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What is Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) Tooling?

What is Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) Tooling?

PCD (Polycrystalline Diamond) has been used in the wood/composites industry for over 40 years due to its abrasion resistant properties and hardness.  This synthetic cutting edge material was pioneered by the DeBeers company (famed for their natural diamond mining history) and General Electric’s Specialty Materials Division.   Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD for short) is composed of diamond particles that are sintered with a metallic binder at extreme high temperatures and pressures,  creating the hardest, and one of the most abrasion resistant materials used in cutting tools today.  The manufacturers of synthetic diamond (a handful or them worldwide),  sell their laboratory grown diamond products to many diverse industries, the cutting tool industry being only one of them, for use in the production of cutting tools.  Tooling that utilizes this synthetic diamond material is now used in a wide range of machining applications including sawing, routing, drilling and profiling, to maximize tool life and reduce overall production cost.    Ideal material applications include cutting chipboard, MDF, particle board, HDF,  and many composite materials including solid surface, cement fibre board, fiberglass and phenolic.

PCD Diamond Saw Blade
PCD Saw Blades are excellent options for cutting abrasive materials on panel saws, sliding table saws and other special sawing machines

Diamond Premill Cutters, for example,  are used extensively on Edgebanding machines to premill the edge surface to be edgebanded, usually MDF or particleboard, and often runs without a tool change for well over a year before the cutter needs to be sharpened.  This offers a tremendous cost savings in machine downtime and the otherwise sharpening cost of a considerable number of carbide tools that one diamond tool replaces.

PCD (Diamond) Premill Cutter
PCD Premill Cutter for use on Edgebander Machines.

Like tungsten carbide, PCD is available in multiple quality grades.  Most machine applications are supplied with standard quality grades with varying grain size. More demanding applications may be supplied with coarser grain or a “polished” tip.  Polished PCD helps prevent material buildup on the cutting surface (face) which improves tool performance due to less heat generating in the cut.  If you are considering using diamond tooling or if you have any questions concerning the feasibility of using polycrystalline diamond tooling, you can count on GDP Tooling experts to provide the guidance and knowledge to solve your most difficult machining applications, contact us via email to call us today at 800-544-8436.  In addition to delivering state-of-the-art PCD tools, we also sharpen PCD in-house at our facility in Marietta, GA, to include cutters supplied by other manufacturers.