Circumferential-Toothed Rock Bits - A Laboratory Evaluation of Penetration Performance
- H.A. Bourne | E.L. Haden
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- January 1967
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 113 - 119
- 1967. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 1.15 Fundamental Research in Drilling, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.3.4 Scale, 1.2.3 Rock properties
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A circumferential-toothed bit with novel tooth form gave improved penetration performance. In this design the exterior flank of all teeth were vertical when in rolling contact with the hole bottom. Rock chips were generated by the interior flank of the tooth displacing the rock inwardly and downslope toward the center of the hole. A unique two-cone laboratory bit assembly enabled evaluation of numerous cone and tooth configurations. Some of the variables investigated, in addition to weight on bit, rotary speed and rock type, were tooth interference, percent tooth, hole bottom angle, attack angle and relief angle. Most tests were conducted dry on a brittle synthetic sandsone or a ductile quarried limestone. Tooth configurations were found to be in ore significant in the ductile material. This was attributed to the deeper tooth penetration before rock failure. These studies showed that the attack angle (angle between interior flank of the tooth and rock surface) was the controlling variable; changing the tooth configuration from the assymetric or semi-wedge to the more conventional symmetric or wedge form reduced penetration performance; and penetration performance of circumferential-type cutters was directly proportional to rotary speeds up to 200 rpm.
Much of the published literature on rock-chisel interactions describe experiments wherein symmetrical wedges are vertically loaded or impacted against a smooth rock surface. Care is usually taken to insure that the indentation is not made near the edge of the rock specimen less erroneous data be obtained. The literature describes relatively few studies in which the investigator deliberately attempted to take advantage of an edge or free surface. In contrast, anyone who chips ice or breaks up a concrete sidewalk almost always works near an edge. Chisel "indexing," which has been considered by some investigators, makes limited application of an edge or free surface. Probably the best documented investigation into applying this idea to drilling was that of Drilling Research Inc. at Battelle Memorial Institute. Their "annular wing" percussion bit consisted of paired asymmetric chisels oriented so as to produce and move chips to the center of the hole. They predicted that the lowest energy requirement for chip generation would be achieved with a stepped hole bottom having a median angle of 45 degrees to the horizontal. Results from limited tests showed that approximately 50 percent of the rock fragments were large and semi-circular in shape, as would be expected by a chisel impact near an edge. The remaining 50 percent were fine chips produced by the chisels in reestablishing the steps or ledges. Initial penetration rates with this bit were high, but they rapidly decreased. This was the result of excessive tooth wear caused by the constant friction on the gauge surfaces. The basic idea - circumferentially placed asymmetric chisels - still appears to have merit. If the concept could be applied to a rolling cutter bit, two of the shortcomings of the fixed chisel design could be overcome: (1) reduction in tooth friction, and (2) greatly increased cutter surface. Adapting asymmetric chisels to cutters rolling on an inclined hole bottom is restricted by bit geometry. The basic elements of roller rock-bit construction prevents the practical attainment of a 45 degrees hole bottom angle. Nonetheless, experimentally it was considered desirable to investigate the influence of hole bottom angle to at least 40 degrees. This paper describes the laboratory studies conducted in evaluating the circumferential-toothed roller cutter rock bit.
EXPERIMENTAL APPARATUS AND PROCEDURE BIT ASSEMBLY
The cost of constructing a sufficient number of conventional three-cone rock bits to investigate circumferential cutter performance was prohibitive. Instead, a novel two-cone laboratory assembly which used an external bearing system was designed and constructed. The external bearings made it possible to alter the journal bearing angles and thus allow a wide flexibility in cutter configuration. Fig. 1 shows the laboratory bit assembly, the various bearing mount plates and the appropriate roller cutters for drilling shallow holes having hole bottom angles of 0, 10, 20, 30 or 40 degrees. The bit was limited to a drilling depth of 1 1/2 in. at the gauge teeth and a hole diameter of 4 3/4 in. This more or less intermediate size bit was chosen because it gave a more realistic match between bit teeth and the rock than would a microbit. Also, the rock sample size required was convenient and easy to obtain.
The tooth configuration used in our initial studies is shown in the upper half of Fig. 2. All cutters used in this series had the same tooth form - 43 degrees included tooth angle, 2 degrees positive relief angle and a horizontal tooth flat width of 1/32 in. Each cone cuts alternate rows except for the gauge row. The row-to-row spacing in view was 1/4 in. Static loading tests conducted earlier with asymmetrical chisels had been used to establish this spacing.
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