Industrial diamonds: A step away from jewellery
Diamonds are among the most precious and beautiful gems in the world. It would be a shame if they were to be used anyhow other than for ornamental purposes. Or so we think.
But these precious rocks do have other uses outside of the jewellery industry. Also known as industrial diamonds, these stones are useful in many other ways.
We first need to know how gem diamonds are different from the industrial ones. They are called so because of their application in the respective industries. The rarest diamonds are the perfect ones; of high clarity, no colour and the best cut.
Even the coloured ones that have decent clarity are used in jewellery. It is permissible to use stones with a colour grade of up to “Z” and clarity of up to “I” grade.
Industrial diamonds are the ones whose clarity and colour are such that they look bad on jewellery. Diamonds being the hardest among all gemstones, they are quite suitable for industrial uses. There is yet another advantage in the use of such diamonds.
There aren’t too many diamond mines globally and the process of mining also takes a lot of time. Another issue is that mining in excess could eventually lead to the mines closing down. To meet the demand for industrial use, they are often produced in laboratories.
This does not mean that mined diamonds of poor quality do not have an industrial use. However, sometimes the industrial application of diamond also calls for clear rocks. Wasting clear diamonds from the mines for such a purpose is meaningless.
Producing them synthetically is always a plus point here. It is also very cost-effective and can be produced more often.
At times, the colour is so unevenly distributed in the stone that it is completely useless for jewellery. They are not even pretty enough for showpieces. This is where their industrial utility steps in.
The most common use of industrial diamonds is on airport runways. May sound a little strange to those who don’t know this. But here’s how it goes.
Each aircraft weighs more than what regular roads can handle. As a result, the runway will crack after a few flights land and could cause major accidents.
To understand this better, imagine how bad roads make driving a dangerous task. An aircraft on a damaged runway would be a bigger risk.
The runways are supposed to be not just smooth but also very strong. The hardness of diamonds, which is 10 on Mohs’ scale of hardness, makes them the best choice for airport runways. The diamond is finely crushed to powder and then used for this purpose.
It is practically impossible to saw a diamond and shape it decently. Only a diamond can cut another diamond. Hence, the tools used to cut, shape and polish diamonds have diamond parts in them.
The rock’s powder can be quite coarse even after being crushed. This powder is used to polish other diamonds and sometimes other gems too. Sharp tools with diamond tips are used to cut glass. This is done for the sake of precision to ensure that the final product does not have any jagged edges.
This precious stone is also used across many industries such as the automotive industry because it is strong, transparent and a great conductor of heat.