How To Read the IADC Codes for Tricone Drill Bits
The International Association of Drilling Contractors came up with a system to describe any tricone bit through a simple 4 digit number. This streamlines the process of ordering a new tricone bit for drillers everywhere. By coming up with a simple 4 digit code to describe and categorize any tricone bit they eliminated any confusion that can arise when ordering.
This classification system dedicates the first 3 digits to the design and function of the tricone, with the final digit being an alphabetical code for any additional features of the bit. Here is how to read an IADC Code properly.
The first digit represents the hardness of rock formation the tricone buttons are suited for
Every tricone bit is designed for a certain type of rock formation, ranked according to hardness. The tricone is assigned a number between 1 and 8 indicating the type of rock the teeth or buttons of a tricone are designed for:
1, 2 and 3: Indicate a steel tooth tricone. 1 is engineered for soft rock formations, 2 for medium formations, and 3 for hard formations.
4, 5, 6, 7, and 8: Indicates a tungsten carbide insert (TCI) tricone. Within this category 4 is designated for the softer formations, with 8 representing the hardest formations
The second digit represents further rock formation information
Regardless of tooth type, the second digit takes into account all factors of the bit and ranks the rock formations the tricone is best suited for on a scale from 1 to 4. 1 represents soft formations going up to 4 representing the hardest formations.
The third digit represents the bearing type of the tricone
Tricone bits use different bearings depending on the type of material to be drilled.
1, 2 and 3: are for roller bearings. 1 is for standard roller bearings, 2 is for air cooled bearings, and 3 is for open bearing with gauge protection.
4 and 5: sealed roller bearings. 4 is for standard sealed roller bearings, and 5 is for a sealed roller bearing with gauge protection.
6 and 7: sealed journal bearings. 6 is for a standard sealed journal bearing, and 7 is for a sealed journal bearing with gauge protection.
The fourth digit is a letter indicating the special properties of the tricone
In addition to the buttons, intended rock formations, and bearings used, tricone bits can have numerous other special properties:
A – Air Application
B – Special Bearing
C – Center Jetted
D – Deviation Control
E – Extended Jets
G – Extra Gauge or Body protection
H – Horizontal/Steering
J – Jet Deflection
L – Lug Pads
M – Motor Application
S – Standard Steel Tooth
T – Two Cone
W – Enhanced Cutting Structure
X – Chisel Inserts
Y – Conical Inserts
Z – Other inserts