Natural and synthetic industrial diamonds

Natural and synthetic industrial diamonds

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A mixture of natural and synthetic industrial diamonds. Diamond is a naturally occurring form of carbon which has crystallised under great pressure. The crystals may be colourless and transparent or yellow, brown or black. Diamond is the hardest known mineral and the poorer quality specimens are used extensively in industry, mainly for cutting and grinding tools. Industrial-quality diamonds are produced synthetically by heating graphite, along with a metal catalyst, to a temperature of 1,500-2000 degrees C under a pressure of 65-90 kilobars. By manipulation of the temperature and pressure, the crystal size and habit can be varied to suit various abrasive uses.

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Keywords: diamond, earth science, geology, industrial, industrial diamonds, synthetic, synthetic diamonds

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