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A drilling bit is the cutting or boring tool which is made up on the end of the drillstring (Figure 1). The bit drills through the rock by scraping, chipping, gouging or grinding the rock at the bottom of the hole. Drilling fluid is circulated through passageways in the bit to remove the drilled cuttings. There are however many variations in the design of drillbits and the bit selected for a particular application will depend on the type of formation to be drilled. The drilling engineer must be aware of these design variations in order to be able to select the most appropriate bit for the formation to be drilled. The engineer must also be aware of the impact of the operating parameters on the performance of the bit. The performance of a bit is a function of several operating parameters, such as: weight on bit (WOB); rotations per minute (RPM); mud properties; and hydraulic efficiency.
4.2. Classification of Drilling Bits
There are basically three types of drilling bit (Figure 1) • Drag Bits • Roller Cone Bits • Diamond Bits
4.2.1. Drag Bits Drag bits were the first bits used in rotary drilling, but are no longer in common use. A drag bit consists of rigid steel blades shaped like a fish-tail which rotate as a single unit. These simple designs were used up to 1900 to successfully drill through soft formations. The introduction of hardfacing to the surface of the blades and the design of fluid passageways greatly improved its performance. Due to the dragging/scraping action of this type of bit, high RPM and low WOB are applied. The decline in the use of drag bits was due to: • The introduction of roller cone bits, which could drill soft formations more efficiently • If too much WOB was applied, excessive torque led to bit failure or drill pipe failure • Drag bits tend to drill crooked hole, therefore some means of controlling deviation was required
Prepared by: Tan Nguyen
Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits • Drag bits were limited to drilling through uniformly. consist of cutting elements arranged on cones (usually three cones.2. or "rock" bits. but sometimes two) that rotate on bearings about their own axis as the drill string turns the body of the bit. soft. also known as roller cone bits. Roller Cone Bits Rolling cutter bits. A new generation of diamond bits known as polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits were introduced in the 1980’s (Figure 5). Diamond Bits Diamond has been used as a material for cutting rock for many years. Advantages of roller cone bits are: Improved cleaning action by using jet nozzles • Using tungsten carbide for hardfacing and gauge protection • Introduction of sealed bearings to prevent the mud causing premature failure due to abrasion and corrosi on of the bearings.3. The hardness and wear resistance of diamond made it an obvious material to be used for a drilling bit. unconsolidated formations where there were no hard abrasive layers.2. 4. These bits have the same advantages and disadvantages as natural diamond bits but use Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 2 .2. 4. The diamond bit is really a type of drag bit since it has no moving cones and operates as a single unit. The principle types of rolling cutter bits are milled steel tooth.
The IADC categorizes both rolling cutter and fixed cutter (diamond) bits using a four-character code. and that the bit is designed for protection against gauge wear. Consisting of simple numbered codes. The second character further specifies the cutting structure type within each series classification. while the numbers 4-8 are for insert bits in the soft. hard and extremely hard formation categories. designed for use in soft formations with low compressive strength. Example: A Smith F2 bit has an IADC classification of 517X: 51 indicates that the Smith F2 has tungsten carbide inserts.. The first character in the classification code indicates the cutting structure series. based on formation type and design variations. al. this system also simplifies comparison of different manufacturers' bit types. 7 indicates that the cones on this bit have sealed friction bearings. PDC bits have been run very successfully in many areas around the world. For a detailed description of this system.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits small discs of synthetic diamond to provide the scraping cutting surface. They have been particularly successful (long bit runs and high ROP) when run in combination with turbodrills and oil based mud. 1992 ). Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 3 . refer to IADC/SPE paper 23937 ( McGehee et. The third character indicates bearing type and whether or not the bit is gauge-protected. The small discs may be manufactured in any size and shape and are not sensitive to failure along cleavage planes as with natural diamond. The digits 1-3 are for steel tooth bits in the soft. medium hard. while the fourth character designates additional special features and applications. medium and hard formation categories. medium. The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) has approved a standard system of classifying both rolling cutter and fixed cutter bits.
Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits X indicates that the inserts have a chisel tooth configuration (as opposed. The second character. respectively. further stress increases result in additional deformation. the material ruptures only after Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 4 . the material experiences permanent deformation. To evaluate these design variations and select a bit. or profile-this indicates its durability and the type of cutting action it provides. however. depending on the material itself and on the magnitude of the applied stress: elastic (if the applied stress is below the elastic limit of the material.3. M for matrix body PDC bits. identifies the bit shape. a digit from 1 to 9. the material returns to its original shape and size once the stress is removed. we can define three basic components of stress: compressive stress (a pushing or squeezing force). This deformation may take one of two forms. there are a large number of design variations among rolling cutter and fixed cutter bits. The Stress/Strain Relationship Stress is the force applied to a unit area of material. 4. Above a certain stress limit. on the other hand. for example. to a conical shape). The first character of the IADC classification code for fixed cutter bits indicates the type of body material and cutting elements: S for steel body PDC bits. D for natural diamond bits. If. or break. Rock Failure Mechanisms Bits are designed to induce rock failure. the bit's hydraulic design and the size and density of its cutting elements. the material is described as brittle. T for TSP bits.1. a material will rupture. For the purpose of this discussion. Strain is the deformation experienced by a material in response to an applied stress.). depending on the formation and on downhole conditions. An analysis of the stresses acting on a particular object can become quite involved. tensile stress (a pulling or enlongating force).3. we first need a basic understanding of how rocks fail and how formation conditions affect drilling performance. The third and fourth characters (also digits from 1 to 9) identify.). 4. shear stress (a slicing or cleaving force). plastic (if the applied stress exceeds the material's elastic limit. Because rock failure can occur in different ways. If rupture takes place before significant plastic deformation occurs.
Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 5 . however.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits experiencing significant plastic deformation. it is considered ductile. under high confining stress if there is no communication between the internal rock pore pressure and the surrounding pressure medium. At atmospheric pressure. They become ductile. It is important to note that under different conditions. sedimentary rocks are normally brittle. a material may exhibit either brittle or ductile behavior.
Because the rock surface is in tension. of the rock. The value of P defines the hole condition as underbalanced. This condition most often occurs when drilling with air. balanced or overbalanced ( Figure 5 ). it virtually explodes under the compressive loads of the bit. together with temperature and rate of deformation. There is no downward pressure to promote chip hold-down. and the well is being drilled in an underbalanced condition. Each of these hole conditions. Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 6 . the differential pressure is less than zero. underbalanced drilling is feasible only in areas where formation fluids can be easily controlled and there is no danger of a blowout. The confining pressure at the bottom of a wellbore is equal to the difference between the pressure exerted by the column of drilling fluid in the hole and the pore pressure. which in turn affect penetration rate. or P. or internal pressure. fresh water or muds weighing less than 8. the rock exhibits brittle behavior — it has a relatively low failure strength and fractures very easily. and so there is very little regrinding of already-drilled cuttings. This quantity is commonly expressed as differential pressure. Underbalanced Condition If the pressure exerted by the fluid column is less than the pore pressure of the formation. affects rock failure mechanisms. In underbalanced drilling.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits The experiments summarized above show that confining pressure has a significant effect on rock behavior. Although its benefits are evident.6 lb/gal. To translate this observation into practical terms. This helps attain very high rates of penetration. we need to apply these laboratory conditions to the wellbore.
