Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. has announced the launch of a new range of micromachining cutting tools tipped with nano-polycrystalline diamond, called ‘Sumidia Binderless’. A.L.M.T. Corporation, a Sumitomo Electric group company, will also launch ultra-high precision machining cutting tools with a cutting edge incorporating the same material.
Diamond is used as a cutting edge material on cutting tools and wear-resistant tools. In addition to the use of natural diamonds, sintered diamonds and synthetic single-crystal diamond are widely used. Sintered diamonds are made by sintering fine diamond grains with a metal binder, while synthetic single-crystal diamonds are grown under high-temperature and ultra-high pressure conditions similar to those found in nature.
Natural and synthetic single-crystal diamonds are generally considered to be the hardest material on Earth. They are excellent as an industrial material, but have the drawback of being easy to split (cleave) or wear in a specific direction, due to the nature of their crystalline structure. In contrast, sintered diamond has a polycrystalline structure and is free from cleavage, but is lower in hardness than single-crystal diamonds because it contains metallic binder particles.
The nano-polycrystalline diamond ‘Sumidia Binderless’ developed by Sumitomo Electric has a single-phase nano-polycrystalline body synthesized by the strong and direct bonding of fine diamond grains of several tens of nanometers.
“It is a totally innovative synthetic diamond produced by a special technique under higher temperature and pressure. Containing no binder material, this single-phase polycrystalline diamond is harder than single-crystal diamonds and overcomes their drawback, i.e., cleavage. It may be called the ultimate diamond, surpassing ordinary diamonds”, states the company.
Edited by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]