Diamond the hardest material on earth. The strength of all diamonds come from the diamond cubic lattice that is formed only with carbon atoms. Our diamonds are not mined from the earth, they are synthetic diamonds that are produced in high tech laboratories. These synthetic diamonds are called Polycrystalline Diamonds (PCD).
The application and terminology varies applying synthetic diamonds to tools:
- Diamond Tipped Tools: PCD wafers are applied to the blank, most common tipped tools are carbide inserts
- CVD Diamond Coated Endmills/Drills: Utilizes chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to grow synthetic diamond onto the blank
- Diamond Grit Coating: Diamond grit compound is adhered to the blank by using either resin, electrolysis, or brazing techniques
High grinding efficiency, Low grinding force: Less heat will be generated in the grinding process. This can decrease or avoid burns and cracks on the surface of the tool, and decrease the equipment's wear and energy consumption.
High wear resistance: Diamond tooling change in dimension is small. This can lead to good quality and high precision.
Long lifespan: Diamond lasts longer than other tool materials. This increases productivity by reducing the need for frequent tool changes and machine down time.
Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) can be used to cut non-ferrous materials including, but not limited to:
- Carbon/Carbon Fiber
- Green Carbide
- Green Ceramics
Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN) can be used to cut ferrous materials including, but not limited to:
- Alloy Steels
- Tool Steels
- High Speed Steel
PCD tipped inserts will typically have 25x better tool life than traditional carbide inserts. However PCD inserts are more expensive than carbide inserts, yet over time, tooling cost is reduced due to the longevity of the PCD tools.
Efficient tools = less machine down time. Every-time a carbide insert breaks down, the operator must take time to change out the tooling. PCD tools will prevent machine down time, and even allow the machines to be run "lights out" confidently.
CVD Diamond Coating provides excellent wear resistance and tool life. Diamond coating has superior tool life improvement over carbide, depending on the grade of coating:
- ND15: 20x-50x
- ND10: 20-30x
- ND5: 6x-8x (Diamond Like Coating
CVD Diamond Coated endmills and drills also give great surface finish and prevent less edge breaks than carbide.
Diamond Grit Coating is a synthetic diamond compound that is adheard to blanks like wheels, blades, and core drills/hole saws. Grit coating can be applied by using the following methods:
- Resin Bond
- Metal Bond
Grit coating is best used for grinding, but can be used for cutting in some applications.