Why Are There So Many Bad Tools?

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snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com wrote:

Huh? How is it used in artillery shells?

Unless it is.

"Near diamond"? To what substance, specifically are you referring?

However microprocessors are solid state devices with no moving parts. That doesn't mean that microscopic machines with moving parts will be equally reliable, nor that they will be useful in the making of woodworking tools.

You have to make a convincing case that such a device will work better than a simple mechanical fence and cost the same or work as well and be cheaper. All I see is arm-waving. How would this fence work? How would it be adjusted?

Well, actually we're well on the way to reading a lot of hype about what such machines will do. They will no doubt be useful tools in their own right, but that doesn't mean that they'll replace all other types of tool.

They are? How do you know this?

Oh? What temperature do they "handle"?

According to the guy that developed them <http://www.asme.org/igti/resources/articles/scholar_gt-2003-38866.pdf the"incredible power to weight ratio" is simply the result of the small size and the square-cube law. Scale one to the size of an aircraft engine and you lose that advantage.

Which researchers are those? Where do they say this? What happens when the rider steps on the intakes? Or they get full of mud?

Depends on where the computer is stored. You don't usually find computers in open workshops either.

Mouse shit in the intakes to your microturbines would most assuredly be a problem.

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(Charlie Self)

laser spotters, fuses, fin microadjusters, etc. there's lots of electronics that get put into shells. heck, they make artillary launched a-bombs.

a lot of watch faces now are artifical sapphires.

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Charles Spitzer wrote:

A lot of electronics yes. But how are MEMs used in current production artillery shells? MEMs and electronics are not the same.
Incidentally, in WWII, _tube_ electronics was used in artillery shells. The fact that something is used in artillery shells does not mean that it is inherently durable, it means that by dint of great effort the Army or some arms manufacturer has found a way to make it work acceptably in the application.
And a-bombs do not need any electronic components.

If you look up the chemical composition of sapphire you'll find that it's simply aluminum oxide. Nothing new there at all--synthetic sapphire was used in watch crystals in the '80s.
It is not in any sense "near diamond". If it was you'd be able to sharpen carbide tools with aluminum oxide abrasives.
<remainder containing no new material snipped>
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On Thu, 02 Dec 2004 10:25:15 -0500, in rec.woodworking you wrote:

Uh, do you understand what is meant by 'proof of principle'? Hint: It is not a prototype.

I'll disagree on both counts. The cost of some of the designs in volume production would have been less than an luxury automobile. And the runway issue was addressed by a variety of the designs in different ways.

Well no. A major component of the noise from a helicopter is the interference in the air flow between the main and tail rotors. If you've ever heard a NOTAR chopper you'll see they are significantly quieter. For a discussion of noise levels and reduction in helicopters, see: http://www.aviationtoday.com/cgi/rw/show_mag.cgi?pub=rw&mon 99&filerwcover.htm
Ducted fans and similar designs are even queter and can be made quieter yet with active noise reduction technology.
Whether they're quiet enough to make good neighbors is another issue. It's worth noting that one popular method of operation would have the aircar drive on the street several blocks to a 'parking lot' and take off from there.

The ones that are furthest along promise both reasonable fuel efficiency and a cost less than a high-end sports car. And this is only the first generation.

How about something that can take the place of a tablesaw, bandsaw and probably several other tools, cost much less than good quality tools and do much more accurate work? Will that do for a description of capabilities.
Now if you want to know exactly how these tools will be designed, you'll have to find someone with a clearer crystal ball than mine. Given what I have seen already, and the way the industry works, I can tell you that something with those capabilities and using these kinds of principles could be available in a few decades. Trying to predict exactly what it will look like or how the details of how it will work will lead to something like that 'RAND corp. design of a personal computer' that's making the rounds of the web. We just don't know enough yet.

You're confusing the sensors and actuators (which are small) with the complete tool (which isn't) and the cutting element -- which will be sized appropriately for the tool.

