Basic Knowledge of PDC Cutter

2022-08-25 Share

Basic Knowledge of PDC Cutter


PDC stands for polycrystalline diamond compact. In essence, the PDC bit uses a round diamond wafer bonded to a carbide base as the primary cutting mechanism. The diamond is polycrystalline-based and has the benefits of being long-lasting as well as self-sharpening.

Synthetic diamond is 150 times more abrasion resistant than carbide. Developed by GE, these diamonds are commonly supplied as a mass-produced synthetic component forged under a high temperature and pressure to make precision diamond wafers.

The leaching process chemically removes the cobalt catalyst from a PDC microstructure. PDC diamond leaching is a critical process step that dramatically increases the longevity and performance of the bit.


The wafers are then mated to carbon bases. This carbide base serves two functions. First, they provide a solid mechanism for supporting the diamond wafers. Second, it provides a method of attaching the diamond to the bit body since you can’t solder or weld diamonds. The goal is to provide both a durable cutter while maximizing penetration rates.

The diamond component in the carbide substrate of the PDC bit is called a cutter. They come in three main sizes of diameter 13mm, 16mm, and 19 mm. PDC bit primarily uses a 1308 cutter.

The other important feature of the diamond cutters is the chamfer, which is the angle of the beveled edge of the diamond. This angle has significant importance on the bit design and performance. No chamfer ( zero degrees) cutters are not commonly used and would only be used on soft ground as they tend to be prone to chipping. A 12-degree chamfer is a faster penetration option. They are still prone to chipping easily. Zzbetter can make the chamfer per customer’s requirements.

The carbide base is critical to the performance of the cutter. High-quality cutters are bonded to ideal bases with precision grids. Poor quality bases will make poor quality cutter assembly.

The carbide base is critical to the performance of the cutter. High-quality cutters are bonded to ideal bases with precision grids, while the poor-quality bases will make poor-quality cutter assembly.

High-quality PDC properly maintained and used when used in ideal environments such as sandstone has been documented to last a very long time.


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