Polycrystalline diamond synthesis and abrasives production.

Abrasives are useful for shaping and decorating components by hand or machine. They can be used to remove material (lapping, planing, diamond cutting, etc.) or to improve or decorate the surface (satin finishing, sandblasting, horological decorations, and of course, polishing).

Abrasives must always have a hardness greater than the material being treated. For example, to polish a sapphire crystal or case (synthetic corundum) with a hardness of approximately 9 on the Mohs scale, only diamond (10 on the Mohs scale) will be suitable. A wide variety of abrasives can be used in watchmaking, such as emery, silica, certain ceramics, or diamond. The grain size and calibration of the abrasive will determine the surface finish of the treated material (fine or more pronounced satin finishing, quality of polishing, etc.).

Abrasives come in various forms (powders, liquids, pastes, papers, stones, grinding wheels, pads, etc.). Powdered abrasives are often used with a binder (liquid for pastes and suspensions, solid for stones and grinding wheels).