CARROLLTON, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Varel International, a leading manufacturer of drill bits and global
supplier to the drilling industry, announces the development and
deployment of two patent pending PDC cutter testing technologies. These
innovative tools measure cutter toughness and abrasion resistance to
enhance and improve the development and selection of PDC cutter
technology for drilling applications.
Cutter toughness is the ability to withstand the effects of drilling
dynamics. Toughness is related to the strength of the diamond-to-diamond
bonding created during the High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)
sintering of the PDC cutter. Historically, test methods in the industry
have been qualitative and have fallen short of providing effective data
for field cutter selection.
To better measure cutter toughness, Varel has developed its patent
pending Acoustical Emissions Toughness Test (AETT). AETT quantitatively
assesses the strength of the diamond-to-diamond bonding. With this test
a load is applied to the cutters and increased at a constant rate while
an acoustic sensor detects acoustic emissions from microcracking in the
diamond table. Measuring the energy released during microcracking yields
a concrete assessment of the PDC toughness.
Multiple types and grades of PDC cutters can be cross compared according
to their resistance to load induced microcracking yielding a highly
predictive valuation of impact toughness.
Abrasion resistance is the cutter’s ability to stay sharp as it drills.
The primary drawback of traditional abrasion tests is the lack of an
accurate simulated geological environment. Current tests use a
homogenous rock structure which does not calibrate how moments of high
impact energy affect a cutter’s abrasion resistance. Varel’s second
patent pending test, the Bimodal Abrasive Rock Test (BART), is a
laboratory abrasion resistance test which employs an engineered rock
sample with highly abrasive cement cast around upright layers of high
compressive strength granite to measure a cutter’s abrasion resistance.
The two rock samples create a load/unload cycle to simulate interbedded
formations and formation transitions. By recreating this environment,
BART provides a more suitable measurement of abrasion resistance
correlating to field performance and yields a quantification of a
specific cutter’s applicability to transition drilling.
When used in combination AETT and BART testing regimens promise to
significantly accelerate cutter development by speeding the
qualification of new cutters and by providing more accurate
quantification of prototype cutter attributes. These processes aid in
the development of new cutter technology and in the selection of the
best existing technology while enhancing Varel’s ability to deliver
drill bits with world-class performance.
About Varel International
Founded in 1947, Varel International is the world’s largest independent
supplier in the global oil & gas drill bit market. Headquartered in
Carrollton, Texas, Varel services oil & gas, mining, and industrial
markets with its comprehensive suite of roller cone and fixed cutter
drill bits. The company employs more than 1,000 people and has
manufacturing facilities in Carrollton, Texas; Houston, Texas;
Matamoros, Mexico and Tarbes, France, as well as sales offices
throughout the world. Varel’s proprietary design capabilities, efficient
manufacturing, and global sales force uniquely positions the company to
provide high-quality drill bits that deliver excellent performance and
value to its customer base. For more information, visit www.varelintl.com.