Feeling stressed? Tension high? For most people, stress comes once in a while. For diamonds, tension is often built in.
The internal structure of a diamond includes areas of physical stress, or tension. These areas develop naturally as the diamond forms. Tension within a diamond can be mild, moderate or extreme. The tension areas cannot be seen by the naked eye, yet they are a real source of stress to diamond cutters and manufacturers. Why? Let’s see.
Laser Sawing - High Tension Risk
During the manufacturing process, a rough diamond is sawed into sections. Each section will later be cut and polished into a separate diamond. During the sawing process, if the diamond is cut on an area of medium or high tension, there is a risk that inclusions could become larger, new cracks may occur or the rough diamond could even shatter.
According to feedback from diamond manufacturers, Sarine found that approximately 10-20% of rough diamonds that have detected medium- or high-tension areas are damaged in some way during laser sawing. The result is loss of revenue... and that’s a definite source of stress for any diamond manufacturer.
Coping with Diamond Tension
The only way to cope with diamond tension is by having the capability to see where the tension areas are located in a rough diamond. This visualization enables the diamond planner to decide exactly where to saw the diamond in order to reduce the risk of damage.
However it’s not just the location of the tension that is important - it is also the intensity of the tension in each area. Diamond tension is complex and random, and avoiding high- and medium-tension areas during sawing is critical. Diamond manufacturers must have the ability to differentiate between low, medium and high areas of tension in order to maximize the polished yield of the rough diamond while minimizing the potential damage that can occur.
The tools used to detect diamond tension, such as the Polariscope, have so far provided a less-than-perfect picture. These tools do not have the capability to show the exact 3D location of the tension areas, precisely as they occur in real life inside the actual diamond. In addition, commonly used tools do not have the capability to show the varying levels of tension - where high- or medium-tension areas are precisely occuring - which means that diamond planners do not have the information necessary to plan the optimal sawing planes.
The New Way: Galaxy® Tension
There’s a new approach to detecting diamond tension. It’s called Galaxy® Tension, and it is an add-on to Sarine’s industry-leading Galaxy® 6 inclusion scanning and mapping technology used by diamond manufacturers worldwide.
Currently in the beta phase of development, Galaxy Tension has the capability to detect and display the real-life location of diamond tension, in color-coded scans that accurately portray tension strength. Red areas show the stronger tension areas, while blue shows the milder tension.
Galaxy Tension scans can be opened in Sarine Advisor® 8 rough planning software, enabling the development of cutting plans with the accurate tension data at hand. This means that even in the planning stage, the issue of tension can be taken into consideration. This valuable information enables diamond manufacturers to reduce the need for safety distance during sawing and cutting, helping them extract the maximum value from the rough diamond, despite the challenge of tension.
During the Galaxy Tension beta phase, more than 10 India-based diamond manufacturers dealing in a wide range of diamonds scanned more than 15K rough stones for stress detection using the new technology. Following sawing of the diamonds, the manufacturers reported significant decrease of damage and stone loss on all diamond weight categories.
Just like people, part of a diamond’s beauty can be found in its unique character and imperfections. Tension is just another aspect of a diamond that makes it one of a kind. With the right stress detection technology, diamond tension is another fascinating chapter in the diamond story.