HOW DO DIAMOND TOOLS WORK?
Diamonds don’t actually cut. They generate friction and grind the material they come into contact with into a fine powder. As part of the manufacturing process, the diamond segment or rim gets ‘broken in’, meaning the top layer gets ground away to expose individual diamond crystals that then do the grinding work. These diamonds are locked in place by a metal alloy, the so-called bond, which wears away over time exposing new diamonds to the surface. They are further supported by the comet tail or bond tail which develops behind the diamonds, indicating the direction in which the segment is intended to move. The bond plays a crucial role in a diamond tool’s performance as it determines the strength of the material that can be cut or ground. With time the diamonds fracture or are pulled out of the bond. Simultaneously the bond wears away exposing new diamonds. Here it is important to select the right bond for the material being cut. A correctly formulated bond holds the diamonds in place just long enough to get maximum use from the crystals before releasing them and exposing the next layer of diamond.
1. The actual grinding work is done by exposed diamond crystals that are held in place by the metal matrix or bond. Each diamond is supported by a bond tail which trails behind the diamond. While the blade rotates through the material, the exposed diamonds on the surface grind the material.
2. The exposed diamonds begin to crack and fracture after passing through the material several thousand times. Simultaneously the bond starts to wear away
3. Eventually the diamonds fracture completely and are swept away with the material being ground. When wet grinding, this material, together with the water, forms a slurry.
4. Once a diamond has been pulled out, the bond continues to wear away and exposes a further diamond. This cycle repeats itself until the segment is worn to the core.
As a rule of thumb, the harder the material, the softer the bond should be and vice versa – opposites attract! When cutting very abrasive material such as asphalt, the bond needs to be hard otherwise it will wear away too fast, causing the diamonds to fall out too soon. A strong bond, however, will support the diamonds and increase the life of the blade. On the other hand, when cutting a hard material such as hard clay pavers the bond needs to be soft or else it will not wear away fast enough, resulting in the segments glazing over. The only diamonds Syntec uses are high quality, synthetic diamonds as they are generally stronger, last longer, withstand higher temperatures and are more uniform in their characteristics than natural diamonds, resulting in a tool that will perform more consistently.