill-string, the classical Kirchhoff constitutive laws for elastic steel with Youngs modulus E and shear modulus G give rise to the following constitutive relations:

m1 = 1 E u1 , 2 n1 = GAv1 ,

m2 = 1 E u2 , 2 n2 = GAv2 ,

m3 = G u3 , n3 = EA(v3 1)

(7) (8)

in terms of the vector components mi = m d i , ni = n d i , ui = u d i and vi = v d i . 2.1. B OUNDARY C ONDITIONS We assume that the drill-string is connected to rigid bodies with effective masses Mtop and Mbit and rotary inertia tensors J top and J bit modelling the top-drive and bit/BHA, respectively. The top-drive connection to the drill-string is located at s = 0 and the drill-bit is located at s = L. At these points forces F top(t) and F bit(t) and torques L top (t) and L bit (t) act. The nature of these forces depends on the way the boundary conditions are implemented. In some circumstances certain of their components may be prescribed (e.g. by specifying the cutting and frictional forces or drive torques) while other components may be determined dynamically by the constraints in evidence (e.g. the way the stabilisers on the BHA interact with the borehole). The basic boundary conditions are then Mtopr (0, t) = n(0, t) gMtop k + F top (t), J (J top w (0, t)) = m (0, t) + L top (t) at the top and n Mbitr (L, t) = n (L, t) gMbit k + F bit (t), m J (J bit w (L, t)) = m (L, t) + Lbit (t) (11) (12) (9) (10)

at the drill-bit. The mathematically inclined may consult [2] where a more detailed account of the methods used to solve this model are provided together with a more complete description of the initial and boundary value problems encountered in the modelling. 2.2. T HE S TATIC H ANGING C ONFIGURATION OF THE D RILL - STRING F In the absence of any reaction force at the drill-bit (F bit = 0) the static freely hanging state of w k a non-rotating (w = 0) drill-string under gravity, f = gAk , can be constructed from the

Torsional Vibration Control and Cosserat Dynamics 147 k j k r time independent conguration: {r = Zg (s)k , d 1 = i , d 2 = j , d 3 = k } for some function k Zg (s). This leads to the strains u = 0, v = Zg k and stresses m = 0, n = EA(1 + Zg )k together with the condition Zg (s) = g/E by using (1)(6). With Zg (0) = 0 as the reference vertical position for the top-drive it follows from the boundary conditions (9)(12) that Zg (s) = 1 + g(Mds + Mbit ) s+ EA g 2 s , 2E (13)

and F top (t) = Hgk where Mds = AL is the mass of the drill-string and Hg = g(Mtop + Mds + Mbit ) is the total weight of the drill-string, top rotary and bit/BHA. This solution will be used below in the discussion of axial and torsional vibrations. 3. Axially Symmetric Drill-string Congurations For vertical wells and a vertical differentially rotating drill-string with no lateral vibrations, the axially symmetric conguration: i j k r = Z(s, t)k , d 1 = cos((s, t))i + sin((s, t))j , i j k d 3 = k , d 2 = sin((s, t))i cos((s, t))j , with Z(s, t) = Zg (s) + (s, t) and Zg (s) given by (13), provides valuable information for practical drilling scenarios. The functions (s, t) and (s, t) describe the axial and torsional excitations of the drill-string, respectively. The dynamical angular velocity, strains and stresses follow from the governing (1)(6) as k w = k , u = k, k v = (Zg + )k , m = G k,

k n = EA(1 + Zg + )k , where {(s, t), (s, t)} satisfy the simple wave equations
2 (s, t) = ca (s, t), 2 (s, t) = c (s, t)

(14) (15)

with ca = E/ and c = G/ identied as the speeds for axial and torsional travelling waves, respectively. To complete the system one must dynamically relate the forces and torques at each end of the drill-string. For axially symmetric congurations they are expressed as k F top(t) = (Hg + H (t))k , k F bit(t) = W (t)k , Ltop (t) = T (t)k , k (16) (17)

Lbit(t) = L(t)k k

in terms of H (t) (denoting the top-hook load additional to the total weight Hg ), top-drive torque T (t), bit-reaction force (due to dynamic weight-on-bit) W (t) and bit-reaction torque L(t) (due to cutting and frictional torques). Thus the boundary conditions (9)(12) yield the

