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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering consumables
Metallographic Wafer Cutting Technical Information



Introduction

Metallographic Precision Wafering Cutting Blades

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.

Precision wafer cutting is used for sectioning very delicate samples or for sectioning a sample to a very precise location. Precision wafering saws typically have micrometers for precise alignment and positioning of the sample, and have variable loading and cutting speed control. Typical precision wafering saws range in speeds from 50-1500 rpm or 300-3000 rpm. Higher speeds saws are required for sectioning very hard materials such as ceramics, heat treated steels and minerals.

Metallographic medium speed precision wafering saw Metallographic medium speed precision wafering saw Metallographic table feed precision wafering saw
PICO 155 / PICO 155P
Medium speed precision saw
PICO 175
High speed precision saw
PICO 200
Medium table feed saw

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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 Precision Wafering consumables

Precision Cutting Process Description

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.

Boron graphite composite cut with fine grit wafering blade Boron graphite composite cut with medium grit wafering blade
Fine grit diamond wafering cut - graphite-boron composite Medium grit diamond wafering cut - graphite-boron composite
Metallographic fine grit diamond wafering blade for cutting silicon wafer Metallographic medium grit diamond wafering blade for cutting silicon wafer
Fine grit diamond wafering cut - silicon Medium grit diamond wafering cut - silicon

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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering 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 Precision Wafering consumables

Recommended Precision Cutting Procedures


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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering consumables

Recommended Precision Cutting Procedures

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.


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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering 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 Precision Wafering 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

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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering consumables


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

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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering consumables


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

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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering consumables


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

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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering consumables


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

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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering consumables


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

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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering consumables


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
(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 (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 (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 (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 (soft gummy materials such as plastics, rubber and soft metals)

High

Medium

0.030-inch

WB-080EPD

Product Image

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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering consumables


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

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PACE Technologies metallographic Precision Wafering consumables


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 Precision Wafering 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 Precision Wafering consumables


MISCELLANEOUS
Description Quantity Catalog Number
DIACUT Dressing sticks (medium grit) each DRES-0010
Porometric mounting pads 24/pkg. PAD-0010

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email: pace@metallographic.com
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