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PACE Technologies metallographic wafer cutting consumables

Metallographic Wafer Cutting Technical Information

Precision wafer cutting is most commonly accomplished with diamond wafering blades, however for some materials the use of cubic boron nitride (CBN) is the more effiicient wafering blade. In addition, optimal wafer cutting is accomplished by maximizing the abrasive concentration and abrasive size, as well as choosing the most appropriate cutting speed and load. The following table provides the recommended parameters for precision wafering sectioning.


Wafer Blade Selection Guidelines

Material

Characteristic

Speed (rpm)

Load (grams)

Blade (grit/conc.)

Silicon substrate

soft/brittle

<300

<100

Fine/low

Gallium arsenide

soft/brittle

<200

<100

Fine/low

Boron composites

very brittle

500

250

Fine/low

Ceramic fiber composites

very brittle

1000

500

Fine/low

Glasses

brittle

1000

500

Fine/low

Minerals

friable/brittle

>1500

>500

Fine/low

Alumina ceramic

hard/tough

>1500

>500

Medium / low

Zirconia (PSZ)

hard/tough

>3500

>800

Medium/low

Silicon nitride

hard/tough

>3500

>800

Medium/low

Metal matrix composites

 

>3500

>500

Medium/high

General purpose

 

variable

Variable

Medium/high


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PACE Technologies metallographic wafer cutting consumables

Perhaps the most important parameter for diamond sectioning is the abrasive size. Similar to grinding and polishing, finer abrasives produce less damage. For extremely brittle materials, finer abrasives are required to minimize and manage the damage produced during sectioning. Sectioning with a fine abrasive wafering blade is often the only way that a specimen can be cut so that the final polished specimen represents the true microstructure. Examples include: silicon computer chips, gallium arsenide, brittle glasses, ceramic composites, and boron/graphite composites.

Metallographic fine grit diamond blade for cutting brittle boron carbide   Metallographic medium grit diamond blade for cutting brittle boron carbide

Fine grit diamond cut

Medium grit diamond cut


Metallographic fine grit diamond wafering blade for cutting silicon wafer   Metallographic medium grit diamond wafering blade for cutting silicon wafer

Fine grit diamond cut

 

Medium grit diamond cut


PACE Technologies metallographic wafer cutting consumables

Precision Cutting Process Description

Wafer Sectioning - Sectioning with diamond wafering blades is most commonly used for delicate materials requiring a precise cut. The important parameters for sectioning with wafering blades are speed, load, diamond concentration and diamond size. The cutting speed and applied loads are a function of the material being cut. Most common diamond wafering is done between 50 rpm and 5000 rpm with loads varying from 10-1000 grams. Generally, harder specimens are cut at higher loads and speeds (e.g. ceramics and minerals) and more brittle specimens are cut at lower loads and speeds (e.g. electronic silicon substrates).

Several factors are important for choosing the appropriate wafering blade. These include: diamond concentration (low and high), diamond bond (metal plate), diamond size (fine or medium), blade diameter and blade thickness. The diamond concentration is important because it directly affects the load which is applied during cutting. For example, brittle materials such as ceramics require higher effective loads to section, whereas ductile materials such as metals require more cutting points. The result is that low concentration blades are recommended for sectioning hard brittle materials such as ceramics and high concentration blades are recommended for ductile materials containing a large fraction of metal or plastic.

The diamond bonding material can also significantly affect a blades cutting performance. Metal plated wafering blades require periodic dressing to maintain performance. Contary to popular thought, cutting performance does not decrease because of the diamond being "pulled-out" of the blade. In reality, the metal bond is primarily smearing over the diamond and "blinding" the diamond abrasive. With periodic dressing this smeared material is removed and the cutting rate restored. The following graph shows this effect on very hard to cut material such as silicon nitride without dressing the blade. Following dressing the sample once again was cut in 30 seconds.


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PACE Technologies metallographic wafer cutting consumables

Recommended Precision Cutting Procedures

  • Condition the wafering blade with the appropriate dressing stick to remove previous cutting swarf and smeared metal from the wafering blade. A properly conditioned blade will cut faster and last longer. It is recommended that the dressing stick be mechanically applied to avoid twisting and chipping of the blade
  • Clamp the specimen appropriately so that the sample does not shift during cutting
  • For brittle materials clamp the specimen with a rubber pad to absorb vibration from the operation
  • Begin the cut with a lower load to set the blade
  • Orient the specimen so that the cut is through the smallest cross section
  • Use largest appropriate blade flanges to prevent the blade from becoming distorted
  • Reduce the load towards the end of the cut for brittle specimens (reduces fracturing at the end of the cut)
  • Use the appropriate cutting fluid

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PACE Technologies metallographic wafer cutting consumables

Cutting Fluids

Lubrication during abrasive cutting and diamond wafer cutting are required to minimize damage and to remove the cutting debris or swarf. For abrasive cutters the proper cutting fluid can have the added benefit of coating the cast iron bases and fixtures to eliminate corrosion and rusting of the cutter.

