IADC Classifications Examined

IADC classifications are how tricone bits are sorted to allow drillers to easily identify what type of bit they will need, and what any bits they have are designed for. For a brief overview of the IADC codes you will find on tricones for sale, please click here. This article aims to tie the codes back to your well drilling project by outlining what kind of codes are best for what kind of projects. As each digit in an IADC code represents a different factor, we’ll be going digit by digit, or factor by factor, to help you identify the right bit from among all the different tricones for sale.

Tooth Type: First digit

The first digit in the code designates steel tooth or Tungsten Carbide Insert (TCI), and the type of formation the bit’s teeth are designed for. All tricones for sale can be divided into steel or TCI. TCI is superior for most uses and particularly excels in harder formations. Generally you would only go with steel tricones if the project is designed for a limited depth or a short duration, and wear of the bit is not a major concern. Steel bits are rated from 1 to 3, ranging from soft to hard formations. Tungsten Carbide Inserts are ideal for larger scale projects and harder formations. Due to the superior qualities of tungsten carbide it has a wider range than steel bits, as it can take on a far wider range of formations and projects. 4 through 8 all represent button bits with TCI, with 4 representing buttons designed for softer formations, ranging to 8 for very hard formations. TCI bits are some of the best tricones for sale currently.

Hardness of Formations: Second digit

The second digit of the code is fairly straightforward, and is used to rate tricones for sale in order of the overall formation hardness they are designed for. 1 represents soft formations such as sands, clays, limestones, and shale. 2 represents medium formations such as calcites, dolomites, tougher limestones, and hard shale. 3 and 4 represent hard formations which include hard shale, calcites, mudstones, cherty lime stones, and other difficult or varied hard formations. As you can see there is some overlap between the categories. Different minerals can have different properties within a family. Not all limestone is the same density, nor is all shale uniformly tough. It is important to be familiar with the exact formations you will be drilling in.

Bearing Type and Gauge Protection: Third digit

Gauge protection is an important consideration for any deep boreholes or extended drilling operations that require protection of the bit. Modern tricones for sale can be expensive, so gauge protection makes sense to extend their life and increase the efficiency of the overall drilling operation. All tricones for sale can be improved with gauge protection. That said some projects may be in favourable formations, or of limited scope where gauge protection is not required. The other factor indicated by the third digit is the type of bearing, 1 through 3 represent unsealed roller bearings, 4 and 5 represent sealed roller bearings, while 6 and 7 represent sealed journal bearings. 3, 5, and 7 represent gauge protection. Open roller bearing bits are the most vulnerable to damage from debris; this is significantly improved with sealed roller bearings, and almost eliminated completely with sealed journal bearings. Again this factor depends on the duration, depth, and overall scope of your project. The longer a project is the more sense superior bearings make.

Special Properties: Fourth digit

Lastly, modern tricones for sale can be tailored to many specific functions. These are too numerous to expand on individually, but chances are if you need a special feature for your Tricone, it will be indicated by a letter for the fourth digit. Please click here for more detailed description of the fourth digit.


Click for a list of Used Tricones for sale.