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Newsletter "SEI NEWS" 2013

Home > Company Information > SEI WORLD > Back number > Vol.424

[Newsletter "SEI NEWS" Vol.424]

Ultra-Precision Cutting Tool UPC

Mirror finishing and nano-/micro-cutting of cemented carbide and other high hardness materials are possible with the ultra-precision cutting tool (UPC) produced and distributed by A.L.M.T Corp.

■Product Data

Start of production 1985
Production base Japan

What is the UPC?

Product surface

The UPC is a cutting tool with its edge exploiting the characteristics of single crystal diamond. High-accuracy grinding of the cutting edge using A.L.M.T’s original technique enhances the sharpness and durability of the edge, making the UPC ideal for microfabrication with a degree of nanometer accuracy.

A.L.M.T developed a new series of UPC named “BL-UPC” whose cutting edge is made of “Sumidia Binderless” (*1), nano-polycrystalline diamond. The BL-UPC ensures both sharp cutting, an advantage of single crystal diamond, and high chipping resistance, an advantage of polycrystalline diamond. The new tool is ideal for cutting cemented carbide that has been impossible with conventional UPC because of chipping of its cutting edge.

※1Sumidia Binderless
Revolutionary new single-phase nano-polycrystalline synthetic diamond made by strongly and directly bonding fine diamond grains of several tens of nanometers.


What is the UPC used for?

This product is used for the micro-machining of various ultra-high precision parts such as aspherical plastic lens molds and laser reflection mirrors.

Other applications include:
・Optical pickup lenses for CD/DVD/BL, mobile/smart phone camera lenses, digital camera lenses, f/θ lenses, LDE light collimator lenses
・Aspherical lenses/mirrors, polygon mirrors, infrared (Si, Ge) lenses
・Optical film molds for LED displays, light guide panel molds for LED displays, photoconductive drums for copying machines

■Interview with engineer in charge
What are the difficulties in manufacturing the UPC?

Kazushi Obata, Sales Engineering Dept., Diamond/cBN Tools Sales Management Div., A.L.M.T Corp.

To produce the UPC, we form a cutting edge with nanometer accuracy by grinding an edge of extremely hard diamond. Grinding a diamond edge with such high accuracy is very difficult. In particular, the hardness of single-crystal diamond differs depending on the grinding surface and direction. Therefore, we have to establish the grinding conditions for each grinding surface. Also, we use in-house developed original devices and tools to inspect and guarantee the accuracy of our products.

What feature of the UPC is most favored by customers?

Our customers appreciate the outstanding features of the UPC. In other words, this product not only cuts materials sharply but also ensures stable, high accuracy in ultra-high precision machining. Conventionally, photolithography or ion beam technique has been indispensable for cutting parts with micrometer accuracy. The UPC has made it possible to cut materials directly and physically. This product is well received by our customers for its enhanced cutting surface quality and cutting versatility.

What is a new product you have recently developed?

One year ago, we developed “BL-UPC” series cutting tools that exploit the characteristics of “Sumidia Binderless.” To expand their uses from general surface cutting, we are developing an end milling UPC (used for cutting ends and bottoms of work pieces) and forming UPC (having a concave cutting edge).


・“UPC” is a trademark or registered trademark of A.L.M.T Corp.
・“Sumidia” is a trademark or registered trademark of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

2013 Index
(C) 2015 Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
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