Under balanced conditions. because there is some chip hold-down resulting from cohesive forces between the rock cuttings. the North Sea. overbalanced drilling is normal practice in most areas. These factors. Overbalanced Condition In overbalanced drilling. along with interference due to fluid viscosity.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits Balanced Condition When the pressure of the fluid column is equal to the pore pressure. the hole is in a balanced condition. In areas with normal pressure gradients. like underbalanced drilling. the rock below the bit becomes increasingly strong and ductile. resulting in lost circulation and possibly a blowout. If the differential pressure is too high. Differential pressures ranging from 2. Penetration rates are generally slower than those experienced in an underbalanced drilling. The induced rock strength and large chip hold-down forces created by these high differential pressures can make rolling cutter bits drill very slowly in rocks that would normally be soft and easily drilled. This condition generally occurs when drilling with brine water or mud weighing 8. For safety reasons. thus retarding fracture propagation caused by the bit. As the differential pressure increases in an overbalanced hole.000 psi are not uncommon in south Louisiana. A plot of penetration rate versus differential pressure ( Figure 7 ) shows the dramatic effect that increasing overbalance has on drilling rates.6 Ib/gal. the pressure of the mud column exceeds the formation pore pressure.6 lb/gal. presents blowout risks. the mud can fracture the formation. Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 7 . so there is minimal stress concentration present to either enhance or slow penetration rates. the rock is still in the brittle state and fractures relatively easily. and is an option only when there is no likelihood of unexpected increases in formation pressure. this condition occurs when the mud weight exceeds 8. The bottom of the hole is in pressure equilibrium. tend to slow penetration rates. The hole bottom is in a state of compression.000 to 6. Balanced drilling. south Texas. along with a high degree of chip hold-down. the Middle East and other deep basins.
they would not dull so quickly. thus. It iw when they are dragging and. scraping and grnding that they drill slowly and dull quickly. A vertical force is applied to the tooth as a result of applying drill collar weight to the bit. Diamond drag bits are designed to drill with a very small penetration into the formation.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits Penetration rate is also affected by a pressure-related phenomenon known as chip hold-down. The result of these two forces defines the plane of thrust of the tooth or wedge. Failure Mechnisms of Drag Bits Drag bits are designed to drill primarily by a wedging mechanism. and results in a positive pressure differential across the top surface of the chip. The depth of the cut is often expressed in terms of the bottom cutting angle. The drilling action of diamond drag bits in this situation is Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 8 . Chip holddown occurs when a mud filter cake or fine solids block fractures produced by the bit. The cuttings are sheard off in a shear plane at an initial angle to the plane of thrust that is dependent on the properties of the rock.2. and a horizontal force is applied to the tooth as a result of applying he torque necessary to turn the bit. the angle is a function of the desired cutter penetration per revolution Lp and radius r from the center of the hole.3. This prevents the liquid phase of the mud from invading the fractures. . A twisting action also may contribute to rock removal from the center portion of the hole. If drag bits could be kept drilling by wedging. The diameter on the individual rock grains in a formation such as sandstone may not be much smaller than the depth of penetration of the diamonds. The hold-down force is equal to the area of the chip times the differential pressure 4.
consider a rock sample to fail along a plane. One such failure criterion often used is the Mohr theory of failure. c = cohesive resistance of the material.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits primarily a grinding action in which the cementaceous material holding the individual grains is broken by the diamonds. = angle of internal friction. n = normal stress at the failure plane. Summing forces normal to the fracture plane gives The unit area along the fracture plane dAn is related to the unit areas dA1 and dA2 by Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 9 . Further. The orientation of the failure plane is defined by the angle between the normal-to-thefailure plane and a horizontal plane. To understand the use of the Mohr criterion. Rock mechanics experts have applied several failure criteria in an attempt to relate rock strength measured in simple compression tests to the rotary drilling process. we can examine the forces present along the failure plane at failure using the free-body elements. The Mohr criterion is stated mathematically by: ( ) Where t = shear stress at failure. the compressive stress 1 is given by The confining pressure is given by 3 = p If we examine a small element on any vertical plane bisecting the sample. the element is in the stress state. The Mohr criterion states that yielding or fracturing should occur when the shear stress exceeds the sum of the cohesive resistance of the material c and the frictional resistance of the slip planes or fracture plane. When loaded under a compressive force F and a confining pressure p.
