ION Cutter rock family

ION PDC Drill Bit Cutter Technology

Our ION PDC cutter technology comprises application-specific diamond grades and shapes that capture efficiency without sacrificing durability.

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Improve ROP with ION high-performance PDC cutter technology

Designed to drill longer laterals faster and more efficiently, ION™ polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bit cutters help reduce your costs without sacrificing durability. As the most advanced technology in the industry, ION cutters use high-performance diamond grades that are fine-tuned to overcome application-specific failure modes. Combined with application-specific shapes, ION cutter technology delivers record-breaking performance around the world.

Maintaining steerability, stability, and durability while improving rate of penetration (ROP) in longer intervals remains a challenge for the oil and gas industry. This issue is compounded by the wide range of compressive strengths and lithologies—ranging from interbedded shales to abrasive sandstones—that may cause thermal damage to hard limestone, dolomite, and chert, which in turn may cause impact damage. In many cases, transition zones and highly interbedded formations cause drill bit dynamic dysfunctions, such as stick/slip, lateral vibrations, and whirl, which break cutters and further compound the issue.

Understanding PDC cutter failure modes and rock failure mechanics is vital to delivering record-setting performance. In-depth ION cutter dull analyses are performed for each application and interval to better recommend an existing cutter grade or for development to fine-tune the cutter grade. PDC cutter failure mechanisms, lithologies, formation layers, and compressive strengths are thoroughly evaluated to select the shape that will deliver the best performance for the application.

Sections or single intervals contain various formation layers, each with specific challenges

  • Shale – could be interbedded; requires shearing for failure and specific grade and shaped cutter
  • Sticky shale – requires smaller cuttings directed away from the cutter and body
  • Sandstone and limestone – could be abrasive; requires shearing and crushing for failure and a specific grade and shaped cutter
  • Transition zones which can be highly interbedded, causing drill bit dynamic dysfunctions, such as stick/slip, lateral vibrations, and whirl, which can break cutters
  • Hard limestone, dolomite, and chert – can cause impact damage


  • Improved application-specific PDC bit cutters
  • High-performance polished cutters
  • Multidimensional geometries

Market pains

Operators are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs:

  • Drilling faster and more efficiently
  • Increasing interval lengths while decreasing the number of trips

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