What is PCD?
Polycrystalline diamond is, as the name may suggest, a single diamond made up from many smaller diamond crystals! The process of forming PCD takes grit formed from tiny pieces of diamond and fuses it back together into a single form. As diamond is a super hard material, the forming of PCD tools for industry use has caused huge technological advances in the machining of materials over the last few decades.
How is Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) Made?
PCD is created through a process known as sintering. Sintering is the process of converting loose particles into a single solid mass without melting them together. This means applying pressure and heat to the point where the particles fuse together; but not so much that the individual particles lose their shape and melt into one solid piece. With PCD, fine diamond particles are sintered together with the aid of a tungsten carbide substrate to act as the catalyst and solvent. Because of the introduction of tungsten carbide, PCD can be considered a composite material.
What Benefits does Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) Have?
PCD brings the thermal conductivity, natural hardness, and abrasion resistance of diamond. Combined with the tensile strength of tungsten carbide. This creates an incredibly tough surface that can be used to shape, cut, or drill into other materials. It can also be used to achieve reliable and long-lasting results even in ultra-high precision machining.
What is Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) Used For?
PCD is used for a range of applications, but its use in machining materials forms the bulk of its industry application. PCD tipped cutting and milling tools can be used in machining other materials of any hardness with precision and ease. PCD tipped tools can be used to in the machining of dense metals and other hard materials without the rapid wear of the tools, providing extended longevity of the machining parts and endmills. At the same time, PCD milling cutters can be used on non-ferrous materials and splinter-prone timber products such as chipboard and high-density fibreboard (HDF) and composites like carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) and wood plastic composites (WPC) without causing damage due to the fine and precise tips crafted by PCD.