Untrue, as it happens. The price of silicon is on a long-term downward trend. In 1959 metallic silicon cost a little over $1 per pound. By 1998 or so it was down to around 60 cents a pound and headed lower.
http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/silicon/760798.pdf
As silicon devices become even more common the price is going to go even lower.
(The highly refined silicon used in making semiconductors is currently running about $30 a pound. However that's pretty much irrelevant to this discussion because of device differences and what drives prices in that market. A couple years ago that same silicon was selling for about $30 a pound.)
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-01-26-solar-cells_x.htm

Well, no. Assuming by 'wafer' you mean the wafer of unprocessed silicon, the cost per square inch drops significantly with every increase in wafer size. That's why the industry has gone to bigger and bigger wafers. The price drop is particularly noticable in raw wafers.
http://www.digitimes.com/NewsShow/Article.asp?datePublish 03/12/05&pages₯&seq
With processed wafers the actual computations are quite complex because there are an enormous number of factors, both positive and negative, in play. However if you hold the size (area) of each device constant and the feature size constant (which almost never happens) the devices end up being a lot cheaper as the wafers get bigger.

We're talking about components like actuators and sensors here, not complete tools. And of course you're going to fit a lot of them onto a wafer. But like current MEMS devices they will be diced and packaged before use. You don't have to put the whole tool on a single wafer.
Given the way semiconductor fabrication works -- and given the differences between MEMS devices and things like microprocessors or DRAMs -- the prices of these devices will be extremely low in volume production. And of course it's unlikely that most of the sensors and actuators will be designed specifically for woodworking tools. They'll be adapted from devices used in higher production devices.
I also don't think you grasp what I mean by 'cheap'. The active elements in these devices are going to cost on the order of what a transistor costs in a modern microprocessor -- for exactly the same reasons. Each tool will contain a lot of them, but the the resulting cost will still be very low.

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snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com wrote:

If the principle is that the device can be used to replace a table saw then the "proof of principle" is a device that replaces a table saw. I don't care about "proof of principle" that some kind of device can be made--you claim that that device can do something, but you don't have any backup for that claim at all, just brainless advocacy. I suspect that if the engineers and scientists who are working on this are reading this thread they are cringing and what you are claiming because they know that they can't deliver it and it won't be remembered that it was _you_ making the claims and not _them_ later.

You can buy new airplanes now for less than the price of some luxury automobiles. Most people can't afford to drive a Ferrari though.

Addressed by what designs other than helicopters that actually flew well enough for anybody but an experienced test pilot to survive the experience?

Have you ever had one crank up in your back yard at 2 AM? "significantly quieter" and "quiet" are not the same.

Yeah, yeah, rah rah rah. Now, have you ever stood next to anything with a high powered ducted fan as it spun up to full power? Try it sometime and then tell me how quiet it is.

So we're back to runways, or at least helipads. Now, in my neighborhood, whose house would we tear down to make this "parking lot"?

Uh huh. If you've been around aviation long enough you'll have seen all kinds of "promises" that were never delivered. And nothing that uses lift fans is ever going to match the fuel economy of a Honda Civic.
Believe it when you see it. So far it's just more pie in the sky.

How about if we make it concave and convex and work either sex and play with itself in between.
Now, what device that has been made or even designed has these capabilities that you claim will be made available by this technology?

In other words you don't have a clue whether your precious little MEMS can actually do what you're claiming or how they might be used to do it if they can. All you have is bad science fiction.

What "industry"? The MEMs industry hasn't been around long enough for you say anything about how it works. If you mean the electronics industry, don't assume that MEMS is like electronics.

Or not, as the case may be. Personally I'd say that "not" is the way to bet. At least not based on the technology you are hyping. Some other technology might come along that allows it of course.

Was that "RAND corp" which is think tank or was that Remington-Rand the computer manufacturer? In any case, at least they knew how a computer worked. You don't have a clue how the devices you are hyping would actually work.
Modern computers are small and inexpensive because the components from which they are made are very small and there are only a few of them. Now how are you going to cut wood with that few pieces that small? Hmm? Or are you claiming that all of a sudden massive lumps of semiconductor-grade silicon are going to become dirt cheap because they're being used to make MEMs instead of microprocessors?
Can you quote a single researcher who has actually developed such a device who is making such claims?

I'm not confusing anything. You're claiming that this technology is going to be cheap and it's going to be made entirely out of MEMs. If that's the case then the active components have to be very small or it's not going to be cheap.
Now, how much power can a MEMs actuator that can be made with less than, say $200 worth of silicon produce?

