Element Six is made up of two businesses; Technologies, which is 100% owned by the De Beers Group; and Abrasives, which is ~60% owned by the De Beers Group, with Umicore, a major global materials group, owning the remaining ~40%.
The Abrasives business encompasses our Oil & Gas, Advanced Materials and Hard Materials Divisions. Abrasives uses high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) synthesis to manufacture synthetic diamond and cubic boron nitride (CBN), and high temperature sintering to produce tungsten carbide products. These supermaterials are used in applications including cutting, grinding, drilling, shearing and polishing. This has driven demand in industrial sectors as diverse as automotive, aerospace, oil & gas drilling, mining, electronics, road maintenance, stone and construction, and wood-working.
The Technologies business utilises the extreme properties of synthetic diamond beyond hardness, through manufacturing very pure synthetic diamond using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) techniques. These properties are opening up potential applications in a wide array of industries such as optics, power transmission, water treatment, semi-conductors and sensors. The unique and extreme properties of synthetic diamond have the potential to solve some of the world’s biggest industrial challenges, leaving synthetic diamond well placed to enter an exciting era of future growth in the coming decades.