How PDC Cutters are made?

Cutters are produced through a synthesis of elevated temperatures and pressures, forming what is known as a PDC (polycrystalline diamond compact) cutter. Man-made diamonds can be cultivated within a remarkably short time frame, ranging from 5 to 10 minutes. This high-speed diamond generation is the reason why a fixed cutter bit is sometimes referred to as a diamond drill bit.

The manufacturing process involves the combination of a carbide substrate and diamond grit. The compact is shaped under extreme conditions, with temperatures reaching around 2800 degrees and pressures soaring to approximately 1,000,000 psi. In this process, a cobalt alloy serves as a catalyst, facilitating the sintering of the carbide and diamond components. The cobalt plays a crucial role in bonding these materials together.

As the assembly undergoes the cooling phase, a notable discrepancy emerges: the tungsten carbide contracts at a rate 2.5 times faster than the diamond. Effectively managing this stress, akin to various aspects of drill bit design, is deemed proprietary knowledge, often safeguarded as Intellectual Property.