Thermally Stable Polycrystalline Diamond Cutters for Hard Rock Drilling

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG03-96ER82240
Agency Tracking Number: 34709
Amount: $75,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1996
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
2185 South Larsen Parkway, Provo, UT, 84606
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mr. David R. Hall
 (801) 374-6000
Business Contact
 Mr. David R. Hall
Title: Owner
Phone: (801) 374-6000
Research Institution
41354 November 20, 1996 Novatek Shear bits, also known as drag bits or fixed cutter bits, drill rock substantially faster than roller-cone bits. At present their use is limited to soft and medium formations. It would be highly desirable to expand their use into hard rock, both for drilling of oil and gas and for geothermal applications. A new type of heat resistant, polycrystalline diamond-containing hard rock cutter will developed in this project. While composite polycrystalline diamond-tungsten carbide/cobalt cutters have excellent abrasion resistance, they are highly sensitive to the high temperatures that occur when sufficiently drilling hard rock. Although some polycrystalline diamond materials are known to resist high temperatures, they are not available in the sizes and shapes needed for fast-cutting shear bits, nor is there a means known for bonding thermally stable polycrystalline diamond to a tungsten carbide/cobalt support. Therefore, this project will develop a cutter consisting of thermally stable polycrystalline diamond bonded to a tungsten carbide/cobalt substrate, which would enable a much more efficient use of thermally stable diamond than previously possible. Phase I will develop a process for economically producing thermally stable polycrystalline diamond disks to exact net shape, investigate several processes for bonding the thermally stable disk to a tungsten carbide support, complete an engineering design of bonding equipment. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Development of a thermally stable diamond disk, together with a high-strength, low-stress bond to a tungsten carbide/cobalt support, will lead to a cutter that will withstand high impact forces and high cutting temperatures. This will enable the use of shear bits in harder formations than hitherto possible. The thermally stable cutter will also find application in bearings for mud motors and gauge protectors for stabilizers and roller-cone bits.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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