For most people, when diamonds come to mind it is in the form of jewellery and similar embellishments. While diamonds do have a defining role in jewellery making and wearing, diamonds that are of suitable commercial, or “gem quality”, actually only make up about 30% of the diamond mining industry.
The other 70% of diamonds mined are used for industrial applications. While this may come as a surprise, with diamonds being the hardest known substance on earth which can withstand extreme heat, it is no wonder that they are valued for a variety of industrial uses.
Diamond Suspension is just one of these purposes, where diamonds are used for polishing, cutting and grinding metals in many industrial processes.
Diamonds can also be used in a wide array of other specificities such as:
- Wire drawing
- Polishing computer disk drives and silicon wafers
- Heat sinks in electrical circuits
- Lenses for laser radiation
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While most mined diamonds are used for industrially, the majority of diamonds used for industrial purposes are actually synthetically manufactured. A whopping 97% of diamonds are in fact synthetically manufactured.
While synthetically diamonds are made of the exact same chemical components of naturally formed diamonds, synthetic diamonds are popular due to their ability to be mass manufactured. Synthetic diamonds can also be made for specific purposes.
Some of the main consumers of industrial diamonds are:
- Stone cutting and polishing
- Transportation including vehicles and infrastructure
- Computer chip production
- Mining including natural gas, oil procurement and mineral drilling
- Machinery manufacturing
How are synthetic diamonds made?
Synthetic diamonds are made under high-temperature and high-pressure environments. This technology is called HPHT (High-pressure, high-temperature). Another method used to make synthetic diamonds is Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).
While both methods form diamonds, they work in the opposite ways that where HPHT uses high pressure and temperature for graphite and carbon to make the rock, CVD makes diamonds by using a low pressure and temperature.
Because CVD is the lower-cost process of the two, it has become the most favoured method to produce diamonds. This process also produces diamonds that have a natural appearance, which has allowed them to gain popularity in the commercial market.
It is possible to see whether a diamond has been made synthetically or naturally however, which avoids the counterfeit selling of man-made diamonds commercially.