When we think of diamonds, our first inclination is to think about stunning diamonds set in gold or platinum and displayed in rings, necklaces, and even crowns across the world. However, diamonds are also one of the hardest materials on Earth, ranking as a 10 (out of 10) on the Mohs scale of hardness, lending itself to many more unique uses other than fantastic jewels. For instance, diamonds make fantastic tools not only due to its hardness, but also because it is chemically inert, corrosion resistant, and abrasion resistant.
Diamond Tooling: How Is It Used?
Diamonds are used in a wide range of cutting tools including saw blades, diamond chains, and diamond pipe beveling. One industry that predominantly utilizes diamond tooling technology is the concrete grinding industry. A growing trend among business owners and homeowners alike is concrete flooring. Concrete is a versatile material that, when polished with a concrete diamond grinder, produces a beautifully smooth surface that can be sealed, coated, and/or painted at a reasonable cost. Diamond grinders for concrete floors contain bits of diamond that repairs pits and divots in the concrete. The size of the bits depends on the intensity of the job. If you’re faced with a challenging job that requires intense grinding efforts, larger diamond bits are the best option. If the purpose of the job is to polish, the smaller diamond bits are the right choice.
Synthetic diamonds are used in diamond tooling. Synthetic diamonds allow manufacturers to control the size and shape of the diamond bits. Chips of diamond are then suspended in a bond, typically of resin, metal, carbides, or a hybrid. The type of bond depends on the job. Resin-bonded diamond tools are the most popular as they are the most aggressive and have the most applications. Metal bonded diamonds are excellent for removing adhesives. Carbide bonded diamonds are best for jobs involving sticky adhesives, where a smooth finish is required.
Diamond blades are the best tool for “cutting concrete,” be it for a sidewalk, flooring, or even countertop. While we say the blades cut the diamonds, the process works less like a diamond “knife” and more like an intense friction that grinds a piece of concrete to create a “cut.” Diamond blades are known for their durability and ease of use. They are perfect for the construction crew or even the DIY homeowner. The larger the slab of concrete the more difficult it is to cut, but with a diamond blade, cutting through slabs of concrete is a breeze.
Heat plays a major factor in the performance of a blade, and diamond blades are no different. Diamond blades work best for wet-cutting concrete surfaces. Wet cutting ensures the longevity of the diamond blade while reducing heat and reducing the number of dust particles in the air. Dry cutting, generally with a segmented blade, is not off-limits with diamond blades, however, but it is usually used for smaller jobs and should be done outside due to the amount of dust created.
U.S.SAWS has a wide variety of diamond blade saws for all jobs great and small.
Chainsaws benefit from synthetic diamonds as well. The chains contain utilizes diamond segments which are fused to the chain in place in the usual chainsaw teeth. Much like the diamond blades, the diamond chains grind away materials in order to create a cut and are used with concrete, bricks, and stones. The benefit of these diamond chains is that they are much safer to operate than the standard chainsaw as they do not produce any kickback. Diamond chainsaws also use a long, flat guide bar that allows the saw to cut deeper than any circular blade. While diamond chains may come at a higher cost, the benefits reaped from no kickback and deeper, cleaner cuts make the price tag much more palatable.
U.S.SAWS offers multiple diamond chains and chainsaws, including a Heavy Duty Gas Concrete Chain Saw with ProForce Diamond Chain. This incredibly versatile gas-powered saw offers guide bar lengths of 12” to 16” and uses a powerhead series of diamond chains. It is best used on concrete and stone.
Diamond Cup Wheels
Another handy diamond-infused concrete tool is the diamond cup wheel. Much like sandpaper, the diamond cup wheels are measured by grit. The diamond cup wheel is mounted to the concrete grinder and used as an abrasive force to grind down concrete for a smooth finish. Much like the diamond blade, diamond cup wheels may be used for wet or dry cutting. They also come in a variety of grits depending on the job at hand, from adhesive removal to profiling hard surfaces.
U.S.SAWS is able to take care of all your diamond cup wheel needs, including a 5” 4 Single Row Quarter Round PCD Cup that is great for handheld grinders being used to remove thick coatings like epoxy or urethane.
Contact U.S.SAWS today to add some diamond power to your toolbox.