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PCD Insert (Nib) Sizes

Polycrystalline dies use an abrasion-resistant PCD insert (nib) at the core of each die. A series of “D” numbers were designated to identify the different insert sizes. These sizes range from smaller than a pencil eraser to the size of a hockey puck. Typically the selection of the insert is based on the hole sizes for the die (new and recut sizes).

PCD Insert Dimensions

Die Size PCD Thickness PCD Diameter Carbide Diameter Grain Size Available
D6 fs
D12 fs
.040(1.0mm)
.060(1.5)
.128(3.3mm) no carbide 1, 3, 5, 12
micron
D15 fs
D18 fs
.100(2.5)
.112(2.8)
.140(3.5) no carbide 1, 3, 5, 12
D15
D18
.088(2.2)
.112(2.8)
.150(3.8) .320(8.1) 5, 12, 25
D21
D24
.152(3.9)
.202(5.1)
.268(6.8) .537(13.6) 5, 12, 25
D27
D30
.343(8.7)
.457(11.6)
.500(12.7) .950(24.1) 12, 25

Carbide-Supported PCD Dies (D15, D18, D21, D24, D27, D30)

Most applications can be shoehorned into either “Hard Wire” or “Soft Wire” categories. The figures below can be used as a general guideline for the selection of a PCD insert based on the desired hole size.


Typical Hole Sizes

Hard Wire

Soft Wire

D15
D18
.000in
.00mm
.020in
0.51mm
.040in
1.02mm
.060in
1.52mm
.80in
2.03mm
.100in
2.54mm
.120in
3.05mm

D21
D24
D27
D30
.050in
1.27mm
.100in
2.54mm
.150in
3.81mm
.200in
5.08mm
.250in
6.35mm
.300in
7.62mm
.350in
8.89mm


Freestanding PCD Dies (D6fs, D12fs, D15fs, D18fs)


Typical Hole Sizes

Hard Wire

Soft Wire

D6 fs
D12 fs
D15 fs
D18 fs
.000in
.00mm
.020in
0.51mm
.040in
1.02mm
.060in
1.52mm
.80in
2.03mm
.100in
2.54mm
.120in
3.05mm

What does the ADDMA have to do with wire dies?

ADDMA 8911 refers to the original standards published by the American Diamond Die Manufacturers Association. These standards were established during the early adoption of PCD for use in wire drawing dies to ensure that dies labeled using the D- designation are consistent in size. The standards define the minimum dimensions allowed for each D- designation used on the PCD inserts. Currently, the majority of PCD inserts used in wire dies exceed these dimensions.

Core No. Diameter (mm) Thickness
D6 0.80 0.80
D9 1.10 1.10
D12 1.14 1.40
D15 2.20 2.00
D18 3.10 2.60
D21 4.40 3.60
D24 6.20 5.00
D27 8.60 7.30
D30 11.70 11.30
D33 15.00 15.00
D36 18.00 18.00