148 Robin W. Tucker and Charles Wang dynamic equations: Mtop (0, t) = EA (0, t) + H (t), J top (0, t) = G (0, t) + T (t), Mbit (L, t) = EA (L, t) + W (t), J bit (L, t) = G (L, t) + L(t). 3.1. D OWN - HOLE C UTTING AND F RICTION M ODELLING Although the propagation of axial and torsional disturbances along the axially symmetric drill-string is governed by linear wave equations, the interaction between the drill-bit and rock surface presents a source of non-linearity from the boundary conditions. As a result torsional relaxation oscillations (slip-stick) may be associated with the behaviour of the frictional torque at the drill-bit as a function of rotary speed and dynamic weight-on-bit when drilling operates at low RPM or high WOB. Furthermore the non-linear boundary conditions induce a coupling between axial and torsional modes that can be a cause of non-uniform penetration in the presence of torsional slip-stick vibrations. In extreme circumstances a sudden stall in rotation followed by a rapid deceleration of the bit may trigger the phenomenon of bit-bounce. Based on recent drilling measurements under stable drilling conditions the correlations between cutting and frictional torque-on-bit (TOB), bit rotary speed ( ), weighton-bit (WOB), depth-of-cut (DOC), and rate-of-penetration (ROP) may be modelled in the form ROP = a1 + a2 WOB + a3 , TOB = a4 DOC + a5 , DOC = where a1 = 3.429 E 3 m s1 , a3 = 1.374 E 4 m rad1 , a5 = 1.475 E + 3 N m, a2 = 5.672 E 8 m N1 s1 , a4 = 9.537 E + 6 N rad, ROP , (22) (23) (24) (18) (19) (20) (21)

within an operating domain: 100 RPM and WOB 100 kN. To accommodate the above relations into the boundary conditions (20) and (21) at the drill-bit, we replace , TOB, DOC, ROP and WOB by (L, t), L(t), D(t), (L, t) and W (t), respectively, in (22)(24). In order to model Coulomb frictional effects [2, 9] it is necessary to regularise the behaviour of the bit-torque L(t) and axial speed (L, t) so that they vanish appropriately as the bit rotary speed (L, t) approaches zero from both positive and negative values. This is achieved by writing (L, t) = D(t)(L, t) = F((L, t))2 (a1 a2 W (t)) a3 F((L, t))(L, t), (25) (26)

Torsional Vibration Control and Cosserat Dynamics 149

Figure 2. The excitation of torsional relaxation vibrations leading to the phenomena of slip-stick is determined by anti-damping characteristics induced by non-linear cutting and frictional torque between the active drill bit and the rock formation. The above proles arise from the regularised correlation between the bit torque, bit rotary speed and weight-on-bit based on recent drilling measurements under stable drilling conditions.

L(t) = a4 F((L, t))2 D(t) a5 F((L, t))


in terms of the functional form . (28) F() = 2 + 2 The function F vanishes at = 0 and tends to +1 for and 1 for . This (L, t) and L(t) into even and odd functions of (L, t), respec regularisation also makes tively. The behaviour of the cutter and frictional torque at the drill-bit as a function of its rotary speed in RPM for three different constant values of WOB in kN is displayed in Figure 2 where a value of 2 rad s1 is chosen for to simulate the Coulomb friction characteristics at low RPM. It should be stressed that during the dynamic evolution of the drilling process W (t) is a uctuating variable and may only be sensibly constant during stable (or steady) drilling congurations. This implies that the frictional prole in Figure 2 will inherit a dynamic prole from the dynamic weight-on-bit during the dynamic evolution of the system. 3.2. T OP A SSEMBLY AND D RIVE M ODELLING The hook-load at the top assembly is given by the force F top (t) in (16) where H (t) is the F difference between the |F top (t)| and the total weight, Hg , of the drill-string and its attachments. During a typical drilling process the hook-load is reduced from Hg by a factor of few percent in an attempt to induce a constant WOB. Thus neglecting buoyancy due to the drilling uid, the constant hook-load condition H (t) = W0 (29)

150 Robin W. Tucker and Charles Wang for some W0 > 0 will induce a constant bit reaction force W0 if stable drilling operations can be achieved. The constant W0 may be regarded as the target WOB. Condition (29) is adopted in subsequent discussions and simulations. We assume that the rotary motion of the drill-string is driven by an electric motor at the top using various feedback control mechanisms. The standard rotary speed controller (PI-type) attempts to maintain a constant target rotary speed 0 by delivering a torque of the form T (t) = p (t) + i (t), where (t) =


(0, t).


