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Understanding Diamond Blades

1. Diamond Blade Fabrication
Diamond blades consist of four components: diamond crystals, a bonding system, a segment, and a metal core.

Diamond Crystals
The diamond crystals in MK blades are synthetic (man-made) rather than natural. This gives them a consistency that can be relied upon during the enormous stresses they encounter while grinding. The foremost performance factor in diamond-blade sawing is the type, concentration and size of these diamond crystals. The extensive diamond aptitude and sawing expertise MK has acquired goes into the selection of the proper diamond crystals for our wide range of blades

Bonding Matrix
Diamond crystals are held in place by a sintering process of specially blended metal powders. This bonding matrix is crucial to the overall performance of the MK diamond blade and serves several vital functions:

  • Disperses and supports the diamonds
  • Provides controlled wear while allowing diamond protrusion
  • Prevents diamond “pull-out”
  • Acts as a heat sink
  • Distributes impact and load as the diamond attacks the cutting surface

During the sawing action, the wearing away of the matrix exposes new diamond crystals providing fresh cutting points for the blade.

Metal Bonds
The diamond crystals and bonding matrix are heated and shaped into specially engineered rims / segments. These rims / segments are wider than the blade core to which they will be attached, and provide the clearance to promote material discharge and discourage blade binding. The rims / segments are specifically designed to wear at a rate appropriate to the material being cut. Large particles of soft, abrasive materials wear down the matrix faster than the small particles removed from hard dense materials. Therefore, softer, more abrasive materials require a “tough to wear” (hard) bond; less abrasive materials require an “easy wear” (soft) bond.

Premium Steel Core
The diamond saw blade cores are made from high alloy, heat-treated steel. Depending on the type of blade selected, the steel cores are specifically designed to support the appropriate rim or segment. About the periphery of the core, the various rims or segments are affixed through a brazing or laser welding process. An arbor hole is precisely bored in the center, and the entire core is “tensioned” or tuned so that the stresses of centripetal force are minimized, permitting the blade to spin true on the spindle.

2. Understanding Diamond Blades As Cutting Tools
In general, a diamond blade's performance is measured in two ways. The first is how proficiently the blade grinds through the material; the second is the life of the blade or total footage yielded by the blade. There are a variety of MK diamond blade models and designs from which to choose. Each blade is meticulously engineered to provide cutability, longevity and safety. When you select the best-suited diamond blade for the job / application / material, you will ensure peak performance and maximum investment return.

How the Diamond Blade Works
Diamond blades do not really cut, instead they grind material through an action of friction with the synthetic diamond-bonding matrix. The diamond crystals, often visible at the leading edge and sides of the rim / segment, remove material by scratching out particles of hard, dense materials, or by knocking out larger particles of loosely bonded abrasive material. This process eventually cracks or fractures the diamond particle, breaking it down into smaller pieces. As a result of this phenomenon, a diamond blade for cutting soft, abrasive material must have a hard metal matrix composition to resist this erosion long enough for the exposed diamonds to be properly utilized. Conversely, a blade for cutting a hard, non-abrasive material must have a soft bond to ensure that it will erode and expose the diamonds embedded in the matrix. These simple principles are the foundation of “controlled bond erosion.”

Types of Diamond Blade Cutting
There are two basic types of cutting – dry or wet. The best choice of blade depends upon:

  • The requirements of the job
  • The machine / tool utilizing the diamond blade
  • The preference of the operator

In the case of DRY cutting, the overwhelming popularity and quantity of hand-held saws and the flexible nature of MK Diamond blades to professionally handle most ceramic, masonry, stone and concrete materials, make the DRY cutting blade a very attractive tool.

When using a DRY blade, the user must be aware of distinct operating practices to ensure optimum performance. DRY cutting blades require sufficient airflow about the blade to prevent overheating of the steel core. This is best accomplished by shallow, intermittent cuts of the material along with periods of “free-spinning” for several seconds to maximize the cooling process.

For WET cutting applications, MK has the exact blade to complement both the material to be cut and the wet-cutting machine to be used. During cutting operations, liberal amounts of water act as a coolant to support the cutting effectiveness and longevity of the WET blade. Additionally, using water adds to the overall safety of cutting operations by keeping the dust signature down.