What is Micro Blasting?
Micro blasting uses airflow to direct small abrasive particles towards the surface that needs to be cleaned. These small particles impact the surface and, in this way, remove the carbon layer. Micro blasting of diamond can easily be used during production, but asks for manual manipulation.
Minimise weight loss
Up till now, various methods have been used to remove conductive carbon layers from their diamond substrate including thermal removal, boiling and polishing. Micro Blasting is by far the most user friendly and cost effective method for carbon layer removal. It also minimises diamond weight loss during the removal process and avoids common problems or short-comings seen with other residue removal methods.
Safe for user and stone
When using the Micro-Blaster correctly, this method of carbon residue removal is safe for the stone and inflicts no health hazard to the user.
The abrasive material
The use of an abrasive with the correct grain size is crucial for 2 reasons:
- The first reason is the safety of the stone. A larger grain size leads to a larger local impact and this can lead to damage.
- The second reason is the quality of the result. Larger grains can not infiltrate as easily as smaller grains into the fine microstructure of the lasered surface and therefore they will not remove the black layer sufficiently. Too small grains have a non-sufficient impact that will lead also to an insufficient removed layer. The abrasive material aluminum oxide, with grain sizes of 50 to 75 microns gives good results. In principle it is possible to recycle the abrasive however this is not advisable: micro diamond particles may reduce the life of the blasting gun, and also increase the risk for damaging the stones.
Single stone or batch operation
Each stone can be cleaned one by one but when an operator wishes to simultaneously handle multiple stones, the operator can place them in a gummy holder with the lasered surface upwards, in order to clean them in a batch.