Daimler is planning to invest in bling bling – especially ice, because it believes diamonds are a tool’s best friend
Daimler-Benz, which also owns the Mercedes marque, is backing a new generation of engineering tools coated with diamonds because it says “innovative high-performance tools are of great economic importance”.
The company has awarded its annual Bertha Benz Prize 2016 to a young engineer – Dr-Ing [Doctor of Engineering] Fiona Sammler – for her scientific study of diamond-coated tools, which the company says is an “important research contribution to the development of lightweight construction”.
The potential of diamond coated tools is large, claims Daimler, adding that the gems’ “incredible hardness” means they are capable of fiber-reinforced plastics, aluminum-silicon alloys, wood, as well as stone and concrete, ceramics and glass cutting.
Diamond coatings can be applied directly to tools today by a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The range of CVD applications has expanded enormously since such CVD diamond coatings on tools are available with complex geometries.
However, Dr-Ing Sammler says there are still some challenges to overcome. “In practice, there are always obstacles, which is why companies do not use such high-performance tools in production.
“Many companies, especially from the medium-sized category, could benefit from this technology. In my thesis, the first time I was able to work out a guideline for the use of such tools, potentially facilitating their introduction to the broad industrial use in the future. ”
In lightweight construction, particularly in the automotive and the aerospace industry, high growth rates are expected in the coming years. Fine and precise manufactured components will result in vehicles and aircraft which can be operated both more cheaply and in a more environmentally friendly way.
“Thanks to the solution in my work models, we can produce diamond-coated tools tailored to a specific work process and material worked. This means cracks in the diamond layer or the processed material can be avoided, the tools last longer and are therefore – in the long-term usage – inexpensive,” says Sammler.