Example: A rock sample under a 2.000 psi confining pressure fails when subjected to a compressional loading of 10.000 psi along a plane wich makes an angle of 270 with the direction of Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 10 .Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits Making these substitutions in the force balance equation gives Summing forces parallel to the fracture plane gives Expressing all unit areas in terms of dAn and simplifying yields These two equations represent graphically by the Mohr’s circle.
Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits the compressional load. brittle formations in which ROP tend to be low and drilling costs tend to be high. Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 11 . At low values of differential pressure.649 psi The cohesive resistance can be computed c = .236 The stress normal to the fracture plane is n = ½(1 + 3) – ½(1 – 3)cos(2) = 3.ntan= 585 psi 4. Strain gauges and a linear potentiometer were used to obtain force displacement curves. while at high values of differential pressure the crushed rock deformed ina plastic manner and was not ejected completely form the crater. determine the angle of internal friction. rock pore pressure.3. The apparatus allowed the borehole pressure. the percussion mechanism is of considerable economic interest. the crushed rock beneath the bet tooth was ejected from the crater.3. and rock confining pressure to be varied independently. Solution: the angle and 2 must sume to 900. The apparatus was equipped with a static loading device which used an airactuated piston to simulate constant force impacts similar to those produced in rotary drilling.000)sin(540) = 3. Failure Mechanism of Rolling Cutter Bits Percussion or crushing action is the predominant mechanism present for the rolling cutter bits.000 – 2. Using the Mohr failure criterion. Maurer found that the crater mechanism depended to some extent on the pressure differential between the borehole and the rock pore pressure. the shear strength and the cohesive resistance of the material. Thus the angle of internal friction is given by = 90 – 2(27) = 36 0 The shear strength is computed as follows = ½(1 – 3)sin(2) = ½(10. Since these types of bits are designed for use in hard.
For rolling cutter bits. drilling fluid properties.4. and the process may be repeated (F. As the force on the tooth increases above the threshold value. the initial ROP is often highest in a given formation when using bits with long teeth and a large cone offset angle. This gives the appearance of plastic deformation. these fractures propagate along a maximum shear surface. Factors affecting penetration rate The most important variables affecting penetration rate that have been indentified and studied included: bit type.1. formation characteristics. as the force on the tooth increases. G). and ROP). bit tooth wear. the cuttings formed in the zone of broken rock are ejected easily from the crater (E). the downward pressure and frictional forces between the rock fragments prevent ejection of the fragments (E’). displacement takes place along fracture planes parallel to the initial fracture (F’. bit operating conditions (WOB. and craters formed in the manner are called pseudoplastic craters. The force at which fracturing begins beneath the tooth is called the threshold force. at low differential pressure. At high differential pressures.4. The lowest cost per foot drilled usually is obtained when using Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 12 .Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits As load is applied to a bit tooth (A). However. 4. As he force on the tooth is increased. the material in the wedge compresses and exerts high lateral forces on the solid rock surrounding the wedge until the shear stress exceeds the shear strength of the solid rock and the rock factures (C). 4. Effecting of Bit Type The bit type selected has a large effect on ROP. these bits are practical only in soft formations because of a rapid tooth destruction and decline in penetration rate in hard formations. G’). the bit tooth then moves forward until it reaches the bottom of the crater. the constant pressure beneath the tooth increases until it exceeds the crushing strength of the rock and a wedge of finely powdered rock then is formed beneath the tooth (B). forming a zone of broken rock (D). subsequent facturing occurs in the region above the initial fracture. which intersect the direction of the principal stresses at a nearly constant angle as predicted by the Mohr failure criteria. and bit hydraulics.
