CHOOSING THE RIGHT DIAMOND TOOL – ELECTROPLATED DIAMONDS
Nearly all cutting, grinding, and polishing tools for concrete and masonry work use diamonds for their sharpness and durability. But how those diamonds are incorporated into the cutting surface make a big difference in how those devices work. Cutting and shaping tools use a thin abrasive surface to grind through material with a smooth, precise cut. This affects not only the design of the tool itself, but how the diamonds are incorporated for the best efficiency in getting the job done.
In order for a cutting tool to be effective, its diamond grit must be continuously available so it can cut efficiently. This is done by bonding the diamonds to the tool in a way so that as it cuts and wears, fresh, unused crystals are brought to the surface. And the choice of binding technique depends on the material being cut.
Electroplated diamond blades and bits bond the diamonds directly to the cutting surface instead of suspending them in a resin or sintered matrix like is done for grinding and polishing pads. This results in a much higher concentration of diamonds and keeps them fully exposed for more aggressive cutting.
As the term implies, electroplating is done by using the principle of electrical attraction to bind diamond grit to a metal cutter. The tool is negatively charged and placed in a tank with positively charged grit, causing the grit to adhere to the surface. Then a nickel layer is electroplated to strengthen the bond of the diamonds to the tool. This results in a dense layer of diamond grit on the cutting surface of the tool.
Electroplating allows binding sharper crystals than vacuum brazing (more on that later), making for a tool that is more aggressive, but somewhat more fragile than vacuum brazed ones. Because of their aggressive cutting, electroplated cutters cut quickly with less heat generated, making them good for softer materials like marble, asphalt, plastics and softer metals as well as for dry cutting where coolants can’t be used. Electroplated tools are usually the least expensive, but also wear out faster than other tools with different binding techniques. Like vacuum brazed tools, they can be stripped and re-plated, an advantage for complex and expensive tools.
Ace Cutting Equipment & Supply has an extensive selection of blades, bits and cutting tools to match the needs of any cutting job. Look through the selections on our website to find the one that’s right for you. And if you have any questions, our cutting experts are just a phone call or email away.
Whatever your concrete cutting, coring, and finishing requirements may be, equipment and tools from Ace Cutting Equipment are your choice for top-quality results. They ensure a professional job with results you’ll be proud to show off.