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US Synthetic Wiredie authors paper in industry magazine

DIAMOND. Even the mention of the word fills the mind with a multitude of thoughts and images. The Greek word for diamond is "Adamas" meaning unconquerable and indestructible. Diamond is the transparent form of pure carbon, a natural crystalline substance that is the hardest material known to man. Natural diamonds are one of the oldest items in existence, nearly 3 billion years old or two thirds the age of the Earth itself; they were formed and crystallized eons ago under incredible heat and pressure deep within the earth then pushed to the surface through volcanic forces where they were scattered along rivers and into oceans.

As a result of the inherent benefits of diamond, it is no wonder that scientists and engineers have sought methods to replicate diamonds and manufacture them through a repeatable process. It wasn't until the mid 1950s, when a small research team at General Electric achieved this major breakthrough. Using a high-temperature, high-pressure apparatus, the superpressure team was finally successful at converting ordinary graphite into the hardest material known to man: diamond. The ability to duplicate nature's secret has sparked interest in applying diamond to a large number of applications-including diamond wire dies-that previously appeared impractical.

Today's wire manufacturers know that the right material makes all of the difference. For wire professionals looking to reduce the total cost of production without sacrificing quality, diamond wire dies are the perfect choice. Wire dies that contain industrial diamond technology are simply more abrasion resistant, which helps wire makers maintain tolerances longer than other traditional, metal-based dies.

As more and more wire manufacturers consider applying diamond dies within their wire business, it's important to understand the basics of industrial diamond material and its development. In the early days of industrial diamond manufacturing, diamond synthesis led to the development of polycrystalline diamond (PCD). This material has several important advantages over single crystal diamonds. First, PCD offers a much greater toughness due to the random orientation of the natural cleavage planes found in individual crystals, providing more uniform wear and toughness than a single crystal diamond. Additionally, PCD provides more flexibility in size and shape than is feasible in single crystal diamonds, allowing a wider variety of tools to be made.

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