The choice of the proportional gain parameter p and the integral gain parameter i signicantly affects the torsional stability of the drill-string particularly in the presence the unwanted torsional relaxation oscillations. In the axially symmetric drill-string conguration any torsional disturbance can be regarded as a linear superpositions of harmonic torsional modes and it is instructive to consider the reection of a monochromatic torsional wave of angular frequency incident on the rotary. We have shown in [1] that the reection coefcient r() (dened as the ratio of reected to incident torsional wave amplitude from one end of a semi-innite drill-string, driven under the standard speed control above) is given by r() = where
2 2 c ((c p G )2 2c i Jtop) , L8 L4 2 c2 ((c p + G )2 2c i Jtop ) . 3 = L4

1 4 + 2 2 + i2 , 1 4 + 3 2 + i2


1 =

8 2 c Jtop

2 =

The value of r() is bounded between 0 and 1 with a unique minimum. Any minimum value r of the reection coefcient can be made to occur at an angular frequency by choosing the values for the gain parameters as p = i = G (1 + r ) , c (1 r )
4 c 2 Jtop , L4



where Jtop is the effective moment of inertia at the top about the vertical. It also follows from (32) that the width of the spectral absorption window , dened as the width of the angular frequency domain where the reection coefcient r() is less than ( + 1)/2, has the form r = G L2 2 3 Jtopc 1 r 3 + 1 r . r +3 (35)

Torsional Vibration Control and Cosserat Dynamics 151 This indicates that a lower minimum reection coefcient r associated with a smaller value for p correlates with a narrower window for the spectral absorption for torsional waves. The typical behaviour of the reection coefcient r() as a function of is displayed in Figure 7 for xed i = 60 N m rad1 while varying the value for p . We have used the properties of these reection characteristics to gain insight into appropriate feedback mechanisms to ameliorate the buildup of torsional vibrations in a nite drill-string subject to non-linear frictional and cutting torques at the drill-bit. To elucidate these mechanisms, we rst demonstrate in the model based on (14), (15), (18)(21) and (25)(31) how torsional relaxation (slip-stick) vibrations can be readily excited using typical drilling parameters. We explore a simulation with 100 RPM for the target rotary speed, 120 kN for the target WOB (hence 17 m h1 as target ROP using (22)) and a choice of feedback control parameters p = 200 N ms rad1 and i = 100 N m rad1 . The drill-string is assumed to have an initial uniform rotation of 70 RPM. The numerical values of other parameters are given in Table 1. A stiff difference-differential solver (recently developed in [2]) is then used to generate Figures 35. In Figure 3 both rotary speed curves at the drill-bit (full line) and at the top (dashed line) exhibit intermittently arrested and relaxed phases every 20 s, with the peak RPM being about double the target RPM value (dotted line). Note that at the transition between the arrested and relaxed phases the drill-bit RPM prole leads the top RPM prole for about 1 s which is the required travelling time for a torsional pulse generated at the bit to reach the top. The two curves take different shapes due to the different boundary environments. Figure 4 displays the associated bit cutting torque curve (full line) and top-drive torque curve (dashed line). The latter clearly exhibits the so-called ramping pattern in the top drive torque signal often observed as a signature for slip-stick oscillations. Finally through non-linear couplings to the torsional mode, the vertical penetration also presents a severe start-stop type progression, shown as the full curve in Figure 5, in phase with the slip-stick oscillations. In the same gure the dotted curve indicates the target ROP value. Figure 6 displays the angular frequency spectrum of the above top rotary speed curve obtained from a 64-point FFT analysis. The large amplitude of the zero mode represents the overall rotation at 10.5 rad s1 (target 100 RPM). As expected from the period of 20 s in the slip-stick oscillations the amplitude of torsional waves peaks up at 0.3 rad s1 .