  • Oil based diamond wafer cutting fluid - For diamond wafer cutting of metals an oil based cutting fluid is required to prevent the metal from coating the blade. Oil based cutting fluids therefore prolong the life and cutting efficiency of the diamond blade when cutting specimens requiring a high level of lubrication
  • Water based diamond wafer cutting fluid - For ceramics, minerals, and composite type of samples a water based cutting fluid is recommended. Water based cutting fluids are easier to clean off the specimen, especially if the samples are porous.

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PACE Technologies metallographic wafer cutting consumables

Precision Cutting Trouble Shooting

Symptom

Cause

Action

Chipped or broken blade

  • Improper blade dressing
  • Insufficient clamping of specimen
  • Too high an initial load
  • Use a mechanical dressing fixture
  • Secure specimen with a rubber pad
  • Reduce initial loading to set cutting kerf
  • Excessive blade wobble

  • Too high a cutting load
  • Reduce applied load and/or use larger diameter support flanges
  • Low cutting rates

  • Smeared material on the blade
  • Too low a cutting speed and/or load
  • Redress blade at <100 grams and <200 rpm
  • Increase cutting speeds and loads
  • Rotate specimen to minimize cutting area
  • Excessive specimen damage or chipping

  • Too large an abrasive
  • Excessive vibration
  • Use finer grit diamond blade
  • Secure specimen with rubber mounting pad
  • Burr formation on specimen at end of cut

  • Too high a load and/or speed at end of cut
  • Excessive vibration
  • Reduce speeds and loads to reduce cutting rate
  • Secure specimen with rubber mounting pads

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    PACE Technologies metallographic wafer cutting consumables

    Precision Cutting Products

    3-inch Diameter (76 mm) Wafering Blade, 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) Arbor

    Application

    Conc.

    Diamond
    size

    Thickness

    Catalog
    Number

    Product
    Images

    Brittle materials (microelectronic materials, friable ceramics, minerals)

    Low

    Fine

    0.006-inch

    WB-0030LC

    Product Image

    Hard/tougher ceramics (Si3N4, ZrO2)

    Low

    Medium

    0.006-inch

    WB-0035LC

    Product Image

    Most metal samples

    High

    Medium

    0.006-inch

    WB-0035HC

    Product Image

    4-inch Diameter (102 mm) Wafering Blade, 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) Arbor

    Application

    Conc.

    Diamond
    size

    Thickness

    Catalog
    Number

    Product
    Images

    Brittle materials (microelectronic materials, friable ceramics, minerals)

    Low

    Fine

    0.012-inch

    WB-0040LC

    Product Image

    Hard/tougher ceramics (Si3N4, ZrO2)

    Low

    Medium

    0.012-inch

    WB-0045LC

    Product Image

    Most metal samples

    High

    Medium

    0.012-inch

    WB-0045HC

    Product Image

    5-inch Diameter (127 mm) Wafering Blade, 1/2-nich (12.7 mm) Arbor

    Application

    Conc.

    Diamond
    size

    Thickness

    Catalog
    Number

    Product
    Images

    Brittle materials (microelectronic materials, friable ceramics, minerals)

    Low

    Fine

    0.015-inch

    WB-0050LC

    Product Image

    Hard/tougher ceramics (Si3N4, ZrO2)

    Low

    Medium

    0.015-inch

    WB-0055LC

    Product Image

    Most metal samples

    High

    Medium

    0.015-inch

    WB-0055HC

    Product Image

    6-inch Diameter (153 mm) Wafering Blade, 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) Arbor

    Application

    Conc.

    Diamond
    size

    Thickness

    Catalog
    Number

    Product
    Images

    Brittle materials (microelectronic materials, friable ceramics, minerals)

    Low

    Fine

    0.018-inch

    WB-0060LC

    Product Image

    Hard/tougher ceramics (Si3N4, ZrO2)

    Low

    Medium

    0.018-inch

    WB-0065LC

    Product Image

    Most metal samples

    High

    Medium

    0.018-inch

    WB-0065HC

    Product Image

    7-inch Diameter (178 mm) Wafering Blade, 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) Arbor

    Application

    Conc.

    Diamond
    size

    Thickness

    Catalog
    Number

    Product
    Images

    Brittle materials (microelectronic materials, friable ceramics, minerals)

    Low

    Fine

    0.020-inch

    WB-0070LC

    Product Image

    Hard/tougher ceramics (Si3N4, ZrO2)

    Low

    Medium

    0.020-inch

    WB-0075LC

    Product Image

    Most metal samples

    High

    Medium

    0.020-inch

    WB-0075HC

    Product Image
     

    8-inch Diameter (203 mm) Wafering Blade, 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) Arbor

    Application

    Conc.

