Industrial Diamond Facts

Diamonds are used for many industrial settings due to the fact that they are the hardest substance known. Diamonds are a crystalline form of carbon, capable of assuming a variety of shapes, sizes and qualities and are used for grinding, cutting, drilling, polishing and as an abrasive in industrial applications. Although diamonds have a high cost initially, they often cut down on the total labor cost of industrial projects due their efficiency for cutting and grinding.



Diamonds used for industrial purposes vary widely in cost which is based on two factors--size (determined by carat weight) and quality. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams of 1/5 of a gram. Each gram represents five carats. A carat is further defined as having 100 points (the smallest unit of measure in the carat system). Therefore .10 equals 1/10 of a carat, 1.5 equals 1 1/2 carats.

Diamond quality is difficult to assess, determined by highly technical factors representing the considered judgment of a trained diamond expert. For industrial purposes, the best way to judge diamond quality is by performance. The better quality a diamond is, the more structurally sound each individual crystal will be. High-quality diamonds have better shape definition, allowing for longer service and quality dressing action desired on the grinding wheel.


Industrial diamonds can be shaped in a variety of ways as shown below:


An octahedron is an eight-sided diamond that can have up to six usable cutting points depending on the quality of the stone. Octahedrons are generally used for single-point, cluster or radius tools.



This 12-sided diamond has up to eight usable points and similar to the octahedron is used for single-point, cluster or radius tools.



A crystal is an octahedron that is made from eight equilateral triangles with sharply defined points and ridges and up to six usable points. Crystals are primarily used for thread grinding and flute grinding applications where resin-bonded wheels of very fine grit and very fine structures are used.



Ballas diamonds are the only way diamonds occur naturally in a polycrystalline form with no well-defined cleavage. It is usually round in shape and extremely hard. This type of diamond is used primarily for very severe dressing applications where fine RMS is not required and grinding wheels of 36 grits or coarser are used.




Points are long, cigar-shaped diamonds at least three times as long as they are wide. Points are used in cone, radius and indexable diamond tools where a very fine point is needed.



Cubes are rough, have a non-transparent surface coating which is less dense and wear-resistant than the interior portion. Cubes may have non-detrimental cracks or inclusions and are used in low-cost single points and clusters.



A macle is a flat, twined crystal triangular in shape that has up to three usable points. These diamonds are generally used in chisel-shaped diamond tools, as well as radius-forming tools.



Elongated diamonds are egg-shaped and at least twice as long as they are wide. Elongated diamonds are used in cluster, blade, cone, chisel-shaped, radius and indexable diamond dressing tools.