I see. So it's come down 40 percent in 40 years. Woo-poo. Now, is that semiconductor-grade or is that just raw silicon out of the mine?

Fine. So it goes down another 40% in 40 years. That's not going to make any damned difference at all in the price of your gadgets.

So it's $30 a pound and it used to be $30 a pound and you just shot down your own argument.

Uh huh. So how much is the drop per square inch? And is that a drop in the cost of the wafer or of the processing?
http://www.digitimes.com/NewsShow/Article.asp?datePublish 03/12/05&pages₯&seq

Define "a lot". And tell us how that translates to something large enough to cut wood being cheap.

So what good are little bitty things going to do in cutting wood? We're not talking about making furniture for ants here.

Not devices big enough to do what you are claiming.

Huh. So how will having 40 million tiny machines on a lump of silicon a half inch square do anything useful in the way of cutting wood?
I know "sensors and actuators". And we're back to "what are you going to actuate with the minuscule amount of force that such a small device can produce that is going to be useful in woodworking?
Really, before you make these wild claims you should try to at least _think_ about how what you claim will be accomplished will actually be accomplished.
To cut wood you need something big enough to make the cut you need, able to exert enough force to shear the wood fibers, and able to actually shove a big lump of wood around when it is being operated on by the cutter. You're not going to do that with any tiny little machine that can be made on a P4 sized wafer. You might be able to put the control system on something that small, but it's still going to need actuators that can provide the necessary forces and you haven't demonstrated that your MEMs based control system would be superior in any way to a purely electronic control system. So how are you going to make these actuators?

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On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 02:04:04 -0500, "J. Clarke"

All the bits about MEM are out of my league, but what about forgetting the sensor and actuator crap, and considering cheap plastic tools machined from materials reenforced by carbon nanotubes? I don't know the specifics of the technology, but what I've run across with this seems to indicate that it would be really strong and stable. Then you'd have a more or less conventional tool that wasn't prone to rust or bending, but was as durable or more durable than steel or iron. Granted, there would be some weight issues, but I imagine it would be fairly easy to make a nice heavy stand for a machine that was underweight so long as the materials were strong enough to handle the job. Sure would beat some of the aluminum and conventional plastics used in cheap tools. (BTW, I still say that if self-correcting tools ever hit the market, it'll be servo motors and cameras, not mini robots with swarm behaviors)
You've got a lot of good points here, and I'm not going to argue them- like I said, out of my league. Just thought I'd toss in an alternative "rosy future" for the tool industry!
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On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 20:04:52 -0600, Prometheus

It could well happen. One of the big advantages of things like carbon nanotube composites is that you can tailor their characteristics to the job. If you need them stiffer in one direction than another you can do that, for example. You can also build stuff with other remarkable properties.
Fundamnentally it's the old tradeoff between relative cost of production and relative capabilities. The cost of composites and nanotube structures is definitely going to drop and we're going to find out how to tailor them to do a lot more things. If that's going to be enough to make them advantageous for woodworking tools, I don't know. But they easily could.
--RC

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On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 02:04:04 -0500, "J. Clarke"

No that's a prototype.
> I don't care about "proof of principle" that some kind of device

That's become painfully obvious. In fact it leads me to wonder why you're so intent in participating in this discussion at all.
Your gut obviously tells you that the tool I am describing will never exist. And that's fine. Your gut may even be right. However the logic and facts you are attempting to use to support your gut feeling are anywhere from fatuous to flat wrong.
What's more, your arguments are rapidly degenerating into a series of flat statements with no support whatsoever. Which is increasingly less convincing.

Wrong on both counts. I am claiming that _in another few decades_ the woodworking tool I am describing could easily exist. Clearly a device that I think will exist in a number of years can't be said to do anything at all today.
As for backup for that claim I have cited a number of examples demonstrating that the technology is coming into existence. By contrast your 'evidence' so far has consisted of a single citation of a paper from which you drew a correct, but utterly irrelevant conclusion. (Of course microturbines get their advantages from being small. That's the whole point.) It also appears you didn't bother to read the entire paper -- or at least you missed a couple of tables and discussion that answered one of your other questions.

