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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits

Chapter 5

Drilling Bits
4.1. Introduction
A drilling bit is the cutting or boring tool which is made up on the end of the drillstring (Figure 1). The bit drills through the rock by scraping, chipping, gouging or grinding the rock at the bottom of the hole. Drilling fluid is circulated through passageways in the bit to remove the drilled cuttings. There are however many variations in the design of drillbits and the bit selected for a particular application will depend on the type of formation to be drilled. The drilling engineer must be aware of these design variations in order to be able to select the most appropriate bit for the formation to be drilled. The engineer must also be aware of the impact of the operating parameters on the performance of the bit. The performance of a bit is a function of several operating parameters, such as: weight on bit (WOB); rotations per minute (RPM); mud properties; and hydraulic efficiency.

4.2. Classification of Drilling Bits


There are basically three types of drilling bit (Figure 1) Drag Bits Roller Cone Bits Diamond Bits

4.2.1. Drag Bits Drag bits were the first bits used in rotary drilling, but are no longer in common use. A drag bit consists of rigid steel blades shaped like a fish-tail which rotate as a single unit. These simple designs were used up to 1900 to successfully drill through soft formations. The introduction of hardfacing to the surface of the blades and the design of fluid passageways greatly improved its performance. Due to the dragging/scraping action of this type of bit, high RPM and low WOB are applied. The decline in the use of drag bits was due to: The introduction of roller cone bits, which could drill soft formations more efficiently If too much WOB was applied, excessive torque led to bit failure or drill pipe failure Drag bits tend to drill crooked hole, therefore some means of controlling deviation was required

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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits Drag bits were limited to drilling through uniformly, soft, unconsolidated formations where there were no hard abrasive layers.

4.2.2. Roller Cone Bits


Rolling cutter bits, also known as roller cone bits, consist of cutting elements arranged on cones (usually three cones, but sometimes two) that rotate on bearings about their own axis as the drill string turns the body of the bit. The principle types of rolling cutter bits are milled steel tooth, or "rock" bits. Advantages of roller cone bits are:

Improved cleaning action by using jet nozzles Using tungsten carbide for hardfacing and gauge protection Introduction of sealed bearings to prevent the mud causing premature failure due to abrasion and corrosi on of the bearings.

4.2.3. Diamond Bits


Diamond has been used as a material for cutting rock for many years. The hardness and wear resistance of diamond made it an obvious material to be used for a drilling bit. The diamond bit is really a type of drag bit since it has no moving cones and operates as a single unit. A new generation of diamond bits known as polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits were introduced in the 1980s (Figure 5). These bits have the same advantages and disadvantages as natural diamond bits but use

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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits small discs of synthetic diamond to provide the scraping cutting surface. The small discs may be manufactured in any size and shape and are not sensitive to failure along cleavage planes as with natural diamond. PDC bits have been run very successfully in many areas around the world. They have been particularly successful (long bit runs and high ROP) when run in combination with turbodrills and oil based mud.

The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) has approved a standard system of classifying both rolling cutter and fixed cutter bits, based on formation type and design variations. Consisting of simple numbered codes, this system also simplifies comparison of different manufacturers' bit types. For a detailed description of this system, refer to IADC/SPE paper 23937 ( McGehee et. al., 1992 ). The IADC categorizes both rolling cutter and fixed cutter (diamond) bits using a four-character code. The first character in the classification code indicates the cutting structure series. The digits 1-3 are for steel tooth bits in the soft, medium and hard formation categories, while the numbers 4-8 are for insert bits in the soft, medium, medium hard, hard and extremely hard formation categories. The second character further specifies the cutting structure type within each series classification. The third character indicates bearing type and whether or not the bit is gauge-protected, while the fourth character designates additional special features and applications. Example: A Smith F2 bit has an IADC classification of 517X:
51 indicates that the Smith F2 has tungsten carbide inserts, designed for use in soft formations with low compressive strength;

