SYNTHETIC VS. INDUSTRIAL DIAMONDS FOR DIAMOND CONCRETE CUTTING TOOLS
We’ve talked about the various ways diamonds are bonded to cutting tools in earlier blogs, but what about the diamonds themselves? What makes them special? Where do they come from? Are they real diamonds, like the ones in jewelry?
Several thousand years ago, people began noticing clear, shiny stones along several rivers in India. Originally used as gemstones in religious icons, it soon became apparent that they were very hard and their sharp edges could be used as tools as well. But it wasn’t until the 19th century that increased supply of diamonds and improved cutting and polishing techniques led to their widespread popularity.
But not all diamonds are clear and sparkly. In fact, only about 10% of mined diamonds are jewelry grade. The remaining 90% are used in industrial applications. These are the ones that are flawed, off-color, or off-shape, making them unsuitable for jewelry. But they’re still the hardest substance on earth, making them ideal for cutting, grinding, and polishing other hard materials. And until recently, while not as expensive as gem-quality stones, industrial diamonds were still pretty expensive, restricting their use to tools that could justify their cost.
Then, in the early 1950s, a chemist named H. Tracey Hall discovered a way to successfully synthesize diamonds in laboratory conditions. The synthetic diamond industry was born and has since developed into a multi-billion-dollar business, offering the superior cutting, grinding, and polishing of industrial diamonds at a much lower cost. Today, natural diamonds are restricted to specialty tools where synthetic diamonds aren’t suitable.
So are synthetic diamonds weaker or lower quality than natural ones? Not at all. In fact, some synthetic diamonds are jewelry-grade. But since they are manufactured, much more control can be exercised over their shape and hardness, bringing further benefits to the tooling industry. Even though both natural and synthetic diamonds of any type are still the hardest substance, each has some variation in hardness and cohesiveness. Rather than the laborious (and expensive) sorting and grading needed for natural diamonds, synthetic stones can be produced for different uses. Harder grit is used for cutting blades and bits, while more easily crumbled stones are the choice for grinding and polishing.
Also, it takes about 250 tons of earth to be mined to produce one carat of diamond, so synthetic diamonds greatly reduce the environmental impact of diamond production, not to mention the negative socio-economic and political factors that come into play in some places where diamonds are mined.
Bonding techniques are very important in making high-quality tools, but diamond quality is utmost. Ace Cutting Equipment and Supply has a wide selection of diamond tools for cutting, grinding, and polishing concrete, masonry, and stone. And we have the experts to guide you to the ones that will give professional quality results you’ll be proud of.
Whatever your concrete cutting, coring, and finishing requirements may be, equipment and tools from Ace Cutting Equipment are your choice for top-quality results.