While diamonds are naturally wear resistant, taking certain precautions may help to increase the life of a diamond blade. With proper handling and care, it is possible to realize 20 to 100 times the life of diamond tools. It is important to handle the tools carefully and avoid placing the blade in contact with items or surfaces before or after use.
Cleaning Diamond Blades
Diamond blades should be cleaned with mineral spirits, for best results. Mineral spirits are highly volatile and flammable, so it is important to use proper protective gear and clean blades in an area that is well ventilated. Using acidic cleaners may cause leaching. Leaching provides less support for the diamond materials, so the diamonds may chip more easily.
Avoid Overheating Diamond Blades
Overheating of diamond blades may be caused by not using enough coolant during operations, using the improper RPM speed for the material, or using the wrong blade for cutting the material. Burn marks may indicate that the RPM speed is too great. Overheating of blades may also occur during the brazing process, when re-tipping a tool that needs to be serviced. As the blade is exposed to heat as high as 700 degrees Celsius, it may cause the diamond tool to crack.
Inspecting Diamond Blades
Diamond blades should be inspected carefully before each use to ensure safety and optimum performance. If there is any sign of chipping, cracking, or leaching, it may be necessary to replace the blade. Blades should also be checked for proper alignment before use and should never be forced, as doing so may cause stress fractures and possible injury to people in the vicinity.
Maintaining Diamond Blades
Diamond blades essentially sharpen themselves when cutting through most materials, as new diamonds are revealed as the diamonds are worn down. However, when hard or dense materials have primarily been cut, diamonds may become smooth. This inhibits the ability of the diamonds to be stripped away and have new diamonds become exposed. To sharpen the blade, a soft and abrasive material such as concrete should be cut through with the blade while water is running over it. This will create an abrasive slurry that strips away the dull diamonds and exposes the new diamonds.
When to Replace a Diamond Blade
If the blade is down to the metal, it is obviously time for a new blade. Otherwise, diamond blades should be replaced or repaired if they are bent, cracked, or otherwise damaged. Cutting with a damaged diamond blade can be dangerous and can damage equipment and materials.