Diamond segments or rims are made up of a mixture of diamonds and metal powders. Diamonds used in blades are almost exclusively manufactured diamonds in various grit sizes and quality grades. In the manufacturing process, the metal powder and diamond grit mixture is hot pressed at high temperatures to form a solid metal alloy (called the bond or matrix) in which the diamond grit is retained. The segment or rim is slightly wider than the blade core. This side clearance allows the cutting edge to penetrate through the material without steel drag. To attach the diamond rim or segments securely to the steel core, several different processes are used.
- Brazing. Silver solder is placed between the segment or rim and the core. At high temperatures, the solder melts and bonds the two parts together.
- Laser Welding. The diamond segment and steel blade core are welded (fused) together by a laser beam.
- Mechanical bond. A notched, serrated or textured blade core may be used to lock the diamond rim or segments onto the edge of the blade. Mechanical bonds usually also include brazing or other metallurgical bonding processes to hold the rim or segments in place.
- Diffusion bond. Patent pending mechanical bond process guaranteed for normal useful life of the blade.