If any of those scientists and engineers are participating I'd be very interesting in hearing their opinions.
From my discussions with scientists and engineers involved in MEMS, active structures and such I doubt seriously any of them are cringing
(And on the the side issue of flyng cars:)

I am not aware of any case where runways or lack thereof had a detrimental effect on flying cars. Are you? On the face of it, it's difficult to see how they could. The essence of flying cars is that the vehicle is both an airplane and a car. It was not, as generally conceived, a personal helicopter. In other words it flew as close as it could reasonably get to its destination and drove the rest of the way.
Cost is a more difficult issue simply because it is more speculative. However examination of the structures and components of various flying cars shows that a lot of them could have been produced at prices which would have given them a significant market. (Not as big as automobiles, obviously.)

And many people can't afford to fly a private plane. However thousands of people can afford it and do fly them. It's a non-argument unless you're trying to claim that the flying car would have to replace the automobile to be a success. That's a fairly nonsensical standard.

Again, the essence of a flying car is that it acts as both an airplane and an automobile. It's hard to see how the runway issue would have been significant. Especially given both conditions and attitudes in the heyday of the flying car craze in the decade after World War II. Towns and cities everywhere were building airports. So were private individuals.

Have you? As it happens I have. But let's quantify this discussion. Give me an acceptable noise figure (and profile) in EdB -- as well as a source for it -- and we'll have something to discuss.

I used to work across the street from the plant where Boeing (ex MacDac ex Hughes) builds NOTAR helicopters, as well as Apaches. There's also a helicopter flying school there. So I've been exposed to a lot of helicopter noise. Even the difference between a conventional helicopter and a NOTAR is considerable.

No but it can be quite thrifty on a gallons per mile basis.
(Back to the main argument)

That would be a good point -- if I was claiming this woodworking tool exists. I do not and in fact I don't expect such a thing to exist for several decades. I don't know why you have so much difficulty grasping this, or why it makes you so angry. But you obviously do and it obviously does.

Wrong again. See previous discussion and citations. What I am saying is that a lot of the design will depend on how the field develops. If you think you can predict the exact shape of cutting edge devices even five years out -- well, you're going to be seriously wrong more often than not.

Semiconductors.
MEMS has been around as an industry for more than a decade. That's long enough to see the patterns developing and to compare them to other high technology industries.

In what ways is MEMS different from electronics? Don't just wave your hands, give specifics. Justify your answer with appropriate citations.

There we agree.

Personally I'd say that it will happen, but that's what makes horse races.

RAND stands for "Research ANd Development". It is a government-sponsored think tank which concentrates on high technology. It was established after WWII and AFIK has no connection with Remington-Rand. As for the 'personal computer' . . . well, do a little research and find out. No reason to spoil the joke for you.

I not only have 'a clue', I've seen the principles I'm talking about demonstrated in the lab, in production or in other contexts. You could get an excellent basic education in them if you were willing to read the research papers, company literature on existing projects and other reports.

Even done a parts count on a modern PC? Even with the current level of integration, there are still a lot of parts.
Computers are small because it is to our advantage to make them small. If we had reason to make them large we could make them large -- and still inexpensive. Do you seriously believe this thing is going to be size of a modern laptop?

The sensors and actuators are going to be small. Where do you get the weird notion that this tool is going to be made entirely of silicon?

Silicon is going to get a lot cheaper but what makes you think the active elements are going to be composed of semiconductor grade silicon?
For the record: Some of them may well be -- if we're still using silicon. But a lot of MEMS technology can be easily built with much cheaper grades of silicon since the electronic charcteristics don't matter.

Again the confusion over the existence of the tool. I'm talking about several years out.

Incorrect.
True
Wrong. I'm claiming it's going to incorporate MEMs elements as key components. It is no more going to be 'made entirely out of MEMS' than a modern desktop computer is made entirely out of silicon.

It is not.
I don't know what you're reacting to in all this, but it clearly is not what I am actually saying.

The active components, in the sense of things like actuators and sensors, will be small. They will also be cheap, but not just because they are small.
In MEMS, as in electronics, economies of scale are a major consideration. The cost to produce something in quantity, no matter what the size, falls very rapidly.

Wrong question. The right question is 'how much power can a bunch of dirt cheap MEMs actuators control?' The answer is 'more than enough'.

I hope so.

Which directly contradicts your claim. You're apparently making this stuff up as you go along and that is not a good strategy.

