A hydraulic press is a machine that uses Pascal’s principle to generate enormous forces, which have been employed to compress various items su……
Can a Hydraulic Press Make a Diamond?
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[Article Summary]:A hydraulic press is a machine that uses Pascal’s principle to generate enormous forces, which have been employed to compress various items su……
A hydraulic press is a machine that uses Pascal's principle to generate enormous forces, which have been employed to compress various items such as meat tenderizers and Rubik's Cubes.
Now, they're taking on nature's hardest substance -- diamonds. Will they stand up against the force of a hydraulic press?
The Hardness of Diamonds
Diamonds are widely recognized for their incredible hardness, making them indispensable in various industrial processes. But what exactly does 'hardness' refer to and should it matter for consumers?
Geologists use a scale known as Mohs hardness scale to assess the hardness of minerals and gemstones, measuring their ability to resist being scratched by another mineral. Minerals with high Mohs hardness scores are considered very hard; diamond is the hardest natural material known to man with an Mohs rating of 10. Corundum comes second at 7 on this scale of hardness rating; what makes diamond so hard lies within its process of production.
Hardness of minerals is determined by both their strength of bonds between atoms, as well as how arranged in their crystal structures. Diamonds possess highly symmetrical crystal structures which makes them strong; additionally they have enormous bond strengths resulting in hardness that make them particularly hard.
Diamonds possess an extremely tough chemical makeup. Diamonds form in the Earth's mantle as carbon atoms are subjected to immense pressure and heat, bonding together into covalent bonds (the strongest kind) to form hard, durable materials like diamonds.
Hardness doesn't always reflect strength or durability in minerals. A very hard mineral might still be very brittle and susceptible to breaking under pressure; for example, hitting it with a hammer could fracture it easily - for instance if hit directly it may crack or shatter.
An hydraulic press could be used to crush diamonds, though this would take considerable power and force. Indeed, the amount of force necessary would exceed that needed to flex a steel plate, since its thickness determines this force required.
The Toughness of Diamonds
Although many may associate diamonds with being fragile and easily broken, that perception stems more from mythologized rarity than any actual susceptibility to surface impact. Diamonds actually boast one of the hardest materials on Earth (Mohs scale of 10), yet remain extremely tough; no mineral is more resistant to scratching than diamonds - hence why there are no visible scratches on their surfaces no matter what you try doing with your fingernail or hammer!
Reasons that no substance can scratch a diamond include its chemical makeup as well as its three dimensional tetragonal lattice with strong carbon-to-carbon bonds. While similar lattices exist in silicon carbide with half of its carbons replaced by silicon, though neither are as hard or durable as diamond. While neither material will withstand impacts like steel shards without breaking,
Hardness can vary depending on how you view a substance's crystal face; diamonds' hardness varies with which direction one looks. As an example, diamonds tend to be harder on faces of an octahedron than on cube faces, leading them to split along so-called cleavage lines similar to wood grains - this feature may prove either helpful or hinderful for diamond cutters; in one sense it provides optimal sawing and polishing angles while making breaking diamonds more challenging.
This variation in hardness explains why certain materials tend to outscore others on the Mohs Scale even when their level of hardness is similar. For instance, talc is considered soft while quartz has more of a crystalline form making it resistant to cracking under strain.
The Strength of Diamonds
Diamonds are one of the strongest natural materials on Earth, formed over billions of years in Earth's interior and capable of withstanding intense heat, pressure and other intense forces. Diamonds have long been seen as a symbol of strength and indestructibility. That's why engagement rings often feature diamonds as center pieces - their strength stemming from an exceptional arrangement of carbon atoms within a crystal lattice; each carbon atom bonds strongly to four other carbon atoms with strong covalent bonds which provides incredible hardness.
Diamond's hardness gives it its resistance to scratching, meaning no other gemstone can leave an indentation on it. But this doesn't equate to its durability; forceful impact such as being hit by a hammer can still break it.
Steel can be made stronger through adding impurities or increasing its temperature; diamonds stand apart by having four strong covalent bonds between carbon atoms that make them resistant to tensile strength; this allows diamonds to withstand stress without succumbing to tension or pull and remain firm under stress or tension - and their tensile strength of over 100 tons allows them to easily break steel.
Diamonds' incredible tensile strength allows them to withstand the immense amounts of pressure required to form them, making their formation possible. Carbon molecules are placed under intense heat and pressure as part of this process, eventually joining together in one single substance that remains strong even when cut into different shapes. This incredible resilience also remains when diamonds undergo cutting processes as it remains strong regardless of shape changes.
Pricing diamonds requires taking several factors into account, with the shape being one of the key ones. As it influences how much of its rough carat weight is lost during cutting, more carats discarded means a lower overall price per carat of finished diamond.
When purchasing a diamond, it is crucial that you find a trustworthy merchant offering comprehensive grading and verification services such as those provided by GIA/AGS certificates and Hearts and Arrows images - this will give you peace of mind that you are purchasing an excellent-quality gem.
The Cost of Diamonds
Though diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring material on Earth, their prices don't reflect that fact. Their price depends on many different factors including popularity, production costs and quality; popular demand plays an influential role but so too do factors like labor, energy and raw materials used for production costs and raw material consumption. Furthermore, mining diamonds is extremely costly; much of their rough material gets wasted during cutting and polishing processes.
Weight also impacts the cost of diamonds; as weight increases so does their cost per carat; this practice is especially prevalent with larger size diamonds where prices typically increase 20% between 0.99ct to 1.00ct - so selecting your size with caution.
Price-sensitive buyers of diamonds should take note of its color and clarity characteristics when making purchasing decisions. Robert Shipley developed the industry standard GIA scale to assess diamond color; all buyers can utilize his matrix that evaluates four characteristics (color, clarity, cut, fluorescence).
The Rapaport Diamond Report price list offers a standard system for rating diamonds that helps maintain pricing stability and increase transparency in the marketplace. However, given that diamond industry is rarely built upon logic alone, there may be odd inconsistencies like one lab offering lower pricing for an otherwise identical VS2 clarity stone than another - potentially making all the difference when purchasing at wholesale versus paying a premium for one!
Hydraulic Press Channel presented with a 1.2-carat diamond that was donated, but it was quickly crushed under pressure in less than one second. Although diamonds may seem hard, they're actually fragile gems that can shatter under too much force - it is therefore vitally important that shoppers find diamonds at great values in their search for the ideal jewels.