You might see the price and wonder why you would by a Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) tool over a solid carbide tool, and quite rightly PCD tools are much more expensive and solid carbide tools are very reliable.
However it’s fair to say that for the best cutting result every material has an ideal tool partner. Have you ever tried to cut fire resistant MDF with a solid carbide tool? We would advocate solid carbide tools for most applications however there are circumstances (like fire resistant MDF) where these tools will burn out after cutting a few sheets. A PCD tool however will continue to cut sheet after sheet.
Firstly let’s look at what are PCD tools?
PDC is a synthetically produced diamond material, similar in structure to natural diamond. PCD tools are made up of the synthetic diamond sintered with a metallic binder at extreme temperatures and then bonded to a tungsten carbide substrate. Diamond is known for being the hardest natural material and this process creates one of the hardest tools available in cutting today.
PCD combines the hardness, abrasion resistance and high thermal conductivity of diamond with the toughness of tungsten carbide.
What are the benefits?
Are diamonds really everyone’s best friend (when it comes to cutting anyway?!)
When used properly a PCD tool lasts much longer than other types of tools on the market. The initial higher cost is quickly repaid by the increased tool life whilst offering a superb finish.
- Tough and strong – perfect for cutting abrasive materials.
- Longer tool life – with such a hard cutting edge there is a higher resistance to wear compared to other tools so PCD tools will last longer.
- Less down time – because of the longevity of the tool you need to change them less and order them less. They also need less sharpening resulting in more time cutting.
- Surface finish – PCD tools offer an excellent surface finish on often difficult to machine materials because they retain their sharp cutting edge for much longer.
What are the applications and when is it worth spending the extra money on PCD tools?
PCD tools are well placed for cutting abrasive materials such as aluminium, copper, composite panels, fibreglass and high pressure laminates, which quickly wear out other tools. They can also cut fire resistant MDF with ease where as this material can burn out solid carbide tools within a few sheets.
We say it a lot but it’s true, every cutting job has the perfect tool and using this matched tool will offer you the best result. When cutting abrasive and fire resistant materials PCD tools can offer the best consistent finish whilst not having to regularly change the tool due to burn out and breakage.
View our range of PDC tools here or call us on 01329 246070 to speak to one of our team.