Impregnated diamond saw blades have been used widely in dimension stone and (reinforced) concrete cutting applications. The major shortcoming with the traditional impregnated diamond saw blades is their slow cutting speed. CSIRO is currently doing research and development to improve cutting performance of traditional saw blades using a highly wear-resistant diamond composite pick technology to replace the conventional diamond impregnated segments in commercial saw blades with its TSPDC SMART*CUT diamond picks. This process however involves not only a good understanding of the process of rock fracture mechanics by saw blades, but also development and application of advanced computational methods of analysis. A simple, but practical, analytical limit-equilibrium saw blade model has been discussed in this paper to demonstrate calculation of indention force and chip size. Results of this study are generic and agree well with specific empirical observations reported in the literature. The indentation model is simple and provides important information on the initial estimation of the thrust and cutting forces and a valuable tool for parametric studies.


Diamond picks and saw blades with diamond impregnated segments have been used widely in rock cutting, dimension stone, quarrying, precision and selective mining. Diamond, the lightest-hardest material on earth, has been the most attractive cutting tool material to all rock cutting tools manufacturers. While exhibiting amazingly low electrical conductivity, diamond has possessed very unique physical properties among all other industrial materials on earth because of its highest thermal conductivity, hardness, stiffness and compressive strength. The diamond industry has advanced rapidly on two fronts - the emergence of new products, like polycrystalline diamond or synthetic monocrystals on the one hand and the development of new applications on the other. The specific Thermally-Stable-Polycrystalline- Diamond-Compacts or Composites (TSPDC) proved to be the most stable synthesized diamond composite material; even under very high rock cutting temperatures (due to the very high contact friction) experienced in the CSIRO rock cutting experiments on hard rocks. To cut hard materials one needs super hard cutting materials at optimum shape, energy, force, geometrical and operational configurations. TSPDC have been successfully used at CSIRO in the pick drum and drill-bit cutting applications. Today, the use of industrial diamond has grown into a high volume industry and just in 2003 more than 300 tons of industrial diamond was consumed around the world. The market value of diamond tools sold today is estimated to be worth several billion dollars, and the construction industry, together with stone processing represents almost half that market. When we look into the applications ranging from petroleum exploration through mining and drilling, sawing natural stones and concrete, machining abrasive non-ferrous materials and wood composites, grinding glass and ceramics, cutting limbs in medical dentistry and surgery, to such apparently unlikely fields as cutting spaghetti and frozen foods, it becomes clear, that industrial diamond, although mostly invisible, became over time part of everybody's life.

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