7 indicates that the cones on this bit have sealed friction bearings, and that the bit is designed for protection against gauge wear;

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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits

X indicates that the inserts have a chisel tooth configuration (as opposed, for example, to a conical shape).
The first character of the IADC classification code for fixed cutter bits indicates the type of body material and cutting elements: S for steel body PDC bits;

M for matrix body PDC bits; D for natural diamond bits; T for TSP bits.
The second character, a digit from 1 to 9, identifies the bit shape, or profile-this indicates its durability and the type of cutting action it provides. The third and fourth characters (also digits from 1 to 9) identify, respectively, the bit's hydraulic design and the size and density of its cutting elements.

4.3. Rock Failure Mechanisms Bits are designed to induce rock failure. Because rock failure can occur in different ways, depending on the formation and on downhole conditions, there are a large number of design variations among rolling cutter and fixed cutter bits. To evaluate these design variations and select a bit, we first need a basic understanding of how rocks fail and how formation conditions affect drilling performance. 4.3.1. The Stress/Strain Relationship Stress is the force applied to a unit area of material. An analysis of the stresses acting on a particular object can become quite involved. For the purpose of this discussion, however, we can define three basic components of stress:
compressive stress (a pushing or squeezing force);

tensile stress (a pulling or enlongating force); shear stress (a slicing or cleaving force).
Strain is the deformation experienced by a material in response to an applied stress. This deformation may take one of two forms, depending on the material itself and on the magnitude of the applied stress: elastic (if the applied stress is below the elastic limit of the material, the material returns to its original shape and size once the stress is removed.);

plastic (if the applied stress exceeds the material's elastic limit, the material experiences permanent deformation; further stress increases result in additional deformation.).
Above a certain stress limit, a material will rupture, or break. If rupture takes place before significant plastic deformation occurs, the material is described as brittle. If, on the other hand, the material ruptures only after

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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits


experiencing significant plastic deformation, it is considered ductile. It is important to note that under different conditions, a material may exhibit either brittle or ductile behavior.

At atmospheric pressure, sedimentary rocks are normally brittle. They become ductile, however, under high confining stress if there is no communication between the internal rock pore pressure and the surrounding pressure medium.

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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits

The experiments summarized above show that confining pressure has a significant effect on rock behavior. To translate this observation into practical terms, we need to apply these laboratory conditions to the wellbore. The confining pressure at the bottom of a wellbore is equal to the difference between the pressure exerted by the column of drilling fluid in the hole and the pore pressure, or internal pressure, of the rock. This quantity is commonly expressed as differential pressure, or P.
The value of P defines the hole condition as underbalanced, balanced or overbalanced ( Figure 5 ). Each of these hole conditions, together with temperature and rate of deformation, affects rock failure mechanisms, which in turn affect penetration rate.

Underbalanced Condition If the pressure exerted by the fluid column is less than the pore pressure of the formation, the differential pressure is less than zero, and the well is being drilled in an underbalanced condition. This condition most often occurs when drilling with air, fresh water or muds weighing less than 8.6 lb/gal. In underbalanced drilling, the rock exhibits brittle behavior it has a relatively low failure strength and fractures very easily. Because the rock surface is in tension, it virtually explodes under the compressive loads of the bit. There is no downward pressure to promote chip hold-down, and so there is very little regrinding of already-drilled cuttings. This helps attain very high rates of penetration. Although its benefits are evident, underbalanced drilling is feasible only in areas where formation fluids can be easily controlled and there is no danger of a blowout.
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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits

Balanced Condition When the pressure of the fluid column is equal to the pore pressure, the hole is in a balanced condition. This condition generally occurs when drilling with brine water or mud weighing 8.6 lb/gal. Under balanced conditions, the rock is still in the brittle state and fractures relatively easily. The bottom of the hole is in pressure equilibrium, so there is minimal stress concentration present to either enhance or slow penetration rates. Penetration rates are generally slower than those experienced in an underbalanced drilling, because there is some chip hold-down resulting from cohesive forces between the rock cuttings, along with interference due to fluid viscosity. Balanced drilling, like underbalanced drilling, presents blowout risks, and is an option only when there is no likelihood of unexpected increases in formation pressure. Overbalanced Condition In overbalanced drilling, the pressure of the mud column exceeds the formation pore pressure. In areas with normal pressure gradients, this condition occurs when the mud weight exceeds 8.6 Ib/gal. For safety reasons, overbalanced drilling is normal practice in most areas. As the differential pressure increases in an overbalanced hole, the rock below the bit becomes increasingly strong and ductile. The hole bottom is in a state of compression, thus retarding fracture propagation caused by the bit. These factors, along with a high degree of chip hold-down, tend to slow penetration rates. If the differential pressure is too high, the mud can fracture the formation, resulting in lost circulation and possibly a blowout.
Differential pressures ranging from 2,000 to 6,000 psi are not uncommon in south Louisiana, south Texas, the North Sea, the Middle East and other deep basins. The induced rock strength and large chip hold-down forces created by these high differential pressures can make rolling cutter bits drill very slowly in rocks that would normally be soft and easily drilled. A plot of penetration rate versus differential pressure ( Figure 7 ) shows the dramatic effect that increasing overbalance has on drilling rates.

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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits

Penetration rate is also affected by a pressure-related phenomenon known as chip hold-down. Chip holddown occurs when a mud filter cake or fine solids block fractures produced by the bit. This prevents the liquid phase of the mud from invading the fractures, and results in a positive pressure differential across the top surface of the chip. The hold-down force is equal to the area of the chip times the differential pressure

4.3.2. Failure Mechnisms of Drag Bits Drag bits are designed to drill primarily by a wedging mechanism. If drag bits could be kept drilling by wedging, they would not dull so quickly. It iw when they are dragging and, thus, scraping and grnding that they drill slowly and dull quickly. A twisting action also may contribute to rock removal from the center portion of the hole. A vertical force is applied to the tooth as a result of applying drill collar weight to the bit, and a horizontal force is applied to the tooth as a result of applying he torque necessary to turn the bit. The result of these two forces defines the plane of thrust of the tooth or wedge. The cuttings are sheard off in a shear plane at an initial angle to the plane of thrust that is dependent on the properties of the rock. The depth of the cut is often expressed in terms of the bottom cutting angle, . the angle is a function of the desired cutter penetration per revolution Lp and radius r from the center of the hole.

Diamond drag bits are designed to drill with a very small penetration into the formation. The diameter on the individual rock grains in a formation such as sandstone may not be much smaller than the depth of penetration of the diamonds. The drilling action of diamond drag bits in this situation is

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primarily a grinding action in which the cementaceous material holding the individual grains is broken by the diamonds. Rock mechanics experts have applied several failure criteria in an attempt to relate rock strength measured in simple compression tests to the rotary drilling process. One such failure criterion often used is the Mohr theory of failure. The Mohr criterion states that yielding or fracturing should occur when the shear stress exceeds the sum of the cohesive resistance of the material c and the frictional resistance of the slip planes or fracture plane. The Mohr criterion is stated mathematically by: ( )

Where t = shear stress at failure; c = cohesive resistance of the material; n = normal stress at the failure plane; = angle of internal friction. To understand the use of the Mohr criterion, consider a rock sample to fail along a plane. When loaded under a compressive force F and a confining pressure p. the compressive stress 1 is given by The confining pressure is given by 3 = p

If we examine a small element on any vertical plane bisecting the sample, the element is in the stress state. Further, we can examine the forces present along the failure plane at failure using the free-body elements. The orientation of the failure plane is defined by the angle between the normal-to-thefailure plane and a horizontal plane. Summing forces normal to the fracture plane gives The unit area along the fracture plane dAn is related to the unit areas dA1 and dA2 by
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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits

Making these substitutions in the force balance equation gives

Summing forces parallel to the fracture plane gives Expressing all unit areas in terms of dAn and simplifying yields

These two equations represent graphically by the Mohrs circle.