Table 1. Numerical values for basic parameters Variable Drill-string mass density Drill-string length Drill-string outer radius Drill-string inner radius Gravitational acceleration Youngs modulus Shear modulus Top-drive effective mass Top-drive effective rotary inertia Bit/BHA effective mass Bit/BHA effective rotary inertia Symbol L ro ri g E G Mtop Jtop Mbit Jbit Value 8.01E + 03 3.00E + 03 6.35E 02 5.43E 02 9.81E + 00 2.07E + 11 7.96E + 10 5.08E + 04 5.00E + 02 5.00E + 03 3.94E + 02 Units kg m3 m m m m s2 kg m1 s2 kg m1 s2 kg kg m2 kg kg m2

152 Robin W. Tucker and Charles Wang

Figure 3. Using typical drilling parameters the simulated rotary speeds at the top-drive (dashed line) and drill-bit (full line) exhibit a typical slip-stick scenario. The horizontal dotted line indicates the target RPM passed to the standard rotary speed control.

Figure 4. Using typical drilling parameters the simulated top-drive torque curve (dashed line) follows the so-called ramping pattern often observed as a signature for slip-stick oscillations. The full line displays the simulated cutter and frictional torque at the drill-bit.

Torsional Vibration Control and Cosserat Dynamics 153

Figure 5. Using typical drilling parameters the simulated dynamical rate-of-penetration (full line) presents a severe start-stop type progression compared with the target ROP indicated by the horizontal dotted line. Note that the peak-to-peak time interval ( 20 s) of the full line here coincides with the period of the torsional slip-stick oscillations displayed in Figure 3.

Figure 6. The angular frequency spectrum of the top rotary speed curve in Figure 3 obtained from a 64-point FFT analysis. The large amplitude of the zero mode represents the overall rotation at 10.5 rad s1 (target 100 RPM). The angular frequency, 0.3 rad s1 , associated with the peak amplitude of torsional waves matches the period of 20 s in the slip-stick oscillations.

154 Robin W. Tucker and Charles Wang

Figure 7. The variation of the reection coefcient r() for a standard speed controller as a function of with p for xed i = 60 N m rad1 . This gure indicates that a lower minimum reection coefcient r associated with a smaller value for p correlates with a narrower window for the spectral absorption for torsional waves.

Table 2. Optimal WOB and ROP values for steady drilling (values for the control parameters h, and have been chosen according to the guidelines in the conclusions in Section 4) Rotary gain parameters with target 100 RPM Standard rotary speed control p (N ms rad1 ) i (N m rad1 ) ROP (m h1 ) WOB (kN) ROP (m h1 ) WOB (kN) ROP (m h1 ) WOB (kN) ROP (m h1 ) WOB (kN) 200 100 9 80 9 80 15 110 43 250 2700 60 9 80 17 120 23 150 43 250 700 60 17 120 13 100 19 130 43 250 450 60 15 110 11 90 17 120 43 250

Conventional soft torque, h = 5 rad (k N1 ms1 ), fc = 0.05 Hz Top torsional rectication, = 8 kN ms rad1 Bit torsional rectication, = 0.005 ms rad1

The FFT spectrum also contains other signicant torsional modes with angular frequency up to 2 rad s1 . Guided by equations (33)(35), we now demonstrate the effect of varying the feedback parameters on the torsional stability. A series of simulations have been investigated where for a particular feedback mechanism the optimal drilling conguration according to the measured

