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Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.
Diamond Abrasive Under the Microscope

Diamond Abrasive

These are single diamond crystals from a diamond impregnated drill bit. The high refractive index of diamond results in very high relief, the width of the black band at the edge of the particles.

Transmitted Off Crossed Polarized Light Illumination


Polycrystalline diamond abrasive has a conchordal fracture and is a prefered abrasive for use in abrasive impregnated metal saw blades and drills. Its irregular shape provides more area mechanically locking the particle in the metal and gives a sharper cutting surface. Single crystal diamond abrasive has a lower "cutting speed" and a shorter life on the tool because its tetragonal shape results in a very low surface area to bond to the metal cutting tool and a rather dull cutting surface.

Significance in the Environment:

Characteristic Features:

Diamond is isotropic, which distinguishes it from most other crystalline abrasives. Its very high refractive index, 2.42, distinguishes it from other isotropic abrasives such as garnet, slag, and glass. This high refractive index results in very strong relief at the edges of the particle.

Associated Particles: