Precision Industrial Diamond Tooling
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PCD Tooling

Polycrystalline diamond (PCD) tool materials typically provide abrasion resistance up to 500 times that of tungsten carbide. In addition to superior abrasion resistance, PCD's high thermal conductivity allows heat to be transferred away from the cutting edge, preventing rapid tool wear.

PCD tools have replaced tungsten carbide, ceramics and natural diamond in a range of high-performance applications including the turning, boring, milling, slotting, and chamfering of materials such as high-silicon aluminum, metal matrix composites (MMC), ceramics, reinforced epoxies, plastics, carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), and engineered wood products.

The extended tool life and increased productivity provided by PCD tools often offset the higher initial cost by lowering the unit cost of parts produced. Useful tool life may be further extended through multiple resharpenings.

PCD products are used extensively in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, woodworking, and optical industries. The application of certain advanced aerospace materials such as CFRP, is now practical because of manufacturing techniques using PCD tooling. PCD tools are advantageous for machining a wide variety of materials; however, PCD is not suitable for machining steels, irons, and other ferrous alloys due to chemical interaction between the tool and the workpiece.

PCD Grade Selection

Selecting the optimum grade of PCD tooling for a specific application is generally a function of surface finish requirements and tool life expectations. Material removal rates, tool geometries, and material characteristics also affect the relationship between machining productivity, tool life and surface finish.

Coarse grade PCD is designed with a larger diamond particle size than a fine grade PCD. Generally, PCD with larger diamond particle exhibits greater abrasion resistance, but results in rougher cutting edge. Coversely, smaller diamond particle will result in a sharper cutting edge, producing a superior workpiece surface finish, but tool life is reduced.

PCD Technology

Diamond is the hardest, and therefore, the most abrasion resistant of all materials. PCD is a composite of individual diamond particles sintered together in an inter-connected network. The spaces between the particles are filled with a metallic second phase material.

PCD is formed by applying ultra-high pressure and high temperature to diamond powder. The metallic second plase material infiltrates from a tungsten carbide substrate during the sintering process. This molten metal acts as a solvent/catalyst to bond the diamond grains together. The resultant polycrystalline material exhibits the extreme wear resistance of diamond and is complimented by the toughness of the metallic second phase material. Due to the random orientation of its diamond crystals, the material properties of PCD are uniform in all directions

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