The hardest naturally occurring substance is diamond. Over 70% of diamonds are used in industrial applications, and demand for the commodity is always increasing.
Natural diamond is formed by carbon crystals under extreme temperature and pressure conditions that exist only around 100 miles below the earth's surface. It is usually 99.95 percent carbon. The remaining 0.05 percent may contain one or more trace elements, which are atoms that are not crucial to the diamond's chemistry.
Diamond has an isometric crystal structure, which implies that the carbon atoms are connected in the same way in all orientations.
Diamond could be just another mineral if none of these features are present. Fortunately, this unique mix of chemical makeup, crystal structure, and creation mechanism gives diamonds their exceptional properties.
Aside from hardness, diamond has a remarkable set of chemicals, physical, and mechanical properties:
- The coefficient of friction is low.
- Thermal conductivity is very high.
- Electrical resistance is high.
- Low coefficient of thermal expansion
- High tenacity
The optical transparency ranges from ultra violet to infrared.
Chemical corrosion resistance
Since World War II, the use of diamond has increased dramatically, owing to its unique mix of characteristics and increased availability as synthesis processes improved.
- Components of wear
- Tools for cutting
- Thermal administration (in e.g. substrates, heat spreaders and heat sinks)
- Semiconductors are electronic devices.
- optical elements
- Additional high-performance applications
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