Thursday, August 14, 2008


Material properties :

Diamond and graphite are two allotropes of carbon: pure forms of the same element that differ in structure.
A diamond is a transparent crystal of tetrahedrally bonded carbon atoms and crystallizes into the face centered cubic diamond lattice structure. Diamonds have been adapted for many uses because of the material's exceptional physical characteristics. Most notable are its extreme hardness, its high dispersion index, and extremely high thermal conductivity (900 – 2320 W/m K). Above 1700 °C (1973 K / 3583 °F), diamond is converted to graphite. Naturally occurring diamonds have a density ranging from 3.15 to 3.53 g/cm³, with very pure diamond typically extremely close to 3.52 g/cm³.

Hardness :
Diamond is the hardest natural material known; hardness is defined as resistance to scratching. Diamond has a hardness of 10 (hardest) on Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Diamond's hardness has been known since antiquity, and is the source of its name.
The hardest diamonds in the world are from the New England area in New South Wales, Australia. These diamonds are generally small, perfect to semiperfect octahedra, and are used to polish other diamonds. Their hardness is considered to be a product of the crystal growth form, which is single stage growth crystal. Most other diamonds show more evidence of multiple growth stages, which produce inclusions, flaws, and defect planes in the crystal lattice, all of which affect their hardness.
The hardness of diamonds contributes to its suitability as a gemstone. Because it can only be scratched by other diamonds, it maintains its polish extremely well. Unlike many other gems, it is well-suited to daily wear because of its resistance to scratching—perhaps contributing to its popularity as the preferred gem in an engagement or wedding rings, which are often worn every day.
Industrial use of diamonds has historically been associated with their hardness; this property makes diamond the ideal material for cutting and grinding tools. As the hardest known naturally-occurring material, diamond can be used to polish, cut, or wear away any material, including other diamonds. However, diamond is a poor choice for machining ferrous alloys at high speeds. At the high temperatures created by high speed machining, carbon is soluble in iron, leading to greatly increased wear on diamond tools as compared to other alternatives. Common industrial adaptations of this ability include diamond-tipped drill bits and saws, or use of diamond powder as an abrasive. Industrial-grade diamonds are either unsuitable for use as gems or synthetically produced, which lowers their value and makes their use economically feasible.

No comments: