Matrix Selection Chart

Click here to download the Matrix Selection Chart in .pdf format. (94kb)

Dimatec’s impregnated diamond matrix identification system provides a simple means of determining the correct matrix type to use for your job. The various matrix types are identified through the use of code numbers such as “D7”, “HR8” or “S9”. The alpha characters designate the matrix series while the numerals designate the relative hardness of the bit’s matrix. In general, an impregnated diamond bit with a low identifying number such as “S3” would be used to drill a relatively soft, fractured and abrasive formation. As the numbers increase, the matrices are intended for use in increasingly harder formations up to the highest number, “HR14”, which would be used to drill an ultra hard, highly consolidated, non-abrasive formation.

When selecting a matrix type, consideration should be given to the capabilities of the drilling equipment in terms of its ability to function within Dimatec’s recommended operating parameters. It may be necessary to select a harder or softer S-Series, HR-Series or D-Series matrix type than what is recommended in the Dimatec matrix selection chart in order to address drilling equipment limitations. Consideration should also be given to variations in geological conditions that may require the use of more than one matrix type on a particular job site.

Application of Specific Matrix Types by Series

S3 Matrix Characteristics

  • The most wear resistant matrix type offered by Dimatec.
  • Designed for use on high-powered drills in formations such as Sandstone where the conditions are often broken and highly abrasive.
  • Not effective in hard, fine-grained formations.
  • This matrix requires highly abrasive conditions within the formation being drilled in order to maintain sharpness and high rates of penetration.

S6 Matrix Characteristics

  • Designed for use on high-powered drills in hard, abrasive and broken formations with mixtures of softer and harder rock.
  • Provides good rates of penetration while achieving good bit life in blended sedimentary and metamorphic formations.
  • Where small slips of harder rock are present in abrasive rock of medium hardness, the S6 Matrix will often cut the harder sections without increasing bit load or torque.

S7 and S8 Matrix Characteristics

  • Highly durable matrices that can withstand higher bit loads (weight-on-bit).
  • Provides above average rates of penetration in medium-soft to medium-hard rock types that possess a visible grain structure.
  • Well suited for use in formations with a hardness in the Mohs 5 to 7 range.
  • The S8 Matrix is more free cutting and will often provide better rates of penetration than the S7. range.
  • The S7 Matrix will provide better overall bit life than the S8 when used in similar conditions and under similar drilling parameters.
  • The S7 Matrix generally requires higher bit loads (weight-on-bit) and is not recommended for use on light-weight and/or low-powered drills.

S9 Matrix Characteristics

  • The S9 Matrix has an exceptionally broad range of application in a variety of softer abrasive to harder non-abrasive rock types.
  • Designed for use on high-powered drills.
  • Readily self-sharpens and provides good bit life as well as consistently high penetration rates, even when used in changing formations.

S10 Matrix Characteristics

  • Suitable for use in a broad range of rock types with coarse to fine grain structures in the Mohs 5 to 7+ hardness range.
  • Although the S10 Matrix can withstand higher bit loads, it can also provide good rates of penetration at lower bit loads without the need for frequent driller intervention to sharpen the bit.

S11 Matrix Characteristics

  • The S11 Matrix has an exceptionally broad range of application in a variety of harder formations with either coarse or fine grain structures.
  • Designed for use on high-powered drills.
  • Readily self-sharpens and provides good bit life as well as consistently high penetration rates, even when used in changing formations.

S12 Matrix Characteristics

  • Designed for use in drilling hard to very hard formations that possess fine to very fine grain structures with a hardness in the Mohs 6 to 7.5+ range.
  • The S12 Matrix will provide steady penetration under higher bit loads in very hard, fine grained formations while still providing good overall bit life.

HR7 Matrix Characteristics

  • Designed for use in hard, abrasive and broken formations with mixtures of softer and hard rock.
  • Provides good rates of penetration with relatively low bit loads while achieving good bit life in blended medium and hard formations. (Mohs 4 to 7).
  • Where small slips of harder rock are present in abrasive rock of medium hardness, the HR7 Matrix will often cut the harder sections without increasing bit load or torque.
  • The use of a higher fluid circulation rate is recommended when drilling harder formations.

