Choosing The Right Blade

SEMICON TOOLS INC. Offers a Wide Range of Thickness Exposures and Grit Selections to Precisely Suit Your Dicing Requirements.

What Is The Correct Blade For Your Application?

Objectively, it should be the blade which gives you the highest production rate while meeting exact cut specifications. Blade selection will vary depending on actual conditions and procedures. Experimentation with different blades could optimize your dicing efficiency.

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The Diamond Blade: Simply, the diamond blade is a cutting tool which has exposed diamond particles captured in a metal nickel matrix each with a small cutting edge. The number of cutting edges which is determined by the number of diamonds (or concentration) make up the structure of the diamond blade, along with its matrix, (resin, nickel). The size of the diamond particle will have a direct result in the size of chip you get. The thickness of the blade (diamond particle plus matrix) will determine the width of the cut. Therefore, blade selection along with feed rate, spindle speed, and depth of cut will ultimately determine the blades success.

Hubless (Free Standing) Plated Diamond Blade, in which diamond particles are held in a nickel bond produced by an electroplating process. Used in two piece flange system. See Flange Section.

Hubbed Style Diamond Plated Blade, in which diamond particles are held in a nickel bond produced by electroplating only this way they are plated to a pre- determined hub configuration, one piece construction. See Hub Blades.

Resinoid Diamond Blade, in which diamond particles are held in a resin bond to create a homogenous matrix. Used in a two (2) piece flange system. See Resin Blades.

Area of Use: Silicon wafer dicing is usually done with the plated diamond blade (hubbed or hubbless) which has proven most effective for this application. The Kerfs are typically in the 1-3 mil. range using a nominal spindle speed of 30,000 RPM with feed rates as high as 8 inch per sec. The resinoid diamond blade, is usually used on all types of what is commonly termed "Hard Materials" such as Sapphire, Alumina, Quartz. The resin blade is unique in that it continuously sharpens itself during use. As the cutting edge becomes dull the diamond particles pull loose from the blade, thereby exposing a new sharpened edge, however, the life is much shorter than a nickel blade.

Guides to Cutting There are some important guidelines that should be used in selecting the right blade for each application.

Feed Speed: (Table feed) The feed speed will determine how fast you can cut (X- travel) and your chipping. Nominally the deeper you cut and the harder the material, the slower your feed speed should be.

Spindle Speed: (RPM) The RPM of your dicing saw should be variable, ranging from 10,000 to 40,000 RPM. When using a nominal 2" 3" 4" blade the best spindle speed is usually determined by the hardness of your material and the depth of your cut.

Depth of Cut: To optimize a blade's capability in cutting, always take into account the thickness of the blade, and the exposure needed to reach the required depth. Eg: .050" thick Alumina Substrate should not be cut with .0040" mil. thick blade because it is too thin of a blade for such a deep cut, it will result in deflection.

The blade deflects or bends because it is too thin for such a long exposure. This unfavorable situation results in either the blade breaking, excessive chipping or streets that are not parallel. Dressing Plates: Most metal (nickel plated hubbed or hubbless) blades must be dressed to remove excess nickel from the cutting edges. STI dressing plates made of 800 grit silicon carbide and resin are used for this process and will aid in truing in addition to dressing the blade. However all blades are predressed and only require a precondition before production cutting. See procedures for hub and hubless. 


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