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PRODUCTION MONITORING AND QUALITY CONTROL OF THIN DIAMOND WIRE
Anglo Sterling Ltd.

Production Monitoring and Quality Control of Thin Diamond Wire

by Dr.Ing. Einar List

Introduction

Thin diamond coated wire does the hard job to slice silicon or sapphire ingots into wafers. The properties of the diamond saw wire are crucial for a reliable and cost effective cutting process. The paper describes a method to control the saw wire manufacturing process more closely, in order to manufacture a product with elevated quality and guaranteed properties. The focus is on such manufacturing technologies, where the diamonds protrude from the surface of the finished product. The paper is not applicable to technologies where the diamond is completely embedded in a matrix of holding material.

Key properties of the diamond saw wire

When looking at a diamond saw wire produced made by an electroplating process we find 3 main components of the saw wire:

  • The steel core
  • The Nickel coating
  • Abrasive grains (Diamonds) embedded in the Nickel coating
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The performance of the diamond saw wire is result of the logical AND connection of the basic properties of the 3 components and the interconnection between the components.

The steel core wire and the diamond powder can be considered as invariable ingredients, once the type of the raw material was carefully selected. All other properties are subject to change depending on the process parameters, and therefore subject to control procedures in the manufacturing process.

Quality relevant properties of the saw wire components

Steel core

  • Tensile strength
  • Fatigue strength
  • Diameter

Nickel coating layer(s)

  • Hardness
  • Brittleness
  • Elasticity
  • Microcrystallinity
  • Coating thickness
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