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Drill bits have long relied on the latest technological advancements to ensure continued performance gains across all applications. Whether the designs introduce new thermal analysis, dynamic rotation analysis, secondary torque control components, or material upgrades, drill bit engineers are tasked with delivering improvements that push drill bit performance beyond expectations. Among these redesigned drill bit components, polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) cutters have largely gained the most attention from drill bit companies that wish to improve their drill bits’ overall performance, and PDC cutter updates consistently offer the greatest opportunity for new and exciting innovations.
Over the past three years, our ReedHycalog team has been building upon its signature line of ION™ PDC cutter technologies, which have consistently delivered record-breaking performance in applications around the world. Our ION cutters were developed using a process that allows our engineers to fully understand PDC cutter failure modes. An extensive, in-depth cutter-dull forensic analysis for each application and interval allows the right cutter grade to be quickly deployed in specific applications, providing critical data that helps improve the quality and speed at which cutter grades are engineered.
As our ION line of cutters continues to lead the way, NOV is proud to introduce the new 1-in. ION Alpha™ cutter, featuring a larger diameter that delivers maximum rate of penetration (ROP) in applications where conventional-sized cutter performance is limited. In addition to the extra-large diameter, the ION Alpha cutter relies on our proprietary drill bit modeling software to determine an increased depth of cut without suffering from the traditional reactive torque-related issues that are often encountered with various drill bit sizes and applications.
To date, the ION Alpha cutter has been paired with our Tektonic™ drill bit platform, including our regional drill bit series, in multiple drilling operations, achieving record-breaking ROP runs with improved dulls in some of the fastest drilling applications globally. The ION Alpha cutter has shown dominance in both 12¼-in. and 17½-in. applications, having five of the six highest 12¼-in. ROP runs and the four fastest ROP runs for the 17½-in. application in two separate Oman wells.
“Within a short period, the ION Alpha design has become the cutter of choice for several operators and adds to ReedHycalog’s ever-growing toolbox of technologies that can be implemented to provide solutions for our customers’ drilling challenges. We look forward to the continued development of the ION Alpha cutter, and we are excited to test the latest improvements incorporating shaped prototypes,” adds Richard Rivera, engineering manager, PDC Cutter Technology.
The ReedHycalog team is always looking to improve their products, and the ION Alpha cutter will be further developed to incorporate ReedHycalog’s most advanced shaped-cutter technologies. Shaped cutters deliver the highest possible ROP without sacrificing durability, and they’re designed using state-of-the-art testing equipment that provides an in-depth understanding of rock-failure mechanics. ReedHycalog engineers combine these understandings with extensive full-bit lab tests that will help optimize ION Alpha shaped cutter placement and deliver new levels of cutter performance for our customers.
ReedHycalog will continue to push the limits of drilling performance with innovative technologies, and our 1-in. ION Alpha cutter offers a much-needed solution for drilling challenges outside of conventional cutter capabilities. Please visit our ION Alpha page or contact a ReedHycalog representative to learn how the ION Alpha cutter can help you drill faster without sacrificing strength and durability.
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