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Diamond Production Technology

#3536


Development of Energy-Saving and Effective Diamond Production Technology

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials
  • MAN-MAT/Engineering Materials/Manufacturing Technology

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
05.06.2006

Leading Institute
Institute of Geology of Komi Scientific Center, Russia, Komi, Syktyvkar

Supporting institutes

  • Russian Academy of Sciences / Physical Technical Institute, Russia, St Petersburg\nKhlopin Radium Institute, Russia, St Petersburg\nUral Branch of RAS / Institute of Metal Physics, Russia, Sverdlovsk reg., Ekaterinburg

Collaborators

  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität / Institut für Mineralogie, Germany, Frankfurt am Main\nUniversitat Leipzig / Fakultat fuer Physik und Geowissenschaften, Germany, Leipzig\nUniversity of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign / Department of Geology, USA, IL, Urbana\nNiigata University / Faculty of Science, Japan, Niigata\nUniversita Degli Studi di Siena / Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Italy, Siena

Project summary

The project is intended to develop an energy-saving and effective technology of commercial diamond synthesis by reducing the current thermodynamic parameters, production costs and toxic wastes, at the same time with increasing the quality of diamonds.

The diamond synthesis by the method of diamond crystallization at high pressure high temperature (HPHT) conditions in metal melts with using metal catalysts is the main industrial technology of diamond production. The method has several negative moments – the process takes much energy, the constructional parts of industrial presses have short life-period, the diamond enrichment from the synthesis products is a toxic technological stage, the produced diamonds often have metallic inclusions which significantly reduce their quality. The listed problems require new technological decisions for more effective HPHT industrial diamond synthesis, it is especially important at present for existing HPHT industry as a new cheap diamond synthesis technology from gas phase at low pressure is developing actively.

The present Project unites the research efforts of the Institute of Geology (Syktyvkar), the Ioffe Institute and the Radium Institute (St.Petersburg) which have already gained a significant experience in carbon modifying and diamond synthesis and the Institute of Metal Physics (Yekaterinburg) has been working on radiation modifying of metals, alloys and compounds, pyrolytic graphite. The project teams have provided preliminary experimental investigations, which demonstrated possibility of essential rise of the diamond yield, up to 30 % and more using the listed technological principles. The Radium Institute, the Institute of Metal Physics and the Institute of Geology already took part at ISTC projects, such as the projects # 1819; 1819.2; 1419; 1383; 1063; 467.

The project assists in realizing the main goals of the ISTC – allows Russian weapon scientists and engineers to change their weapon specialization to peaceful investigation activity; stimulates integration of Russian scientists into international scientific community; holds applied investigations and technologies development for peaceful needs.

In the frame of the project it would be possible to decide the listed above problems at saving the present industrial HPHT technological equipment park using some small changes into technological process. The rise of HPHT diamond synthesis production and reducing of production cost will be realized by 1) using preliminary modified graphite, by speed thermal and/or gamma and neutron treatment, adding fullerenes; 2) using nonmetallic mixture – graphite-carbonate substrate. The listed technological aspects independently or with unit some of them can allow to rise diamond output, to reduce thermodynamical parameters of synthesis and to provide easier and clearer enrichment of diamonds from the synthesis matrix.

The methodology of the project includes the following stages:

  1. the development of independent parts of the technology, determined by independent technological principles;
  2. the development of the full technological scheme by determination of the most optimal technological indicators;
  3. testing the full optimal technological scheme and determination of its final technological and economical indicators.

At realizing of the project it is planned to provide 2500 runs for diamond synthesis by using industrial presses 1000, 500 ton-force for static and 100, 25, 5 ton-force for dynamic synthesis with the analysis of initial substances and synthesis products by investigation of their structural-chemical phase statement, physical properties of diamond crystals. At structural-chemical investigations the complex of microscopic, spectroscopic, X-ray diffraction and neutron diffraction methods will be attracted. The Institutes-participants have necessary HPHT equipment for diamond synthesis and the listed necessary research methods.

The organizations-collaborators will take part under the project by providing some of high resolution investigations, discussing of coming experimental and final project results, scientific-technical expertise of a new pilot technology.

The pilot technology will be the final result of the project, which the prospects be transformed into an industrial technology within the shortest period.


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