The Rocky Mountain Region has proven to be one of the greatest challenges to manufacturers of bits utilizing Polycrystalline Diamond Compacts (PDC) as cutting elements. Constant advancements in bit design, and further exploration of possible drilling applications has proven to the industry that PDC bits have a place in Rocky Mountain Drilling. The knowledge of what makes a PDC bit drill is essential for everyone connected with the application of this bit. An understanding of terms such as back rake, side rake, exposure, and profile, is necessary to correctly select the right style of bit.
The type of chip generated by the cutter is dictated by the characteristics of the rock being drilled. We can control this generation of cuttings by orientation of the cutter face. This orientation is controlled by exposure, side rake, back rake, and cutter density. Differing profiles can enhance directional characteristics and improve the cleaning of the bit. Setting up a proper hydraulics program for the bit, thee rig, and the formation is critical in optimizing bit performance.
Running procedures used with PDC bits are similar to those used in diamond drilling, which includes careful setting of a bottom hole pattern, light weights and low RPM's while reaming. Drilling weights and RPM's are determined by optimum rates of penetration, keeping in mind that the shearing action of the PDC cutter requires considerably less weight than conventional bits to fail the rock. With the increasing performance and success rate achieved in just the last year, the future of PDC drill bits is very promising in the Rocky Mountain Region.