Torsional Vibration Control and Cosserat Dynamics 155 rate of penetration is sought. This is determined for each feedback control mechanism by gradually increasing the target WOB until torsional or axial stability is lost. In each simulation under standard speed control with parameters p and i given in the rst row of Table 2 and xed value of other drilling parameters, we list in the second row of Table 2 the greatest allowed WOB values and corresponding ROP that maintain stable solutions for both the axial motion, (s, t), and the torsional motion, (s, t), of the drill-string free from self-excited relaxation vibrations. Guided by equation (34) i = 60 N m rad1 is chosen corresponding to the peak at = 0.3 rad s1 revealed in the FFT analysis above. This value is used in combination with three different values for p (450, 700 and 2700 N ms rad1 ) related to r = 0.2, 0.4, 0.8 and = 1, 2, 5 rad s1 , respectively, by using (33) and (35), (see Figure 7). Remarkably these simulations suggest that the use of the adjusted gain parameters can increase permitted WOB for stable drilling conditions from 80 to 120 kN, corresponding to an almost doubling in ROP. 3.3. C ONVENTIONAL S OFT T ORQUE There exist strategies designed to modify the effects produced by the standard top rotary-speed controls. In an attempt to enhance the absorption of torsional waves at the rotary within a certain spectral domain, the conventional soft torque mechanisms [46] actively adjust the target rotary speed in response to uctuations in the top contact-torque signals. In such a mechanism the low frequency part, Tc (t), of the top contact-torque signal, G (0, t), associated with some cut-off frequency fc is excluded from the feedback process in order to maintain an overall rotary motion. The high-pass part, Tf (t), is then used as a negative feedback with a coupling, h, to correct the target rotary speed settings in the standard rotary speed controller. To explore the efciency of this soft torque mechanism one may adopt a simple AC lter modelled by the equations: Tf (t) = G (0, t) Tc (t), Tc (t) = c Tf (t), (36) (37)

where c = 2fc . The feedback process itself is modelled by maintaining the form of the top rotary drive in (30) while adopting the modied equation (t) =

hTf (t) (0, t)


for (t) to accommodate the torque feedback signals. With the parameters specied, simulations using soft torque yield the optimal values for WOB and ROP listed in the third row of Table 2. It is readily seen that an improved ROP is associated with a larger value for p corresponding to a faster response of the top rotary speed [7] to its target value controlled by the soft torque feedback. It is often important to return or reset the value for p when soft torque is being operated. The practical upper bound for p imposes an inevitable lag in the rotary speed response which in turn limits the absorption of high frequency torsional waves. Furthermore, the necessity for the cut-off frequency fc and the associated phase distortion in the feedback signal can also reduce the absorption of low frequency torsional waves. As a result the top reection coefcient for torsional waves using soft torque has been shown [1] not to vary uniformly with h in general. In some cases increasing h may actually increase the top reection coefcient for all frequencies. Further discussions on volatilities suffered by soft torque may be found in [1].

156 Robin W. Tucker and Charles Wang 3.4. T ORSIONAL R ECTIFICATION In view of the comments above we have proposed [1] an alternative control strategy in which the top-drive torque directly responds to the presence of any downward propagating torsional disturbances without the need for low-pass signal processing or active variation of the target rotary speed. The novelty of the new control, torsional rectication, follows from the recognition of the general solution (s, t) = u (s, t) + d (s, t) (39) to the torsional wave equation (15), in terms of an upward travelling wave u (s, t) = Fu (s + c t) and a downward travelling wave d (s, t) = Fd (s c t) where Fu and Fd are arbitrary functions. It follows that at any point along the drill-string, the time-evolution of the rotary speed due to upward and downward torsional components is given by u (s, t) = 1 ((s, t) + c (s, t)), 2 d (s, t) = 1 ((s, t) c (s, t)). 2 (40) (41)

Thus a negative feedback proportional to the contribution to the top rotary speed by the downward propagating torsional waves can be incorporated along with the standard rotary speed control in (31): T (t) = p (t) + i (t) (t) in terms of a new torsional rectication parameter (t) = 2d (0, t) = (0, t) c (0, t). 0 and the function (43) (42)

Using (42), we have calculated in [1] the top reection coefcient r() for torsional waves in a semi-innite drill-string: r() = where
2 2 c ((c p G )2 2c i Jtop ) , L8 L4 2 c2 ((2c + c p + G )2 2c i Jtop ) . 3 = L4 By comparison with the standard speed control and soft-torque controllers this reection coefcient exhibits a signicantly increasing window for spectral absorption with increasing . Using (44) we may relate the quantities r , and (as dened above) to a choice of the control parameters:

1 4 + 2 2 + i2 , 1 4 + 3 2 + i2


1 =

8 2 c Jtop

2 =

= p = i =

c p G 2c r G + c

c p + G , 2c r +3 , 3 + 1 r

(45) (46) (47)

