Industrial diamond producer Element Six, a De Beers company, has acquired US-based Megadiamond’s cutting tool business from Schlumberger to become the largest supplier of abrasive supermaterials for the automotive and aerospace sectors.
As the global aerospace and automotive markets increasingly adopt hard-to-machine materials, such as carbon-fibre-reinforced plastics, there is a growing demand for more advanced precision tooling and materials.
Cyrus Jilla, chief executive officer at Element Six described the investment “as another milestone in what has been a very positive year of development for the company.”
The MegaDiamond cutting tool business acquisition expands the capabilities of Element Six, which already has primary manufacturing facilities in China, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, South Africa, the US and the UK, with improved production scale.
The company stated that the move grows its product portfolio through proprietary aerospace and automotive application-ready products and technology, as well as the opportunity for MegaDiamond’s cutting tool applications to enter industry sectors it had previously been unable to support.
With the market for commercial jetliners expected to increase by £5.5bn in 2013, Element Six announced a £20m investment to construct the world’s largest synthetic diamond supermaterials innovation facility in Harwell, near Oxford.
The facility will develop a pipeline of products for customers in industries from oil and gas drilling to machining and electronics.
Once complete in spring 2013, the new global innovation centre will employ more than 100 engineers, scientists and technicians. Of this, 50 new material science jobs will be created, with the vast majority of new positions available for highly qualified graduate scientists, engineers and physicists.