Diamond Razor Blades Boast Long Life

DN Staff

July 19, 2010

2 Min Read
Diamond Razor Blades Boast Long Life

It's well known that diamonds are a girl's best friend. Now,if a German company gets its wish, guys may love them, too.

GFD Gesellschaft fur Diamantprodukte of Ulm, Germany, ispitching the idea of using a super-sharp razor blade made of industrialdiamonds that could last more than 1,000 times longer than today's conventionalblade.

A nanocrystalline diamond coating is first applied to acarbide blade, then the minute layers are polished by aplasma sharpening process developed by GFD.The blade is polished until the cutting edge is sharpened to only a fewnanometers, consisting of merely a few atoms.

According to Dr. Andre Floter, managing director of GFD, thisprocess manages, for the first time, to combine the hardest material in theworld with the sharpest possible cutting edge.

GFD blades are currently being used in the pharmaceuticaland the plastic industry for tough cutting jobs, such as thick plastic sheet.

"The main reasons why companies are using our blades are thesharpness and the extreme long lifetime of our blades," Floter says. "The lifetimeof our industrial diamond blades can exceed the lifetime of an uncoated steelblade by a factor of 1,000 times. Compared to ceramic industrial blades, thelifetime increase is still up to 40 times."

About 18 months ago, GFD decided to further develop thetechnology to make it suitable for razor blades.

"This development was successful and we now have the firstprototypes of these blades available," says Floter. "At this moment we aretesting our razor blades in order to find out on how much longer they are goingto last. We have no final data on the lifetime yet but we are expecting a lifetimeincrease of at least 50 times compared to a steel razor blade."

The $64,000 question is what these super-premium razorblades would cost.

Floter says that prices are still to be determined, but theindustrial blades are priced in the $129 to $194 range. "The razor blades aremore complex to make but we also expect larger quantities in the field of razorblades," says Floter. The cost is reasonable considering the cost of disposablerazors over the course of a year, says Floter.

GFD developed the new technology in cooperation withProfessor Hans-Jorg Fecht, a nanomaterials expert at the University of Ulm inGermany, and with the aid of public research funding.

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