UK company erects R315m research lab

4th October 2013


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Synthetic diamond super-materials manufacturer Element Six, which is part of the De Beers Group of Com-panies, reports that on July 3 it officially opened a R315-million synthetic diamond research and development facility at the Global Innovation Centre (GIC), in Harwell, Oxfordshire, in the UK.

UK Science Minister David Willetts and Element Six chairperson Philippe Mellier opened the facility, which produces synthetic diamonds that are used in crushing and milling applications.

“Our new GIC will consolidate and strengthen our innovation capability,” says Mellier.

Employing over 100 scientists and tech-nologists, the 5 000 m² facility consolidates Element Six’s global innovation teams into one integrated centre, where a pipeline of innovative synthetic diamond and related super-material products will be developed for customers, in industries from oil and gas drilling to precision machining and electronics.

The new GIC will allow for the rapid devel-opment of customised material in abrasives and technology applications, which will enable extreme leaps in end-application performance and productivity, Element Six says.

“For the first time in the global synthetic diamond industry, we can partner with customers to rapidly design, manufacture and test market-ready solutions all under one roof. “Quite simply, the GIC puts Element Six at the forefront of diamond technology,” explains Mellier.

Element Six has a 50-year record of applying the extreme properties of synthetic diamonds in abrasives applications and a diverse range of advanced technologies.

Synthetic diamonds, which are used as an advanced manufacturing material, can improve productivity, reduce energy consump- tion and enable progress in technology in a mulitude of applications never previously considered.

One such application includes a synthetic diamond road pick, which has a life span 40 times that of a normal road pick.

Aligned with the UK government’s desire to foster investment in research and develop-ment and advanced manufacturing in the UK, Element Six identified Harwell, Oxford, as the best site for the centre. The location was chosen for its proximity to key international connections and the UK’s strong science and engineering talent base.

Edited by Megan van Wyngaardt
Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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