    Diamond
    size

    Thickness

    Catalog
    Number

    Product
    Images

    Brittle materials (microelectronic materials, friable ceramics, minerals)

    Low

    Fine

    0.024-inch

    WB-0080LC

    Product Image

    Hard/tougher ceramics (Si3N4, ZrO2)

    Low

    Medium

    0.024-inch

    WB-0085LC

    Product Image

    Most metal samples

    High

    Medium

    0.024-inch

    WB-0085HC

    Product Image

    Electroplated Diameter Wafering Blade, 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) Arbor

    Application

    Conc.

    Diamond
    size

    Thickness

    Catalog
    Number

    Product
    Images

    4-inch electroplated diamond wafering blade for soft gummy materials such as plastics, rubber and soft metals

    Low

    Fine

    0.030-inch

    WB-040EPD

    Product Image

    5-inch electroplated diamond wafering blade for soft gummy materials such as plastics, rubber and soft metals

    Low

    Medium

    0.030-inch

    WB-050EPD

    Product Image

    6-inch electroplated diamond wafering blade for soft gummy materials such as plastics, rubber and soft metals

    High

    Medium

    0.030-inch

    WB-060EPD

    Product Image

    7-inch electroplated diamond wafering blade for soft gummy materials such as plastics, rubber and soft metals

    High

    Medium

    0.030-inch

    WB-070EPD

    Product Image

    8-inch electroplated diamond wafering blade for soft gummy materials such as plastics, rubber and soft metals

    High

    Medium

    0.030-inch

    WB-080EPD

    Product Image

    CBN Wafering Blades, 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) Arbor

    Application

    Conc.

    Diamond
    size

    Thickness

    Catalog
    Number

    Product
    Images

    4-inch CBN wafering blade (medium grit, high concentration)

    High

    Medium

    0.012-inch

    WCBN-0045

    Product Image

    5-inch CBN wafering blade (medium grit, high concentration)

    High

    Medium

    0.015-inch

    WCBN-0055

    Product Image

    6-inch CBN wafering blade (medium grit, high concentration)

    High

    Medium

    0.018-inch

    WCBN-0065

    Product Image

    7-inch CBN wafering blade (medium grit, high concentration)

    High

    Medium

    0.020-inch

    WCBN-0075

    Product Image

    8-inch CBN wafering blade (medium grit, high concentration)

    High

    Medium

    0.024-inch

    WCBN-0085

    Product Image

    CBN/ Diamond Hybrid Wafering Blades, 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) Arbor

    Application

    Conc.

    Diamond
    size

    Thickness

    Catalog
    Number

    Product
    Images

    4-inch CBN/Diamond Hybrid Wafering Blade (medium grit, high concentration)

    High

    Medium

    0.012-inch

    WCBN-0045

    Product Image

    5-inch CBN/Diamond Hybrid Wafering Blade (medium grit, high concentration)

    High

    Medium

    0.015-inch

    WCBN-0055

    Product Image

    6-inch CBN/Diamond Hybrid Wafering Blade (medium grit, high concentration

    High

    Medium

    0.018-inch

    WCBN-0065

    Product Image

    7-inch CBN/Diamond Hybrid Wafering Blade (medium grit, high concentration)

    High

    Medium

    0.020-inch

    WCBN-0075

    Product Image

    8-inchCBN/Diamond Hybrid Wafering Blade (medium grit, high concentration)

    High

    Medium

    0.024-inch

    WCBN-0085

    Product Image

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    PACE Technologies metallographic wafer cutting consumables

    Cutting Fluid

    Description

    Quantity

    Catalog
    Number

    Product
    Images

    DIACUTâ„¢ Water-based wafer cutting fluid

    16 oz (0.47l)
    32 oz (0.94l)

    WL-3000-16
    WL-3000-32

    Product Image

    DIACUTâ„¢ 2 Water-based wafer cutting fluid with anti-corrosion additive

    16 oz (0.47l)
    32 oz (0.94l)

    WL2-3000-16
    WL2-3000-32

    Product Image

    DIACUTâ„¢ Oil-based wafer cutting fluid 16 oz (0.47l)
    32 oz (0.94l)
    OL-3000-16
    OL-3000-32
    Product Image


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    PACE Technologies metallographic wafer cutting consumables


    MISCELLANEOUS

    Description

    Quantity

    Catalog
    Number

    DIACUT Dressing sticks (medium grit)

    each

    DRES-0010

    Porometric mounting pads

    24/pkg.

    PAD-0010


    PACE Technologies metallographic wafer cutting consumables


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    Metallographic testing and Material Science failure analysis and quality control testing are used in industries that require produce reliability such as:

    Metallurgical Testing Industries using Metallographic Analysis

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    Weld sensitization
    Flow line stress
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    Rockwell hardness testing
    Superficial hardness testing

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    email: pace@metallographic.com
    www.metallographic.com


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