2 c Jtop r 2 L

4 c 2 Jtop . L4

Torsional Vibration Control and Cosserat Dynamics 157 An advantage of (42) over (30) is that may now be prescribed arbitrarily unlike the situation with the standard rotary speed control which offers only a smaller for a decreased minimum reection coefcient r according to (35). The use of top torsional rectication to suppress unwanted torsional vibrations by increasing is also veried in the current simulations with a nite drill-string subject to friction at the drill-bit. The results are listed in the fourth row of Table 2. We note that the use of top torsional rectication signicantly improves ROP for all chosen rotary gain parameters with a maximum improvement from 9 to 23 m h1 . 3.5. B IT T ORSIONAL R ECTIFICATION Since torsional relaxation vibrations have their origin in the non-linear interactions between the drill-bit and rock surface, one does not expect to fundamentally prevent their self-excitation if remedial action is limited to the top rotary control. Furthermore the effect of the top control is subject to realistic attenuation due to interaction between the drill-string and its environments. This is particularly the case for deep, far-reach and directional drillings. Through the use of near-bit sensors it may be possible to actively control part of the down-hole drilling characteristics. For example the anti-damping effect associated with the cutting and frictional torque as a function of the bit rotary speed could be counter-balanced by increasing the jet ow of the drilling uid in response to a decreasing bit rotary speed. This requires a detailed knowledge of the interactions between the bit and rock face, which is liable to change with drilling circumstances and geological structure. Nevertheless a more robust control mechanism based on the concept of torsional rectication may be constructed if both a rotary speed sensor and a contact-torque transducer (or alternatively torsional strain gauge) are available at the BHA. By analogy with the top torsional rectication we may seek to introduce at the drill-bit in addition to the cutter and frictional torques a rectifying torque W (t)(t) (with a new control parameter 0) by actively controlling the mud ejection, so that (27) becomes L(t) = a4 F((L, t))2 D(t) a5 F((L, t)) + W (t)(t), where the feedback signal (t) = (L, t) + c (L, t) (49) (48)

is proportional to the bit rotary speed due to upward torsional waves. When combined with the standard top rotary speed control the simulations based on (48) give rise to the most promising improvement in ROP compared with other controlling strategies discussed here. The uniform improvement in performance listed in the last row in Table 2 over a range of top rotary gain parameters strongly suggests that a high level of robustness is offered by bit-torsional rectication. 4. Conclusions We have described how many of the observed vibrational states of an active drilling assembly can be simulated using a simple Cosserat model of the drill-string. Using eld measurements relating the cutting characteristics of the drill-bit in a given lithology to steady rotary speeds and penetration rates one may model the frictional torques at the drill-bit to reproduce the

158 Robin W. Tucker and Charles Wang observed features of self-excited torsional excitations. The effects of stabilisers and other constraints on the drill-bit may be accommodated by adapting the boundary conditions at each end of the drill-string. One of the virtues of this approach is that once the frictional, cutting, stabiliser and other constraints are adequately modelled the equations may be used to study the dynamic interaction between different modes of vibration by relatively cheap computer simulations. In principle the drill-bit modelling could be considerably rened given more detailed mud ejection and cutter data that relates to a dynamic interface between drill-bit and rock surface [2]. However for the gross dynamical interrelations discussed in this paper the simple modelling above offers a valuable rst order guide. The model can be used to compute trajectories for the frequencies and lifetimes of small torsional, axial and exural wave excitations in the space of operating parameters of the linearised theory. Such calculations have led to the construction [1, 2] of stability diagrams that allow the drilling engineer to see at a glance the proximity of dangerous vibrations in the eld. The differences between the instabilities triggered by torsional and axial vibrations can be used to direct the appropriate action necessary to avoid slip-stick phenomena. It is well known that torsional slip-stick is readily eliminated by reducing WOB and increasing rotary speed. However the price paid for this strategy is often a considerable loss in penetration rate. A more protable approach is to maintain an optimal WOB for a given RPM using speed or torque feedback strategies. The model suggest a number of ways to optimise drilling performance: One may optimise drilling performance using a conventional PI rotary speed controller by an intelligent choice of i and p . For drilling with a straight drill-string and a xed target top-rotary speed in which torsional slip-stick is a potential hazard one rst determines from an FFT analysis of the torsional slip-stick spectrum the angular frequency of the dominant torsional mode. A value of i is then computed from (34). A value of p may be determined from (33). This requires a value of r . One estimates by examining the FFT spectrum and this in turn yields r from (35). The target WOB is then gradually increased to achieve an optimal rate of penetration. The second row of Table 2 indicates an optimal scenario with i = 60 N m rad1 and p = 700 N ms rad1 based on typical parameters and cutting measurement. A similar procedure can be used with additional soft-torque feedback control. Given a soft-torque parameter h and a cut-off frequency fc less than the lowest frequency of signicant torsional modes, one can in principle choose i to optimise the absorption of the dominant torsional frequency using the characteristics of the reection coefcient in the presence of soft-torque [1]. In practice it is easier to increase the members of the pair p and target WOB for a trial i (based say on the h = 0 characteristics above) to achieve the optimal rate of penetration. The third row of Table 2 indicates that the optimal scenario based on typical parameters and cutting measurement is more protable than that based on the speed controller alone. However, the larger p together with a suitable fc used in such optimal settings often demands returning of the system as the rotary speed changes as a result of variations in the environment of the drill-bit. We have suggested that it may be more protable to replace the soft-torque controller by devices that effect torsional rectication. Such devices are designed to control either the drive torque at the top or the torque response at the bit/BHA. They are based on

