PDC Drill Bits

PDC drill bits, or fixed cutters, come in either matrix or steel body. One might ask, "What's the difference?" and "Which one do I need?"

Matrix body fixed cutters are made from tungsten carbide material. This provides improved wear resistance and erosion.

Additionally, they are typically more heavy set as far as cutter count.

In applications of high fluid volume or high sand, matrix body bits offer longer life and multiple bit runs.

Six Blade PDC Drill Bit

Matrix Body PDC Bit With Six Blades and Six Nozzles

PDC Drill Bit

Steel body fixed cutters are made from a high alloy steel. These bits can sometimes be repaired and may be good for multiple runs, depending on the application.

Because steel is better able to withstand high impact, steel body bits are often designed with higher blade stand-off and cutter exposure, thus increasing ROP.

Steel Body Dirt Digger PDC from Atlas Copco for Shallow Oil & Gas Drilling

Cost of Matrix Vs. Steel

Cost is a major factor in drilling a well. Tungsten carbide is more expensive than steel and matrix bodies contain more PDC Cutters making matrix more expensive.

Cost Factors To Consider * Hole Size
* Initial Cost
* Total Depth
* Bit Trip Cost

The invention of the PDC cutter propelled the fixed cutter to the forefront of the drilling industry and the idea instantly took off.

However, a number of design features had to be considered. Below are common aspects of PDC design that every engineer has to consider:

*Gage Pads

*Cutter Profile

*Cutter Layout

*Blade Layout

*Impact Arrestors

*Cutter Force Balancing

*PDC Cutter Technology

*Cutter Energy Balancing

Although fixed cutters differ in design aspects from roller cone bits, they share much in common. Both have pins that conform to API standards and both are manufactured to specific plus or minus tolerances. Both fixed cutters and roller cone bits are dull graded the same way.

Related Pages:

API Standards:  API standards, including pin sizes for drill bits and acceptable tolerances for rock bits and pdc bits.  

Atlas Copco:  Atlas Copco bit selection guide, examples of shirttail protection, and TCI and steel tooth cutting structure. 

Button Bits:  Button bits offer several advantages over PDC drill bits: they are less expensive and can withstand higher impact.

Drag Bits:  Drag Bits manufactured as one solid piece of alloy steel offer greater durability and reliability.  Available in step and chevron styles for hard rock drilling.

Dull Grading:  Dull grading drill bits is important but often overlooked.  This process provides valuable information for proper bit selection.

IADC:  The IADC classification system for tooth and button bits explained as well as dull grading codes and what they mean.

IADC Classification:  The IADC classification system for PDC bits:  pictures and explanation of what it means and how to use it.

PDC Cutters:  Because of PDC cutters, PDC bits drill sixty-five percent of total footage.  Their shearing action is more efficient than the crushing action of tricones.

PDC Drill Bits:  Available in either matrix or steel bodies, PDC drill bits  offer higher rate of penetration than tricones in many different formations.

Tricones:  With the exception of cutting structure, tricone bits are designed in the same manner regardless of manufacturer. 

Well Completion Bits:  Well completion drill bits from Atlas Copco in both tooth and button bits.  Bear Claw, Hurricane, Aardvark, and PDC diamond mill bits from KC Bit & Supply.



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