Diamonds are not only potential girl's best friends. Scientists at the Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences have made ultrastrong material from them.
To do this, the researchers used impact diamonds that are mined in the Popigai field in Yakutia.The material is to be used for the manufacture of cutting tools and inserts in drill bits.
Ultrastrong rods are made by compacting nanoscale particles under high pressure (8 GPa) and a temperature of 1600 - 1800 degrees.The resulting material 20 - 53 times surpasses the similar alloy of synthetic diamonds and mixtures of diamond with hard alloys.Such a tool can cut at a speed of more than 140 meters per minute.
The Popigai crater where diamonds are extracted was formed about 35 million years ago by the fall of a large space body.In 1971, in the crater impact diamonds were discovered - they were formed under the influence of cosmic impact. Then, the scientists have found out that they were not exactly diamonds, but a mixture of different phases of carbon formed under high pressure.
Total reserves of the Popigai field are estimated at trillion carats, but the study of impact diamonds was discontinued in 1985.Then it was decided that synthetic diamonds are more perspective.