The Revolution of Diamond Synthesis Technology
Diamond grits synthesized under ultrahigh pressure have been commercially manufactured since 1957. Most of the diamond grits are for sawing rocks (granite, marble) and concrete. In 2004, more than 4 billion carats (800 tons) of diamond saw grits were produced worldwide. About 3/4 of total production was made in China, but the Chinese diamond grits tend to be smaller in size (<40 mesh) and with inferior quality, so their total value accounts for only 1/4 of the world sales (about $600 millions). The ultrahigh pressure process for synthesizing diamond grits is due to make a quantum leap: the raw materials will incorporate diamond seeds with a predetermined pattern. The result is doubling the diamond yield with a narrower size distribution. Moreover, the shape of diamond crystals can be precisely tuned. For example, diamond octahedra or diamond cubes, that are not available today, can be mass-produced. The new technology is now being implemented worldwide so the future diamond grits will have improved quality at reduced prices.
Duk Yong Yoon, Suk-Joong L. Kang, Kwang Yong Eun and Yong-Seog Kim
J. C. Sung et al., "The Revolution of Diamond Synthesis Technology", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 534-536, pp. 1141-1144, 2007