Polycrystalline Diamond Cutters

Meet the

Toughest Diamond Cutters You'll Ever Use

The oil exploration business demands speed, durability, and toughness. And there’s no place where those three things matter more than where diamond meets rock at the bottom of a hole.

That’s why US Synthetic has spent more than a decade perfecting polycrystalline diamond cutters (PDCs) that drill faster and last longer—especially in tough conditions that test the limits of the most durable drilling equipment.

Today, US Synthetic leads the industry in the development and production of innovative, top-quality PDC inserts that meet the highest standards and match the requirements of the most demanding oil exploration and development projects.

This absolute, no compromises commitment to superior quality and constant innovation sets us apart from the crowd and makes US Synthetic your best choice for all kinds of diamond solutions.

Diamond Sintering

The extreme hardness, wear resistance, and thermal conductivity of diamond make it an ideal cutting tool material. However, individual diamond crystals cleave quite easily when struck parallel to certain planes (the process used to facet diamond gemstones takes advantage of these relatively weak planes). As a result, individual diamond crystals do not make good cutting tools—unless they are meticulously oriented.

Diamond sintering overcomes the problem of weak planes in diamond gemstones by bonding a mass of small diamond particles onto a larger, coherent structure. Sintered diamond provides greater toughness and durability than single crystals because the individual crystals in a sintered body are randomly oriented. This prevents cracks from propagating along the weak planes where traditional diamond crystals cleave most easily. Sintered diamonds also provide more uniform wear than a single crystal, while maintaining similar thermal conductivity and hardness properties. All of these factors combine to make sintered diamond the preferred material for cutting rock.

At US Synthetic, the sintering process begins with premium saw-grade diamond crystals. These crystals are sintered together at temperatures of approximately 1400°C and pressures of around 60 kbar in the presence of a liquid metal catalyst. Typically, the diamond is bonded to a tungsten carbide substrate during the same high-temperature, high-pressure process. This sintered diamond and tungsten carbide composite is known in the industry as a polycrystalline diamond cutter (PDC).

Diamond Finishing

The extreme hardness of diamonds presents obvious machining and finishing challenges. In typical machining situations, the finishing tool is harder than the work piece. With diamond inserts, this isn’t possible, since diamond is the hardest known substance. This makes machining diamond analogous to cutting through a wooden beam with a wooden saw. As a result, US Synthetic uses millions of carats of industrial diamond each year to machine and finish PDCs to their final dimensions. Over the years, we have developed specialized techniques and machines for lapping, grinding, polishing, brazing, and cutting PDC inserts. These techniques make it possible for us to finish PDCs to exacting specifications, despite the inherent challenges of machining sintered diamond.

Diamond Fixed Cutter Bit Inserts

US Synthetic first began manufacturing diamond cutters for fixed cutter drill bits in 1983. Since then, the technology has continued to be developed aggressively. And with a number of significant US Synthetic innovations, it has made it possible to use fixed cutter bits in harder, more demanding formations. Thanks to these continuous advancements in design, materials, processing, manufacturing, and testing, US Synthetic leads the industry in fixed cutter diamond products—with some of the fastest, longest lasting, and best-made cutters in the world.

Nearly all of US Synthetic’s fixed cutter inserts are designed and manufactured to meet specific project requirements. Inserts range in size from 5 mm to 25 mm in diameter and 3 mm to 25 mm in length. They can be manufactured in many different shapes—from basic cylindrical cutters to inserts with customized angles, diamond thickness, chamfers, and sizes.

Throughout the design and manufacturing of a customized diamond cutter insert, US Synthetic promises to work closely with each customer to find the optimal combination of abrasion and impact resistance for your specific drilling application. This customized approach, combined with our meticulous attention to quality, makes US Synthetic PDCs the ideal solution for nearly all drilling applications.

Diamond Rock Bit Inserts

Using diamond inserts in traditional rock bits can boost performance, increase durability, and dramatically improve drilling economics. Diamond-enhanced rock bits also make it possible to drill formations that are too difficult for traditional tungsten carbide inserts.

Since 1994, US Synthetic has been designing and manufacturing some of the most technically advanced and innovative diamond rock bit products in the industry. This includes using diamond inserts in many different strategic bit locations, from inner row use to gauge protection on the cones or bit body.

US Synthetic is able to design and manufacture bit inserts that meet virtually any size or shape requirement, including ovoids, conicals, and chisels, and is constantly searching for new shapes that make more effective use of diamond. The rock bit inserts range in size from 5mm to 25 mm in diameter and 3mm to 35mm in length.

Continuing in its missions of innovation and servicing customers with customized engineering, US Synthetic is always ready to design and manufacture rock bit inserts to match the customers’ unique specifications, including customized diameters, lengths, shapes, and chamfers.

Diamond Hammer Bit Inserts

Traditionally, diamond hammer bits have not been widely used for oil exploration, but they are very effective in certain hard rock situations, and are increasing in popularity. Since 1995, US Synthetic has been enhancing hammer bits with diamond inserts that make them more durable, effective, and capable of withstanding the punishment of hammer drilling in the most demanding hard rock conditions.

US Synthetic’s hammer bit inserts range in size from 13mm to 25mm in diameter and 19mm to 35mm in length, and can also be designed and manufactured with different diameters, lengths, shapes, and chamfers to meet your unique specifications.

Other Applications

US Synthetic uses diamond to solve important problems today, but we also realize that we’ve only begun to explore the possibilities. Because synthetic diamond has many unique properties, that makes it ideal for a wide range of uses both inside and outside the oil and gas exploration industry, and new possibilities and opportunities are continually be explored.

For new ideas or suggestions for using diamond, please contact US Synthetic business development. US Synthetic welcomes the opportunity to put synthetic diamond to work for your business.

The Unique Properties of Diamonds

  • Hardest known material
  • Highest thermal conductivity
  • Highest wear resistance
  • Excellent electrical insulator
  • Extremely low thermal expansion
  • Low coefficient of friction
  • High sonic velocity
  • Optically transparent
  • Wide band-gap semiconductor
  • Chemically inert
  • Biologically compatible