SQUADRO-G: Diamond Grinding Pad for Glass, Glassy Materials, and Crystals

Microdiamant AG

The optimisation of the process of polishing and fabricating precision optics is vital for improving the performance and lifespan of optical systems. In this article, the excellent abilities of a diamond grinding pad, the SQUADRO-G, to optimise the grinding process will be discussed.

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The machining of brittle materials such as glass and crystals has always been a complex task. The complexity of the machining process is due to the need to take into consideration the fracture risk and crack propagation associated with these materials. Although the application of machined glassy materials spans a diverse range of industries, every field from optics to engineering requires glass to be properly finished if it is to function optimally. 

Diamond grinding pads provide an excellent solution for improving the quality of machined brittle materials while reducing the overhead costs associated with manufacturing items such as optical systems. The efficiency of the application of diamond grinding pads is also determined by the material to be polished. For example, to grind fused silica, the attributes of which include high working and melting temperatures, special handling is required. This results in increased effort and cost. The intrinsic qualities of BK7 glass require no special handling during grinding. Thus, a diamond grinding pad suitable for use in various applications is perfect for the task – namely the SQUADRO-G.

Applying diamond grinding pads to brittle materials 

Glass materials and crystals do not generally come as smooth glass sheets. To make them usable for most of their applications, grinding, polishing and shaping of the material are required. Diamond grinding pads provide the abrasive surfaces needed to remove snags, polish glass edges and provide surface finishing when high accuracy is required. The various application requirements also mean different grit sizes are necessary when undertaking the task of polishing a glass edge or smoothing its surface to achieve a glossy finish.

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Take, for example, an unpolished BK7 crown glass. The raw material is sold as optical blocks, and to make use of them in fine optical systems, in which a precise polish is required, the glass block must be ground. In this situation, a grinding pad that supports consistent grinding of the glass over many cycles is needed. The grit size needed to achieve this is also a key consideration when choosing the diamond grinding pad to be applied.

In situations where the edge of a cut BK7 glass needs to be eased to eliminate its sharpness, a diamond grinding pad with a different grit size will be required to handle the task. In this case, it is important to have consistent edge removal. The diamond grinding pad acts as a sanding tool that blunts and smooths the sharp edges of the cut glass. 

The quality of the abrasives used is also an important consideration when polishing brittle materials such as fused silica. Investigations have shown that the use of overly rough abrasives can produce numerous cracks and pits when applied to fused silica. Other challenges with applying glass grinding pads include the durability of the pads and the cost associated with replacement grinding pads. These different considerations, such as the quality of abrasives, grit size and grinding consistency, as well as the challenges they bring, are what SQUADRO-G addresses.  

The diamond grinding pad comes with varying abrasive layer thicknesses and grit sizes for diverse applications. SQUADRO-G also offers durability, which translates into longer service life, reducing grinding costs. The impressive durability of the SQUADRO-G diamond grinding pad makes it a more economical option when compared to other grinding pads such as leather pads or polyurethane options. 

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Finding the right grinding pads

Diamond grinding pads offer versatility when used in glass grinding or crystal grinding and polishing. The application of diamond grinding pads also reduces cost, which adds up to increasing the value end-users get from purchasing optical systems or items that make use of ground glass.  

Microdiamant, Europe’s largest diamond microniser, has used all its 6+ decades of experience in the industry to develop the SQUADRO-G diamond grinding pad. Thus, it offers the features and durability required to optimise the process of finishing brittle glass materials.  

Visit the Microdiamant supplier page to learn more about the features and capabilities of their materials listed on Matmatch and to get in direct contact with its technical team. 

Article by Microdiamant AG

Brilliance in surface finishing.

Built over three generations with high involvement and dedication, Microdiamant is a family-run company headquartered in Lengwil, Switzerland. By today, Microdiamant has evolved to be Europe’s largest diamond micronizer and ranks among the top three worldwide for micron diamond powders. Its products and services are distributed through a network of specialized agents with subsidiaries and partners in around 20 countries across Europe, the USA and Asia. As a full-spectrum supplier, the company offers solutions used in a variety of industries such as the Precision Industry, Electronics and Optics, Medtech, Tooling and Coatings as well as Luxury Goods. With the services offered in its Surface Lab, Microdiamant not only follows its guiding principle of creating something new and better but also answers to the sectors’ demand for specialists in optimizing and developing fine grinding, lapping and polishing processes.

Microdiamant provides the following products in addition to the listed materials on Matmatch under the following link: https://www.microdiamant.com/products/overview/

1) Diamond suspensions
2) Diamond compounds
3) Grinding pads
4) Composite polishing pads
5) Polishing pads
6) Final polishing slurries