Ambrell, an Ameritherm company headquartered in Scottsville, N.Y., provided heating systems solutions to drill bit manufacturers for preheating drill bits used in the oil and gas industry.
Drill bits are heated to approximately 1100°F (600°C). A torch is then used to raise the temperature of each individual joint to 1454°F (790°C) to flow the braze. The drill bit inserts are usually polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) or tungsten carbide inserts (TCI).
Over time, these PDC or TCI inserts will wear out, as they are the cutting portion of the drill bit. Induction heating can be used to remove and replace the inserts, heating up the drill bit when the inserts are removed and once again preheating prior to brazing.
Ambrell’s most recent drill bit client used the company’s Applications Lab for a free half-day of testing and found induction heating would work for the replacement process. The client purchased an EKOHEAT 50kW/10kHz system, which replaced the previous process of using an oven to preheat the drill bit. Induction saved time, was more energy efficient and introduced less heat into the work environment.