Enhancing Industrial Tool Longevity: The Wear Protection Advantages of Shannon Abrasives’ Premium TSP Diamond

In the competitive landscape of industrial diamond manufacturing, Shannon Abrasives emerges as a pioneering entity, especially in the realm of wear protection through innovative material science. Located in the scenic west of Ireland, this family-operated enterprise has mastered the blend of tradition and technology, providing both synthetic and natural diamond solutions to global toolmakers. The spotlight of their latest achievements shines on their premium TSP (Thermally Stable Polycrystalline) diamond product. This article dives into the specifics of Shannon Abrasives’ TSP diamond, emphasizing its exceptional wear protection properties, attributed to its unique tri-modal structure and reduced free silicon content.


The need for materials that can withstand extreme wear and tear is paramount in industries requiring high-precision cutting, drilling, and grinding. Shannon Abrasives’ premium TSP diamond is engineered to meet these demands, offering a solution that significantly extends the operational lifespan of tools through its superior wear protection capabilities.


Tri-Modal Grain Structure: A Cornerstone for Wear Protection

At the heart of Shannon Abrasives’ wear protection strategy is the TSP diamond’s tri-modal grain structure. This innovative approach integrates three different grain sizes within the diamond matrix, each playing a crucial role in enhancing wear resistance.

Key Benefits of the Tri-Modal Structure for Wear Protection:

  • Uniform Wear: The strategic distribution of grain sizes ensures a balanced wear pattern, preventing localized damage and prolonging the tool’s functional life.
  • Optimal Edge Retention: The presence of fine grains alongside larger ones maintains a consistently sharp edge, reducing the frequency of tool replacements.
  • Enhanced Durability: This unique grain structure enhances the diamond’s toughness, making it more resilient against fracturing and degradation during heavy-duty applications.

Reduced Free Silicon Content: Reinforcing Strength and Stability

Another pivotal feature of Shannon Abrasives’ TSP diamond is its minimization of free silicon, a commonly used binder in TSP diamond production that can undermine the material’s integrity. By developing a proprietary process to reduce this silicon content, Shannon Abrasives has significantly boosted the wear protection capabilities of their TSP diamond.


Impact of Reduced Free Silicon on Wear Protection:

  • Increased Thermal Stability: With less silicon, the TSP diamond maintains its structural integrity even in high-temperature conditions, crucial for wear resistance.
  • Boosted Mechanical Strength: The elimination of silicon impurities enhances the overall hardness and durability of the diamond, making it capable of enduring more strenuous tasks without succumbing to wear.
  • Superior Performance Longevity: Tools embedded with Shannon Abrasives’ TSP diamonds consistently outperform competitors in longevity and efficiency, thanks to the advanced wear protection offered by the high-purity diamond.


Testing our Premium TSP Against Other Manufacturers

We gathered 10 TSP materials of primarily the same size and shape from 8 different manufactures and tested them against our own premium grade however, proprietary manufacturing methods and no standard methods to assess mechanical properties makes it hard to compare one manufacturers material with another without testing it in its chosen application.


As a result we developed a combination of tests which we believe gives a good indication of how the TSP material is likely to perform in the field. To rank each material for wear resistance we used a mixture of microstructural and compositional analysis (SEM, EDM and X-ray diffraction) teamed with a robust wear test which we developed in-house (the Milling Attrition Test).

The Milling Attrition Test wears the material by a mixture of impact and friction in a fluid environment. It uses a planetary mill with 3 chambers which rotate around the central axis and simultaneously around their own axes in the opposite direction. The milling medium is loaded into the chambers with the sample to be tested and the test fluid. The sample undergoes multiple high energy impacts with the milling medium and the chamber walls during milling as well as friction against the milling media. The percentage weight loss is then measured and the materials ranked against each other.


What we found was that the wear properties of some TSP materials varied widely within a batch where as others were very consistent. In addition, some manufactures material properties were shape dependent while others remained primarily the same irrespective of shape showing good control of sintering parameters. Comparison of the wear data with the microstructural and compositional analysis showed that grain size distribution, free silicon content, diamond content and matrix composition all influence the wear properties of TSP material.

The results of the tests are shown in the graph below. The best performing material (highest wear resistance/lowest % weight loss) was found to be our own premium grade and is available in a variety of shapes and sizes to customers specifications.



Shannon Abrasives’ premium TSP diamond product stands out in the industrial diamond market, primarily due to its unparalleled wear protection properties. The innovative tri-modal grain structure and the strategic reduction of free silicon content collectively ensure that tools equipped with this diamond can withstand extreme conditions while maintaining performance and longevity. Shannon Abrasives’ commitment to excellence and sustainability is evident in every facet of their TSP diamond’s development, offering industries a reliable, efficient, and durable solution. As a result, Shannon Abrasives continues to lead the way in advancing the durability and efficiency of industrial tools, setting new benchmarks for wear protection in the diamond industry.


00353 61 475 066 // enquiries@shannonabrasives.com