Diamond tools (PCD): from 60 to 150 times best performance than HM

Diamond tools (PCD): from 60 to 150 times best performance than HM

The PCD, also called o synthetic diamond, may be one of the best materials for making cutting surfaces for woodworking and other works. In HECOMA®, from almost our foundation, we know its advantages, and therefore we’ve specialized in its maintenance and in the manufacture of tools using this material. Let’s know a little more about this.

What is PCD (Poly crystalline diamond)

PCD,  is a material made from industrial synthesized diamond. By its hardness, and abrasion resistance, it is used with success mechanizing and cutting wood (and derivatives), plastic , metal, stone, concrete, etc,

What advantages does the PCD tools (only cutting surfaces) provide :

  • Cutting quality much higher, getting high quality finishes for longer
  • Much higher performance, due to long life of its cutting edge less sharpening processes are needed. It provides a minimum of 60 times more performance, and in several jobs, with a proper maintenance, you can achieve  up to 200 times the duration of the best hard metal alloy.
  • Ideal for working with the most abrasive materials (laminated, agglomerated, solid surface), because its hardness does not wear out like hard metal alloys
  • Higher capacity and cutting speed, due to a very effective edge and that it supports higher working temperatures.

Like any tool, it needs some care and maintenance. Below we show you in detail the maintenance process that we carry out in HECOMA®, and how to maintain the tool during its use in the factory.

Measurement / Checking tools

The first step is the measurement, by projection, the damages and wear on the cutting surfaces. The need for precision is very high, so our measuring machines use the image projection of the tool on a screen with a large magnification. Our technicians visualize all the dimensions of the tool through the displacement stroke of this assisted by a computer of measurements. With this information, the maintenance needs of the tool are calculated.


Automatic measurement

To determine the position and size of the PCD edges in the tool, before each sharpening procedure, an automatic measurement of the part is made by the sharpening robot. Specifying only one point per edge to the sharpening machine, the machine palpates several points on it according to the adjusted value.


Tool sharpening procedure for PCD

The sharpening of PCD tools is done without contact with the wheel. The procedure is called EDM. This consists in the generation of an electric arc between the surface of PCD and the wheel (which is usually made of a copper alloy) in a dielectric medium. Both, part and sharpening wheel, have to be therefore, electrical conductors. The electric arc is that plucks particles from the surface until the desired shape is achieved.

There are three types of erosion procedures: erosion by penetration, erosion by wire and erosion by disk / rotation.

In HECOMA® we use yarn erosion and disk / rotation erosion. These work according to the same principle obtaining excellent results in terms of accuracy and surface quality.

Tips for using the PCD tool

During its use in the factory, it is necessary to follow a series of procedures to protect and maintain our tool. The cutting surfaces are sensitive to knocks and require a series of precautions:

  • To avoid damage to the PCD plates, care must be taken in handling them, avoiding blows against metallic elements.
  • Check the state of wear of the tools, nicks, breaks or defective plates. Most machining machines have an ammeter, which shows the consumption of the machine working. High consumption values indicate possible defects of this type in the tool.
  • The dust, together with the resins, varnishes and glues, can create deposits on the tool, reducing the cutting efficiency, reducing the ability to evacuate chips, or even imbalance in the tool. For this reason, it is necessary to periodically clean the tool using products indicated for this purpose.
  • Insufficient suction, and the accumulation of chips resulting from the work, can cause additional wear of the plates, and even breaks in them.
  • The correct assembly, balancing and condition of the shaft are also essential to avoid damage. For this, it is convenient to check these and use only bushings, spacer rings and tool holders calibrated and in perfect condition.
  • Once the tool is assembled, check that the speed, advance and the direction of rotation are correct.

When sharpening the PCD tools

A series of tips to detect when our tool may need a maintenance, that guarantees its long life and quality finishes:

  1. If the quality of the finishing on the surface worked is not adequate.
  2. If the wear of your molding cutter or slot milling cutter, of the circular saw of your sliding or sectioning machine, have a plate chest of 0.2 mm. , sharpening is indicated.
  3. If the power consumption of the shaft motor is high, and there are no breaks in the plates and these are clean, the edge of these is exhausted.
  4. If any plate has chipping, it is convenient to replace or sharpen it.


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