Did you think diamonds were all about nice jewellery? Think again! I’ve recently discovered that diamonds are actually used in aircraft-amazing! Who knew? Here’s a brief outline of how diamonds are used in aircraft manufacturing. For more information check out Element Six.
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Diamonds can be natural or man-mad. Lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical structures and physical properties as natural diamonds and both are made of the same material. The fundamental difference with lab-grown diamonds is that they can be optimised and tailored for a diversity of applications, including aircraft design. In fact, diamonds can be so useful in a number of different areas that some people are calling it the ultimate super material!
Aircraft design has improved considerably throughout recent years, with new technologies helping to enhance products. Reduced weight and fuel economy are primary considerations for manufacturers at the moment and diamonds play an important part in this.
The latest generation of aircraft is built primarily from Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) composites, which are lightweight and incredibly strong materials.
Whilst this material is ideal the challenge arises in machining it. To overcome this, manufacturers are turning to diamonds. Drill bits laced with synthetic diamond cuts through tough fibres cleanly, making short work of even the toughest materials.
If the toughest materials are used to manufacture an aircraft then by default this is going to enhance the safety. Aircraft need to be extremely durable to within the forces placed upon in during its use and so the stronger materials that are used, the better!
The use of diamonds in aircraft manufacturing can also save passengers money, which can’t be a bad thing can it!? In fact, who would have thought that using a material inherently associated with high prices, would indeed help to reduce costs? Industrial diamond is used to create robust tools for faster cutting speeds and improving operation, this helps to provide more reliable and efficient aircraft which take less time to manufacture and consume less fuel, which is one of the biggest financial burdens of the airline industry.
So there we have it, diamonds can be used for far more than jewellery! Do you know of any interesting uses for diamonds? I’d love to hear them- leave your comments below!
This post was written in collaboration with Element Six.