What is a Drilling Tong?
A drilling tong, also known as a manual tong or rig tong, is a manual tool used in the oil and gas industry for making up (tightening) and breaking out (loosening) threaded connections on drill pipes, casing, and other tubular components during drilling operations. It is operated manually by rig crew members and provides a mechanical advantage to apply torque and grip the tubular connections securely. Here are the key features and functions of a drilling tong: Manual Operation: A drilling tong is manually operated by rig crew members using handles or wrenches. The crew members apply physical force to tighten or loosen the threaded connections by turning the tong. Jaws or Dies: The drilling tong consists of a set of jaws or dies that grip the tubular connection. The jaws or dies are designed to match the size and thread profile of the tubulars being handled. The tong may have interchangeable jaws or dies to accommodate different sizes of pipes or casings. Torque Application: The crew members use the drilling tong to apply torque to the tubular connection. By turning the tong handles or wrenches, they impart rotational force to the jaws or dies, thereby tightening or loosening the connection. Grip and Control: The jaws or dies of the drilling tong grip the tubular connection tightly to prevent slippage or damage during the torque application. The crew members must apply sufficient force to ensure a secure grip on the connection. Safety Features: Some drilling tongs may include safety features such as backup wrench attachments or torque limiters. Backup wrenches are used to provide additional support during connection makeup or breakout, and torque limiters help prevent excessive torque application. Versatility: Drilling tongs are available in various sizes and configurations to handle different tubular sizes and types. They can be used for drill pipe connections, casing connections, and other tubulars encountered in drilling operations. Drilling tongs are typically used in conjunction with other tools, such as slips or elevators, to support and handle the tubulars. The tong is manually operated, providing a cost-effective solution for making up and breaking out threaded connections during drilling operations. It's important to note that the use of drilling tongs requires physical effort from rig crew members and may not provide the same level of control and torque accuracy as hydraulic power tongs or automated systems. Therefore, proper training and adherence to safety procedures are essential to ensure safe and efficient use of drilling tongs on drilling rigs.