Example: A rock sample under a 2,000 psi confining pressure fails when subjected to a compressional loading of 10,000 psi along a plane wich makes an angle of 270 with the direction of
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the compressional load. Using the Mohr failure criterion, determine the angle of internal friction, the shear strength and the cohesive resistance of the material. Solution: the angle and 2 must sume to 900. Thus the angle of internal friction is given by = 90 2(27) = 36 0 The shear strength is computed as follows = (1 3)sin(2) = (10,000 2,000)sin(540) = 3,236 The stress normal to the fracture plane is n = (1 + 3) (1 3)cos(2) = 3,649 psi The cohesive resistance can be computed c = - ntan= 585 psi 4.3.3. Failure Mechanism of Rolling Cutter Bits Percussion or crushing action is the predominant mechanism present for the rolling cutter bits. Since these types of bits are designed for use in hard, brittle formations in which ROP tend to be low and drilling costs tend to be high, the percussion mechanism is of considerable economic interest.

The apparatus allowed the borehole pressure, rock pore pressure, and rock confining pressure to be varied independently. The apparatus was equipped with a static loading device which used an airactuated piston to simulate constant force impacts similar to those produced in rotary drilling. Strain gauges and a linear potentiometer were used to obtain force displacement curves. Maurer found that the crater mechanism depended to some extent on the pressure differential between the borehole and the rock pore pressure. At low values of differential pressure, the crushed rock beneath the bet tooth was ejected from the crater, while at high values of differential pressure the crushed rock deformed ina plastic manner and was not ejected completely form the crater.

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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits

As load is applied to a bit tooth (A), the constant pressure beneath the tooth increases until it exceeds the crushing strength of the rock and a wedge of finely powdered rock then is formed beneath the tooth (B). as the force on the tooth increases, the material in the wedge compresses and exerts high lateral forces on the solid rock surrounding the wedge until the shear stress exceeds the shear strength of the solid rock and the rock factures (C). these fractures propagate along a maximum shear surface, which intersect the direction of the principal stresses at a nearly constant angle as predicted by the Mohr failure criteria. The force at which fracturing begins beneath the tooth is called the threshold force. As the force on the tooth increases above the threshold value, subsequent facturing occurs in the region above the initial fracture, forming a zone of broken rock (D). at low differential pressure, the cuttings formed in the zone of broken rock are ejected easily from the crater (E). the bit tooth then moves forward until it reaches the bottom of the crater, and the process may be repeated (F, G). At high differential pressures, the downward pressure and frictional forces between the rock fragments prevent ejection of the fragments (E). As he force on the tooth is increased, displacement takes place along fracture planes parallel to the initial fracture (F, G). This gives the appearance of plastic deformation, and craters formed in the manner are called pseudoplastic craters. 4.4. Factors affecting penetration rate The most important variables affecting penetration rate that have been indentified and studied included: bit type, formation characteristics, drilling fluid properties, bit operating conditions (WOB, and ROP), bit tooth wear, and bit hydraulics. 4.4.1. Effecting of Bit Type The bit type selected has a large effect on ROP. For rolling cutter bits, the initial ROP is often highest in a given formation when using bits with long teeth and a large cone offset angle. However, these bits are practical only in soft formations because of a rapid tooth destruction and decline in penetration rate in hard formations. The lowest cost per foot drilled usually is obtained when using

