A unique method for creating complex shapes onto diamond surfaces developed by NIMRC Industrial Fellow Paul Butler-Smith’s has produced new tooling technology that will transform the micro-fabrication industry.
Diamond is the hardest known material, so takes a long time to shape. A patented highly flexible and rapid technique called DiaTex has been developed at Nottingham to create detailed and complex shapes and forms onto the surfaces of diamond using a process of precision ablation with a laser.
Paul-Butler-Smith of Dimax Ltd and his supervisor Professor Dragos Axinte have for the first time produced diamond abrasive tooling with precise features and controlled angles. This novel technology is 100 times faster and 20 times more accurate than mechanical methods and enables devices to be rapidly manufactured from diamond and related materials.
These include specialised micro tooling, electronic heat sinks, medical devices, micro fluids for the analysis of cells, genes and drug dosages, tribological devices (valves and mechanical seals) and patterned diamond jewellery. Micro grinding tools for aerospace and orthopaedic applications are being developed and worldwide commercial opportunities are being explored.
“The NIMRC has given me an excellent opportunity with its infrastructure, contact network and high novelty approach to tooling to develop my ideas for commercial activity and give my company competitive advantage”, explained Mr Butler-Smith.
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