HR8 and HR9 Matrix Characteristics

  • Designed for use in drilling Granite, Quartz, Rhyolite as well as blends of medium/hard formations with hardness in the Mohs 5 to 7+ range.
  • The HR9 Matrix is more free cutting and will often provide better rates of penetration than the HR8 when lower bit loads and higher fluid circulation rates are applied.
  • The HR8 Matrix will provide better overall bit life than the HR9 when used in similar conditions and under similar drilling parameters.

HR10 Matrix Characteristics

  • This matrix drills somewhat softer than the HR9 thus allowing it to cut finer grained, harder formations in the Mohs 5.5 to 7+ range.
  • While overall bit life may not be as great as that of the HR8 and HR9 matrices, hard formations can be drilled for longer periods than either of these matrix types before intervention by the driller is needed to sharpen the bit. This requires the use of higher fluid circulation rates, lower torque and lower bit loads.

HR11 Matrix Characteristics

  • Designed for use in drilling hard formations such as Altered Quartzite and Silicated Granite in the Mohs 5.5 to 7.5+ range.
  • Also works well in very hard (Mohs 7+) rock that has visible grain structures with some abrasion or in ultra hard rock that is predominantly abrasive.

HR12 Matrix Characteristics

  • Designed for use in drilling ultra-hard, fine-grained and non-abrasive formations in the Mohs 5.5 to 7.5+ range.
  • Typical rock types for the application of the HR12 Matrix include: Chert, Silicated Rhyolite and Taconite.
  • Lower rotational speeds may be required when drilling ultra-hard formations in order to maintain a steady rate of penetration.
  • Well suited for use on low-powered drills in hard formations.

HR13 and HR14 Matrix Characteristics

  • In terms of their range of application, the HR13 Matrix is analogous to the HR11 while the HR14 Matrix is analogous to the HR12.
  • These matrices are intended to be applied in hard to ultra-hard, non-abrasive formations with very fine grain structures.
  • The HR13 and HR14 matrices are designed specifically for use on high powered hydrostatic drilling equipment.

D2 Matrix Characteristics

  • The hardest matrix type in the D-Series range.
  • Designed for use in highly abrasive formations such as Sandstone where the conditions are often broken and abrasive.
  • Not effective in hard, fine-grained formations.
  • This matrix requires highly abrasive conditions within the formation being drilled in order to maintain sharpness and high rates of penetration.

D3, D4, D5 and D6 Matrix Characteristics

  • Matrix hardness decreases from the D3 through to the D6.
  • These are general purpose matrices that should be used in medium to coarse-grained formations that are considered to be relatively soft to medium-hard. (Mohs 3 to 6 hardness).
  • The D3 Matrix is intended for use on higher powered drills.
  • Use a higher numbered D-Series matrix if the rate of penetration is too low and/or the bit is difficult to sharpen due to the formation being predominantly medium-hard.

D7 Matrix Characteristics

  • Designed for use in formations that contain medium to coarse grained rock that ranges in hardness from Mohs 4 to 6.5+ and that may contain harder lens caps or slips of rock in the Mohs 6.5 to 7 range.
  • Provides good overall bit life in harder formations but may require periodic in-hole sharpening in order to maintain satisfactory rates of penetration (ROP) without having to apply higher bit loads.
  • Requires higher bit loads in order to maintain a satisfactory ROP if the formation’s structure becomes very fine-grained. Under these conditions, frequent intervention by the driller to sharpen the bit may be necessary as well.
  • Well suited for use on high powered drills in relatively fine-grained conditions.
  • An appropriate selection for drilling abrasive Grano-Diorites and some abrasive Granites.

D8 Matrix Characteristics

  • Designed for use in hard rock mixtures where Grano-Diorites are present along with finer grained Quartz slips or sections of rock that have a high Silicate content.
  • Typically requires higher bit loads in hard rock.
  • Provides good rates of penetration in medium-hard rock (Mohs 5 to 7+) with finer grain structures such as Basalt or Mafic type formations.

D9 and D10 Matrix Characteristics

  • Both the D9 and the D10 matrices are well suited for use in hard rock drilling applications.
  • In finer grained, hard-rock conditions (Mohs 5.5 to 7+) such as Silicified Quartz, Rhyolite or Banded Iron Formation (BIF): The D10 Matrix will frequently provide better overall bit life with a steady cutting action while the D9 Matrix may provide better rates of penetration and will permit the application of lower bit loads. The D9 Matrix will generally have a better response to in-hole sharpening techniques than the D10.