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the longest tooth bit that will give a tooth life consistent with the bearing life at optimum bit operating conditions. Drag bits are designed to obtain a given penetration rate. As discussed previously, drag bits give a wedging type rock failure in which the bit penetration per revolution depends on the number of blades and the bottom cutting angle. The diamond and PCD bits are designed for a given penetration per revolution by the selection of the size and number of diamonds or PCD blanks. The width and number of cutters can be used to compute the affective number of blades. 4.4.2. Effecting of Formation Characteristics The elastic limit and ultimate strength of the formation are the most important formation properties affecting ROP. The shear strength predicted by Mohr failure criteria sometimes is used to characterize the strength of the formation. To determine the shear strength from a single compression test, an average angle of internal friction of 350 was assumed. The angle of internal friction varies from about 30 400 form most rocks The permeability of the formation also has a significant effect on the ROP. In permeable rocks, the drilling fluid filtrate can move into the rock ahead of the bit and equalize the pressure differential acting on the chips formed beneath each tooth. This would tend to promote the more explosive elastic mode of crater formation. it also can be argued that the nature of the fluids contained in the pore spaces of the rock also affects this mechanism since more filtrate volume would be required to equalize the pressure in rock containing gas than in a rock containing liquid. The mineral composition of the rock also has some effect on ROP. Rocks containing hard, abrasive minerals can cause rapid dulling of the bith teeth. Rocks containing gummy clay minerals can cause the bit to ball up and drill in a very inefficient manner. 4.4.3. Effecting of Drilling Fluid Properties The properties of drilling fluid reported to affect the ROP include: density, rheological flow properties, filtration characteristics, solids content and size distribution, and chemical composition. Penetration rate tends to decrease with increasing fluid density, viscosity and solids content, and tends to increase with increasing filtration rate. The density, solid, and filtration characteristics of the mud control the pressure differential across the zone of crushed rock beneath the bit. The fluid viscosity controls the system frictional losses in the drillstring and thus the hydraulic energy available at the bit jets for cleaning. The most important factor out of the drilling fluid properties is the density. Changing density will change the overbalance. The ROP decreases as the overbalance increases.

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4.3.4. Effecting of operating conditions When plotting ROP vs. WOB obtained experimentally with all other drilling variables held constant has the characteristic shape as shown:

No significant ROP is obtained until the threshold bit weight is applied (point a). ROP then increases rapidly with increasing values of WOB. For moderate value of bit weight, a linear curve is often observed (segment bc). However, at higher values of bit weight, subsequent increase in bit weight causes only slight improvements in ROP (cd). In some cases, a decrease in RO is observed at extremely high value of WOB (de). This type of behavior often is called bit floundering. This poor response of ROP at high values of bit weight usually is attributed to less efficient bottomhole cleaning at higher rates of cuttings. A typical plot of ROP vs. rotary speed obtained with all other drilling variables held constant is shown

ROP usually increases linearly with low RPM. At higher values of RPM the response of ROP to increase RPM diminishes. The reason is due to the poor hole cleaning. Maurer developed a theoretical equation for rolling cutter bits relating ROP to WOB, RPM, bit size, and rock strength. The equation was derived from the following observation made in single tooth impact experiments: (1) the crater volume is proportional to the square of the depth of cutter penetration (2) the depth of cutter penetration is inversely proportional to the rock strength.

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Drilling Engineering Chapter 5: Drilling Bits

)]

Where K = constant of proportionality S = compressive strength of the rock W = bit weight W0 = threshold bit weight db = bit diameter N = rotary speed. The theoretical equation of Maurer can be verified using experimental data obtained at relatively low bit weight and rotary speeds corresponding to segment ab in Figures above. Bingham suggested the following drilling equation on the basis of considerable laboratory and field data. ( )

Where K is the constant of proportionality that includes the effect of rock strength and a5 is the bit weight exponent. In this equation the threshold bit weight was assumed to be negligible and the bit weight exponent must be determined experimentally for the prevailing conditions. 4.4. Bit Selection 4.4.1. Formation Properties

With respect to bit programs, formation properties are constant-that is, they are not subject to control. Knowing formation properties, however, is the first step in determining which bit to use in a given interval. Formation properties that figure prominently in bit selection include: compressive strength; elasticity; abrasiveness; overburden pressure; stickiness; pore pressure; porosity and permeability.

