Your Guide to Safety Clamps

Men using safety clamps for drilling

Now that you have a better understanding of the use of slips on the drill floor, it’s time for safety clamps to enter the scene. Similar to their wedge-shaped counterparts, safety clamps serve as a backup safety mechanism for slips and other gripping devices to further safeguard against drill pipe slippage and to provide more control in case of component failure.

Let’s recap: Slips are tapered to wedge tightly with the rotary bushings. As the drilling or casing crew begins running the pipes in the hole, the serrated teeth inside the slips grip the pipe to stabilize and suspend the drill string in the rotary table. If, however, the slips do not have a sufficient grip, the pipe could slip causing costly damage and lost production time. This is where safety clamps come into play.

Safety clamps are used in conjunction with slips as an extra effort in preventing serious damage. Often referred to as a “dog collar,” clamps are made of individual, tapered links that are hinged together for flexible application. Depending on the specific model type, individual link sections can be added or removed to modify the clamp’s effective diameter to accommodate different sized pipes.

Each link has its own set of spring-loaded teeth that, when properly tightened, firmly grip the surface of the pipe. Should the slip fail or if there is a sudden increase in pressure and the pipe begins to fall, the segments absorb the impact, causing the safety clamps to wedge tighter against the surface of the pipe. Their increased grip stabilizes the drill collar and prevents further slippage without the risk of crushing or damaging the delicate pipe.

Most safety clamps can be classified into one of three types:

  • Type C Safety Clamp
    • Multiple types, including single screw and double screw, which range in size from a diameter of 3.75” to 47”
    • RMET clamps are outfitted with handles or a lifting clevis to improve physical handling
  • Type T Safety Clamp
    • Designed to fit smaller pipes ranging from 1.125” to 4.5” in diameter
    • RMET clamps are outfitted with handles or a lifting clevis to improve physical handling
  • Type MP Safety Clamp
    • Designed for pipe diameter range of 2.875” to 30.5”
    • RMET Type MP clamps offer significant flexibility
    • Each assembly is provided with its own aluminum box as a standard option

Regardless of the type used, optimized safety clamps like those offered by Ramey Martin Energy Tools provide an added layer of security without complicating normal operations, and their durable design reduces the risk of unintentional string or pipe movement that can result in costly fishing jobs and lost time.

As a premier supplier of energy tools, Ramey Martin delivers a comprehensive selection of safety clamps and other devices proudly manufactured in the USA. Contact us to learn more about our powerful, innovative and efficient energy solutions.