Torsional Vibration Control and Cosserat Dynamics 159 feedback response to downward and upward moving torsional waves, respectively. The remaining rows of Table 2 demonstrate that, for a choice of rectication parameter based on the formulae (45)(47), and a choice of based on the guideline below, these feedback devices offer improvements for ROP over both forms of feedback described above. Maximum improvement arises from direct torsional rectication control at the drill-bit itself. Simulations that start from different operating points in the control parameter space suggest that initial values for h and be chosen so that the top-drive torque (or bit reaction torque for ) is modied by at most 20% on average from the value that they would have with the torque-feedback control switched off. Acknowledgements We are most grateful to M. Fear, B.K. Jones and S. Partt for their valuable advice in this investigation and to EPSRC and BP for nancial support. References
1. 2. 3. 4. Tucker, R.W. and Wang, C., On the effective control of torsional vibrations in drilling systems, J. Sound Vibr. 224(1) (1999) 101122. Tucker, R.W. and Wang, C., An integrated model for drill-string dynamics, J. Sound Vibr. 224(1) (1999) 123165. Antman, S., Non-linear Problems in Elasticity, Applied Mathematical Sciences, Vol. 107, Springer Berlin, 1991. Halsey, G.W., Kyllingstad, A. and Kylling, A., Torque feedback used to cure slip-stick motion, in: Proceedings of the 63rd SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Paper No. 18049, 1988. Javanmardi, K. and Gaspard, D., Soft torque rotary system reduces drill-string failures, Oil Gas J. 90 (1992) 6871. Kyllingstad, A., Drilling optimisation through computer control of the drilling machines, Norsk petroleums-forening/NPF, Presented at the 6th Northern European Drilling Conference, Kristiansand, Oct. 1113, 1993. Franklin, G.F., Powell, I.D. and Emami-Naeini, A., Feedback Control of Dynamic Systems, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1995. Tucker, R.W., Tung, R.S. and Wang, C., Non-linear exural excitations and drill-string dynamics, Lancaster University, Preprint, Dec. 1998. Cull, S. and Tucker, R.W., 1999, On the modelling of Coulomb friction, J. Phys A (Math. Gen.) (accepted for publication). Taylor, M.R., Murdock, A.D. and Evans, S.M., High Penetration Rates and Extanded Bit Life Through Revolutionary Hydraulic and Mechanical Design in PDC Drill Bit Development, SPE 36435, 1996. Ortiz, B., Casallas, C. and Parra, H., Improved Bit Stability Reduces Downhole Harmonics (Vibrations), IADC/SPE 36413, 1996. Payne, M.I., Abbassian, F. and Hatch, A.J., Drilling Dynamics Problems and Solutions for Extended-Reach Operations, Technical Paper, ASME ETCE, Houston, TX, 1995.

5. 6.

7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.