"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

Grinding tool

In the Rough — Diamonds in Construction

Forget about the head of a wedding ring and think more along the edges of a circular saw. Diamonds are common elements in some of the hardiest construction tools, shaping the modern world in a not so glamorous but valuable way.

Created for Hard Labor

Diamond tools do have diamonds in them, not just the type you see in jewelry. Diamonds used in construction are usually synthetic or made from diamond grits fused to form polycrystalline diamond compacts (PDCs). Integrating PDCs into tools will increase the sharpness and durability of their cutting edge, although they technically grind instead of cut. Diamond tools last longer, can cut or drill through any surface, and make tasks significantly easier.

Blades and Saws

Diamond cutting tools are quite common, and you’ve probably seen them in use a few times already. They are often used for cutting cement or similarly hard and dense materials, particularly granite and marble. Fixing or modifying existing roads or building floors go a lot smoother with the use of diamond saw blades. These blades are sintered or coated with fused diamond powder. They can be silver-brazed or laser-welded for higher loads or harder surfaces. They may require high speeds and horsepower for certain surfaces or materials. No matter the material, the hardness of diamonds significantly cuts workloads and allows for longer operations. You may find diamond blades and saws extensively used in the manufacturing industry, including automotive and aerospace.

Drills and Coring Machines

Drill

Diamond is the hardest material currently available, and using it to coat coring bits for drilling will enable tools to punch through any surface. Diamond-coated drill bits have been around since the 1970s when General Electric started using PDCs instead of natural diamonds.

Diamond coring bits are the go-to tools in construction to route pipelines or electrical wiring. Larger coring machines can even be used to dig manholes. Tunnel boring machines also use PDC-coated bits, ensuring longer operating hours and reducing the chances of overheating.

Grinding and Polishing Machines

Diamonds can grind any surface, and diamond grades of grinders are used in finishing concrete. Diamond polishing pads can create a mirror-like surface in concrete, giving it the appearance of granite or marble. Creating a polished surface will usually require six to 12 grades of grinders, with each one being finer than the previous one. One advantage of using concrete is that you can add dye to customize its color before you polish it to a mirror finish.

Another way to use diamonds is through the form of a paste or slush made for polishing glass (in lenses), polishing and sharpening metals, or polishing other diamonds.

TV commercials and billboard advertisements may have bombarded you with images of expensive jewelry set of diamond rings and pendants. But keep in mind that diamonds have more practical uses than merely professing your love to your fiancé or giving your mother a precious gift. They are an essential part of the construction industry, helping to build the modern world as you know it.

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