4. abrasive minerals can cause rapid dulling of the bith teeth. Penetration rate tends to decrease with increasing fluid density. The ROP decreases as the overbalance increases. Rocks containing gummy clay minerals can cause the bit to ball up and drill in a very inefficient manner. 4. The most important factor out of the drilling fluid properties is the density. The width and number of cutters can be used to compute the affective number of blades. Drag bits are designed to obtain a given penetration rate. solid. The mineral composition of the rock also has some effect on ROP. and tends to increase with increasing filtration rate. filtration characteristics.3. This would tend to promote the more explosive elastic mode of crater formation. The density.2. an average angle of internal friction of 350 was assumed. viscosity and solids content. it also can be argued that the nature of the fluids contained in the pore spaces of the rock also affects this mechanism since more filtrate volume would be required to equalize the pressure in rock containing gas than in a rock containing liquid. Effecting of Drilling Fluid Properties The properties of drilling fluid reported to affect the ROP include: density. and chemical composition. Effecting of Formation Characteristics The elastic limit and ultimate strength of the formation are the most important formation properties affecting ROP. and filtration characteristics of the mud control the pressure differential across the zone of crushed rock beneath the bit.4. To determine the shear strength from a single compression test. Changing density will change the overbalance. The fluid viscosity controls the system frictional losses in the drillstring and thus the hydraulic energy available at the bit jets for cleaning. Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 13 . In permeable rocks.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits the longest tooth bit that will give a tooth life consistent with the bearing life at optimum bit operating conditions. rheological flow properties. the drilling fluid filtrate can move into the rock ahead of the bit and equalize the pressure differential acting on the chips formed beneath each tooth. Rocks containing hard. The angle of internal friction varies from about 30 – 400 form most rocks The permeability of the formation also has a significant effect on the ROP. The diamond and PCD bits are designed for a given penetration per revolution by the selection of the size and number of diamonds or PCD blanks.4. drag bits give a wedging type rock failure in which the bit penetration per revolution depends on the number of blades and the bottom cutting angle. As discussed previously. solids content and size distribution. The shear strength predicted by Mohr failure criteria sometimes is used to characterize the strength of the formation.
This poor response of ROP at high values of bit weight usually is attributed to less efficient bottomhole cleaning at higher rates of cuttings. at higher values of bit weight. subsequent increase in bit weight causes only slight improvements in ROP (cd). The reason is due to the poor hole cleaning. Maurer developed a theoretical equation for rolling cutter bits relating ROP to WOB. ROP then increases rapidly with increasing values of WOB. rotary speed obtained with all other drilling variables held constant is shown ROP usually increases linearly with low RPM. At higher values of RPM the response of ROP to increase RPM diminishes. However. The equation was derived from the following observation made in single tooth impact experiments: (1) the crater volume is proportional to the square of the depth of cutter penetration (2) the depth of cutter penetration is inversely proportional to the rock strength. and rock strength.4. a decrease in RO is observed at extremely high value of WOB (de). In some cases.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits 4. This type of behavior often is called bit floundering. Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 14 . a linear curve is often observed (segment bc). Effecting of operating conditions When plotting ROP vs. For moderate value of bit weight. bit size.3. RPM. A typical plot of ROP vs. WOB obtained experimentally with all other drilling variables held constant has the characteristic shape as shown: No significant ROP is obtained until the threshold bit weight is applied (point a).
4. is the first step in determining which bit to use in a given interval. formation properties are constant-that is. Bingham suggested the following drilling equation on the basis of considerable laboratory and field data.4. · porosity and permeability. · abrasiveness. In this equation the threshold bit weight was assumed to be negligible and the bit weight exponent must be determined experimentally for the prevailing conditions.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits [ ( )] Where K = constant of proportionality S = compressive strength of the rock W = bit weight W0 = threshold bit weight db = bit diameter N = rotary speed. The theoretical equation of Maurer can be verified using experimental data obtained at relatively low bit weight and rotary speeds corresponding to segment ab in Figures above. Formation Properties With respect to bit programs. · pore pressure. · elasticity. however. · overburden pressure. Formation properties that figure prominently in bit selection include: · compressive strength.4. Bit Selection 4. · stickiness.1. Knowing formation properties. they are not subject to control. ( ) Where K is the constant of proportionality that includes the effect of rock strength and a5 is the bit weight exponent. Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 15 .