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Compressive strength refers to the intrinsic strength of the rock, which is based on its composition, method of deposition and compaction. For a bit to "make hole," the driller must apply enough drill string weight to overcome this compressive strength, and the bit must be able to perform under this applied weight. Elasticity affects the way in which a rock fails A rock that fails in a plastic mode will deform rather than fracture, this occurs most often under high confining pressures. Under such conditions, a bit utilizing a gouging/scraping action would be preferable to a bit designed to chip and crush the rock. Abrasive formations require bits with extra gauge protection. Undergauge holes result in extra reaming and wasted rig time, and increase the chances of the drill string sticking. Overburden pressure is the pressure exerted on a formation by overlying formations. Under normal conditions, overburden increases with depth, compacting formations and making them harder. Porosity is a measure of the void space contained within a unit volume of rock. One cc of sandstone with a porosity of 20%, for example, contains 0.20 cc of void space. Permeability is a measure of a rock's fluid flow properties. In general, penetration rates would be expected to be higher in a highly porous, permeable formation than in a low-porosity, "tight" formation. Pore pressure is a measure of the pressure exerted by the formation fluid on the rock matrix. Pore pressure affects mud weight requirements, which in turn can affect penetration rates. Sticky formations (i.e., "gumbo") can result in bit-balling and reduced penetration rate. There are a number of resources available for determining the locations, depths and properties of formations. Most of these resources consist of information from offset wells, which may include some or all of the following: formation name and age; open-hole logs (i.e., SP/resistivity, gamma ray, neutron, sonic); mud logs; core analyses; drilling and production records; stratigraphic cross sections. In less-drilled areas, of course, these resources may be scarce the drilling engineer then has to make a "best guess" based on whatever geologic information and well records are available. Well depth, hole size and casing program, directional considerations, drilling fluid characteristics and drill string configuration are interrelated "downhole" factors that are a part of the overall well

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program. Well depth is a key aspect, helping define both these other factors and the formation properties already described; it also relates to the capacities and capabilities of the drilling rig.
Bit Information

Both rolling cutter and fixed cutter bits are designed for a wide variety of formation types. Certain bit types, however, are best suited to a particular range of formations. For example, Table 1 below summarizes PDC applications and non-applications.

PDC bits are generally applicable to

PDC bits are generally not applicable to ( angular,

very weak, unconsolidated, hydrateable sediments ( sand, shale, hard cemented sandstones clay ) porosity less than 15 % )

low strength, poorly compacted, nonabrasive precipitates, (salt, hard carbonates ( low porosity limestone anhydrite, marls, chalk ) evaporites or dolomite ) moderately strong, somewhat abrasive ductile sediments ( pyrite, chert, granite, and basalt claystone, shales, porous carbonates )

Table 1. PDC bit applications. The IADC classification system provides a good starting point for comparing bit types and determining which bits might be appropriate for a given situation. Bit records from offset wells, when available, are among the most useful tools for designing a bit program. For specific bit sizes and types, they can provide information regarding depth intervals, footage, rotating time, penetration rates, bit weight, rotational speed, jet nozzle sizes and condition of the bit at the end of the run. Assuming that depth and lithology can be correlated between the offset well and the proposed well, this information can be valuable in estimating bit performance and making an informed selection. Offset bit records do have limitations, one of the most obvious being that they may not contain information for all of the bits that the engineer may be considering. In spite of what bit records might not reveal, however, they can provide a basis for developing and modifying the bit program as drilling progresses, and may contain data that is unavailable elsewhere. Rig Capabilities The drilling engineer must answer the following rig-related questions when deciding whether to run a particular bit type:
Can the rig provide the bit weight and rotating speed (determined from vendor specifications) required to obtain the optimum penetration rate from this bit? Can the mud pumps provide the rates and pressures necessary to provide adequate hydraulics with this bit?

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Since the rig's characteristics are not easily changed, a "no" answer to either of these questions requires selecting a different bit and/or changing the hydraulics program.

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