The paper presents results of computer simulations of the stress/strain field built up in a cobalt matrix diamond impregnated saw blade segment during its fabrication and after loading the protruding diamond with an external force. The main objective of this work was to create better understanding of the factors affecting retention of diamond particles in a metallic matrix of saw blade segments, which are produced by means of the powder metallurgy technology.
The effective use of diamond impregnated tools strongly depends on mechanical and tribological properties of the matrix, which has to hold the diamond grits firmly. The diamond retention capability of the matrix is affected in a complex manner by chemical or mechanical interactions between the diamond crystal and the matrix during the segment manufacture. Due to the difference between the thermal expansion coefficients of the diamond and metallic matrix, a complex stress/strain field is generated in the matrix surrounding each diamond crystal.
It is assumed that the matrix potential for diamond retention can be associated with the amount of the elastic and plastic deformation energy and the size of the deformation zone occurring in the matrix around diamonds. The stress and strain fields generated in the matrix were calculated using the Abaqus software. It was found that the stress and strain fields generated during segment fabrication change to a large extent as the diamond crystal emerges from the cobalt matrix to reach its working height of protrusion.