Oops. My error. A couple of years ago that highly refined silicon was selling for *$3* a pound, not $30.
The first reason the cost of semiconductor silicon today is irrelevant is that what drives prices in the semiconductor silicon market is refinery capacity versus worldwide demand. The 2000 recession disrupted that market and the recovery disrupted it in the other direction.
The second reason it's irrelevant is that you don't have to use semiconductor silicon for most of these devices. The reason we do so today is that the methods of processing semiconductor silicon are well understood. It's more convenient for researchers and it's cheaper for relatively small production runs. However both researchers and manufacturers are rapidly developing competency with other matetrials, incuding less pure grades of silicon.

This reference takes you to a paid subscription site. Did you actually look at it?

For starters you get about a 2.25 increase in device count, plus other economies of scale -- principally in processing consistency. To balance that you have the somewhat higher cost of the handling and processing equipment.

You're still hung up on this thing being built entirely out of silicon. Again, that's like assuming that an entire desktop computer is built out of nothing but silicon.

These 'little bitty things' are the control system. They replace the expensive, heavy, high-precision components that we use today by substituting active control for the passive systems based on weight of material and mechanical precision.
Let's take a kindergarten example: An actively controlled fence. The fence itself will consist of a strip of thin aluminium backed by an array of actuators and the whole assembly is mounted to the saw guides by not-very-accurate mounts. The actuators deform the aluminium in response to signals from the sensors, mediated by the processors.
The fence actuators can be a strip array, like the array of LEDs in my $100 Brother printer. They won't be much more complicated and in all probability they'll be a lot cheaper. In addition there will be another network of sensors to check the the distance of the fence from the cutting element and their parallelism.
Mechanically, the 'fence' will be a cheap, low-tolerance, device, more cheaply constructed than any Harbor Freight special. It will be sturdy enough to stand up to shop use, but not much more. The mechanical parts will cost only a few dollars.
The magic is in the active elements. The sensor array will constantly track the movement of the wood, the cutting line and various other factors such as temperature at the cutting interface and the cutting speed and well as distance, parallelism, etc. And of course the fence's processor(s)
Let's say you want to rip a 6" board. You crank your 'fence' over to 6" indicated. The tolerances will be loose as a goose, but you don't care. The device will tell you when you're close enough, parallel enough, etc.
Now, turn on the saw and start pushing the wood through. As the sensors detect the cutting position, the actuators in the fence will deform the aluminium strip to steer the wood exactly where it needs to go. It won't need to move it very far because the fence helped you line things up with sufficent precision before you started. The cutter will contact the wood at precisely the right point on the right angle to produce the cut you need. Accuracy is likely to be measured in hundredths of an inch because that's sufficent for woodworking.
Now please note this is NOT a description of the kind of tools I have been talking about. It's another one of those proof of principle devices you seem to have so much trouble grasping -- albeit a more advanced one. It is simply an example to demonstrate how these technologies could be applied.

Wrong again. You're hung up on the idea that the whole thing will be active.

They're not going to be limited to a 1/2" square bit of silicon. Take those 40 million devices, spread them out over several square feet supported by an appropriately design mechanism you get something very useful for cutting wood.

The essence of a modern control system of nearly any sort is using a combination of intelligence, sensors and relatively low powered actuators to control larger forces. We do it every day, although generally on a larger scale today.

Someone is definitely not thinking there. You've made that painfully obvious in this message.
--RC

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They have synthetic dimond sharpening wheels on the market for industrial applications. According to my cousin (the owner of a carbide sharpening service), they're not very commonly used because of pressure from the natural diamond suppliers- I guess anyone purchasing synthetic diamond is somehow "blacklisted" and no longer allowed to purchase the natural product, which is still better for some things. Please bear in mind that this is all second-hand from a conversation several months ago, so there are bound to be a couple inaccuracies, but the basic idea is still correct.

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Prometheus wrote:
<snip>

I don't know about the "blacklisted" part; but the current synthetics differ only in that they're available without the natural impurities/flaws.
I'm eagerly looking foreward to low-cost router bits and saw blades for wood with diamond cutting edges and I don't really care if they /look/ beautiful or not.
Just imagine a plane or chisel with a razor sharp diamond edge!
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I'm not sure that diamond, synthetic or natural, is the right material for that application. Although hard, diamond is also prone to fracture when subjected to impulse-like blows by fracturing along the crystal bond-lines. I imagine a router bit or sawblade with diamond would basically grind or pulverize the diamond as opposed to cutting the material you want to cut.

