Diamonds are known to be the hardest natural material on earth. It should not be surprising that many industries actually make use of these precious stones as part of their heavy-duty machinery. The diamond cutting wheel, for instance, has a periphery that contains industrial diamond segments or teeth bonded to a base material. The diamond segments are composed of metal powder and tiny diamond crystals, which form the matrix of bond of the segments. The cutting wheel is used for grinding extremely hard material such as concrete, carbide tips, and gemstones.
The primary factor in selecting which diamond wheel to use for cutting is to see how the bond scrapes through the material that is supposed to be cut. The rate by which the metal powders wear down and expose new diamond crystals at the surface decides the compatibility of the diamond cutting wheel to the material. The bond of the wheel’s teeth needs to be soft so that the metal powder wears down quickly, exposing the diamond crystals that maintain the sharpness of the cutting wheel’s edge.
The diamond cutting wheel cannot be used to cut through steel or iron, as friction between these metals and the diamond segments release carbon, an element that can dissolve into the matrix edge and lead to tool wear and work hardening. Machining agents use three other hard compounds in the place of diamonds for cutting steel and iron: Aluminum oxide, silicon nitride, and cubic boron nitride, which is the second hardest known material after the diamond.
The Continental Diamond Tool Corp. (CDT) is machining company that creates high quality standard and custom diamond drilling equipment. For over thirty years, the company has serviced the industrial field with high-quality diamond bonded equipment such as the diamond cutting wheel. For more information about the company and its products and services, visit http://www.cdtusa.net or call 800-443-6629.