A Diamond does not act alone, but in combination with its bond system. This system plays several important roles in the performance of the Diamond tool:
- Disperses and supports the diamond
- Provides controlled wear while allowing crystal protrusion
- Prevents crystal pull-out
- Acts as a heat sink
- Distributes impact and load as the diamond attacks the work piece
Optimum performance of a diamond tool is achieved through the proper choice of diamond grade, bond system, and machine parameters. Low temperature bonds (less than 900 degrees C, 1652 degrees F) preserve diamond crystal properties best. Such bonds are usually made from cobalt, nickel iron, bronze, or a combination of these metals.
The bond system must be designed to wear away at the same rate as the diamond crystals fracture or become dull. As the bond wears, new sharp diamond crystals are exposed and being to cut. A bond that is not properly designed for the cutting application is said to be to soft or too hard.