When polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits were introduced in the mid-1970s they showed tantalizingly high penetration rates in laboratory drilling tests. Single cutter tests indicated that they had the potential to drill very hard rocks. Unfortunately, 20 years later we are still striving to reach the potential that these bits seem to have. Many problems have been overcome, and PDC bits have offered capabilities not possible with roller cone bits. PDC bits provide the most economical bit choice in many areas, but their limited durability has hampered their application in many other areas.

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