which is based on its composition. penetration rates would be expected to be higher in a highly porous. a bit utilizing a gouging/scraping action would be preferable to a bit designed to chip and crush the rock. Sticky formations (i. drilling fluid characteristics and drill string configuration are interrelated "downhole" factors that are a part of the overall well Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 16 . Pore pressure affects mud weight requirements. which may include some or all of the following: · formation name and age. Under such conditions." the driller must apply enough drill string weight to overcome this compressive strength. directional considerations. of course. Under normal conditions. Undergauge holes result in extra reaming and wasted rig time.. In less-drilled areas. Most of these resources consist of information from offset wells. Pore pressure is a measure of the pressure exerted by the formation fluid on the rock matrix. SP/resistivity. "gumbo") can result in bit-balling and reduced penetration rate. "tight" formation. depths and properties of formations. gamma ray. method of deposition and compaction. · open-hole logs (i. Elasticity affects the way in which a rock fails A rock that fails in a plastic mode will deform rather than fracture.20 cc of void space. these resources may be scarce — the drilling engineer then has to make a "best guess" based on whatever geologic information and well records are available. In general.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits Compressive strength refers to the intrinsic strength of the rock. and increase the chances of the drill string sticking. Abrasive formations require bits with extra gauge protection. For a bit to "make hole. · mud logs. One cc of sandstone with a porosity of 20%. · stratigraphic cross sections. compacting formations and making them harder. There are a number of resources available for determining the locations.e. Porosity is a measure of the void space contained within a unit volume of rock. · drilling and production records. and the bit must be able to perform under this applied weight. Well depth. which in turn can affect penetration rates. contains 0. · core analyses.. overburden increases with depth. neutron. Permeability is a measure of a rock's fluid flow properties. permeable formation than in a low-porosity.e. hole size and casing program. for example. this occurs most often under high confining pressures. Overburden pressure is the pressure exerted on a formation by overlying formations. sonic).
helping define both these other factors and the formation properties already described. PDC bits are generally applicable to PDC bits are generally not applicable to ( angular. nonabrasive precipitates. hydrateable sediments ( sand. unconsolidated. jet nozzle sizes and condition of the bit at the end of the run. Bit Information Both rolling cutter and fixed cutter bits are designed for a wide variety of formation types. Offset bit records do have limitations. hard cemented sandstones clay ) porosity less than 15 % ) low strength. rotating time. however. The IADC classification system provides a good starting point for comparing bit types and determining which bits might be appropriate for a given situation. shale. marls. granite. very weak. PDC bit applications. chalk ) evaporites or dolomite ) moderately strong. are among the most useful tools for designing a bit program. this information can be valuable in estimating bit performance and making an informed selection. when available. and may contain data that is unavailable elsewhere. Table 1 below summarizes PDC applications and non-applications. rotational speed. shales. they can provide information regarding depth intervals. Rig Capabilities The drilling engineer must answer the following rig-related questions when deciding whether to run a particular bit type: Can the rig provide the bit weight and rotating speed (determined from vendor specifications) required to obtain the optimum penetration rate from this bit? Can the mud pumps provide the rates and pressures necessary to provide adequate hydraulics with this bit? Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 17 . Certain bit types. Bit records from offset wells. Assuming that depth and lithology can be correlated between the offset well and the proposed well. hard carbonates ( low porosity limestone anhydrite. For specific bit sizes and types. chert.Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits program. penetration rates. they can provide a basis for developing and modifying the bit program as drilling progresses. it also relates to the capacities and capabilities of the drilling rig. (salt. however. poorly compacted. one of the most obvious being that they may not contain information for all of the bits that the engineer may be considering. footage. are best suited to a particular range of formations. Well depth is a key aspect. For example. bit weight. porous carbonates ) Table 1. somewhat abrasive ductile sediments ( pyrite. and basalt claystone. In spite of what bit records might not reveal.
Prepared by: Tan Nguyen Page 18 .Drilling Engineering – Chapter 5: Drilling Bits Since the rig's characteristics are not easily changed. a "no" answer to either of these questions requires selecting a different bit and/or changing the hydraulics program.
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