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On Thu, 02 Dec 2004 23:32:15 -0700, Mark & Juanita

It's a beautiful idea anyways. And it might work with a hand chisel that isn't hammered on. As far as router blades and saw blades go, I'd suspect you're right in some ways, wrong in others. A diamond point may be pulverized, but I have some serious doubts that it would be ground down by wood. And as far as I know, tile cutting uses diamond blades, though these are more of a thin grinder than a saw blade as used in woodworking.

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Morris Dovey wrote:

It's going to be a throwaway though. Once you knock a chip out of it, whcih isn't difficult--diamond is hard but it's also brittle--what do you sharpen it with?

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J. Clarke wrote:

A diamond file? [-8
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wrote:

Now that would be a thing of beauty...
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wrote:

Actually I think most of the industrial diamond on the market today is synthetic. GE is a major manufacturer.
The real fight is over gem quality diamonds. In the last few years we have learned how to produce gem diamonds and that has the diamond merchants running scared.

That's not as true in the case of diamond as it is with, say, sapphire. For example most of the synthetic ones are yellow because of included nitrogen. Personally I think canary yellow diamonds are a lot prettier than the colorless ones, but not everyone agrees.

Diamond film blades, yes. Low cost, well that's the sticking point. Even DLC would run up the cost substantially with today's production processes.
This is a real good example of the effects of deriving a technology from the semiconductor industry. Diamond and DLC (Diamond Like Composite) films are traditionally produced by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), which was developed by the semiconductor industry. As a result both the equpment and standards are very high -- as is the cost. It is taking time to 'dumb down' the tools and process to apply it to larger markets that don't need semiconductor quality.
I definitely think we're going to see something like this in the next five years. It will probably be DLC rather than diamond for added toughness and it will probably be a butt-ugly coating, say dingy brown or an unattractive black. The bits will have a premium price and the early ones will probably have tool life issues because of chipping rather than dulling, but we'll see them.

Razor? Think sharp, man! Think sharp! Seriously, so can I. So can Norton, which is one of the major manufactrurers of diamond films. The problem, short-term is getting the price down. IIRC there have been several experimental knives produced with diamond film on the blade which have sold for astronomical prices.
Oh yeah, sharpening these tools. The diamond film will only be applied to one side of the blade and it will be sharpened from the other, uncoated side, to expose more diamond/DLC film.
--RC
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Prometheus wrote:

Yes, they do. They have synthetic diamond available for many purposes. So what? I never denied that synthetic diamond was available. But it's not as far as I know used in industrial coatings. Grinding wheels are another story. And that does not alter the fact that synthetic sapphire is not "near diamond" in any sense.

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--John
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On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 02:06:47 -0500, "J. Clarke"

Looking back at the original statement, I guess it doesn't mean much in the context. I was just pointing out that there were synthetic diamonds, just as there were artificial sapphires. Whether or not they're good as a coating is a whole different matter- I'd imagine a coating is only as good as the adhesive that holds it together.

Just to clarify, the blacklisting referred to relates to the jewelry industry, not the industrial sharpening industry. It was tossed in with the above to pre-emptively answer the inevitable "then why can't I buy a clear white diamond ring for $100?" question.

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On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 20:12:35 -0600, Prometheus

The reason you can't get that $100 diamond ring is that we can't make them yet. Gem quality synthetic diamonds of any color are just emerging from the experimental stage and they are still expensive to produce. (Although a lot cheaper than natural ones, especially in larger sizes.)
Wait a few more years and watch the diamond cartel crumble.
--RC

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On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 02:06:47 -0500, "J. Clarke"

Incorrect, as it happens. Diamond films are being used, especially to machine composites.
See the last item under Product Profiles in:
http://www.manufacturingcenter.com/tooling/archives/0299/299ctl.asp
and they have the potential for a lot more growth in cutting tools. See:
http://statusreports-atp.nist.gov/reports/94-01-0357.htm
BTW: The main problem is not diamond's brittleness, it is the different coefficient of expansion between the diamond and the metal substrate. See the NIST reference above.
--RC
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