Diamond enhanced shear-cutting elements improve roller-cone bits

Drill bit manufacturers have substantially improved polycrystalline diamond (PCD) cutters and drag bit designs since their introduction in 1972. PCD drill bits are now approaching the rolling cone tungsten carbide insert (TCI) market in terms of revenue size and have surpassed it in terms of economic impact on the drilling industry.1 2From material and design improvements of the last decade, however, the oil and gas drilling industry has successfully and economically applied shear cutting PCD elements and conventional diamond enhanced crushing style inserts to rolling cone bits.Laboratory tests reveal that the drilling mechanics on the heel and gauge of a rolling cone bit have a significa...

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