Why is diamond used as an abrasive?


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Diamond is useful as an abrasive because of its hardness. It is the hardest naturally occurring mineral, rated at 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Diamond is also chemically inert to most corrosives. These two properties make it strong and wear-resistant. Diamond's hardness is a result of its strong covalent bonds. It's a covalent network solid with each carbon atom covalently bonded to four surrounding carbon atoms, creating a strong crystal lattice. 

Diamond is used for drilling, cutting, grinding and polishing other materials. Examples of products made for these purposes are abrasive powders, grinding wheels, cutting blades and discs, knife sharpeners and glass cutting points. Diamond is more expensive than other abrasives, but cutting tools made from diamond last longer.

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