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An Automated Approach to the Nozzle Configuration of Polycrystalline Diamond Compact Drill Bits for Effective Cuttings Removal

Authors: R. Suresh, Pavan Kumar Nimmagadda, Ming Zo Tan, Shane Hart, Sharp Ugwuocha


Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bits are extensively used in the oil and gas industry as well as the mining industry. Industry engineers continually improve upon PDC drill bit designs and hydraulic conditions. Optimized injection nozzles play a key role in improving the drilling performance and efficiency of these ever changing PDC drill bits. In the first part of this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling is performed to investigate the hydrodynamic characteristics of drilling fluid flow around the PDC drill bit. An Open-source CFD software – OpenFOAM simulates the flow around the drill bit, based on the field input data. A specifically developed console application integrates the entire CFD process including, domain extraction, meshing, and solving governing equations and post-processing. The results from the OpenFOAM solver are then compared with that of the ANSYS Fluent software. The data from both software programs agree. The second part of the paper describes the parametric study of the PDC drill bit nozzle to determine the effect of parameters such as number of nozzles, nozzle velocity, nozzle radial position and orientations on the flow field characteristics and bit washing patterns. After analyzing a series of nozzle configurations, the best configuration is identified and recommendations are made for modifying the PDC bit design.

Keywords: ANSYS Fluent, computational fluid dynamics, nozzle configuration, OpenFOAM, PDC dill bit.

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