Diamond is largely utilized as a gemstone and is also used for industrial purposes due to its physical and chemical properties. Diamond has the highest thermal conductivity at room temperature conditions when compared to any other material and is the hardest material on earth. Industrial applications of diamond include wire drawing, computing, heat sink, corrosion-resistant coating, polishing, and cutting.
Industrial diamonds find application as a heat sink in electronic thermal management operations and are used as catalysts in the chemical industry, abrasive in the construction, automotive, aerospace, and defense industries.
Industrial diamond is of two types; natural and synthetic. Natural diamonds, which do not meet the required gem standards of color, shape, clarity, and size, are utilized in industrial applications. Synthetic diamonds are the most commonly used diamonds in industrial applications, as it can be produced in large quantities and can be designed based on its end-use applications. Synthetic diamonds are used in up to 99% of all industrial applications.
Increasing demand for abrasives globally is one of the major factors driving growth of the global industrial diamond market. Moreover, long service life of diamonds when compared to other cutting and polishing materials, and the high precision offered by diamond cutting tools are major factors that have led to increasing demand for these in construction and oil & gas industries, thereby driving growth of the market. This further leads to longer production runs and lower tool changes.
However, high cost of diamond, both natural and synthetic, and availability of low cost alternatives have led to decrease in adoption of industrial diamonds for various applications. These alternatives are cheaper than diamond and may be used in low cost operations. Low cost alternatives for industrial diamond in cutting and polishing include cubic boron nitride, silicon carbide, and fused aluminum oxide.
Increasing use of industrial diamonds in the oil & gas industry is one of the major growth drivers. The extreme hardness and low thermal conductivity of diamond makes it an ideal cutting material. Drill bits that utilize diamond as a core material include polycrystalline diamond bits, surface set diamond bits, and impregnated diamond bits. The use of diamond due to its hardness has led to shorter service runs and increased drilling distance per drill bit, which further results in increased cost savings for drilling operators.
HPHT Method and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) are the two technologies through, which synthetic diamonds are manufactured. These technologies have witnessed several advances such as improved process efficiency and cost of manufacturing. According to the Gemological Institute of America, synthetic industrial diamond manufacturers are switching to CVD technology due to low cost of the process. These factors have bolstered the industrial diamond market growth.
North America was the largest market for industrial diamonds in 2016. The major end-use industries of industrial diamonds in the region were mining, oil & gas, electronics, and automotive. The booming shale oil and gas production in the U.S. is a major factor driving growth of the industrial diamond market. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the shale oil output from the U.S. shale plays reached around 7.2 million bpd in June, 2018.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the production of industrial diamonds in the U.S. was pegged at 125 million carats in 2015. Although much of the demand in the country was met by imports from China. China’s production of industrial diamonds in 2016 was pegged at 4 billion carats according to the same source.
Key Market Players
In 2015, Schlumberger Limited, leading oil and gas service provider, acquired Novatek Inc., a U.S.-based company that is specialized in synthetic diamond cutting technologies. This acquisition helped in boosting the drill bits product portfolio of Schlumberger Limited. Schlumberger also acquired Novatek’s R&D center as part of the acquisition, which will boost the company’s technology capabilities through innovations and product developments.
Major players operating in the global industrial diamond market include Scio Diamond Technology Corporation, Industrial Abrasives Ltd, Alrosa, The 3M Company, Toolgal Diamond Tools, Invedia, Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc., Applied Diamond Inc, Hebei Plasma Diamond Technology Co., Ltd., and Schlumberger Limited.
On the basis of product type, the global industrial diamond market is segmented into:
On the basis of end-use industry, the global industrial diamond market is segmented into:
On the basis of region, the global industrial diamond market is segmented into:
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